Laird changes jersey number

Laird changes jersey number

DETROIT -- Gerald Laird has tried just about every adjustment he can imagine to try to spark his hitting. Adjusting his jersey number can't hurt.

The Tigers opened up their homestand Friday night with Laird donning a new number. He worked out a deal to get number 12 from hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Laird had been wearing No. 8 ever since he became a Tiger before the 2009 season.

Laird tried to downplay it when asked before the game Friday night against the A's.

"Just changing it up," Laird said. "That's all I'm doing. Maybe my luck will change a little bit."

McClendon had been giving Laird plenty of advice all season. Giving him the number off his back was the next step. It isn't the first time for McClendon, who had number 21 when he started out with the Tigers in 2006 until they traded for Sean Casey.

McClendon will now wear No. 19, previously worn by Jeff Larish. McClendon joked that he now has to remember what number he has so that he doesn't pick up the wrong numbered suitcase on road trips.

Surprisingly, no Tigers player had worn number 12 since Carlos Pena in 2005.

-- Jason Beck