Dog days of spring

These days can sometimes be the dog days of spring training. Skip brought that up to the guys yesterday. I think it’s very relevant to this team just because, as we talked about before, there aren’t a lot of positions open, so guys are kind of getting a little antsy. The importance is to focus on getting our work done, and that’s probably the toughest thing. That’s a mental thing. We’re challenged even in spring training with that, the mental aspect of the game, because this is the beginning of a major grind. We’ve got less than three weeks left now. You pretty much know who’s on the club, and so you kind of want to get the season started. A lot of guys are getting really excited about Opening Day and getting rolling, but we have to finish our work here. And there’s work to be done. I think if you went down the line, each and every one of the guys would say that.

Right now, I don’t think anybody’s going to say that they’d feel good about leaving camp right now, and that includes me — although Kenny yesterday looked in midseason form. We talk as pitchers about being efficient, and he’s about as efficient as they come. He’s a contact pitcher and he makes his defense work, and his defense plays behind him. When the ball’s in play, guys are loose and ready to roll. That’s what Kenny tries to work on. He establishes his fastball first, works in his curveball later on. Each guy has a different work ethic. Each guy has a different part of his game that he’s working on down here, and that’s what it’s for.

But we get little teasers down here hearing that the weather up in Detroit was above 70 degrees. I think that adds to the anticipation of getting up there, although we know that it can change in two days. Or a day. That’s your typical Michigan day. I guess if there’s any kind of preparation that we need down here, we need some kind of cold spell to run through here, because it’s going to be a little bit cool.

Other than that, we still don’t have any reason to bring out the rally gum yet. I think most people’s interests are in that anyway. It’s funny to hear people talk about that. I still see people running up with their Gum Time t-shirts on. That was just part of the whole storyline last year, what this team had done in gaining back the people and the fans and the city. There’s probably going to be more excitement on Opening Day this year than there has been in over a decade. There’s always excitement on Opening Day. I’ve been part of three of them now. This year’s going to be different. It’ll be nice to see that pennant, that flag raised up, and the ring ceremony obviously. And that’ll put to rest 2006. That’ll be time to turn the page. It’s going to be fun, but we do have to finish up down here. We’ll see where it takes us.

A lot of folks probably ask what we do in the meantime. Between American Idol and the NCAA Tournament and NASCAR, there’s always something going on. Although NASCAR is popular in our clubhouse, it doesn’t quite match the NCAA Tournament. Some guys, these are their alma maters playing, and there’s bragging rights going on. And guys are, of course, picking teams, but we also did that with American Idol — some of us. I’m not going to say who, but there are some American Idol buffs in that clubhouse. A lot of guys are pretty down on this voting system with American Idol here lately. There’s a guy that keeps on getting through that a lot of guys are disappointed on. You’d be surprised how disappointed some of these guys get, man. It’s a topic of discussion.

But yeah, Major League Baseball players, we don’t just talk baseball all the time. We have fun with it. We try to have fun with everything, and Leyland preaches that. We need to have fun on the field, obviously, but a break from the action is always nice as well. It’s always nice to have it during spring training. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and last year we suited up one of our clubhouse kids. One of our bat boys, he had his leprechaun suit on. We’ll see if there’s anything in the making this year, though we’re on the road that day this year.



    Nate, your not kidding about the weather Tuesday it was 74 and this morning I woke up to an 1 1/2 of snow in my yard??!! (by the way its melted already)

    I was so excited yesterday my tickets for the season arrived , it made my day. Cannot wait until opening day, and will be there rain or shine, but truthfully I am hoping for a day like Tuesday!!!

    Regarding Idol it has to be either Lakisha (by the way from Flint) or Melinda Dolittle. They are the best singers.

    Any way cannot wait to see you all back up in Michigan.


    The weather up here is typical Michigan to me… always seems to tease us in early march and then get real cold for a couple weeks. I cant wait to see you guys up here bring the warm weather with you!!!! I was hoping to come down for a few spring training games, but it dosen’t look like that is going to work out. Tell Kristin that Sheila and I said Hello. Keep pitching tough and we will see you soon.

    Don MacNeil

  3. joseph

    Nate you are around Jim Leyland everyday. If he managed the Yanks’ instead of Torre during Torre’s current tenure, how many rings would he have?


    I’m so excited you are doing the blog again! I’ve been a LONG TIME tigers fan, and always just wanted to just sit down and have a real conversation with the players… and mostly about things outside of baseball. This blog is a great way for the fans (myself especially) to feel more included in the team.

    If you don’t already have a bracket going for march madness and don’t have “a team”, you should adopt Michigan State. not that I expect us to go far this year, now that we’re playing UNC tomorrow… but, you’re a michigan transplant (and now that the weather is cold again, youre not missing much), so GO GREEN!!! (as a current student, im obligated to say that despite the fact that i picked ohio state to win it all).

    I convinced all my friends to enter the lottery for opening day tickets, and one of them came through. so OPENING DAY HERE I COME!!!!

    can’t wait for baseball..


    Hey Nate,
    Ok now that we know some of the boys watch American Idol do any of them watch Greys Anatomy or Desperate Housewives? I have been bouncing of the walls since I got back from Spring Training camp. I just can’t wait til Opening Day. I wish I was going to be there to watch you guys start of an amazing season, but I couldnt get off work and my college classes. But I will be at home cheering as loud as possible. I am planning on coming down April 20th to watch hopefully you pitch versus the White Sox. I am also desperatly hoping that you are pitching the televised Spring game on Sunday, if my calculations are correct I am pretty sure you are pitching. See you soon

    P.S Dont drink to much green beer tommorow. 🙂

    Your Loyal Red-Head in Midland,MI


    Thanks for starting the blog back up, Nate!! I’ll be down there with my family for your Lakeland finale against the Yanks – can’t wait!

    -Scott (Cambridge, MA)


    As my mom always says, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it’ll change on you”. I saw pictures of you all with those green hats on for St. Patty’s day. I liked them (Green’s one of my favorite colors behind Purple, Red, Black and Orange)Can’t wait for Opening Day to see you guys play against the Blue Jays!
    Lauren from Detroit


    Hey Nate,

    Just wanted to say hello and say it is great that you are blogging again! I kept checking it to see if you had written, and vuala! Here you are! I’m just sitting here watching you pitch against TB…pretty good outing 🙂 I’m itching for April 2nd to get here and see you boys back out on the home field. I hope to see the big chew rally start back up. I have been a big time fan of yours since I can remember. The big league chew was just the coolest thing you have done to stay in tune with the fans…it’s great! Well, off for now. Love you guyd!


    Hey Nate-
    Absolutely awesome against TB today, bro. The Rays can’t hang with Nate-Dogg.

    So awesome that your blog is rolling again. You guys are gonna flat out kick *** this year, and all of D-Town is getting psyched. We’re with you all the way!

    By the way, Sanjaya has to go. What kind of male pop-star does the Hula?

    Eat ’em up Tigers!!!!!


    Great game today…

    It would be sweet to see four 20 game winners on the mound this year…

    chew ’em up

    LM 27


    Hey Nate,
    You pitched very well today and I am glad we got you pitching deeper into the game. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you and the rest of team. You guys are really working hard this spring training and not just basking in the glory of last season.(which was pretty glorious) It truly shows what great character there is on this team!!

    Your Loyal Red-Head in Midland,MI


    Hey Nate: So happy to see you are back. I think it’s great that you can relate to us. Way too much media down there in Lakeland. The bar this year is high. Glad you guys can just focus on your careers and listen to Jimmy. We look great thus far and my expectations again this year will be a .500 season. (OK-kidding) They are higher, but I know we can do it now.

    March Madness is here. GO BUCKS! Go MudHens, too! GO TIGERS!


    I would just like to say that apparently I am the new Jim Leyland in Fantasy Baseball Land–although I am distinctly more female. My team is comprised of:

    Carlos Guillen

    Magglio Ordoñez

    Brandon Inge

    Jeremy Bonderman

    Nate Robertson

    Kenny Rogers

    Justin Verlander

    Todd Jones

    I swear I didn’t do this entirely on purpose. I just tried to draft my favorite players.

    I am *so* going to kick everyone else’s butt in my fantasy baseball league with my Tigers this year.


    Hi Nate,
    It’s so great to see your blog. Thank you for the autograph on my World Series picture. I was nervous asking for it, so I don’t remember if I said thank you or not. Spring Training was awesome and the Yankees game even better. I sat next to a NY Yankee fan on the plane going home. Those fans are soooo entitled acting. I like our Tiger team for their talent, dedication, heart and spirit. Can Steinbrenner bankroll that? I think not! Our Tigers are smoking hot and ready to grab the big brass ring at the end of the season. I hope you all have fun this summer. Question…why don’t they sell big league chew down in Lakeland?

    Your Canton Kroger Connection




    Great job with your blogs. Have you ever considered hosting your own “Celebrity Fishing with Nate Robertson” Show?


    Alright guys, the pitching rotation is set- who, besides me, thinks that this is Mike Maroth’s last chance? What would he have to do in order to be around in 2008? Personally, we’ve watched him “grow”, and we’ve watched him get injured. I think he needs to get into double digit win for him to be around next year.


    Great blog. You and the rest of the team seem to have a great attitude. I know there are a lot of distractions, but the focus is still there. I was sensing some intensity in that game against Atlanta Tuesday night. Good luck with those cold April games. Keep that arm warm.


    Idol? Yikes! I would pay good money to know which Tigers’ hurler is concerned whether Sanjaya makes it another round or not.

    Tiger fans across the nation (i’m in philly) can’t wait for this season. I haven’t been this excited about a season since I started following the Tigers in 1985.

    The AMAZING pitching staff can lead this team to the promised land. Let’s do it this year!


    The Tigers are awesome so far, but can we have a little more input from the players?
    Is Nate’s last posting Mar 15?

    The Yankee fan in my office went to every Florida stadium this year for spring training and he had a good time. Wish I could do that. Hope Kenny will be okay.

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