Kaline: Best Tigers team in all my spring trainings

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Tom Gage
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — He’s been through many springs with the Tigers. For that matter, many summers.

But as he looked around the clubhouse Friday morning, Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline made a stunning observation.

“This is the best I’ve seen,” he said. “The best talent.”

That doesn’t mean the Tigers will be the best team Kaline has ever seen. But in the first week of exhibitions, Kaline said he’s been tremendously impressed.

“From the guys who’ll be on the team this year to the prospects,” he said, “it’s the best overall talent I’ve ever seen here.”

Around the horn

Bobby Seay (sore left arm) didn’t throw as planned Friday.

After treatment, trainer Kevin Rand said, “What I saw today is better than what I saw yesterday. But still not to where we want to be.”

… After a three-hour, 20-minute, 17-7 victory over Houston, following a “B” game that began at 10 a.m., manager Jim Leyland said “that B game feels like it was last week.”

… Leyland, on Joel Zumaya , who allowed three runs: “His intimidation days are over. He’ll need to use his pitches. But if he’s healthy, I’ll take my chances.”

… Leyland on the Tigers’ victory: “You see more balls in spring training wind blown, in the sun, dropped, falling in, than you do the entire season. Spring training games can get ugly.”

… After two scoreless innings from rookie Jacob Turner , the team’s first-round pick last June, and two from Andy Oliver , a second-round choice, the Tigers lost the seven-inning “B” game, 4-1. Alfredo Figaro allowed all four Astros runs in 1 2/3 innings.

… Three former Tigers, now with the Astros, made the trip to Lakeland: Tim Byrdak , Shane Loux and Yorman Bazardo .

Loux pitched a scoreless inning, Bazardo gave up Don Kelly ‘s two-run home run and Byrdak had a scoreless inning.

Last Updated: March 06. 2010 1:00AM