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Man who cost his team a pennant due to his gambling problems calls Jhonny Peralta “selfish”

Aug 6, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

Denny McLain

Denny McLain is the best. Yes he won 31 games in 1968 and back-to-back Cy Youngs in ’68 and ’69, but according to a 1970 Sports Illustrated story he also cost the Tigers a pennant in 1967 when, in late September, he suffered broken toes at the hands of bookies to whom he owed $46,000. He was slated to pitch on the final day of the season, pitched ineffectively and the Tigers missed their shot at the Red Sox in a one-game playoff for the ’67 pennant.

That was a tough break for Denny. And maybe his side of that story puts his broken toes in a totally different context. But I do know this much: when you have had that story floating around you unchallenged for 40 years, you are not in the position to be calling out someone for letting their team down during the home stretch. Almost anyone else can, but not you.

But hey, Denny is nothing if not shameless. Here he is talking to the Free Press about Jhonny Peralta:

“I would love to see him hang in there for the ballclub’s sake,” McLain said in a telephone interview with the Free Press. “He is more concerned with next year, starting clean, rather than helping the club this year. Everything’s about him. It’s not about the team. It’s not about the playoffs. It’s not about the World Series. It’s pure selfishness.”

I’ll give McLain credit for later saying that Peralta might be a good kid who took a wrong turn — McLain knows an awful lot about that — but man, I can’t think of anyone in less of a position to call out Peralta for not putting his team first.


  1. imnotyourbuddyguy - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Great moments in Pots calling Kettles black

  2. aceshigh11 - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Ha! This guy is a real degenerate.

    His Wiki page reads like the plot to a bad Elmore Leonard ripoff.

  3. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    his facebook rant after yesterday’s suspensions are cringe-worthy considering all the scummy things he’s done in his life.

  4. tcostant - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I was at the Potomac Nationals (Nationals a ball team in VA) game on Saturday and Denny McLain was there signing autographs. I called out to him, and asked “why don’t you steal another old lady’s pension”. He looked at me, but knew he was right to sliver back under the rock he came from.
    This guy is the lowest form of live, stealing people’s future going to jail for it and then doing it again.

  5. mplsjoe - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    A-Rod is selfish because he’s appealing. Peralta is selfish because he’s not appealing. Funny how that works.

    Also, isn’t it a little hypocritical to nash one’s teeth about how terrible PEDs are and how taking them is cheating and ruining the game, and then to nash one’s teeth about how when someone gets caught taking PEDs he should appeal his suspension so he can continue to play and help his team win?

  6. jeffbbf - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I’m guessing Denny didn’t have the choice of having his toes broken during the season or at the start of the next season,

    • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      He did, however, have the choice of not running up a 46 grand gambling debt.

      • vivabear - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Did you know gambling addiction is a disease?

  7. chiadam - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Let me save you the time of ever reading a Chris Calcasomething blog ever again.

    YAY, PEDs!!

    There. You’re welcome.

    • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Let me save you the time of ever reading a chiadam post on a Calcaterra blog ever again.

      “Argle bargle, herp derp, Calcaterra sucks. Argle bargle.”

      See how easy that is?

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM


      What do the kids call that? An epic fail?

      • raysfan1 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Yep, fails to understand what he just read and then further fails to get the writer’s name correct in attempting to insult him.

  8. wretchu - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    That doesn’t make any sense. By not fighting the suspension, Peralta will serve 50 games starting yesterday, so if the Tigers make the playoffs, he’d be eligible to play in October. If he appeals and they rule against him in late August or September, guess what? He’s missing the playoffs when they need him most. I know you can never assume a team will be making the playoffs, but I’m pretty sure Detroit would rather he miss August and September than September and October too.

    • paperlions - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      HEY! Get your freaking facts and logic the F outta here!

    • jwbiii - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      B-Pro has them at 97.9% to make the playoffs.
      Cool Standings at 95.1%.
      Yeah, nothing is guaranteed, but it looks good for the Tigers.

  9. Kevin Gillman - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Can someone explain to me why people have this take on these players, that they were “selfish” for taking the fall? Detroit knew about this for a long time, it was why they traded for Iglesias. And it might be the ONLY reason. So now, Jhonny takes his punishment like any man that cheated should, and when next season begins, it will all be over with. Let’s say he would have appealed for a second, he would have had it appealed say next week, and then the suspension would have started anyway, so what is the difference?

  10. papacrick - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I almost knocked out this 70 year old doushe at my country club a couple weeks ago for telling me to take a hike while I was on the phone at the gym. Had no idea it was him till after but regardless he’s still a fat tool

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      So are you saying we should now refer to you as “Johnny loud talker?”

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        “Jimmy’s gonna get you, Kramer! Jimmy holds grudges!”

  11. sandrafluke2012 - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Everyone is selfish. Many just don’t admit it. When a do-gooder talks about social justice, look out!

    • Reflex - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      Ah yeah, Ayn Rand bullshit.

  12. buffal0sportsfan - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Oh god this guy still is alive? He should just stay in his mom’s basement for the rest of his life.

    • tigersfandan - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I doubt that his Mom is still alive.

      • buffal0sportsfan - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        Well he can just go in his own basement then.

  13. anxovies - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    This is beginning to look like a public shaming like the Puritans used to have. Will the players have to play with a red PED attached to their uniforms?

    • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      “The Scarlet Asterisk”

  14. bleedingteal4life - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    He seems like the perfect guy to call him out. After all, he does have first hand experience.

  15. yohannbiimu - Aug 6, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Ffffffigures! Denny McLain never seemed to have decided whether he wanted to be a ballplayer, an entertainer, or a criminal. For him to call out anyone for being “about him,” and “not about the team” is very galling. The sole reason why he never made the Hall of Fame is because of idiotic decisions that were “not about the team.”

  16. hushbrother - Aug 7, 2013 at 3:12 AM


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