Blogs > Out of Left Field

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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

VIDEO: Leyland talks about moving Cabrera to third base

The worst-kept secret in the world, after the two sides agreed on terms this week, was that the acquisition of Prince Fielder was likely going to mean a change in position for the Tigers' resident first baseman, Miguel Cabrera.
Manager Jim Leyland confirmed in Thursday's introductory press conference that he was indeed planning on moving Cabrera back to what the player called his "natural position," putting him at third base. The trickle-down effect meant that longtime Tiger Brandon Inge would also be impacted by the acquisition.
In this video clip, Leyland talks about how the move will play out for the two players:

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

VIDEO: Leyland reacts to Tigers' signing of Prince Fielder

Color Tigers manager Jim Leyland shocked, flabbergasted and downright floored that the Tigers ponied up $214 million to sign Prince Fielder this week, after even he said the Tigers had been wondering just a couple weeks ago if they'd had enough wiggle room, financially, to bring in another pitcher.
"This boggles my mind, to be honest with you," Leyland said at Thursday's news conference at Comerica Park.
"I was kidding somebody. I said, about three weeks ago, we were talking about maybe getting an extra pitcher, a bullpen guy or something, and we said well we didn’t know if we had the finances to get that guy. And I said, ‘I don’t know what happened in three weeks, but Little Caesar’s did good, evidently.'"

Here's video of a portion of that interview:

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Interview video of Prince Fielder's reaction to joining the Tigers

After the regular news conference, we broke down into smaller scrums and got a chance for more interviews. Here's a few clips of Prince Fielder talking about his excitement to join the Tigers, and his earliest memories of being a kid tagging along behind his dad, Cecil, at Tiger Stadium.

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Prince Fielder interview audio

Here's the audio from Prince Fielder, talking informally with several members of the media after Thursday's news conference at Comerica Park.

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Full video from Prince Fielder introductory press conference

The Tigers introduced their newest addition, first baseman Prince Fielder, at Comerica Park on Thursday. Despite the obvious connections to the franchise, as the son of former Tigers slugger Cecil Fielder, who'd spent his earliest days romping in the clubhouse at old Tiger Stadium, no one thought that the day would ever come that he'd be able to don the Olde English 'D.'
Here's the link to that story.

If you missed the press conference, here's the full video, posted by WXYZ-TV:

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zumaya signs with Twins, as both he and Tigers move on

You could look at it one of two ways.

A optimist might say that the workload of Tigers trainer Kevin Rand just lessened considerably.

A pessimist might point out that one of the Tigers’ chief rivals may have benefitted from the organization’s reluctance to continue throwing money at that recurring injury issue.

When Joel Zumaya — the former rookie sensation with the Tigers in 2006, and oft-injured since — reportedly signed with the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, it finally closed an uncomfortable chapter for both parties.’s Jason Beck, who first broke the story, reported that Zumaya’s deal could reach anywhere between $800,000 and $1.7 million, based on incentives.

The Tigers, who’d paid him $3.88 million over the last five years but gotten in return just 126 innings in parts of four seasons, were only offering a minor league deal with a spring training invitation.

General manager Dave Dombrowski said at the start of the offseason that he wouldn’t blame Zumaya for taking an offer of guaranteed money, if someone else put it on the table.

But it wasn’t going to be the Tigers.

When he appeared at Comerica Park during the American League Championship Series, Zumaya indicated he’d love to return to the team that drafted him in the 11th round in 2002.

“I don’t know where I’m going to end up next year. Hopefully it’s here. I love this place,” said Zumaya, who later held a workout for scouts, reportedly hitting the mid-90s with his fastball, a showcase the Tigers did not attend.
“If the Tigers want to go ahead and talk and do something, I’m ready. I don’t feel like going anywhere else. I started here and I wish I could end here.”

Considering Zumaya had never matched his rookie season, when he went 6-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 83 games for the World Series-bound Tigers, there’s no guarantee what the Twins will get. He’s endured four surgeries (two since last appearing in a game on June 28, 2010, at Minnesota) to correct injuries to three different parts of his pitching arm — shoulder, finger and elbow — forcing him to miss parts of four seasons and all of last year.

The Tigers, for their part, stuck with Zumaya through all the injuries and rehabs, re-signing him to a one-year, $1.4 million contract at this time last year. But they’d also hamstrung themselves by depending on Zumaya’s presence in the bullpen in the late innings, a weakness that they addressed this offseason with the signing of Octavio Dotel.

Now, both parties have moved on.

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