Detroit Tigers Opening Day, 2015 edition

Comerica Sunset

Sunset – Comerica Park, photo by Kevin Povenz

At 1:08 PM today the Detroit Tigers face the Minnesota Twins in their 2015 home opener at Comerica Park. The Tigers’ timeline page begins:

On April 24, 1901, the Tigers prepared to take to the field for their first official American League game. A standing room only crowd was anticipated at Bennett Park, but unpredictable weather postponed the opening by a day.

On that historic afternoon, April 25, 1901, in front of 10,000 fans, the Tigers entered the ninth inning trailing Milwaukee, 13-4. A series of hits and miscues followed, moving the score to 13-12 with two runners on. With two out, Tiger Frank “Pop” Dillon faced reliever Bert Husting, and the lefthanded hitter rapped a two-run double to complete a 14-13 comeback win.

View Kevin’s photo bigger and see more in his Tigers slideshow.

Lots more Detroit Tigers on Michigan in Pictures!

Playoff Time, 2014

Tigers Win by rudymalmquist

Tigers Win, photo by Rudy Malmquist

The Detroit Tigers kick off their fourth straight postseason appearance today vs the Baltimore Orioles at 5:30 PM at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. While the Tigers were almost everyone’s pick for the playoffs in 2014, the Orioles were definitely not. View the series preview right here.

Here’s some interesting post-season storylines that may be of interest to only me!

View Rudy’s photo bigger and click for more of his baseball pics.

Lots more Detroit Tigers on Michigan in Pictures!

PS: Take a moment to appreciate what a great job Rudy did of capturing the Detroit skyline in this shot and LET’S GO TIGERS!!

Happy 113th Opening Day, Tiger Fans!

Happy Opening Day Detroit!

Happy Opening Day Detroit!, photo by kellyanne berg

The Detroit Tigers open the 2014 season today at 1:08 PM at Comerica Park vs the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers got their start as a charter member of the Western League in 1894 and played their first American League game in 1900 when the Western League changed its name. It wasn’t until 1901, however, that the American League decided not to renew the original National Agreement, declare itself a second major league and compete with the National League for players. The Detroit Tiger timeline says:

On April 24, 1901, the Tigers prepared to take to the field for their first official American League game. A standing room only crowd was anticipated at Bennett Park, but unpredictable weather postponed the opening by a day.

On that historic afternoon, April 25, 1901, in front of 10,000 fans, the Tigers entered the ninth inning trailing Milwaukee, 13-4. A series of hits and miscues followed, moving the score to 13-12 with two runners on. With two out, Tiger Frank “Pop” Dillon faced reliever Bert Husting, and the lefthanded hitter rapped a two-run double to complete a 14-13 comeback win.

Kellyanne posted this shot from Comerica Park a couple of years ago. See it bigger and see more of her Detroit Tigers photos (which are mostly real tigers eating meat).

More Detroit Tigers and more Comerica Park on Michigan in Pictures. Play ball!

Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers report!

IMG_0025

Untitled, photo by hueytaxi

You can keep your groundhogs. THIS is a real sign of Spring! Yesterday was the deadline for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training in Lakeland, and things start in earnest next week. The 2014 Detroit Tigers schedule says they have their first game on the 25th and open the season at Comerica Park on March 31st vs the Royals.

The Freep has an interesting article comparing new Tiger’s skipper Brad Ausmus to legendary Tiger manager Mickey Cochrane. A fun fact I learned is that Mickey Mantle was named after Cochrane.

Roger Dewitt aka hueytaxi is my go-to for Tiger spring training photos. View his photo from last year background big and see LOTS more in his Detroit Tigers spring training slideshow!

More Tigers on Michigan in Pictures.

Hot Stove League

Comerica Park Winter - Detroit, MI

Comerica Park Winter – Detroit, MI, photo by memories_by_mike

The Freep has an interesting article with Detroit Tiger GM Dave Dombrowski discussing the teams offseason strategy.

View Mike’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Detroit slideshow.

More Tigers on Michigan in Pictures.

Goodbye, Sweet Prince.

Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder, photo by Keith Allison

John Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the trade of Detroit Tiger superstar Prince Fielder for second baseman Ian Kinsler is official.

The Rangers and Tigers have agreed on a blockbuster deal to send Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler, pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, CBSSports.com has learned.

There was no word yet of any other players being involved, so it may just be a one-for-one swap of stars. Fielder’s salary is much larger, and it is believed Texas will get money in the deal but it wasn’t certain how much. (note: $30 million is the reported figure)

…The Tigers would free up some money in the trade plus fill their second-base hole created by Omar Infante’s free agency. Detroit could use big prospect Nick Castellanos at third base, and move two-time defending A.L. MVP Miguel Cabrera to first base.

The Tigers had been floating Max Scherzer as a trade possibility. But a deal of Fielder could possibly free up extra cash to try to sign Scherzer, the 2013 Cy Young winner, long-term. The Tigers also will aim to lock up Cabrera this winter, and that will take a lot of money, as well.

Read on for more, see what the Tigers have to say and also check out the discussion over on Bless You Boys. Also see Roar of the Tigers take on the trade via the talented pen of Sam. Here’s a summary of Price Fielder’s career via Wikipedia.

Fielder, a first baseman, is the son of former Detroit Tiger first baseman Cecil Fielder. He was selected in the first round of the 2002 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002 out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Brewers before signing with the Detroit Tigers in January 2012. Fielder is a five-time All-Star and is the active iron man leader for consecutive games played. 

He holds the Brewers’ team record for home runs in a season,  is the league’s youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season, and is one of only two players to win more than one derby. Fun fact: Prince and Cecil Fielder are the only father-son combination to each hit 50 MLB home runs in a season!

Keith has contributed some great shots to Michigan in Pictures. View this photo as big as Fielder and see more in his Detroit Tigers slideshow.

There’s more Detroit Tigers and also more portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: My dad Al McFarlane used to always say “Goodnight, sweet Prince” when he would drop the hammer on me in a game. I love Prince’s play, hustle and heart but I think I would have tried to make this deal if I were Dombrowski.

Remembering Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland

James Richard Leyland

James Richard Leyland, photo by Buzz Click Photography

In 11 Reasons Baseball Is Going To Seriously Miss Jim Leyland Buzzfeed, Emily Orley & Matt Kiebus offer some really great reflection on the career of one of the great managers of the last two decades, concluding simply:

He was the last of his kind.

Jimmy Leyland never cared about being politically correct. He cared about his players, the fans, and winning baseball games. He rarely had a filter with the media and never met an umpire he wouldn’t give a piece of his mind. He was old-school in the greatest sense of the word, and he was beloved for it. He helped make Pittsburgh a baseball town, led the Marlins to a World Series, and embodied the city of Detroit. He enjoyed a cigarette and stiff drink, but most importantly he loved baseball, and baseball is going to miss him.

Definitely read the whole piece for some good thoughts (and video) about a Tiger legend. More about Leyland:

  • Jim Leyland on Wikipedia says that Leyland began his baseball career with the Tigers when they signed him as a catcher on September 21, 1963. A career .222 hitter, he managed the Montgomery Rebels. His last victory on Sept 26 was his 700th for the Tigers and clinched his 3rd straight Central title. He and Tony La Russa are the only managers who have led two different MLB franchises to three consecutive division titles.
  • Leyland’s entry at Baseball Reference details his career record. Leyland spent just over a decade managing in the Tigers minor league system before being taped as an assistant coach by Tony La Russa for the White Sox. He was named Pirates manager in 1986, moved to the Marlins in ’97 (when they won the Word Series), and spent a year with the Rockies in 1999. In 2006 after serving as a scout for 7 years, he returned to the  dugout for the Tigers. He compiled a 1769-1728 record in 3499 games over 22 seasons, winning 3 pennants and one World Series.
  • Here is Leyland’s press conference on retirement along with an article detailing his career from the Detroit Tigers. They note his 700 regular-season managerial wins are the third most in Tigers history, trailing only Sparky Anderson (1,331) and Hughie Jennings (1,131). His .540 winning percentage as Tigers manager ranks only behind Steve O’Neill (.551 from 1943-48) among managers with at least 500 wins.
  • Detroit writer Michael Rosenberg has a nice piece in Sports Illustrated that gives a little more in-depth look at the man from someone who covered him well.

About his photo from late September 2007, Spike says:

Now THIS is a rare shot: Jim Leyland smiling! The Tigers Manager usually shows no emotion but took this opportunity at the last 2007 home game to leave the umpires in stitches. Who knows what Leyland cracked before his audience on the mound but they quickly hid their grins as the opposing manager approached and scolded them.

Check it out on black and see more in great shots of Detroit moments in Spike’s sports slideshow.

Roar

Roar

Roar, photo by Matt Gowing

Just sayin’.

Check Matt’s photo out background bigilicious and see more in his Street slideshow.

And oh yeah – go Tigers!

Charging into the Post-season: Detroit Tigers Clinch Central

Alex Avila

Alex Avila, photo by Keith Allison

On Wednesday night the Detroit Tigers clinched their 3rd straight American League Central crown on the strength of 7 shutout innings by presumptive AL Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer. It looks right now like the Tigers will open the playoffs in Oakland, facing the As once again.

Here’s 10 reasons why the Tigers are returning to the post-season!

Check Keith’s photo of Tiger catcher Alex Avila out bigger and see more in his Detroit Tigers slideshow.

Lots more Detroit Tigers on Michigan in Pictures!

Tigers’ ace Max Scherzer will start 2013 All Star game!

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer, photo by Keith Allison

The Detroit Tigers report that Detroit Tiger pitcher Max Sherzer has been given the nod to start the All Star Game tonight by Manager Jim Leyland:

Though Scherzer’s unbeaten season ended Saturday, he remained the perfect fit to start for the American League in this year’s All-Star Game. Manager Jim Leyland took care of the announcement Monday afternoon, naming his young right-hander for the honor.

“I don’t think I need to explain it any more than that,” Leyland said Monday, citing Scherzer’s 13-1 record.

Scherzer will be the second consecutive Tiger to start the All-Star Game, following Justin Verlander’s memorable opening inning from last year’s Midsummer Classic in Kansas City. They become the first teammates to start consecutive All-Star Games since D-backs teammates Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling started in 2001 and ’02, respectively.

“It means so much, especially for being my first All-Star Game, to be in this position,” Scherzer said Monday. “This is what you dream for, to get the nod and get the ball over so many great pitchers.”

For Scherzer, it’s merely the latest bit of history in a season that has forced several references to the history books. His 13-0 start was the best by a Major League pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 and the fourth-longest in modern Major League history. He came within a game of becoming the first Major League pitcher to enter the All-Star break with a 14-0 record, losing Saturday to Texas.

As it is, his 13-1 record ties him for the Major League lead in wins alongside fellow All-Star Matt Moore. His 152 strikeouts and 10.55 strikeouts per nine innings rank second to Yu Darvish among AL hurlers, while his 3.19 ERA ranks ninth.

The game starts at 8 PM and though Verlander probably wants to forget his 5 run shelling last year, it definitely shows that Tigers have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. Check out Max Scherzer page at MLB.com, and here’s hoping the American League can break a three year drought!

EDIT: Scherzer joins Miguel Cabrera in the starting lineup along with Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta giving the Tigers a MLB leading 6 All Stars. Also, because I know that there’s one or two folks as geeky as me reading, Scherzer joins Justin Verlander, Jack Morris (2x), Mark Fidrych, Denny McLain, Jim Bunning and Hal Newhouser as Tiger pitchers who have been selected to start the annual showcase.

Check Keith’s photo out background big and see more in his Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles slideshow.

More Detroit Tigers on Michigan in Pictures!