May 2008

Sheff to DL, Larish called up

The Tigers placed Gary Sheffield on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Jeff Larish will have his contract purchased from Triple-A Toledo and be out here in time for Wednesday’s strain game (sorry, all these injury stories are getting to me). Carlos Guillen is DH-ing today. According to the manager, he has a case of hemorrhoids (no, I’m not kidding) that has been limiting his mobility for the last several days.

In case you were wondering …

The last time the Tigers were shut out in a game that lasted 12 innings or more was on April 12, 1999 against the Twins, also a 1-0 loss. They only had three hits and a walk that day at Tiger Stadium, and they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Detroit hitters struck out 13 times, three times by Brad Ausmus alone. Todd Walker won the game with a home run leading off the 12th against Sean Runyan.

The last time the Tigers left at least 12 runners on base in a shutout was Aug. 30, 1997 against the Phillies, a 2-0 loss at Tiger Stadium. Detroit went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position that day, which was a nine-inning blanking. Matt Beech tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts for one of his eight career big-league wins. Detroit had the potential tying run on base in the ninth when Ricky Bottalico got Bobby Higginson to fly out and end the game.

Last time Tigers went scoreless into extras

It was April 11, 2007 at Baltimore. Craig Monroe hit a grand slam in the top of the 12th; Tigers won 4-1.

From the Big A

The marathon West Coast trip begins under mostly cloudy skies in Anaheim with a pretty standard lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Joyce, LF
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Rodriguez, C

For the Angels, who had the unenviable task of flying back here from a Sunday night game in Chicago and getting here for a 6:05 p.m. local time start:

  1. Maicer Izturis, SS
  2. Gary Matthews Jr., CF
  3. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
  4. Torii Hunter, DH
  5. Garret Anderson, LF
  6. Mike Napoli, C
  7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  8. Brandon Wood, 3B
  9. Sean Rodriguez, 2B

Hope you all have had a good Memorial Day. Looks like the summer weather finally arrived, at least for a day or two.

Talk amongst yourselves this weekend


To paraphrase Jim Rome: I take time off because I get time off. And I have the next few days for at least part of the holiday weekend. I’ll be back on the beat Monday from the west coast, where I’ll be doing all three cities of the upcoming trip. Until then, I’ll be running errands, just plain running and trying to watch three games at the same time Saturday like the rest of you. I might chime in if something comes up, but otherwise, enjoy what might be one of the best weekends in Detroit sports history. Three games going on in the same city at the same time? Two of them postseason games, and the other one critical for playoff hopes? That’s hard to beat. Enjoy it along with the rest of the holiday weekend.

Congratulations to Tom Gage

Congratulations to Tigers beat writer Tom Gage, who has been named the Michigan Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. Tom is in his 30th season covering the Tigers for the Detroit News and is one of the best actual writers you’ll find on a baseball beat.

Leyland on pace of game

Here’s the story on MLB’s effort to speed up games. Here’s some of Leyland’s reaction:

know what? It’s a no-win situation when you talk about it. I don’t like it.
I’ve always said, and you can quote me on this, that to me, a baseball game is
like a movie. If it’s a good movie, you stay. If it’s a bad movie, you leave.”

don’t like it. They want me to run to the mound. I smoke three packs a
day. They want me to run on and off the mound.”

can’t fight City Hall. But you know what, then? When the pitcher goes out
between innings and throws his eight [warmup] pitches, forget the two minutes
and all that when you’re waiting for the television [commercial break] and start the game,
if you want to know the truth. But obviously they pay the bills, so you
can’t fight City Hall. TV’s going to pay the bills, and I understand that, so
I’m not looking for trouble. But if you really talking about it, it’s a lot of [garbage]. That’s what I think. I don’t think the fans really give a [care]. If
the Tigers win today, they don’t give a [care] how long they stay here. If the
Tigers lose, they’re going to leave early or be ticked off when they leave. That’s
as simple as it is. If we get behind 10-1 in the sixth inning, I imagine this
place will clear out a little bit. If we’re ahead 10-1, some of them might go.”

I have Todd Jones coming in out of the bullpen, we’re going to have to get a
golf cart.”

get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the commissioner. I like him. He’s
a friend of mine, and I know he’s doing what he thinks is best for the game. But
at the same time, I don’t have to agree with it. I’m going to throw over to
first base. If I think a guy’s stealing, I’m going to mess with him. Well, that
takes time. Sometimes you’ll see the umpire and fans [react], but my job is to
try to win the game. I’m not on a time scale. We don’t have a clock, like football
and basketball. I’m out here to try to win the game. That’s as simple as it
is. Every once in a while, all managers get a guy up [when] a guy gets in a
little trouble real quick and you have to get a guy going, so you might send
Pudge out to talk to him. There’s no secret about that. Or I might walk out once
real slow to give him extra time and come back. That’s all part of the strategy
of the game, and I think they’re taking away from that when they do that. I
don’t think it’s good.”

Thursday: M's at Tigers

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez is in the ballpark today. He paid a visit to Jim Leyland, who warned him that he’s a Notre Dame fan before they had a nice conversation.

You’ll also read later today that Leyland’s not a big fan of MLB’s new efforts to pick up the pace of the game. In fact, he had a pretty big rant on it. I’ll try to give the highlights.

Lineups …


  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Joyce, LF
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Inge, C


  1. Ichiro, CF
  2. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  3. Jose Lopez, 2B
  4. Raul Ibanez, DH
  5. Richie Sexson, 1B
  6. Jeremy Reed, LF
  7. Kenji Johjima, C
  8. Wladimir Balentien, RF
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Telling stat of the night

Jarrod Washburn threw 43 of his 60 pitches for strikes. Of those 43, 12 went for base hits, better than one in four. Just two of Washburn’s strikes were swings and misses — not strikeouts, strikes.

By the way, sorry for not having the blog link in headlines tonight. We have some new editors working this week.

Rapada DL'ed, Willis activated now

Rapada has biceps tendinitis. Willis will now be available out of the bullpen tonight.