Leyland to have Torii Hunter address AL All-Stars

Before the American League All-Stars took the field for batting practice Tuesday, Torii Hunter talked about the memorable pregame speeches that Ichiro Suzuki used to make at All-Star Games.

“Ichiro was funny, man,” Hunter said. “Every year he gave a little speech. It was pretty weird, can’t give you everything. It’ll be weird without him up here, but somebody’s going to have to step up and take that role, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a guy that’s going to make All-Stars for the next 10 years. We’ll see.”

Hunter had no idea when he said it that the guy to step up was going to be him. His manager, Jim Leyland, had already decided it.

“When the FOX crew comes in, I’m going to actually have Torii Hunter address the team,” Leyland told the Detroit area writers. “He’s a 17-year veteran, very well respected.”

FOX records the pregame speeches from the respective clubhouses for its pregame show. Leyland said he’ll talk with the All-Stars off camera, but mainly to address game issues like going over signs.

Leyland called Hunter an elder statesman, though Mariano Rivera has actually played more years in the big leagues. Hunter’s outgoing personality, however, arguably lends itself better to a team speech.

“I think it would be more attractive for the fans, maybe to see what a player has to say rather than an old manager saying this game means something,” Leyland said. “I think it’s good. Torii can express himself however he wants, and that’s what I want him to do. I just felt I think he’s the elder statesmen, a 17-year veteran, maybe just [talking about] what it means to him and what we’re trying to accomplish here.

“I just thought it was a good idea. In fact, I thought it was a brilliant idea.”

Hunter is making his fifth All-Star appearance, and his first since 2010. His fellow Major League players voted him onto the team as a reserve, a sign of how much respect he has around the game. With his 38th birthday coming up on Thursday, this could well be his last All-Star Game.

He isn’t likely to make the same type of speech that Ichiro made — those weren’t exactly clean for network television — but he’s likely to speak from the heart.


Unlike many of you I do enjoy the ASG. Looks like our star Miggy is having a great time.

Cabrera for MVP.
Fielder in.

I sure hope JL puts Mariano in to close. What a career he has had, New York will miss him.

JL does a better job of managing a bullpen like this than ours eh?
Seriously though, late inning strategy in the 7th where he has his LOOGY throw to one batter than he takes him out. Seems to get tempted to leave our LOOGY in too long.

Whew–can that Kimbrel ever throw. He’s a beauty.

Mariano Rivera. Absolutely incredible. What a way to honour this amazing talent.

I wasn’t sure if Mariano would be able to pitch after that greeting. Emotional moment. I’ve never known anyone to say anything negative about Rivera. Helluva guy.
I do have the game on but not watching as closely as a Tigers game. It’s alway fun to watch the current crop of players joined by the newer and older ones. You can see the time and the seasons pass by before your eyes.

Mariano’s stats are beyond belief. Years upon years of ERAs under 2.00.
A career WHIP of 1.005!
A year where he walked 6 men!
On and on they go.

It’s nice to see the guys become kids again.
What a heads up play by Carpenter. Can you imagine if Prince were to have managed an inside the parker?!

Prince……chin plant triple! Again reminded of why I love this game so much. The best game ever invented. Mariano, Neil Diamond, Sweet Caroline, Marc Anthony, God Bless America, Miguel, Max, Jhonny, Torii, JL, Jason Grilli. Most importantly, the American heroes honored. Our team hopefully wins. It does not get any better.

Wouldn’t it be something to see Leyland smile that much during our games? I never see it.

give him a fool proof bullpen and you might see that

There’s no such thing as a fool proof bullpen, but it appears our Jim needs one. I’ve wanted Benoit to close since last winter.
Granted I’m not down in the dugout, but Jim appears to manage tight and his team plays tight.

Enjoyed that. Our guys did well.
Give it (he actually earned it) to Mariano!!!
If not Chris Sale deserves consideration.

good game. every time i looked up a tiger was contributing!

Fun all-star game last night, I enjoyed that one as much as any of them before. Tigers did us proud.

same here.

Report Cards are fashionable now. Mine:
Avila D-
Pena B
Fielder B-
Omar A-
Peralta B+
Cabby A+
Dirks D
AJ B (has to play with more intensity and be willing to get dirty)
Torii A-
2E A
Kelly C
Ramon D
Max A
Sanchez B+
Mr. Fister B-
Porcello C
Benoit A
Smyly A
Coke F
Papa Grande F
AlAl C
Downs C-
Putkonen C

i would agree mostly except: give Porcello a B+ and Kelly a B also.

Over team W-L record: C


If JL smiled more managing HIS team…I Ilke that comment. I saw a different Leyland, one I would like to see more of in the 2nd half. Really enjoyed the coverage on MLB network. I had to turn off the sound on Fox. Go Tigers!

It is not surprising. He saves all his politeness for the national stage.
— Bob

well they probably don’t bother him with asinine questions constantly. no offense to any reports – it’s just their job.

“they (the national media) probably don’t bother him with asinine questions constantly”
Did you read what you just wrote?

Joe and Tim’s late inning analysis of the Tigers, along the lines of:
“They need a closer!”
“They MUST get a closer!”
“The Tigers will HAVE to acquire a closer!”
“Other than not having a closer, the team is terrific!”
See, that’s why you listen to them. They know things that we don’t, you learn thing you didn’t know about your team, and they’re always right. Right?
Memo to Joe and Tim: we have a closer.

Talking about grades….. today I successfully defended my PhD thesis at the U of Michigan.

Congratulations. But if it was that good, you shouldn’t have had to defend it. 🙂

thank buddy easily defendable

Congratulations. Now, the Post Doc?

starts august 26th! working with the state climatologist office in Vermont helping them inform the air quality and forest health divisions of the state agency for natural resources. great job – however – i am now going to have more difficulty in watching, and even listening, to the games. I’ll be on lake champlain – got water front, DOK!!

Evan, I like Porcello. I think he will likely get better, but a B+? Maybe a C+ but I can’t see him rated up there with Sanchez and Verlander.
Next year I think we will see Fister gone. That might not be a popular move with a lot of fans as he is such a competitor and when he’s on he’s as good as anyone. But he will be another year older and room has to be made for Smyly.
I believe LF will sort itself out. Probably this year, but certainly next.
Ou bullpen is going to need reinforcements. We can’t expect Benoit and Smyly to pitch any better than they have the rest of the way.
We can’t HOPE that Q will blossom into someone who can control the strike zone and become consistent. We can’t dream that Coke will be an Aroldis Chapman or Downs a Oliver Perez. We need at LEAST one solid late inning capable reliever and if he is not left-handed then we need another one who is.
A bullpen consisting of what we have now will simply not be able to win a championship. There are 5 other guys besides Benoit and Smyly that have to be able to get outs.
I still think calling up Alvarez and putting him in the bullpen is a viable option.

well i do feel that he is substantially better than last year, porcello that is.

I’m sure DD will add relievers in the next two weeks. I don’t think it needs to be a closer, though. I’d rather add two arms than one and leave Benoit where he’s excelling. Sorry I don’t have time to project any names. Actually this week off is welcome.

Congratulations Evan!


Anyone word on Infante’s ankle?

yea good point!! what’s the word!!

In order to wind championships ,i>everybody has to make solid contributions.
It is July and it is David Dombrowski’s turn to do just that.
He has done well in the past at this time of year, once could suggest, really well, in fact.

wait how do those grades pan out? Trade deadline acquisitions of Dave Dombrowski’s. For example, I know in 2009 I wasn’t happy but most years I am.


Prospects: Wil Myers hit .387 with 37 HRs and 107 RBIs in 2012. In 134 games!

I don’t know about this guy:
“According to Detroit officials, Valverde left the team to attend to a family matter, and there is no timetable for his return. Toledo will play games in Louisville today and Sunday, then take three days off for the All-Star break before beginning a series in Buffalo Thursday, July 18.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Mud-Hens/2013/07/13/Mud-Hens-place-Jose-Valverde-on-inactive-list-as-pitcher-attends-family-matter.html#YBVCDYIzP4UTuAFZ.99

I seem to remember him disappearing from his team during the Baseball Classic this spring too.
How does he think he is ever going earn his way back? I think the problem is the word earn. I believe he figures it means entitled.

very interesting. DD is going to have a hard time pretending jVV is going to come back and make a contribution.

Stick a fork in him!

baked potato

jVV got the save for the mud hens last night.

watched the double header (both replays) on FSN. first game was the game sanchez pitched nearly a no hitter the second game was the walkoff against the redsox (peralta homerun in the 9th).
Sure was nice to see the smiles. I felt like the first half was a disappointment in the offense and bullpen, yet it exceeded expectations for the starting pitching. I think the bullpen will be fixed by DD – the offense (late in games in particular) will do overachieve (and yes, i do think jhonny will be gone in a month) and the starting pitching stumbles a little bit. Just hunches.

Anybody here trade Avi for Perkins?

By the way—I wouldn’t

i would like perkins….but for avi…..ugh you might need to — gotta give up someone

Absolutely noway! You don’t trade top prospects for RELIEF pitchers.

unless you need like 2 good relievers….which, we do.

One of Fields, Collins, Vazquez, even Mercedes would be enough for most relievers. For Perkins , two of them.

ok fair enough. to be honest with you it seems that every year i undervalue relief pitching. Most move for guys i’ve never heard of.

i ment overvalue

How would you like to have a closer that can spot a 96 mph fastball, a put away changeup and a killer slider, along with tons of big game experience? Okay, we already have that guy. Just get one (or two?) decent back end arms and we’re good to go there.
The issue, if there is one, will be the team’s ability to do the things necessary to win close ballgames. That’s where the Tigers have fallen down this year.

If you were the GM – what would you do to ensure the ballclub wins close ballgames? Is there anything you could do, but…..hope and dream?

Nothing to be done for it. Hope it’s an anomaly that will turn around.

I mean, it’s the 8th inning, it’s tied, and Jackson, Hunter, Cabrera, Fielder and Martinez are due to hit. You’d think something would happen.

for the record, i can’t think of anything either. besides maybe canning the skip.

Rich, what bout a 7th inning stretch snack? It worked when I played soccer as a youngster. Orange slices, juice boxes, etc.

Cameron from Fangrpahs thinks that will even out by itself.

Drew VerHagen, is getting a lot of attention, Could he be the trade chip?

Since 7/1 we have a 9-5 record. We have played only one 1-run game. We won it. We played one extra inning game. V-Mart won it with a two run double in Cleveland. Next up KC and Chicago. Division games on the road. Great opportunity for us. Let’s have some fun. Goooo Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

is it gametime yet? are we there yet? 😦

getting close! Go Tigers!

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