On this date in Tigers history: Hello, Devil Rays; Adios, Sheff
Posted on March 31, 2016
I remember both of these so clearly.
This one was fun:
1998 – In their first game ever, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays lose to the Detroit Tigers, 11 – 6. Pitcher Wilson Alvarez takes the loss for Tampa while third baseman Wade Boggs hits the first home run in team history and drives in three runs.
Here’s the box score — Justin Thompson with the W! I remember Tom Gage’s game story lede being about two teams going in opposite directions. Man, we hoped so. In the end, both teams were bad. The ’98 Tigers finished at 65-97, last in the Central — their first in that division — 24 games out. The Rays wound up last in the A.L. East at 63-99.
This one hurt — and still hurts.
2009 – The Detroit Tigers surprisingly cut slugger Gary Sheffield, who is one home run shy of 500 for his career. Sheffield, a 9-time All-Star, is 25th on the all-time home run list and 27th in RBI (1,633). He only hit .178 in spring training, but went deep in 5 of 45 at-bats. He says he is not shocked, but is surprised. Marcus Thames will replace Sheffield as Detroit’s starting DH.
— From Baseball-Reference.com