Road Trip: Taking in the Tigers and Orioles at Camden Yards

There are two words in the English language that get me, as Thumper might’ve told Bambi, twitterpated.

Those words … Road Trip!

I suspect it has something to do with my former career as a sports writer when I crisscrossed the Midwest following the team I was covering to various remote outposts.

Doug and his family on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards earlier this month.

More likely, however, my love of seeing the home team in enemy territory stems from my upbringing in rural Decatur, Ind., where there was no home team to root for.

We were equidistance from Cincinnati, Chicago, and Cleveland. I suppose you could say my father and I were a couple of the original road warriors.

Whatever the reason, I’ve truly grown to appreciate being a stranger in a strange ballpark, stadium, arena, or concert hall.

The beauty of being that stranger is the discovery. It’s not as though I’ve become Lewis and Clark, but it’s the exhilaration of approaching the gates, handing that smiling face my ticket, and embarking on three hours of new adventures. What unknown architectural wonders, concession stands, and native customs await me after I pass through the turnstiles?

I’ve taken such trips with friends, gone solo, and, more recently, enjoyed the occasional road trip with my family. Mercifully, my wife Carol, daughter Helena, and son Jake, all enjoy baseball enough that two-plus hours at a ballpark are possible.

Such was the case during our Spring Break 2011 trip to Maryland. Following a four-day walking tour of our nation’s capital, we embarked for a couple of days in Baltimore – including a Tigers-Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Continue reading Road Trip: Taking in the Tigers and Orioles at Camden Yards

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

Tigers Today: September 16, 2010

NelsonSimmons.jpgTigers’ Record:

72-74, 3rd place; 15.5 GB

Today’s Game

Off Day

Yesterday’s Results

Rangers 11 – Tigers 7

Continue reading Tigers Today: September 16, 2010

Tigers Today: September 7, 2010

BallBatGrass.jpgTigers’ Record:

68-70, 3rd Place; 13 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. White Sox | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (14-8, 3.61 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (11-5, 4.82 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

White Sox 5 – Tigers 4 (10 innings)

Continue reading Tigers Today: September 7, 2010

Tigers Today: July 6, 2010

PickOffSmall.jpg**Sorry this one’s coming late in the day. I was traveling and got online later than expected. This one include information about tonight’s win and Monday’s too.**

Tigers’ Record:

45-37, 1st place; 1/2-game lead over Twins

Today’s Results

Tigers 7 – Orioles 5 (11 innings)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 12 – Orioles 9

Continue reading Tigers Today: July 6, 2010

Tigers Today: June 26, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

39-33, 2nd place; 1/2-game behind Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Braves | 4 p.m. ET – Turner Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (4-6, 5.67 ERA) vs. RH Kenshin Kawakami (0-9, 4.78 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Braves 3 – Tigers 1 | Fungo Recap

Continue reading Tigers Today: June 26, 2010

Wednesday Walewanders: Backing Up, Bumming Out, and Mickey Tettleton’s Birthday

spaghetti.jpgI can’t seem to get rid of this beeping sound in my ears. I’m starting to think it’s the Tigers backing into a division title or backing out of the playoffs.

Can’t decide.

  • Given the Tigers’ suddenly porous rotation, don’t they at least have to consider throwing Jeremy Bonderman out there to start? Even if he goes only four innings or so, at least he’s capable and experienced. I’d take him over the current version of Armando Galarraga.

  • And why not start Zach Miner? Jim Leyland says he’s “too valuable” in the bullpen but I just don’t buy that one.

  • Rob Neyer digs a little deeper into Curtis Granderson‘s woes and asks an important question:

    With the Tigers likely to face both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in a Division Series next month, I wonder if Jim Leyland will have the guts to bench Granderson in two of the first three games.

    What do you think? Will he?

  • Kurt tweeted about this late last night and it doesn’t sound good for Jarrod Washburn, does it? As the Fungo‘s Doug Hill noted shortly after Washburn’s arrival, Dave Dombrowski‘s record for acquiring veteran pitchers via trade has been questionable at best.

  • I get more bummed about the Ernie Harwell situation everyday.

  • Repeating myself: Good for Magglio.

Finally, here’s a heaping helping of Tigers birthdays for today: Chris Pittaro (48), Scott Medvin (48), Mickey Tettleton (49) and Vito Valentinetti (81)

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