KANSAS CITY -- Andrew Romine has been lugging around his bag of gloves all season, including the hand-me-down catching mitt that his younger brother, Austin, gave him. It appears Andrew will get his much-anticipated chance to use all of the gloves today.
With no postseason ramifications for this weekend, the plan was for Romine to get a chance to play all nine positions at Target Field in the season finale, but the the plan appears to have been moved up a day.
"I'm excited," Romine said. "I mean, I'd be part of history. Only four people have done it; I'd be the fifth one. That would be pretty cool."
If it happens, it'll be the same team, in the same city, as the most recent occurrence.
Manager Brad Ausmus was the Tigers' catcher in 2000, when then-manager Phil Garner played Shane Halter at all nine positions in the final game of the season at the Metrodome. Garner had his trusted coach Doug Mansolino work out the logistics of moving Halter around to every spot and rotating everybody else in turn.
Ausmus caught the first six innings, moved to third base when Halter caught the seventh, moved to second base for the eighth inning when Halter pitched, then ended the inning at first base after Halter pitched to one batter (a leadoff walk) and moved to second.
Halter was the fourth player in Major League history to play all nine positions in a game, joining Bert Campaneris (Sept. 8, 1965), Cesar Tovar (Sept. 22, 1968) and Scott Sheldon (Sept. 6, 2000). No Major Leaguer has played all nine positions in a game since Halter, though Buster Posey did it in college at Florida State in 2008.
Though Ausmus said he hasn't worked out all the logistics yet for where Romine will start the game, in what order he'll move around, whom he'll catch and when he'll pitch, the skipper has a pretty good idea.
Ausmus has said that it would be easiest for Romine to begin in the outfield and get those three spots out of the way before rotating around the infield and then to catcher. However, Romine donned his catching gear on Wednesday afternoon and headed out to the bullpen to catch a throwing session from right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who's slated to start on Sunday.
It's the catching, Romine said, that will be the toughest part. It's the one position he hasn't played in a regular-season game. He has played the eight other spots already this season. He caught three innings in a Spring Training game and said his legs were burning from squatting.
"After catching's done, I've already played all the other ones," Romine said. "It's just a regular game after that. I would prefer to do it the first inning and get it over with, but I don't think that's going to happen, because we have to rotate too many people.
"I think the difficulty comes in once we get back into the infield, so I'll probably start in the outfield, get all those done, then third or first or something. Then it becomes hairy, because you have to take guys out and move them around. Not everybody can catch, not everybody can play first, not everybody can play short."
That's where things could get further interesting today. When the Tigers had a short bench earlier this month while Jose Iglesias and Dixon Machado had back-to-back paternity leaves, second baseman Ian Kinsler was the emergency shortstop. If Kinsler had to move over, catcher John Holaday would have entered the game at second base.
Romine doesn't know the plan. He suspects his manager does.
"Knowing Brad for four years, I'd bet you he's got it already in his head," Romine said.