Major League Commissioner Bud Selig Should Recognize Tiger Pitcher Armando Galarraga’s Perfect Game

WHEREAS, on June 2, 2010, at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga masterfully pitched a game against the Cleveland Indians in which he indisputably retired each of the first 26 batters he faced in succession with exactly 80 pitches thrown (62 strikes, 18 balls); and WHEREAS, Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson made a tremendous, over-the-shoulder running catch off Indians second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for the first out of the ninth inning; and WHEREAS, with two outs in the top of the 9th inning, the 27th batter, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald, grounded the ball to Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who in turn flipped the ball to Galarraga, who clearly touched the bag with his … [Read more...]

RIP, Ernie

Tonight I am at a loss for words. The great Ernie Harwell -- to all of us who grew up with his voice and grew up to love Detroit Tigers baseball, simply "Ernie" -- passed away today at age 92, after a long bout with cancer. If you want to know why I'm choked up with tears, here's a start: My September 2009 posting: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell A full-length obituary in the Detroit Free Press And a fitting, in-game eulogy by fellow baseball broadcasting legend Vin Scully: … [Read more...]

Ernie Harwell, David Benke, and Appomattox: Making Today Memorable

Today -- April 9, 2010 -- will go down as a memorable day. First, my native state of Michigan officially declared it Ernie Harwell Day in honor of what looks very much like the legendary Hall-of-Fame baseball broadcaster's last Detroit home opener with us (and bless the Tigers, they beat Cleveland 5-2). Can't say it enough: Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell. I've also learned that lawmakers from my adopted home state of Colorado have declared today David Benke Day, in honor of the selfless, heroic teacher at Deer Creek Middle School who doubtless helped save student lives from a deranged gunman. I'm honored to have met both of these fine, humble men, and am glad to know they share the same commemorative day. They are both most deserving, each in … [Read more...]

Recent Plights of Penry and McDaniels Give Me a Little Pause about 33

There's no stopping the forward press of time. I'm not so sure about turning 33 today, but at least my name isn't Josh. A few months ago the combination of age and name seemed so charmed. They were a pair of Colorado wunderkinds: one 33-year-old Josh making strides towards one of Colorado's most powerful positions, the other 33-year-old Josh newly occupying the other. Josh Penry was making giant strides toward the Republican nomination for governor. Then one day in November the plug suddenly was pulled on his campaign. Now he isn't even running for re-election to his own state senate seat in 2010. What's going on? But he's on Cloud Nine compared to Josh McDaniels, who yesterday felt the bitter sting of missing the playoffs in his … [Read more...]

Baseball Players Stump for EFCA: A Bad Way to Mix Sports and Politics

Here's the latest, greatest example why sports and politics don't mix .... At first, when I read this posting from the Right to Work blog, I thought I had another solid reason to cheer against the New York Yankees for whatever is left of the World Series:Mark Teixeira has a $100 million contract to play baseball with the Yankees. Good for Mark. But it’s too bad that this multi-millionaire is stepping to the plate on behalf of the union bosses by advocating for the Card Check Forced Unionism bill. But then I followed the link and found that two of the 12 Forced Unionism baseball spokesmen were Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies. And horror of horrors, my favorite hometown pitcher Justin Verlander is a … [Read more...]

Savoring Silver Anniversary of Detroit Tigers’ Last World Championship

A quick walk down Detroit Tigers memory lane: Today is the 3rd anniversary of Magglio Ordonez' walk-off 3-run homer that won the ALCS and launched the Tigers into the World Series (also the first epic late-inning playoff loss for Huston Street, then of the Oakland A's). Which also means it was exactly 25 years ago today that the Detroit Tigers last celebrated World Series triumph, with an 8-5 victory over the San Diego Padres in Game 5 down at the Corner (and my childhood hero Alan Trammell named Series MVP). Sadly, the stadium is gone now. But the memory lives on. Here's hoping that Detroit repeats the feat sometime before that anniversary turns golden and my hair turns (completely) gray. … [Read more...]

Historic Hillsdale Homecoming Win: Chargers Down No. 1 GVSU Lakers

You'll grant me a few indulgences for posting this one -- after all, how often do I bother to write about my alma mater's athletic feats? Not too often, I can assure you. But what happened yesterday in the old Hills & Dales on homecoming rates among the most historic gridiron happenings on Muddy Waters Field: the Chargers toppled the number 1 team in Division II, the perennial powerhouse Grand Valley State Lakers, 27-24. Well, historic enough to make the Detroit News, anyway. The last time Hillsdale beat conference foe Grand Valley? Fifteen years ago, the year before I began my (non-athletic) college career. True, because it certainly didn't happen during my brief tenures as sports editor for both the Hillsdale Collegian (1997) and … [Read more...]

Enjoying (and Sweating Out) the Tigers’ and Rox’ Late-Season Chases

If you live in my world, politics largely has taken a back seat this week. My two MLB teams -- the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies -- are respectively locked in the races for the last two playoff berths. Last night, in probably the most consequential game of the Tigers' regular season so far, ace Justin Verlander got it done and the team survived some last-minute cardiac-inducing pressure from the ever-pesky Minnesota Twins. Meanwhile, everyone in Colorado knows about Chris Iannetta's 11th-inning pinch hit walk-off homer to take down the Brewers at Coors Field. Result? With five games to go, Rockies have a three-game lead and a magic number of three to claim the NL wildcard, and the Tigers have a two-game lead and a magic number … [Read more...]

Thank YOU, Ernie Harwell

I'll admit it. I'm a fool for baseball. And one of the greatest reasons I love the game so much walked out onto the field at Comerica Park this evening -- Ernie Harwell, 91 years young, diagnosed with terminal cancer, but as optimistic and gracious and gentlemanly as ever -- to say thank you:"It's a wonderful night for me," Harwell said. "I really feel lucky to be here, and I want to thank you for that warm welcome. I want to express my deep appreciation to Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers for that video salute and also for the many great things they've done for me and my family throughout my career here with the Tigers. "In my almost 92 years on this Earth, the good Lord has blessed me with a great journey, and the blessed … [Read more...]

God Bless Us Detroit Tigers Fans, ‘Cause We’re Crazy Enough to Believe

For the baseball fan, September is a sweet (or bittersweet) time of the year. As a Detroit Tigers fan, I've been accustomed to more of the latter. But the pennant race is on, and both my Tigers and my Colorado Rockies are in the thick of things. An interesting tidbit today from a Rasmussen survey of baseball fans:Fans of the Detroit Tigers are now the second most confident fans, with 68% who think their team will win a World Series title this year. Overall, only 4% of all baseball fans think the Tigers will win. The Tigers currently lead the AL Central division by 3.5 games. … [Read more...]