August 17th, 2012

Tigers issue traffic tips for Saturday

The Lions are playing in Baltimore tonight, but Ford Field is going to be hopping this weekend for Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, who will be performing in concert in an event that begins at 4:30pm ET and is expected to run for most of the evening.

Put that traffic up with the Tigers game at 7:05 across the street, and you get the idea. The Tigers are estimating 85,000 people will be in attendance at two events separated by a two-lane street, so they issued a traffic advisory on Friday so fans could plan ahead.

If you’re driving downtown, the Olympia Development-owned parking lots east of Woodward Avenue will be reserved for fans attending the Tigers game. Fans will have to show a ticket or a parking pass, or they’ll need to have tickets waiting at will call. Tailgating in the lots will be prohibited in an effort to fit in as many fans as possible.

The Olympia Development-owned lots west of Woodward, on the other hand, are fair game for baseball fans and concert goers alike. Spots there will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tigers pull plug on V-Mart comeback for 2012

You might remember Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand saying a few days ago that Victor Martinez was “basically running out of time” to complete his rehab in time for a chance at coming back this season. That clock has officially run out.

Rand told reporters Friday at Comerica Park that the Tigers are now gearing Martinez’s comeback for next spring. His running progression, which was supposed to be the next hurdle if and when he got enough strength in his left leg, has been pushed to November, giving him enough time that the team medical staff expects him to be ready for the start of Spring Training next February.

“I’m anticipating [Martinez] being ready to go from Day 1,” Rand said.

It wasn’t for lack of effort, Rand emphasized. Essentially, he has been doing some sort of rehab since the end of January, when he had his microfracture surgery. But they couldn’t get his left leg strong enough to start a running progression, which he needed to do before he could begin baseball activities.

The final decision came on a Wednesday conference call with therapists handling Martinez’s rehab work.

“It got to a point where we looked at it and he doesn’t have enough time to do a running progression and start doing baseball activities,” Rand said.

It wasn’t an easy decision, and Rand said Martinez was “disappointed.” However, the move provides some clarity on what the Tigers will have for the postseason. More important for Martinez, it allows him to focus his effort on next season and not worry about putting his long-term health at risk for a quick comeback.

“We were not going to do anything to jeopardize [2013 and 2014],” Rand said.

Friday’s lineup: Tigers vs. Orioles

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Andy Dirks, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (1-for-6 off Tommy Hunter)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Alex Avila, C
  6. Delmon Young, DH (1-for-6 off Hunter)
  7. Brennan Boesch, RF
  8. Jhonny Peralta, SS (1-for-6 off Hunter)
  9. Omar Infante, 2B

P: Justin Verlander

ORIOLES

  1. Nick Markakis, RF
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Nate McLouth, LF
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Chris Davis, DH
  7. Mark Reynolds, 1B
  8. Manny Machado, 3B
  9. Omar Quintanilla, 2B

P: Tommy Hunter

 

Tigers-White Sox moved to Sunday night

For the second straight year, the Tigers and White Sox will play a Sunday night game at Comerica Park on Labor Day weekend. ESPN made the move official today, selecting the game for its national broadcast and shifting the game from what had been a 1:05pm ET start.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with an 8:06pm first pitch. It’ll be the second Sunday night game this season for the Tigers, who beat the Reds under the lights in June with a crazy eighth-inning comeback off Aroldis Chapman.

Of course, you’ll remember last year’s Tigers-White Sox matchup on Sunday night as the 18-2 rout that featured a five-run fourth inning and the seven-run sixth, completing a series sweep that pretty much sent them on their way to the AL Central title. If you include a win in Chicago in 2010, then the Tigers have beaten the White Sox on Sunday night in back-to-back Septembers.

Also like last year, the Tigers will have to bounce back quickly from a Sunday night game against the White Sox to a Labor Day matinee against the Indians. Unlike last year, though, the Tigers won’t have to travel to Cleveland for it, instead welcoming the Tribe to Detroit. The White Sox, meanwhile, return home to Chicago for a Labor Day evening affair with the Twins as part of a 10-game homestand.

Still unresolved is the game time for the following Sunday’s Tigers game against the Angels in Anaheim. That’s still listed as TBA, and ESPN hasn’t selected its Sunday night game for that weekend. That’ll be of particular interest to the Tigers, who have to fly to Chicago after that for a four-game series against the White Sox beginning Monday night.

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