Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
A former teammate of Orel Hershiser, the Detroit Tigers pitching coach is going to his first World Series, and some of the credit for their successful pitchers has to go to him.
What's that? How are you going to squeeze a Tigers post into your MAC sports blog and make it relevant, Mr. Sussman? THANK YOU JEFF JONES.
If you're not a baseball observer, the Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant and will play in the World Series, beginning Wednesday, their first trip there since 2006. It's also their first trip there with pitching coach Jeff Jones. He had several stints as their bullpen coach, permanently getting the gig starting with the 2007 season then moving to pitching coach in 2011.
Why do you care? Because Jones was a former pitcher for Bowling Green in the 1970s, whose teammates included All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser and MLB umpire Jim Joyce.
Jones was an All-MAC honorable mention in 1977, along with being named the team's Outstanding Pitcher. He was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 13th round of the '77 MLB Draft and pitched five seasons for them, mostly in relief, with a career 3.95 ERA. He was later signed by the Tigers as a minor-league free agent and played his last innings for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, a homecoming of sorts. A few years later he joined the Hens as a pitching coach and has been with the organization since.
If you're looking for a reason behind the Tigers' success, you need to look no further than the total of two earned runs allowed by Tigers starting pitchers against the Yankees. Yeah, their pitchers are outstanding but at least a little credit has to go to this former MAC pitcher.