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 Unity, April Fool's Day mix, trade jerseys

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PostSubject: Unity, April Fool's Day mix, trade jerseys   Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:09 pm

04/01/09 8:27 PM ET
Unity, April Fool's Day mix
Granderson's idea takes on whole new level with Tigers

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Jim Leyland told his players it was time to rub elbows with their teammates. The Tigers took it a step further and gave each other the jerseys off their backs.

When Curtis Granderson took his usual spot in center field for the top of the first inning against the Braves on Wednesday, he was wearing Josh Anderson's jersey, and vice versa for Anderson in right. Justin Verlander took the mound looking a little baggy in Gerald Laird's No. 8, but more comfortable than Laird in Verlander's 35 behind the plate. Brandon Inge went to third base wearing the bat boy's jersey.

What started as an April Fool's joke somehow turned into an exercise in team unity.

"A little fun," said Granderson. "A long spring."

In fact, every Tiger in the starting lineup, and everyone on the big league roster, had a different jersey on. Some of them had logic to them. Others were out there.

Granderson was actually the mastermind behind the idea, though he didn't intend for it to get this big. His brainstorm for an April Fool's joke was to have Anderson take the field in a Braves jersey, which he wore all spring until the Tigers traded for him earlier this spring. The logistics didn't work on that, so he came up with a better idea.

"Let's go ahead and just switch uniforms amongst ourselves," Granderson said.


Once Granderson and Anderson made the switch, the idea caught on quickly. Soon, everyone wanted in on the act.

"I'm sure somebody was probably going to plant it on someone anyways, accidentally put someone's jersey on," Granderson said. "So we'll just all do it."

The Tigers let Leyland in on the joke ... sort of. Laird went into Leyland's office and asked if he was fine with the players rubbing elbows. They didn't mention how until a little before game time. He had no problem with it.

Some guys, such as middle infielders Adam Everett, Placido Polanco and Ramon Santiago, made their swaps by jersey size. Others had their own reasoning. Jeff Larish remembered a young kid asking for his autograph earlier this spring, mistaking him for Marcus Thames, so he and Thames switched jerseys. Verlander and Laird wanted to switch up the pitching battery. Magglio Ordonez, the designated hitter for the day, put on Hall of Famer Al Kaline's jersey.

Miguel Cabrera briefly tried on Inge's jersey, but it was clearly too small, so he ended up with Armando Galarraga's jersey instead. The bat boy jersey, though, fit surprisingly well on Inge.

The kicker, however, came from Fernando Rodney, who asked Leyland if he could wear his No. 10 jersey when he took the mound for his relief inning.

"He asked me before the game, 'Can I wear your jersey,'" Leyland recalled. "I said, 'How are you going to pitch?' He said, 'Good.' I said, 'Well, you can wear my jersey, then.'" :lol:

Rodney pitched a scoreless inning.

"I had a pretty good changeup, didn't I," Leyland joked.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Unity, April Fool's Day mix, trade jerseys   Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:11 pm

That's kind of funny.

Figures Granderson would come up with something like that.


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PostSubject: Re: Unity, April Fool's Day mix, trade jerseys   Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:20 am

Two pictures i found.



lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Unity, April Fool's Day mix, trade jerseys   Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:36 am

I have several, from the Detroit News, in the Pictures forem, and the ST Pics thread.


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