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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tigers trying to keep it classy, putting on the suit and tie after big hits

DETROIT — Suit up.

While Saturday’s Negro Leagues game against the Atlanta Braves brought the opportunity for the Detroit Tigers to wear their throwback Detroit Stars jerseys, that’s not the alternate attire the players have been wanting to don.

Every once in a while, you’ll see one of them — after a big hit, of course — don a phantom suit, shrugging on the jacket, adjusting the tie, then maybe popping the cuffs.

“Me and Torii (Hunter), we do that together before every game. That’s what me and Torii do. It’s just put on the suit, jacket, adjust the tie. ... Do a little fist, then do that before every game. That’s our version of the handshake,” said Matt Tuiasosopo, one of the ringleaders of the fun little trend that hasn’t totally taken over the team just yet.

“Not everybody does it: Torii does it, Prince (Fielder) does it. I did it, finally, for the first time yesterday, because I finally got a hit. (Brayan) Pena did it. There’s only a couple of guys who do it.”

Tuiasosopo had plenty of reason to do it in Friday night’s game, as he registered a two-run single with the bases loaded — the Tigers’ first hit all season with two outs and the bases loaded — followed by his first home run in a Tigers uniform (and his first in the big leagues since 2010) in the fourth inning.

His five-RBI night was obviously the first of his career — considering he came in with 16 in his career, and had one on the season so far for the Tigers.

Perfect time to adjust the tie a little.

“We don’t do it every hit. Has to be a big hit. You hit a double, or you hit a single but you bring in some guys. Can’t just be a random two-out single, and bring nobody in,” Tuiasosopo said. “It’s fun.”

Where did it come from, though? Is it an homage to the Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson character on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother?” Stinson’s catch phrase, after all, is “Suit up!”

No. Tuiasosopo said he’s seen the show, but that’s not it.

There seems to be some variation in the true answer.

“Pena and I, we’re on the bench, and we want to have some fun with guys. Some teams, they do all kinds of stuff. And we were with Torii, and we were like, ‘Let’s be classy. Let’s put on the suit, and adjust the tie, like we’re going to work.’ That’s what that is,” Tuiasosopo said. “Pena was the actually the creator of it. He was like, ‘Put the suit on, T.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I like that. Then adjust the tie.’ That’s how it came to be.”

Hunter has a different story.

“Nah, I was the one that did it. I did it. Just trying to tell ‘em, everybody’s doing that ‘Ahhh!’ all that crazy stuff. I told them, ‘All right, let’s keep it civilized. Work as usual. Put our coat on, and tie — suit and tie — and keep it civilized,” he said.

“Yeah, we’re going to work. Business as usual. Slide in, hit a double. Put your coat on, straighten up your tie. ... We’re all doing it to keep it business as usual. Keep it civilized.”


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