Tigers statues getting cosmetic work

If you noticed a strange sight on Interstate 275 that nearly had you swerving off the road this week, then no, it wasn’t your imagination. Those really were the ceramic Tigers from the Comerica Park scoreboard resting on flatbed trailers at the I-275 south rest stop.

The statues, best known for their eyes that glow at night, were sent out for maintenance and upkeep this week. They had to come down from their perch while the scoreboard undergoes renovations, so this was as good of a time as any to check on them after 12 years of wear and tear.

Here are a couple photos sent in from a reader who saw them at the rest stop today. As someone mentioned, it’s amazing how huge those Tigers are compared to how they look from up on the scoreboard.

As for the scoreboard renovations, the Tigers still haven’t released details on them. But considering every new or renovated scoreboard at other Major League parks over the last five years (at least) has included a high-definition screen, it should be safe to assume the Tigers are getting the same. The question now seems to be how big it will be.

40 Comments

Wow. They look huge.

Im sitting at my desk looking out my window and they are sitting right in front of me not 50 feet away and they ARE HUGE! went out and looked at them and have a bunch of photos. They are here for safe keeping until they resume their trek on Monday

What a beautiful sight to see. Thanks for the pictures, Jason. Hopefully the renovation of the score board will be HD and a larger screen. Not sure if that can be accomplished, but ours looks itty-bitty compared to some other scoreboards out there.

“Smyly, who also played for Team USA in the IBAF World Cup earlier in October, started one game during the Pan Am Games. Smyly started against Panama and earned the victory, throwing six shutout innings with four strikeouts. Smyly did not allow a run in his three starts in the World Cup and Pan Am Games, going 2-0 with 17 shutout innings and 17 strikeouts”

Drew has definitely got something going. Will be interesting.
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Dane Sardinha signs into Baltimore’s system. Limited offensive skills but the Dane seemed to be pretty popular during his short tenure in Detroit as a backup. There was a big hit against Colorado, I think it was. 32 years old and he’s still playing, so good for him.

Smyly, Oliver, Wilk, Turner…..gosh we sure have a bunch of bright young kids trying to make the club this year. exciting to say the least!

and the list goes on – can’t really remember a going into a ST with this much depth at pitching

Speaking of the scoreboard renovation has there been any talk of them fussing with the dimensions of the playing field at Comerica? The straight center field fence at the extreme left end is gotta be over 430′ IMO. I have seen a lot of Alex Avila’s blasts die out there!
I’d like to see them taper the CF fence off in deep left and right center. A lot of the personality of the park is it’s unique size but let’s try to sync the park to the slugging philosopy just a little bit more. And the argument that it is helpful to JV is just not a good one. That guy could pitch on a softball diamond.

But Max and the rookies need it… In the 80´s Tiger Stadium had the home plate moved a little to help Morris and Petry, fastball controled pitchers that striked a lot but allowed their quota of HRs

The flip side there is that we’ve had centerfielders, Jackson and Granderson, who could cover that ground and turn it to our advantage. Remember that sliding, diving catch that Grandy made against us in game four of the ALDS? I was at that game, had a good angle from behind the plate, and said “he’s got that” as soon as he broke for the ball. I guess I had seen enough of Curtis out there over the years. Great catch, though.

risk-wise, I’d rate them as MOST Risky-> Reyes- Darvish- Fielder- Pujols <- LEAST Risky
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imo worst case scenario is that Fielder has a career path resembling Mo Vaughn, best case would be a Frank Thomas/Jim Thome type career.

A couple of WS trips and an MVP and they can unload Fielder on the Yankees. ARod wont last forever

Fielder, Cabby, Delmon, Boesch, Avila. I just don’t want to see these guys hitting big flies that don’t deserve to be outs. I agree that our pitching benefits from the park. I agree that AJ can turn CF into Death Valley on defense.
BUT, the Tigers are building a team based on power. In fact, if you try to build a team to suit your park they should be getting guys who can play D, run and hit the gap.
Ironically they have built a team that is not designed for the kind of park we have.
I like the team and I think it will be a very pleasant year for Tiger fans. I’m only saying that even a slight adjustment in the dimensions would actually help the kind of team we have more than hinder it.
That being said it’s obvious the park isn’t gonna change. I do hope they are able to find a way to offset the thumpers with speed and defense in subsequent years. i.e. when Delmon leaves replace him with those attributes, same for VMart and Peralta when the time comes. This year I hope it is just fun to watch our offense and the maturation of Porcello and Scherzer.

Actually, Comerica is a neutral ballpark in terms of hr – ranked 14/30 in the mlb. I’d rather have warning track outs than dingers in the top of the 9th.

AJ, Boesch….and dirks/kelly can make the gaps small…..but i agree with the infield defense.

Next topic for rebuttal:
Cespedes.
I don’t think the Tigers will go hard after him. Delmon is likely going to get a modicum of DH time allowing Dirks to play out there a bit. Delmon is an everyday player. If they get Cespedes they need to play him and it won’t be at DH, thus leaving Delmon in a role he won’t like much—especially with his FA year coming up.
Though I would really like to see Cespedes play and love to see the Tigers benefit from it, I don’t think there is a good fit for him here right now. They could place him in Toledo to adjust and go with Delmon until the trade deadline but I honestly don’t think there is the will or need to deviate from the win now formula and the players that are tried and tested already.

I’ve thought that Cespedes was going to Miami all along and still do. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Miami brass leak some stories to the local press in an attempt to drive the signing price down, if it comes to that. What’s this guy really worth? I’d say the same as any aging, unproven, but highly ranked prospect. It will be interesting to see how he pans out……..with another club, thank you.
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Re Delmon, some stories have come out which, taken the wrong way, could make it appear that he’s making demands. I don’t buy that. Of course the guy wants to play in the field, who wouldn’t? My opinion is that nobody should be a full time DH except under the rarest of circumstances. Victor was an example of those circumstances last year; he DH’d everyday and didn’t miss a beat, which was his most remarkable achievement of the season. Not many guys can do that. Look at Adam Dunn. Leyland, with his penchant for creating lineups, should have a lot of fun this season as he rotates that DH slot as I hope he does. There’s no good reason, with the makeup of this roster, that anyone needs to get substantially more time in the DH role than anyone else.
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That was a rather long winded non-rebuttal, Dan. I agree with you.

yeah, I expect Leyland will rotate the DH slot among several players. the usual suspects (Fielder, Cabrera, Young), but probably also Avila and Peralta at times. what will be most interesting is whether Leyland specifically avoids playing Cabrera at 3b when certain groundball pitchers (Porcello and Fister) are on the mound. my guess is that Cabrera ends up with the most starts at DH this season, but by a narrow margin.

there is talk about regularly playing DH negatively affecting a hitter’s performance. is that any more likely than a player’s poor defense negatively affecting his hitting? some guys just have bats that are oblivious to these issues (Manny Ramirez to name one). i suspect Fielder and Cabrera also fit in that category.

I always thought that it was poor hitting that could effect a player’s fielding, so I’d say the DH factor has a potentially bigger negative impact on offense than poor defense.

All I can say is feeling so lucky the Tigs don’t have to add either a DH or pop into our lineup with the current list of availables looking like aged fizz.
Choosing Manny or Magglio would present a better than 80% chance you are going to get stung one way or another.
I hope Magglio and Carlos are able to bow out some time in the future with grace, a shame about professional sports with the money encouraging the stars to often hang on too long.

The DH situation for JL this year is a treat. Rotation and the flexibllity offered due to injuries (especially those that require speed or running) will afford him the luxury of getting the most of his players. He is good at that.
a “designated” DH often leads to inflexibility in the lineup and the current roster has a lot of players that can benefit from the assingnment being shared—and that is even before the dark shadow of injury rears its ugly head. In fact I would not be surprised if this year’s use of the DH in Detroit does not lead to a “rethink” of the definition we have come to accept.

For what it’s worth Dan, I happen to agree with you that bringing in the CF fence and gaps would be beneficial. Even 15-20 feet would be good. Ironically, the team generally is not built for the park or the other way around depending on how you look at it. Sometimes I think CF is ridiculously deep. If the CF fence was moved in, AJ could then play shallower and still reach the fence. And fewer balls would drop in front of him. (Not that that many do)
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Regarding the HR ranking of 14/30, that stat might be somewhat skewed by the fact that NL pitchers bat, which theoretically reduces the potential for NL HR’s by 10%. With the dimensions as they are, the optimal roster formula for Comerica might be something like strong pitching, 2, maybe 3 big power hitters, and a bunch of guys with speed, defense, and hitting for average. Right now, speed and infield range are lacking.

Actually Comerica was tied for 11th in HRs given up. 4 NL parks gave up more.

Comerica Park Dimensions
Left-field fence, 345 feet
Left-field power alley, 370 feet
Center field, 420 feet
Right-field power alley, 365 feet
Right-field fence, 330 feet
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Tiger Stadium
Left-field, 340′
Left-field power alley, 365′
Center field, 440′
Right-field power alley, 375′
Right-field, 325′
Not much difference in the dimensions between the two parks, yet Tiger stadium was considered a HR park and Comerica isn’t. I think it has more to do with TS having a 2nd deck in the outfield being open. The ball just doesn’t carry as well.
I vote no on moving the fences.

Should have read: I think it has more to do with TS having a 2nd deck in the outfield and Comerica being open.

395 Left -field power alley before Juan González. The change was made long after he was gone, but he asked it.
You are right , it is not about distance but humidity, wind , temperature.
When Damon was signed someone said that 17 of his 24 hrs would be HRs at CoPa. No way, the ball travelled that distance under different conditions.We hope that Miller Park is about the same as CoPa

Good stuff on the dimensions. Technically speaking, the RF overhang at Tiger Stadium subtracted about ten feet on higher flyballs. Just going from memory, it didn’t come into play a whole lot, but I can remember a number that caught the overhang or banged off it. One famous one is Tommy Matchick’s walkoff against Baltimore in July of 1968. I had a perfect angle on that from my seat in the bleachers and Frank Robinson was just waiting for that ball to come down in his glove for the final out. It landed in the overhang instead for a dramatic game-winner.

I remember listening to the game on the radio and yelling and screaming about it all through the house. Two days later he hit another to tie the game in the 5th. Freehan was on for both HRs. He only hit 4 in his career

Freehan was on base, that’s right. He came up with one out and runners on first and third, and had been hitting into a lot of DPs. My friend and I had something we wanted to get to in a hurry after the game, a party or something, and I was sure Freehan would hit into a DP to end it. I told my buddy be ready to run and beat the crowds out of here. Sure enough, big Bill slaps a grounder to short and we began sprinting down the steps. For some reason, the Orioles botched the DP attempt and Freehan beat it out while a run scored to cut the deficit to one run. We slammed on the brakes and waited for Matchick’s AB. When Tommy hit the homer, we jumped in the air, high fived, and again sprinted for the exits, for real this time. Funny the details you remember all these decades later.

If you wanna generate interesting discussion just throw out an opinion, like I did, and there you go. Good job of showing the comparison Mayo. Dead center still looks cavernous to me, but having never been to Comerica, to really get a feel for it, my opinion is not as valued as those of you who have been there. I’m fine accepting it as is (how magnanimous of me) :-) Still agree with Dan that the team is not perfectly built for the park, though it benefits power pitching.
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Regarding 14/30 or tied for 11/30, both stats put the park slightly ahead of the median in HRs given up, which is somewhat of a surprise to me. There are other factors that come into play along with dimensions, general prevailing winds, humidity, stadium structure etc. Home team power numbers would be one. One stat that validates my point was that only 4 NL parks gave up more HRs than Comerica. Again, that would make sense since NL pitchers hit. Wouldn’t be surprised if those 4 parks are smaller than average. But could be wrong about that too.
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Am envious of you Rich. Hope you have a great time in Lakeland. My wife teaches, so her break is the last week of February. Doesn’t work out very well for SP. Still, we did get to see the very first game last year with Florida Southern. Felt bad (not really) for the FS pitchers who basically pitched batting practice to the Tigers. I got some good pics of Mr. Kaline’s son hiting. It was a good day. I remember watching Dirks. As I recall, he had a good game, and he went on to have a great ST. Victor struck out in his first AB and I can’t remember if he even batted a second time.

Well Marty, the last week of February is a great time to watch the workouts on those small back fields with the little bleachers. It’s like watching a little league practice except the names are Verlander, Cabrera, etc. Up close and personal. Leyland hits them infield like all the other thousands of managers at all levels. If I had small children, that’s where we’d be.

Just watch out for the gates being locked if you go inside Marchant! ;-)

The Whitecaps are doing some renovations themselves, and putting up a manual scorebaord, and high def screen of their own. Should look really good when it’s all done.
If they want to add some statues to Comerica, how about one of Tram and Whitaker turning two….
–Mike

Can you just imagine Opening Day?

The most I offer Cespedes is 3 years. Ideally one and he would never go for 2 (sophmore jinx year), but 3 is a number where everyone can get what they want and more if they choose then.

3 years – 9 million dollars + 2 million dollars each year he has over something like 400 ABs at the major league level

Athletics Agree To Sign Yoenis Cespedes

By Mike Axisa [February 13 at 11:12am CST]

The Athletics have agreed to terms with Yoenis Cespedes, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). He will be able to become a free agent at the end of the contract. Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle says that it’s a four-year deal worth $36MM, though it is still pending a visa and physical (Twitter links). Adam Katz represents the Cuban outfielder.

As Olney and MLB.com Scott Merkin remind us, the Athletics were among the finalists for Cuban players Aroldis Chapman and Alexei Ramirez in recent years (all Twitter links). MLB.com’s Peter Gammons heard that Cespedes’ representatives felt “the A’s wanted him more than anyone else.”

Cespedes, 26, became a free agent late last month and was recently unblocked by The Office of Foreign Asset Control according to Brown (on Twitter). Just last night we heard that the Marlins were in the lead for his services after showing him around their new ballpark and making an offer worth less than $40MM.
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Onward and Upward. Good news for Delmon Young, Andy Dirks and Ryan Raburn.

I wish those tigers would be removed totally, I hate them :(

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