DETROIT -- The Tigers began their final homestand of the season Thursday with little suspense left. The possibility of Andrew Romine playing all nine positions in a game, however, remains on the list.Just four players have done it in modern Major League history, the last being then-Tiger Shane Halter in
DETROIT -- The Tigers began their final homestand of the season Thursday with little suspense left. The possibility of Andrew Romine playing all nine positions in a game, however, remains on the list.
Just four players have done it in modern Major League history, the last being then-Tiger Shane Halter in the last game of the 2000 season. Brad Ausmus was the starting catcher on that team, and he ended up playing third, second and first base in that game. Now as Detroit's manager, Ausmus confirmed he's still thinking about adding Romine to the list, and soon.
"If we're going to do it, it would have to be sometime in the next seven days," Ausmus said, "because you can't do it against the Twins and Royals if they're in the hunt."
By contrast, the Tigers and White Sox play this weekend with the two worst records in the American League, followed by Detroit's three games next week against Oakland, which has the AL's next-worst record. The Tigers finish the season with 10 games against the Twins and Royals, both of whom are in the AL Wild Card hunt.
"I would call [White Sox manager] Rick Renteria or [A's manager] Bob Melvin and say, 'Hey, would this bother you?' And if they thought it was a mockery of the game, we wouldn't do it," Ausmus said.
Romine has already played every position but catcher this season. He has been the Tigers' emergency catcher for the past few years, but he has never done it in a game -- ironic since his younger brother, Austin, is a catcher for the Yankees.
The possibility first came up in early August, shortly after the Tigers became sellers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Ausmus said at the time that he had discussed it with Romine. On Thursday morning, the manager brought it up again. Ausmus said he hadn't discussed it further with Romine yet, nor had he mapped out the logistics of it, from which positions and which order he might play to how other players would have to move around during the game to make room.
"You'd almost have to plan it out ahead of time, in terms of manipulating positions," Ausmus said. "The pitching and the catching would be the most difficult ones. You can move him through the outfield and the infield relatively easily."
Romine remains open to it as long as it's not a game that means something to a team in contention.
"We would have to make sure that everything lined up right," Romine said. "But as long as everybody's OK with it, I don't see why someone would say, 'No, we don't want that person to do that,' because it's cool. I'm sure they would be interested in seeing it happen, too."
Ausmus' reaction when asked why he'd do it was similar.
"Why not?" Ausmus said. "He's got the ability to play all positions. I think in games that don't particularly matter, it might make a game a little more interesting. That being said, I haven't decided whether to do it or not."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.