The Tigers are starting an “energy squad”

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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.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.