2008 Detroit Tigers season

2008 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Record 74–88 (.457)
Divisional place 5th
Other information
Owner(s) Mike Ilitch
General manager(s) Dave Dombrowski
Manager(s) Jim Leyland
Local television Fox Sports Detroit
(Mario Impemba, Rod Allen)
Local radio Detroit Tigers Radio Network
(Dan Dickerson, Jim Price)
Stats ESPN.com
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The Detroit Tigers 2008 season was the team's 108th season in Major League Baseball's American League. After being picked by many to win the AL Central Division and the World Series,[1][2] the Tigers started the season a disappointing 0-7 after being swept by the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. Their first victory of the season came against the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers did not reach a .500 winning record until their 80th game of the season.

Although they were eliminated from the pennant race by the season's final day (September 29), they nonetheless had to play a makeup game against the White Sox (who were trailing the Minnesota Twins by half a game), which Detroit had lost 8-2. The Tigers finished the season in last place in the AL Central, trailing the White Sox (who won the division by beating Minnesota in a one-game playoff the following day) by 14.5 games.

Despite the disappointing performance, the Tigers drew a franchise-record home attendance of 3,202,645 for the season. The team ranked third in the American League and eighth in Major League Baseball for home attendance in 2008.


The Tigers started the offseason by trading prospects Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernández to the Atlanta Braves for shortstop Édgar Rentería. Rentería took over the everyday shortstop job with Carlos Guillén moving to first base.

Reliever Joel Zumaya underwent surgery on October 31, 2007 for an AC joint reconstruction and was expected to miss half the 2008 season.[3]

The Tigers continued their offseason trading by acquiring Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins in exchange for highly touted prospects Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, along with Mike Rabelo, Eulogio De La Cruz, Burke Badenhop and Dallas Trahern. Willis would sign a three-year, 29-million dollar contract extension, while Cabrera would receive an eight-year, 152.3-million dollar deal, the biggest contract in Tigers history.

During the offseason, the Tigers traded Omar Infante to the Chicago Cubs for Jacque Jones. They re-signed Todd Jones, and Kenny Rogers to one-year contracts. The Tigers also signed free agent Francisco Cruceta from the Texas Rangers organization to a one-year contract. Cruceta and Jacque Jones were eventually released during the season, and Todd Jones retired at the end of the season. The Tigers declined the option to sign Édgar Rentería at the end of the season.

Regular season

Season standings

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago White Sox 8974 0.546 54–28 35–46
Minnesota Twins 8875 0.540 1 53–28 35–47
Cleveland Indians 8181 0.500 45–36 36–45
Kansas City Royals 7587 0.463 13½ 38–43 37–44
Detroit Tigers 7488 0.457 14½ 40–41 34–47

Record vs. opponents

Kansas City3–51–66–128–1011–72–36–125–56–37–23–52–72–513–5
Los Angeles6–38–15–55–46–33–25–37–310–914–53–612–76–310–8
New York11–79–95–23–42–45–53–76–45–17–211–73–49–910–8
Tampa Bay15–310–86–42–54–35–36–33–37–116–34–36–311–712–6

Game log

Tigers win Tigers loss Game postponed

Player stats


Note: Pos. = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player Pos. G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Dusty RyanC154414.31827
Magglio OrdóñezRF146561178.31721103
Plácido Polanco2B141580178.307858
Mike Hessman3B12278.29657
Iván Rodríguez *C8230289.295532
Miguel Cabrera1B, 3B160616180.29237127
Carlos Guillén3B, 1B, LF113420120.2861054
Clete ThomasLF, CF, RF4011633.28419
Ramón SantiagoSS, 2B, 3B5812435.282418
Curtis GrandersonCF141553155.2802266
Édgar RenteríaSS138503136.2701055
Michael Hollimon2B, SS11236.26112
Jeff LarishDH, 1B, 3B4210427.260216
Matt JoyceLF, RF9224261.2521233
Marcus ThamesLF, DH, 1B10331676.2412556
Ryan RaburnLF, RF, 2B, 3B, CF9218243.236420
Gary SheffieldDH, LF11441894.2251957
Brent ClevlenLF, CF, RF11245.20801
Brandon IngeC, 3B, CF, LF11334771.2051151
Jacque Jones *LF247913.16515
Dane SardinhaC17447.15903

Note: Pitchers' batting statistics not included

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Armando Galarraga30178⅔1373.73126
Freddy García315114.2012
Jeremy Bonderman1271⅓344.2944
Justin Verlander3320111174.84163
Eddie Bonine526⅔215.409
Kenny Rogers30173⅔9135.7082
Nate Robertson28168⅔7116.35108
Dontrelle Willis824029.383

Relief pitchers

Jason Grilli *901003.2910
Denny Bautista *1601033.3210
Joel Zumaya2102153.4722
Aquilino López4841043.5561
Freddy Dolsi4215273.9729
Clay Rapada2530024.2215
Zach Miner4585064.2762
Gary Glover *1811034.4315
Bobby Seay60120134.4758
Francis Beltrán1110024.859
Fernando Rodney38061354.9149
Todd Jones45411804.9714
Francisco Cruceta1303015.4011
Casey Fossum3131065.6628
Chris Lambert812005.6615
Kyle Farnsworth *1601136.7518
Yorman Bazardo3000024.003

* Statistics only include games with Tigers


2008 Detroit Tigers
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toledo Mud Hens International League Larry Parrish
AA Erie SeaWolves Eastern League Tom Brookens
A Lakeland Flying Tigers Florida State League Andy Barkett
A West Michigan Whitecaps Midwest League Joe DePastino
A-Short Season Oneonta Tigers New York–Penn League Ryan Newman
Rookie GCL Tigers Gulf Coast League Basilio Cabrera


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