I’m trying to figure out what Joe Blaton’s presence on the dais with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels reminds me of more:
(1) Pete Smith being shoehorned into those photos of Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery in that Sports Illustrated article back in the day to make people think the Braves had “five aces;”
(2) Peter Lawford standing next to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. as if he were a co-equal member of The Rat Pack; or
(3) Aquaman hanging out with the actually useful super heroes in the Justice League of America.
I actually feel bad for Blanton in all of this. Part of me hopes that he rips off a 17-5, 2.98 ERA season while one of the other four stumbles just so he can crow about it back home next winter.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.