Gerald Laird Likely to Lose at His Uniform-Number Shell Game

LairdHead.jpgOn May 29, Gerald Laird changed his uniform number from 8 to 12 in the hope his offensive luck would change. Who could blame him for trying something — anything — to inject some life into his bat.

How’s it worked? He’s 2 for 16, or .125 since the switcheroo.

Before he had clubhouse guy Jim Schmakel sew him up a new uni, Laird was 16 for 101, or .158. And his overall stats for Laird while wearing #8 — the ones we’ll compare below with his predecessors are: .184 avg., 5 HR, .271 OBP, .553 OPS

This uniform-change ploy got me thinking about recent Tigers players that wore number 8 or number 12 to see which had the best offensive numbers and if, based on recent history (going back to 1995ish), Laird might luck out by some numerical karma.

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Jose Lima Dies at 37

Who knew that when Jose Lima was called up to the Tigers in 1994 he would become a 20-game winner and a big-league character? Lima, whose best seasons in the majors came as a member of the Astros, died this morning at his home in Los Angeles of an apparent heart attack. He was just 37 years old.

The cause of death was ruled a heart attack, according to his wife, Dorca Astacio.

“Jose was complaining while sleeping and I just thought he was having a nightmare,” Astacio told ESPNdeportes.com. “I called the paramedics, but they couldn’t help him.”

Lima signed with the Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1989 and arrived in Detroit during the 1994 season, appearing in just three games. In 1995 he was primarily a starter for the last club Sparky Anderson would manage. Lima posted as 3-9 record with 6.11 ERA. The following year he split time between the rotation and the bullpen finishing at 5-6 with three saves.

On December 10, 1996, Tigers GM Randy Smith sent Lima, Brad Ausmus, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward to the Astros for Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash.

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