Corporate marketing and cheerleading! Two things that baseball doesn’t need more of, together at last!
The Tigers are looking for fun, energetic fans to be part of the DTE Energy Squad — a promotion, entertainment and fan-interaction team. The squad will help rile up the crowd at Comerica Park.
Members of the DTE Energy Squad will welcome fans to the park, distribute giveaway items and work alongside mascot Paws, dancing atop the dugouts and entertaining fans, according to the Tigers.
Due to my deep and personal connection to Tiger Stadium, I made it a point of principle not to visit Comerica Park for the first few years it was open. After awhile I got realistic about things and dropped the protest, but I never have managed to make it up there for a game yet for a number of odd reasons. In light of the pep squad, I may go back to avoiding the place on principle.
All I know is that if my Great Uncle Harry — the man who first took me to Tiger Stadium and was a season ticket holder there going back to the 40s — were still alive to see this, he’d take a sledge hammer to the place. And that’s saying something considering that he’d be 103-years-old now.
At the risk of crotchety old fogeyism, let me say that baseball in Detroit should smell like beer and cigars and should be watched by knowledgeable fans who have no time or patience for some amped-up teenager tasked with “riling them up.” You know: like it always has been.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.