Alan Trammell’s number retired by the Tigers

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There are a lot of real injustices and tragedies in the world. Then there are those not-real injustices which bug a person and that, though it is embarrassing to admit, take up more mental real estate than some of the actual injustices.

For example, I have long been concerned about the rainforests. Terrible business, that. I’d be lying, however, if I thought as much about the rain forests as I’ve thought about how wrong it was for the Detroit Tigers to let Gary Sheffield and Ian Kinsler wear Alan Trammell’s number three since Trammell retired after the 1996 season.

OF COURSE that’s not as important as the rainforests. I would never suggest such a thing! I’m just saying that it’s a thing that has occupied more of my brain’s displeasure centers than some other, more pressing problems facing the world, such as the rainforests. And, um, the whales. And nuclear proliferation. Jeez, will you cut me some slack here? We are all animals of limited capabilities in the grand scheme of things, and all of us have some limited concerns that can obscure the grander scheme.

I have one less of those today, though, because the Tigers finally did the right thing and retired Trammell’s number three yesterday. The video of the whole ceremony is below.

Given my feelings about Alan Trammell — which I’ve written about many, many times in the past — I’m not even gonna pretend to be objective here, so allow me to simply say that this is a long overdue honor. Yes, I realize the Tigers have a rule about not retiring numbers unless a guy makes the Hall of Fame, but that’s a dumb rule and Trammell should’ve been the last guy to wear it. Likewise, just because the Hall of Fame electorate has, thus far, been too dumb to put Lou Whitaker in doesn’t mean lesser talents like Jose Iglesias should be allowed to wear his number 1.

Now, perhaps I’ll try to squeeze in some thoughts about the rainforests between now and lunch.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.