Tigers Today podcast: Lynn Henning pinch-hits, 50 years after first Lakeland pilgrimage

Detroit News

Tigers Today host Tony Paul is joined by former Detroit News reporter and freelance writer Lynn Henning, who pinch-hits for Tigers beat reporter Chris McCosky on Episode 4 of The News’ podcast.

For Henning, 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time he attended spring training in Lakeland, Florida.

“Spring training is about renewal and it’s a renaissance experience every year for me,” Henning said on the podcast. “Lakeland can still sweep you away with the grandeur of the weather, the trees, the greenery, the ballfields out back where the kids are playing, at Marchant Stadium during the game, the ospreys whistling again as they flap up to their nests and light towers. There’s always a little ambience here.”

This year, Henning said he’s been impressed by outfielder Parker Meadows, who was sent to the minors Tuesday after hitting .300 with a .767 slugging percentage and an MLB-leading four homers.

“You’re probably going to see him playing center field no later than August with Riley Greene moving over to left, giving them tremendous range from left field to right center field,” Henning said. “This is not that much of a surprise. He was a second-round pick out of high school four years ago and this is a good talent here. He can absolutely fly, sprinter-speed stuff with power in a left-handed bat. He’s legit.”

Here are other highlights with Tony and Lynn on Tigers Today:

:45: Lynn’s first spring training in 1973

5:30: Kirk Gibson’s first spring training

8:10: Tony’s first spring training in 2000

9:30: Unofficial start of spring

11:40: Favorite Lakeland restaurants

17:00: First-time fans in Lakeland

21:00: Can’t-miss prospects from the past, who missed

24:10: Parker Meadows part of Tigers’ turnaround

28:15: Scott Harris’ influence on scouting

31:30: Lynn looks ahead to 2023 MLB Draft

Previous Tigers Today podcasts

Talking Torkelson, plus Chris picks Opening Day roster

Chris Ilitch visits camp, Grapefruit opener preview

Questions abound as players land in Lakeland

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