COMMENTARY | The Midsummer Classic is finally upon us. For players and fans alike, it's one of the most celebrated times during the baseball season.
Each major league team is represented in some way -- some have an abundance of All-Stars, while others ship the league minimum to Queens.
For the Detroit Tigers, it's all about the high life. The team boasts a major league high six All-Stars, as well as the American League's manager, Jim Leyland, and his coaching staff.
Even after reaching the World Series last season and playing a number of nationally televised games, its likely that fans outside the viewing area are not up to par when it comes to the Tigers and their All-Stars.
Fear not, baseball fans. Here are some interesting nuggets of information you should be aware of when it comes to each of the Tigers' Midsummer Classic representatives:
With his buddy Justin Verlander taking a backseat in the Motor City, Max Scherzer has captivated Major League Baseball by storm, earning the start for the American League team in the 84th All-Star game.
The 28-year-old became the first pitcher to start the season 13-0 since Roger Clemens did so in 1986 with a 14-0 record. In all 18 of his starts this season, Scherzer has recorded at least six strikeouts, the longest streak since Pedro Martinez's 29-game stretch in 2000.
What's even more incredible about Scherzer's rise from middle-of-the-rotation starter to America's Pitcher is the fact that it's occurred just one year after his brother's passing.
Lately, it's hard not hearing about the endless milestones Miguel Cabrera has either accomplished or is chasing. The 30-year-old star will make his ever first All-Star start once play begins on July 16 -- it's remarkable just thinking about how it took him 11 years to do so.
He recently became the first player to ever hit 30 home runs and 90 RBIs before the All-Star break, but Chris Davis wound up joining him in that exclusive club. Those are numbers that circulate through most players' heads when they dream.
Oh, and don't forget about the chase for a second consecutive Triple Crown -- something that's never been done before in the game.
Sit back, America. Let Cabrera's dominance soak in when the stars align at Citi Field -- we're all witnessing history, and it's fair to say this will never be repeated again.
Prince Fielder wasn't able to launch the long ball into New York's starry night during the Home Run Derby, but there's still plenty of fireworks left in the big fella's tank.
By his own standards, Fielder is struggling. Take that as you may, though. His .267 batting average is low, but his 16 home runs and 69 RBIs beg your pardon.
He won the All-Star game MVP award back in 2011, and who knows, he just might bring the hardware home once again with a moonshot like this one.
Either way, he's setting himself up nicely for a monstrous second-half -- hitting behind Cabrera, the game's best hitter, doesn't hurt his chances of doing so.
Lost in the Biogenesis scandal is Jhonny Peralta's great first-half. His .303 batting average, .447 slugging percentage, and .808 OPS are tops among AL shortstops, while his .361 on-base percentage ranks second.
Pretty impressive numbers for a guy that was almost ran out of town not even nine months ago when the Tigers were in the market for an upgrade. He's certainly made them experience a change of heart, no?
Remember when Torii Hunter had the All-Star game web gem when he robbed the great Barry Bonds of a home run in 2002?
That was 11 years ago.
Hunter's not the same player he was back then. At age 37, this could be the last time he'll put his talents on display at the Midsummer Classic.
While scaling walls may no longer be a part of his game, Hunter still has a pounce to his step, as seen in this incredible web gem .
Put your hearts at ease, American League fans, the pain from last year's All-Star debacle won't carry over to this season's event.
After pitching -- and dominating, for that matter -- in the first-half finale on Sunday, Justin Verlander will be unable to participate in the Citi Field fun. But don't worry, you'll still be able to see Verlander, as he was during the Home Run Derby.
Instead of watching him turn up the heat on the mound, you'll be entertained by the many pseudo connections between him and model Kate Upton.
Jim Leyland and his coaching staff
America, you finally have the chance to experience what Tigers' fans have been griping about when it comes to good ol' Jim Leyland -- lineups.
In reality, it's a situation that isn't all that bad, but just the sight of Don Kelly -- Detroit's newest version of Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge -- makes fans go wild.
Leyland helped guide the Tigers to a 52-42 record in the first-half. He also owns a 1-1 record as a manager in All-Star games -- losing in 1998, but grasping victory in 2007.
He also has the luxury of being able to bring his entire coaching staff to the game with him. There's even a chance Tom Brookens will man the third base coaches' box during Midsummer Classic. Tigers' fans are well aware of the dangers that come with that territory.
Ricky Lindsay has followed the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball with a close eye from Metro Detroit for several years. He's currently the sports editor for his college newspaper, The Michigan Journal, where he covers the University of Michigan football team on Saturday afternoons from Ann Arbor.
You can find him on Twitter @RLindz35.
- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Tigers
- Jim Leyland
- Justin Verlander
- American League
- Major League Baseball
- Max Scherzer
- Prince Fielder
- Miguel Cabrera