Scenes from our Eighth Annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! Celebration

Yesterday, the Tigers held their eighth annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! celebration at Comerica Park.  The evening included Latin dancing, music and much more. Plus, 1984 World Series Champion Juan Berenguer was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame in a special pre-game, on-field ceremony prior to the Tigers game vs. the Chicago White Sox. Plus, for the first time since 1960, Detroit Tigers players wore an alternate home uniform with “Tigres” inscribed across the chest to celebrate ¡Fiesta Tigres!

 

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DETROIT TIGERS ACQUIRE JOSE VERAS FROM HOUSTON ASTROS IN EXCHANGE FOR DANRY VASQUEZ AND PLAYER TO BE NAMED LATER

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has acquired righthanded pitcher Jose Veras from the Houston Astros in exchange for outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later on or before September 15, 2013.

Jose Veras

Jose Veras

“We are pleased to add an experienced arm to our bullpen,” said David Dombrowski, Tigers’ President, CEO, and General Manager “Jose can pitch in a variety of roles, provides depth in the bullpen, and complements the roles of Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly.”

Veras, 32, has compiled an 0-4 record, 2.93 ERA (43.0IP/14ER) and 44 strikeouts in 42 relief outings with the Astros this season. Opponents are hitting .192 (29×151) against him this season, while he has issued 14 walks. He has posted a 0.00 ERA (8.0IP/0ER) and six strikeouts over his seven outings during the month of July.

Originally signed by Tampa Bay as a non-drafted free agent on January 19, 1998, Veras has seen action at the major league level with the Yankees (2006-09), Indians (2009), Marlins (2010), Pirates (2011), Brewers (2012) and Astros (2013). In parts of eight seasons at the major league level (2006-13), Veras has compiled a 19-21 record, 3.88 ERA (357.1IP/154ER) and 372 strikeouts. The 6-6, 242 lbs. right-hander is a native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Vasquez hit .281 (105×374) with 16 doubles, five triples, five home runs and 39 RBI in 96 games with Single A West Michigan.

–TIGERS–

Max Scherzer and The Tigers Take Down the Phillies (PHOTOS)

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Tigers All-Stars Shine in 2013 All-Star Game

The 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City was filled with the best players in baseball. The Detroit Tigers sent six players for the midsummer classic, including the American League starting pitcher Max Scherzer and third baseman, Miguel Cabrera.

Scherzer pitched a perfect 1-2-3 first inning, Miguel Cabrera clubbed a double and scored the first run of the game, Jhonny Peralta hit a double and Prince Fielder motored around the bases for a triple. Tigers skipper Jim Leyland managed the game for the American League and led the team to a 3-0 win and homefield advantage in the 2013 World Series.

Check out our slideshow of all the action at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City.

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Tigers Honor People Tribute for Heroes Nominees

On July 16, the best players in baseball will take the field as part of the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. That same day, America’s pastime will recognize some of America’s finest veterans and military heroes as part of the People Tribute For Heroes Program.

30 veterans and military service members representing each club will be included in the All-Star Week Festivities and have the opportunity to take the field during a special pre-game ceremony at the 2013 All-Star Game.

This past week, the Tigers recognized their three finalists in the People Tribute For Heroes contest in a special pre-game ceremony at Comerica Park.  One will be selected to represent the Tigers at Citi Field for the All-Star Game.

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A moving pre-game video honored Colonel Rodney Williams who was unable to attend. Colonel Williams received two law degrees including a Juris Doctorate and a Masters of Law in labor law, graduate certificates from MIT and UCLA, worked as a senior executive fellow at Harvard and had the distinction of being the first African-American Michigan Air National Colonel. Colonel Williams has worked extensively on programs and policies for military education and youth programs. He served as the National Youth Chair of the Tuskegee Airmen from 2009 until 2012, where he provided more than 15 leadership programs for urban youth throughout the nation. In retirement, Colonel Williams is the Air Force Academy Liaison Officer, encouraging young people to attend the Air Force Academy.

Then, the two present honorees Lee Armstrong of the United States Navy and Rodney Williams of the United States Air Force were welcomed onto the field and presented with commemorative Memorial Day jerseys and threw out the first pitch to People Tribute for Heroes celebrity judge, Justin Verlander.

Marine Scout Sniper Cory Gritter suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his leg, torso, hand and shoulder while deployed in Afghanistan, and since his discharge founded a cyber-security company to help transitioning veterans find careers. He has also volunteered with Toys for Tots and with his church, helping run activities for children with autism. Cory also recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for Hire our Heroes.

Lee Armstrong has received two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement medals, five Navy Good Conduct Medals, Navy Expedition Medal and various campaign and multi-service medals and ribbons. He is also the executive director of the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission, which provides emergency financial and federal claims assistance for veterans and president/chairman of Honor Flight Northwest Ohio (an all-volunteer organization) which has transported more than 1,450 veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials at absolutely no charge to them.

Voting to choose which one of these three distinguished servicemen will represent the Detroit Tigers at the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 16 is now open. To learn more and vote for one of these military heroes visit: http://mlb.mlb.com/tribute/2013/index.jsp and click on the Detroit Tigers.

 

Max Scherzer and Erica May Launch ‘Scherzer’s Superstars’ to Give Back to the Community

It all began at a Biking for Baseball event a year ago.

Max Scherzer and his fiancée, Erica May were at Comerica Park for picnic with the charity, when they met some of the mentors and kids from Big BrothersScherzer's Superstars Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.

“Biking for baseball is a non-profit based out of Colorado, where I’m from,” said May.  “They were doing a picnic here with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Detroit and we ended up meeting them and just absolutely loved the program, loved the kids and wanted to build off that.”

The two came up with the idea for Scherzer’s Superstars, a weekly program where Scherzer and May, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, host a group of deserving young people and their mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit at a Tigers game.

“Max and I are really big on education, because that is the foundaSuperstars 3tion for everything,” said May. “Over 90% of all their participants graduate from high school, which we think is a great starting point.  We thought this would be a great opportunity to not only get the kids involved and focus on them, but also reward the mentors who are so vital to the program.”

For the rest of the season, Scherzer and May will host young people and their mentors every Tuesday home game at Comerica Park. The group will be welcomed down to the field for batting practice, given Scherzer’s Superstars t-shirts, and even meet Max Scherzer and some of his Tigers teammates before the game.

“We’ve always been involved on the sidelines,” said May. “We really wanted to take the opportunity that we have here in Detroit and take a more active role in the community. So far, it’s working out well. The kids are excited. We’re excited. It’s going to be a great experience.”

Closers, bunting and Kelly: Jim Leyland Answers Fan Questions

Most of the questions we got today were about the closer situation. Can you tell the fans about that thought process right now?MAC_07312011_302

 We did not have anybody that we thought was really ready to close coming out of Spring Training. We tried Rondon, but we did not feel that he was ready to be able to close games at the major league level, which put us in a little bit of a quandary. So with that being said, we tinkered around the first part of the season and ended up signing Jose Valverde who was throwing the ball good, and is throwing the ball good. He became more of an option for us because he’d done it before and he wasn’t afraid. Since making him the closer, he’s been successful most of the time and has blown three saves. It doesn’t appear that he’s quite the same as he was a year or two years ago, but he’s certainly not bad. Where we stand right now is I think there will be some situations where he will be the closer, but as you saw (Sunday) if the lineup is set up for someone who has a different repertoire of pitches, I might go that way. [Valverde] is gonna close some games.

@Hammonds253 #askleyland. How valuable is a player like Matt Tuiasosopo to your club in his limited starts and pinch hitting?

He’s been terrific. I’ve got a soft spot for him because he really won the job out of Spring Training and he’s proven that we made a very good decision. He’s done a very good job for us wherever we put him.

@Aj_McComb Are you happy with Action Jackson’s performance returning from the DL? #askleyland2012  Photo by Mark Cunningham

He looks pretty good. I think he was a little stale the first couple of days in Toledo but it looks like he’s picked up and gotten back into the swing of things a little bit. I’m still holding my breath a bit because sometimes when guys are out for so long when they come back they get a few hits but they’re still not really in sync and it takes them a while to get in a good groove and get going, but if yesterday is any indication, he’s well on his way.

@MattWilhelm9 @tigers #AskLeyland Don Kelly has been on fire. Have you thought about starting him more often?

I’ll answer that question this way, Don Kelly is a valuable player for us when used in the right spots and when used sparingly either to rest somebody, play on a Sunday or against a tough sinkerballer or righthander and that’s probably what we’ll continue to do with him.

Another question that came up a lot was about bunting with Miguel Cabrera on deck. Can you talk about what goes into that decision?Tigers vs Twins  at Comerica Park 5-1-2013

That’s where you’re torn between a rock and a hard pile. I would not have bunted Torii Hunter if they had a left-handed pitcher warming up in the bullpen. But if [fans] watch the game, they did not have a lefthander warming up in the bullpen, so that meant that Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez were gonna get a chance to drive in a run. Prince Fielder is a 100+ RBI guy. He’s very capable of knocking that run in, which he did I believe. You don’t ever want to take the bat out of Miguel Cabrera’s hands but I will also say this, when you’re in the ninth inning of the game, a tie game, particularly at home and the first guy gets on and you don’t bunt, and Torii Hunter who can hit into double plays, hits into a double play it takes the starch right out of your team. So that means Cabrera is hitting with nobody on base. So now you’re saying that to win the game, Cabrera has to hit a home run. That’s pretty hard to do. So this is one that I’ve tossed around with a lot of other managers, had they [Twins] had a left-handed pitcher warming up in the bullpen that, a tough lefthander that I knew Prince was gonna have to face, I wouldn’t have bunted him, but because they didn’t have a lefty and I knew Prince and Victor would get to hit off a right handed pitcher- I mean Victor knocked in one hundred something runs for us and Prince is a perennial 100+ RBI guy. The fourth and fifth guys are supposed to be able to knock in some runs for us, and in this case they did and we won the game.

Everything You Need to Know when the Tigers Take on the Orioles

Here’s everything you need to know when the Tigers take on the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park this week.

Detroit Tigers

Monday, June 17 – Baltimore Orioles (Probables: Scherzer vs. Hammel) @ 7:08 p.m. (Gates open at 5:30 p.m.)

  • Mario Impemba’s Military Veteran Program (MVP): Beyond “Operation Opening Day”, Fox Sports Detroit broadcaster Mario Impemba continues to thank the men and women of the United States Armed Force with the launch of a new program, MVP (Military Veterans Program) — Mario Impemba’s salute to those who served. Through the program, Mario hosts Veterans who fought in earlier conflicts (World War II – Persian Gulf) to attend Monday home games at Comerica Park. The group of 20 Veterans and guests receive a lower-bowl ticket to the Tigers game, a “MVP” t-shirt, a voucher for ballpark dinner (hot dog, chips and soda) and an autographed photo of Tigers broadcaster Mario Impemba. The Veterans and guests arrive to the ballpark in style by way of the Fox Sports Detroit Fan Express.
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Game: Major League Baseball and the Detroit Tigers partner with the Prostate Cancer Foundation for the 2013 Home Run Challenge. The goal is to raise awareness and funds to aid in research to fight against prostate cancer. The partnership is celebrated league-wide on Father’s Day, June 16 with MLB players and umpires wearing light blue wristbands and blue ribbon decals during the game to raise awareness of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. On Monday, June 17, The Tigers host a special group of guests during a pregame ceremony on the field at Comerica Park to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Special guests include Dr. Evan Keller, Dr. Ajjai Alva, Dr. Todd Morgan, Dr. Felix Feng, Dr. John Jiang, Dr. Jinlu Dai, Dr. Joe Sottnik, Dr. Mary Osisami and Dr. Ram Mani. All are physicians from the University of Michigan and are grant recipients of the Prostate Cancer Foundation conducting research at the University of Michigan to find a cure for prostate cancer. As part of this recognition, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Prostate Cancer Foundation blue ribbon temporary tattoo, upon entry of the ballpark.
  • Game Ball Delivery: Senior Airman Erica Kohout of the United States Air Force from Traverse City will deliver the game ball. Senior Airman Kohout recently returned from her first tour of duty in Afghanistan where she served as a surgical technician. She has earned an Afghanistan Campaign medal and a NATO medal. Senior Airman Kohout has proudly served her country for three years.
  • Summer Fan Pack: Take advantage of the Detroit Tigers Summer Fun Pack! This package is available exclusively on tigers.com for only $35 per person! Each $35 package includes: an Upper Box Infield ticket, Adult Value Meal (Hot Dog, Pepsi and Lay’s potato chips), Detroit Tigers Olde English D t-shirt , coupon valid for a complimentary ride on the Comerica Carousel or Fly Ball Ferris Wheel. Available for June 17th and 18th games.

Tuesday, June 18 – Baltimore Orioles @ 7:08 p.m. (Gates open at 5:30 p.m.)

  • Head coach of the University of Michigan men’s basketball team, John Beilein, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Scherzer’s Superstars: Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer invites 16 fans to Comerica Park for each remaining Tuesday home game. As guests of Scherzer, the group watches batting practice on the field, receives complimentary Scherzer’s Superstars t-shirts and has the opportunity to meet Scherzer. The participants in the program are matches from Big Brothers Big Sisters Metro Detroit.
  • The first 10,000 fans to enter Comerica Park will receive a MLB Network / Detroit Tigers drawstring backpack, courtesy of MLB Network.
  • Game Ball Delivery: Sergeant Michael Moore of the United States Army, from Detroit, will deliver the game ball. Sergeant Moore recently returned from Afghanistan after his second deployment to the Middle East. He has earned numerous medals including two Army Commendation medals, two Army Achievement medals and the IN-4 award recognizing the Best Soldier in Basic Training. Sergeant Moore has proudly served his country for seven years.

Wednesday, June 19 – Baltimore Orioles @ 1:08 p.m. (Gates open at 11:30 a.m.)

  • Cabrera’s Chamitos: Tigers All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera invites 20 fans to Comerica Park for each remaining Wednesday home 007game as part of his Cabrera’s Chamitos program. The group will watch batting practice from the field, receive complimentary Cabrera’s Chamitos t-shirts and will have the opportunity to meet Cabrera. The group is also treated to complimentary transportation to Comerica Park by the FOX Sports Detroit Fan Express. The program participants are from deserving charitable groups in the greater Detroit area. On June 19, children from SER Metro Detroit’s Youth Program Mission will participate in the program. SER Metro Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. is a multi-service, Michigan corporation committed to the development and utilization of the nation’s workforce. SER promotes upward mobility and economic self-sufficiency for Metropolitan Detroit residents through a comprehensive service delivery system in the areas of literacy, education, employment, community development and economic opportunity. The Youth Program Mission, which targets teenagers 14 to18, focuses on academic enrichment, tutoring and mentoring activities, leadership training and career guidance and counseling.
  • People Tribute to Heroes: Major League Baseball and People magazine announced three finalists to represent the Tigers in the Tribute for Heroes campaign, a national initiative around the All-Star Game to recognize veteran and military service members for their work. Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was on a guest panel of players and retired service members who helped select the finalists. Prior to the game, the three Detroit Tigers finalists will be recognized during a special on-field ceremony. Fans can learn more about their stories, read other heroes’ stories, and vote on their choices at tributeforheroes.com. Voting runs through June 30. The Tribute For Heroes campaign supports Welcome Back Veterans, which is an initiative of Major League Baseball, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which provides grants to hospitals and clinics that provide post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury treatment to veterans and their families.
  • Game Ball Delivery: Master Sergeant Aaron E. Duggins of the United States Air Force, from Flint, will deliver the game ball. Master Sergeant Duggins serves as a firefighter and an Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent. He recently returned from Guam and has also served deployments in Oman, Kyrgyzstan and Southwest Asia. During his service, he has been named the Noncomissioned Officer of the Year three times. Master Sergeant Duggins has proudly served for his country for 13 years.

Happy Father’s Day From the Tigers

Tigers Host Third Annual Classic Car Show

On Saturday, the Detroit Tigers hosted the third annual Classic Car Show, presented by Motor City Casino Hotel and Total Lubricants at Comerica Park. The event featured over 100 classic cars from the early 1900s to 1980s.

The public and fans attending the day’s game against the Cleveland Indians had the opportunity to stop by Columbia Plaza in front of the Big Tiger and check out all the cars on display. The winners were chosen by a group of celebrity judges.

Check out our photo gallery of the winning classic cars, and other scenes from the Detroit Tigers third annual Classic Car Show.

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