Gum Time in September

First of all, we had some troops at the park the other day, special troops that had come back from Iraq and suffered some injuries. Twenty, twenty-one year old guys who have their whole life to live. The reason I bring them up is looking on the ChewMap here, following along, seeing who’s plugging in from all over, a lot of the people who are following along are troops from everywhere. They’re stationed in Somalia, in Baghdad, in the Philippines. NeverforgetObviously we’re having fun around here and a lot of people look to us and how we perform out there on the field, following along. I just want to let them know, too, that we follow what they do and we look to them as our heroes. Being the son of a father who was in the Army for 23 years and was activated for Desert Storm, I know a little bit of what they have to go through — not in the trenches and not on the battlefield, but knowing what kind of demands they have. When we think we have demands here, what we have to go through is nothing compared to what they have to go through. It’s really encouraging and it excites me to see when we have troops plugging in on our website from all over. That’s something that they hold on to, you know? It gives them something to follow amongst all the times that they go through. Their safety’s always in question and what they have to do day in and day out. The biggest thing going through this, and obviously with the anniversary of Sept. 11 coming up and what kind of sparked a lot of what’s going on around the world, our hats are off to them. We appreciate what they do following us and what we do.

Other than that, touching a little bit on what’s going on with us as a team, where we’re at, how fun this month’s going to be. It all starts with pitching, obviously, with Kenny starting us off with the game he had starting us off this month, it’s helped our staff kind of follow suit as a whole. These games are going to be a grind, man. They’re not going to be easy.

More importantly, keep on brushing your teeth, because I know a lot of people are using a lot of gum right now. Tuesday night, my teeth and my gums were killing me. I brushed my teeth for about 10 minutes that night, right around my gums, just because I had so much gum around my mouth. Unfortunately we came up short in that game, but we’ve had some pretty exciting finishes. The one in New York was probably one of the most memorable. I told the guys again, you’ve got to stick with what got you here and what we’ve been believing in. I was one of two guys chewing some gum. Me and Bondo, we threw it in and Craig went out there and got ‘er done on the big stage. It was pretty awesome. Craig’s been that kind of a clutch guy. He’s kind of the one that’s keeping the gum rolling. He’s had some big hits.

Short and sweet one this time. We have a big series in Minnesota. A lot can really hinge as far as postseason outlook on what happens this weekend. I know everybody’s been following along and bringing out their packs of gum.

Also, there’s going to be a T-shirt coming out pretty soon that should be pretty legit. Fanatic U will be the one initially selling it, but it’ll kind of circulate around in other stores. Hopefully we’ll get it to the ballpark. It should be happening pretty quick.

Also, I saw that there was like seven fans along the right-field line the other night, and each one of them had one big letter, and each letter spelled out G-U-M T-I-M-E. I noticed it. Huge sign. It came out when we were playing against the Angels last weekend. It’s fun to see how much people are really, really taking to this team and following along. It’s a lot of fun.

It’s good to have Kevin Hooper come on board. He was a college teammate. He’s a scrappy player and he does all the little things. We’ll get him acclimated to Gum Time, too.

(Posted courtesy of my friends before the game.)




    How come you always get jipped?

    For real you always pitch like amazingly and then you end up losing, oh and you really scared me on that ball that hit you in the ribs. That looked like it hurt.

    I thought you guys were gonna come back in tonites game. I had my big league chew goin and was just waitin for something to happen.

    Keep pitching well Nate, the offense will come.

    Love ya.

    Your biggest fan right outta Rockford MI,



    I mean come can you get any luck Nate?? The offense looks good two night in a row then you come to mound and they bite it again. I don’t understand what they are thinking at that plate, but you pitched tremendous and lost again it just doesn’t seem fair that when someone pitches like that and his offense can’t even get a couple of runs. Hang in there man. You keep pitching like a cy young canidate and the runs will come hopefully they will come.


    Can we also start something like “run time” when you pitch to go along with “gum time” when we need a rally? You are always on the receiving end of a much undeserved “L” because of the lack of offense behind you. This is so very frustrating. I was reading in today’s paper (even though I know everything I read in the paper is not true) about a verbal altercation you got into with some Minnesota fans and so I know you must really be feeling the frustration of the lack of run production to back up a stellar performance on your part. And please, I hope the fans are not blaming the error by Infante on the loss at all. Some of the high salary players need to get into “turbo” mode so we can finish out the year on top. Your win-loss record does not truly reflect the year you have had pitching. They need to include in those stats the runs per game ratio and see how that changes the whole picture. I agree with the above two fans, hang in there. We all love you win or lose! You have the heart of a true winner and that’s all that matters.


    Good job last night. It was too bad the team couldn’t step up and get you more runs. You’ve been amazing all year. Keep up the great work!

    I hope everything goes well with the X-ray. I didn’t see the play, but from what I heard it didn’t tickle.

    I love you Nate! The Detroit Tigers rock my world!

    -Holly Rhodes

    Mt. Pleasant/Ann Arbor MI


    Nice blog Nate. Well spoken, remembering the real heroes. My dad was also a career man in the Air Force, WWII and the years following. Good luck to you the remainder of the season. Hope your rib(s) are going to be OK. I’ve been following fairly closely, your record could easily be 16-8. It’s a crazy game. Tough loss last night. It is uuncanny that you never seem to get much run support and that includes last year as well. Your teamates are probably trying too hard when you pitch, trying to get you a win. We appreciate the effort you give every time you’re out there. Keep working, hang tough, this thing will turn around.



    At least there are some nice fans on here! I hope you guys don’t read a lot of the other fan forums. You have given us one of the best seasons since I was about 4 years old πŸ™‚ I think that people sometimes forget that you guys are actually human and make mistakes, get tired, are hurt, etc. Just keep playing your best and try to prove everyone wrong! I’ll be there this weekend and hopefully we won’t need any gum.


    Here’s wishing all of you a restful day off after getting out of the hostile Twins territory. My 10 year old son was getting pretty frustrated watching the games this weekend. I told him to hang in there…I’ve been a Tiger fan since my infancy in the 60’s, so I’ve seen it all. When all the other girls in jr. high had pictures of Donny Osmond and David Cassidy in their lockers, I had Norm Cash and Al Kaline! I told my son, who’s a big Pudge Rodriguez fan, when it’s all said and done, our Tigers have given us a season of great baseball memories…but let’s keep cheering them into the playoffs! My son, who has Cerebral Palsy, finds it a little hard to pack a “Big League” chew into his cheeks, but he’s into Gum Time and wearing his rally cap. We’ve watched almost every broadcast and I’m digging it he and his 13-year old brother are finally becoming fans like their mom! We were at the game to see Wil Ledezma beat the Indians 1-0 in early August and look forward to lots more wins before the season’s over!!! Keep pitching great, keep your cool and let’s go win the Central Division!!!

    Your fans in Whitehall, MI,

    Laurie, Paul, Joe & Matt Gilbert


    Can someone please update me on Nate’s injury? Also, I was at an autograph signing last night for Zumaya and Monroe (who happened to be a very very nice guy) and I overheard some fans talking about the signing you did at Art Van last weekend (which I was forced to miss due to being in Rockford, IL of all places!) Anyhow, they couldn’t say enough about what a nice guy you were and how generous you were with your time etc. That in itself should give you a warm fuzzy. Hope you are back in the rotation as scheduled and feeling 100%. With the Twins breathing down our necks, we need all the quality pitching we can get! Go Tigers!!


    I’m glad you all remember the military. My grandfather was in the Army during World War II. I hope you guys do well these 2 games.


    Hey Nate!

    First of all, congrats on the team’s win tonight!

    We wanted to let you know that this Saturday, the 16th, the “119 reasons to be a Tigers fan” sign from 2003 is going to be making another appearance! The two of us will be seated in section 135 – right behind first base – about 25 rows up, so watch for the orange monster! We are hoping to remind the team that no matter what, the fans will always stick with you.

    Good luck through the rest of the season and hopefully the postseason πŸ™‚

    -Jessica and Alisa



    I haven’t been out to the park this year, but I haven’t missed a season without making it down least one or two games for years, so I’m going to try to get out to see you guys play in the next couple of weeks (hopefully in October) ;-). I don’t have a doubt in my mind that we’re going to finish the year strong and surge into the playoffs. Thanks for being such an amiable guy and for giving the team somebody that they can fall back on for a good night EVERY five days. The slumpless wonder. πŸ˜‰


    The most haRdcore Tiger’s fan around – Michael Caligiuri

    P.S. – If you’re curious on why I am the most haRdcore fan, I can email you a couple of pics of some (body)artwork I had done a few years back. It’s definitely original stuff.


    Hey Nate,
    First, I would like to know how you are feeling, after that jab in the ribs. WOW! you are truly amazing!!!! I was a softball pitcher when I was younger and was nailed once. Not a good feeling!!!

    I think you all are doing a great job. I’ve been a fan all my life, growing up in Detroit and all. I now live in Northern Michigan and can’t get to the games as much, but follow you always on TV. I’m bringing a young fan to the last game of the season (10/1). Will you be signing any autographs on that day? He sure would love to meet you. He’s never ever been to a major league game. He’s only 8, his name is Jacob & he’s my bosses son.

    Love ya guys – Debbie

    Fan Long Before 2006!!!!!

    From Clare, Michigan


    Hey nate,

    For starters I would like to give props on yours and the Tigers great season! I watch every game and my mom has to be the biggest fan in the world (she screams when you score, and takes her radio to work to listen to you guys), and she gets the biggest kick out of the Gum Time, as I do too. I really hope you guys make the playoffs and represent Michigan and all your fans accross the USA, and show them that the Tigers are back.

    One more thing, is that I would really like to interview you for my blog. Its struggling to get off the ground and your my favorite player and It would be appreciated greatly if I could find a way to interview you or if not you, one of the Tigers players. Thanks.



    Thank you so much for contacting my dad in Kalamazoo as he battles with lung cancer. My mom was so shocked! Dad has been a lifelong Tiger fan as have I and to have you call was the greatest blessing. You are a wonderful credit to your family and to your faith. My sons and I so enjoyed meeting you last year in KC.

    Thank you again for your kindness to my dad!

    Mike Hambley


    hey nate. its’s sheree from the good ol days in melbourne. i keep track of you every so often and just found your blog. i really enjoyed reading it! i am so happy to hear you are doing really well in your career. i am sure you are having the time of your life. i get to watch your games every so often. hope you can hear the “atta boy nate’s” just like the minor league days. God bless and say hi to the wifey for me. πŸ™‚


    Whoever threw in a piece for me regarding my need for employment…….I want you to know it worked!!!!!!!!! I asked for one of the believers in Gum Time to just spare me a minute of their time to help me out with this problem and I’d like to thank you, whoever you are (a most loyal Tiger fan), for your support. This is truly a blessing.

    Good luck tonight, Nate. I love ‘ya!


    Tigers fan from up here in Winnipeg (which is in Canada) You guys did awesome in the series against the White Sox and hopefully this shows the league the Tigers are still playing awesome ball despite what some are saying. I’ll be chewing up here for whatever team you guys play in playoffs.

    Eat em up Tigers eat em up!


    Keep pitching well and great things will occur even if the stats don’t prove it. It seems like everytime you are out there you give your team a chance to win! Personally you are my favorite Tiger pitcher!


    Nate, what is up. This is Gary Kral, I played with Nate in high school. It was really boring to play shortstop when Nate picthed. Lance told me you had a blog so I thought I would check it out. You are a pretty good writer.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let all of you Tiger fans know that Nate is truly a great guy. I think that comes through in this blog, but I just wanted to state that here. Good luck the rest of the season Nate. I know my family wishes nothing but the best for you.



    Man Nate you are a great Guy! God Bless Ya! I was at the game last night in LA. Not very often I get to see my Tigers Play since relocating to San Diego. You made my night getting your autograph. You were the only one to work the crowd from one end of the field wall to the other! Keep up the good work. We the FANs Love Ya.

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