November 16th, 2011

Tigers release spring training schedule

The miserable chill of Michigan’s winter is approaching, but the unofficial end is in sight. The Tigers on Wednesday announced their 2012 Spring Training schedule, beginning with their annual exhibition against Florida Southern on Friday, March 2 and running through April 2.

The schedule for the Tigers’ 76th Spring Training in Lakeland, Fla. — continuing the longest-running relationship between a Major League team and its current Spring Training home — and 47th consecutive year at Joker Marchant Stadium includes 18 home games, counting the Florida Southern exhibition. Highlighting the slate are visits from the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, March 17, a rematch against the AL East champion New York Yankees on March 24, and two stops from the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies.

The Major League portion of the Spring Training slate begins the first weekend in March with a home-and-home set against the Atlanta Braves. The Tigers will head to Disney World on Saturday, March 3, then host the Braves the next day. The Blue Jays come to Marchant Stadium on Monday, March 5.

The home slate is heavily weighted towards early and mid-March. The Tigers go back-to-back days without a game at Marchant Stadium just twice until the final week of camp, fitting in four home games in each of the first three full weeks of play. The Tigers have five home games in a seven-day stretch around traditional spring break time, hosting the Braves, Twins, Yankees, Phillies and Marlins March 20-26.

The Tigers have one night game scheduled on their home slate, a March 29 game against the Nationals at 6:05 p.m. ET. They currently have three sets of split-squad games scheduled, all on Sundays — March 11, March 25 and April 1.

Like the last few years, games are being separated into three different pricing levels. White-level games range from $9 to $22, orange-level games from $12 to $25, and blue-level games. Information on which games are priced at which levels can be found at under the tickets tab.

Full-season Spring Training ticket packages are on sale now online at, by phone at 863-686-8075, or in person at the Joker Marchant Stadium ticket office. Fans can also purchase mini-plans of five games or more online or by phone. Individual game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 7 at, the Marchant Stadium ticket office or by phone at 866-66-TIGER.


Fri., March 3 – at Braves
Sat., March 4 – BRAVES
Mon, March 5 – BLUE JAYS
Tue., March 6 – at Marlins
Wed., March 7 – BRAVES
Thu., March 8 – at Rays
Fri., March 9 – PHILLIES
Sat., March 10 – NATIONALS
Sun., March 11 (split squad) – at Astros, at Phillies
Mon., March 12 – METS
Tue., March 13 – Nationals @ Viera, 6:05
Wed., March 14 – METS
Thu., March 15 – ORIOLES
Fri., March 16 – Mets @ Port St. Lucie
Sat., March 17 – CARDINALS
Sun., March 18 – Nationals @ Viera, 1:05
Mon., March 19 – Phillies @ Clearwater, 1:05
Tue., March 20 – BRAVES
Wed., March 21 – TWINS
Thu., March 22 – Off-day
Fri., March 23 – Pirates @ Bradenton
Sat., March 24 – YANKEES
Sun., March 25 (split squad) – PHILLIES, Yankees @ Tampa, 1:05
Mon., March 26 – MARLINS
Tue., March 27 – Astros @ Kissimmee
Wed., March 28 – Cardinals @ Jupiter
Thu., March 29 – NATIONALS (6:05)
Fri., March 30 – Orioles @ Sarasota
Sat., March 31 – Braves @ Disney World, 1:05
Sun., April 1 (split squad) – ASTROS, Mets @ Port St. Lucie
Mon., April 2 – BLUE JAYS
Tues., April 3 – Blue Jays @ Dunedin

Leyland 2nd in AL Manager of the Year balloting

As expected, the the Rays’ run to the playoffs earned AL Manager of the Year honors for Joe Maddon, made official on Wednesday. The mild surprise, however, was Jim Leyland finishing second, and getting a first-place vote.

Maddon received all but two of the 28 first-place votes from BBWAA members in AL cities. Leyland got one, and Texas’ Ron Washington received the other. Leyland received 13 out of 28 second-place votes, compared with seven for Washington. Cleveland’s Manny Acta earned three second-place votes and seven votes for third.

For someone who entered the season on the managerial hot seat, with no contract for 2012 and a mandate to win, the vote completes an impressive year.

“I’m proud of myself because I never wavered,” Leyland told reporters Sept. 30. “I was supposed to be fired ten times this year. I only had one year left in my contract and all that. … I never get too excited about that. You go out and try to do the best you can. It wasn’t going to change anything I do. I’m proud I’m here today. It wasn’t going to change anything I do. I like to think I work hard each and every day. I was going to do the best I can and whatever the situation was it was.

“But usually you’re sitting up here having this press conference because you have really good players, and there’s no manager that ever sat up here without the good players. Nobody, I don’t care who it was. That’s why I’m here today.”