Thursday, April 28, 2011

'Ernie' world premiere a huge success!

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

Mitch Albom's play, Ernie, about Tiger legend Ernie Harwell, premiered Thursday evening in front of a packed City Theatre. In attendance was the Illitch family, local television personalities, '84 Tigers Dan Petry and Frank Tanana, amongst others, including Mitch Albom himself.

The City Theatre doorman greets guests with a smile
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Dan Petry heads into the City Theatre to see 'Ernie'
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Before the play commenced, Albom took a moment to tell In Play! how he believed fans would respond to the play: "I hope they'll enjoy it. I think if they liked Ernie Harwell coming in, they'll certainly like him going out. We enhance his life and bring it to people on a personal level that they might not know. A lot of people didn't know his own story. And, he's got quite an interesting story."

The play, starring Will Young as Ernie Harwell and Timothy Corbett as the boy, lasted roughly 90 minutes and featured vintage MLB footage including that of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Willie Mays.

The play is set during Ernie's last day at Comerica Park. Harwell encounters a boy shortly before he goes out onto the field and gives his final broadcast, telling his life's story in nine innings, starting with his childhood.

Albom was absolutely correct in saying you'd get to know Ernie personally. After leaving the event, one fan told In Play! Magazine, "I feel like I just met Ernie and got to know a person, not just a broadcaster."

Fans left the City Theatre in awe
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

During the play, the audience laughed, cried, and clapped; sometimes, they seemed to be doing all three at the same time. Mitch Albom put together one heck of a play.

And, don't worry if you didn't catch it yet. There are 37 more shows scheduled every Thursday through Sunday (at various times) from now until June 26. But, be sure to remember that the City Theatre is only a 399 seat venue. Buy your tickets now before they're loooooooong gone!

The "Ernie" marquee outside of the City Theatre
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Saturday, April 23, 2011

'Ernie' actor Will Young talks with In Play!

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

At the Tiger's game today, the actor who will be portraying Ernie Harwell in Mitch Albom's play, Ernie, threw out the first pitch. Shortly after, he took a moment to speak with In Play! about what it was like to portray Ernie Harwell.

"Frightening, daunting, thrilling," said Will Young, whose look and voice eerily resembles Harwell's. He went on to say, "What we're trying to do is just represent him and not mimic him at all."

Young went on to say he hopes people come out to see the play. The play premieres at the City Theatre on Thursday, April 28 and is scheduled to continue through June 26.

Photo above by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


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DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced a tryout camp to be held at Fifth Third Ballpark, the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, on Tuesday, June 14.

Registration for the camp begins at 8:00 a.m., with the workout starting at 9:00 a.m. The tryout camp is for players age 16-23, or those players with previous professional baseball experience. No pre-registration or participation fee is necessary to attend the camp. Those interested in trying out must provide their own glove and work out equipment. Wood bats, helmets and baseballs will be provided by the Tigers.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tigers win in extra innings giving Leyland 1,500th career win

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

In the Tigers 8-4 victory against the Oakland Athletics last night, Jim Leyland became just the 19th manager in history to win 1,500 games. Leyland ranks second among active managers; the Tiger's skipper trails his former colleague Tony La Russa (1982-85 with Chicago White Sox) by 1,145 wins. La Russa ranks third on the all-time list.

Leyland gets 1,500th managerial win
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

It's not every night that you get an 8-4 score in extra innings. This, however, wasn't your typical baseball game. The Tigers trailed 1-0 in the top of the ninth. Miguel Cabrera's solo home run to the opposite field would tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Then the run scoring began. In the top of the tenth, Brennan Boesch knocked in two runners, putting the Tigs up 3-1. Then, with a Victor Martinez single and Casper Wells reaching on a throwing error, the Tigers, who (remember) hadn't scored a run until the ninth, found themselves leading 6-1.

After an RBI ground ball by Brandon Inge and an Alex Avila (who led off the inning reaching on a fielding error) single, the Tigers exited the inning leading 8-1.

The A's wouldn't leave without a fight though! They scored three runs against Brayan Villarreal, who received the win, but ran out of gas with Joaquin Benoit on the mound.

Benoit shut the door and held off the A's tenth inning surge
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The Tigers finish up their four-game series in Oakland with tonight's game at 9:05 p.m. (local time) and Sunday's game at 4:05 p.m.

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Friday, April 15, 2011


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Attributable to Al Kaline, Special Assistant to the President of the Detroit Tigers:

"Reno was a special person, and one of the nicest people to be around," said Kaline. "Reno and I were close friends, and roommates when we broke into the big leagues our first couple of years. Even after he was traded, we remained friends through the years. I'll miss him, and my condolences go out to his family."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tigers win 5-2 on Opening Day at Comerica!

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

There's no party like an Opening Day party in Detroit! And, despite early rain, the game went on as scheduled with no delays. In fact, the drizzle seemed to stop right in time for the opening pitch.

Even with the sprinkles, the pregame ceremonies continued. The team raised the #11 Sparky Anderson flag which will wave all season long. The visiting Kansas City Royals lineup was announced followed by that of the Tigers. The national anthem was performed by the winners of NBC's "The Sing Off." A military flyover also went on as scheduled. The flyover showcased A-10 Aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard. There was only one thing left to do: "Play ball!"

Sparky's flag flies at Comerica Park
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The Detroit Tigers are introduced to the fans
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The military flyover
Photo by Matt Harding /
In Play! Magazine

The field was meticulously groomed in preparation for this game and looked stunning. The grounds-crew deserves a standing ovation for the way the field turned out, despite the rain.

44,799 fans pack Comerica Park
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Now, let's get to the action! Max Scherzer wasn't stellar by any means today, but got the job done. He pitch six innings giving up seven hits and only one earned run. Scherzer also walked two and struck out three. Valverde came up with the save.

As for the offense, there were no shades of Carlos Pena or Dmitri Young this year. Actually, no home runs were hit on either side. However, in the first inning Victor Martinez drove in three runs (Rhymes, Ordonez, Cabrera) with a double to right-center field. A double to left field by Jhonny Peralta would soon score Martinez.

After leading 4-0 coming out of the first inning, things were looking very bright for the Tigers -- despite the overcast skies. In the top of the third, however, the KC Royals would score a run on a Melky Cabrera triple. The Tigers pounced back in the bottom half of that inning with a sacrifice fly.

Trailing 5-1 going into the 7th inning, the Royals managed to manufacture a run with three straight singles. That would prove to be the last run of the game. Final score: 5-2, Tigers.

And, in spite of the crowds and drunkenness and mostly gloomy afternoon, every fan in the ballpark was happy to see a win for the Tigers. Nothing beats a win on Opening Day. Well, aside from World Series wins.

Two fans stop to say "hey" to In Play!
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

Check out more photos from Opening Day here.

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Opening Day Lineup

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

Austin Jackson (CF)
Will Rhymes (2B)
Magglio Ordonez (RF)
Miguel Cabrera (1B)
Victor Martinez (DH)
Brennan Boesch (LF)
Jhonny Peralta (SS)
Alex Avila (C)
Brandon Inge (3B)

Max Scherzer (P)

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scherzer vs. Davies on Opening Day

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

The Tigers are headed home! Tomorrow, April 8, marks Opening Day at Comerica annual holiday in the Motor City. Max Scherzer will be facing Kyle Davies and the Kansas City Royals. Scherzer is 1-0, but didn't really fare too well in his first start of the year. During his five innings he gave up nine hits and six earned runs.

Scherzer looking for the home opener victory
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

The ballclub is 2-4 heading into the game tomorrow after tonight's loss at Baltimore. Hopefully, being at home will boost team morale; because, aside from the second game in this series, the Tigers have looked woeful thus far.

The game will broadcast on Fox 2 Detroit and FS-Detroit. Gates at the ballpark open at 12 p.m. and the game will commence at 3:05 p.m. Hope to see you there!

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By Denny McLain
In Play on Facebook


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tigers take second game of Baltimore series

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

Going into tonight's game, the Tiger's were 1-3 and at the bottom of the AL Central. With Justin Verlander on the mound, however, the team seemed to be in good hands.

Verlander retired the first ten batters he faced. And, aside from a 2-run home run by Derrek Lee in the 4th inning, JV was putting on quite the show. Also, with Alex Avila leading the offense with four RBI, there was no way the Tigers would relinquish their lead.

Verlander thinking about his 2011 season perhaps?
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

That lead shifted a few times but settled to 6-3 after the 7th inning. It would change quickly though. Avila knocked in yet another run in the top of the eighth, giving him five RBI for the game. Then, he simply outdid himself by stealing second base.

It was the 'Alex Avila Show' at Camden Yards tonight
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Cabrera blasted a one-hopper to third baseman Mark Reynolds. The ball nearly went through Reynolds's glove; he couldn't recover and Miggy was safe at first base. Rest assured Orioles fans, after a Victor Martinez double, Ryan Raburn was retired and perhaps a certain third baseman's glove as well.

Verlander went eight innings strong giving up only four hits and giving way to Joaquin Benoit. The new addition to the Tiger's pen hadn't given up but one hit in two innings before he entered the game.

The addition of Benoit will be a huge help for the pen this season
Photo by Matt Harding / In Play! Magazine

He didn't plan on giving up a hit and he didn't, getting Matt Wieters to end the game--final score: 7-3. The Tigers finish the series in Baltimore tomorrow before coming back for their home opener on Friday. Stay tuned for an Opening Day preview!

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DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers begin their 12th season at Comerica Park and their 111th in Detroit this Friday at 3:05 p.m. as the Tigers host the Kansas City Royals. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.

Opening Day will feature:
· Sparky Anderson Flag Raising
· On-field introduction of the Royals and Tigers
· The national anthem performed by Committed
· Moment of silence recognizing the passing of Bill Lajoie, Steve Boros, Cecil Kaiser, Woodie Fryman and those who lost their lives in the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan
· A military flyover showcasing A-10 Aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard
· Master Sergeant Michael Lionberger of the United States Air Force will deliver the game ball prior to the start of the game
· During the seventh inning stretch, Scott Stapp, lead vocalist of rock band Creed, will perform “God Bless America”


12:30:00 Gates open to Comerica Park
12:30:00 Detroit Tigers Batting Practice
1:20:00 Kansas City Royals Batting Practice
2:10:00 Grounds Crew
2:23:00 Public Address Start
2:23:30 Pre-Game Reads and Reminders
2:35:00 Sparky Anderson Flag Raising / Announcement of Number Retirement Ceremony
2:41:00 Introduction of Kansas City Royals
2:46:00 Introduction of Detroit Tigers
2:51:00 Honor Guard Introduction
2:53:00 National Anthem
2:55:00 Military Flyover
* A-10 Aircraft from the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard
2:57:00 Ceremonial First Pitch
3:00:00 Umpire Introductions
3:01:00 Game Ball Delivery
3:02:00 Crowd Energy Video
3:03:00 Tigers Take the Field
3:05:00 Game Begins
7th Inning Stretch “God Bless America” to be performed by Scott Stapp

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Detroit starts off the season with 0-2 record

By Matt Harding
In Play on Facebook

The Major League Baseball season is underway and the Detroit Tigers have completed two games in a three game set against the New York Yankees.

In the first game of the series, pitcher Justin Verlander pitched six innings strong, giving up three earned runs on the same number of hits. He gave way to Phil Coke who gave up just a single hit. However, that single hit was a home run.

Brandon Inge was the only Tiger who got more than one hit; he, along with Jhonny Peralta and Miguel Cabrera were the Tigers who drove in the team's only three runs.

For the Yankees, former Tiger Curtis Granderson and first baseman Mark Teixeira hit home runs. Teixeira's home run was a three-run shot. Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher knocked in the other two runs. With a final score of 6-3, closer Mariano Rivera notched his 560th save, 41 short of Trevor Hoffman's all-time 601 saves.

The second game didn't fare to well either for the Tigers.

Cabrera entered today's game hitting safely in 23 of his 24 games against the Yankees. He continued to do well against the Yanks today, with a walk and a double. His luck against the Bronx Bombers didn't result in much for the Tigers. They lost by a score of 10-6 with 'Mo' Rivera acquiring another save, putting him at an even 40 short of tying the all-time record.

The teams wrap up their series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. with Max Scherzer on the hill for your hometown Detroit Tigers.

Injury Update:
Carlos Guillen (left knee, 15-day DL) & Joel Zumaya (right elbow, 15-day DL)

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