Detroit Tigers

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    MVP for Miggy: Miguel Cabrera is American League Most Valuable Player

MVP for Miggy: Miguel Cabrera is American League Most Valuable Player

Cabrera 1 by RichardDemingPhotography
Cabrera 1 by RichardDemingPhotography

The American League Most Valuable Player Award is staying in Detroit for a second year. The Detroit Tigers explain that Cabrera powered to the MVP in the same way he slugged his way to the first Triple Crown in 45 years:

In the long-anticipated battle of historic seasons, Cabrera put an exclamation point on his 2012 Triple Crown campaign on Thursday with the AL MVP, beating out Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout in voting cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Cabrera received 22 of 28 first-place votes, with Trout receiving the other six. Cabrera finished with 362 points. Trout had 281, with the total points distributed on a 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

…It marked the second straight MVP award for a Tigers player, Cabrera following in the footsteps of vocally supportive teammate Justin Verlander, and the first MVP for a Venezuelan-born player. It’s the first MVP for a Tigers position player since Hank Greenberg in 1940.

Definitely read on for more including a great interview with Miggy from MLB TV. Cabrera joins an elite list of Tiger MVP winners: Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Hank Greenberg (x2), Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser (x2), Denny McLain, Willie Hernández and Justin Verlander (in 2011).

While Cabrera is the 2nd Tiger in as many years to win MVP, he’s the first Venezuelan ever to win the award, and it was celebrated last night in Venezuela. On his Twitter last night “Cabrerita” said: “This MVP was for the fans in Detroit and Venezuela. Support from God, my family, and teammates made it possible.”

Despite the fact that Cabrera ran away with the vote, it was anything but certain heading in. Pollster and numbers geek Nate Silver who went 50-50 in his state voting predictions in the election, sharpened his skills in sabermetrics (baseball stats). He laid out a compelling case for the Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout, but baseball writer Phil Rogers concluded that his fellow sportswriters did the right thing in choosing Cabrera.

Samara at Roar of the Tigers has the definitive MiguelVP cartoon, and here’s a great video from BLB of Cabrera’s 2012 highlights:

  • Chased by Tigers
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    Detroit Tigers face the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series

Detroit Tigers face the San Francisco Giants in the 2012 World Series

The Detroit Tigers Theme Song was written by Ernie Harwell and set to a scene from the movie TIGER TOWN (1983), starring Roy Scheider. Time for a rental or NetFlix maybe?

A few observations in the middle of a (so far) nightmarish Game 1:

Some twitters that we’re having fun following. Some are definitely off-color!

  • @Tigers is the official twitter of the Detroit Tigers and while they’re mostly an occasional play-by-play, they have a gem every so often, Detroit’s own Eminem is playing over the speakers at AT&T Park. Detroit already taking over in the Bay!
  • @roartigers aka Sam of Roar of the Tigers is a favorite of Absolute Michigan and a truly funny person. Die in an internet server fire, MLB. RT @MLB This is known as ‘maximum effort’ – pic.twitter.com/a0KvKZzJ
  • @HuffPostDetroit has some great tweets and a running battle with their San Francisco counterparts. Okay, Hunter Pence’s long arms didn’t get him any closer to hitting anything thrown at him @HuffPostSF
  • @JeffDaniels is of course that Jeff Daniels and a huge Tiger fan. All right I’m back. Oh, look. Zito not only hits like Mays, he’s throwing like Marichal. (The SF hurler’s game vs Warren Spahn in the ’62 series is judged one of the best ever
  • @PhilCokesBrain is definitely PG-13 but has some hilarious observations like The good news is we aren’t as worried about JV’s pitch count anymore.
  • @TerryFoster971 has some very cogent insight. Regarding Delmon Youn’s inexplicable failure to run he tweeted ok it looks like the Mr. October stuff is done. That was Mr. dumb dumb 
  • @Bob Wojnowski is the Detroit News lead sportswriter. Verlander gets the first-inning HR out of the way. We’ve seen it a few times and he usually gets stronger. But this is a crazy, cozy park.
  • @freepsports: For what it’s worth, in three of the four seasons the #Tigers won the #WorldSeries, they lost Game 1. #keepthefaith #Tigers2012
  • @StarEagle is Dave Hogg, photographer and frequent Absolute Michigan contributer.
Got more to add? Share it in the comments!

 

Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown!

Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ted Williams, Joe Medwick, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein, Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie and the Tigers own Ty Cobb. All are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and all are on the short list of Triple Crown winners since 1900.

This elite group is now joined by the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera who last night became just the 15th player and the first since 1967 to win the Triple Crown. The Tiger superstar led the American League with a .330 batting average, belted 44 homers and knocked in 139 RBIs, numbers made all the sweeter by the fact that they helped lead the Tigers to a second straight postseason berth.

Roar of the Tigers has three lovely crowns for Miguel Cabrera. The Freep has a roundup of what national writers are saying about Miguel. You can read the in-depth article on Cabrera’s feat on the Detroit Tigers website, see what Drew Sharp and Bob Wojnowski have to say and also check out quotes on Cabrera’s Triple Crown and a gallery of his 2012 highlights from the Freep.

photo credit: Miguel Cabrera by Keith Allison

 

 

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    “Ernie” play about Ernie Harwell opens for second season

“Ernie” play about Ernie Harwell opens for second season

ernie harwell by mlephotos
ernie harwell by mlephotos

Mitch Albom has an interesting column on his play “Ernie” and Harwell’s broadcasting style that re-opens for its second season at the City Theatre in Detroit. Mitch wrote the play at legendary Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell’s request, and last year the play was able to donate $30,000 to Harwell’s favorite charities. Mitch’s column begins:

There’s a scene in the play “Ernie” in which the actor playing Ernie Harwell re-enacts the way he broadcast minor-league baseball games in the 1940s, when there was no money to send him on the road.

“We stayed in the studio and waited for the play-by-play ticker to come through,” he says, taking a strip of ticker tape and reading it. “Johnson, B-1-0. That meant Johnson took ball one, outside. Of course that’s pretty dry, so we’d have to embellish it.”

He then demonstrates his embellishment: “There’s a high loping curveball, way outside, Johnson looks at it, doesn’t move his bat, and it’s ball one!”

When asked what he did if the ticker-tape machine broke, Ernie replies that sometimes he’d make up a distraction, like a dog running on the field. And he’d have that dog racing back and forth, eluding escape, until the machine was fixed.

Of course, when the ballplayers came home, their wives would ask, “What happened to that poor dog?” And they’d say, “What dog?”

Read on for more and visit Ernie at Olympia Entertainment for more on the play and to order tickets. Harwell passed away two years ago tomorrow. You can read more about him on Michigan in Pictures and here’s a great interview that Albom did with Harwell at the Fox Theatre in 2009 that will probably make you tear up.

100 Years at Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium Deconstruction by paulhitz
Tiger Stadium Deconstruction by paulhitz

Tiger Stadium’s 100th birthday was last Friday. In a fairly heartbreaking story, Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports observed that this milestone passed largely unmarked:

Tiger Stadium opened on the same day as Fenway Park – April 20, 1912. It was 100 years ago this weekend. Ty Cobb scored the first run by stealing home. From that day until 1999, this very spot rumbled with din and greatness. Pretty much every legend that played in Fenway in the 20th century also played here. Lou Gehrig sat himself down for the first time in 2,130 games here, ending his incredible ironman streak. Babe Ruth hit his 700th home run here. Reggie Jackson hit one into the right field light tower here during the ’71 All-Star game. The Tigers won World Series titles here in 1968 and again in 1984, with Kirk Gibson launching a late-inning home run off Goose Gossage that no Tigers fan alive to see it will ever forget. Fair to say this was the most exciting place in the history of Michigan.

And now there’s hardly a trace.

The story goes on to note that there were no planned observances of this occasion at Comerica Park. We at Absolute Michigan feel especially sad that we missed this important anniversary. By small way of penance, here’s some of Tiger Stadium’s rich history via Michigan in Pictures.

Aerial View of Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium #1, found by m7k7k7

Many folks in Michigan have a piece of their heart stored at the Corner of Michigan & Trumbull. Wikipedia’s Tiger Stadium entry says the ballpark located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit hosted the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team from April 20, 1912 when it opened as Navin Field, through its expansion in 1938 when it was renamed Briggs Stadium (and began hosting the Detroit Lions as well) through 1961 when John Fetzer took control and renamed it Tiger Stadium. It saw two World Series championships, 1968 and 1984 and was the home of the Tigers until Comerica Park opened in 2000. It was declared a State of Michigan Historic Site in 1975 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989.

From honorary bat boys spending a few moments with a player to huge and cheering crowds, this ballpark has made millions of memories. Here are a few more of our favorite articles:

If you have any photos (or memories) to add, post a comment below.

Here’s a fantastic video on Tiger Stadium from The Story of America’s Classic Ballparks narrated by Jeff Daniels that includes some great old footage and interviews with Al Kaline, George Kell and Ernie Harwell.

 

Detroit Tigers Opening Day 2012

Tigers Opening Day 2008 by Buzz Click Photography
Tigers Opening Day 2008 by Buzz Click Photography

Today at 1 PM, the Detroit Tigers have an Opening Day date with the Boston Red Sox. Here’s a few of the stories we’ve been reading:

OK, now here’s a photo of the very first Detroit Tiger team, the 1901 Detroit Tigers. The Hardball Times writes:

This game would make a greatest-games list even if it wasn’t an Opening Day contest. In fact, not only was it Opening Day on the season, but it was the beginning of the American League’s first season as genuine rival to the NL.

For much of the day, it looked like anything but a great game. The Milwaukee Brewers (who the next year would become the St. Louis Browns and a half-century after that became the current Baltimore Orioles) took an early 7-0 lead, and expanded it to 13-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Instead of a nice, easy forgettable win for the visitors, somehow, some way, the Tigers succeeded in scoring 10 runs before making three outs in their half of the ninth and transforming a huge 13-4 deficit into a seemingly impossible 14-13 win. Not a bad way for the Tigers to kick off their franchise history.

Read on for how they did it and PLAY BALL!

2011 AL MVP & Cy Young Winner Justin Verlander

With 280 points and double the first place votes that anyone else received, Justin Verlander was selected by AL sportswriters as the 2011 American League MVP. The New York Times notes that a pitcher being selected as most valuable player is nothing new, as the very first American League M.V.P. in 1931 was Philadelphia Athletics ace Lefty Grove, and that pitchers have won 20 times since then. Still, it has been almost 20 years since Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley was selected and you have to go back to 1986 to find another starter who won the award.

2011 Detroit Tiger Playoff Watch

We’ll update this page with cool features we find about the Detroit Tigers post-season and their quest for the World Series crown! Add your comments and links below!

Five Things You Need to Know: Lions & Tigers & Bears Edition

UPDATE, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2011 On Monday night the Lions beat the Bears 24-13 to move to 5-0. Quarterback Matthew Stafford summed up the energy and the role of the crowd:

“It was up there. I mean, it was unbelievable. You know, especially early on some of those third downs, you couldn’t hear yourself think and you know, that’s just the potential of this city. We know that they can get behind us like that and come out and really wreck a game for another team.”

5thingsDetroit is a sports fan’s dream today as the Detroit Tigers play Game 2 of the American League Championship series vs the Texas Rangers this afternoon and the Detroit Lions get ready for their first Monday Night Football appearance in a decade!

Ford Field by dmitriyk
Ford Field by dmitriyk

1. The Reason for the Return is Relevance. The Lions haven’t hosted a Monday night game since October of 1974. The Detroit News reports that downtown hotels are booked, bars are opening early and 2,000 standing-room-only tickets sold out online in four minutes. It’s the first MNF game ever at Ford Field, and Lion kicker Jason Hanson observes: You’re a relevant team again. It comes with winning. You’re playing a game that people are paying attention to.

Relevance also bring numbers, and the Lions are not just shooting to shatter the 62,257 for a 2007 game against the Green Bay Packers, they have a shot at the 68,206 who attended Super Bowl XL on Feb. 5, 2006.

2. The last time the Lions lost a regular season game was 24-20 on December 5th at the hands of the Bears, who are 10-4 during coach Lovie Smith’s tenure. While the two teams definitely don’t have a storied rivalry, there’s definitely little love lost. The Detroit Zoo and Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo have a little wager on the game.

SAWH9708091005403. Hank’s Loss is the Lions’ Gain. After the country music star compared the President to Hitler, MNF went looking for a replacement for the opening video tonight. They found Detroit Lion legend Barry Sanders. Read all about it here and tune in tomorrow for a copy of the video!

4. So how ’bout them Tigers? An early rain delay in Arlington pushed the Tigers to this afternoon as well. The extra day of rest has at least one positive after news that Magglio Ordonez is done for the season – it looks like Tiger #3 hitter Delmon Young will be in the lineup. Add an extra day for starter Max Scherzer and things are looking pretty good for the Tigers.

5. Who wins? The CBS Sports preview (video below)has 5 experts and ALL 5 select the Lions. ESPN’s MNF page has the Lions all over it and their experts are mostly picking the Lions as well. MLB experts are split but one thing is for sure, it’s a wonderful week to be a Detroit sports fan!

11 straight wins ties 1968 Detroit Tigers!

Thanks to Roar of the Tigers for getting me thinking about this!

1968 Detroit TigersYesterday the Detroit Tigers powered to their 11th straight victory, a 5-0 shutout hurled by Justin Verlander, his 11th in a row as well and 23rd victory overall. The Tigers are now 12 1/2 games atop the AL Central and reduces their magic number to clinch to 4.

11 in a row ties the longest winning streak ever by the Detroit Tigers (September 9-21, 1968), and we thought it would be great to feature a little something from the other Tiger squad they are tied with, the 1968 Detroit Tigers. It’s almost a half hour of footage from when the Tigers clinched the pennant and is a rare and wonderful look at one of the best baseball teams of all time.

Check out Mayo Smith at 6:30, and let’s hope Jim Leyland is looking like that a whole lot over the next several weeks!