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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.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

VIDEO: Tigers win pregame anthem standoff with Astros

During the national anthem on Sunday, four members of the Detroit Tigers won a showdown with several members of the Houston Astros, a stare down to see which group would leave the field first.

Technically, the Tigers' group — which included Joba Chamberlain, Shane Greene, Angel Nesbitt and Tyler Collins — won by default, as home plate umpire Bob Davidson shooed the Astros off the field.

Watch the video here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jose Iglesias leaves game with left knee contusion

DETROIT >> Another lower-body injury.

Jose Iglesias left Saturday’s game with a left-knee contusion, after appearing to bang knees with Astros first baseman Chris Carter trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.

He is day to day.

Iglesias missed all of the 2014 season with shin splints that developed into stress fractures, and missed time earlier this season with a groin injury.

VIDEO: Kinsler and Iglesias perform ballet on dirt, with pretty double play

Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias have turned the act of turning a double play into an art form, as they did with their pretty twin killing in the first inning of Saturday's game against the Astros.

Watch the video here:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Still time to sign up for Justin Verlander's Memorial Day Wins for Warriors 9K

DETROIT >> There’s still time to sign up for the Wins for Warriors 9K.

Online registration for the race — which will be held in downtown Detroit and finish at home plate at Comerica Park — goes through noon on Saturday, but participants can register the day of the race, on Memorial Day.

Partnering with Opportunity Detroit, Justin Verlander’s Wins for Warriors program, which provides mental health support for veterans an their families, set up the race as another way to raise money for the benefit of servicemen and women.

And it’s a program is close to Verlander’s heart, having gone to college in Norfolk, Va., near the largest U.S. Navy facility in the world.

“It means a lot. I’m really passionate about our veterans, and what they do for us, and this is my way to give back,” Verlander said recently. “If you’re in the area, we’ve got a 9-K on Memorial Day, so go sign up for that, help support a good cause.”

You can sign up here:

Click here to see the race route:

To donate, click here:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

VIDEO: Watch James McCann hit his first professional game-winning home run

James McCann's first career home run was an inside-the-park job.

His second career home run — the first over-the-fence homer — was a game-winner in the bottom of the 11th inning Thursday afternoon, his first walk-off homer since college in 2011.

What will he do for an encore?

"I'd like to play for a good long time. That would be a good encore," he said.

You can watch him talk about the home run here:

And you can watch him hit it here:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

VIDEO: Avila has trained his padawan, James McCann, very well ...

There are some things that James McCann does very differently from Alex Avila.

And some he does quite the same.

Wednesday night, he took a page out of Avila's book to retire Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, jumping onto the backstop netting to catch the foul fly. Avila did the same thing, last September.

Here's the video:

It's not a dream — Tigers pick up on Ausmus T-shirt meme

There have been any number of Brad Ausmus memes since he took over as the manager of the Tigers, but not many have made their way into the team's clubhouse.

Now one has.

Every locker had a T-shirt in it by Wednesday afternoon, and all of them had Brad Ausmus' face on them, along with the word "Dreamy," spelled with an Olde English D.

 The T-shirts, made by Big Water Apparel, were apparently ordered by hitting coach Wally Joyner. [UPDATE: Joyner said he didn't order the shirts. "I wish I had. That would've been a good one for Brad."] [UPDATE II: Another potential culprit, Joba Chamberlain, the man behind the Zubaz suits, has been ruled out.]

"I don’t really have one," Ausmus said with a sheepish grin, when asked if he had a reaction. "Well, Alex (Avila) walked in with it on, to show me, like he had a question to ask. I haven’t walked through the clubhouse, to see if they’re all wearing them."

He won't ask for one, necessarily. But he won't avoid them, either.

"If it starts a winning streak, I’ll wear one," he joked.

There are any number of products with various Ausmus memes, including tote bags with Ausmus' face, and a "Hey Girl" quote.

"I know there’s a tote bag," Ausmus grudgingly admitted. "I’ve signed them, but I don’t know if there’s a relation."

UPDATE III: Process of elimination has settled on Alex Avila as the probable culprit. "I think it was Alex. That’s my guess," Ausmus said, admitting the catcher, currently on the disabled list, has the most time on his hands. "He boldly walked into the room the other day, wearing it in front of me. I assume that was his way of bragging."
Ausmus did say his wife, Liz, found out about the shirts on the internet.
"Somebody must’ve tweeted it, because she said ‘Who bought the T-shirts?’ She asked me last night," he said. "No, she doesn’t want one. Instead of 'Dreamy,' hers would say ‘Nightmare.’"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

VIDEO Watch Anthony Gose make a diving, run-saving catch

While his predecessor in center field, Austin Jackson was reticent to dive — citing the possibility of the ball getting past him and rolling to the wall in the spacious center field at Comerica Park — Anthony Gose has shown no fear doing so, so far.

The first-year Tigers center fielder robbed a hit from Milwaukee's Khris Davis Monday night, with a diving stab in the seventh inning, keeping a run from scoring.

Watch the video here:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

VIDEO: Watch Miguel Cabrera reach the 400-homer milestone

Miguel Cabrera became the 52nd player in Major League Baseball history to hit 400 home runs with a first-inning shot against the Cardinals on Saturday.

You can read more it here, and more about Miggy's thoughts on becoming the all-time home run leader among Venezuelan-born players here.

Watch the history:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

VIDEO: Watch Jose Iglesias do ridiculous Jose Iglesias things

Jose Iglesias is a human highlight reel, no one questions that — when he's in the lineup, at least.

It's a good thing for Anibal Sanchez that the defensive wizard was on his game early in Thursday's contest against the Minnesota Twins, after briefly looking like he wouldn't be earlier in the day, thanks to a lineup snafu.

Iglesias turned a slick double play in the first inning, using his glove to flip the ball from behind second base to Ian Kinsler at the bag, forcing out Minnesota's Brian Dozier. It helped that Kinsler barehanded the flip, and whizzed the ball to first base to complete the literally figurative Twin killing.

Watch the video here:

VIDEO: Watch Tigers prospect Joey Pankake hit an inside-the-park HR for Whitecaps

Catcher James McCann isn’t the only Tigers prospect to hit an inside-the-parker as his first home run of this season: West Michigan’s Joey Pankake duplicated the feat Wednesday night against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

A seventh-round pick of the Tigers in last June’s First-Year Player Draft, Pankake hit a pair of home runs with short-season Connecticut in the New York-Penn league last season, but Wednesday’s was his first homer with the Whitecaps.

The second baseman went back-to-back with teammate Michael Gerber, whose second-inning homer off Bowling Green’s Hyrum Formo was of the more conventional variety.

Here’s a look at the play:

Scoring change shaves 4.5 runs off Joba Chamberlain's ERA

A scoring change by Major League Baseball has shaved 4.5 runs off Joba Chamberlain’s ERA.

The hot shot by Adam Eaton off the end of Nick Castellanos’ glove in the eighth inning of the May 6 game at Chicago was originally ruled a hit, but has now been changed to an error, making all four runs in that inning — all charged to Chamberlain — now unearned.

With the decision, Chamberlain’s ERA drops from 5.63 to 1.13. His only earned run allowed was in an eighth-inning hold in Minnesota on April 27.

The ruling also gives Castellanos his third error on the season, and his second in May.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

J.D. Martinez leaves game in sixth inning, with tightness in lower back

DETROIT >> J.D. Martinez was just coming around, too, before having to come out of Wednesday’s game with lower back tightness.

“I don’t know the seriousness of it. He took some swings down in the cage, said it didn’t bother him too much,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “It is the recurrence of an issue he had earlier, so we don’t want it to linger. We certainly need his bat in the lineup.”

Martinez went 5-for-12 with two walks in the three games since snapping his 0-for-25 skid, and appeared headed in the right direction offensively.

He had singles in his first two at-bats Wednesday, before heading up the tunnel with trainers moments before his third plate appearance of the evening came around. Rajai Davis pinch hit for Martinez, who is listed as day-to-day.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Buehler? Buehler? Buehler? Anyone? Mock draft has Tigers taking Vandy RHP

With the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft right around the corner, it's about time for mock drafts to start springing up.

Hot on the heels of releasing its top 100 prospects, Baseball America released its first mock draft on Friday, and it has the Detroit Tigers — shockingly — selecting a hard-throwing collegiate arm in Vanderbilt's Walker Buehler.

Buehler's fastball sits in the mid-90s, despite a slim frame, and he has a four-pitch repertoire which includes a change-up, slider and curveball. Baseball America's analysis of the pick includes the thought that he could help the Tigers out of the bullpen as soon as this season, which would be a bonus.

Plus, you know, the obvious: His name would be almost as fun to goof around with as Joey Pankake's has proven to be. (Plus, his Twitter handle is @buehlersdayoff, so you know he's good with it.)

The mock draft also has Birmingham Brother Rice's Nick Plummer going No. 15 overall to the Brewers. No Michigan high school player has been drafted in the first round since Divine Child's Ryan Anderson in 1997.

The MLB draft is June 8-10. The Tigers have picks No. 22, 34 (compensation for Max Scherzer signing with the Nationals), 65 and 99 in the top 100 selections.

Here's a video on Buehler as a draft prospect:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Still-rehabbing Justin Verlander takes playful, funny jab at 'haters' on Instagram

Anyone who thinks that Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is enjoying his somewhat interminable first-ever stint on the disabled list is sadly mistaken.

As much as he’s chafing inside to get back to his job — no, his passion — Verlander’s not going to post pictures on social media of himself moping around the house.

Or should he?

After apparently getting some blowback from fans after posting an Instagram picture of himself enjoying the Tigers’ off day at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, Verlander followed up four hours later with a picture of himself appearing to be taking it easy.

The caption was a playful jab back at those who may have insinuated he should’ve been working harder Monday.

It read: “Dear haters... I have heard you. Therefore since I have done all of the rehab I can possibly do already I shall not move from my bed nor enjoy my life whatsoever for the rest of the day so you think I'm trying. 😂😂#yourwelcome #hateonhaters #lovetherealfans

Verlander is scheduled for a third MRI Tuesday on his balky right triceps, to gauge how soon and how quickly he’ll be able to begin to come back.

Alfredo Simon to host ProCamp at Lake Orion HS in August

Alfredo Simon may not be in Detroit long, but he’ll undoubtedly make some solid memories with younger fans.

The Detroit Tigers’ impending free agent starting pitcher, acquired in an offseason trade with the Cincinnati Reds, will host the Alfredo Simon Baseball ProCamp at Lake Orion High School on Aug. 3 for kids in grades 1-8.

The event will be organized and run by ProCamps Worldwide, the purveyors of the immensely popular Miguel Cabrera camps at the same site the last few years, and will include on-site direction from Simon, with help from select area high school and college coaches.

Each camper will get Simon’s autograph, a camp T-shirt and a team photo with the pitcher.

The camp runs 9 a.m.-noon, and the cost is $99 per participant. For more information, go to