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DETROIT TIGERS
April 10, 1961
The somnolent Tiger wouldn't hurt a kid pitcher—most days. Manager Bob Scheffing must get the Tiger up and roaring, but he'd have more luck if he had some infielders
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April 10, 1961

Detroit Tigers

The somnolent Tiger wouldn't hurt a kid pitcher—most days. Manager Bob Scheffing must get the Tiger up and roaring, but he'd have more luck if he had some infielders

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1960 TEAM PERFORMANCE

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

6

71

83

26

1960 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

BATTING

PITCHING

Bruton

.286

Lary

15-15

Cash

.286

Mossi

9-8

Kaline

.278

Bunning

11-14

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

Colavito

35

Colavito

87

Maxwell

24

Maxwell

81

Cash

18

Kaline

68

ANALYSIS OF THE TIGERS

STRONG POINTS
The Tigers have the best outfield in the league—maybe—and good pitching. The outfield has Rocky Colavito in left, Bill Bruton in center, Al Kaline in right. Kaline had a miserable season last year—.278, 15 HRs, 68 RBIs. He's in his favorite position now and his hitting should return to normal. Bruton, after seven steady seasons with Milwaukee (never below .272, never above .289), will provide topnotch service in center field. Colavito, like Kaline, was sub-par last year—he never seemed to recover from the shock of the trade that took him out of Cleveland the day before the season began. Frank Lary (who has 23-8 lifetime record against Yankees), Jim Bunning and Don Mossi are reliable starters, and Hank Aguirre is a solid reliever.

WEAK SPOTS
Infield, catching and secondary pitching. The infield is awful, perhaps not even as good as the two new American League teams. Norm Cash on first provides the only flicker of class. Last year he surprised everyone by leading the team in hitting at .286. It remains to be seen if he can continue. The rest of the infield—Chuck Cottier at second, Chico Fernandez at short and rookie Steve Boros at third—are not major league hitters, unless Boros surprises. Fernandez is a career .241 hitter. Cottier hits like Fernandez. Dick Brown will probably be first-string catcher despite a .231 lifetime average, with burly Harry Chiti in reserve. Tiger pitching thins out fast after the top few. Paul Foytack, once good for 15 wins a year, was 2-11 last year with 6.12 ERA.

THE BIG IFS
Detroit has no ifs. Everything is obvious, and bad. Perhaps Charley Maxwell could be developed into an if. He is an outfielder-first baseman on a team that has three good outfielders and a passable first baseman. If the Tigers could trade him—which Charley would like—for something they need, like an infielder or a catcher or six pitchers, it would help. Almost anything would help.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Bruton and Cottier are new, in from Milwaukee. Jake Wood, a 23-year-old second baseman, hit .305 at Denver and could take the job away from Cottier. The best-looking rookie is Boros, the third baseman. The Most Valuable Player in the American Association last year, Boros hit .317, 30 home runs and drove in 119 runs. He also stole 22 bases.

OUTLOOK
The situation in Detroit is desperate. Assuming Kaline and Colavito do improve on their last year's performances, which is likely, the first division still appears too far away. A better bet is a collapse to seventh.

THE ORDEAL OF ROCKY COLAVITO

"Most people don't know what Rocky Colavito went through last season," a man was saying. "He had hit 40 home runs and driven in over 100 for two straight years. He was a big man in Cleveland—nice home, a baby sitter any time he needed one, friends all over town. The way he was going he had every right to expect to stay there for 10 years.

"Then, the day before the season begins, Frank Lane trades him to Detroit for Kuenn, and he reads that Lane has called him hamburger compared to Kuenn's steak. The Tigers open the season in Cleveland and all of Rocky's fans show up with big banners. The game goes 15 innings, it gets cold and dark, Rocky goes 0 for 6 and strikes out four times. When the game ends the banners are lying in the outfield in shreds. It takes a long time to recover after a start like that."

Outfielder Billy Bruton, who came to the Tigers from the Milwaukee Braves in a trade this winter, pounded his right fist into his glove. "I've never played in the Detroit ball park," he said. "But I don't expect to have too much trouble. Most ball parks are the same for me."

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