December 3rd, 2010

Victor Martinez t-shirt goes on sale Saturday at CoPa

Victor Martinez T-Shirt.jpgNormally, I don’t get into the merchandise end of things, but I know the jersey t-shirts are pretty popular, and it’s the holiday shopping season. And the Tigers did a pretty quick turnaround producing some shirseys for Victor Martinez.

They’ll go on sale Saturday morning as part of the Tigers’ one-day holiday sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Comerica Park main pro shop.

The sale was already scheduled for other items, including leather chairs from the clubhouse, catching gear, game-used bats and jerseys, helmets and more. Hall of Famer Al Kaline is also scheduled to sign copies of his book, Six: A Salute to Al Kaline, for an hour starting at 10:30 a.m.

Last week’s signing of Victor Martinez obviously adds something to the mix, including a new gift idea for the Tigers fan who has most everything. It’s new enough that it’s the first confirmation we’ve had that Martinez will get to keep number 41.

Part of the proceeds from the one-day sale will benefit the Detroit Tigers Foundation. The first 100 shoppers will be treated to a free gift. Free parking is available across the street at Lot 1.

Tigers sign John Bale to minor-league deal

A year after the Tigers signed Brad Thomas out of Japanese ball, and two years after Detroit brought over Fu-Te Ni, they’ve gone back to the Far East to find a bullpen lefty. Detroit has agreed to a minor-league deal with former Royal John Bale, who pitched this year with the Hiroshima Carp in the Japanese Central League. first reported the signing, which the Tigers confirmed.
You might remember the 36-year-old Bale from his time in 2009 with the Royals. He gave up 18 earned runs on 34 hits over 28 1/3 innings that season with 24 strikeouts. He spent parts of three seasons in Kansas City after a previous three-year stint in Japan.
It would be fair to consider Bale a depth signing for a situational lefty. He has allowed a .238 average and a .647 OPS to left-handed hitters for his Major League career, compared with a .327 average and .847 OPS against right-handed batters. 
If you want to get into the looming lefties of the AL Central, Justin Morneau is 2-for-10 lifetime off Bale, though one of those hits was a two-run homer. Joe Mauer is 4-for-9 off him, but all singles, with three RBIs. Grady Sizemore is 1-for-6 with four strikeouts against Bale, while Travis Hafner and Jason Kubel are both 2-for-7 off him.