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 Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season

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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:53 am

Ramon's son is to be born soon!
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:57 am

laprimamirala wrote:
Ramon's son is to be born soon!

applaud


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:17 am

Marcus is expecting...Ramon is expecting...Zoom is....
Lotsa Baby Tigers!
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:14 pm

Saturday, July 4, 2009
Notebook
Gerald Laird pushes Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson for All-Star Game
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Minneapolis -- He's the starting catcher on a team with two possible All-Star pitchers -- and Gerald Laird makes no bones about it.

He believes both Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson should be among those named to the American League staff when it's announced Sunday.

"Ver had a month in which he was unhittable," Laird said. "He certainly deserves to be there -- and Edwin has been consistent all year.

"If they look at his ERA (2.49), he should be there, too. I was looking at Edwin's stats today, and I think there have been six games in which he has allowed less than three runs and didn't get the win."

Five, actually.

Jackson has allowed fewer than three runs five times this year without winning. He also allowed three runs three times, losing two of those starts.

"I think they're both deserving," Laird said. "It would be nice to see them get the opportunity."

Inge, too?


Brandon Inge knows he has a chance to make the All-Star team. He's not thinking of it as a good chance, because he doesn't want to get his hopes up, only to be disappointed.

He puts it this way: "I have a deposit down on a cottage we could be going to, but if I lose the deposit, I lose it. I look at it as a win-win situation."

The Inge family will either be together at a Lake Michigan beach or in St. Louis for the All-Star Game on July 14.

"Either way will be just fine," Inge said.

Around the horn

In the both-good-and-bad category, the Tigers now have an ESPN game on their schedule. Their home game against the White Sox on July 26 has been moved from 1:05 p.m. to 8 p.m. for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

But that means a probable arrival in Texas between 2 and 3 a.m. for the start of a three-game series against the Rangers on Monday night, instead of 7-8 p.m. the night before.

. . . Inge and Verlander have been named Tigers player and pitcher of the month for June. Inge hit .287 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. Verlander was 2-1 with a 2.91 ERA in five starts. No Tiger won more than two games in June.

. . . Placido Polanco moved into seventh place Friday night on the Tigers' all-time list of games played at second base with 545 -- passing Eddie Mayo in the process. But he won't pass anyone else anytime soon -- and not at all if he isn't re-signed for next year.

Frank Bolling is in sixth at 779. Lou Whitaker is first on the list, and possibly always will be, with 2,308.

. . . As of 6 p.m. Friday, with one day remaining, the highest bid on eBay for Magglio Ordonez's hair remained at $6,000. There have been four bids on his hair, starting at $5,000 -- with the proceeds going to Imerman Angels, a cancer support group.

The highest bidder so far is an anonymous eBay rookie.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:18 pm

Monday, July 13, 2009
Tigers: Notebook
Tigers' Inge prepares for Derby
Team-leading total reaches 21 homers after a pair Sunday
Tim Twentyman / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Brandon Inge has come a long way in just half a year.

In 2008, he lost his everyday spot at third base to Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen and was relegated to a do-all bench role, platooning at third, catcher and in the outfield.

He did what the team asked of him, but it's safe to say he wasn't smiling as much as he was in years past. And his offensive numbers lagged because of it -- he hit .205 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs last year, all career lows in five full major league seasons.

Entering this season as the everyday third baseman again, Inge had a new vigor and a new approach at the plate, thanks to changes he and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon made to his swing in the offseason.

"I always felt like I could do well. I wanted to prove to everyone I could do it," Inge, 32, said Sunday after hitting two home runs in a 10-1 victory over the Indians. "There comes a time when someone comes and takes your job, that's fine, that's the way baseball is, but in a sense it gives you that, 'all right, I can play, I'll show you' attitude and that motivates me."

A motivated Inge armed with a new attitude and new swing has resulted in an All-Star first half.

Inge's home runs in the fourth and fifth innings Sunday pushed his team-leading total to 21. He's hitting .268, 29 points above his career average, and has 58 RBIs, which leads the team.

He is representing the American League in tonight's Home Run Derby in St. Louis and will participate in his first All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

"Going through a year like I did last year really makes you appreciate (this) even more," he said. "I just try to go out there and play as hard as I can and have fun and play like it's my last day."

All-Star BP

Tigers bullpen catcher Scott Pickens was rooting for Inge to win the All-Star fan vote for the final spot on the AL All-Star team probably more than any other person associated with the Tigers.

"When he found out about the voting, he just said that if I make the All-Star Game and they give me a chance to make the Home Run Derby, I'm taking you to be my pitcher," Pickens said Sunday. "After that, I started texting everyone I knew so they could vote and help him out and help me out, too."

Magglio Ordonez took Pickens to San Francisco in 2007 as his Derby pitcher, but he finished last, hitting only two in the first round.

"It's just BP when you start throwing," Pickens said when asked if he'd be nervous. "After you get into a rhythm, you just keep throwing."

Drivers training

The All-Star break is a time for players and coaches to take a step back from baseball and get a little rest and relaxation before the second-half grind.

But for Tigers reliever Fu-Te Ni , the break is the only time the Taiwan native could fit a drive's test into his schedule.

Ni, 26, has an apartment in Toledo and will attempt to get his license in Ohio this week.

"I've been reading the drivers training manual," Ni said through his translator. "There is nothing different about driving here and driving in Taiwan because the wheel is on the same side. It's probably easier driving here."


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–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:27 pm

Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tigers: Notebook
Jeremy Bonderman adds split-finger fastball to his repertoire
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Ask about his funny pitches, we were told.

What?

"Ask Jeremy about the funny pitches he threw," Nate Robertson said. "I didn't actually see him throw them. But I heard about it."

Jeremy Bonderman has a new pitch, one he threw Tuesday night in his first rehab assignment at Toledo. He's developing a splitter -- or for those requiring more of an explanation, a split-fingered fastball.

A pitch that dips. A strikeout pitch.

When thrown the right way, it can be more than an effective pitch. It can be a career-maker. Or in the case of Bonderman, a possible career-changer.

"We've pretty much exhausted all avenues of the change-up," pitching coach Rick Knapp said. "This is the logical alternative -- a pitch he's taken to."

Bonderman threw 13 pitches during his one scoreless inning for Toledo. Seven of those were strikes -- and three of the seven were splitters.He was so intent on throwing the pitch that he shook off catcher Max St. Pierre each time to get to the splitter.

"I started working on it in spring training," Bonderman said, "then shut it down because I couldn't throw it. My arm wasn't feeling good. About a week ago, I threw it again, then I threw it in the simulated game. It's a good pitch -- one that works well for me."

The Tigers always wanted Bonderman to throw a change-up, and while not fond of the pitch, he tried. But at no time did he ever sound as excited about the change as he already does about a splitter.

"I've asked different people about their grips," Bonderman said, "and I've found one that fits my hand. I like it because I can throw it just like a fastball."

It helped Bonderman's confidence, of course, that the first splitter he threw on Tuesday night was a called strike. That felt good.

"The next one I threw was swung at and missed," he said. "Another one was fouled off, and the other went to the backstop."

That's one of the dangers of a good splitter. It can skip past the catcher. But a good splitter isn't always thrown for a strike, anyway. And from the sound of it, this "funny" pitch is already a good pitch for Bonderman.

Growing up fast

As the son of assistant general manager Al Avila , catcher Alex Avila was 15 when he first walked into the Tigers' clubhouse at Comerica Park.

Little did he know that at 22, it would also be the first clubhouse he'd walk into as a major-leaguer -- which Alex did on Wednesday, a day after the Tigers called him up from Double-A Erie.

"I was absolutely shocked, but very happy," he said about the call from the Tigers. "I can't believe it's happening this fast. I was just going about the season, thinking I was going to finish up in Erie.

"I thought that one day I'd play in the big leagues, as long I kept working hard, but I never thought it would be this quick."

It helps to be from a baseball family, though.

"I've been around clubhouses most of my life," he said. "Just knowing the baseball lifestyle is hugely important."

Or as Brandon Inge said of Avila, "Being intimidated by all this won't be a problem."

Mea culpa

Manager Jim Leyland said he made a right and wrong decision at the same time about Edwin Jackson in the Tigers' 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.

He had fully intended to send him out to the mound in the ninth, with a chance at a complete game, but shouldn't have done so after the Tigers' three-run eighth lasted as long as it did..

"I made the right decision to send him back out, but the wrong decision after he sat that long, and I knew it," Leyland said. "It's hard to take a guy out with a two-hit shutout. If we'd made three quick outs, he probably would have been fine. But sometimes you win when the manager screws up."

Jackson allowed a two-run home run in the ninth to Adam Jones , and was relieved by Fernando Rodney , who worked his way into first-and-second trouble, but ended the game for his 22nd save by striking out Gregg Zaun .

Around the horn

Robertson said he was sore after throwing 39 pitches on Tuesday night, in his first rehab appearance at Toledo.

"I'm not as sore as I expected to be, though," he said. "But I felt every one of those 39 pitches. That's the most I've thrown for a long time. I was pleased with it, though. I was around the zone with all of them."

tom.gage@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:23 am

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Notebook
Jim Leyland on John Smoltz: 'One of my all-time favorites'
Amelia Rayno / The Detroit News

Detroit -- If right-hander John Smoltz has thrown his last major league pitch, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the game will be losing one of its greats.

"In my opinion, possibly the best big-game pitcher of all time and one of my all-time favorites is just struggling," Leyland said Saturday, speaking of Smoltz, who was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox on Friday after giving up eight runs in 3 1/3 innings Thursday in a 13-6 loss to the New York Yankees. "I just thought he was the best postseason pitcher I've ever seen, I've seen a lot first-hand from the other dugout. He's tremendous, absolutely tremendous."

Smoltz is mired in arguably the worst season of his 21-year career, going 2-5 with a 8.32 ERA in eight starts for the Red Sox. Following Friday's news, the right-hander is contemplating retiring. Boston executives have made it clear they would like Smoltz, 42, to remain with the organization.

"It's sad," said Leyland, who saw plenty of Smoltz up-close during his days managing in the National League (1986-99), mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I don't know this, but sometimes it's just time to go. I don't know if that's the case with John. I just know he's struggling, and you hate to see that. But I know the competitive spirit that I've seen for all those years, and I would love very much for John Smoltz to hang around if he can compete."

Smoltz, a Lansing native, is 15-4 in the postseason with a 2.65 ERA -- all with the Braves, who acquired him from the Tigers in 1987.

Maggs hits stride

After struggling to start the season, Magglio Ordonez is on somewhat of a hot streak of late. Ordonez, who hit a bases-empty home run Wednesday and two singles Saturday in an 11-0 loss to the Twins, has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games and is batting .264.

"I'm feeling great," Ordonez said, emphatically pumping his fists in the air. "I always say, the water always gets to the level. Sometimes it's down, sometimes it's (overflowing), but it'll even out."

Around the horn

Leyland, on putting right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon in Friday night to face Twins lefties Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau: "I just said, 'To hell with it, I'm going with my righty.' These guys, Morneau is hitting (.321) off lefties. Sometimes what looks obvious, I'm not gonna do it. (Denard) Span's hitting (.352) against lefties. He hits us like he's in our meeting before the game."

Lyon did not have to face Span, but the center fielder got another single in the ninth, getting four hits overall Friday before going 5-for-5 Saturday to tie a career high.

"He's killed us for two years," Leyland said after the game Saturday. "We keep throwing him the same pitches and he keeps hitting them."

... Leyland said he didn't believe Carlos Guillen's troubles running the bases Friday had anything to do with the designated hitter's shoulder injury, but he said Guillen looked tired.

"He gave way about a third of the way to home," Leyland said. "Looked like he was the one smoking two packs of Marlboros a day."

Guillen was thrown out trying to score on a throwing error following his triple in the first, then just got in ahead of Mauer's tag on Alex Avila's double in the fifth.

... Jarrod Washburn is scheduled to make his second start for the Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Comerica, five days after his Detroit debut in which he gave up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts doubled in that game but said he was confident Washburn's rough outing was simply a case of the jitters.

"I got on third, and Brandon (Inge) told me Jarrod was probably as nervous as he'd ever been," Roberts said. "He's never been someone I've enjoyed facing."

... Justin Verlander struck out six Saturday to bring his season total to 186, a career high; his previous best was 183 in 2007.

... The Tigers have allowed 15 hits in consecutive games for the second time. Detroit also did it April 22-23 against the Los Angeles Angels.

... Rehabbing left-hander Nate Robertson went 1 2/3 innings and lost in Triple-A Toledo's 9-5 game against visiting Gwinnett. He allowed four hits, five runs (two earned), walked one and struck out three.

amelia.rayno@detnews.com.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Monday, August 10, 2009
Tigers: Notebook
Pinch hitting is out for Tigers rookie Alex Avila
Rookie is hot, but Leyland says he must keep backup to catch
Terry Foster / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Rookie catcher Alex Avila is all the rage, so you would think the Tigers want to get him as many bats as possible, even on off-days.

But Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he won't fall for that temptation because he runs the risk of not having a catcher in case of injuries.

Gerald Laird and Avila are the only players Leyland wants catching. Third baseman Brandon Inge used to start behind the plate but is playing on sore knees, and Leyland does not want to put any more strain on his legs.

"I'd be (in trouble) if I pinch-hit Avila," Leyland said. "With the way Inge's knee is, I can't catch Inge.

"You have to be careful how early you do it (pinch hit in a game). That is always a manager's nightmare. You put him in and somebody gets hurt, then you have no one to catch. That's embarrassing. You have to be careful with that."

Thames hits 100th homer

Marcus Thames was in the starting lineup for the first time in four games against the Twins. He also hit just his second home run since July 18 and the 100th of his career. Heading into Sunday's game, Thames was batting .162 in his previous 15 games with one home run and one RBI.

"He is probably more effective if he does not play every single day," Leyland said. "He has actually struggled a little bit. I am waiting to see a few more RBIs other than via the home run."

How does Leyland describe Thames?

"He's a three-run homer waiting to happen," he said.

Thames said winning the game was more important than the milestone.

"Hopefully we can take that momentum and try to get the first one on the road," he said.

Guillen still not 'right'

The right side remains a problem for Carlos Guillen . He does not feel good throwing with his right arm and the switch hitter batted left-handed Friday night against Twins lefty Brian Duensing . Leyland is trying to ease Guillen back at designated hitter until his right shoulder is completely sound. That is why he would not commit to playing Guillen in left field even at Boston's Fenway Park and the famed green wall.

"That's a tough one," Leyland said.

Guillen would make shorter throws at Fenway than at other parks.

But as long as he struggles from the right side it appears as if Guillen will remain the DH.

Robertson, Bondo struggle

The news wasn't great in Toledo Saturday nor Sunday night.


On Sunday, Jeremy Bonderman gave up six hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief in Toledo's 8-4 win over Gwinnett.

On Saturday, Nate Robertson lasted 1 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (two earned) and four hits in Gwinnett's 9-4 win.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:55 am

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tigers: Notebook
Tigers quietly stew over fallout from Tuesday brawl
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Boston -- Next question.

No comment. Wasting your time.

In the wake of Tuesday night's brawl between the Tigers and Boston Red Sox, and before Wednesday's 8-2 loss in Fenway Park, the one constant was manager Jim Leyland's refusal to comment.

That can be taken as a sign that he'd rather look forward than back.

Or that he doesn't want to risk saying anything ill-advised because he's been upset with several aspects of what's taken place. Such as:

A) Losing Miguel Cabrera to a sore left hand after Cabrera was hit by a pitch in Tuesday night's 7-5 loss.

B) Kevin Youkilis charging the mound and throwing his helmet at Rick Porcello after getting hit with a pitch.

C) Porcello and Youkilis receiving suspensions of equal duration.

Both were suspended for five games. Both also initially said they would appeal -- and both, by the time the first pitch was thrown Wednesday night, had dropped those appeals.

In Porcello's case, it means that he'll only be bumped back two days -- from Sunday at home against Kansas City to Tuesday night at home against Seattle, following an off-day.

Tigers' pitcher Edwin Jackson also was fined for what were called "aggressive actions" during the fracas -- although Jackson wasn't aware of the fine until a reporter told him.

When asked if he had anything to say about the suspensions, Leyland replied, "Don't waste your time. I will not talk about it."

Just as when asked if he had anything to say about Tuesday night's brawl, Leyland replied, "Next question."

Off limits, in other words.

Several Tigers were amazed and upset that the players involved received the same suspensions, but preferred not to speak on the record.

Said Porcello, "I've never been involved in anything like this, so I didn't know what to expect."

Limited to one statement after Tuesday night's game, the 20-year-old right-hander said only that, "I did not hit Kevin Youkilis intentionally."

For his part, Youkilis -- who'd been hit by pitches in two consecutive games -- admitted he "lost control. I let my emotions get the best of me. I just felt I had to do what I had to do."

However, Cabrera also was hit by pitches in two consecutive games and did not charge the mound.

Even so, Boston's Jason Bay didn't fault Youkilis for charging.

"I don't want to ever condone going out there," Bay told The Boston Herald, "but at the same time, everybody has a breaking point. And I don't blame him."

Probably the biggest difference of opinion was in the various observations of who took down whom. One report here had Porcello "being wrestled to the ground like a baby calf."

But a local television station also chastised Youkilis for being taken down "by a kid."

It seemed clear that after taking some backward steps, Porcello threw Youkilis to the ground.

"That's definitely what happened," said Tigers' catcher Gerald Laird, who wasn't in the lineup at the time, but was one of the first players to arrive on the scene. "Ricky defended himself really well. But I'm sure his heart was racing."

Around the horn

Carlos Guillen started at first base as Cabrera's replacement, the first time he's started at first since April 23 of last year. When asked if that means Guillen is also close to being able to play the outfield, Leyland replied, "Not necessarily."

tom.gage@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:53 am

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tigers Insider
Few regrets on Tigers' departed dozen
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

One transaction at a time, one bundle of flesh offered in exchange for another, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria, Gerald Laird and Jarrod Washburn joined the Tigers during the past four years.

And all were purchased primarily because Detroit has been so resolute about drafting and developing young pitchers.

The thinking is that young pitching serves two purposes: It supplies the parent team with choice arms for its starting rotation and bullpen; and it is lovely lucre for trades.

Twelve young pitchers have departed the organization since 2006 because of deals that brought in key players. Most of the pitchers remain prospects, or even projects, for their new teams: Burke Badenhop, Anthony Claggett, Eulogio De La Cruz, Luke French, Jair Jurrjens, Carlos Melo, Andrew Miller, Guillermo Moscoso, Mauricio Robles, Humberto Sanchez, Dallas Trahern and Kevin Whelan.
So, how've they done?

A look at their situations in 2009 reveals who has a future in the big leagues:

• Badenhop, 26, right-hander, Marlins: He is on the disabled list with a neck problem and has pitched in 26 games with a 5-4 record and 4.19 ERA.

• Claggett, 25, right-hander, Yankees: He pitched in two games -- one in April, one in August -- and allowed 11 hits and 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings. Things have gone better at Triple A -- 5-6 record with a 2.92 ERA.

• De La Cruz, 25, right-hander, Padres: Pitching at Triple-A Portland, De La Cruz is 1-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 38 games.

• French, 23, right-hander, Mariners: There have been no surprises since French joined the Mariners. He is a back-of-the-rotation pitcher who can finesse-pitch fairly effectively. In two starts, he is 1-0 with a 6.97 ERA. In 10 1/3 innings, French has allowed 12 hits and seven walks.

• Jurrjens, 23, right-hander, Braves: The Tigers thought Jurrjens was small by their standards and didn't trust his health would hold up. Jurrjens is 9-8 and has had a sub-.3.00 ERA for most of the season. It's now 3.01.

• Melo, 18, right-hander, Rangers: He was a blue-ribbon teenage prospect when the Tigers signed him. Now he's a potential prize-winner for the Rangers. For the rookie-league AZL Rangers, Melo is 0-4 with a 7.96 ERA in 10 starts.

• Miller, 24, left-hander, Marlins: He is fighting an ankle injury as he pitches at Triple-A New Orleans. Miller has been up and down most of the past two seasons. His 2009 numbers -- 3-5, 4.81 ERA.

• Moscoso, 25, right-hander, Rangers: He was recalled last month and is 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA in five games. His 2009 combined stats at Triple A and Double A -- 7-4, 3.04 ERA.

• Robles, 20, left-hander, Mariners: Robles has had a rough go at the high Class A stop (8.53 ERA in three games). He should be a blue-chipper.

• Sanchez, 26, right-hander, Yankees: He had arm problems galore and was released in April before being re-signed. He is trying to fight his way back at Double-A Trenton where he is 0-0 with a 6.52 ERA in six games.

• Trahern, 23, right-hander, Marlins: Has had elbow problems and has not appeared in a game since May. At Triple-A New Orleans before being injured, he was 1-3, 6.28 ERA.

• Whelan, 25, right-hander, Yankees: He was injured most of 2008 but has come back nicely, moving from Double A (4-0, 2.63 ERA, 63 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings) to Triple A (0-0, 3.00 in six innings). Walks are a problem.

How the Tigers are stacking up

Major League Baseball statistical standings:

Hitting: .258 -- 21st in MLB, 11th in American League

Pitching: 4.22 ERA -- 12th in MLB, sixth in American League

Fielding: .983 -- 20th in MLB, 10th in American League

Average attendance: 31,584 -- 12th in MLB, fourth in American League

Not including Friday's game

By the numbers

.383 Magglio Ordonez's slugging percentage in 2009 (compared to .494 last season and .595 in 2007)

1.37 Brandon Lyon's ERA spanning his last 31 outings

2.88 Fernando Rodney's ERA during his last 23 appearances

.406 Placido Polanco's batting average with runners in scoring position since June 26

8-17 Tigers' record against American League East teams

17-10 Tigers' record against American League West teams

CONTINUED BELOW


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:53 am

Hitting statistics

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG
Avila14364015130.429
Cabrera42666138240236743761.324
Polanco4305411726275325324.272
Ordonez339409216263633533.271
Raburn17225458273116423.262
Granderson448691161462354579820.259
Thames191294981132820530.257
Thomas19630499273325481.246
Inge38859971112365421182.250
Kelly486123103390.250
Santiago17121425262911430.246
Everett256336014023215424.234
Guillen16319385131617291.233
Laird299366818242528562.227
Larish741316314715250.216
Ramirez6110011030.167
Ryan251410044110.160
Sardinha311310030160.097
Pitching statistics

Player W--L ERA SV IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO
Dolsi1-01.69010.213620043
Ni0-02.37019.0145531516
Jackson8-52.790151.2127544717549120
Lyon6-42.95155.0391818522237
Washburn8-72.950152.112853501543888
Verlander13-63.280167.1147686114547194
Seay2-23.53035.2301414201026
Perry0-13.69039.0351916402436
Rodney2-23.782450.0412121512447
Porcello10-74.340112.011959541723857
Zumaya3-34.94131.0341817512230
Miner5-34.95167.1774237803448
Galarraga6-105.230124.013675722135579
Rincon1-05.23010.1126620610
Bonine0-07.07014.02311115049
Figaro1-17.36011.01810921412
Willis1-47.49033.2372828412817
Rapada0-07.7102.14221022
Robertson1-07.71021.0251818211417
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:52 am

Monday, August 17, 2009
Tigers: Notebook
Quietly, Brandon Lyon has been star of Tigers' bullpen
Amelia Rayno / The Detroit News

He often plays a quiet role, so many fans don't realize how vital Brandon Lyon is to the Tigers' success.

Manager Jim Leyland, however, is well aware.

"He's been good for quite a while now," Leyland said of Lyon (6-4), who has not allowed a run in his last 13 relief appearances (14 2/3 innings). "I can rest assured that he's one of the biggest parts of our team. He's a huge contributor; I don't know where we'd be without him."

It's hard to say where the Tigers would be, but it is fair to say Lyon, 30, has kicked it up a notch as of late, helping to put the Tigers where they want to be -- in first place coming down the stretch.

Through June 20, the right-hander had a 4.11 ERA with 19 strikeouts, 16 walks and five home runs allowed in 35 innings -- not horrible, not great. But since, he has struck out 19 in 21 innings, walked six and allowed no home runs for a 0.86 ERA.

His latest outing was a 1-2-3 ninth inning in Saturday's 10-3 win over the Royals.

Leyland credits some of the recent success to Lyon's improvement on his cut fastball, which he has relied more on. "It's a big pitch for him," Leyland said.

Young and calm

Backup catcher Alex Avila continues to impress, hitting a single and a home run Saturday. He's had two hits in four of the five games he's started since being promoted from Double A earlier this month.

As much as anything, Leyland is impressed with the 22-year-old's poise.

"One thing that I think really good athletes (like Avila) can do -- I think (Evan ) Longoria (of the Rays) is one of the best -- they're able to slow the game down, slow everything down," Leyland said. "And that's pretty good to be able to do that, particularly as a young player."

Avila pinch-hit for Adam Everett in the ninth inning Sunday and drew a walk in the Tigers' 3-2, 10-inning loss.

Health matters

Nate Robertson (elbow) and Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) both pitched for Triple-A Toledo on Saturday.

Robertson started and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out three. Bonderman relieved him, allowed a homer in his one inning and took the loss, 4-1 to Louisville.

Dontrelle Willis (anxiety disorder) is scheduled to start at Toledo tonight against Columbus.

Glamour shots

Sunday was photo day at Comerica Park, where fans were able to walk on the field and snap pictures of their favorite Tigers.

When asked if he was a big draw, Leyland said, "The only people who want to take my picture are ladies about ages 70-85. The good-looking girls, they act like they're taking (pictures), but you know they don't. I know, I'm not stupid."


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:02 am

good thing I was not at Picture Day! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:16 pm

Last Updated: December 08. 2009 4:27PM
Notebook
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says he wasn't drinking with Miguel Cabrera
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Indianapolis — White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says he was not an accomplice to Miguel Cabrera’s long night of drinking at the Townsend Hotel in October.

Guillen said emphatically Monday he “never was” with Cabrera deep into the morning of Oct. 3, which led to police being called to Cabrera’s home in Birmingham, and to Cabrera’s subsequent Breathalyzer test that recorded a 0.26 blood-alcohol level.

“You know what?” Guillen said Monday at baseball’s Winter Meetings. “I wish Miguel was with me, ’cause if he had been with me, none of this (bad stuff) would have happened.”

It had been perceived, and never challenged by Cabrera, that he was drinking with members of the White Sox who regularly stay at the Townsend during their Tigers road trips.

Cabrera and Guillen are Venezuelan countrymen and are known to be collegial.

The October incident became all the more volatile because Cabrera later that day showed up at Comerica Park and was in the lineup for that night’s Tigers-White Sox game, which the White Sox won, 5-1.

It was a pivotal game as the Tigers and Twins went to the wire, and later to a playoff game, which saw the Twins beat the Tigers for the American League Central Division title.


Cabrera’s health

Because of confidentiality issues, Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, would not say Monday what kind of care Cabrera might have received following a couple of drinking incidents late in the season. But the words and tone Dombrowski used were resolute.

“We’ve been in very close contact with his representative (agent Fernando Cuza),” Dombrowski said, “and we’ve been in contact with Miguel, and he’s doing well.”

Polanco’s departure

Considering the speed with which the Philadelphia Phillies signed Placido Polanco to a three-year, $18 million contract, the Tigers might have blown a couple of premier draft choices by not offering Polanco arbitration at last week’s deadline.

Dombrowski didn’t dispute Monday that the Tigers might — might — have miscalculated.

“But you don’t have the hindsight of it,” Dombrowski said. “If we’d have known he was going to get that deal, of course we would have (offered arbitration). But we didn’t have that certainty.”

Polanco was a Type A free agent. Had the Tigers offered him arbitration and the Phillies signed him, the Phillies would have forfeited their first-round draft pick in 2010. The Tigers also would have received a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds.

Ruben Amaro, the Phillies GM, said Monday the team would have been “very reluctant” to sign Polanco if it required a first-round draft pick. But he acknowledged the Phillies had early on targeted Polanco as their new third baseman.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:18 am

Last Updated: December 09. 2009 1:22AM
Tigers: Notebook
Help for bullpen is next on agenda
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Indianapolis -- Once their apparent big trade with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks is officially wrapped up, the Tigers can turn to other priorities.

And those figure to span the gamut of pitching and position considerations.

"The search has widened," said Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager.

Dombrowski acknowledged that he wants "ideally a veteran" relief pitcher, which is especially necessary now that closer Fernando Rodney and set-up man Brandon Lyon have turned down arbitration and are hitting the open market.

The Tigers could yet decide Joel Zumaya, recovering from his latest bout of shoulder trouble, could be the team's 2010 closer. Ryan Perry, even if he's only 18 months out of college, also looms as a possibility.

But the closer role is anything but determined. And back-end bullpen help is likely where the Tigers will focus this week, even with their limited budget.

Who hits?

Should the Tigers lose Curtis Granderson to the Yankees in Tuesday's presumed trade, a team that had its hassles scoring runs in 2009 figures to be even more taxed in 2010.

"Right now, it's not our strength," Dombrowski said.

"We're gonna be discussing people during the next couple of days and see if any points can be addressed.

"We're kind of going through a transition now."

Placido Polanco has already departed for a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, leaving Tigers manager Jim Leyland with a hole at the lineup's No. 2 spot. Granderson's departure would mean new people at the first two spots.

Rookie second baseman Scott Sizemore is expected to replace Polanco at second base. But whether he can hit steadily, let alone in the second spot, is another question issue entirely.

"I don't look for him to be an automatic out," Dombrowski said. "He isn't going to be (Polanco) off the bat, but this guy is gonna be a solid big-league hitter."

Dombrowski expects that a healthy Carlos Guillen could make a significant difference in 2010. And Leyland agrees.

"If I look at our club last year, I sum it up as a weird year," Leyland said. "It was kind of a freak year. We never got going at the same time."

How they'll get their offense rolling with a couple of noteworthy hitters no longer on hand will be interesting. But Dombrowski repeated he was not finished shopping.

Catcher added

The Tigers signed free-agent catcher Robinzon Diaz to provide catching depth.

Diaz, 26, batted .279 in 41 games for the Pirates in 2009.
He was a free agent after having been designated for assignment.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:37 pm

Last Updated: January 21. 2010 10:32AM
Tigers: Notebook
Alex Avila figures into Tigers' plans
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Grand Rapids -- The sharply dressed guy looked almost regal as he got ready for Wednesday night's West Michigan Whitecaps Banquet at the Frederik Meijer Gardens event center.

If young Alex Avila is half as impressive behind the plate, and in the batter's box when spring camp convenes in four weeks, the Tigers will be happy to have him.

"One good thing is that it's not my decision," Avila said as he and a small contingent of Tigers staffers and players got ready for an annual dinner, complete with a crowd of nearly 500, that honors their Class A minor-league affiliate.

"It worked last year. Jim Leyland (Tigers manager) thought I could help the team. And there were moments when I did. But there's always something to work on in this game."

Avila, 22, isn't even three years into his new position. He was a transplant his last season at Alabama, moving from the infield to a more marketable niche as a catcher.

He did so well so rapidly that the Tigers promoted him last summer from Double-A Erie. Avila, whose dad, Al, is the Tigers' assistant general manager, batted .279, with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 29 games.

The Tigers would love for Avila to show enough polish, defensively, as well as at the plate to make him Gerald Laird's backup.

But he's green, for sure, with perhaps more to learn defensively than offensively. Catcher is a wicked position, with so many basic skills and nuances to master. It's a primary reason Avila played a month of winter ball in the Dominican Republic before returning home to Florida for daily workouts.

"I worked on my foot quickness," said Avila, who was coached during the offseason by Tigers roving instructor Mike Rojas, and ex-Tigers manager Luis Pujols. "It was a matter of coming up with different ways for blocking balls -- something that fits your style."

His hitting also needs work, although that may be more a matter of seasoning. Avila started hot after his late-summer call-up but slowed down after pitchers went to work on his soft spots.

"It wasn't a particular pitch," Avila said. "It was just the different sequences they use on you. They go in on you, or in and out on you. It's the pattern they use in trying to get you out."

Fields day

Wednesday night had a reunion atmosphere. It had to do with those old Tigers who were back: Tom Brookens , now Leyland's first base and outfield coach; and Bruce Fields , the former Tigers player and coach who is now the Cleveland Indians minor-league batting instructor.

Fields was on hand with his son, Daniel , who last summer signed a Tigers contract after they made the U-D Jesuit star their sixth-round draft pick.

Daniel Fields is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-handed hitter who will likely play shortstop in the Tigers farm system in 2010, perhaps in Grand Rapids.

Bruce said that his commitment to the Indians doesn't interfere with his off-season work with his son.

"No, Toby and I are on the same page," said Fields, referring to Toby Harrah , the Tigers' roving minor-league batting coach. "You don't clone hitters, mechanics-wise. But a lot of hitters do similar things, so it's easy to work on the basics.

"I feel very good about who he's with (Tigers) and where he's at in his development."

Bruce Fields said his off-season work with Daniel has focused on packing maximum energy and power into Daniel's swing.

"The timing of his load and launch," Bruce said. "If he gets that in sync, a lot of things can happen quickly."

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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:01 pm

Last Updated: January 23. 2010 1:22AM
Tigers: Notebook
Joel Zumaya misses caravan for workouts in Lakeland
Tom Gage and Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Where is Joel Zumaya? Not on the tour again.

"We kept him down in Lakeland on purpose so he can stick with his program," general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday. "He has full clearance from the doctors and is throwing without pain."

Zumaya underwent surgery on his right shoulder last August. If healthy, he'll be groomed this spring as a setup man for closer Jose Valverde.

Something new

As a shortstop, Adam Everett said he's never had to work before with a rookie starting second baseman, as he will this season with Scott Sizemore .

Any advice?

"Just this," said Everett. "Everyone is going to make mistakes, but when you make one, have it be an aggressive mistake. Don't be tentative out there."

Twin trouble

It's not good news for Verlander the Twins are showing interest in Jim Thome .

When asked on a caravan stop Friday which hitter he least likes to face, Verlander said it was Thome.

"I'm glad he got traded," Verlander said. "He's hit seven home runs off me, and this is no lie: He once signed a bat, saying, 'Thanks for the help, Justin.' "

Nice touch

One of the more fascinating sights from the tour was at the Barnes & Noble book store in Kentwood.

Zach Miner , Rick Porcello , Don Kelly , and pitching coach Rick Knapp sat side-by-side and read to a group of at least 200 preschoolers who sat attentively packed before them in a tight bunch, many of them on the laps of mothers and teachers. The Tigers read from the "ABC's of Detroit Tigers Baseball," an illustrated publication put together by the Tigers' wives.

The Tigers quartet took turns reading from each letter of the alphabet -- "B is for Bullpen," etc. -- and kept the excerpts lively and humorous.

"It's probably the second or third time I've read from these books," Miner said. "This was by far our biggest group. The book and the illustrations are great. I read it to my son."

Barnes & Noble sold out 250 copies of the book a half-hour before the Tigers arrived. Some fans were turned away to comply with fire codes.

Going batty

"I'll miss hitting," said Max Scherzer , about now pitching for an American League team after two years with Arizona.

Scherzer hit .226 last year for the Diamondbacks, striking out just 17 times in 53 at-bats -- not bad for a pitcher.

He had two doubles and three RBIs.

Capitol gains

The old Tigers Winter Caravan isn't what it used to be. The locations and interaction reached a lofty level when the West Tour made a Thursday stop at the State Capitol in Lansing.

Tigers players, coaches, and assistant general manager Al Avila were seated in the hallowed House Appropriations Room, which, like the rest of the famous building, is rich in dark wood, 19th-century chandeliers and ornate ceilings.

"I've never been in a capitol building before," said Daniel Schlereth, the left-handed reliever whom the Tigers got from Arizona in last month's three-team trade. "I don't know too much about (government in Michigan), but I probably should, 'cause I'm gonna be a resident here soon."

Extra bases

During an appearance at the North American International Auto Show on Friday, Brandon Inge got this question (from a little girl in the audience).

"Can I have a hug?"

Inge got up out of his chair, jumped down from the stage -- recovering knees and all -- and gave her a hug while the crowd cheered.

"My knees held up pretty good," he said.


... Good line from manager Jim Leyland about his unknown and untested rookies.

"That doesn't bother me. Al Kaline played more than 20 years," Leyland said. "But before anyone knew who he was, he had a first at-bat and played in his first game."

... Bobby Seay's superstitions: "I don't like anyone touching my glove, and as with my house, I like to keep my locker clean. So, of course, the guys mess with me by grabbing my glove and messing up my locker."

... A fan asked Verlander which Tiger is the best dressed.

"I'm not sure," he replied, "but Austin Jackson is quickly moving up the list."


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:08 pm

Last Updated: January 23. 2010 1:00AM
Lynn Henning: Tigers Insider
Pitching coach Rick Knapp encouraged by rotation's prospects

Rick Knapp is not much different from that old General Motors icon, Mr. Goodwrench. He is entrusted with making repairs, with overseeing tune-ups, with making a pitching staff hum.

This crop of pitchers the Tigers have assembled is a particularly slick fleet to pull into Knapp's garage. There are as many as 15 players with a shot at 12 spots on Jim Leyland's staff. The group's talent and youth are well-documented.

But there are challenges. They are as individual as the lengthy list of left-handers and right-handers who will arrive in three weeks for the start of spring training at Lakeland, Fla.

Knapp, for example, was summoned when the Tigers took an interest in Max Scherzer, the former Diamondbacks right-hander whose "violent" delivery had become a matter of discussion, if not controversy, ahead of last month's trade.

"I heard he had gotten violent with his head," said Knapp, acknowledging that the hard-throwing, 25-year-old starter's head-snapping delivery had been a matter of debate since at least his college days at Missouri. "But on the tape I saw, I didn't see it.

"The only thing that concerned me is that I really hadn't seen a pitch that he throws slow. But he's a smart guy. He knows what he's doing out there. And what I've learned is that his change-up is coming along. During last season, he really felt that it was developing. Now, it's our job to build on that this season."

Bonderman starting early

There are veterans who require similar grooming. Jeremy Bonderman is Exhibit A.

Bonderman is supposedly back to throwing with his old power following a two-year recovery from arterial surgery.

And while the forecast says he will re-discover his fastball and hard slider, another basic hurdle remains.

He needs a third pitch -- an off-speed option -- to add to his hard stuff. Last season, Bonderman was considering a split-finger fastball as his choice.

"Jeremy's coming in at the end of January," Knapp said, indicating that Bonderman will get a jump on camp. "We'll see if he wants to be a split guy or a change-up guy."

Robertson reliability

Another mystery is Nate Robertson , who appeared to have found another gear on his fastball and slider (his out-pitch) after he had cysts removed from his left (throwing) elbow last spring.

Will he have enough zip on his primary repertoire to make him the left-handed starter Leyland needs for an otherwise all-right-handed rotation? Or, will he more closely resemble the pitcher who had a miserable time in 2008 and most of 2009?

"He looked great today," Knapp said, speaking of his time with Robertson at Thursday's Tigers Caravan kickoff.

Knapp understands something else about Robertson. It was in part because of Robertson's dismal 2008 that Knapp replaced Chuck Hernandez .

And he understands this, every bit as much.

"Last year, when I took this job I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world," he said. "But last year we were in a little bit different position. We were banking on guys coming off injuries.

"This year, we're anticipating most of those guys being healthy. And what has me most pleased is that I'm not only extremely encouraged by our returning veterans, but by our arms waiting in the wings (minors)."

It's a nice tableau for a pitching coach. But it's getting those arms to remain healthy, and reach their potential, that is the hope and assignment for Knapp.

By the numbers

1 -- Times the Tigers drew 2 million fans before the 1984 season (2,031,847 in 1968)

4 -- Times between 1968-99 the Tigers drew more than 2 million fans

5 -- Times the Tigers have drawn at least 2 million since 2005 (more than 3 million in 2007 and 2008)

17,103 -- Average attendance in 2003

31,693 -- Average attendance in 2009

Mound muse

Jeremy Bonderman's career numbers (2003-09) in Detroit:

Record: 59-67

ERA: 4.78

Best season: 2006 (14-8, 4.08 ERA, 200 innings, 200 Ks)

Noteworthy: Bonderman has allowed 31 first-inning home runs. The most home runs he has allowed in any other inning is 19.

Noteworthy II: Bonderman has at least a .500 record from April-July but is 5-18 in August.

Quotable

“When I passed out, Jim (Leyland, Tigers manager) said he had three or four pitching coaches who called him before the plane landed.”

-- Rick Knapp, pitching coach, on how the Tigers young arms have made his job so alluring after he had a scare last summer when during a team flight he had a bad reaction to food and a mixed drink and collapsed in the rest room (he is fine).

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PostSubject: Re: Tigers News - FROM THE DETROIT NEWS 2009 Season   Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:13 am

Last Updated: February 12. 2010 6:37PM
Bob Wojnowski
Let's be honest: Tigers are better with Johnny Damon

It's a lot of money for an aging outfielder in a soft free-agent market. Fair concerns, but I don't care, and neither should the Tigers.

The Tigers would be better with Johnny Damon in their lineup, plain and simple. And if Mike Ilitch wants to spend the dough, go for it.

From a baseball standpoint for 2010, it's a good move. This is not even debatable. The Tigers would add a desperately needed left-handed hitter who could bat first or second, hit 20 home runs and take some pressure off rookie Austin Jackson.

It may seem strange Ilitch would spend $14 million over two years for a 36-year-old outfielder, after other offseason moves suggested payroll deduction. It's confusing until you really inspect the Tigers' flawed lineup, and you understand Ilitch's impulsiveness. He likes big names and bold moves, and he's willing to pay for them.

GM Dave Dombrowski was trying to make the Tigers' roster younger and cheaper, but if the owner's mandate changes, I'm sure Dombrowski isn't going to argue. Obviously, agent Scott Boras is playing a coy negotiating game, pitting the Tigers against the Braves, Rays and White Sox. But I'm fairly certain the Tigers are aware of two things.

No. 1, the A.L. Central is eminently winnable, and if they don't improve their lineup, they're going to waste good pitching. Damon would boost the White Sox's lineup too.

And No. 2, I think the Tigers recognized they opened too many holes by trading centerfielder Curtis Granderson and letting Placido Polanco leave. Upon further reflection by Ilitch and Dombrowski, would Damon be a way to remedy "mistakes"? Sort of, yeah.

The Tigers did err by not offering Polanco arbitration, which either would have kept him here for a year or landed them a draft pick. It's too early to tell if the Granderson trade was a long-term gaffe, but it sure created short-term complications.

Better than nothing

Damon wouldn't fix everything, please. But he'd help, possibly quite a bit.

There's a public-relations bonus to landing a popular, well-liked player, but that's not what intrigues me. Damon is a .288 hitter who slugged a career-best 24 home runs for the Yankees last season. He gets on base and runs well. He won a World Series in New York and Boston. He's a marginal left fielder, yes, but he sure isn't any rougher out there than Carlos Guillen.

And while Granderson's slump contributed to his exit, what about Guillen? He hit only .242, often was injured, and complained after the season about a reduced role. Sorry, since Guillen hit .320 four years ago, his average has steadily declined, and he's not much younger (34) than Damon.

We're all over-thinking this, wondering why the Tigers would slash cost, then add cost, try to get younger, then get older. The fact is, Ilitch is emotional and reactionary, and usually eager to back his sentiments with his checkbook. I think that's a good thing, and I bet Dombrowski concurs.

The Tigers' offense was brutal to watch last season and it risks being even worse. As spring training nears, worries grow and competitiveness kicks in.

Boras plays annoying games to stir interest in his clients, but the Tigers play along because their options aren't great. It'd be similar to their signing of much-needed closer Jose Valverde.

Would they be overpaying? Probably. Would they be a better team in 2010 because of it? For sure.

bob.wojnowski@detnews.com

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100212/OPINION03/2120428/1129/SPORTS0104/Let-s-be-honest--Tigers-are-better-with-Johnny-Damon#ixzz0fNyv2IG7


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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