Category Archives: Detroit Tigers

Veterans Day and Every Day ….. Thank You!

Note:  This is a repost of my 2010 Veteran’s Day Blog.

Arlington National Cemetery

“But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

This and the following list of Hall of Fame Members Courtesy of  Baseball Almanac.

Baseball Hall of Fame Members  who Served in the Armed Forces.
The Civil War  
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander  United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army Continue reading

It Pays to Win A World Series !! How Much Did they Make??

Reprinted from SI.COM.  

NEW YORK (AP) – A full postseason share for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants was worth a record $377,003, breaking the mark that had stood since the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.

In the first year of the expansion of the playoffs from eight teams to 10, the players’ pool was a record $65.36 million, Major League Baseball said Monday. The previous mark of $59.1 million came in 2009.

The Giants split $23.5 million, voting 50 full shares, partial shares equivalent to another 11.1, and 12 cash awards. All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera, suspended for the final 45 games of the regular season and the division series, automatically received a full share without his teammates having to make a decision.

Under baseball’s joint drug agreement, he was eligible for his share because his suspension ended in time for him to be on the active roster for a majority of the Giants’ postseason games, even though San Francisco decided not to use him. Under Major League Rule 45, he gets a full share because he was with the team from June 1 on.

Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP, became a free agent last week and agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract with Toronto.

San Francisco’s full share was up from $323,170 for the 2011 champion Cardinals and $317,631 on the 2010 Giants.

A full share on the AL champion Tigers was worth $284,275, up from $251,516 for last year’s Texas Rangers.

The players’ pool included 50 percent of the gate receipts from the two wild card games, and 60 percent from the first three games of each division series and the first four games of each league championship series and the World Series.

Full shares were worth $122,558 for the Cardinals, $115,065 for the New York Yankees, $37,865 for the Cincinnati Reds, $37,045 for the Washington Nationals, $34,826 for the Baltimore Orioles, $34,325 for the Oakland Athletics, $19,609 for the Atlanta Braves and $16,999 for the Rangers.

Shares are split among the 10 postseason teams. In the past, they were divided among the eight playoff teams and the four second-place teams that failed to reach the postseason.

“Comeback Kings” The San Francisco Giants

 

“Comeback Kings” The Book

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book; it arrived Saturday and I read it in its entirety Sunday.  All of the 2010 World Series “picture books” are in my library so this was a welcome addition.  The full-page color photo’s are worth the price of the book and if you live in the Bay Area you’ve probably seen them before in the Mercury News or  Oakland Tribune.  Good stuff!  Back in 2010 Andrew Baggarly, or Baggs as he’s fondly referred to by the locals, was the lead sportswriter and his monument to the season is captured in his book “Band of Misfits”.  But Baggs is nowhere to be found in the “Comeback Kings”  since he left the organization and is now part of the Comcast group.  He’s replaced by Alex Pavlovic and  a troupe of other  sportswriters who definitely hold their own. 

“By the time the Giants were done throwing haymakers, their hands were being fitted for championship rings.”  

This is a great line by Pavlovic.  Wish I could  write like that. 

SF Chronicle “Torture to Rapture” Book

My favorite 2010 World Series pictorial was from the SF Chronicle “Torture to Rapture”.   And it’s still probably my most favorite.  I’m sure they’ll come out with another for the 2012 season, but for sure the “Comeback Kings” is a great read for those of us who can’t get enough of these kids and quite simply just don’t want the season to end! 

I mean what are you supposed to do when your main source of entertainment is put on hold?  If you’re Rogers Hornsby,  you stare out the window and wait for spring.  And that’s just about it folks.  

But don’t forget the added bonus this year ~ 2013 World Baseball Classic,  March 2 thru March 19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA. 

“Comeback Kings” Bay Area News Group. Published Nov 2012, Available from Triumph Books and Major Book Retailers.

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The Morning After ….. from a Fan’s Perspective.

I love the morning after.  My morning coffee and the sports page ~ one of the joys of my life. This morning I read the sports page with great intensity, devoured every word and then turned to my trusty PC, starting with the major sports media and ending up with the baseball blogs.  And here’s the one that really struck my fancy.  “Letter from a Disappointed Fan.”  It was a good read and I could relate.  I’ve been there.  But in 2010 my team won the World Series and my perspective changed.  I was ecstatic, in heaven, loved everything and everybody.  Life was good, no it was  great!   I’ll never forget that feeling because I still have it, it’s still there.  So this year to be perfectly honest when we made the playoffs it was really nice, but it wasn’t the same, especially when we were down 3-1 to the Cardinals and it was okay. I mean we’d already won the World Series so I was okay with that.  I really thought the Nats or Reds would take the Division this year anyhow and that was my mindset and it was okay, since they had the better records. 

Miguel Cabrera 2004 World Series

So we made it to the World Series again and, to tell you the truth, I really like the Detroit Tigers.  I like their players, their manager and their fans.  I’ve been a Miguel Cabrera fan since, as a rookie with the Florida Marlins, he helped whoop the Yankees into submission in the 2003 World Series, and now this year he’s won the Triple Crown.  How cool is that?  The same goes for Justin Verlander.  I think he’s a real asset to baseball.  He’s a great role model for our kids and his persona during the first game of this World Series says it all.  I wrote about him last week “Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear”.  And of course Prince Fielder.  Seems like he’s always been around, always has and always will be.  Just a lot of fun to watch.  And these Detroit fans are the same ones who gave  Umpire Jim Joyce a standing ovation the day after he blew a call that cost the Tiger pitcher, Armando Galarraga, a perfect game, because he was forthright and honest to immediately ‘fess up to his error.  Class.

So last night during the post game shows (sometimes they’re  more fun than the game) I heard Jim Leyland say this.     

“They were better than we were,” Leyland said, “and you can’t say anything different. I mean, if it goes seven games and you lose the seventh game on a freak play or something, you might say, well, we were as good as they were. But in this series, we were not as good as they were. The Giants beat us. They did a fantastic job. They’re the world champions and they deserve to be the world champions.”

Detroit’s Jim Leyland

And you can’t forget Jim Leyland.   How can you not love these Tigers?  Did you ever during one play, one at bat, during this World Series see or hear anything negative or unsportsmanlike out of any of these guys?  I sure didn’t (well, maybe after the game or in the dugout, but nothing for public display).    Here’s a team that beat the stuffing out of the New York Yankees in the ALCS chase for the pennant.  They beat them bad.  They beat them four games in a row in a best of 7 series.  So of course there was genuine disappointment on the Tigers team but they played with class and they lost with class.  

So this morning I was really super happy that my San Francisco Giants had won their second World Series in three years. It was great!  And, from this fan’s perspective, it was equally great (well, almost) witnessing the first class Detroit Tigers standing tall in their defeat, gentlemen to the end.  And,really, isn’t that what it’s all about?   It is from this fan’s perspective.

Game 2. Waiting for the Ball to go Foul!

 Sung to the tune of “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee.

See it rolling along, See it rolling along. Now watch it roll left, and roll right, and roll right up the middle, I said right up the middle. 

We’re waiting for the ball to go foul.  Waiting for the ball to go foul.  By god it’s changed course, yes, changed course. And isn’t that just dandy?  The fans are yelling grandly. 

We’re waiting for the ball to go foul.  Waiting for the ball to go foul. But the umpire calls it fair and we’re all standing there, while Gregor Blanco’s standing on first!     

                                                     Ronni Redmond

In the end, there were no Tigers or Pandas or Barry’s.  Just a couple of Giants scoring a couple of runs while a couple of pitchers showed us a fine duel right up to the 6th inning.   Actually we spent most of the game holding our breath, waiting for something to happen.  And it finally did, in the 8th inning.   The Giants won a slow and lazy Game 2 by the score of 2-0.

But that crazy foul ball fiasco in the 7th inning was pretty funny.  The ball rolled slowly off  Gregor Blanco’s bat, up toward the 3rd base line with Detroit’s catcher Laird trotting along behind, and then joined by the pitcher, the 3rd baseman and the shortstop all bent over, waiting for the ball to go foul, watching the little baseball slowly weave it’s way up about 40 feet where it came slowly to rest ~ inside the base line.  Fair ball.  Blanco’s safe at first and, at least to this Giants fan, it was really pretty comical.

And except for the fact that both Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister pitched  outstanding games, it didn’t have the same intensity as Game 1, which is a good thing.  I mean, who can keep up that pace?   You can read the highlights below.  But you’ll have to sing my little song above to really enjoy that foul ball scenario.   

Game 3 moves to Detroit on Friday with the Giants leading the Series 2-0.  

Game 1 Continued. “Will Bamboo Be Declared a PED?”

“Verlander Meets the Panda”

Whoa!  Sorry.  I just couldn’t resist this picture sent via Facebook by Dan Schlossberg with his caption “Wonder if bamboo will be declared a PED?”

Don’t worry though.  We know Justin Verlander is safe and sound in the Visitor’s Dugout at AT&T Park tonight.   But I thought I should post this for the benefit of tonight’s starting pitcher, Doug Fister.  You just can’t be too careful these days.

Game 1. Paper Tigers Tamed by a Panda and a Bear (Barry Zito that is)!

So today I’m making a huge batch of caramel corn getting ready to settle in for the first game of the World Series, and still pinching myself trying to figure out how the Giants ended up in the series.   It wasn’t supposed to be this way.   I had it all figured out a few months ago that either Washington or Cincinnati would be representing the NL this week and I was fine with that.  I mean spread it around.  I’m still reveling in our 2010 World Series victory and nothing will ever take that away.

But fate intervened and the San Francisco Giants survived the regular season and so it begins.  Tim McCarver was in usual form and talked non-stop for five minutes about the miraculous powers of the unbeatable, unstoppable Justin Verlander, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, and the additional weapons in the form of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.  And I agreed.  I figured we’d lose the first game for sure, and probably the next two also, and then win the last four in a row.  I don’t know why, but that’s the way the Giants have been doing things in San Francisco lately.

“Barry Zito 1st Game 2012 World Series”

You all know I don’t write about the game per se, or the  scoreboard or statistics because they’re so readily available but there’s always some little thing that stands out, something that grabs my attention.  And there was a lot of that surrounding those wild and crazy Giants tonight;  Pablo Sandoval’s incredible first three at bats ending in three home runs, Barry Zito’s revival with one of the best curve balls in the game (what a performance!) and Gregor Blanco’s two incredible diving catches in right field and much more as they came together perfectly as a team.

“Verlander with pitching coach, Jeff Jones, in 3rd Inning”

But I’m still smiling when I think of Justin Verlander standing on the mound in the bottom of the 4th inning,  when Manager Jim Leyland walked out of the dugout, to the mound, and asked Verlander for the ball.  All the time Leyland was walking from the dugout towards Verlander, the cameras were on Verlander and all that time he had a smile on his face.  And it wasn’t a smirk.  It was a smile as if to say, “Wow, where the hell did these guys come from?”  because I think he was just as surprised as the rest of us were.  I’m a Giants fan and I’m sure I’m supposed to act like I knew they were going to do this, but I didn’t.  I don’t think anyone did, except maybe the Giants themselves.  I’ll bet the bookies in Vegas were sweating through the entire game because when I read the odds in the paper this morning it said “Tigers over Giants ~ Odds: -178, or something like that.  I don’t even know what that means?  Who’s ever seen odds like that anyway?  This is the same Tiger team who beat the New York Yankees in 4 straight games  in best of 7 this year to win the AL Pennant and get to this World Championship Series.

What I liked about Verlander’s attitude was his calm, cool and in-control demeanor.   Here’s a guy that’s a two-time Cy Young winner, had an incredible season and is probably used to everyone patronizing him and agreeing with everything he says and does.  But he didn’t appear angry or upset or anything, even though I’m sure he was disappointed.  He appeared to take it all in stride, like “It’s okay.  I’ll get them next time”.  And there’s a good chance he will.  And with a smile he walked to the dugout to watch the rest of the game.

I love my Giants and they played a fantastic game tonight, and I’ll watch it again, maybe twice, before I go to bed.   And tonight they beat the Detroit Tigers fair and square by a score of 8-3.   But I sure wasn’t expecting it.  It was a surprise.

And I sure hope I’m surprised three more times  just like this  in the remaining games of the  2012 World  Series.   Way to go and thank you Giants.  Whatta game it was!

“Tigers and Giants Going to the Ship”!

“Congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers and the NL Champion San Francisco Giants!”

The Ship means “Championship” at least that’s what Sergio Romo told us back in 2010.   This is going to be fun! 

The Tigers  posted a regular season record of 88 Wins and 74 Losses and ended up beating the socks off  the New York Yankees, a team with 95 Wins and 67 Losses,  for the American League Pennant.  Not only did they beat the Yankees, they beat them really, really bad.  Try 4-0 in a best out of 7 series.    Weapons ~ Justin Verlander, last year’s Cy Young award winner AND MVP;  Miguel Cabrera, first batter to win the AL Triple Crown since 1966 and Prince Fielder, who finished the 2012 Season with .313 Batting Average and 30 Home Runs.

Excuse me while I pinch myself.  I still can’t figure out how the Giants ended up in the World Series this year.   Spring training showed a recuperating Buster Posey, an out-for-the-year Brian Wilson and a pretty good, but not as-good-as-they-used-to-be pitching staff.  There were no individual stand-outs, with maybe the exception of Posey, until these past few months and things just started to happen.  That’s how they do it in San Francisco.  They got together in the clubhouse, put their heads together, posted a 94-68 record and “believed”.  

After one of the wildest Championship Division Series ever my prediction is the Detroit Tigers will win the first three games and the Giants will win the rest.  I don’t know why, that’s just the way they do it in San Francisco.

First Game:  Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Time TBA, at AT&T Park.

Atlanta and Texas get the Bird and Turner Field gets Garbage.

Congratulations to the Cardinals and Orioles for winning the Wild Card Games and advancing to Divisional Play in the postseason.   As usual, I don’t comment on play-by-play.  You can read about the particulars on every sports page, but I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to comment on our wonderful baseball fans.    Take those at Atlanta’s Turner Field for example.

Okay let’s admit that there was a rather unorthodox call out there in the field in the 8th inning, with bases loaded no less. I mean how many times have you seen an infield fly rule called in the outfield?   You can see some of the takes on it below, but in the end the play called by the umpire stood over protest and the Cardinals ended up winning the game 6-3.

Umpire Joyce & Galarraga “after the call”.

No doubt this was a huge disappointment for the Braves fans, but this has happened before and guaranteed it will happen again ~ questionable calls by the umpires I mean.  One call in particular that comes to mind was the Jim Joyce call on an otherwise perfect  Armando Galarraga game in Detroit.  If ever fans had reason to throw something, anything, it would have been during that game.  But they didn’t.  Those Tiger fans had class.

Turner Field Trash

I always enjoyed watching the fans at Turner Field,  especially during those 2010 playoffs. That tomahawk “chop” was an awesome display of fan support and the constant chant from the stadium was like a war dance or something and it was deafening.  And that’s what fans do in support of their team and that’s what they did tonight at Turner Field in Atlanta.   But that’s when the nice Atlanta Braves fans story takes a different turn.   They started throwing things.  I mean bottles and things onto the field.  It was so bad that the St Louis Cardinals, who had  every right and reason to celebrate, for safety reasons, had to take their celebration off the field and  into the clubhouse.

Chipper Jones Final At-Bat

All season long during every game I watched the Braves play in, it was all about Chipper Jones.  Chipper’s last season, Chipper’s last at-home game, Chipper’s last hit.  Well this was sure a grand way to send Chipper out the door.  Good job Braves fans.   I somehow wonder if Chipper isn’t just a little bit glad to be going.   I know I would be.

2012 MLB Team and Player Salaries

2012 All Star Game Photo

Here’s the 2012 update to our 2011 listing published August 27, 2011.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?  For example; the Washington Nationals have the best record in the Majors this year, but have the 11th Lowest Salary out of 30 Teams.   Salary Chart Linked Here

2012 MLB Salaries  
 

TEAM

TOTAL PAYROLL
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617
Los Angeles Angels $ 154,485,166
Detroit Tigers $ 132,300,000
Texas Rangers $ 120,510,974
Miami Marlins $ 118,078,000
San Francisco Giants $ 117,620,683
St. Louis Cardinals $ 110,300,862
Milwaukee Brewers $ 97,653,944
Chicago White Sox $ 96,919,500
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 95,143,575
Minnesota Twins $ 94,085,000
New York Mets $ 93,353,983
Chicago Cubs $ 88,197,033
Atlanta Braves $ 83,309,942
Cincinnati Reds $ 82,203,616
Seattle Mariners $ 81,978,100
Baltimore Orioles $ 81,428,999
Washington Nationals $ 81,336,143
Cleveland Indians $ 78,430,300
Colorado Rockies $ 78,069,571
Toronto Blue Jays $ 75,489,200
Arizona Diamondbacks $ 74,284,833
Tampa Bay Rays $ 64,173,500
Pittsburgh Pirates $ 63,431,999
Kansas City Royals $ 60,916,225
Houston Astros $ 60,651,000
Oakland Athletics $ 55,372,500
San Diego Padres $ 55,244,700

               

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to David Wing from Three Rivers, Michigan.  Dave has won an  autographed copy of my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball: The Book” which is being mailed to him today.  This is our second contest in less than a year and both winners have been Detroit Tigers fans!  What are the odds?

Here’s the response I received from David this morning:

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of your new book. My name is David Wing and am a big fan of the Detroit Tigers. My address is (……….) Three Rivers, Michigan 49093. Please feel free to use my name in any way needed.  Thanks again from an avid reader of your blog. Dave”

The contest was a drawing to celebrate this blog’s 50,000th view which occurred yesterday. The blog started only two years ago and we appreciate the response we’ve received.  Baseball fans are awesome and you Detroit Tigers fans are among the best.  Look back at our June 3, 2010, post “The Umpire ….. Toughest Job in Baseball” where I fell over backwards loving those Tiger fans.   And now with Justin Verlander the raves just keep coming.

So thanks again to all our subscribers and especially to David Wing.  We’ll do this again when we reach another milestone!

An Opening Day Treasure … From that Other Chicago Team.

U. S. Cellular Field

It’s been 11 years and I still want to refer to the White Sox ballpark as Comiskey rather than U. S. Cellular Field.  It’s ingrained in the soul as much as Fenway and Wrigley.  But, nonetheless, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a great read with you from this morning’s offerings.  Here’s an excerpt:

Irish Nachos

” I am of Irish descent and I have been to Ireland and let me just say that the old joke that one of the shortest books in the world is Great Irish Cooks is actually no joke at all.  But Irish Nachos defy those ugly slanders and ignominious legacy and leave you feeling happy, Gaelic, bloated and ready to burp all over the rest of the American League.  God Bless Baseball.”

Here’s the entire article written by Terry Keshner at Seamheads.com.

Chicago White Sox Opening Day:  Irish Nachos and Baroque Batter’s Box