Last week, Tiger Stadium would have turned 100 years old. In a great column, Chris Jaffe runs through what he considers the 10 greatest games played at Tiger Stadium. My favorite on the list was the 1987 Blue Jays series. Good stuff as always out of Chris and if you want more from him, be sure to check out his run down of Ivan Rodriguez’s career as he’s retiring today.
Jeff Larish is in the spotlight right now as he begins a second stint in the Arizona Fall League. I’ve always been a fan of Larish (235 career minor league walks versus 329 strikeouts in 1,377 at bats) but he’s always been an odd man out of sorts. Now they’re saying that if he can pick up third base in the AFL, that he’s got a solid shot of seeing an extended stint at the big league level next year as a left handed platoon option.
Jason Beck had the unenviable task of answering the question of what will happen with the Tigers rotation next season. I found it interesting that he talked about Zach Miner and Freddy Garcia (who’s not even under contract) before he mentions Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis.
Tiger Stadium fans got a stay earlier this week as the city decided to postpone the complete demolition of the ballpark. The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has been working hard but they’re still short of funding. If you want to help out, swing by their site and if you can help out, please do so.
After a two day break, baseball is back. Better get your baseball fix now, because there’s not too many games yet.
I know, the All Star Game is no longer the absolute split between the first and second half anymore but I still look at it as a fresh start of sorts. The Tigers seemed to like the time off and they won a tough contest against the Orioles tonight. It seemed like every time the Tigers scored the Orioles would answer and through five innings, Baltimore had a 4-3 lead. Brandon Inge put the Tigers ahead for good though with a two run shot in the sixth and then Marcus Thames gave the Tigers some needed insurance with a solo shot in the seventh. Todd Jones didn’t disappoint and he gave up a run in the ninth with some help from a Ramon Santiago error but 6-5 was as close as the Orioles would get.
Gary Sheffield put the Tigers on the board with a monster two run shot in the second inning. It was his only hit but he also drew a walk. Edgar Renteria and Marcus Thames had a team high two hits while Magglio Ordonez went one for five in his first game back from the disabled list.
Kenny Rogers picked up the win but he got his share of help from the Tigers defense. In the second inning, the Orioles already had two runs and there were runners on first and third with nobody out when Brandon Inge started an interesting 5-4-2 double play. He checked Melvin Mora at third, had time to throw Ramon Hernandez at second base and then Placido Polanco threw home to get Mora. That was the first of four double plays that the Tigers made.
The Tigers ended up using six pitchers although two of those threw to just one batter. In all, the pen held on well enough and they combined to give up just one unearned run in three innings.
Tomorrow it’ll be Armando Galarraga going up against Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie is a right hander who, despite having a 5-7 record, has some very solid numbers. Hopefully Armando is on his game and the Tigers can make it three straight.
There’s some interesting news with regards to Tiger Stadium. If you believe what the newspapers are saying, the Stadium is on it’s last leg. If you’re a fan of saving the ballpark though, you got a little glimmer of hope earlier thie week because Senator Carl Levin was able to get $4 million in funding to help save a portion of Tiger Stadium in the HUD appropriations bill. This could go a long way towards saving a part of the ballpark for future use.
On a seperate note, you can do your part if you want to see a portion of Tiger Stadium preserved. No other old ballpark is left standing so it’s interesting (and not surprising) that Detroit wouldn’t want to be trendsetters here. You can read about what the Old Tiger Stadium Conservacy is trying to do as well as make a donation if you’d like to help the cause.
In case you missed my rant about the city of Detroit tearing down Tiger Stadium, you can either check it out below this post or you can click here.
Kenny Rogers won his 200th career game this afternoon. He got a ton of run support and the end result of all this was another sweep for the Tigers, this time at the Cubs expense. The White Sox just won’t let up though because they swept the Reds. So we still have a game and a half lead despite winning eight of our last ten games.
Mark Prior looked very rough in his first start of the season today. His offspeed stuff wasn’t working, and he wasn’t putting his fastball where he wanted it to go. On top of that, his velocity was down closer to 90, which made this look more like a slow pitch softball game in the first inning. Brandon Inge and Chris Shelton both homered twice and the Tigers tied a team record with eight homeruns in the game.
While the Tigers might be the positive surprise of the season, the Cleveland Indians are probably the negative surprise. The Twins have now passed the Indians in the AL Central after a seven game winning streak and the Indians are now six games below .500. This was the team that was supposed to compete with the White Sox in the central, but it doesn’t look like it’s happening. The primary culprit has been their pitching. Last year, they led the league with a 3.61 ERA. This year, they’re at 4.91. The offense is good, but it’s not that good. I took some heat for saying Kenny Rogers would be an upgrade over Jason Johnson back when we signed Rogers, and Johnson is sitting at 3-7 with a 6.00 ERA.
The Tigers hop on a plane and start a three game series with the Brewers tomorrow. The Brewers got off to that really good start out of the gate, but they’ve settled back to .500. They’re riding a three game winning streak though. All we can do is keep on winning if we want to stay ahead.
First off, let me get this off my chest. I’m pissed.
There, I don’t really feel better, but that will at least let you read this knowing my frame of mind. It was announced earlier this week that the city of Detroit was going to raze Tiger Stadium. They also released some very cute pictures of what they plan on doing with the site once the stadium is destroyed. The spin doctors were out in full force and there were a lot of mistruths and half truths being flung about. Let me just say, I’m not surprised that sites like this are around.
In a day of ferris wheels, retractrable domes and food courts, Tiger Stadium’s claim to fame was simple. In no other major league park could you get closer to the action. So if you love baseball, you loved Tiger Stadium. Think getting in the front row of the upper deck at Comerica Park is a nice seat? That’s nothing because the closest upper deck seat at Comerica Park is further from the ball field then the furthest upper deck seat at Tiger Stadium. And if you sat in the front rows of the upper deck behind home plate, you were literally on top of the action.
The biggest myth that the spinners in Detroit would like you to believe was that there was no viable alternative presented to the city that would keep the stadium intact. This is a flat out lie, and I encourage you to check out the website Corner Chatter. There you can download two plans that were basically ignored by the city council that have money behind them and would have allowed for the stadium to remain. The biggest problem would have been that this might compete with Mr. Ilitch’s ballclub so neither plan really got off the ground.
And speaking of Mr. Ilitch, he’s been paid several hundred thousand dollars a year to “maintain” the ball park. I’d like to see what he exactly spent this money on. Security is nonexistent and it appears the “maintenance” has been little more then cutting the grass. Tiger Stadium was left to die just so this decision could appear so pleasant in many people’s eyes.
Now, let’s get to the “plan.” Apparantly there’s going to be some retail and condos, and a portion of the field will be left for little league play. There’s just one problem. The city doesn’t have the money to deveop the site, and nobody’s stepped up to develop it either. Just like nobody’s stepped up to develop the rest of the vacant land in the city. I hope I’m wrong, but I’d be willing to bet that five years from now, the site will still be vacant.
Stuck in the middle of all this are the residents of Corktown, who you also have to feel for. They’ve had to have the monolith sit in their back yard and watch it die. I can’t completely blame them for wanting it gone but would this have been the case had some of these alternative plans to keep the stadium up gone through?
And one last thing, Michigan and Trumbull LLC, who have been instrumental in trying to save Tiger Stadium, offered to maintain the park for free until a plan that would keep the stadium standing was found. You’d think a city strapped for cash would be willing to jump all over this, but I guess they’d rather throw money to the local millionaire instead.
And if you want to educate yourself on the subject, the first place I’d start is the fantastic DVD, Stranded at the Corner. You get the facts on the fight to save the stadium along with some fantastic history of the old ballpark. I’ve watched it once and I plan on doing so again here soon, and if you’re a Tiger fan, I highly recommend it. You’ll also get to see the plaque that’s recently been stolen.
I also recommend you check out Field of Schemes, which is a great resource for any and all stadium related issues. Tiger Stadium has been a hot topic lately on the site. And I also recommend John Brattain’s column on the whole situation at the Hardball Times. Finally, you can check out Save Tiger Stadium for some great facts and historical information.
I know none of what I’ve written will change a thing, and I really feel for the people who have fought for years to try to keep the old ballpark. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t know the facts though and hopefully a few eye’s are opened to what’s going on before the ballpark is taken down.
Stranded at the Corner debuts today at the Gem Theater. I won’t be able to make it out there, but I did order a copy of the DVD. If you want to help out the cause and educate yourself on the happenings with Tiger Stadium, be sure to check out the website and order a copy of the DVD.
In related news, a new website’s been created to help further educate people on Tiger Stadium. Save Tiger Stadium has links to news on the efforts to save the ballpark as well as a petition that you can sign to show your support. There’s also an excellent section on the history of Tiger Stadium and a place where you can share your memories. Be sure to check it out.
And to keep track of Tiger Stadium news, check out Stranded at the Corner and Corner Chatter. Stranded at the Corner is an upcoming documentary coming out on April 24, 2006 on the battle to save historic Tiger Stadium.