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.

On this Date in 1999: Brad Ausmus Returns Before Leaving Again

It’s hard to tell whether former Tigers general manager Randy Smith liked catcher Brad Ausmus or had it in for him. After all, Smith dealt for or dealt away Ausmus five times in seven years.

The first time was in 1993 when Smith was an assistant GM with the Rockies. Ausmus went to the Padres with Doug Bochtler and Andy Ashby for Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris.

The next time Ausmus was traded, on June 18, 1996, Smith was the Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager for the Padres. Smith sent Ausmus, Andujar Cedeno and minor leaguer Russ Spear to the Tigers for John Flaherty and Chris Gomez.

Six months later, Dec. 10, 1996, Smith cobbled together another one of his beloved multi-player trades, this time with his hometown Houston Astros — a team his father, Tal, helped shape over two decades. The Tigers traded Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski, and Daryle Ward to the Astros for Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash.

Then, nine years ago today, Jan. 14, 1999, the Tigers re-acquired Ausmus and Nitkowski from the Astros for Paul Bako, Dean Crow, Brian Powell and minor leaguers Carlos Villalobos and Mark Persails.

Head spinning? Just hang on.

Less than 11 months later, Ausmus was on the move again — back to the Astros, of course, this time with Brocail and Nelson Cruz for Roger Cedeno, Chris Holt and Mitch Meluskey. I was living in Houston at the time and frankly couldn’t believe it.

After shuttling between Detroit and Houston, Ausmus settled down to become a fixture on some talented Astros teams, including the 2005 World Series team. And to this day people in Houston flat-out love Ausmus.

Detroiters would have too, if he’d stuck around long enough.