Good morning and welcome to the first weekend of the second half. Jim Leyland’s roster has a new look today as the Tigers have activated Carlos Guillen and Al Alburquerque from the disabled list. Guillen returns after 11 months on the shelf. To make room the Tigers are optioning Danny Worth and Ryan Perry to Toledo.
[callout title=The Rundown]
The Tigers are in second place, one game behind the Indians.
There are 15 days left until the July 31 trade deadline.
Happy 57th birthday to Jim Lentine who hit .261 in 67 games for the 1980 Tigers.
On this date in 1997, the Tigers made two deals, first acquiring catcher Marcus Jensen from the Giants for catcher Brian Johnson, and then received outfielder Earl Johnson from the Padres for infielder Dave Hajek.
Leading Off: The White Sox solved Justin Verlander in a big way Friday night as the Tigers opened the second half of the season with an 8-2 dud at Comerica Park. Verlander allowed seven hits and five runs (four earned) in six innings. Miguel Cabrera hit his 19th home run in the fourth. Here’s the game story from the Chicago Sun-Times. And get a load of the headline.
Trade Deadline Conjecture: Every year we play this game, don’t we? The Tigers never give any indication of what they’re thinking as the trade deadline approaches so we’re have to scour the out-of-town papers to find something — anything — to chew on. Here’s something from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Baseball insiders believe the Detroit Tigers will continue big-game hunting before the July 31 trade deadline, hoping to land another front-line pitcher, such as Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez, or an impact position player, such as the Mets’ Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland are both in the final year of their contracts, so the team has a feeling of desperation. Most teams are afraid to unload prospects and mortgage the future; but most teams don’t have as much riding on one season as the 2011 Tigers.
Cleveland is in first place, and White Sox GM Kenny Williams is always dangerous, but the team that scares the Tigers the most is the Twins, who blew past them to steal division titles in 2006 and 2009.
Did You Know …? According to STATS, LLC, Justin Verlander last night became the first Tigers pitcher to start consecutive team games for the club since Mickey Lolich did so Sept. 26, 1967 at New York and Sept. 30, 1967 versus California. Detroit won both of Lolich’s starts in 1967.
17th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game Today: The Tigers will wear the uniform of the Detroit Stars from the Negro Leagues in the club’s 17th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game on Saturday afternoon. The White Sox will suit up in the uniforms of the Chicago American Giants.
Useless Information: The Tigers would have to beat the White Sox 15 consecutive times in Detroit to have a .500 record against them at Comerica Park.
Finally, Happy 43rd Birthday to Barry Sanders. I guess he really isn’t coming back.