Detroit — Niko Goodrum was at his mother’s house last offseason, walked into the living room and became interested in what was on the television screen.
There on the Lifetime network, “Flint” was showing, a made-for-TV drama starring Queen Latifa based on the city’s water crisis.
Goodrum was confused.
“I sat down and watched it, but I thought it was over, that the problem was resolved,” Goodrum said.
After watching the movie, and talking to his mother, Goodrum realized the problem was far from over.
So, Goodrum went to work.
“I wanted to do something,” Goodrum said.,
He talked with people in the Tigers’ organization, worked out details, gave them a dollar amount, and purchased 1,440 cases of bottled water.
Goodrum will distribute the water in Flint on Monday, a rare off day in what’s been a hectic and brutal Tigers’ schedule.
Not that Goodrum cares about that.
“It’s all good, I’ve always loved helping any way I can,” Goodrum said. “If I could help anyone, I would do it. Try to make a difference somehow.
“I’m looking forward to that. I didn’t mind if it was an off day, or if it had been a game day. Something like that, I want to be here.”
That characteristic, of helping someone in need, said Goodrum, comes from his parents.
“Just how I was raised,” Goodrum said. “Everyone needs help. Nobody gets anywhere by themselves. I’m just trying to help in whatever way I can.
“I’ve always been that way. When I was little I was always trying to help someone, however I could. If I had five dollars and someone needed a dollar, I tried to give it to them. I’ve always been trying to do that.”
The fact the water crisis is ongoing in Flint, and the community could still use bottled water, amazes Goodrum.
“Yes, because we all need water,” Goodrum said “I don’t want anyone to not have some good water. I’m trying to do whatever I can do on my end to help, to get some water to everyone because everyone needs water that’s healthy for them.”
Negro League tribute
Saturday’s game was the 24th Annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game, both teams wearing Negro League tribute uniforms during the game representing the Detroit Stars and Cleveland Buckeyes.
There was an on-field tribute to former members of the Negro Leagues and Detroit Stars, and Comerica Bank presented a check for the preservation of Hamtramck Stadium, to a group dedicated to preserving the field used the Stars.
Former Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter will be formally presented Sunday with the Willie Horton African American Legacy Award for his contributions on and off the field.
“It’s really cool getting to see Torii and all the older fellows coming around here, it’s really cool,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “The history of this game goes a lot of different ways and this is one of them. It’s a special thing to put this uniform on and honor the people that went through the hard times to make baseball great.”
Gardenhire said pitcher Francisco Liriano (right hamstring strain) will throw a simulated game Tuesday, in Liriano’s next step in returning to the active roster.
Liriano (3-2, 3.90 ERA) hasn’t pitched since working five innings May 26 against the Chicago White Sox.
“After that, he’ll bounce back and and do a rehab assignment,” Gardenhire said. “That’s the way to go with these guys, he has to go out there and get the adrenaline going.”
Gardenhire said Liriano would likely be activated after the minor league rehabilitation start.
Around the horn
Reliever Shane Greene allowed his sixth home run in Friday’s loss, already matching the sixth home runs he allowed all of 2017.
Gardenhire feels the situation is magnified with closers because the game’s outcome is usually decided with them on the mound.
“Big situations of the game, and every mistake he makes can cost a ballgame,” Gardenhire said. “But that’s what you have to live with as a closer. You have to be strong and he’s a strong kid, he’ll bounce back.”
… Miguel Cabrera’s two hits Friday gave him 2,675 for his career, two shy of Luis Aparicio (2,677) for 72nd all-time in MLB history.
... Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (right shoulder impingement) will make a rehab start Monday in West Michigan.