Jeremy Bonderman

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Posted by motoman 04/20/2009 @ 13:12

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Jim Leyland likes progress of Jeremy Bonderman -
by Chris Iott DETROIT -- Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was encouraged by how Jeremy Bonderman pitched Thursday night in a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Toledo. Bonderman threw five innings of shutout ball for the Mud Hens before giving up five...
Freep: Jeremy Bonderman threatens Amarando Galarraga's spot in ... -
Galarraga, who is 0-3 with a 10.91 in four starts since starting 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA, could lose his spot to Jeremy Bonderman, who is likely less than a few weeks away from rejoining the Tigers., May 18: But with Justin Verlander and Edwin...
VINCE ELLIS' BLOG Jeremy Bonderman's next start is Thursday for Toledo - Detroit Free Press
BY VINCE ELLIS • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 17, 2009 The Tigers announced today right-hander that Jeremy Bonderman will make a second rehab start Thursday for Triple A Toledo as he moves closer to rejoining the parent club. Bonderman was solid in...
Tigers' Bonderman to make first rehab start Saturday - Detroit Free Press
By JOHN LOWE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 13, 2009 Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who has been on the disabled list all season as he recovers from shoulder surgery, will begin his injury-rehab assignment Saturday night with Class-A West...
Hanson allows 1 hit with 9 K's in 6 innings - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Gwinnett starter Tommy Hanson struck out nine in six innings to outduel Toledo's Jeremy Bonderman in the Braves 7-2 win at home Thursday night. Bonderman, a Detroit Tigers pitcher making a rehabilitation start, kept the Braves scoreless for five...
Galarraga seeks return to form -
Though Jeremy Bonderman is at least another rehab start away from rejoining the Tigers, Galarraga nonetheless is pitching with a spotlight on him. While the Tigers' rotation has risen to third in the Majors in ERA, Galarraga's struggles stand out...
Hanson shines as G-Braves pound Mud Hens - Access North Georgia
Hanson (3-3) outdueled the Detroit Tigers' Jeremy Bonderman, who was making his second rehab start as he tries to come back from a blood clot issue in his shoulder. Bonderman went six innings allowing six hits and three earned runs while fanning five...
Bonderman might bump an arm in the rotation, but Porcello's spot ... - Detroit Free Press
BY JOHN LOWE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 17, 2009 Unless something drastic happens, it doesn't look as if Tigers rookie Rick Porcello will leave the rotation to make room for Jeremy Bonderman. Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson have secure spots....
Willis halts win drought as Tigers blank Rangers - USA Today
Galarraga could be pushed out of the rotation because Jeremy Bonderman, who has been out since last June with a blood clot in his shoulder, is pitching well in his rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues. Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers first...
Loons starter Nathan Eovaldi ready to square off with rehabbing ... -
To the 19-year-old Great Lakes Loons pitcher, Jeremy Bonderman is just the name of a major league pitcher. That changes Saturday when Eovaldi takes the mound for the Loons against Bonderman, the Detroit Tigers start making a rehab start for West...

Jeremy Bonderman

Jeremy Allen Bonderman (born October 28, 1982 in Kennewick, Washington) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Bonderman is six feet and two inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. He bats and throws right-handed. He is known for throwing a slider as well as a four-seam fastball and a change-up.

Bonderman attended Pasco High School in Pasco, Washington. In his last year of high school baseball, he went 5–2 and recorded a 3.60 ERA. He is the only high school junior ever to be drafted in baseball history. He was held back a year early in his schooling, and passed his GED to earn his diploma.

Bonderman was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in his junior year of high school with the 26th pick in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.

On July 6, 2002, Bonderman was involved in a three team deal. The Athletics had sent Carlos Peña, a player to be named later (who later became Bonderman), and Franklyn Germán to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, and Jason Arnold to the Athletics. The Tigers sent Jeff Weaver to the Yankees and cash to the Athletics.

He debuted in the major leagues when he was 20 years old. Bonderman’s major league debut came against the Minnesota Twins, who battered him for six runs in four innings. While many felt this was a bad move by the Tigers, Bonderman seemed ready and the Tigers didn't have much to look forward to as they were in a rebuilding stage. Considering how well he worked out in the end, many feel the Tigers should have delayed his arbitration clock, thereby getting more of his prime years at a low price.

In his first season, he had a 6–19 record. He was benched for the final week of Detroit's famously awful 2003 season to avoid becoming the first pitcher in 23 years to lose 20 or more games in a single season. However, the feat was accomplished by his teammate Mike Maroth. Appropriately, it was a season in which the Tigers themselves missed the modern record for losses in a season by one.

He did better in 2004 by going 11–13 with a 4.89 ERA. Bonderman had a season of contrasts due to injury in 2005, as evidenced by his season splits, but on the year showed improvement with a 14-13 record and a 4.57 ERA.

Bonderman was the Tigers' Opening Day starter for the 2005 season. At 22 years old, he was the youngest pitcher to start on Opening Day since Dwight Gooden started for the New York Mets at the age of 20 in the 1986 season.

In 2006, he posted a career best 14–8 record and a 4.08 ERA. He started Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees. He pitched five perfect innings before giving up a hit. He then pitched 3.1 more innings, surrendering only one run. Bonderman was the winning pitcher in the game that gave the Tigers the series. He pitched again in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, pitching six innings and giving up three runs before being pulled. The Tigers would go on to win the game and series for the American League Pennant. In the World Series, he pitched six innings giving up only two runs. He left the game with the Tigers in the lead. However, the Tigers would ultimately lose the game, as well as the series the following day.

Bonderman finished second in the 2007 All-Star Game Final vote.

Bonderman missed most of the 2008 season because he had procedures done to remove a blood clot in his axillary vein.

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Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers logo.svg

The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894.

The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896.

In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. In 1938, a substantially-improved facility, Briggs Stadium, was built, and it was renamed Tiger Stadium, in 1961. The Tigers last won the World Series in 1984. From 2000 to the present, the Tigers have played in Comerica Park.

The club is a charter member of the American League, one of four clubs (with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) still located in its founding city. Detroit is also the only member of the Western League, the AL's minor league predecessor, that remains in its original city. It was established as a charter member in 1894.

Detroit's first major league entry was the Detroit Wolverines, a member of the National League from 1881 through 1888. The nickname, now associated with the University of Michigan, came from Michigan's nickname, "The Wolverine State".

The Wolverines' best year was 1887. They won the National League pennant and an exhibition World Series, defeating the American Association champion St. Louis Browns, 10 games to 5. All fifteen scheduled games of the series were played, as the clubs toured ten different cities.

The leading players were Hardy Richardson, Jack Rowe, Deacon White, pitcher Charlie Getzein and Hall of Famers "Big Sam" Thompson and Dan Brouthers. Thompson won the 1887 NL batting championship, making him the only NL batting winner from the traditionally AL city.

Despite the championship, the team did not draw enough fans to stay solvent at the major league level, as Detroit was at the time one of the smallest cities in the National League and its rapid industry-fueled growth was still several years in the future. Hall of Fame manager Ned Hanlon played all eight seasons in center field but there was high turnover otherwise. After the 1888 season, the team disbanded and the city was relegated to minor league status. One new club formed and joined the International League in 1889, and promptly won the league championship. Their fans' joy came to an abrupt end when the league temporarily disbanded in mid-1890 and took the team with it. An attempt was made to revive the old Northwestern League in 1891, but it also collapsed in mid-season, and Detroit professional baseball took a short hiatus.

When the Western renamed itself the American League for 1900, it was still a minor league, but next year it broke with the National Agreement and declared itself major, openly competing with the National League for players, and for fans in three contested cities. For a few years there were rumors of abandoning Detroit to compete for Cincinnati or Pittsburgh but the two leagues made peace in 1903 after similar moves into St. Louis and New York.

The Tigers played their first game as a major league team at home against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 25, 1901, with 10,000 fans at Bennett Park. (Richard Bak, A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium, 1998, pp.73-74) After entering the ninth inning behind 13-4, the team staged a dramatic comeback to win 14-13. That team finished third in the eight-team league.

Detroit's blue laws prevented baseball from being played at Bennett Park on Sundays. Owner James D. Burns built a ballpark on his own property named Burns Park where the Tigers played their Sunday home games for the 1901 and 1902 seasons.

Eleven years later, an elegant stadium was constructed on the site of Bennett Park and named Navin Field for owner Frank Navin. In 1938 it was improved and named Briggs Stadium and renamed "Tiger Stadium" in 1961. Tiger Stadium was used by the Tigers until the end of the 1999 season; from 2000 they have played in Comerica Park.

There are various legends about how the Tigers got their nickname. One involves the orange stripes they wore on their black stockings. Tigers manager George Stallings took credit for the name; however, the name appeared in newspapers before Stallings was manager. Another legend concerns a sportswriter equating the 1901 team's opening day victory with the ferocity of his alma mater, the Princeton Tigers.

Richard Bak, in his 1998 book, A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium, pp.46-49, explains that the name originated from the Detroit Light Guard military unit, who were known as "The Tigers". They had played significant roles in certain Civil War battles and in the 1898 Spanish-American War. The baseball team was still informally called both "Wolverines" and "Tigers" in the news. The earliest known use of the name "Tigers" in the media was in the Detroit Free Press on April 16, 1895. Upon entry into the majors the ballclub sought and received formal permission from the Light Guard to use its trademark and from that day forth it is officially the Tigers.

In 1905, the team acquired Ty Cobb, a fearless player with a mean streak, who came to be regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. The addition of Cobb to an already talented team that included Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings, Bill Donovan and George Mullin quickly yielded results, as the Tigers won their first American League pennant in 1907.

Cobb and the Tigers lost in the 1907 Fall Classic against the Chicago Cubs. With the exception of Game 1, which ended in a rare tie, the Tigers failed to score more than one run in any game and lost four straight. The Cubs would deny Detroit the title again in '08, holding Detroit to a .209 batting average for the series, which the Cubs again won in five games. It was hoped that a new opponent in the 1909 Series, Pittsburgh, would yield different results, but the Tigers were blown out 8-0 in the decisive seventh game at Bennett Park.

In 1915, the Tigers won a then-club record 100 games but narrowly lost the American League pennant to the Boston Red Sox who won 101 games. The 1915 Tigers were led by an outfield consisting of Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford, and Bobby Veach that finished #1, #2, and #3 in RBIs and total bases. Cobb also set a stolen base record with 96 steals in 1915 that stood until 1962. Baseball historian Bill James has ranked the 1915 Tigers outfield as the greatest in the history of major league baseball. The only team in Tigers' history with a better winning percentage than the 1915 squad was the 1934 team that lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the teens and twenties, Cobb remained the marquee player on many Tigers teams that would remain mired in the middle of the American League. Cobb himself took over managerial duties in 1921, but during six years at the helm, his Tigers never had a record better than 86–68.

In 1921, the Tigers amassed 1724 hits and a team batting average of .316 -- the highest team hit total and batting average in American League history. (The Elias Book of Baseball Records, 2008, p.88) That year, outfielders Harry Heilmann and Ty Cobb finished #1 and #2 in the American League batting race with batting averages of .394 and .389. As early proof of the baseball adage that good pitching beats good hitting, the downfall of the 1921 Tigers was the absence of good pitching. The team ERA was 4.40, and they allowed nine or more runs 28 times. Without pitching to support the offense, the 1921 Tigers finished in sixth place in the American League, 27 games behind the Yankees with a record of 71-82.

The Tiger teams of the 1930s were consistently among the league's best with "Black Mike" Mickey Cochrane behind the plate, slugger Hank Greenberg at first, and consistent Charlie Gehringer, "The Mechanical Man", at second.

They would lose again in the 1934 World Series in seven games to the Gashouse Gang St. Louis Cardinals. Again, when the chips were down in the deciding game, Detroit folded, giving up seven third-inning runs and losing Game Seven 11–0 at Navin Field (Tiger Stadium). The game was marred by an ugly incident. After spiking Tiger third baseman Marv Owen in the sixth inning, the Cardinals' Joe "Ducky" Medwick had to be removed from the game for his own safety by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after being pelted with fruit and garbage from angry fans in the large temporary bleacher section in left field.

The Tigers eventually won the World Series the following year, defeating the Cubs 4 games to 2 to win the 1935 World Series, which concluded with Goose Goslin's dramatic game-ending single, scoring Cochrane to seal the victory. See 1935 Detroit Tigers season.

The Tigers returned to the middle of the American League in the late 30s except in 1940 when they again won the pennant but lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

With the end of World War II and the timely return of Hank Greenberg and others from the military, the Tigers took the 1945 American League pennant. With Virgil Trucks, Hal Newhouser and Dizzy Trout on the mound and Greenberg leading the Tiger bats, Detroit responded in a Game 7 for the first time, staking Newhouser to a 5–0 lead before he threw a pitch en route to a 9–3 victory over the Cubs. Because many baseball stars had not yet returned from the military, some baseball scholars have deemed the '45 Series to be among the worst-played contests in Series history. For example, prior to the Series, Chicago sportswriter Warren Brown was asked who he liked, and he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it!" (The Chicago Cubs, by Warren Brown, 1946) But the Cubs had no answer to Greenberg, and the Series went Detroit's way.

After their 1945 Series win, the Tigers sank back to the middle of the pack in the American League for most of the 1950s. Notwithstanding Detroit's fall in the standings, the decade saw the debut of outfielder Al Kaline. He would hit over .300 eight times in his career, and featured one of the league's best arms in right field. But the Tigers suffered on the field because they were the 15th of the then-16 MLB teams to field an African-American player – in the Tigers' case, an Afro-Caribbean player, Ozzie Virgil, Sr., who integrated the Tigers in 1958. Only the Boston Red Sox trailed the Tigers in integrating their roster.

However, Detroit began its slow ascent back to success with an outstanding 1961 campaign, which saw them win 101 games. They still finished eight games behind the Yankees, one of the few times a team had failed to reach the postseason despite winning over 100 games. First baseman Norm Cash had the best batting average in the American League, a remarkably high .361. He never hit over .286 before or after the '61 season. The 1961 club featured two nonwhite starters, Jake Wood and Bill Bruton, and later in the 1960s, black players such as Willie Horton, Earl Wilson, and Gates Brown would contribute to Detroit's rise in the standings. Pitchers Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain also entered the rotation during the middle of the decade.

As this winning nucleus developed, Detroit repeatedly posted winning records throughout the 1960s. The team even managed a third-place finish during a bizarre 1966 season, in which manager Chuck Dressen and acting manager Bob Swift were both forced to resign their posts because of health problems. Both men died during the year – Dressen in August because of a kidney infection, Swift in October due to cancer. Thereafter, Frank Skaff took over the managerial reins until the end of the season. Skaff was replaced by Mayo Smith in 1967, perhaps the last step before World Series contention. Indeed, in 1967 the Tigers were involved in one of the closest pennant races in history. They needed to sweep a doubleheader from the California Angels on the last day of the season to force a one-game playoff with the Boston Red Sox. They won the first game but lost the second, giving the Red Sox the flag with no playoff. Detroit finished the season at 91-71, a single game behind Boston.

The Tigers again reached the World Series in 1968. The team grabbed first place away from the Baltimore Orioles on May 10 and would not relinquish the position, clinching the pennant on September 17 and finishing with a 103-59 record. In a year that was marked by dominant pitching, starter Denny McLain went 31-6, the first time a pitcher had won 30 or more games in a season since the St. Louis Cardinals' Dizzy Dean accomplished the feat in 1934; no pitcher has accomplished it since. McLain was unanimously voted American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner for his efforts.

In the 1968 World Series, the Tigers met the defending World champion St. Louis Cardinals, led by starter Bob Gibson (who had posted a record 1.12 ERA during the regular season) and speedy outfielder Lou Brock. In Game 1, Gibson completely shut down the Detroit lineup, striking out 17 batters, still a World Series record. However, due in no small part to pitcher Mickey Lolich's victories in Games 2 and 5, the Tigers climbed back into the Series and forced a seventh game. Many fans believe the turning point in the Series came in Game 5, when Willie Horton threw out Lou Brock from left field, and catcher Bill Freehan blocked the plate. The Tigers, who had been behind, came back to win that game. In Game 7 at Busch Memorial Stadium, Lolich faced Gibson on just two days' rest, and both men pitched brilliantly, putting zeros up on the scoreboard for much of the game. However, in the top of the seventh, an exhausted Gibson finally cracked, giving up singles to Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Jim Northrup then struck the decisive blow, lashing a triple to center field that scored both Cash and Horton; Northrup himself was then brought home by a Bill Freehan double. Detroit added an insurance run in the ninth, and a home run by Mike Shannon was all the Cardinals could muster against Lolich as the Tigers took the game, 4–1, and the Series, 4–3. For his three victories that propelled the Tigers to the World championship, Lolich was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

1969 saw both leagues realign into two divisions, and the Tigers were placed in the American League East. That year, Detroit failed to defend its '68 title, finishing second in the division to a very strong Baltimore team which had won 109 games. Smith was let go after the 1970 season, to be replaced by Billy Martin. After another second-place finish in 1971, the Tigers captured their first AL East title in 1972. Oddities of the schedule due to an early-season strike allowed the Tigers to win the division by just ½ game, just as they had in 1908.

In the 1972 American League Championship Series, Detroit faced the American League West division champion Oakland Athletics, who had become steadily competitive ever since the 1969 realignment. In Game 1 of the ALCS in Oakland, Lolich, the hero of '68, took the hill and went nine innings. Al Kaline hit a solo homer to break a 1-1 tie in the 11th inning, only to be charged with an error on Gonzalo Marquez's game-tying single that allowed Gene Tenace to score the winning run. Blue Moon Odom shut down Detroit 5-0 in Game 2. As the series returned to Detroit, the Tigers caught their stride. Joe Coleman held the A's scoreless on seven hits in Game 3, a 3–0 Tiger victory. In Game 4, Oakland scored two runs in the top of the 10th and put the Tigers down to their last three outs. Detroit pushed two runs across the plate to tie the game before Jim Northrup came through in the clutch again. His single off Dave Hamilton scored Gates Brown and evened the series at 2 games apiece. A first-inning run on a Gene Tenace passed ball gave Detroit an early lead in the deciding fifth and final game in Detroit but Reggie Jackson's steal of home in the 2nd tied it up. A Gene Tenace single to left field gave Oakland a 2–1 lead in the fourth inning, and thanks to four innings of scoreless relief from Vida Blue they took it all the way to the World Series.

Martin did not survive the 1973 season as manager and the Tigers spent much of the next decade in the middle or lower ranks of the AL East. In 1974, Ralph Houk, who managed the dominant Yankee teams of the early 1960s, was named manager of the Tigers. "The Major" served in that capacity for five full seasons, through the end of the 1978 season. The roster of players who played under Houk were mostly aging veterans from the 1960s, whose performance had slipped from their peak years. Perhaps the biggest signal of decline for the Tigers was the retirement of Kaline following the 1974 season, after he notched his 3000th career hit. Kaline finished with 3007 hits and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1980.

Tiger fans were provided a glimmer of hope when rookie Mark Fidrych made his debut in 1976. Fidrych, known as "the Bird", was a colorful character known for talking to the baseball and other eccentricities. During a game against the Yankees, Graig Nettles responded to Fidrych's antics by talking to his bat. After making an out, he later lamented that his Japanese-made bat didn't understand him. Fidrych was the starting pitcher for the American League in the All Star Game played that year in Philadelphia to celebrate the American Bicentennial. He finished the season with a record of 19-9 and an American League-leading ERA of 2.34. Fidrych was the lone bright spot that year, with those Tigers finishing next to last in the AL East in 1976.

The first major news of the 1984 season actually came in late 1983, when broadcasting magnate John Fetzer, who had owned the club since 1957, sold the team to Domino's Pizza founder and CEO Tom Monaghan. (Richard Bak, A Place for Summer, 1998, p.332) The sale of the franchise caught everyone by surprise, as the negotiations culminating in the sale of the franchise were conducted in total secrecy. There were no rumors or even speculation that Fetzer had put the franchise up for sale.

The 1984 team started out at a record 35-5 pace (including Jack Morris throwing a no-hitter early in the season against Chicago en route to the Tigers' 9-0 start) and cruised to a franchise-record 104 victories. They featured the great double play combination of shortstop Alan Trammell and second baseman Lou Whitaker; the duo would play together a record 19 seasons. The team also included Darrell Evans, Dave Bergman, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, Tom Brookens, Larry Herndon, Morris, Dan Petry, Dave Rozema, Johnny Grubb, Aurelio Lopez ("Señor Smoke") and relief ace Willie Hernandez, who won the 1984 American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player just one year after pitching on the Philadelphia Phillies' National League championship club.

In the NLCS, a San Diego rally from 2-0 down prevented a fifth Cubs-Tigers series and meant the Tigers would open the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres in Trammell's home town (had the Cubs won the NLCS, Detroit would have been awarded home-field advantage in the World Series, as NBC insisted on all midweek games starting at night, something that would have been impossible at the time at Wrigley Field).

In Game 1, Larry Herndon hit a two-run home run that gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Morris pitched a complete game with 2 runs on 8 hits, and Detroit took first blood. The Padres evened the series the next night despite pitcher Ed Whitson being chased after two-thirds of an inning after giving up three runs on five Tiger hits. Tiger starter Dan Petry exited the game after four and one-third innings when Kurt Bevacqua's three-run homer gave San Diego a 5-3 lead they would hold onto.

When the series returned to the Motor City, the Tigers took charge. In Game 3, a two-out rally in the second inning led to four runs and the yanking of Padre starter Tim Lollar after one and two-thirds innings. The Padres, plagued by poor starting pitching throughout the series, never recovered and lost 5-2. Eric Show continued the parade of bad outings in Game 4, getting bounced after two and two-thirds innings after giving up home runs to Series MVP Trammell in his first two at-bats. Trammell's homers held up with the help of another Morris complete game, and the Tigers held a commanding lead.

In Game 5, Gibson's two-run shot in the first inning would be the beginning of another early end for the Padres' starter Mark Thurmond. Though the Padres would pull back even, chasing Dan Petry in the fourth inning in the process, the Tigers retook the lead on a Rusty Kuntz sacrifice fly, and doubled it on a solo homer by Parrish.

A "Sounds of the Game" video was made during the Series by MLB Productions and played on TV a number of times since then. When Kirk Gibson came to bat in the eighth inning, in a situation that might call for San Diego reliever Goose Gossage to pitch around him, Anderson was seen and heard yelling to Gibson, "He don't want to walk you!" and making a swing-the-bat gesture. As Anderson had suspected, Gossage threw a fastball inside, and Gibson was ready. He "swung from the heels", and launched it into Tiger Stadium's right field upper deck, effectively clinching the series.

Tony Gwynn flied out to Larry Herndon to end the game and send Detroit into a wild victory celebration.

The team led its division wire-to-wire, from opening day and every day thereafter, culminating in the World Series championship. This had not been done since the 1927 New York Yankees.

After a pair of third-place finishes in 1985 and 1986, the 1987 Tigers faced lowered expectations - which seemed to be confirmed by an 11–19 start to the season. The team hit its stride thereafter and gradually gained ground on its AL East rivals. This charge was fueled in part by the acquisition of pitcher Doyle Alexander from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher John Smoltz. Alexander started 11 games for the Tigers, posting 9 wins without a loss and a 1.53 ERA. Smoltz, a Lansing, Michigan native, went on to have a long and still productive career with the Braves, winning the Cy Young Award in 1996.

Despite their improvement, they entered September neck-and-neck with the Toronto Blue Jays. The two teams would square off in seven hard-fought games during the final two weeks of the season. All seven games were decided by one run, and in the first six of the seven games, the winning run was scored in the final inning of play. At Exhibition Stadium, the Tigers dropped three in a row to the Blue Jays before winning a dramatic extra-inning showdown.

The Tigers entered the final week of the 1987 season 3.5 games behind. After a series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Tigers returned home trailing by a game and swept the Blue Jays. Detroit clinched the division in a 1-0 victory over Toronto in front of 51,005 fans at Tiger Stadium on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Frank Tanana went all nine innings for the complete game shutout, and outfielder Larry Herndon gave the Tigers their lone run on a second-inning home run. Detroit finished the season a Major League-best 98-64, two games ahead of Toronto.

In what would prove to be their last postseason appearance until 2006, the Tigers lost the 1987 American League Championship Series to the Minnesota Twins (who in turn won the World Series that year) four games to one. The Twins won the Series at Tiger Stadium 9-5.

Despite their 1987 division title victory, the Tigers proved unable to build on their success. In 1988, the team spent much of the season in first place in the AL East, only to slump late in the season and finish second at 88-74, one game behind division-winning Boston. In 1989 the team collapsed to a 59-103 record, worst in the majors. The franchise then attempted to rebuild using a power-hitting approach, with sluggers Cecil Fielder, Rob Deer and Mickey Tettleton joining Trammell and Whitaker in the lineup (fitting for the team with the most 200+ home run seasons in baseball history). In 1990, Fielder led the American League with 51 home runs (becoming the first player to hit 50 since George Foster in 1977), and finished second in the voting for AL Most Valuable Player. He hit 44 home runs in 1991, and would hit at least 28 in the next four seasons. Behind the hitting of Fielder and others, the Tigers improved, posting winning records in 1991 (84-78) and 1993 (85-77). However, the team lacked quality pitching (despite Bill Gullickson's 20 wins in 1991), and its core of key players began to age, setting the franchise up for decline. Their minor league system was largely barren of talent, as well, producing only a few everyday players (Travis Fryman, Bobby Higginson) during the 1990s. In 1992, the franchise was sold to Mike Ilitch, who also owns the Detroit Red Wings and is President and CEO of Little Caesars Pizza.

From 1994 to 2005, the Tigers did not post a winning record. This was by far the longest sub-.500 stretch in franchise history; prior to this, the team had not gone more than four consecutive seasons without a winning record. The team's best record over that time was 79-83, recorded in 1997 and 2000. In 1996, the Tigers lost a then-team record 109 games. In 2003, the Tigers shattered that mark, losing an American League-record 119 games, eclipsing the previous record of 116 losses set by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics. On August 30, 2003, the Tigers' defeat at the hands of the Chicago White Sox caused them to join the 1962 New York Mets as the only modern MLB teams to lose 100 games before September. They avoided tying the 1962 Mets' modern MLB record for losses (120) only by winning five of their last six games of the season, including three out of four against the Minnesota Twins (who had already clinched the Central Division, into which the Tigers had moved in 1998, and were resting their stars).

The collapse of the franchise was blamed by many on then-general manager Randy Smith. Under Smith, the franchise's minor-league system struggled, providing little help to the major-league club. Smith and then-manager Phil Garner were fired by the club on the same day in 2002, only six games into the season, all of which were Tiger losses.

In 2000, the team left Tiger Stadium, then tied with Fenway Park as the oldest active baseball stadium, in favor of the new Comerica Park. This capped an argument lasting more than a decade about whether or not a new stadium was needed to keep the club competitive.

Soon after it opened, Comerica Park drew criticism for its deep dimensions, which made it difficult to hit home runs; the distance to left-center field (395 ft), in particular, was seen as unfair to hitters. This led to the nickname "Comerica National Park." In 2003, the franchise largely quieted the criticism by moving in the left-center fence to 370 feet, taking the flagpole in that area out of play, a feature carried over from Tiger Stadium. In 2005, the team moved the bullpens to the vacant area beyond the left-field fence and filled the previous location with seats.

In late 2001, Dave Dombrowski, former general manager of the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins, was hired as team president. In 2002, the Tigers started the season 0-6, prompting Dombrowski to fire the unpopular Smith, as well as manager Phil Garner. Dombrowski then took over as general manager and named bench coach Luis Pujols to finish the season as interim manager. The team finished 55-106. After the season was over, Pujols was let go.

Dombrowski hired popular former shortstop Alan Trammell to manage the team in 2003. With fellow '84 teammates Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish on the coaching staff, the rebuilding process began. The 2003 season was a complete morass; Dombrowski gave Trammell another chance the following season. The Tigers came within one loss of tying the 1962 New York Mets for the most losses in modern major league history. For this reason, they have been described as possibly "the worst team of all time without a good excuse." Mike Maroth went 9-21 for the 2003 Tigers and became the first pitcher to lose 20 games in more than 20 years. Tigers' pitchers Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman (6-19), and Nate Cornejo (6-17) were #1, #2, and #3 in the major leagues in losses for 2003 -- the only time in major league history that one team has had the top three losers.

Designated hitter/left fielder Dmitri Young is the one member of the 2003 Tigers to have a truly good year, with a .297 batting average, 29 home runs, and .537 slugging percentage. According to Win Shares, the Tigers would have had about six fewer wins without him.

While the 2003 Tigers rank as the third worst team in major league history based on loss total, they fare slightly better based on winning percentage.

Under Dombrowski, the Tigers demonstrated a willingness to sign marquee free agents. In 2004, the team signed or traded for several talented but high-risk veterans, such as Iván Rodríguez, Ugueth Urbina, Rondell White and Carlos Guillén, and the gamble paid off. The 2004 Tigers finished 72-90, a 29-game improvement over the previous season, and the largest improvement in the American League since Baltimore's 33-game improvement from 1988 to 1989. However, the team was still sub-.500.

Prior to the 2005 season, the Tigers spent a large sum for two prized free agents, Magglio Ordóñez and Troy Percival. On June 8, 2005, the Tigers traded pitcher Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramon Martinez to the Philadelphia Phillies for Plácido Polanco (and later signed him for 4 years). The Tigers stayed on the fringes of contention for the American League wild card for the first four months of the season, but then faded badly, finishing 71-91. The collapse was perceived as being due both to injuries and to a lack of player unity; Rodriguez in particular was disgruntled, taking a leave of absence during the season to deal with a difficult divorce. Trammell, though popular with the fans, took part of the blame for the poor clubhouse atmosphere and lack of continued improvement, and he was fired at the end of the season.

A highlight of the 2005 campaign was Detroit's hosting of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, its first since 1971. In the Home Run Derby, Rodriguez finished second, losing to the Phillies' Bobby Abreu.

In October 2005, Jim Leyland, who managed Dombrowski's 1997 World Series-winning Marlins club, replaced Trammell as manager; two months later, in response to Troy Percival's '05 arm problems, closer Todd Jones, who had spent five seasons in Detroit (1997-2001), signed a two-year deal with the Tigers. Veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers also joined the Tigers from Texas in late 2005. These offseason additions set the stage for the resurgence of "Tiger Fever" in Detroit and its environs the following year.

After years of futility, the 2006 season showed signs of hope. After an early season tirade by Jim Leyland, the team exploded and quickly rose to the top of the AL Central. The team reached a high point when they were 40 games over .500, but a second half swoon started to raise questions about the team's staying power. On August 27, a 7–1 victory over the Cleveland Indians gave the Tigers their 82nd victory and their first winning season since 1993. On September 24, the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 11–4 to clinch their first playoff berth since 1987. A division title seemed inevitable. All that was required was one win in the final five games of the season, which included three games against the Royals, whom the Tigers had manhandled much of the season. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost all five games and the division title went to the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers were the AL wild card winner, the first time a team from the AL Central had won the honor. The playoffs saw the Tigers beat the heavily favored New York Yankees 3 games to 1 in the ALDS and sweep the Oakland Athletics to advance to the World Series before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the offseason, the Tigers traded for outfielder Gary Sheffield, who had been a part of the 1997 Marlins team managed by Jim Leyland, and signed third baseman Brandon Inge, starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman and shortstop Carlos Guillén to four-year contracts. The Tigers returned 22 of 25 players from their World Series roster.

In addition to free-agent acquisitions, Dombrowski has developed a productive farm system, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya being the most notable rookie contributors to the 2006 team. Andrew Miller, who was drafted in 2006, was called up early in the 2007 campaign and pitched in the starting rotation, and minor-leaguer Cameron Maybin, an athletic five-tool outfielder, was ranked #6 in Baseball America's 2007 Top-100 Prospects.

The Tigers suffered from injuries in the 2007 season, especially to their pitching staff. Kenny Rogers did not start until late June because of a blood-clot removal in his throwing arm. Other pitchers who were injured included Tim Byrdak, Edward Campusano, Fernando Rodney, Jair Jurrjens,and Joel Zumaya. Early in April, the Tigers also lost their backup catcher, Vance Wilson, for the season. Wilfredo Ledezma and Mike Maroth were traded to Atlanta and St. Louis, respectively.

On June 12, Justin Verlander pitched a no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the first Tiger no-hitter since Jack Morris in 1984 against the Chicago White Sox on the year the Tigers won the 1984 World Series, and the first no-hitter at home by a Tiger since Virgil Trucks did it in 1952. It was also the first in Comerica Park history.

Five players represented Detroit in the 2007 MLB All-Star Game. Carlos Guillén, Magglio Ordóñez, Plácido Polanco, Iván Rodríguez and Justin Verlander joined American League manager Jim Leyland in the All-Star game.

As of July 18, the Tigers had sold 2,712,393 tickets at Comerica Park for the 2007 season, setting a new single-season home attendance record for the team. The previous record had been 2,704,794 customers at Tiger Stadium in 1984. The team would draw 3,047,133 customers over the entire season, the third-highest attendance in the American League for 2007. The Tigers were officially eliminated from playoff competition on September 26, 2007, when the New York Yankees clinched a playoff berth for the 13th consecutive year.

The Tigers' rivalries with other baseball franchises have changed throughout the years, with no one rivalry standing out. Some rivalries are with nearby teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals ,and Toronto Blue Jays - the latter a holdover from when the Tigers competed in the AL East. There are numerous Tigers fans in Ontario, as evidenced by Detroit's proximity to Windsor and the fact that the Tigers once had a minor league team in London. Sarnia, Ontario also has a large Detroit Tigers fanbase. Some are rivalries for first place during the regular season, with all American League teams until 1969, with American League East teams from 1969 to 1997, and with American League Central teams from 1998 until the present. Finally, some are rivalries with National League teams the Tigers have faced repeatedly in the World Series, the Chicago Cubs (four times) and St. Louis Cardinals (three times). Had the Cubs beat the Padres in the 1984 NLCS, they would have faced the Tigers for a fifth time in the World Series. In recent years the Tigers had rivalries with American League Central teams. In the early 2000s, the Tigers had many altercations with the Kansas City Royals. Many games against Kansas City resulted in bench clearing brawls. In 2007, the Tigers were bested by the Cleveland Indians for the division title.

During the 1968 season, the team was cheered on by the phrase, "Go Get 'Em Tigers." The previous year, "Sock It To 'Em, Tigers!" was also popular in the city as the Tigers' close pennant race with Boston coincided with the release of the single "Sock It To Me, Baby!" by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.

During the 1984 World Championship Run, the team was cheered on to the well known cry, "Bless You Boys," a phrase coined (in sarcasm) by Al Ackerman, a Detroit sports anchor legend.

For the 2006 season, with the team going into July with the best record in baseball, the phrase "Restore the Roar" (a phrase first introduced in 1990 by then-Detroit Lions Head Coach Wayne Fontes) began to catch on, referring to the fact that the Tigers had not had a winning season since 1993 and seem to be returning to their former glory. Another 2006 phrase found in several Detroit commercials was "Who's your Tiger?". A popular rally cry for the Detroit Pistons has also been adapted for the Tigers, resulting in "Deee-troit Base-ball!".

A second rally cry has also now begun to catch on in the Tigers' dugout. In a June game vs. the New York Yankees, Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson was featured on FSN Detroit's "Sounds of the Game", in which the TV station will mic a player on the bench or a coach. To appease the fans, Nate began to stuff Big League Chew bubble gum into his mouth, hoping to spark a late-inning rally. The trend has caught on, with Jeremy Bonderman, Zach Miner and Justin Verlander all chewing from time to time. The Tigers came back to tie the game, and the phrase "It's Gum Time" has become a new "Rally-cap" for all of Tigertown.

Additionally, the chant of a local panhandler who patrols the streets around Comerica Park yelling out "Eat 'Em Up Tigers! Eat 'Em Up!", has begun to make its way into the park. The chant originated in 1968 when the Tigers won their third World Series, "Eat 'em Up" referring to the St. Louis Cardinals. People have even been seen wearing homemade shirts with the cheer written on the back as far away as Miller Park in Milwaukee.

During the 2006 playoffs the phrase "Team of Destiny" appeared on several home made signs, and became a rallying cry for the post season. The signs featured the blackletter "D" in place of the standard "D" in destiny.

The Tigers have worn essentially the same home uniform since 1934 - solid white jersey with navy piping down the front and a blackletter (Old English) "D" on the left chest, white pants, navy hat with white Old English "D". When they play away, the D on their hats is orange, and the pin on top is orange as well, with the word "DETROIT" across the shirt. A version of the team's Old English D was first seen on Tigers uniforms in 1904, after using a simple block D in 1903. The Old English D appeared frequently after that until being established in 1934. In 1960, the Tigers changed their uniform to read "Tigers", but the change only lasted one season before the traditional uniform was reinstated.

In 1995, the Tigers introduced an alternate jersey, solid navy with the team's alternate logo (a tiger stepping through the "D") on the chest. It was worn a few times and then abandoned.

The Tigers are the only team in Major League Baseball to have a color on their road uniforms that is not on their home uniforms (orange).

The Tigers use slightly different versions of the initial logo on the cap and jersey.

For unknown reasons, the Tigers wear their home hats with their road uniforms during Spring Training.

Players with retired numbers (and Ty Cobb) also have statues of themselves that sit behind their names, which are painted on the left-center field wall.

National Avenue, which runs behind the third-base stands at the Tigers' previous home Tiger Stadium, was renamed Cochrane Avenue for Mickey Cochrane. Cherry Street, which runs behind the left-field stands at Tiger Stadium, was renamed Kaline Drive for Al Kaline.

Cochrane's number 3 has not been retired for him nor has it been retired for Dick McAuliffe or Alan Trammell. The number 3 was taken out of circulation after Alan Trammell's retirement, and again after his dismissal as manager, but Gary Sheffield began wearing #3 with Trammell's public approval upon joining the team before the 2007 season (Sheffield had previously worn the numbers 1, 5, 10, and 11). Sheffield was released from the Tigers prior to the 2009 season, and the number was not reissued. The number 1, last worn by Lou Whitaker, has also not been retired nor has it been issued since Whitaker retired in 1995. The Number 47, last worn by Jack Morris, has also not been retired, nor has it been issued since Morris left the Tigers after the 1990 season. Number 11, last worn by former manager Sparky Anderson, has not been retired nor reissued since his 1995 retirement.

The Tigers' current flagship radio stations are Detroit sister stations WXYT-AM (1270 AM) and WXYT-FM (97.1 FM). Dan Dickerson does play-by-play and former Tigers catcher Jim Price does color commentary. Games are carried on both stations unless a conflict with Detroit Lions or Detroit Red Wings coverage arises, in which case only WXYT-AM serves as the Tigers' flagship.

The Tigers' current exclusive local television rights holder is Fox Sports Detroit. Mario Impemba does play-by-play and Rod Allen does color commentary. Since 2008, the only locally produced game aired on broadcast television is the Tigers' home opener, which is aired on WJBK-TV, simulcasted from Fox Sports Detroit.

From 1964–2000, the Tigers' flagship station was Detroit's WJR, a maximum power clear channel station that can be heard in the entire Great Lakes region and much of the Midwest.

Former Tigers telecasters include WJBK-TV, WKBD-TV, WWJ-TV, WDIV-TV and the defunct channels PASS Sports and ON-TV affiliate WXON-TV (as well as its current incarnation WMYD-TV).

Until the end of the 2007 season, Fox Sports Detroit shared rights with several Detroit stations, most recently WJBK-TV, which simulcasted games on a small network of broadcast stations across Michigan and Northwestern Ohio. This ended when Fox Sports Detroit signed a 10 year exclusive contract with the team in March of 2008.

Past Tigers broadcasters include Ty Tyson, Harry Heilmann, Paul Williams, Van Patrick, Dizzy Trout, Mel Ott, George Kell, Bob Scheffing, Ray Lane, Larry Osterman, Paul Carey and Don Kremer, Al Kaline, Joe Pelligrino, Mike Barry, Larry Adderly, Norm Cash, Hank Aguirre, Bill Freehan, Jim Northrup, Rick Rizzs, Bob Rathbun, Fred McLeod, Frank Beckmann, Lary Sorensen, Josh Lewin, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, and Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell, who called Tiger baseball from 1960-1991, then 1993-2002.

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List of Detroit Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers

Verlander warms up.jpg

The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Detroit, Michigan. They play in the American League Central division. The Tigers have used 54 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began to play in as a Major League team 1901. The Tigers have a record of 50 wins and 58 losses in their Opening Day games. They also played one tie game, in 1927.

The Tigers have played in three different home ball parks. The played at Bennett Park from 1901 through 1911, Tiger Stadium (also known as Navin Field and Briggs Stadium) from 1912 to 1999 and Comerica Park since 2000. They had a record of five wins and two losses in Opening Day games at Bennet Park, 19 wins and 22 losses at Tiger Stadium and one win and four losses at Comerica Park, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 25 wins and 28 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 25 wins, 30 losses and one tie.

Jack Morris has had the most Opening Day starts for the Tigers, with 11 consecutive such starts from 1980 to 1990. Morris had a record of seven wins and four losses in his Opening Day starts. George Mullin had ten Opening Day starts for the Tigers between 1903 and 1913. The Tigers won five of those games and lost the other five. Mickey Lolich had seven Opening Day starts between 1965 and 1974. He had a record of five wins and two losses in those starts. Hal Newhouser had six Opening Day starts between 1945 and 1951, and won four of those starts. Other Tiger pitchers with multiple Opening Day starts include Earl Whitehill and Jim Bunning with four, and Tommy Bridges, Frank Lary and Mike Moore with three. Roscoe Miller, Harry Coveleski, Hooks Dauss, Dutch Leonard, Schoolboy Rowe, Bobo Newsom, Dizzy Trout, Ned Garver, Denny McLain, Joe Coleman, Jeff Weaver, Jeremy Bonderman and Justin Verlander have each made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers.

The first game the Tigers played as a Major League team was on April 25, 1901 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Miller was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher for that game, which the Tigers won 14–13. Josh Billings was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher in 1928, despite being only 20 years old and having only won five Major League games prior to the season. Bunning, who made four Opening Day starts for the Tigers was later elected to the United States Senate. McLain, who made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers, was later convicted of embezzlement. Bunning and Newhouser have each been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Tigers have played in the World Series ten times, in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984 and 2006, winning in 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984. The Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers in those seasons were Mullin (1907 and 1909), Ed Siever (1908), Firpo Marberry (1934), Rowe (1935), Newsom (1940), Newhouser (1945), Earl Wilson (1968), Morris (1984) and Kenny Rogers (2006). The Tigers won five of those Opening Day games and lost the other five.

Justin Verlander was the Tigers' Opening Day starting pitcher in 2008 and 2009.

United States Senator Jim Bunning made four Opening Day starts for the Tigers.

Harry Coveleski made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers.

Hooks Dauss made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers.

Jeremy Bonderman was the Tigers' Opening Day starter in 2005 and 2007.

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Franklyn Germán

DSC04462 Franklyn Germán.jpg

Franklyn Miguel Germán Madé (born January 20, 1980 in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic) is a right-handed relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox organization. He is a particularly large man for a pitcher, standing 6 ft 7 in (2.04 m) tall and weighing 298 lb (135 kg), which lends him a degree of batter intimidation, like most taller-than-average pitchers possess.

His pitch arsenal includes a blazing, 100+ mph fastball, and a very effective offspeed pitch due to his large stature. He works mostly in middle relief and sometimes as a set-up man for the team's closer, although many baseball pundits expect that he'll become a closer himself within the next few seasons.

Germán was acquired by the Detroit Tigers on July 5, 2002, in a three-team trade between the Tigers, Oakland Athletics, and New York Yankees. Germán, first baseman Carlos Peña, and pitcher Jeremy Bonderman were traded by Oakland to Detroit in exchange for pitcher Jeff Weaver, whom Oakland then traded to New York for pitcher Ted Lilly, outfielder John-Ford Griffin, and minor league pitcher Jason Arnold. Germán never played for Oakland, though he did spend 1997-2002 in their rookie league, SIngle-A, and Double-A minor league affiliates before being traded.

During his rookie season (2003), he was known for his questionable ability to get batters out and as a result was generally unpopular with Detroit Tigers fans. Accordingly, he was subject to large amounts of criticism from the long-suffering Tigers fans, who at the time hadn't seen their team finish with a winning record since 1993.

Germán's inconsistency on the mound was in contrast to the Tigers' two primary starters at the time, Bonderman and lefty Mike Maroth, who were regarded to possess Major League talent, but frequently suffered from insufficient run support on a team in the midst of having the worst season in American League history—that year, the Tigers set a new record for total losses (119), eclipsing the previous record (117) held by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics. After spending much of the 2004 season on the Tigers' Triple-A minor league team, the Toledo Mud Hens, his form on the mound improved greatly, and he made the Tigers' 2005 opening day roster.

After a mediocre spring training in 2006, the Tigers left Germán unprotected on the waiver wire by designating him for another assignment to Toledo. He didn't clear waivers, however, and on April 4, 2006, he was claimed off waivers by the Florida Marlins, and earned a spot on their opening day roster.

Germán became a free agent after the 2006 season, and on November 17, 2006, signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.

Germán pitched in the Rangers 2008 season opener against the Seattle Mariners on March 31, 2008. It was the first time Germán had pitched outside the minors since 2006. He was designated for assignment by the Rangers on May 21, 2008, and on May 30 declined a minor-league assignment and became a free agent.

On June 4, 2008, Germán signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox on August 11, and assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. He became a free agent at the end of the season and re-signed with the Chicago White Sox.

Germán usually plays for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter Baseball League, and played for the World Team during the 2002 All-Star Futures Game, which was won, 5-1, by the World Team.

Germán is pronounced using the soft Spanish G, making his surname sound like Hairmon when spoken. His Marlins uniform did not include the accent mark over the a, so many spectators unaware of the mechanics of the Spanish language refer to him as German, as if referring to someone from Germany.

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2006 Detroit Tigers season

The 2006 Detroit Tigers won the American League Pennant. They represented the AL in the World Series before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 1. The season was their 106th since they entered the AL in 1901.

The Detroit Tigers were baseball's surprise success story of 2006. After years of futility, the 2006 season had the Tigers surging to the top of the major league standings in May, a position they did not relinquish until the final day of the season. The play of veterans like Rogers and Jones, the emergence of previously unestablished players Curtis Granderson, Brandon Inge, Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames, and significant production from erstwhile All-Stars Iván Rodríguez, Magglio Ordóñez and Carlos Guillén all contributed to the team's success.

A great deal of credit was also given to manager Jim Leyland. On April 17, after a loss dropped the team's record to 7-7, the manager launched into a tirade against the team about its lack of effort, telling the media, "We stunk." It appeared to light a fire under the players, spurring them on to a stretch in which they won 28 of 35 games. Leyland repeatedly preached the concept of playing hard for nine full innings, and the players took up that mantra, as evidenced not just by their words but also by the team's propensity for late-inning clutch hits, rallies and comebacks.

Statistically, the biggest factor in the team's success was its pitching, which led the major leagues in ERA and shutouts. Rookie Justin Verlander won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and fellow starters Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson, as well as rookie reliever Joel Zumaya, all had noteworthy seasons. There was concern when starter Mike Maroth had to undergo surgery early in the season, but his replacement Zach Miner proved to be adequate.

The Tigers' newfound success attracted a new generation of fans, many of whom who had never seen winning baseball in Detroit before. Tigers fans traveled to road games in large numbers, most notably at the interleague series with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field from June 16-18. The crowd could be heard chanting "Let's Go Tigers!" throughout all three games, all of which were Detroit victories.

One doubt many fans and pundits had was whether the Tigers could compete against other top-tier American League teams. Early in the season, the team lost series to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, and lost five of six games to the reigning World Series champion (and AL Central rival) Chicago White Sox. But on July 20, at a game which featured a particularly stirring rendition of the national anthem by local opera singer Eugene Zweig, and a standing-room-only crowd that included actor Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard, the Tigers beat White Sox pitching ace José Contreras to take the series two games to one from the White Sox, the team's first series victory against an upper-echelon AL team in 2006. In their next two series, against the AL West division-leading Oakland Athletics, and the red-hot Minnesota Twins, who were 34-8 over their previous 42 games, the Tigers also won two out of three.

On July 31, Tigers management traded minor-league pitcher Brian Rogers to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for left-handed hitting and three-time All Star first baseman Sean Casey. The move added a left-handed bat to the lineup, especially necessary after Dmitri Young was released in September.

On August 7, the Tigers were 40 games above .500 (76-36) and cruising. They would lose their next five games, and the last six weeks of the season were punctuated by a nosedive, as Plácido Polanco's separated shoulder and suddenly-silent bats led to a 19-31 record in the last 50 games of the season.

Only the big cushion built in the summer saved the Tigers from one of baseball's most famous collapses, but even that couldn't save a division title. On October 1, despite a rare relief appearance from Kenny Rogers, the Tigers fell out of the top spot in the American League Central with a 10-8 extra-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals in their last regular season game. Detroit lost their last five games, all at home, against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Royals.

The loss made the Tigers the wild card entrant in the American League Playoffs; their opening-round opponent would be the New York Yankees. The Tigers ended the regular season with a 95-67 record.

The New York Yankees were heavy favorites over the Tigers to win the series because of their "modern-day Murderers' Row" lineup. All nine batters were current or former All-Stars. The Yankees won the first game, 8-4.

In Game 2, the Tigers took an early 1-0 lead before Johnny Damon hit a three-run homer for New York in the 4th inning. The Tigers came back with single runs in the 5th, 6th, and 7th to come from behind to win, 4-3.

In Game 3, which was the first postseason game played in Detroit since 1987, the Tigers shut out the Yankees, 6-0. Kenny Rogers pitched 7⅔ scoreless innings and struck out eight in winning for the first time in his postseason career and defeated the Yankees for the first time since 1993.

In Game 4, the Tigers defeated the Yankees 8-3 to win the American League Division Series, 3 games to 1. Jeremy Bonderman threw a perfect game through five innings, and allowed just one run on five singles over his 8⅓ innings in giving the Tigers a second straight dominating starting pitching performance.

The final out kicked off a joyous celebration of players and fans throughout Comerica Park and Downtown Detroit. The celebration even included Kenny Rogers pouring champagne over a police officer's head (he can be seen on video clearly asking permission before doing so). In the process of winning the final three games, the Tigers held the fearsome Yankees lineup scoreless for 20⅔ consecutive innings (from the 4th inning of Game 2 until the 7th inning of Game 4) while scoring 17 runs in that span..

The Tigers faced the Oakland Athletics, winners of the American League Western Division. The A's had defeated the Minnesota Twins in a three-game sweep in the ALDS.

The Tigers won Game 1, 5-1, as Nate Robertson scattered six hits and three walks over his five shutout innings. In the fourth inning, with men on second and third and nobody out, Robertson memorably struck out the side to preserve his own victory.

Detroit also won Game 2, 8-5. Oakland had an early two-run lead before the Tigers' four-run fourth inning gave them the lead for good. Seldom-used outfielder Alexis Gómez got the surprise start as the designated hitter. Gómez hit a home run and drove in four RBIs as another example of Jim Leyland's managerial prowess.

Returning to Comerica Park for Game 3, the Tigers shut out the A's, 3-0. Kenny Rogers was masterful again, allowing only two singles and running his scoreless streak to 15 innings, and the A's did not get a hit off relievers Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones. The two hits were the fewest allowed in a post-season game in franchise history.

In Game 4, Oakland jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. Detroit, looking to sweep the A's, fought back to tie the game on a solo home run by Magglio Ordóñez in the 6th inning. In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and runners on first and second base, Ordóñez hit his second home run of the night, a three-run walk-off home run off of A's closer Huston Street that sent the Tigers to their first World Series since 1984. The American League Pennant was the tenth in Tigers history, and the pennant was won with a walk-off home run for only the third time ever (The last team to do it were the 2003 New York Yankees, when Aaron Boone hit a walk off home run to defeat Boston.).

The Cardinals won the first game of the World Series in Detroit 7-2, behind excellent pitching from unheralded Cardinals starter Anthony Reyes.

In Game Two, Kenny Rogers continued his astounding postseason, allowing two hits and no runs through eight innings, as the Tigers triumphed 3-1.

But the Tigers lost the next three games. They were shut out 5-0 in game three by Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter; they lost a 5-4 heartbreaker in game four; and in game 5, the Tigers committed two costly errors, lost a 2-1 lead, and fell 4-2. In the first inning rookie pitcher Justin Verlander threw two wild pitches, tying the Series record (AP); this was in sharp contrast to the five total that he had thrown in all of his previous games. Verlander would go on to commit a throwing error in the fourth inning, allowing the tying run to score.

In the series, the Tigers committed eight errors, five by the pitching staff alone, the most in World Series history. The Tigers' World Series loss was disappointing, but it did not diminish the Tigers' remarkable turnaround.

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Ted Lilly

Theodore "Ted" Lilly III (born January 4, 1976, in Torrance, California), is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. He bats and throws left-handed. Lilly attended Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, California, and Fresno City College.

Lilly broke into the majors with the Montreal Expos in 1999, pitching in only nine games that year before being traded to the New York Yankees as part of a trade involving Hideki Irabu. Lilly played two plus years for the Yankees before being dealt to the Oakland Athletics in a three team deal that included pitchers Jeff Weaver heading to New York and Jeremy Bonderman going to the Detroit Tigers. Lilly was in the starting rotation for Oakland, and pitched in the American League Division Series in both 2002 and 2003. In 2003 he tied for the major league lead in balks, with four.

Lilly was traded from the Athletics to the Blue Jays for Bobby Kielty. He made the American League All-Star team in 2004 as the Jays' lone representative that year.

The highlight of his career as a Blue Jay was a start on August 23, 2004 against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out 13 batters in a three-hit 3–0 victory.

He led the majors in balks, with four.

Lilly was 15–13 with a 4.31 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 2006, exceeding his previous career-high for wins (12). He also equalled a career high for starts (32) and nearly matched his career highs in strikeouts and innings pitched. This season, he ranked first among the Jays' pitching staff in strikeouts and second only to Roy Halladay in wins (Halladay had a 16–5 record before a recurring elbow injury ended his season in late September). He also led the majors in balks, with four.

On August 21, 2006, in a game against the Oakland Athletics, Lilly was surrendering an early 8-0 lead in the 3rd inning when manager John Gibbons took him out of the game with the score 8-5 and runners on 1st & 3rd, and Lilly refused to give him the ball. Eventually, he reluctantly left the mound and later feuded with Gibbons in the locker room, though Gibbons maintained no punches were thrown.

Lilly declared for free agency at the end of the 2006 season, and alongside Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt and Jeff Suppan, was one of the most sought-after free agent pitchers, partially due to the thin market for starting pitching. On the morning of December 6, 2006, He informed the Blue Jays that he would not be returning to the club, thus rejecting a four year, $40 million deal. He cited a "change in scenery" as his reasoning. Later on that day, Lilly agreed to an identical four year, $40 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, officially ending his tenure with the Blue Jays.

In his first start for the Cubs, Lilly defeated the Cincinnati Reds in a strong outing, taking a no hitter into the fifth inning, and only yielding one earned run over seven innings. Lilly then was the starting pitcher for the Cubs home opening game at Wrigley Field on April 9, 2007. Lilly gave up three runs in six innings, but did not factor into the decision. Lilly pitched well in April, lasting at least six innings in each of his five starts while never giving up more than three runs in a game posting a 2.18 ERA.

Lilly was prominent in a contentious series in Chicago between the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves. In game one of the series, Alfonso Soriano hit three home runs in his first three at-bats as part of a Cubs 9-1 victory. In the next game, Tim Hudson hit Soriano (Intent is unknown) with a first-pitch fastball triggering home-plate umpire Tim Tschida to issue warnings to both teams. On the final game of the series, Lilly hit Edgar Rentería in the first inning, and was promptly thrown out of the ballgame by Jim Wolf. Lilly was not suspended for his actions in the game.

In 2008 he led the majors in balks, with four.

Lilly was the starting pitcher in two games for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In the first game he faced Venezuela but was pulled after 36 pitches. Manager Davey Johnson wanted to get work for starter Jeremy Guthrie and as many relievers as possible. Lilly left with the United States trailing 1-0, thanks to the homer he served up to his former Cubs batterymate, Henry Blanco. His second start was against Puerto Rico. A game that Team USA would win with a David Wright two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. For his part Lilly gave up two home runs, the only two hits he gave up in his 3 1/3 innings.

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Carlos Peña

Peña is congratulated by Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura after hitting a three-run home run against the Yankees on 4/4/2008.

Carlos Felipe Peña (born May 17, 1978 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a left-handed first baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Carlos is the eldest of four children born to Felipe and Juana Peña. The family moved to the United States when Carlos was 14, initially living with one of Carlos' uncles in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

He graduated from Haverhill High School in 1995. He initially went to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, but returned home after a semester and instead went to Northeastern University where he studied electrical engineering. As a collegiate player, he competed in the Cape Cod League, which showcases top amateur prospects every summer. He was a member of the Wareham Gatemen in 1997. During his time at Northeastern Pena lead the Huskies to one NCAA tournament. Pena's career batting average at Northeastern was .324 and finished with 24 home runs in two seasons.

Carlos lives with his wife, Pamela (married December 22, 2003), and their daughter, Isabella, in Orlando, Florida, during the offseason.

In 1998, Peña was a first round draft pick as the tenth overall pick by the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball Draft.

Peña began his professional career in 1998, playing for three different Rangers affiliates. Prior to the 1999 season, Peña was named by Baseball America as the 93rd prospect in their top 100 prospects list. In 1999, Peña played for the Charlotte Rangers, the Rangers Advanced Single-A team. He batted .255 with 18 home runs in 138 games.

Peña was promoted to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2000. He put up a strong performance in his 138 games played, batting .299 with 28 home runs and 105 RBIs.

Peña appeared in Baseball America's top 100 prospect list in 2001, this time appearing at #11 and was also the Rangers top prospect. He advanced another level in 2001, this time playing for the Oklahoma Redhawks, the Rangers Triple-A affiliate. He played in 119 games for the Redhawks in which he batted .288 with 23 home runs and 74 RBIs. Peña was also a Triple-A All-Star in 2001.

Following the 2001 minor league season, the Rangers called him up to the big leagues during September 2001, when rosters expanded. Peña made his Major League debut on September 5, starting at first base and going 0-3. Peña finished the 2001 season with a .258 batting average and 3 home runs in 22 games played.

On January 14, 2002, along with Mike Venafro, Peña was traded to the Oakland Athletics by the Rangers for Jason Hart, Gerald Laird, Ryan Ludwick, and Mario Ramos.

Prior to the 2002 season, Peña once again appeared on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list again and was #5 on the list. Peña was on the Athletics Opening Day roster and his starting first baseman's job was a job to lose. Labeled "uncoachable" by some baseball insiders and the Bay Area press, he did lose the job when he was demoted to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats on May 21. Peña had played in 40 games and batted only .218 with 7 home runs and 16 RBIs. He was named the American League Rookie of the Month for the month of April in which he batted .264 with 7 home runs and 16 RBIs; his 7 home runs were one shy of the record for most home runs in a month by a rookie. Peña would go on to play in 44 games for the River Cats in which he batted .240 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs.

During Peña's stint with Sacramento, he hit .438 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs from July 2-July 5. Following this small hot streak, Peña was involved in a three team deal on July 6, 2002. The Athletics had sent Peña, a player to be named later (was later named as Jeremy Bonderman), and Franklyn Germán to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, and Jason Arnold to the Athletics. The Tigers sent Jeff Weaver to the Yankees and cash to the Athletics.

The Tigers had acquired him due to a season ending injury to designated hitter Dmitri Young and the first baseman at the time of the trade for the Tigers was Randall Simon who immediately became the Tigers designated hitter following Peña's acquisition.

Peña made his Tigers debut the next day, on July 7, against the Boston Red Sox. He went 3-4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. Peña played in 75 games for the Tigers in 2002 and batted .253 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs. Overall he batted .242 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs in 115 games. His 2002 season included a 12 game hitting streak from September 8-September 21, which tied teammate Omar Infante for the longest hitting streak for an American League rookie in 2002.

Peña played in his first full season in 2003 as the Tigers everyday first baseman. On May 19, against the Cleveland Indians, he established career highs with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. Peña also missed nearly a month in June when he was out with a left calf strain. He played in 131 games for the Tigers in 2003 and batted .248 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs.

In 2004, Peña established career highs in games played (142), at bats (481), hits (116), doubles (22), home runs (27), runs scored (89), RBIs (82), total bases (227), stolen bases (7), walks (70), and strikeouts (146). Pena also batted .241 in 2004.

On May 27, 2004, against the Kansas City Royals, Peña matched a Tigers nine inning single game record with a career high six hits. He became the fifth player in franchise history to do so and the first one since Damion Easley accomplished it on August 8, 2001, against the Texas Rangers. He batted in the eighth spot in the batting order and his six hits were the most from the eighth spot since Wilbert Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles collected seven hits on June 10, 1892 against St. Louis.

Peña began the 2005 season as the Tigers' starting first baseman again. After playing in 40 games in which he batted .181 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs, Peña was demoted to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. He played in 71 games for the Mud Hens and batted .311 with 12 home runs and 71 RBIs. Following an injury to shortstop Carlos Guillén, Peña was recalled on August 17. Following his recall, he put on a power show, hitting 15 home runs in 38 games. Overall, he played in 79 games for the Tigers in 2005, and batted .235 with 18 home runs and 44 RBIs.

In Spring training during 2006, Peña batted just .160 with 1 home run and 4 RBIs in 17 games for the Tigers. His poor performance prompted the Tigers to release him on March 26, 2006.

While with the Detroit Tigers Pena hit the longest home run in Comerica Park clearing the bleachers in right-center as it took one bounce and left the stadium. The home run was hit to the deepest part of the ballpark.

Peña signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees on April 15, 2006. He played at the Triple-A level for the Columbus Clippers. Playing in 105 games, he batted .260 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs. On August 16, 2006, Peña exercised a clause in his contract and became a free agent.

The next day, on August 17, 2006, Peña signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox and was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. With the Pawtucket Red Sox, Peña played in 11 games and batted .459 with 4 home runs and 8 RBIs. His contract was purchased on August 28, 2006. On September 4, 2006, Peña hit his only home run of the 2006 season. He was a defensive replacement and when he came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, he hit a walk-off home run off Brandon McCarthy of the Chicago White Sox.

Peña ended up playing in 18 games for the Red Sox in 2006. He batted .273 with 1 home run and three RBIs. Following the season, he opted for free agency.

Peña signed a minor league contract with the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now "Tampa Bay Rays") on February 1, 2007. He was also invited to Spring training. Peña played in 23 games during Spring Training and batted .255 with no home runs and 4 RBIs. With his disappointing performance, the Rays reassigned Peña to minor league camp. With a knee injury to Greg Norton on the last day of Spring Training, the Rays re-signed him, this time to a Major League contract on April 1.

Peña was on the Rays active roster throughout the whole 2007 season. Peña had a slow start to his 2007 season, batting just .213 with four home runs in the month of April as a backup player. Peña got hot in May, hitting .356 with six home runs and 15 RBIs as an everyday player and was the Rays everyday first baseman for the rest of the season. He had four multi-home run games from August 26 to September 22.

Peña would go on to have the best season of his career in 2007 and set numerous career highs. He finished the season with a .282 batting average, 46 home runs and 121 RBIs. His batting average, home runs, and RBIs were career highs, as well as games played (148), at bats (490), runs scored (99), doubles (29), total bases (307), on-base percentage (.411), slugging percentage (.627), walks (103), and strikeouts (142). He was second in the American League in home runs to Alex Rodriguez's 54. His home run, RBIs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and walk totals also set Rays franchise records. In 2007, he had the lowest range factor of all AL league first basemen, 8.73. While his team did not advance to the playoffs, Peña's season led him to being named the 2007 American League Comeback Player of the Year and his name has even been considered as an AL MVP candidate. He also was named the Player's Choice AL Comeback Player of the Year by fellow players. With this award he is allowed to donate $20,000 to Dominican youth under the poverty line.

In 2008, Peña struggled at the beginning of the season, having compiled only a .227 batting average through 207 at-bats through June 4, 2008. He had, however, been able to maintain his power stroke, as evidenced by his eleven home runs on the year. A day after going 2-3 with a home run and three runs batted in against the Boston Red Sox, Peña was placed on the fifteen-day disabled placed on June 4, 2008 due to a broken finger. Peña returned to action from the disabled list on June 27, and finished the season with a .247 batting average, 31 home runs, and 102 RBIs. His uniform shows his name as PEÑA, that is the correct way in Spanish, meaning high rock, since PENA means sorrow or pain in his native language.

After the 2008 season ended, he was awarded his first (and also the first for a Tampa Bay Rays franchise player) AL Gold Glove.

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Source : Wikipedia