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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tigers announce promotional schedule

The Detroit Tigers have sent out a partial list of their in-stadium promotions for this season — the full list, which includes 31 giveaways, 15 special events and 19 fireworks shows, will be available on the Tigers website prior to single-game tickets going on sale on Friday.

Here are the highlighted events:
• Justin Verlander no-hitter DVD — April 5
• 2012 magnet schedule — April 7
• Kids Opening Day — April 8
• 2012-13 Detroit Tigers wall calendar — April 21
• Miguel Cabrera AL batting champion banner — April 30
• Austin Jackson bobblehead (Detroit Stars version) in conjunction with the 18th annual Negro Leagues tribute game — May 19
• Doug Fister growth chart (he's 6-foot-8, so your kids may NEVER outgrow this) — May 20
• Star Wars night — June 2
• PAWS mask — June 7
• Special Independence Day fireworks — July 4
• Country Night — July 6
• 2nd annual Classic Car Show — July 7
• Christmas in July — July 18
• 7th annual Fiesta Tigres Celebration (acrylic mug giveaway — Aug. 4
• Replica Jose Valverde glasses (may or may not make you dance) — Aug. 5
• Prince Fielder bobblehead — Aug. 5
• Elvis Night — Aug. 18
• Tigers All-Star poster — Aug. 21
• Fan Appreciation Weekend — Sept. 21-23
• 2013 magnet schedule — Sept. 22
• 2012 team photo — Sept. 27

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fan pics from Lakeland

Following up on yesterday's fan video from Tigertown in Lakeland, Fla., here's a gallery of pics from Tigers spring training.

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Fan video from first days of spring training

Tigers fan Steve St. Germain, a Rochester resident, shot some video of the Tigers heading out to practice on Tuesday, as well as the newest Tigers superstar, Prince Fielder, signing autographs after the workout.

Thanks to Steve for the look into spring training.

If you have any videos or pictures you want to share, send them along.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Must-see ... national TV

When TBS announced on Tuesday the first eight games of its 26-game "Sunday MLB on TBS" schedule, the Detroit Tigers were among the teams tabbed for the national broadcasts.

TBS will televise the Tigers on back-to-back Sunday's at the end of April, catching the Tigers in a rematch of the American League Championship Series against Texas on April 22, then in a rematch of the ALDS against the New York Yankees on April 29. Both games are 1 p.m. starts.

Five Tigers games were already scheduled for national broadcasts as part of FOX Saturday Baseball, and it's likely the Tigers will be on ESPN a time or two this season, as well.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Must-see TV? No problem for Tigers fans

If you're a fan of Must-See JV (or any of the other Detroit Tigers, for that matter) rest assured that you will not have a problem finding the team's games on the television dial this summer, if you live in Michigan.

The team announced Thursday that all 162 games will be broadcast on TV this season, 157 of them by FOX Sports Detroit. Five more are already scheduled to be the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week — April 7 vs. Boston, May 5 vs. the White Sox, June 2 vs. the Yankees, June 30 at Tampa Bay and Sept. 15 at Cleveland.

Already announced were the four spring training broadcasts, including the April 4 exhibition against the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.

If you'll recall last year, there were two games that could have been blacked out. One, the second game of a rain-induced Sunday doubleheader against the Red Sox was eventually granted a waiver, allowing fans to see the Justin Verlander-Josh Beckett match-up. The second was the potential division-clinching game in Oakland, which was never scheduled to be broadcast, and was only picked up later, when the relevance of the game became clear.

Here's the complete list of games:
Day Date Opponent Time TV
Thu. April 5 BOSTON 1:00 FSD
Sat. 7 BOSTON 4:00 FOX
Sun. 8 BOSTON 1:00 FSD
Tue. 10 TAMPA BAY 1:00 FSD
Wed. 11 TAMPA BAY 1:00 FSD
Thu. 12 TAMPA BAY 1:00 FSD
Fri. 13 at Chi. White Sox 2:00 FSD
Sat. 14 at Chi. White Sox 4:00 FSD
Sun. 15 at Chi. White Sox 2:00 FSD
Mon. 16 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD PLUS
Tue. 17 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD PLUS
Wed. 18 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD PLUS
Thu. 19 TEXAS 7:00 FSD
Fri. 20 TEXAS 7:00 FSD
Sat. 21 TEXAS 1:00 FSD
Sun. 22 TEXAS 1:00 FSD
Tue. 24 SEATTLE 7:00 FSD
Wed. 25 SEATTLE 7:00 FSD
Thu. 26 SEATTLE 1:00 FSD
Fri. 27 at N.Y. Yankees 7:00 FSD
Sat. 28 at N.Y. Yankees 4:00 FSD
Sun. 29 at N.Y. Yankees 1:00 FSD
Mon. 30 KANSAS CITY 7:00 FSD

Tue. May 1 KANSAS CITY 7:00 FSD
Fri. 4 CHI. WHITE SOX 7:00 FSD
Sat. 5 CHI. WHITE SOX 4:00 FOX
Sun. 6 CHI. WHITE SOX 1:00 FSD
Mon. 7 at Seattle 10:00 FSD
Tue. 8 at Seattle 10:00 FSD
Wed. 9 at Seattle 10:00 FSD
Thu. 10 at Oakland 10:00 FSD
Fri. 11 at Oakland 10:00 FSD
Sat. 12 at Oakland 8:00 FSD
Sun. 13 at Oakland 4:00 FSD
Mon. 14 at Chi. White Sox 8:00 FSD
Tue. 15 at Chi. White Sox 2:00 FSD
Wed. 16 MINNESOTA 7:00 FSD
Thu. 17 MINNESOTA 1:00 FSD
Tue. 22 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Wed. 23 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Thu. 24 at Cleveland 12:00 FSD
Fri. 25 at Minnesota 8:00 FSD
Sat. 26 at Minnesota 2:00 FSD
Sun. 27 at Minnesota 2:00 FSD
Mon. 28 at Boston 1:30 FSD
Tue. 29 at Boston 7:00 FSD
Wed. 30 at Boston 7:00 FSD
Thu. 31 at Boston 7:00 FSD

Fri. June 1 N.Y. YANKEES 7:00 FSD
Sat. 2 N.Y. YANKEES 7:15 FOX
Sun. 3 N.Y. YANKEES 1:00 FSD
Fri. 8 at Cincinnati 7:00 FSD
Sat. 9 at Cincinnati 4:00 FSD
Sun. 10 at Cincinnati 1:00 FSD
Tue. 12 at Chi. Cubs 8:00 FSD
Wed. 13 at Chi. Cubs 8:00 FSD
Thu. 14 at Chi. Cubs 2:20 FSD
Fri. 15 COLORADO 7:00 FSD
Sat. 16 COLORADO 4:00 FSD
Sun. 17 COLORADO 1:00 FSD
Tue. 19 ST. LOUIS 7:00 FSD
Wed. 20 ST. LOUIS 7:00 FSD
Thu. 21 ST. LOUIS 1:00 FSD
Fri. 22 at Pittsburgh 7:00 FSD
Sat. 23 at Pittsburgh 4:00 FSD
Sun. 24 at Pittsburgh 1:30 FSD
Mon. 25 at Texas 8:00 FSD
Tue. 26 at Texas 8:00 FSD
Wed. 27 at Texas 8:00 FSD
Thu. 28 at Tampa Bay 7:00 FSD
Fri. 29 at Tampa Bay 7:00 FSD
Sat. 30 at Tampa Bay 7:15 FOX

Sun. July 1 at Tampa Bay 1:30 FSD
(All-Star Break, July 9-12)
Fri. 13 at Baltimore 7:00 FSD
Sat. 14 at Baltimore 7:00 FSD
Sun. 15 at Baltimore 1:30 FSD
Mon. 16 L.A. ANGELS 7:00 FSD
Tue. 17 L.A. ANGELS 7:00 FSD
Wed. 18 L.A. ANGELS 7:00 FSD
Thu. 19 L.A. ANGELS 1:00 FSD
Fri. 20 CHI. WHITE SOX 7:00 FSD
Sat. 21 CHI. WHITE SOX 7:00 FSD
Sun. 22 CHI. WHITE SOX 1:00 FSD
Tue. 24 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Wed. 25 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Thu. 26 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Fri. 27 at Toronto 7:00 FSD
Sat. 28 at Toronto 1:00 FSD
Sun. 29 at Toronto 1:00 FSD
Mon. 30 at Boston 7:00 FSD
Tue. 31 at Boston 7:00 FSD

Wed. Aug 1 at Boston 7:00 FSD
Mon. 6 N.Y. YANKEES 7:00 FSD
Tue. 7 N.Y. YANKEES 7:00 FSD
Wed. 8 N.Y. YANKEES 7:00 FSD
Thu. 9 N.Y. YANKEES 1:00 FSD
Fri. 10 at Texas 8:00 FSD
Sat. 11 at Texas 8:00 FSD
Sun. 12 at Texas 3:00 FSD
Mon. 13 at Minnesota 8:00 FSD
Tue. 14 at Minnesota 8:00 FSD
Wed. 15 at Minnesota 1:00 FSD
Fri. 17 BALTIMORE 7:00 FSD
Sat. 18 BALTIMORE 7:00 FSD
Sun. 19 BALTIMORE 1:00 FSD
Tue. 21 TORONTO 7:00 FSD
Wed. 22 TORONTO 7:00 FSD
Thu. 23 TORONTO 1:00 FSD
Fri. 24 L.A. ANGELS 7:00 FSD
Sat. 25 L.A. ANGELS 7:00 FSD
Sun. 26 L.A. ANGELS 1:00 FSD
Tue. 28 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD
Wed. 29 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD
Thu. 30 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD
Fri. 31 CHI. WHITE SOX 7:00 FSD

Sat. Sept 1 CHI. WHITE SOX 7:00 FSD
Sun. 2 CHI. WHITE SOX 1:00 FSD
Fri. 7 at L.A. Angels 10:00 FSD
Sat. 8 at L.A. Angels 9:00 FSD
Sun. 9 at L.A. Angels 3:30 FSD
Mon. 10 at Chi. White Sox 8:00 FSD
Tue. 11 at Chi. White Sox 8:00 FSD
Wed. 12 at Chi. White Sox 8:00 FSD
Thu. 13 at Chi. White Sox 8:00 FSD
Fri. 14 at Cleveland 7:00 FSD
Sat. 15 at Cleveland 4:00 FOX
Sun. 16 at Cleveland 3:00 FSD
Tue. 18 OAKLAND 7:00 FSD
Wed. 19 OAKLAND 7:00 FSD
Thu. 20 OAKLAND 1:00 FSD
Fri. 21 MINNESOTA 7:00 FSD
Sat. 22 MINNESOTA 7:00 FSD
Sun. 23 MINNESOTA 1:00 FSD
Tue. 25 KANSAS CITY 7:00 FSD
Wed. 26 KANSAS CITY 7:00 FSD
Thur. 27 KANSAS CITY 1:00 FSD
Fri. 28 at Minnesota 8:00 FSD
Sat. 29 at Minnesota 1:00 FSD
Sun. 30 at Minnesota 2:00 FSD

Mon. Oct. 1 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD
Tue. 2 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD
Wed. 3 at Kansas City 8:00 FSD

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reports: Brandon Inge asks to compete at 2B

You had to know that Brandon Inge was going to try to get on the field somehow.

With the addition of Prince Fielder necessitating the move of Miguel Cabrera to his "natural" position of third base, that meant that Brandon Inge was out of a role, albeit not out of a job. Still under contract for 2012 at a cost of $5.5 million — awfully expensive for a utility infielder — the Tigers would love to make use of their longest-tenured player, rather than just let him languish on the bench.

So it was no surprise that reports out of Lakeland, Fla. (first mentioned by's Jason Beck) were that Inge had asked permission to enter the competition for the one and only starting spot still up for grabs — second base. Tom Gage of the Detroit News reported that Inge first made the request with a call to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who then called manager Jim Leyland.

Both gave a thumbs-up.

That move doesn't really answer any questions, and merely brings up some more, but it does give him a chance to compete, at the very least.

That's something that both Dombrowski and Leyland said that Inge would both need AND want to do in spring training.

"I did not speak to Brandon or his representatives, but I can understand he would not be thrilled. But I also think at this point, probably the best thing for him to do at this point — he’s not coming off a big-number year, and the market has been pretty well set — probably the best thing is let him come to spring training and let him play well, and let’s see what happens from there," Dombrowski said at the Fielder press conference, when asked if Inge had requested a trade. "I still think he can play a very important part of our club. And I’ll tell you what, we’re trying to win."

And while Leyland knew Inge wasn't happy, he also knew he'd be willing to fight. After all, it was Inge himself who said during the Winter Caravan this would be a season where there'd be "No more Mr. Nice Guy," when it came to playing time.

"I really believe Brandon Inge can be a big part of this team, if he wants to be. He’s a trooper, he’s a Tiger. He’s done everything we’ve asked. I don’t control situations like that. The owner of this ballclub wanted to sign Prince Fielder, and he did. And that makes the manager move some pieces around. That’s my responsibility. It just so happened that Brandon was involved in some of that movement, as we speak today," Leyland said at the Fielder press conference.
"I don’t want to slight Brandon Inge’s contributions, and hopefully his future contributions, to this organization.
I talked to him (the day before the press conference), I did the best I could to explain it to him. I apologized to him for not getting it to him before the news broke. ...
"He’s not very happy, because he wants to play, and I wouldn’t give you a nickel for him, if he didn’t want to play.
"I love Brandon Inge."

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Alex Avila a guest on ESPN's 'Baseball Tonight'

The third-year Tigers catcher joined Karl Ravech and Buster Olney on Friday afternoon's show, and talked about several topics, including the signing of Prince Fielder, and the impending move of Miguel Cabrera to third.
Here's a short synopsis of the highlights:

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Would you wear this?

When the Detroit Tigers' official twitter account tweeted out a link to a picture of the new "Zubaz" style hat, my first inclination was a shudder and a public (teasing) "Egads."

Then again, the bylaws of the Baseball Writers' Association of America prohibit me from wearing club logo gear while on duty, so ... it's unlikely I'd ever don such headgear. But that doesn't mean no one would.

Would you?

We know Prince Fielder would have when he was younger — just check out this much-traveled pic of him sporting Chicago Cubs Zubaz pants (and a New York Giants Zubaz-print shirt) as a kid.

Maybe someday, when he signs with the Tigers as a free agent, we'll dredge out an old shot of Victor Jose Martinez with a Zubaz Tigers hat. Who knows?

(And if you didn't know it by now, nothing in this post was meant to be taken seriously, literally, figuratively, personally or internally.)

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The one where Justin Verlander is "a ninja riding a cheetah ..."

Otherwise known as the trailer for the new MLB2K12 "Perfect Club" promotion.
Give it a watch. Good stuff.

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Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski speaks at Detroit Sports Broadcasters Assn. banquet

If you missed it on Twitter earlier today, here's a short synopsis of the highlights from Dave Dombrowski's Q&A session at the DSBA Tiger Day banquet:

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Penny won't be back, but fans shouldn't dance about it quite so much

Brad Penny, the Tigers' fifth starter a season ago, has reportedly signed a contract with the Softbank Hawks in Japan's Pacific League for next season.

It's a deal according to's Ken Rosenthal that's worth $4 million in base salary — up a bit from the $3M that the 33-year-old Penny earned in Detroit — but could be worth up to $7.5M if he reaches certain performance bonuses. Rosenthal also reported that it's the largest contract ever given to an American pitcher in his first deal to play in Japan.

Penny said on Twitter that he "had offers here, but offer much better in japan."

Good for Brad, right?

If you ask a lot of Tigers fans, it's more like good riddance.

And my question is — why?

Why the hate for a guy that was 11-11 for a team that won 95 games last season, and advanced to the ALCS. He threw 182 innings. After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, he didn't miss a start in 2010.

As Jim Leyland said near the end of the season, "Pretty good for a fifth starter."

Yes he was slow. Yes he gave up 24 home runs in 31 starts.

But he battled.

Like father, like son, Tigers minor league catcher Patrick Leyland (@pleyland1013) said on Twitter Sunday: "Brad Penny wins 11 games as a fifth on a playoff team and nobody gives him a shot? There are a lot of teams that could use 11 as a fifth. ... People hate on brad but look up how many fifths won 11 and pitched 180 some innings saved the bullpen kept them in most games."

At this point, having made no move to replace Penny's rotation spot with a veteran hurler, the Tigers seem as if they are more than likely willing to let a handful of their pitching prospects — Jacob Turner, Duane Below, Andy Oliver, Adam Wilk, Drew Smyly — battle it out for the No. 5 spot in spring training.

Will the Tigers get a performance like Penny's from whomever wins the job?

Given their collective inexperience, I think they'd be ecstatic if they did.

All the more reason the Tigers went into the offseason looking for a low-cost insurance option they could plug in if those kids aren't ready.

And along the way, they've flirted with the idea of trading for guys like Gio Gonzalez or Matt Garza.

They still may be in the market. But that doesn't guarantee they'll get someone who performs better, even if they get a bigger name, or pay more money.

Put it this way: One of the guys that Tigers fans have been hoping they'd sign for the job, Roy Oswalt (who reportedly turned down a one-year, $10 million offer from the club) cost $16 million to post a 9-10 record with the Phillies last year. And he threw only 139 innings because of a balky back, which may or may not be better this year.

Not exactly bang for the buck.

I'm not insinuating that the Tigers have lost an irreplaceable cog, or that they'll be worse without Penny. May not make a whit of difference.

But fans might want to be careful what they wish for: You CAN do worse than what the Tigers got out of Brad Penny last season.

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