20-20 vision: Granderson hits milestone
Center fielder reaches 20 homers, SBs for second time
DETROIT -- A 30-30 season isn't out of the question for Curtis Granderson, but it's out of his mind.
Granderson's stolen base Sunday earned him his second 20-homer, 20-steal season in three years. Unlike 2007, he got there with enough time that he has at least an outside chance to go above and beyond that.
No player in Tigers history has had a 30-30 season. But to Detroit's current leadoff man and center fielder, though he's just eight homers and 10 stolen bases away, it's more of a statistical anomaly than a personal goal. It's a feat that, to Granderson, depends as much on good fortune and opportunities as it does on skill.
"It's one of those things that if it happens, great, because I really just can't do anything about it," Granderson said. "I can't necessarily swing for the fences, because I'm not that type of hitter. I haven't hit enough home runs to learn a home run swing. The stolen bases don't always present themselves."
Sunday's 8-7 win was one such example. Though Twins reliever Matt Guerrier intentionally walked Granderson in the eighth inning to set up a potential double play with the go-ahead run on third and Placido Polanco at the plate, the situation wasn't automatic for Granderson to steal.
"If I go and I get thrown out, that's not good," Granderson said. "The third-to-first [pickoff], that's not good. Or if I get doubled up, that's not good."
Instead, those were enough concerns -- especially being doubled off -- that manager Jim Leyland put a stop sign on Granderson.
The way games go and the way Granderson analyzes various situations, he usually has more opportunities to take extra bases on hits, especially his own, than he does to steal. That's what makes the homer-steal combination rather unexpected for him.
"I can't run to run," he said. "A lot of stuff has to happen."
If he doesn't get it, he's still in pretty select company. He's one of just three players in club history to post multiple 20-20 seasons, and the other two coached him. Kirk Gibson did it four times, and Alan Trammell accomplished it twice.
Gibson is the only Tiger to have 25 homers and 25 steals in the same year, doing it three times. He came one homer short of 30-30 in 1985, and two homers shy the next year.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.