The Non Sequiturs Return and So, Too, Will the Podcast

Many of you have written to ask what happened to the Detroit Tigers Podcast. Without going into the boring details, the fact is that Ian and I both were unavoidably detained over the past few months. But that’s about to change.

We will restart the podcast machine after the All-Star Game and take the second half by storm. More or less.

Thanks to everyone who’s been asking — and thanks for your patience as we carve out time to do a show we love producing for our listeners.

  • With Justin Verlander’s complete-game win yesterday at Coors Field, he limited the Rockies to one run on four hits. It marked the second-straight outing in which he tossed a complete game while limiting his opponent to as few as one run and four hits. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he joins Jack Morris (July of 1986) as the only two Tigers pitchers to accomplish the feat in consecutive outings during a single season over the last 33 seasons.
  • One-hundred years ago today Ty Cobb broke the American League hitting streak record with an infield single against Cleveland’s Willie Mitchell. It’s Cobb’s 30th straight game with a hit. He adds two stolen bases to help the Tigers win, 8-3.
  • Paul Swaney and crew at StadiumJourney.com continue their stellar work publishing reviews of pro and college sports stadiums. His goal this summer is to post a review of every affiliated minor league ballpark. Recently he posted reviews of Lakeland’s Joker Marchant Stadium and Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich., home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
  • How’s this for timely? Just the other day we wrote about Tigers players filling in at third base. The most prominent name on the list was Al Kaline. Fifty years ago today played third for the first time in his career. His two hits and two RBIs lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Senators at Griffith Stadium in D.C. He will return to the OF and play third base just once more in his career, in 1965.
  • From the Game Notes: The Tigers are batting .312 with 95 runs scored, 31 doubles, seven triples and 20 home runs in 18 games during June. Detroit is tops among all American League clubs with a .312 batting average during the month, while the club is second with 95 runs scored and a .477 slugging percentage.
  • One more historical note: On this date in 1984, Yankees reliever Jose Rijo falls to 1-7 when he serves up a two-out three-run homer to Howard Johnson in the 13th inning. The Tigers win 9-6. Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish and Chet Lemon also hit homers for the Tigers, who draw their third-straight crowd of more than 40,000.

Finally, Happy 78th Birthday to a terrific actor, Danny Aiello.

Sunday’s Tiger: Glenn Wilson

Glenn Wilson

  • Born: December 22, 1958 in Baytown, Texas
  • Bats: Right Throws: Right
  • Height: 6′ 1″ Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Acquired: Drafted by the Tigers in the 1st round (18th pick) of the 1980 amateur draft.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 2 (1982-83)
  • Uniform Number: 12
  • Stats: .278 avg., 23 HR, 99 RBI, .739 OPS

Twenty-seven years ago this past March, the Tigers orchestrated the trade that all but secured their 1984 World Series championship.

GlennWilsonIn case you’ve forgotten, on March 24 that year, the Tigers sent Glenn Wilson and catcher/first baseman extraordinaire John Wockenfuss to the Phillies for lefty reliever Willie Hernandez and first baseman Dave Bergman.

Certainly it worked out well that year, but I was disappointed that the Tigers traded one of my favorite players –Wilson – and one that Tigers many fans loved for his versatility, his name and his funky batting stance, Wockenfuss.

But back to the beginning.

Wilson made his major-league debut for the Tigers on Opening Day in Detroit against the Blue Jays on April 15, 1982. A rash of injuries to Tigers regulars — Eddie Miller (!) and Rick Leach — led the club to recall the 23-year-old Wilson and Howard Johnson from Triple-A Evansville.

“I was with the Tigers, not on the roster, during spring training,” Wilson told Tom Loomis of the Toledo Blade. “I never expected to be up here this year. I figured what I had to do was work hard down there and I’d get a good shot at the majors next year.”

Continue reading “Sunday’s Tiger: Glenn Wilson”

Tigers Today: June 20, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

37-30, 2nd place; 1.5 GB Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Diamondbacks | 1:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (3-6, 6.14 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (3-4, 3.57 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Diamondbacks 6 – Tigers 5 | Fungo Recap

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

  • 1994 — In a 7-1 loss to the Indians, the Tigers’ string of 25 straight games of hitting a home run ends. The streak tied the major-league record set by the 1941 Yankees.
  • 1980 — White Sox reliever Ed Farmer swears he will take criminal action against Detroit’s Al Cowens following an on-field brawl at Chicago’s Comiskey Park.Cowens hit a grounder to short, and then charged the mound instead of running to first. He wanted to deliver justice for an incident a year earlier when a Farmer pitch shattered Cowens’ jaw.

    American League President Lee MacPhail suspends Cowens for seven games. The Tigers win 5-3 in 11 innings. (Read more on Cowens in this Fungo Flashback.)

  • 1961Al Kaline plays third base for the first time in his career. His two hits and two RBIs lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Senators. Kaline will return to the outfield and play third just once more in his career, in 1965.
  • 1914 — The Tigers lose the services of Ty Cobb when he breaks his thumb in a fight with a butcher’s clerk. Cobb will be out until August 13.
  • 1911Ty Cobb breaks the American League hitting streak record with an infield single against Cleveland’s Willie Mitchell. It is Cobb’s 30th straight game with a hit. He adds two stolen bases to help the Tigers win, 8-3.

The Monday Report: 2 Weeks to Go

MondayReport.jpg>> The winds were howling here in Phoenix on Sunday — 45 m.p.h. gusts, dust galore, burning contact lenses — and I was thankful that I wasn’t sitting at a Cactus League game (something I don’t often say). But then I saw this story and had deep regret. Fifteen homers?!

>> So Freddy Dolsi got sent out of big-league camp yesterday. As we watched last season crater, I kept thinking that Dolsi’s experience would benefit him in the long run. Sending him to Triple-A to start this season makes sense. Get him into some pressurized situations in the IL and he could be a nice addition when the bullpen needs reinforcements.

>> Former Tigers farmhand James Skelton continues to get ink in the Phoenix paper about his attempts to make the Diamondbacks as a Rule 5 selection. Arizona is trying to make Skelton — a “card trick connoisseur” according to the piece — a utility player, or so it appears.

>> Every year I pickup The Sporting News‘ baseball preview issue and every year I realize I learned nothing new or different than what I gleaned from off-season reading on the Web. This year, however, I’m singing a different tune. It’s not half bad. In an effort to cram the pages to look like a CNBC feed, TSN added a blurb about each team’s best-ever third baseman. Here’s who they selected for the Tigers:

  1. George Kell
  2. Aurelio Rodriguez
  3. Don Wert

Other than Kell, that sure is some slim pickin’s. (Tom Brookens can’t get an Honorable Mention?) And just imagine if the Tigers had held onto Howard Johnson. Methinks he’s be number one. And to think Chris Brown didn’t make this list.

>> This should be a more offensive — offensive, that is — week in Lakeland for the Tigers. For the first time since who know when they’ll have the complete lineup. I doubt we’ll see anymore no-hitters (or shutouts) this Spring.

Talking with Johnny Grubb, Part II

JohnnyGrubb2.jpgThis is the second and final installment of my conversation with former Tigers outfielder and pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Johnny Grubb. You can find the first installment here.


Mike McClary: Heading into the 1984 season, was it a long off-season? It would seem like you would be chomping at the bit to get back on the field shortly after a little break. Was everyone coming into spring training raring to go?

Johnny Grubb: Yeah, I think so. I remember us getting Dave Bergman and Willie [Hernandez]. So they came over, and they fit right in with the team, too. I mean, we just had a good group of guys that got along, and Dave Bergman is a heck of a guy and so was Willie. So it worked out great.

MMc: Let’s talk about the ’84 season in general. Obviously, you got off to a great start, 9-0, and in the middle of that, Jack Morris throws a no-hitter. As you were getting older and becoming the seasoned veteran, were you really just enjoying about every moment of that season?

JG: Oh, gosh, yeah. It was fun to watch those guys play and every once in a while to jump in and do something myself. But it was a lot of fun watching Gibby and Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker and Darrell [Evans] — and Lance did a great job. And Howard Johnson had the great season for us. I thought he did a great job. And Larry Herndon and all those guys really did well in the pitching.

So really what I remember most about it is that I never really felt like we were out of any ballgame. Any lead a team could get, we felt like we could have a big inning and jump right back in the game. And we had real good pitching, so if we had the lead, we had Willie and [Aurelio] Lopez coming in to shut the door on them. The pitchers did their job, and the hitters did their job. And we just felt like we could win any game.

That 35-5 start really helped a lot, too. But I think that pretty much was an indicator of how strong we were because that’s pretty phenomenal when you think about a 35-5 start in the major leagues. That’s pretty good.

Continue reading “Talking with Johnny Grubb, Part II”