Friday, October 30, 2009

Major League Baseball Players Recognize Albert Pujols as Player of the Year and Curtis Granderson as Man of the Year

In Play Magazine

New York, NY, Friday, October 30, 2009 …
In a season marked by extraordinary performances on and off the field, Major League baseball players today bestowed their highest honors on two players – St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is Player of the Year and Detroit Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson is the Marvin Miller Man of the Year. The Major League Baseball Players Trust will honor Pujols and Granderson, the top Players Choice Award winners, with donations of $50,000 each to the charities of their choice. The Awards announcements were made this morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning show during the finale of an exclusive, five-day broadcast special presented by Upper Deck and benefiting the Major League Baseball Players Trust.

Pujols helped guide the Cardinals to their fourth NL Central Division crown in six years by leading the Majors in home runs for the first time, with 47. The eight-time Players Choice Award winner finished first among all National Leaguers in runs scored (124), on-base percentage (.443) and slugging percentage (.658), second in doubles (45) and third in batting average (.327), RBI (135) and walks (115). Pujols, 29, hit above .300 with 30-plus home runs and 100-plus RBI for the ninth consecutive season. Pujols has now been honored by his peers with Players Choice Awards as Player of the Year and NL Outstanding Player in 2003, 2008 and 2009, Marvin Miller Man of the Year in 2006 and NL Outstanding Rookie in 2001.

Granderson earned the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, named for the founding executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association and awarded to the player whose on-field and off -field performance most inspires others to higher levels of achievement, by displaying as much passion to give back to others as he shows between the lines on the baseball diamond . In 2008, he established the Grand Kids Foundation to focus on improving opportunities for inner-city youth in the areas of education and youth baseball. A graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Granderson recently released a children’s book, All You Can Be, which encourages children to chase their dreams. He is also an active member of the Action Team national youth volunteer program administered by the Players Trust and Volunteers of America, which is inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers in more than 150 high schools across the U.S. Granderson, 28, just completed his fourth full season in the Majors and set a career high in home runs (30), and finished with 157 hits, 91 runs scored, 23 doubles, 8 triples, 20 stolen bases and 71 RBI in 160 games with the Tigers.

Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting of all Major League players for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.

Players Choice Awards winners will recommend the charities of their choice to receive grants from the Major League Baseball Players Trust totaling $260,000. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3.5 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.

The 2009 Players Choice Awards finalists are [winners in bold & underlined]:

American League:
Outstanding Rookie: Elvis Andrus (Texas), Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox), Jeff Niemann (Tampa Bay)

Comeback Player: Russell Branyan (Seattle), Aaron Hill (Toronto), Scott Podsednik (Chicago White Sox)

Outstanding Pitcher: Roy Halladay (Toronto), Zack Greinke (Kansas City), C.C. Sabathia (NY Yankees)

Outstanding Player: Derek Jeter (NY Yankees), Joe Mauer (Minnesota), Kendry Morales (LA Angels of Anaheim)

National League:
Outstanding Rookie: Chris Coghlan (Florida), Tommy Hanson (Atlanta), J.A. Happ (Philadelphia)

Comeback Player: Aaron Boone (Houston), Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Nick Johnson (Florida)

Outstanding Pitcher: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis), Tim Lincecum (San Francisco), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)

Outstanding Player: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Hanley Ramirez (Florida)

Either League:
Man of the Year: Curtis Granderson (Detroit), Torii Hunter (LA Angeles of Anaheim), Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

Player of Year: Joe Mauer (Minnesota), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Hanley Ramirez (Florida)

In Play! Magazine would like to congratulate Curtis Granderson! Keep up the good work Grandy!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Thoughts From Around the Leagues

By Denny McLain
In Play Magazine

MLB Musings…

You have to say one thing, these baseball playoffs have been the best that baseball can offer. The game can’t get much better then what we have seen, can they? The game literally is never over til the fat lady sings and then it may not be over, depending on what the fat lady is singing?

Did you know that the owner of the LA Dodgers has fired his wife as president of the Dodgers daily business? Now she is divorcing him. She promises to disclose everything when their first hearing takes place shortly. Look out!


I just can’t imagine how the hell every domestic dispute winds up in the papers, TMZ and all of the morning radio shows. Whether it’s Kate and her eight, Orange County jerk-offs, the NJ mobsters or a host of any others. This is crazy!

What is really crazy is; I can’t wait to see each of these stupid shows each week! God forbid my wife would want to do a live reality show, oh my god!


Bobby Abreu, who no one really wanted and surely didn’t want to pay lots of money, is now being courted by the Angels for more than $16 million, a contract extension and a huge raise! See what happens when the post season runs crazy?


Isn’t it time for another baseball star’s name to be release who tested positive for roids? It seems to happen about this time of year?


Will the Tigers hire a real pitching coach? Someone who understands the game and how to win and perform consistently? Why do these major league managers always go for pitching coaches who only know how to say “Yes Master, Yes Master, anything you want Jimmy.”


Does anyone think that Brandon Inge, now about to get surgery performed on his knees will improve his batting average, hell no! A .230 hitter is always a .230 hitter, Brandon you should walk on my knees, the two guys walking on mine are killing me!


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers announced second baseman Scott Sizemore underwent surgery today on his left ankle for his fractured fibula and the associated instability, a procedure performed by Dr. Stephen Lemos at the Detroit Medical Center.

Screws were inserted to stabilize his ankle joint and he has been placed in a splint for the next two weeks. At the end of the two-week period in the splint, Sizemore will wear a cam boot. Sizemore will have the screws removed in January and at that time he will be able to begin full weight-bearing activities.

According to the projected timetable, Sizemore is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.

He suffered the injury turning a double play pivot in an Arizona Fall League game on October 22.

Sizemore was named the Tigers Minor League Player of the Year in 2009 as he combined to hit .308 (160x520) with 88 runs scored, 39 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs, 66 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 130 games with Double A Erie and Triple A Toledo.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009


Photo by Jennifer Macpherson/In Play! magazine

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced third baseman Brandon Inge will undergo surgery to address patella tendinitis in both knees that plagued him throughout the 2009 season.

The procedure is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3 and will be performed by Dr. Stephen Lemos at the Detroit Medical Center. According to the projected timetable, Inge is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.

Inge saw action in 161 games this past season, hitting .230 (129x562) with 27 home runs and 84 RBI.
In Play! Magazine


Thursday, October 15, 2009


DETROIT – For the sixth consecutive year, the state of Michigan will recognize one man’s ability to overcome obstacles and achieve a lifetime of a success when “Willie Horton Day” is celebrated on Sunday, October 18. Willie is the fourth person in Michigan history to be given a day, with the third being Rosa Parks.

Horton, who serves as a Special Assistant to Tigers President, CEO & General Manager David Dombrowski, received this honor in 2004 when Governor Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill No. 5200, which permanently declares October 18 of each year to be known as “Willie Horton Day.” The legislature chose to recognize the seven-time all-star for his humanitarian efforts in the city and the state. The date of the honor also coincides with his birthday.

The youngest of 21 children, Horton was born on October 18, 1942 in Arno, Virginia. At the age of nine, Horton’s family moved to Detroit. By 13, he was turning the heads of area baseball scouts and on August 6, 1961, he became a member of his hometown team when he signed his first professional contract with the Tigers after an outstanding career at Detroit’s Northwestern High School.

His 18-year big league career included 14 seasons with the Tigers and he was an important part of the 1968 World Championship team. A lifetime .273 hitter, Horton had 1,993 hits, 325 home runs and 1,163 RBI over 2,028 games.

Among the many honors he has received in his lifetime, Horton’s uniform number 23 was retired and a statue in his likeness was unveiled by the Tigers on July 15, 2000 and stands among the Tigers Hall of Famers. On August 6, 2004, Detroit Northwestern High School named their newly constructed baseball and softball fields as the Willie Horton Baseball and Softball Diamonds. A monument in Horton’s honor was installed at the fields in 2005.

On June 14, 2006, the Army honored Willie with one of the highest Military awards to a civilian, and the first professional athlete awarded the Order of Saint Maurice. His loyal support and distinguished contributions have been ongoing for many years to our Military.

Horton remains active in the community, working in partnership with Don Bosco Hall to host the annual Willie Horton Batting for Kids event at Comerica Park. The event allows youth ages 7-14 the chance to showcase their skills in throwing, batting and base running on the field at Comerica Park. Winners are honored each year in a pre-game, on-field ceremony.

Additionally, Horton sponsors a $5,000 scholarship that is awarded annually to a high school senior from his alma mater, Detroit Northwestern High School.

In Play! Magazine

Friday, October 9, 2009

Denny McLain's Season Finale Tigers Report

Denny McLain's season finale Tigers Report brought to you by In Play! Magzine.

Denny talks about the issues he sees with the Tigers and questions some of the decisions Skipper Jim Leyland made in the final and biggest game of the year. McLain chimes in on the Cabrera incident and compares it to his playing days and the 68 team.

Listen in to Denny McLains Tigers Report


DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has invited back five members of the coaching staff for the 2010 season. Infield coach Rafael Belliard, bullpen coach Jeff Jones, pitching coach Rick Knapp, third base coach Gene Lamont and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon all have been invited back to be part of Jim Leyland’s staff next season.

Additionally, first base, outfield and baserunning coach Andy Van Slyke has decided to pursue other opportunities and will not return to the staff in 2010.

Belliard, Lamont and McClendon have all been part of Leyland’s staff since the 2006 season. Jones joined the staff for the 2007 season, while the 2009 season was Knapp’s first as the club’s pitching coach.

Van Slyke had served in his role on Leyland’s staff for each of the past four seasons (2006-09).
In Play! Magazine

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


By Denny McLain
In Play! Magazine

Our city and state could have got some good old fashioned energy from what could have been. The dying September our Tigers had was dreadful and did not have to happen!

This was a tragedy that the Tigers lost the division. It should have been impossible to lose the division title in the world’s worst division in baseball, absolutely the worst! Where would we have finished in a real division with real teams? Based upon what this team did against Boston, New York and the Angels, I think we all know without saying it, right?

If you analyze the Tigers plight for the last month, allowing all of the rookies (or not tested players) so much playing time with four weeks to go either shows that Leyland could not really manage the troops or he choked.

The following are just two examples…and folks there are hundreds for the month of September.

When Porcello was pulled again in the one game playoff, Leyland allowed the reliever Zack Miner to stay in the game and pitch to three straight left handed hitters. Jim are we the only ones that knew three left handers were coming up to hit?

Hell folks, Porcello was pitching well. What was it that Jim wanted Porcello to do? Was it that he wanted Porcello to have a chance at winning a huge game? Was it that he was still using that 100 pitch BS theory of his or was there something wrong with Porcello? One thing is for sure, Porcello did not want to come out of that game, that’s’ for sure.

The other example of horrible managing was when Leyland took Mags out of the game. Why in the hell, even with a one run lead, would you take Mags out? He has been good to play in a zillion innings all year long and now in the most important inning of all time, he is sitting! Man, oh man!

Porcello may not have the “best stuff” on the team, but he is the “best pitcher” on the team. He has more savvy than anyone on the staff including Verlander who has incredible stuff, but has yet to learn how to use it.

Striking out 260 guys is not the measurement that we use. It’s the number of runs we give up, look at Verlander’s ERA folks, look at the number of times that he had a “brain fart.” Sailing along and all of a sudden, BOOM! Gives up three, four or even more runs.

Hey folks he won at least three or four games this year sitting on the bench after he had been pulled at a half inning.

Now, I blame these brain farts on the pitching coaches or the manager, don’t any of them understand the art of pitching?

When was the last time we had a guy here who was a “pitcher” in a real sense of the word? Kenny Rogers is one of the few that I recall and had Kenny had Verlander’s stuff he would have challenged 30 wins possibly. He knew how to pitch my friends.

These “brain farts” are nothing more than not knowing how to pitch, a “brain fart” is when the pitcher thinks he can just keep throwing the same pitch, one after another. The concentration is gone. The thought process if any is just throw it and throw it and throw it…then BA-BOOM!

If someone doesn’t get hold of Porcello and Verlander more sooner than later, we are going to have two very good throwers, but not very good pitchers.

I ask you one question.

If Verlander ever loses his fastball what does he have left? Because if he has not learned how to pitch by the time the fastball starts to slow down, he will be out of the game quick!

Now what can a real pitching coach mean, not one of the ass-kissing pals of the manager. God, you have even heard Jim Price talk about the “art of pitching.” That is just not the case here in Detroit.

I think the last good pitching coach who had command of the “art” was the great and funny Art Fowler. A good man, a good pitching coach, and a guy who understood the “art” in every sense of the word. He could walk and talk the “art”.

It is time for the Tigers front office to find someone who understands the “art” and to bring that guy in to only talk about pitching> Not how fast you throw and not how many you strikeout. It’s all about winning, but winning by controlling the game, not just pumping up and trying to see how high they can get the speed gun number. This contraption is the biggest piece of dog & pony BS that has ever been allowed into the game.

Pitchers are hurting themselves pitching against that “gun!”

Prime example, “Zoom-Zoom,” another one who has never figured out that these are major league hitters, not the high schoolers that he was facing a few years ago. Just take a look at his minor league stats, not impressive folks. Another one, if he ever loses his fastball, he’ll be pumping gas or riding his dirt bike again in the hills of California.

Although with some of the things that he has been rumored to have done, losing his fastball will be the least of his issues.

Do you think today Illitch would like to get back that contract extension he gave Leyland?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Pitch at a Time Tonight Boys!

By Denny McLain
Oct, 6 Eve of the ALC Tie Breaker.

It is time to get the children off the street! The game is about to start.

If you could sit in the clubhouse tonight you would see guys tossing their cookies, and folks, getting a little ill is incredible for the pros!

From my experience of pitching in the World Series I would offer the guys this advice.
If they play one pitch, one out per hitter, they have a chance.

But if they look ahead to the 7,8, and 9th innings they will be in trouble.
Deep breaths, one pitch at a time and play small ball.

Anything can happen if you can get ahead by one.

Tigers Win 8-7!!!

In Play! Magazine

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera issued this statement concerning the 911 call to police causing them to respond to his home in Birmingham, Mi.

No charges were filed.

Here is Cabrera's statement.
"There was an incident that took place on Saturday and it is a personal matter. I am sorry this has become a distraction, and I apologize to the Tigers, my teammates, and all of the fans. I would appreciate it if you would respect my family's privacy as I prepare for our next game."

In Play! Magazine

Friday, October 2, 2009

Denny McLain's Tigers Report for Oct 2

Denny McLain's Tigers Report for Oct 2.

McLain doesn't understand why so many inexperienced players are starting and why Polonco isn't?

Click here to listen in and hear what else is twisting McLain's shorts.