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 Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge

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PostSubject: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:16 pm

Sunday, July 5, 2009
All-Star Game
Verlander, Jackson, Granderson named All-Stars; Inge still has a shot
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Minneapolis -- Three Tigers have been named to the American League All-Star team -- including one surprise.

Curtis Granderson made it.

So did starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, but the numbers were heavily in their favor. Verlander has been the most dominant pitcher in the AL since late April. In his last 13 starts, he's 8-2 with a 2.24 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings. He could even be a candidate to start the game for the AL.

Without as many wins, Jackson has been almost as dominant. Not only does he have the second-lowest ERA (2.59) in the league, but he's 5-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 starts since May 7.

For Verlander, it's the second time he's been named an All-Star. For Jackson, it's his first.

Brandon Inge could possibly be the fourth Tiger on the All-Star team. He's been placed on the list of five players vying for the spot that will be decided by fans in online voting.

But, again, the surprise was Granderson, not because he's having a bad season. He isn't. He has 18 home runs and 43 RBIs

But he went into Sunday's game hitting just .255 and in a 13-game slump in which he's hitting .176 with one home run and two RBIs. In his last 26 games, he's hitting .220 with five home runs and 10 RBIs.

It will be his first All-Star appearance as well.

All three Tigers made the team in a vote of the players.

tom.gage@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:20 pm

2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final VOTE

INGE IS ONE OF THE FIVE FOR AL!



But hurry -- the Final Vote ends Thursday, July 9 at 4 p.m. ET.


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:55 pm

Surprised Granderson got in. I'm not complaining though. An earlier article I read on tigers.com said Verlander had the most K's in baseball which is news to me as I didn't realize 130 was greater than 141.


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:05 am

catbox_9 wrote:
Surprised Granderson got in. I'm not complaining though. An earlier article I read on tigers.com said Verlander had the most K's in baseball which is news to me as I didn't realize 130 was greater than 141.

All the articles I see say he leads the AL in K's, not the Major League.


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:24 am

Youth accents Tigers' All-Star selectees
Verlander, Jackson, Granderson comprise under-30 trio

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

07/05/09 7:19 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers are back to having a pack at the All-Star Game. This time, it'll be the young core of the team.

Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, whose pitching has been a big reason for Detroit's lead atop the American League Central, will join center fielder and leadoff man Curtis Granderson at the Midsummer Classic on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. They'll have a chance to get a fourth All-Star in the coming days if Detroit can put together enough votes for Brandon Inge to beat out a handful of peers in the Sprint Final Vote.

The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. XM will provide satellite radio play-by-play coverage of the XM All-Star Futures Game.

All three sure All-Stars were selected by player balloting, which took place last week. It's the second time in three years that the Tigers have at least a trio of players involved. But unlike their World Series followup in 2007, only one of Detroit's All-Stars this year has been there before, and none of them are older than 28.

"It's an accomplishment," said Jackson, an All-Star at age 25 after spending the past few years trying to establish himself as a big league starter. "Being an All-Star, it's the best of the best out there playing, and it's also a lot of fun. It's not something that happens every day. You have to take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself and enjoy it."

Verlander is the one Tigers All-Star who has been there before, having made the team in 2007. His return was widely expected, recognizing a year in which last season's AL leader in losses has reversed his fortunes to again become one of baseball's nastiest starting pitchers.

With a fastball that has frequently topped out around 100 mph and a devastating curveball, Verlander leads the American League with 130 strikeouts, 44 of them in a four-start stretch in early May that started him on a winning streak of seven straight decisions.

Just because the 26-year-old has been there before, though, doesn't change his feeling.

"I'm pretty excited," Verlander said. "Last time was such a whirlwind, I hardly had time to relax and enjoy it. This time, I'm going to try to just kind of have fun and take it all in."

While Verlander seemed likely to make it, Jackson appeared to be on the bubble. He has been one of baseball's deceptive cases where the wins and losses don't reflect how well he has pitched. His 2.59 ERA ranks second only to Zack Greinke among AL starters, and he's also second in hits allowed per nine innings and WHIP.

Yet with one of the lowest run-support averages in the league, Jackson owns a 6-4 record, and the Tigers are 9-8 in his starts. He's winless in his past five starts since June 1, but an All-Star appearance is a recognition by the players of his obstacles, not to mention the emergence he has had since coming to Detroit via trade from Tampa Bay last winter.

"The record -- wins and losses -- sometimes you can't control those things," Jackson said. "They understand how the game is. The game's crazy sometimes. You can pitch real good and your record not necessarily show it. But they understand the game, and they understand everything that's going on around the records. It's a great feeling, exciting, and I'm ready to be a part of it."

Jackson's selection means he'll again be managed by Joe Maddon, who managed him with the Rays last year and will lead this year's AL All-Stars.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Jackson said. "Joe, as a manager, he shows a lot of emotion, but it's in a different kind of way. He's happy all the time with smiles on his face. He keeps everybody loose in the clubhouse. It's going to be a lot of fun to go back and play with him managing again."

Granderson seemingly had a case to make the team in 2007, when he became one of just four Major Leaguers in history to post at least 20 doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in the same season. This year, the 28-year-old's homer power, speed and defensive prowess put him onto the roster in a crowded AL outfield.

Halfway through the season, Granderson projects for a potential 30-homer, 30-steal season. His 18 home runs stand tied for the team and 10th in the league to go with a .256 batting average and 43 RBIs.

Defensively, only Torii Hunter among AL center fielders has more putouts without an error this year than Granderson's 189. His highlights include a game-saving catch at the fence to rob Grady Sizemore of what would've been a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a 1-0 win May 8 at Cleveland.

Granderson kind of feels like he had a comparable steal here. He still doesn't feel comfortable at the plate, he said again Sunday, and he felt confident enough he wasn't going that he booked his flight back home to Chicago for the break. Even still, he's enjoying a fine season.

"It's just a comparison to everybody who has done it and all the guys in the outfield this year," he said. "When you start going across the names -- [Carl] Crawford and Torii Hunter and Ichiro -- somehow my name gets to be mentioned in the same breath as all those guys, at least for a day. [It's] very exciting. I'm honored, and I can't help but say I'm surprised."

For many, if the Tigers were going to get a position player as an All-Star, Inge or Miguel Cabrera seemed the likely candidates. But Cabrera was battling a tough field at first base, and Michael Young earned the player-ballot nod at third.

With the Tigers returning to Detroit to start a week-long homestand leading into the break, the team's efforts now center on trying to get Inge into the contest. He hit his 19th homer of the year Sunday to go with a .269 average and 54 RBIs, not to mention long-respected slick fielding at third.

"I'm honored to be considered," Inge said. "I'm very happy for my teammates that are going right now. I would love to, and it would be an honor. But I can't control it. I just play as hard as I can and be the person that I am."

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: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:33 am

Inge seeks Final Vote for first All-Star nod
Tigers third baseman enjoying resurgence with stick, glove

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

07/05/09 7:59 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brandon Inge sometimes seems as though he commands any ball hit between shortstop and the third-base stands. That's how good his range is.

The All-Star Game is out of his control, but not out of his grasp. It's now up to Tigers fans and others to help get him there. It's going to take a lot of mouse clicks and phone-button presses.

Though Inge didn't crack the initial roster for the Midsummer Classic, Detroit's slick-fielding, power-hitting third baseman is one of five American League players up for the lone remaining roster spot in the Sprint Final Vote. It'll be one more chance to put in a player that his manager and teammates agree deserves to go for the first time in his career.

Tigers skipper Jim Leyland, rarely one to campaign for a player, couldn't help himself over the past few days.

"I just hope he's on the [All-Star] team somehow," Leyland said in Oakland. "He deserves it. He should at least be [Rays third baseman Evan] Longoria's backup."

With a voting surge, Inge can be. And with the Tigers at home this week while balloting goes on, he should have a fair chance. But don't expect him to campaign for himself.

"I'm honored to be considered," Inge said. "I'm very happy for my teammates that are going right now. I would love to go, and it would be an honor. But I can't control it. I just play as hard as I can and be the person that I am."

Now in its eighth year, the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting at MLB.com and tigers.com began immediately following Sunday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Pepsi and continues until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 9. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Mobile voting in the U.S. is exclusive to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555.

Inge is one of five candidates for the AL's final spot in the Midsummer Classic on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, pitting him against Angels third baseman Chone Figgins, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Blue Jays left fielder Adam Lind and Rays first baseman Carlos Pena.

What arguably makes Inge stand out is the combination of offense and defense. He long since earned his reputation as one of baseball's best defensive third basemen and overall athletes. His fielding skill was a big reason behind his return to the hot corner this season in a revamped Tigers lineup.

Inge's 155 assists and 25 double plays topped all AL third basemen through Sunday, and his regular appearances on highlight reels for his acrobatic plays can't hurt in a balloting battle that lasts just four days.

With Detroit's pitchers benefiting from his outs in the field, Tigers All-Stars weren't shy about campaigning for him when news came out Sunday.

"I believe wholeheartedly that he should go," said Justin Verlander, a Final Vote candidate as a rookie in 2006. "He's one of the main catalysts for this team, and one of the main reasons why we're in first place right now. I think he's earned it."

Yet what has separated this season from any other for Inge is his bat, powering a career turnaround at the plate. Only Longoria and Toronto's Scott Rolen have a higher OPS among AL third basemen than Inge at .874, to go with a .269 average and 54 RBIs. He hit his team-high 19th home run Sunday.

More than a few of those home runs have proved critical. He had a go-ahead home run that powered the Tigers ahead of the Cubs on June 23, a game the Tigers eventually pulled out, then hit a two-out, ninth-inning homer June 28 to push Detroit past Houston.

His numbers hold their own against his competition. He has about as many RBIs and a higher batting average than Pena, as many home runs and RBIs as Lind, and a higher OPS than Figgins or Kinsler.

"The numbers he's put up, he deserves to be there," four-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera said.

Yet with so little time to vote, part of the battle comes down to how teams can get as many fans as possible to cast their online ballot. For that, the Tigers are gearing up for a major push. Tigers vice president of communications Ron Colangelo said the team is planning a "full-court press" to draw fans to vote, especially at Comerica Park.

That goes for fans at their own computers, too. Those who vote for Inge online will be automatically entered to win an Inge autographed bat.

In Detroit, he has been one of the most popular Tigers for years, so that shouldn't a problem. Now, that popularity has to spread.

Inge is hoping his play speaks for itself.

"You should not worry about things that are out of your control," Inge said. "Play as hard as you can, do what you can, but this is one of those things that's definitely out of my hands. Whatever happens, happens. It's an honor either way."

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: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:34 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
Surprised Granderson got in. I'm not complaining though. An earlier article I read on tigers.com said Verlander had the most K's in baseball which is news to me as I didn't realize 130 was greater than 141.

All the articles I see say he leads the AL in K's, not the Major League.

Yeah, they probably caught it pretty quick.


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:07 pm

I voted for Inge LOTS...but he's happy either way! He'd spend the break with his family on a beach somewhere!
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:43 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
GoGetEmTigers wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
Surprised Granderson got in. I'm not complaining though. An earlier article I read on tigers.com said Verlander had the most K's in baseball which is news to me as I didn't realize 130 was greater than 141.

All the articles I see say he leads the AL in K's, not the Major League.

Yeah, they probably caught it pretty quick.

Wouldn't be the 1st time!


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:58 pm



^click above^



Inge overtakes Final Vote lead in AL
Jumps ahead by nine percent entering final day of polling

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

07/08/09 4:10 PM ET

DETROIT -- Brandon Inge has moved into the lead in the American League All-Star Final Vote. And the Tigers and Phillies have teamed up to help try to ensure he stays there.

With about 24 hours remaining for online balloting at MLB.com and tigers.com, Detroit's standout third baseman has taken a slim advantage of nine percentage points over Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who led for the most of the first two days of balloting, and Angels third baseman Chone Figgins.

About 34.3 million total votes have been cast, pacing ahead of last year's total.

If Detroit's latest effort to boost Inge's balloting works, that pace could pick up even more. The Tigers and Phillies announced a joint effort Wednesday afternoon to encourage their fans to vote for Inge and Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino together as a ticket on the Final Vote ballot, since fans have to vote one player from each league.

They're calling the tandem Bran-torino. It's similar to pairings that teams in other areas of the country have done.

The two clubs are also encouraging businesses in Michigan and Pennsylvania to allow their workers some time Wednesday and Thursday to vote for Inge and Victorino.

Like Inge, Victorino is in a close battle in the National League to win the Final Vote. Philadelphia's multi-tooled talent overtook Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the NL lead before Sandoval jumped back in front earlier today. The two are separated by just two percentage points, and the Phillies are hoping Tigers fans can put him over the top.

The Tigers are also offering their fans another enticement to cast their vote for Inge -- fans who vote at least 100 times for Inge at tigers.com will be eligible in a drawing to win a fantasy package for their Aug. 4 game vs. the Oriolesthat includes delivering the game ball to the mound, two infield box seats, parking, a Tigers batting practice jersey and dinner for two in the Champions Club.

The Tigers are giving away Inge posters to every fan at Comerica Park who votes for him at tigers.com at the computer they've set up along the concourse. Every fan who votes for Inge on the team site is also automatically entered into a drawing for an Inge autographed bat.

The eighth annual All-Star Final Vote allows fans to decide the 33rd and final roster spot for the American and National Leagues leading up to the 80th All-Star Game on Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Voting runs through 4 p.m. ET Thursday at MLB.com and tigers.com.

Fans also can vote again by mobile device -- exclusive in the U.S. to Sprint, Nextel and Boost subscribers. To receive the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote mobile ballot text the word "VOTE" to 1122. To vote for a specific player, simply text message your choice to 1122. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard rate messaging fees also may apply; check with your carrier. Mobile voting in Canada is open to all carriers; fans should text their choices to 88555.

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: Verlander, Jackson, Granderson All-Stars; MAYBE Inge   Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:01 pm

Shani was on the pregame show! She's all for him going! SO VOTE!!!!
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