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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 37
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 37

Detroit, Michigan
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DETROIT FREE PRESS WWW.FREEP.COM BASEBALL WEDNESDAY. AUG. 16, 2out 5D Results in Toledo frustrate Shelton MH'-I'H" 'i I Average worse than with Tigers By JON PAUL MOROSI FREE PRBS SPORTS WRITER "Smith Terminal," Shelton said from the home clubhouse at Fifth Third Field on Tuesday. "That's the old one, right?" Yes, he was told. a -Lit Sim l. A joined the Mud Hens there about 8 p.m. His new teammates appreciated how quickly he reported. Shelton, who homered in nine of his first 13 games with the Tigers this season, hit two in his first nine games for the Mud Hens. The focus of his work with well-regarded hitting coach Leon Durham, however, is gap-to-gap hitting. He did not get an apartment in Toledo because his stay is expected to be brief. He probably will be called up when rosters expand Sept. 1. For now, though, he'll keep commuting from his place in Livonia as he works to regain his swing and his place on the plane of every Tiger's choice. here. He's pleased with his focus and concentration but has still been frustrated with some of the results. He went 0-for-4 Tuesday. "It hasn't been consistent," said Shelton, hitting for a lower average (.236) than in Detroit "You could say that's how my whole season's gone." Shelton joined the Mud Hens on July 31, the day the Tigers acquired Sean Casey to replace him at first base. He learned of the move about 10 a.m. that day, checked out of the team's St. Petersburg, hotel, collected his gear at Tropicana Field and went to the Tampa airport. "No bitterness," he said, "but I was disappointed." He did a lot of thinking on his way to Indianapolis "I reflected on some things, called some people, got some things off my chest," he said and MiCHAEL Press TOLEDO Chris Shelton couldn't watch the Tigers play Monday night. He was busy. Three-states-in-three-hours busy. His day began in Richmond, where he went l-for-3 in the Toledo Mud Hens' 7-5 win. The team rode to the airport after the game and boarded a 7:50 p.m. flight. It was not bound for Ohio, or even Michigan, but for Charlotte, N.C. They arrived there only a half-hour before their flight home. They switched terminals as quickly as Monday night's Tigers game tightened at Fenway Park, made the flight and reached Romulus at 11:15. Carlos Guillen, Pudge Rodriguez (7) and Craig Monroe meet at the plate after Sean Casey's two-run double in the seventh inning at Fenway Park. TIGERS I Win ov er Bosox comes with hefty price Contact JON PAUL MOROSI at 313-2231097 or Tigers schedule Home shaded; x-also ESPN; y-also ESPN2 Umpire will call game today Men in blue Umpire Bruce Froemming is expected to work his game tonight. A look at the active leaders for regular-season games through Monday: sun mon tuTwedthu fri sat J3 14J5 16J7 18 19 Chi. 7, Det. Det. Bos. Tex. Tex. Tex. Det. 3 7, 3, 7:05 7:05 7:05 7:05 Bos. 4 Bos. 2 FSN-x FSN-x FSN Ch. 20 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Tex. CWS CWS CWS CWS Cle. Cle. 1:05 7:05 7:05 7:05 1:05 7:05 7:05 FSN I FSN I FSN FSN-yl I FSN Ch. 2C Games' Umpire 4,998 Bruce Froemming 4,505 Joe Brinkman 4,123 Ed Montague 3,959 Jerry Crawford 3,928 Mike Reilly From Page ID The ball was perhaps too shallow for Guillen to score had Pena caught it. But Guillen was going to try to tag up and attempt to beat Pena's throw. Then Pena pulled up as he approached the wall that runs close to the rightfield line at cozy Fenway Park. He extended his left arm, and the ball clanged off his glove. The play was ruled a hit, as unfair as that seemed to relief pitcher Mike Timlin. The Central-leading Tigers have a chance to sweep the three-game series tonight. If they do, they'll become the first team to sweep a series of at least three games in Boston in four years. No club has done it since the 2002 Atlanta Braves. Rodriguez, the Hall-of-Fame-bound catcher, played second because Omar Infante, the spare infielder, had started and left the game before Polanco was injured. Polanco, the everyday second baseman, suffered a separated left shoulder as he made a diving, lead-saving catch on Doug Mi-rabelli in short centerfield to end the seventh inning. That was the Red Sox's only at-bat against Bonderman with a runner in scoring position. Rodriguez's only play in his two innings at second came when he corralled Kevin You-kilis' fly ball in short rightfield to start the ninth. "It's not easy, especially in this ballpark," Rodriguez said of the catch. "The angles are different." It was one of those angles that appeared to thwart Pena as he tried for Monroe's ball. TIGERS CORNER By JOHN LOWE FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER BOSTON Like so much else in baseball, umpiring has its heritage and traditions. Here is one of them: When Bruce Froemming began in the major leagues in 1971, he worked on a crew with veteran Al Bar- lick. Three decades earlier, when Barlick was in his first year in the majors, he worked on a crew with perhaps the most famous ump of all time, Bill Klem. Froemming will Bruce Froemming Tonight, forge his own direct link with Klem. As he works the plate in the Tigers-Red Sox game at Fenway Park, Froemming will be umpiring his regular-season game in the majors. He will join Klem as the only umpires who have worked that many major league games. Klem was behind the plate for 5,374 games in 1905-41. Froemming broke into the Chris Shelton "Yeah," he said. "I've been through there." He has. And he must hope that his business travel soon returns to the connection-free realm of Detroit's team charter, where he was, not long ago, one of the biggest-swinging passengers on the jet carrying the best team in baseball. Four months after inviting comparisons to some of the best hitters in baseball history, Shelton is a Mud Hen, in the third week of his return to Triple-A. Shelton said Tuesday he has had "good days and bad days" National League on Barlick's crew in 1971. He worked exclusively in the NL for most of his career. Then, several years ago, major league baseball merged its AL and NL umpiring staffs, and Froemming began to work in AL parks as he climbed toward 5,000 games. There is no official record book for umpires, so how do we know he has worked this many games? The information comes from historian David Vincent, and until Vincent told him this season, Froemming had no idea he was approaching 5,000 games. "It's exciting, because I'll be only the second umpire to do it," Froeraming said. Asked for the secret of his longevity, Froemming credited his wife, Rose Marie, who has understood and dealt with his long summertime absences. Then, with a laugh, Froemming gave credit to "my conditioning program." Froemming, who turns 67 on Sept. 28, has kept his legs in decent shape, but his silhouette is more suggestive of Churchill and Hitchcock as is his authoritative voice. To appreciate his longevity, disabled list. "But I held onto the ball and saved a run and we ended up winning by one run," he said. Polanco wouldn't speculate on how severe the injury might be. He said he would have rays on the shoulder today. He said he couldn't move the shoulder much and that "it's really sore right now." With the Tigers out of in-fielders, catcher Ivan Rodriguez made his big-league debut at second base in place of Polanco for the final two innings Tuesday night. Just hours before, Rodriguez had stood at his locker and said he'd do anything for the team. He was referring to being moved out of the third spot in the batting order for the first time this season. He batted sixth Tuesday night because Leyland said he wanted to establish better left-right balance throughout the lineup against right-handed pitching. Rodriguez said he played second base in little league. He had never played it in the majors. "I feel comfortable with Pudge's hands that he can play anywhere," Leyland said. Muiuiiiuin, nil, uuui Hiiuuyi, jidoi niicuu, tu mm FMCD, ABS, Tilt, Floor Mats, Much Moral Trammell this season and said he had to get veteran players like Rodriguez to buy into his program. Rodriguez has done that all season, right through his arrival in the sixth spot. "He's the boss," Rodriguez said before going l-for-4 in Tuesday night's 3-2 victory. "He's the manager. I'll do what he tells me to do. It doesn't matter if I hit first, third, ninth, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, whatever." Rodriguez has nine home runs and 51 RBIs. Leyland said Rodriguez who switched from catcher to second base after Polanco suffered a separated shoulder Tuesday night would hit third tonight against left-hander David Wells. get the job done." Santiago was with the Tigers from Opening Day until four weeks ago, when he was sent out to make room for Young's return. He learned of Polanco 's injury and his promotion after Toledo's game Tuesday night. "It's never good when somebody gets hurt, but I'm going to go there and try to perform," Santiago said. "I feel bad for him, and the team, but I'm going to do my best." Free Press sports writer Jon PaulMorosi contributed. POLANCO I Suffers separated shoulder, goes on DL Froemming can look at one of his colleagues. He first met Brian Runge when Runge was an infant and Froemming was on the same umpiring crew as Runge's father in the Pacific Coast League. Now Brian Runge has grown up and become one of the umpires on Froemming's crew. SIXTH SENSE: Tigers manager Jim Leyland moved Pudge Rodriguez out of his season-long third spot in the order down to the sixth spot. "No problem," Rodriguez said. "No problem." By the end of last season, Rodriguez's relationship with manager Alan Trammell had deteriorated. Leyland replaced "Pudge takes grounders all the time with a fielder's glove and first baseman's glove. He's a tremendous athlete." And Rodriguez has played the first six games of his big-league career at first base this season. Rodriguez caught a pop-up in short right behind first base to start the ninth, and he said it was a lot different than catching a pop-up as a catcher. "Way different," he said. "I have to do it right. I just go out and do my best and play the game hard and UNT0UCII.13LES "tit. i I Then Pena struck out looking to end the game and cap Todd Jones' 1-2-3 ninth and what Rodriguez called "a great win." "They played their hearts outs," manager Jim Leyland said of his team, which increased its lead to 672 games on the second-place White Sox. Bonderman took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, thanks to Casey's two-run double in the seventh and Polanco's catch. The double marked the fourth straight game that Casey has driven an RBI hit to the fence. Then he made the big hit-and-run contribution in the ninth, which was necessary because of Ortiz, the best clutch hitter in baseball. In Boston's eighth, a one-out infield single and a ground-out combined to put a runner on second base with two outs. The right-handed Bonderman left, and the left-handed Ortiz greeted left-hander Wil Ledez-ma by lining a 2-2 pitch into right-center. That tied the score and denied Bonderman the win. "He knows what he did for us," Leyland said. Contact JOHN LOWE at 313-223-4053 or 51 lmYiTiiTc mmmv lULIKOirSC f. liuirmT i. i OIIILS "iiiir i Motor City X-Trava Con 1 Comic Books Toys Action Figures Knights of Columbus 19801 Farmington Bd. Between 7 6 Mtle Rds. Sunday, August 10am-4pm Admission S3 Info 248-426-8059 ww.motorcicpnygntionsxom Sports, Coins Collectible Show Aug 18-20 Livonia Mall 7 Mtddlebelt Saturday 68 Tigers Nal Naragon $4 Sun 1-3 Lem Barney $10 248 788-1178 Meet TICil SHORTSTOP CARLOS GUILLEN Hit for thi cycli Auy. 1st Autographs SIS ft CLUTCH HtTTINO SECOND lAiCMAN PLAC1DO POLANCO Autographs $10 Inscriptions $5 1 auto, of aach playor $23 August 1 9th Moon-2pn And coming Sant. IVAN "PUDGI" RODRIGUEZ 30409 Ford. Rd. Sarden City 734-762-0893 km." TO K. Ji a i i Cards Collectibles From Page ID disabled list with that injury, which he suffered making a diving catch in the seventh inning Tuesday night. The club recalled infielder Ramon Santiago from Triple-A Toledo to take his place. Santiago and Omar Infante figure to get the starts at second base in place of Polanco. Polanco is a valuable player whose true worth can only be fully appreciated by watching many games closely. He is by far the toughest player in the American League to strike out. He seldom if ever makes the wrong play at second base. He gets big hits. He's the kind of quiet, steady player you so often find on winning clubs. "We'll have no excuses," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We just have to go forward. Every team in baseball has had injuries. Knock on wood, we've been very fortunate. It's all part of the game. "And we'll have no excuses. We'll go out and play our (butts) off and see if we're good enough." Polanco said that he was "very disappointed" to head to the Tints EE IBS WANTED i WANTED U.S, Silver Coins PAYIfiG 6X FACE and more 33700 Woodward Ave. Birmingham 24B-644-B56S rarra am sassc: Redford Jewelry Coin 25950 W. Six Mile Redford 2 Blka. W. of Beech Daly 313-592-8 T19 Tue Fri 10am 6pm, Sat 10am 4pm Closed Sunday and Monday fflOWSjj Friday, August 18, 7:05 Friday Night firework compliments of Pepsi (post-game, weather permitting). Chevy HHR "Drive One Home" Giveaway Win a new 2006 Chevy HHR, sponsored by your Detroit Area Chevy Dealers. Lucky Lottery Friday courtesy of the Michigan Lottery. First 10,000 fans 118 and over) receive a special Tigers scratch-off card. Saturday, August 19, 7:05 Saturday Night Fireworks compliments of Verizon Wireless (post-game, weather permitting). Chevy HHR "Drive One Home" Giveaway4 Win a new 2006 Chevy HHR, sponsored by your Detroit Area Chevy Dealers. Sunday, August 20, 1:05 FREE Poster featuring rookie pitching sensations Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya to the first 15,000 fans compliments of Luxury Cruise Giveaway! One fan will win a seven-day Caribbean Cruise for two. Travel provided by Corporate Travel Services. Kids Day! FREE Rides courtesy of Red Robin. Kids Run the Bases (post-game, weather permitting) sponsored by Pepsi, Wal-Mart and Sam's1 Club. Plus five lucky children will win a battery-powered Hummer H2'." NEW 2006 TACOMA 4x2 I 1 CALL 24G-25-TIGER RS COMTICKITS OCTROITTICf att 'g0 "caJ Big 98? lion SPORTSCARD Si IOW Redford VBV SundjyAupist20 VAM 2 PM Schmiltraft Rd (l-9ft) liikttr Rd. 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