Tiger Talk

With Replacements Looming, Veterans Step Up

While comfort and job security have always been the norm to Joe Nathan and Justin Verlander, the 2014 trade deadline opened the veterans’ eyes to the possibility of being replaced.

Between Verlander and Nathan, the two have combined for eight All-Star games and nine postseason appearances. Verlander has held the ace role in Detroit for over half a decade, and Nathan has been the perennial closer for his team — whether that be Minnesota, Texas or Detroit. While their personal accomplishments are impressive, one looming statistic has evaded them throughout both their careers: zero World Series rings.

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Tiger Talk – #8 – 8/7/14

The boys are back and better than ever in their latest edition of Tiger Talk. Host Tony Garcia is joined by cohost Richie Cozzolino and guest Anthony Serafino as the three baseball nuts discuss everything the last month that is Tigers.

By acquiring David Price and Joakim Soria, the Tigers made the biggest splash at the deadline, but did they make the right move?

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Opinion: The Price of a ‘World Series or Bust’ Mentality

With the acquisition of David Price, the Detroit Tigers now own contracts of the past three Cy Young Award winners, and if Miguel Cabrera is included, also the past three MVP’s.

Detroit waited until 3:51 EST to make it official before the 4 p.m. trade deadline on July 31. The Tigers traded left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly and outfielder Austin Jackson as a part of the three-team deal with the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners that sent Smyly to Tampa and Jackson to Seattle. Read More…

The Impact of Joakim: Tigers Acquire Soria, Look to Patch Reeling Bullpen

The Detroit Tigers bullpen currently holds the worst batting average against at .272 and the least strikeouts of any bullpen with just 243 strikeouts. Match that with the collective 4.41 ERA, and one could argue that the Tigers own the worst bullpen of all contending teams; a huge point of contention over the past three season.

However, Dave “Clark Kent, Superman, X-factor” Dombrowski came to the rescue once more. He and the Detroit Tigers received closer Joakim Soria in their second big deal of the season with the Texas Rangers for two pitching prospects, relievers Corey Knebel and Jason Thompson, and a draft pick.

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Why Austin Jackson Will Be the Key to Detroit’s Success in Second Half

When the Detroit Tigers acquired Austin Jackson from the New York Yankees in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks (who received Edwin Jackson and traded pitcher Max Scherzer to the Tigers) they saw their center fielder of the future.

Anyone who is touted as one of the top prospects for the Yankees has a lot of promise, and Dave Dombrowski wasted no time in his efforts to attain him.

Following his 2010 rookie season, it appeared as if Detroit had struck gold. Jackson was one of the top rookies in the league, hitting .293 in 151 games played, with 27 steals and 48 extra base hits while finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

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The Dirks Dilemma

At some point this season, Detroit fans have called for the heads of all three outfield starters: Rajai Davis, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter.

Other times, those shouting expletives in June were shouting approval in July.

All three players have looked valuable to the Tigers at some point during the first four months of the season, and while their sporadic play may have satiated fans, Brad Ausmus may not be convinced.

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Detroit Well-Represented in 2014 All-Star Game

Miguel Cabrera. Duh. Max Scherzer, of course. Victor Martinez, another no brainer.

When the fan voting was finally over, the Detroit Tigers had three players selected to the 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota: Cabrera coming off an MVP season, Scherzer after his Cy Young season, and Martinez who has continued his torrid pace since July, 2013.

Let’s take a look at these guys by the numbers through the first half of the season.

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Meet J. D. Martinez

Hobbies of new Detroit acquisition, JD Martinez, include dancing, long walks on the beach and knocking the pulp out of the baseball.

Julio Daniel Martinez, the 26-year-old bombshell, has been the lightning bolt in a Tigers team that was desperate for an electric player. Originally Houston’s everyday left fielder, Martinez’s mediocre numbers in 2013 led to multiple trips to the minor leagues, with an eventual release from the Astros organization.

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Tiger Talk – #7 – 6/16/14

A hour of Tiger Talk? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

The Tiger faithful are back to continue the conversation about the pesky AL Central. Hosts Tony Garcia and Richie Cozzolino congregate to discuss the White Sox-Tigers series. Returning to the podcast is Warning Track host and Michigan State baseball reporter Zac Swierad.

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Nathan or Chamberlain?

Another year, another problem at the closer position for Detroit. At Comerica Park, booing the man on the mound in the ninth has become tradition.

A conversation about swapping closers merely two months into the season is a disappointing one, but Joe Nathan has shown time and again he is unable to pitch a clean final three outs. The only other real option for Detroit would be Joba Chamberlain, a man who has shown consistency as the set-up man.

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Tigers Drop Two of Three in Shortened Series

Detroit’s recent woes continued in the Windy City as the ailing Tigers dropped two of three in a rain-shortened series against the Chicago White Sox.

After the Tigers went down 2-0 quickly in the first three innings on Monday, Miguel Cabrera took the 2-2, 93 mile per hour offering from Hector Noesi and undressed it, sending it deep into the seats in left field to cut the lead in half.

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Tiger Talk – #6 – 6/9/14

The Detroit Tigers start a long swing with their AL Central foes, and many questions remain about the ability of the team. Luckily, Tiger Talk connoisseurs Tony Garcia and Richie Cozzolino have all the answers.

The guys first discuss the previous series in Boston, praising rookie Nick Castellanos and his wonderful series versus a pesky Red Sox team. However, compliments about the bottom of the lineup end with the third basemen. With Cabrera’s lingering hamstring issues and shortstop position problems, the bats were quiet for many games during Detroit’s losing streak. Tony and Richie talk about whether Andrew Romine is truly the answer at short for the Tigers, or whether rookie Eugenio Suarez and his powerful bat can take over the position.

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Blue Jays Dominate Tigers, Detroit Lose Fifth Straight

It is beginning to sound like a broken record at this point.

Anibal Sanchez was dominant again, seven innings pitched, just two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. That should earn a win for most teams on most nights.

However, that was not enough for the reeling Detroit Tigers ballclub.

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Tiger Talk – #5 – 6/2/14

With two months in the books, the Detroit Tigers have already had as many ups and downs in that span of time as some teams do throughout the entire season. From being 12 games over .500 in the middle of May, to losing 14 of 18 to end the month and begin June, Detroit has been through it all.

New host Tony Garcia is joined by Anthony Serafino, as the two break down their perspectives of the beginning of the 2014 season.

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A Summer Slump

Wait, what happened? I blinked.

A week ago, fans were comparing Detroit’s team to the World Series winners of 1984. Jump forward one disappointing week, and some are thinking more about the 2003 Tigers.

Since May 19, Detroit has lost seven of their last eight, surrendering an embarrassing 67 runs. Their losses included a road sweep by the Cleveland Indians, losing three of four to the sub-.500 Rangers and getting spanked by the Athletics in their first game at Oakland.

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Opinion: A Special Squad’s Secret to Success

Detroit is not just the best team in baseball. They are also the most enjoyable to watch.

Coming into Fenway against rowdy Boston fans would make any team sweat, right? You would think a team sitting at the top of the competitive MLB would have some pressure to continue winning.

If there is, they sure are not showing it.

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A Wild Week in Baltimore

A quiet May series in Baltimore has led to drama and determination for Detroit.

Detroit entered the Orioles’ Camden Yards after playing 13 consecutive days. A rain delay halted the series by over a half-hour for its inaugural game. With Drew Smyly and Rick Porcello as the men on the mound, the Tigers were not expecting fireworks to end their road trip.

However, the unexpected is what makes every game in the 162-spread season one to watch. Read More…

Ray Shines, Cabrera Comes Alive as Tigers Win Seven Straight

There has been a different Miguel Cabrera stepping to the plate every game for Detroit. On Tuesday, it was the one the Tigers want to see.

The MVP went 4-for-5, with four RBIs, including a solo shot in the first. It was Cabrera’s second four-hit game of the season and his first since April 4. The big fella for Detroit has gotten off to a slow start in the month of April, only batting .275.

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Pitching Prowess Leads Detroit to Sixth Straight

Max Scherzer left everything on the field Monday night, including a soon-to-be-trademarked fist pump indicating a strong performance. Magic Max pitched eight solid innings, striking out nine and only allowing three hits in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros.

The Detroit bats seemed to calm down after returning from Kansas City: Rajai Davis’ RBI single in the seventh and Victor Martinez’s solo shot in the eighth being the difference makers. A far cry from the 26 runs and 42 hits against the Royals, two runs and six hits put away a Houston team unable to produce against the Cy Young winner. Scherzer did not allow a base runner past second base.

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