Detroit Tigers: Kirk Gibson to “meet challenge”, Verlander throws, Avila’s future


As a player, Kirk Gibson met every obstacle the was presented to him. Now, he must face the biggest one of his life.

Fox Sports Detroit announced the very sad news that Gibson has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This season is Gibson’s first back in the broadcast booth with Fox Sports Detroit after coaching the Tigers and Diamondbacks over the last decade, but Gibson has not appeared on a telecast since Opening Day.

Gibson appears to be in good spirits and said he plans to “meet the challenge.” He has our full support.

The Justin Verlander saga took another crazy turn on Tuesday when the right-hander played “light catch” to get the blood flowing. Verlander made 20 light tosses from 60 feet. The original plan was that Verlander was not to pick up a baseball until his pain was completely gone.

With the way this entire situation has developed, it’s really hard to say this is a good sign, but it obviously isn’t a bad one. He still has a ways to go before returning.

Finally, James Schmehl weighed in on several hot topics and fan questions, including the future of Alex Avila with the Detroit Tigers.

Kirk Gibson has Parkinson’s disease, vows to ‘meet challenge’ – George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

"“I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles,” Gibson, 57, said. “While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible.”"

Verlander plays light catch to get blood flowing – Chris McCosky, The Detroit News

"Price normally throws the day after a start. But what was Verlander doing? Why did he have his glove? He wasn’t supposed to pick up a baseball until he got a clean MRI on his strained right triceps.“We got input from a couple doctors and a very light catch is not going to impede healing at all,” Verlander said. “If anything it may allow blood flow. Also, it won’t get so cranky when I really do get the green light.”So, Verlander made 20 light tosses from 60 feet. It’s not the resumption of his throwing program, but, it’s something."

Ask Schmehl: On moving Justin Verlander to the bullpen and Alex Avila’s future with Detroit Tigers – James Schmehl,

"I think a lot depends on James McCann. If McCann proves he’s capable of filling the role of an everyday starter behind the plate, I think the Tigers will let Avila walk in free agency this offseason. If the Tigers feel McCann needs another year to develop or they don’t view him as a capable starter, they could try to re-sign Avila."