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  1. Tigers value versatility Kelly brings Posted by on 03-25-2012 04:41 PM. Every player would like to be a star, but every team needs somebody who can fill a variety of roles. Don Kelly does just that for the Tigers. More...
  2. Don't you have any original thoughts of your own? Do you just post things created by others? Oh wait...never mind.

    You look like a preppy version of the Unibomber too.

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    DTW: Stepping aside

    July 17th marked the 9th anniversary for this little old website. It has been a huge part of my life for nearly a decade which is what makes any decision to step away both a liberating and heartbreaking exercise. I started to have these pangs in the offseason, and took some time away from the blog [...] More...
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    Mud Hens hold on to beat Bulls

    Mud Hens hold on to beat Bulls DURHAM, N.C. - The Mud Hens used a four-run fifth inning to claim a 5-4 victory over the Bulls last night. Toledo needed just two batters to score its first run as Will Rhymes led off with a walk and Max Leon doubled him home. The Bulls tied the game in the third on a single by Elliot Johnson, then took the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Desmond Jennings and Johnson. But the Mud Hens took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth. With one out Rhymes coaxed a walk from Bulls starter Jeff Bennett, and both Danny Worth and Jeff Larish drew back-to-back two-out walks. Jeff Frazier cleared the bases with a double, and Brent Dlugach doubled home Frazier. Ryan Sheely slammed his fourth home run of the season off Hens reliever Josh Rainwater in the seventh. Durham seemed poised to tie the game in the eighth when Alvin Colina doubled and Rashad Eldridge singled, but Colina was thrown out at the plate and the Bulls never threatened again. The Hens and Bulls will play again today starting at 7:05 p.m. More...
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    Mud Hens tame Bulls

    Mud Hens tame Bulls BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time in 15 seasons, the Durham Bulls played a game at Durham Athletic Park last night. And the site for the movie Bull Durham proved to be a fun place for the Mud Hens to play.Toledo spoiled the Bulls’ return to their old home ballpark by scoring five first-inning runs and claiming a 6-2 win. The Mud Hens sent eight batters to the plate in the first as Max Leon and Danny Worth led off with singles that put runners on first and third, and Jeff Frazier reached on an error by Bulls second baseman Joe Dillon that allowed Leon to score.One out later Brent Dlugach drove a pitch from Durham starter Heath Phillips over the fence in right for a three-run homer, Dlugach’s second home run this season.Clete Thomas capped the rally with a home run to left, his fourth of the season. Thomas’s homers have all come in Toledo’s last seven games.Meanwhile Toledo starter Phil Dumatrait allowed only one Durham hitter to reach base in the first four innings, and that baserunner came on a throwing error by Leon.The Bulls’ Dan Johnson broke up the no-hit bid by hammering the first pitch of the fifth well over the fence in right for his league-leading 10th home run this season.The Hens added a run in the sixth when Thomas was hit by a pitch, stole second, then came home on a double by Ben Guez, who had four hits on the night.But Durham got a two-out RBI single by Hank Blalock in the bottom of the sixth.The two teams continue their four-game series with a game tonight at Durham Bulls Athletic Park starting at 7:05. The Hens return to Fifth Third Field Friday to face the Indianapolis at 7:05 p.m. More...
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    Mud Hens drop series to Tides

    Mud Hens drop series to Tides NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk's Chris Tillman struck out a season-high 10 batters, Toledo's Brent Dlugach made two errors that led to pair of unearned runs, and the Mud Hens fell 4-1 to the Tides to drop their first road series of the season. Jeff Larish led Toledo's offense with a pair of hits, including a solo shot off Tillman in the seventh inning to get the Mud Hens on the scoreboard. Casper Wells added two singles. Tillman (3-3) allowed one run on four hits to claim the victory. Mud Hens' starter Ryan Ketchner (0-1) pitched a season-high six innings and allowed two earned runs on just four hits and a walk. He struck out four. The Tides jumped to a 1-0 lead when Ketchner walked leadoff hitter Robert Andino. Andino advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Joey Gathright and an infield single by Corey Patterson. Josh Bell then grounded into a fielder's choice to score Andino. Norfolk's Brandon Snyder extended the lead 2-0 in the second with a home run, and errors in the seventh and eighth sealed the win. With Gathright at first in the seventh, Patterson hit a ground ball to second baseman Will Rhymes, who tossed the ball to Dlugach for the force. Dlugach, however, dropped it. Gathright advanced to third on a fly ball by Bell, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Moore. Toledo dropped to 16-15, while the Tides improved to 14-17. The Hens travel to Durham today to begin a four-game series before returning to Fifth Third Field to face the Indianapolis at 7:05 p.m. Friday. More...
  7. IL picks Gilhooley as award's 1st winner BLADE STAFF The International League has created a new award - and a Toledoan will be the first person to receive the honor. Long-time broadcaster Frank Gilhooley will receive the "Spirit of the International League" award in a ceremony at Fifth Third Field on Sunday, May 16. According to the IL, the award was created this year to honor a behind-the-scenes worker - such as ushers, concessions workers, public address announcers and broadcasters - who "dedicate themselves on a nightly basis to helping fans have the most enjoyable experience possible." "During a baseball game these days there are many, many individuals in and around our ballparks who impact the fan experience," International League president Randy Mobley said. "Some are visible and others are not so visible, but each and every one of them is vital to the success of the operation of their team and the International League. "With the creation of this award we will look forward to annually recognizing an individual who has clearly demonstrated a fan-centered approach on a daily basis." Gilhooley will be honored in an on-field ceremony on May 16, with Mobley on hand to present the IL award. Gilhooley teamed with Jim Weber to broadcast Mud Hens home games on a daily basis from 1986 to 2007. Gilhooley also broadcast games for the Toledo Sox of the American Association in the 1950s and he was the sports director at WTVG Channel 13 for many years. Gilhooley is a 1942 graduate of Central Catholic High School, and he played baseball and basketball at the University of Notre Dame. Gilhooley is the son of Frank Gilhooley Sr., who was elected to the IL's Hall of Fame in 2008. - John Wagner More...
  8. Thomas hits 2 home runs as Mud Hens win NORFOLK — Clete Thomas homered twice and added a triple as the Mud Hens posted a 10-3 win at Norfolk last night. Toledo scored twice in the first inning thanks to a two-run single by Jeff Frazier. Norfolk got one of those runs back off Alfredo Figaro in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Scott Moore. But that was the Tides' lone run off Figaro, who allowed seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings.The Hens extended their lead to 5-1 with three runs in the third. Danny Worth led off the frame with a home run, his second this season. Two outs later Brent Dlugach singled, and Thomas added a two-run shot.Toledo added a two-out run in the sixth on an RBI single by Worth. In the seventh a double by Frazier and a triple by Thomas produced a run, and Robinzon Diaz singled home Thomas.Norfolk scored twice in the bottom of the seventh on a run-scoring double by Corey Patterson and an RBI single by Moore.But the Hens got a run in the eighth when Patterson in center misplayed a ball hit by Frazier, allowing Deik Scram to score.Thomas capped the scoring in the ninth with another home run, his third this season.The Hens will complete their four-game series in Norfolk today in a game starting at 1:15 p.m. More...
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    Tides top Hens in 12th

    Tides top Hens in 12th NORFOLK, Va. - Before last night, Toledo and Norfolk were the only International League teams that had not yet played an extra-inning game. That changed at Harbor Park, where Tides won 3-2 on home run by Josh Bell 3-2 in the 12th inning. Toledo's Jeff Frazier led off the second inning with a single and Casper Wells followed with a walk. One out later, Max Leon singled to give the Hens a 1-0 lead. In the third, Brent Dlugach, Danny Worth, and Frazier hit consecutive one-out singles to make it a 2-0 game. The Tides scored in third on an RBI single by Bell. The tied it in the sixth when Michale Aubrey singled, advance two bases on passed balls and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Daniel Schlereth. After pitching four scoreless innings, Scot Drucker was relieved by Jay Sborz, who served up a game-ending home run to Bell, the first batter he faced. Danny Worth went 3-for-5 for the Mud Hens. More...
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    Tides top Mud Hens in 12th

    Tides top Mud Hens in 12th NORFOLK, Va. — Before Friday night, Toledo and Norfolk were the only International League teams that had not yet played an extra-inning game. That changed at Harbor Park, where Tides won 3-2 on home run by Josh Bell 3-2 in the 12th inning.Toledo's Jeff Frazier led off the second inning with a single and Casper Wells followed with a walk. One out later, Max Leon singled to give the Hens a 1-0 lead.In the third, Brent Dlugach, Danny Worth, and Frazier hit consecutive one-out singles to make it a 2-0 game.The Tides scored in third on an RBI single by Bell. The tied it in the sixth when Michale Aubrey singled, advance two bases on passed balls and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Daniel Schlereth.After pitching four scoreless innings, Scot Drucker was relieved by Jay Sborz, who served up a game-ending home run to Bell, the first batter he faced.Danny Worth went 3-for-5 for the Mud Hens. More...
  11. Bullpen collapses for the Mud Hens NORFOLK - Norfolk scored five runs in the eighth inning off Mud Hens reliever Jason Waddell to break a tie and fuel a 12-7 win last night to open a four-game series. Waddell yielded three hits and three walks in the only inning he worked. The Hens (15-13) tied the game at 7 in the top half of the inning. Hens starter Armando Galarraga lasted four innings, surrendering seven runs on six hits. The Hens scored two runs in the fourth - on a double by Jeff Larish and a single by Jeff Frazier. Will Rhymes tripled to begin a three-run fifth inning, cutting Norfolk's lead to 7-5. More...
  12. Bullpen collapses for the Mud Hens NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk scored five runs in the eighth inning off Mud Hens reliever Jason Waddell to break a tie and fuel a 12-7 win last night to open a four-game series. Waddell yielded three hits and three walks in the only inning he worked.The Hens (15-13) tied the game at 7 in the top half of the inning.Hens starter Armando Galarraga lasted four innings, surrendering seven runs on six hits.The Hens scored two runs in the fourth — on a double by Jeff Larish and a single by Jeff Frazier.Will Rhymes tripled to begin a three-run fifth inning, cutting Norfolk's lead to 7-5. More...
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    Mud Hens take 2 from Charlotte

    Mud Hens take 2 from Charlotte By JOHN WAGNERBLADE SPORTS WRITER For a moment, all of Phil Dumatrait's hard worked last night seemed to be wasted. The Mud Hens lefty had limited Charlotte to just four hits before leaving in the seventh and final inning of the second game at Fifth Third Field. Toledo led 3-0, and closer Jay Sborz was trying to strand a pair of runners on base. On a 2-2 pitch, the Knights' Luis Rodriguez slammed a long fly down the right-field line. The ball eventually hooked foul before striking the facing of the Roost and became just a long strike, causing an audible sigh of relief around the stadium. What did Dumatrait think? "When it came off his bat, I saw it was headed towards the foul pole, so I thought it would hook foul," Dumatrait said. "I thought it was just a long strike. "Yeah, I was a little bit nervous, but Jay has been doing a great job, and I knew he would get the job done again." Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish wasn't as charitable, since one of the baserunners reached on a popup that dropped between shortstop Brent Dlugach and third baseman Danny Worth - but could have been caught by either one. "I was going to kill my third baseman and shortstop for letting the ball drop in," Parrish said. Instead Sborz retired Charlotte with only limited damage, giving the Hens a 3-1 victory. Earlier Toledo had snapped a three-game losing streak by scoring six times in the eighth inning of an 8-3 win in the completion of Monday's suspended game. Dumatrait was the star of the late contest, holding the Knights hitless until the fifth and not allowing a runner past second base until a one-out double by Donny Lucy in the seventh. "He was outstanding," Parrish said of Dumatrait. "If we don't drop the popup he could stay out there and get the shutout." Dumatrait, who finished with two strikeouts and just one walk in his 61/3 innings, said he didn't focus on the potential no-hitter. "I knew what was going on, but I just tried to stay within myself and continue to do what I was doing earlier in the game," Dumatrait said. The game was scoreless until the Mud Hens broke through for a pair of runs in the fourth off Knights starter Freddy Dolsi, a former Hen. With runners on second and third and one out, Clete Thomas ground a single through a drawn-in infield to score both runners. "He hit the homer in the first game that was big, then got a walk to score a run," Parrish said of Thomas. Toledo added a run in the sixth when Jeff Frazier lined a home run off the left-field scoreboard against Knights reliever Scott Elarton. In the first game the Mud Hens took advantage of five consecutive walks by the Knights to claim the comeback win. Carlos Torres had held the Hens in check over five innings, but Dlugach led off the eighth with an infield grounder to shortstop that he beat out for a hit before taking second on a throwing error by Charlotte shortstop Brent Lillibridge. That proved to be important when, after Casper Wells struck out, the Knights decided to walk Larish to set up a force, putting runners on first and second with one out. Frazier fell behind Torres 1-2 but worked for an eight-pitch walk that loaded the bases, and Thomas greeted reliever Wes Whisler by drawing a walk that tied the game. Worth and Deik Scram earned walks that also scored runs, and Angel Flores put the game out of reach with a two-run single. Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.comor 419-724-6481. More...
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    Thomas gets Hens rolling early

    Thomas gets Hens rolling early By JOHN WAGNERBLADE SPORTS WRITER It was only one at-bat in a game that was postponed by rain soon after. But for the Mud Hens' Clete Thomas, it still felt sweet. Thomas slugged a two-run home run off Charlotte's Lucas Harrell last night, accounting for the only runs scored in the two innings that were played before rains drenched Fifth Third Field. Today the two teams will resume the contest starting at 5:30 p.m., picking up play in the third inning - the spot where the contest was halted following a1:19 rain delay. The two teams will finish the nine-inning game, then play a second contest of seven innings following a short break. Before that point, the highlight for the Hens' was the at-bat by Thomas, who fouled off a trio of two-strike pitches before lining his first home run of the season over the fence in right. "I was just trying to grind my way through an at-bat - and get out of this hole I'm in," Thomas said. "I was trying to stay relaxed and put the bat on the ball." The "hole" Thomas mentioned included an 0-for-14 stretch prior to the home run and a .140 batting average in his first 13 games this season. The offensive struggles of the 26-year-old outfielder prompted Toledo manager Larry Parrish to give Thomas the day off Sunday. "It was to clear my mind, to relax," Thomas said of the day off. "I tried to let everything go and come back with a fresh start in this game. "[The home run] gives me some confidence. It was only one at-bat, so I need to stay consistent, take the same consistent approach in every at-bat." Parrish liked what he saw of Thomas. "It looked like he was battling up there," Parrish said. "He fouled a bunch of balls off. It wasn't an at-bat that you thought might finish with a homer. "All of a sudden - boom!" HOT HITTING: While 2B Will Rhymes' first-inning at-bat yesterday ended with a groundout, it impressed Parrish as well. Rhymes fell behind 1-2 before fouling off five straight two-strike pitches, eventually working the count full before grounding out on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. "That was a heck of an at-bat," the Toledo manager said. "Unfortunately, the pitcher won that battle, but any time you make a pitcher throw that many pitches early in the game, it's a good thing. "We already had their pitcher at 50 pitches through two innings, so he wasn't going to last long as it was. If there ever was a bad game to get rained out, this was it." Rhymes ranks seventh in the International League with a .348 batting average. He has collected hits in nine of his last 10 games, batting .405 in that span, and ranks second in the IL with 32 hits. LUGO UPDATE: RHP Ruddy Lugo was cleared to begin working out with the team following a doctor's appointment yesterday. Lugo, who was hit in the right temple by a line drive April 23, can begin throwing, riding an exercise bike, and lifting light weights. He said he would accompany the team on an eight-game road trip that begins Thursday in Norfolk following an off-day tomorrow, then return to the doctor's office when the team returns home. Lugo added another duty yesterday, taking out the Mud Hens' lineup card to the umpires before the contest. THREE-DOT DATA: Two former Hens received honors yesterday as 3B Mike Hessman was named International League player of the week and OF Wilkin Ramirez was selected Eastern League player of the week. Hessman hit four home runs and had 14 RBIs for Buffalo last week, while Ramirez batted .500 with three homers, nine RBIs, and eight runs scored for Double-A Erie. Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.comor 419-724-6481. More...
  15. Rain delays Mud Hens; doubleheader set for Tuesday By JOHN WAGNERBlade Sports Writer It was only one at-bat in a game that was postponed by rain soon after. But for the Mud Hens’ Clete Thomas, it still felt sweet.Thomas slugged a two-run home run off Charlotte’s Lucas Harrell Monday night, accounting for the only runs scored in the two innings that were played before rains drenched Fifth Third Field.The two teams will resume the contest starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, picking up play in the third inning -- the spot where the contest was halted after a 1:19 rain delay. The two teams will finish the nine-inning game, then play a second contest of seven innings following a short break.Before that point, the highlight for the Hens’ was the at-bat by Thomas, who fouled off a trio of two-strike pitches before lining his first home run of the season over the fence in right.“I was just trying to grind my way through an at-bat -- and get out of this hole I’m in,” Thomas said. “I was trying to stay relaxed and put the bat on the ball.” The “hole” Thomas mentioned included an 0-for-14 stretch prior to the home run and a .140 batting average in his first 13 games this season. The offensive struggles of the 26-year-old outfielder, one of the final roster cuts by Detroit in spring training, prompted Toledo manager Larry Parrish to give Thomas the day off Sunday. “It was to clear my mind, to relax,” Thomas said of the day off. “I tried to let everything go and come back with a fresh start in this game.“[The home run] gives me some confidence. It was only one at-bat, so I need to stay consistent, take the same consistent approach in every at-bat.”Parrish liked what he saw of Thomas in Monday’s plate appearance.“It looked like he was battling up there,” Parrish said. “He fouled a bunch of balls off. It wasn’t an at-bat that you thought might finish with a homer.“All of a sudden - Boom!” More...
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