Today’s Tiger: Morris Madden

Morris Madden

  • Born: Aug. 31, 1960 in Laurens, S.C.
  • Bats: Left Throws: Left
  • Height: 6′ 0″ Weight: 155 lb.
  • Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Nov. 23, 1985.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 1 (1987)
  • Uniform Number: 42
  • Stats: 0-0, 16.20 ERA, 1.2 IP

MorrisMadden.jpg

Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember Morris Madden‘s mini-career with the Tigers. He pitched just twice for Detroit during the 1987 season and one look at his stats tells you why.

On June 11 versus Milwaukee at Tiger Stadium, he came in during the sixth inning to relieve Eric King (who had relieved starter Jeff Robinson) with the bases loaded and promptly walked Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner. In his one inning of work, he allowed two earned runs and three walks. The Tigers lost the game 8-5.

Robinson’s next start, five days later at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the lefty Madden came in to start the fifth inning. The first hitter he faced, Fred McGriff doubled to center, then Garth Iorg grounded out to Alan Trammell, advancing McGriff to third. Tony Fernandez singled, Lloyd Moseby flied out to center, then Jesse Barfield got an infield single. And that was the end of Morris Madden’s Tigers career.

Less than a month later, on Aug. 12, 1987, Madden was sent by the Tigers to the Pirates to complete the Aug. 7, 1987 trade of Darnell Coles for Jim Morrison.

If you’re wondering how he fared with Jim Leyland‘s Pirates, well it depends on the year. In 1988, he appeared in five games, allowed five hits and seven walks in five innings (!) but didn’t allow a run. In ’89, Madden pitched 14 innings across nine games — including three starts — he allowed a stunning 13 walks, 17 hits, 14 runs, 11 earned. Final ERA: 7.07.

On Nov. 21, 1989, he was released by the Pirates and while he pitched for the AAA Albuquerque Dukes in 1990, his major-league career was over.

Today’s Tiger: Mickey Tettleton

Mickey Tettleton

  • Born: Sept. 16, 1960 in Oklahoma City
  • Height: 6′ 2″ Weight: 200 lb.
  • Acquired: Traded by the Orioles to the Tigers for Jeff Robinson on Jan. 11, 1991.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 4 (1991-94)
  • Uniform Number: 20
  • Stats: .249 avg., 112 HR, 333 RBI, .867 OPS
  • Awards: Silver Slugger (1991, ’92) All Star (1994)

Who didn’t like Mickey Tettleton? He was built like a tank, stood ramrod straight at the plate and could crush the ball from either side of the plate. And, he wasn’t half-bad behind the plate.

Mickey Tettleton.jpgTettleton came to Detroit in a steal of a trade from the Orioles 20 years ago next week, the Tigers sending once-promising righty Jeff Robinson to Baltimore in the deal.

After four nondescript seasons with the A’s in which he never hit more than 10 home runs, Tettleton was released by Oakland and signed by the Orioles at the end of March 1988. That season he hit 11 homers but struck out 117 times in 411 at bats.

In 1989, however, he became a dangerous hitter, clubbing 26 homers and earning an All-Star appearance. And while his strikeouts rose along with his plate appearances, so did his walks. In 1990, he fanned 160 times (a career high) but walked 106.

Why would the Orioles, who weren’t exactly brimming with offensive talent, want to part ways with Tettleton? According to this story, they “did not want to pay him more than $1 million to be backup to Bob Melvin.” Bob Melvin! And shortly thereafter his ticket to Detroit was punched.

“He has good defensive skills and is adept at working with pitchers,” acting Tigers General Manager Joe McDonald said. “In addition, he brings even more punch to our lineup.”

And how.

Continue reading “Today’s Tiger: Mickey Tettleton”

Happy Birthday, Jeff Robinson

Today is the 47th birthday of Jeff Robinson, a once-promising starting pitcher for the Tigers and one of my favorite short-timers.

Jeff Robinson

The 6 ft. 6 in. Robinson broke in with the Tigers on April 12, 1987 with a brilliant performance against the White Sox at old Comiskey Park. Robinson went seven innings scattering just six hits, giving up one run (earned), three walks and striking out five.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Jeff Robinson”

Happy Birthday, Morris Madden

Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember Morris Madden‘s mini-career with the Tigers. He pitched just twice for Detroit during the 1987 season and one look at his stats tells you why.Madden Morris

On June 11 versus Milwaukee at Tiger Stadium, he came in during the sixth inning to relieve Eric King (who had relieved starter Jeff Robinson) with the bases loaded and promptly walked Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner. In his one inning of work, he allowed two earned runs and three walks. The Tigers lost the game 8-5.

Robinson’s next start, five days later at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the lefty Madden came in to start the fifth inning. The first hitter he faced, Fred McGriff doubled to center, then Garth Iorg grounded out to Alan Trammell, advancing McGriff to third. Tony Fernandez singled, Lloyd Moseby flied out to center, then Jesse Barfield got an infield single. And that was the end of Morris Madden’s Tigers career.

Less than a month later, on Aug. 12, 1987, Madden was sent by the Tigers to the Pirates to complete the Aug. 7, 1987 trade of Darnell Coles for Jim Morrison.

If you’re wondering how he fared with Jim Leyland‘s Pirates, well it depends on the year. In 1988, he appeared in five games, allowed five hits and seven walks in five innings (!) but didn’t allow a run. In ’89, Madden pitched 14 innings across nine games — including three starts — he allowed a stunning 13 walks, 17 hits, 14 runs, 11 earned. Final ERA: 7.07.

On Nov. 21, 1989, he was released by the Pirates and his career was over. But today we celebrate his 48th birthday. Three cheers for Morris Madden.