Staying loose during the stretch run


Thanks to everyone who has checked in on the push-pin map. The response has been unbelievable. They’re coming in from all over.

Obviously this past week or so we haven’t had a whole lot of stories to tell. It was funny. FSN did the Tigers Weekly piece on it, and did a really good job on it, too. And it seemed like as soon as it showed on Friday, we’ve had chances, and every time we put in, man, nothing happened. We were looking around thinking maybe we have to get a new supply or something.

There’s the reality of baseball, though, for fans reading in on this. You play 162 games, there’s magic throughout the year and obviously for the teams at the end making a run and contending for a championship, they have a little more magic than the next team. But it obviously was a rough week. One thing that hasn’t swayed is the chemistry of this team, although right now we’re probably falling on our toughest stretch of the year. We haven’t really been used to that. It’s funny, because people say we haven’t had one of these. Listen, there’s a group of guys here that had a lot of these three years ago. I was talking to Inge the other day about that. It’s like, this is nothing compared to falling on real hard times. So there’s still the attitude here, just so people know. I think it’s important, not only the fun of the game and the light-heartedness of the game with the Gum Time and all that, but on the serious side of things people following along, fans are probably uneasy about things. But just to let them know from what’s going on here with the guys, there is no true fall-off or panic or anything like that.

Guys are still having a good time. And the people that follow along need to still be having fun, too. That’s the one thing that you can fall into is that you stop having fun and you start worrying. Continue to have fun. Continue to enjoy this year. Continue to follow along and follow the stories and have fun with it. Because if you don’t enjoy it, it can turn into a miserable season real quick if you don’t think about what’s been good. So that’s what the focus has been in here is on not just going out there and trying to produce and everything like that, but just enjoy it, enjoy what we’re doing. Know what we still have to do but enjoy what we’ve been doing here.

That’s the biggest thing for this week. It’s been fun with the rally strikes again and we come back and it’s like everybody expects it. Well, you know, it’s baseball, and the month of August has been a torturous one. It’s tough.

The other thing about it is the parity in baseball. What people should really enjoy is the fact that baseball is not one-sided. There was a stretch for 10 years or so when the payroll-dominant teams just kind of wiped everybody out. That’s not the case now. It seems like it gets more competitive year to year as time goes on. That has a lot to do with the fresh talent coming in, guys that maybe weren’t expected to come in and have big years that are having big years. We have several of those guys on this team. That’s fun. That’s beautiful when you have however many teams are in it still. Probably half the teams in the big leagues are still hopefuls, still within striking distance. That’s what’s fun about it, and that’s what people should look at. Their team has a chance to do something. Not only what we’ve done, but just in baseball as a sport, as a game, to enjoy that. And like I said, unfortunately, this past week or so, we’ve come up dry, you know? It seems like every time we put it in, we’re looking around.


But certainly, just because we haven’t had a whole lot of stories to report on that, doesn’t mean we won’t have a lot more coming up. We go to New York for a big three-game series. People said our schedule in September lightens up. What? You’ve got Minnesota on that schedule. You’ve got Toronto on that schedule. You’ve got the White Sox on that schedule, the Angels on that schedule. These are all contending teams here all the way to the end. But the guys in here are certainly excited about the challenge of it all and we still, regardless of how it’s been doing, we still have our chew here, man.

We got four cases shipped to us in Cleveland, so we haven’t given up on that. That’s one thing we’ve agreed on is we’ve stuck with it all year. Those rallies helped us get to where we are today and we ain’t gonna give up on it now.

That’s the biggest thing about baseball — really any sport, but especially baseball, because of the longevity of the season — is sticking with what got you there — no pun intended on the sticking — and still believing in it. It would be easy to say things aren’t working right now, let me try something different. Well, what’s different isn’t what got you there. Adjustments? Yeah, but not some dramatic big change. So we’ve not giving up on that.

We’ve still got our gum supplies in there. Our clubhouse manager, Jim Schmakel, made sure we have plenty. I might try some different flavors, though, because I popped on that sour cherry and it ain’t working. That’s what I’ve had the last few times. That one and regular are about the only two I can handle when I throw a full pack in. We may try something different. There’s some cotton candy flavor in there. Maybe it’s the stuff that’ll work. I have a buddy who’s a scout. He told me they had it up in the press box. That’s so funny.

I’ll tell you what, the one thing is, though, is that there’s a city that has come together because of a baseball team that’s doing so well and people follow. For us, people that have been here since 2003, we get to see a change in attitude of the team and what we’re doing. I’m not saying the love and the faithfulness wasn’t there before, but the appreciation of what’s going on with this team and the following — people coming on road trips and just passionately wanting to be part of this whole thing — that’s awesome. We as a team really, really enjoy that. Really, the funny thing is the fans aren’t giving up on what got us there. I go out there over the weekend, I had a rough start in my last outing, are people are out there with their Gum Time t-shirts on and say they brought their rally chews. They say they don’t want to use it. They want us to jump out and stay out front, so we don’t have to rally or anything like that. And I said, "I hear ya, bro. Stick it away. I don’t want to use it, either."

Todd Jones made a good point the other day. He said, "We don’t ever want it to be Gum Time, do we?" I said, "You know what? You’re right." Because if it’s Gum Time, we’re either behind or it’s late in the game and it’s knotted up. But we’re still having fun with it.

One thing about the t-shirts: There’s people out there, they see an opportunity and I guess you can’t blame them too much in a free market out there. But we do have people that have trademarked the Gum Time phrase, and there’s a couple places that I have endorsed as far as doing the t-shirt deal with, Fanatic U and a company by the Gumtimetshirt
name of EA Graphics, which gets the t-shirt out. And the only official t-shirts that are out, that I’m aware of, are the ones at Fanatic U that say, "It’s Gum Time" and then the blue ones that say "Detroit Gum Time" and has "Gum Time 29" on the back. I’ve seen other ones that say "Detroit Gum Time — Just Chew It." I had nothing to do with that one. So if people want to know what the official ones are, there it is. They can do whatever they want. Enjoy it. But aside from that, the official ones are the ones at Fanatic U and you’ll see the other ones dispersed throughout the city. There’s actually a new one coming out, and it’s top of the line. It really does kind of blow these out of the water, and it’s not out yet. It’s called "The Chew Crew" and it’s got a Big League Chew pouch, and this guy did a caricature of me on a pouch of it. And it’s a good one, too. People who followed along on the original Gum Time moment, they’ll like this one. The other ones were more of a general t-shirt that kept me out of it, something more universal. And that’s what it’s about, it’s about everybody. We’ll have a couple more t-shirts out. But like I said, there are official ones and there are unofficial ones.

Pitching in New York will be different. My first start there was in ’03, and that was just a moment type of thing. Obviously, we were pretty far out of it, but I pitched pretty good there. I haven’t pitched there since ’04 and it’ll be special. The thing is, teams like New York, especially in that atmosphere, those are the types of atmosphere that we’re going to play in. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a playoff atmosphere. Looking forward to the challenge, and looking forward to bouncing back from a tough outing.



    The new “Chew Crew” shirt sounds awesome! I definitely want to get it. The Yankees series should be great and I can’t wait for Nate to bounce back!! GO TIGERS!!!


    I’m glad to see you guys having a great time :-D. I’ve made it to a game a month since April. They should have had gum day at the State Fair…That would have been cool.


    I saw the tigers weekly about gum time and it was great…reminded me of why I love the Tigers! I have been a Tigers fan all my 21 years, and this season has been incredible. Gum time has made this season even more fun and it’s amazing to see how many people are enjoying it too. I can’t help but laugh every time they show you guys with a wad of gum in your mouth.

    It’s great to see you guys have fun winning and it makes watching every single game a pleasure – this is definitely an unforgettable summer. I got to see you pitch a few times this summer, including against Clemens (awesome) and hopefully will get to a few more times in September! Keep rocking and best of luck through the season! Meghan


    I was at the game last Thursday (tough luck guy) and it was clear that WhiteSox were in control for that game (I was at the Tuesday game and such was not the case), but that said. It was great to be there when it happened. This is a dream year for us fans

    LM 27


    I was watching a broadcast the other day, and even the mascot got his own pack of rally gum. This thing is insane. I love it. Looking forward to seeing you guys kick some Yankees butt!

    Alexandra S.


    This is for Nate and all the players who are fighting so hard to maintain there lead during the dog days of summer. Don’t ever forget you are loved around the world! My family and I will be cheering for you from Arkansas during your games with the Yankees!! You CAN beat them, you all have more heart than anyone can possibly imagine, you have made it this far and you can go all the way! You all truely play for the love of the game, sounds cliche I realize, but the fans can see what you have done.

    Go tigers!!!!!!!!! Much love to Pudge, he is a good man and my daughter’s favorite.


    This has been an incredible season – after reading these entires, it’s shown me that Nate is not only a great baseball player but a great guy. Thatnks for being a great guy to your fans! Good luck!!


    To Nate & all the Tigers. When you go to New York today through Thursday, please know we believe in all of you. Leland has brought that “Sparky” feeling back again. I remember my first game when I was ten and went to tiger stadium. Larry Herdon hit three homeruns in his last three at bats. But my greatest memory was when the bases were loaded and Tram came up to bat. Batting better over 200 and no homers. I told my best friend that he was going to hit it out. He told me I was crazy. And I went crazy as Tram hit it over the left field fence with the winning runs. No matter what — I hear the tigers can’t keep it up. But what I say is that you all will not only take these games from New York – but you will end the season with only a few losses. Nate your the man who is going to go out and shut the door on the bats tonight. And you will get a grand slam for your effort tonight by Inge.


    I am 47 and have been a fan of the TIGERS when Al Kaline was my hero. Quite a long time ago, anyway there was a time when I was fed up with baseball (with all the strikes) and could not get myself to follow any baseball team. However for the past few years (even when the TIGERS were trying not to lose 120 games)I got the fever again. I saw something special in that team and it is still there. What a great summer it has been. I travel a great deal all over the US but no matter where I go everyone is talking about the TIGERS and the year they are having. To sum it up, Thanks Tigers for the fun summer.


    Hey Nate! I love reading your blog and watching you guys. I’m going nuts tonight with the game being rained out. My boyfriend and I found some Big League Chew and have been having fun chewing along with you guys (love the pic above). We went to Cleveland for the game Saturday. It was so much fun with all the Tigers fans there. Good luck down the stretch. We’ll be watching! GO TIGERS!


    I am in Modesto and was a friend of your wonderful ‘little’ brother, Luke, when he was in the A’s organization. Where is he?

    How is he? Send him my email address! We love Luke!!! Because of him, I’m a Tiger fan. GO GUMBOYS!


    Nate, I was watching the DSR this morning and didn’t relize that you were responsible for the “RALLY WADD”,But i’m **** glad you were. I’ve been a tiger fan since 1968 and i hope we don’t have to see alot of the WADD” going down the stretch.Take two today “GO TIGERS BEAT the yanks


    Tough loss tonight for you guys Nate. I’m a wildland firefighter and have been traveling all over the country this summer from California to Minnesota. Thank god for XM radio! I’ll be at the angels game saturday night. Lets go tigers!!


    Hey Nate – you were awesome against New York the other day, sorry you didn’t get the win!

    During the bottom of the 9th in the nightcap of the doubleheader, I grabbed some gum , passed some to my dad and we both threw it in when Granderson was at bat – and we all know what happened from there.

    Keep up the good work, have a great September and I’ll be cheering for you from section 130 this week!


    Dear Nate,
    You did an awesome job the other night. Many times this season you pitched great, but you didn’t get the win. Don’t worry Nate, I know how great you are! That is why I want to pitch as good as you when I get older!

    The “Chew Crew” sounds cool! I can’t wait to see it! I have the shirt that is blue and on the back it says “Gum Time” then your number!

    Gum Time worked again! I was stuffing it all in my mouth when Inge was up–he walked, then Granderson, then finally it struck big time for C-Moe!

    It’s good to know you guys are having fun playing baseball! I love to have fun watching you!

    Go Get them Nate the Great! And by the way Happy Birthday (Sep. 3)!

    Love Ya,

    Your #1 fan,



    Hey Nate,

    I just realized something. I don’t know if this counts, but I had been chewing Big League Chew gum all game (BLC is great for bubbles), at a West Michigan Whitecaps game, and then the Whitecaps rallied in the 9th to win. The Whitecaps were 0-36 when trailing after 8 innings, until Cameron Maybin won the game with a 2 run single. The Whitecaps won 4-3. Like I said I had been chewing it all game, and didn’t have a full pack in my mouth. Does that count as rally gum time? If it does, Gum Time really does work.


    Sup Nate.

    This aint about gum time. For real i am ur number 1 fan all the way you were my favorite before gum time. Its a pretty cool thing to see ya’ll havin a good time though but really people think im crazy cause i wont make any plans all day because you are pitchin even if its like a 7 o’clock game haha. I love you your the sweetest and keep pitchin really sweet cause we got some White Sox and Yankee fans up in here and i really wanna prove em wrong and show everybody that the Tigers are the best team in the world.

    You are the best ever and remember im your biggest fan right here in Rockford, Michigan.

    Much love from ur sweetest and biggest fan,



    I became a tiger fan in 1968 when I was 9 years old and my father practically drove through the car port to get in the house to watch the world series. This year is so exciting as my father has expressed how much he would like to see you guys do it again in his lifetime. He has talked about going to Detroit to see you if he can get tickets (we live in PA). We believe in you and thanks for a great season no matter what happens!


    I just wanted to congratulate you and the team on a great season thus far. Like many other Tigers fans we’re all rooting for you and believe in you guys. Keep up the great work!

    The Detroit Tigers rock my world!!!


    P.S. I love the gum time fad that you’ve brought to the team!


    Update: Gum time has reached Providence, Rhode Island. I was born and raised there up until 1999 when I moved to Detroit. On a recent trip home to visit my parents and sister, I shared the gum-time tradition with them as we were watching the Tigers play the Yankees. Best of luck to ALL of the Tigers on finishing this magical season strong!!!




    Thanks for the advice to enjoy the season. Still the best one in years. I’ll have my gum tonight for the game. It’s great that we’re getting to see you guys a lot more down here in TN. I had my Tigers shirt on in the store the other day and a guy stopped me. Asked if I was a Tigers fan. Turns out he’s from Michigan, just excited about the season as I am. One of my colleagues at school saw me with my shirt on and commented that I could wear the shirt with pride now. Heck, I’ve always been proud of you guys.
    (He’s a Yankees fan by the way. Go figure.)

    Anyway, baseball season is always a magical time for me. You guys have made this one really special. Hang in there. We’re behind you.

    Magic number is now 22!

    Jeff Price

    Johnson City, TN


    The Hunt for October

    My beautiful tigers, so tattered and torn, the dog days of summer have made you so lost and forlorn.

    Gullen and his errors, pudge and his bat, it is not yet time for that long winter’s nap!

    Your fans the world over, they wait to see, if the tigers, their tigers will be all that they can be.

    They watch in the 7th inning with their hats inside out, pieces of gum stringing slowly out of their mouths.

    So relax, have fun and enjoy the love that you’ve found, ignore the critics and the cynics, they don’t know your World Series bound!



    Great start against the Mariners! I was very upset that some dude on ESPN said he looked for you to have a September Let Down. Your line from today’s game said it all….

    Go Tigers! Go Nate! Go gumtime!

    See you in KC….

    Lexus Dan (Used to be Ultimate Dan)


    Nate, great game today! The boys got the offense going for ya!!!!!!! The best part of the whole game was when you called Inge a “show-off!” That’s the stuff I love, having fun in the midst of a serious inning or a game! Keep up the good work! Hopefully the ball will keep rolling!

    Good God’s Blessings Boys!!!!!!!!



    Hey Nate.

    Happy one day late birthday! haha.

    Sweet start today.

    your number 1 fan from Rockford Michigan,

    Piston (Payton)


    I took my son to meet you at ArtVan on Saturday. I want to thank you for really taking time to talk to him and pay attention to him, when you could have just signed his hat and moved on. I don’t know if you remember him; he was the boy (also named Nathan) who made a birthday card for you (with the ball in the correct hand). As a father, I appreciate how nice you were to him. We were in the stands to cheer you on today–nice job.


    I’ve believed in Gum Time since the beginning. Every time I see Nate and some of the guys chewing, you know “something is going to happen”. It doesn’t necessarily mean a win but something good will happen. I threw some in for Grandy the other day, God bless him, and he had 2 hits. Normally, I’d never ask someone for help but I need help. I need employment and I’m asking just 1 person to throw a piece in for me…….not to take away from anything else baseball related. I believe it will help me if a fellow believer will do it. Normally, I would never ask for help like this but it has become critical. If success finds me, I will post here with many thankyou’s.

    You pitched a great game today, Nate.


    Thanks for being a Tiger (through the good and the bad). I’ve been a life long Tiger fan and I’m sooooo glad baseball is back in DTown. I live in Chicago now and for the longest time I had to follow every comment about the Tigers with an “Oh yeah, we have the Red Wings and the Pistons”. Now, it’s comments about the Lions. I’m proud to say “Oh yeah, we have the Red Wings, Pistons, and the Tigers!” – “best records in their respective sport too…”

    It was hard letting old Tiger Stadium go because of the memories. I’m sure you guys are going to build life long days of summer to remember for years to come in Comerica.

    May I suggest a few “Gum Time” phrases to put out there…

    – “Bless Chew Boys”

    – Chew-thousand Six – Year of the Tigers

    – Bubble Trouble

    – “I’m a Gum Bum”

    Good luck in the Post Season from all your transplanted Tiger fans living in Chicago!

    – Bobby


    Hey Nate!! I was at the game yesterday, and you did a phenomenal job!!! You are definitely my Tiger!! I love those glasses and of course the gum is fun!! My family brought some gum, but luckily we didn’t even need it!! 🙂 I also noticed that it was your birthday on the third, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Keep being an awesome lefty!!! I love it:)


    Nate –

    You and the whole Tigers team have given me a lift this year. I’ve been bleeding blue and orange for years and the last 15 or so have been pretty bleak. Here’s to you and the team – cheers for giving us thrills this year and fingers crossed for an excellent post season.


    Madison Hgts, MI



    I feel so bad for you right now. You always pitch so well, and your teammates respond by not giving you any run support. If I were you, I’d ask to be traded. You are a wolf among sheep, you deserve to play for guys who’ve got your back. What a shame this season is falling apart and we’ll have to wait till next year (or later) to see playoff baseball in Detroit. Still, it’s nice to see the team have a winning record for a change.

    Better luck next year.


    Nate-The ads and opinions expressed by the fan above do not reflect those of us in the Tiger Den. It’s a chatroom where people from all over the world and country get together to show their support for the Tigers.My name is Tigerswinloseordraw and I’ve always been proud to be a Tiger fan.


    What up Nate.

    Why do they keep tryin to kill ya? Geeze first in the ribs then in the hip?

    That was a great game tonite. I tried to get tickets but they were sold out. I always have to wait till the day before because i wanna come to a game that you are pitching in, but i might come down to Chicago so i can see you pitch!

    Keep it up Nate!

    Your number 1 fan

    Right outta Rockford Michigan.



    Mr. Robertson, it’s time for baseball in OCTOBER… listening to this KC game where you are on your way to Play Off Baseball.


    Chew ’em up Tigers!!


    I’m a Cardinal fan but have enjoyed watching your games this post season. Keep up the good work but slow down when you and the Cardinals meet for the World Series. What an emotional game last night! NY couldn’t do anything right.


    Nate, This is a non baseball issue, but I would like to know where you got your glasses? I have reciently lost an eye and I need a pair to protect my other eye. I really like the style. Let me know if you could.



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