#5 Let’s get caught up

Now that “Fielder-Fever” is cooling down and Yoenis Cespedes seems to have found himself a home with the Marlins  (surprise!) the A’s, Tigers fans are busy writing up their starting lineups and setting their eyes on Spring Training. Pitchers will be reporting to Lakeland and starting their workouts within the week. Official team workouts will begin on Feb. 24th. Both ESPN and FOX Sport Detroit announced their Spring Training TV schedules, with the Tigers getting six air dates between the two networks. Our newest royal acquisition and recent line-up changes could put us in the running for a few more dates when the MLB Network announces their lineup. The Tigers have their first preseason match-up on March 3rd. This will be the Tigers 46th year at Joker Merchant Stadium, and 78th year in Lakeland, FL.

Normally, spring training games are full of rookies and new acquisitions trying to prove their worth for a spot in the farm system. This year should prove to be an exception for the Tigers, as many of our players need to find a rhythm in their new roles before the beginning of the regular season. All three of our base positions will need to become familiar with each other. A picture posted recently of a slimmed down Miguel Cabrera gives me confidence that he is ready to re-acquaint himself with his old third base position. Our utility guys (Kelly, Inge, Raburn, Dirks) will have much to prove for a regular starting spot in the lineup. Young pitchers Below, Furbush, and Turner will take to the mound, each out to win a shot at the fifth spot in the Tigers pitching rotation.

While baseball fans are gearing up for spring training, football fans are left with little more than shortened clips from their favorite big-game commercials – except for Justin Verlander. Our very own star pitcher got to put up another award next to his AL MVP and CY Young. JV won the 26th Annual Scripps Howard Super Sage Award, the celebrity Super Bowl poll, perfectly predicting the Giants 21-17 victory. Justin is the first baseball player to win the award and only the third celebrity to guess the exact score of the game. Oh, and did you know he’s also a ninja – riding a cheetah.

In other Detroit related news, the NHL announced that the University of Michigan will play host to the 2013 Winter Classic outdoor hockey game featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs taking place on New Year’s Day. As a part of the festivities, Comerica Park, home to the Tigers, will get its own icy make-over. The stadium will host our local Saginaw Spirit hockey team, as well as 3 other teams, in the first outdoor match-ups in OHL history.

2 Comments

Spring training has already begun at our house, my kids have been playing baseball in the snow. To tell the truth, I am also rather excited about the upcoming baseball season. Besides enjoying seeing my sons get excited about what the Tigers are doing, I get to watch them grow in a sport they love. My younger son, Jake, wants to be just like Verlander when he grows up and has been laughing about that commercial since he first saw it. I am also thankful for the end of the football season and even more thankful that there are no longer a gazillion repeats of the highlights on our TV all week!

Well, you’ve almost got me thinking I could care about baseball this year, but first I have to get over my post-football season depression. I’ve never been much of one to remember player names, and it always impresses me when sports fans can rattle off where players have gone and what they expect from them in the upcoming season based on past performance. I suppose this is what separates true fans from those of us who go to the game just for the beer and hot dogs with some sports in between.

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