Tigers’ outfielder Andy Dirks isn’t coming back to the big club any time soon.  The team pulled Dirks off his injury rehab assignment and put him back on the disabled list.  The 28-year-old Dirks has not played this season because of back problems that required surgery, and now the team says  he’s dealing with muscular inflammation in his lower back from increased activity.   The Tigers have been able to withstand Dirks' absence thanks to outfielders Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez.Davisis hitting .296 with 24 stolen bases, andMartinezis batting .346 with 13 home runs.

Hannah Foslien, Getty Images

The Tigers start the second half Friday with a 53-38 record, the third best in all of baseball behind the A’s and Angels. Detroithas a 6 ½ game lead over the Royals in the AL Central.  Anabal Sanchez will start Friday when the Tigers resume the regular season againstClevelandatComericaParkinDetroit.

Drew VerHagen will make his major league debut this weekend.  The Tigers will reportedly promote VerHagen from Triple-A Toledo Saturday to pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the second game of a day-night doubleheader. The Tigers are allowed to carry a 26th man for the doubleheader, so they will not need to make a corresponding move to place him on the roster.


The Bombers swept the Kenosha Kingfish with a 5-2 win.   Joe Mockbee walked six, but only gave up one earned run in 5 innings for the win.  Colby Bortles went 2 for 3 and knocked in two of the Bomber runs.    The Bombers head toWisconsinto play the Woodchucks tomorrow and Friday.  Dakota Mekkes will pitch for the Bombers tonight.  On Saturday, the Kalamazoo Growlers come in toBattle Creek.

British Open

Tiger Woods has an early start tomorrow at the 2014 British Open, while Phil Mickelson will begin defense of his title in the afternoon with Ernie Els and Bubba Watson alongside at Royal Liverpool.  Woods will make his second start since returning from a three-month absence because of back surgery. He missed the cut a few weeks back at the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour.

Coyotes on the Road

The Battle Creek Coyotes Football will hit the road to play the Michiana Thunderhawks, Saturday at 4pm.  Their next home game is August 2nd atAthensHigh School against the Toledo Raiders.   Proceeds will go to help outAthens resident Crissy Castellanos.



Lions Moves

The Detroit Lions have signed running back George Winn and released guard D.J. Morrell. The 23 year old Winn, aSouthfieldnative,  rushed for 1,334 yards in 2012, his final college season atCincinnati. He has never played in an NFL game, but he spent time on practice squads forOakland,PittsburghandDallaslast season.


The Pistons have added a few under-the-radar free agents who give the roster a bit more depth.Detroitsigned Jodie Meeks, D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler, all of whom can shoot from 3-point range and potentially free up space for Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith to operate inside.  The Pistons waived guard Peyton Siva and forward Josh Harrellson, but that still leaves a logjam on the perimeter with Brandon Jennings, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Singler in the mix along with Meeks, Augustin andButler.

The Pacers did have signed former Piston Rodney Stuckey to a one-year deal.  The 28-year-old has spent the first seven years of his career inDetroit.   The Pacers signed him to fill the gap created when guard Lance Stephenson signed with the Hornets.

All-Star Ratings

Derek Jeter's final All-Star appearance has helped boost television ratings for the game.  The American League's 5-3 win Tuesday inMinneapolisaveraged more than 11.3 million viewers on Fox, up from 11 million for last year's game at the Mets' Citi Field inNew York. The rating was up 9 percent for the first full half-hour, when the retiring Yankees shortstop first stepped to the plate.  The network said Wednesday that the 7.0 fast national rating was the highest since 2010. The 2012 edition set a record low with a 6.8.

They said Derek Jeter's name 100 times during the All-Star Game on Tuesday.  Someone counted it up.  They didn't mention Tony Gwinn, Don Zimmer or Bob Welch a single time.

Stonum Sentenced

A judge has sentenced ex-Michigan wide receiver Darryl Stonum to three years' probation for assaulting his girlfriend in suburbanDetroit. Stonum played 36 games forMichiganin 2008-2010. The Wolverines dismissed Stonum in 2012 for breaking team rules. He transferred to Baylor.

Tigers Not Sure on Hanrahan’s Return

Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is not willing to put a timeframe on relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan's return.  Dombrowski said the Tigers never had a set timeframe in mind, even when they signed the free-agent relief pitcher in May. Hanrahan racked up 76 saves in 2011 and 2012 with the Pittsburgh Pirates but appeared in just nine games for the Boston Red Sox last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Hawks Sign Big Guns

The Chicago Blackhawks officially introduced the new long-term deals of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on Wednesday. The star forwards were signed to eight-year contract extensions through the 2022-23 season last week.

Wealthy Sports Teams

International soccer has their eye on taking overAmerica.  Now we find out there just might be something to that sport.  Forbes magazine came out with their list of the 50 Most Valuable Teams in the World...and the top three are all soccer teams.  The most valuable team on the planet is RealMadrid- worth an estimated $3.4-billion dollars.  They're followed by FC Barcelona andManchesterUnited.  The top two American teams came in fourth and fifth - the Yankees worth $2.5-billion and the Dallas Cowboys at $2.3-billion.