Fidrych's death confirmed as an accident

The story is up on the site if you’re interested. On one hand, at least he died tinkering with vehicles, which apparently he loved to do. But man, what a tough way to go. It breaks your heart.

17 Comments

Yeah, you hate to see a guy who enjoyed life as much as Mark did have to depart early like that. The outpouring of love from Tiger fans and baseball fans in general, all these years later, speaks volumes.
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In that spirit, we’re building a special team here. There are some really good people on the 2009 Tigers, accepting of their roles, appreciative of their fan support, and on the verge of giving us a really enjoyable summer. Win or lose, I think we’ll have a very good time this year.
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–Rich

It would be nice if the Tigers or the media created an annual “Mark the Bird Fidrych” award, given to the player who best personified Mark’s intangible qualities. As an example, I would nominate Brandon Inge, with Miguel Cabrera not far behind. You know, the kind of guy you can imagine playing ball just for the boyish fun of it.
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–Rich

Yeah Rich. This is shaping up to be a real team. Finally some speed and defense. I love it. I think the addition of Everett and Anderson gives the team a lot of flexibility and dimension. The team dearly lacked it last year. Plus Inge and Santiago are lights out so far, both offensively and defensively. What a confidence boost for the pitchers! It’s early yet, but when you see what Ramon is doing you just wonder why it’s taken so long for him to get the opportunity to show his talent. Us Ramon supporters can crow a little:-)
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Then there’s Mr. Galarraga who looks to be on a mission. If the pitching staff can get completely healthy and confident, this team has as good a chance as any of winning the division.

Agree with you Rich on both points. “The Bird” award is a great idea. Curtis would not be far from the top of the list either.
Now if you had backdated and nominated Sheff……you may have got your wish for a good old argument!! :-)
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It seems that the Schedule keeps putting us up against teams who have started the season hot. We will be well placed to finish April at 50% playing Seattle, LA, KC and NY.
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Are the home crowds down this year because of less expectation, the weather or no money? We never went under 30,000 last year. We haven’t gone over 30,000 this year apart fron opening day. A shame we couldn’t swap years because I think the team this year will deserve the fans appreciation.

Glad to hear other people are excited about this team as well. I think if nothing else they will be fun to watch all year and there seems to be a little more unity with this team. Not to blame anything on Sheff but not having him in the lineup frees up so many things and adds so much versatility to the team.

If the pitching holds up and Verlander gets it going I see no reason why they can’t compete in the Central. The offense has already shown what it can do but pitching is always the most unpredictable element. Whatever happens it will be more fun to watch than last year.

What a difference a year makes Tiger fans. Sensing a bit more optimism from fellow bloggers. And why not? After last years’ Abbot and Costello routine where every week seemed to produce a who’s on third, who’s on first, or who’s in left lineup, this year has a sense of stability. If JV can become a dependable starter, this team can certainly compete. Real tests will come when Fernado has to close out one run games, but thus far he’s looked like a different guy as compared to 2008. Mr.Laird has been a very nice acquisition, and we should all hope he remains healthy because our options after him don’t seem real good. All in all, a nice start to 2009. Let’s hope we keep it going!

–Ed

This year has already been more fun than all of last year, and that’s not an exaggeration. When you factor in the nightmarish start, being in a desperate situation before April was half over, the fight to get back into it taking nearly four months only to have it result in another nightmarish weekend against the Sox at the end of July, followed by a total collapse……well. This year we’ve already had some positive surprises, good pitching and a dandy comeback win. And better weather. :-)
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Verlander vs King Felix tomorrow night. Let’s not fall into that “who’s the ace?” discussion. JV is one of five starters. If his MO continues to be a 5-6 inning pitcher, that’s what bullpens are for. I kind of like ours. Leyland needs to not be afraid to go to it, for fear of tomorrow’s game. You may not even need the pen tomorrow, as we saw after he left Miner in too long Monday only to have Tuesday rained out. Your next day’s pitcher (of which momentum is only as good as) could throw eight shutout innings. A little confidence, Jim.
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–Rich

I kept wondering why the media said the police were still investigating and now we know why. I can barely stand to think about it…being strangled by your own shirt. I hope he went quickly. Awful way to die, it seems. He was just such a beloved person. He was just on MLB Network and you’d always see him popping up somewhere at a game or in public somewhere. They don’t make ‘em better than “The Bird,” one of our best Tigers.

I think the low attendance is probably two-fold – one, the stinky economy, and two – fans waiting to see if this team is improved over last year and worth the ticket. I see it picking up, and think the Tiger organization will have to set up some good deals to get people in the door – once in people will spend money on food and libations.

I look for G-man to rub off on the rest of the pitching staff, at least I hope. And great idea on a Bird award each year, the guy deserves some type of remembrance like that. Horrible way to go for him, I just pray it was quick for him.

Ugh – late game tonight!! Good thing it is Friday!

Heard an interesting story on Mike & Mike this morning about the Red Sox wanting to get Cabrera if David Ortiz keeps slumping. I don’t know how this would happen but they made it sound possible if the Tigers fall apart and attendance gets worse. I would hope to God that DD wouldn’t do that. Ordonez seems more likely to go than Miggy but there probably isn’t near as much demand for him.

Boston can have Cabrera for Youkilis, Pedroia, Papelbon, and 100% of their revenue from NESN, plus their jerseys will have to say “Yankees Rule.” And throw in Old Ironsides. Then we’ll talk.
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Actually, this is where you take advantage of the desperation of the Bostons and New Yorks by dealing from a position of strength. We might talk Ordonez for a heavy price, or they can just look elsewhere. El Gato Grande’ ain’t goin’ nowhere.
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I was trying to think of the best pure hitter I’ve ever seen in a Tigers uniform and it appears that M-Cab is topping the list. And no, I didn’t see Ty Cobb. :-)
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–Rich

geez.. still 6 hours til game time! I can’t take these 10:00 starts… brutal!

We all slow down when work is low. Employers eventually layoff, the layoffs come… can anyone tell I am a laborer?

I am concerned about Magg’s ability to hit, but then I am considering.. Maybe he is happy with a club like Detroit, with his other native countrymen-brothers, vs. being traded to Seatle, or New York or Boston?

Could he be sandbagging it, just so that nobody wants $18 million dollar player that can’t hit? Once they overlook him, and he is safe under the radar, I bet he will return to his old hitting stance. He used to love those men on base situations, for ribeyes!

Sure , everybody wants MCab now!
Would they be interested in Willis? Robertson?,
Last year, Would anyone take Rentaria, or Sheff ? No! I hated that Farnsworth trade for Pudge. Maybe thats life in the Biggs.

I do believe, that if the bull pen keeps going, our batting order keeps the pitchers knotted up, and the talent continues, with pitching quality starts…and insurance runs every couple innings, Hey! We’re looking at a 90+ win season. I love seeing the old-time baseball. Get the man on..even if he has to claw his way to the bag from a bunt, and get him over, and score before the three outs!

I think Maggs can still, and will, hit. I watched him a number of times live in spring training, both with Detroit and Venezuela, and since the season has begun. He doesn’t appear to be seeing the ball well. There have been pitches that he usually pulls with authority or drives to rightfield but he’s been tentative up there. He sometimes swings at a bad first pitch in an attempt to be aggressive, then sometimes works himself far deeper into a count than was necessary. My amateur advice would be to concentrate on going the other way and forget the inside pitches for awhile. Whatever he does, I think he’s still a .300 20 homer guy. I continue to think flip flopping him and Guillen might be something to try. Guillen gives you good ABs wherever he is, but Ordonez is the one with the reputation and might offer Cabrera some protection. I’m afraid they’ll just start pitching around Miguel on a chronic basis. Plus Guillen is an adept baserunner and good to have on with Cabrera up. And hits into fewer doubleplays.
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–Rich

Rich .. I agree with you bout maggs moving to #5 … He performed the best when he was hitting cleanup, and this change might help.
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I am overall happy with the tigers … so no complaining … for now :)
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Where are the Cabby haters from last year ? :) .. they just didn’t get it that he changed leauges .. and he will be back to his old self.
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I hope to God that Cabby stays a tiger … and knowing Mr. I … i doubt he will entertain that thought.. unless the economy in detroit gets a lot lot worse…
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Maggs will come around ..lets wait and see ..
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A small trade like Anderson is paying big dividends … in the field, in the lineup and in the base running dept too .. and add to that the flexibility in the lineup … really really good move, coupled with sheff’s release.
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Just that we started off nicely is great .. and as rich said.. our schedule is brutal .. so if we stay close to the top.. it’s good enough … but i hope we pull ahead of everyone around july .. cuz some of our players might be tired by september ..
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The Tigers made great roster decisions this year … it will really benefit the club in the long run …

I hope your right Tiger Girl that fans will start coming as the team keeps producing. I know only early days but if levels are projected for the rest of the year, the Tiger crowd figures will be down 1 million for the season. This would have to be a $30m+ hole in the budget.
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Unfortunately, only Sheff’s $14m contract drops of this year other than Polanco whose $4.6m pa contract has always been good value. $30.5m pa is tied up with Nate, Willis and Bondo to 2010 and $28m pa with Maggs and Carlos to 2011.
None of these guys are tradeable unless you continue to pick up $5m of Carlos’s $10m pa or $10m+ pa of Magg’s $18m. Miggs $141m over the next 7 years is the only large $$ trade where you would possibly even make money. I think the Tigers would have to be heading towards another 2008 season for Miggs to be traded. It would break many Tiger hearts including Mr Illich’s having been the mastermind in getting him.
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I really hope the crowds pick up and Mr Illich continues to have deep pockets and the love of baseball.

If Maggs could produce a .300 / 20 HR season I’d take it. I hope you’re right, Rich, but I foresee a .280 avg with 70-80 rbi. Powerwise I think he’ll be 12-15 homers. As long as he can produce in clutch situations those numbers will be fine in this lineup. The one guy who really needs to start showing some offensive fireworks is Curtis. Love him defensively–probably one of the best in all of baseball. But offense is where the Tigs really need to see an improvement with him. He seems to be a little more comfortable against lefthanders, not the automatic out he once was. He is in his baseball prime right now and should be producing .300/20 HR seasons regularly for the next five years or so.

–Ed

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