All-time Tigers All-Stars

Cruising through Baseball-Reference’s All-Star section I was able to find a list of every Tigers player named to the American League squad.

Here are a few of the more interesting (i.e., surprising or forgotten) players on the list:

Brad Ausmus, 1999. He batted .275 that year.

Tony Clark, 2001. A solid year for Tony in ’01.

Robert Fick, 2002. Good lord, those were some dark days.

Prince Fielder, 2012, ’13. Seems about right.

Edwin Jackson, 2009. Other than his loss to the White Sox in Game 161, I have almost no recollection of Jackson’s time in Detroit.

Todd Jones, 2000. I guess.

Ron LeFlore, 1976. I’m surprised to see that LeFlore was named to only one All-Star team.

Matt Nokes, 1987. I’d forgotten Nokes was an All-Star but he certainly earned it with a great first half. He almost made us forget Lance Parrish. Almost.

Don Wert, 1968. This one I don’t get, for two reasons: The first is that Wert finished the season batting .200, so I don’t know what he was producing in July. The second is I don’t have any context for All-Star roster construction back then. I was born within three weeks of the game.

Discuss.

June 21, 1970: Tigers’ #7 goes 7 for 7

Gutierrez Cesar 1In the nightcap of a doubleheader in Cleveland, the Tigers’ Cesar Gutierrez goes 7 for 7 with six singles and a double to tie a record set in 1892, in a 12-inning, 9-8 win.

Mickey Stanley‘s home run wins it for the Tigers. Gutierrez came into the game hitting .218, and was hitless in his previous 18 at bats. He will collect just seven hits in all of 1971, and 128 hits for his career.

Here’s the box score.

Clearing out a crowded mental notebook

It’s been a while, I know, but a weeklong vacation to New Jersey followed by an annual physical and a balky back will do that to you.

Let’s empty my mental notebook before a family function this afternoon:

Thank you Jim Leyland for finally seeing that Marcus Thames provides more consistent offense than Craig Monroe. The man can hit (righties/lefties it doesn’t matter) and therefore deserves the opportunity to play five times a week. Fill in with Monroe if you must, but I’d just as soon see Ryan Raburn get the spot start out there as well. The kid worked hard to earn his way back up to the bigs, so reward him with the playing time.

I predicted to no one in particular (maybe it was just to myself) that Magglio Ordonez would have to cool off and it appears his offensive inferno has been put out. This isn’t a Home Run Derby hangover is it? That means it’s all the more important for Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco to get on so opposing pitchers can’t pitch around Gary Sheffield. Sheff will wind up leading this team in RBIs when it’s all said and done.

Speaking of Sheff, I’m with our host Mike McClary. I had no idea how good of a ballplayer he was. His baseball instincts are so good and he does the little things that put teams in a position to win games. It’s been a pleasure to watch him play. Of course D.J. on my t-ball team who insists on wagging his bat like Sheff scares the bejeebers out of me, but that’s a story for another day.

Sheffield’s productivity aside, I still think my MVP this year will be Granderson. He’s really growing into an all-around, five-tool player before us this year. He hits for power, has speed, and not enough is made of his fine defense. On a team full of players that are fun to watch, he’s the one I most enjoy. Maybe it’s because I feel the triple is the most exciting play in sport this side of an inside-the-park-homer or maybe it’s because he’s so effortless hawking balls in CF. No matter, he’s the guy I hope’s in the lineup when I show up at CoPa.

Todd Jones still doesn’t instill any confidence in me when he marches in from the pen. But aren’t Cleveland Indians fans saying the same thing about Joe Borowski?

J.J. Putz? Seriously? I believe I saw this kid in college and I never could have predicted this.

Say what you will about the Wildcard in baseball, but it certainly has had the desired effect on teams selling off high-priced players by the end of the July. With over half of each league still in the mix for the post-season, it sure looks like the Tigers are going to have to overpay to get anything of quality to shore up their bullpen.

Ty Cobb died 46 years ago today at the age of 74. Irrascible yes, but I guarantee you he wouldn’t allow Monroe and others to swing at the first pitch after the pitcher walked the previous batter on four straight pitches. To me it’s inexcusable.

Speaking of Cobb, I’ve been reading New Baltimore author Tom Stanton’s latest book Ty and The Babe. An excellent read that chronicles their vituperative-filled playing days and then their peculiar friendship that led to a three-match golf tournament in 1941. Some terrific nuggets to be found in there, like the fact Ruth’s second wife Claire had dated Cobb years before. Who knew?

Is there a better way to fall asleep than to the soothing tones of a baseball game? Sounds crazy I know, but I ponied up and bought XM primarily so I could have baseball filling my ears as I drifted off to sleep. Best $200 I’ve ever spent.

Now if only we could do something about that Price fellow who works for the Tigers!

I went to Cooperstown earlier this year with my father. I thought many of you would find it interesting to note that Gabe Kapler has a Tigers’ jersey in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, that Gabe Kapler! It’s his jersey from the Tiger Stadium finale with no name or number on it when he was representing Cobb. Couldn’t they have chosen Robert Fick‘s #25 in honor of Norm Cash? After all, he cleared the roof in that game against KC.