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Jim Harbaugh helps coach Tigers to 10-3 rout of Pirates

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh signs autographs after his stint as first-base coach for the Detroit Tigers. (Associated Press)
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh signs autographs after his stint as first-base coach for the Detroit Tigers. (Associated Press)
Rob Biertempfel Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. – With Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh moonlighting as their first base coach, a split squad of Detroit Tigers scored four runs in the first inning Wednesday and beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-3.

Wearing a gray Tigers road uniform with No. 4 – his number when he was a Wolverines quarterback in the mid-1980s – stitched on the jersey, Harbaugh coached the first three innings. After being replaced by Alan Trammell, Harbaugh watched the game from the dugout.

“What a big thrill, just to be at a big league (spring training) park, being in the locker room, in the skipper’s office,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan is working out this week at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Harbaugh presented the lineup card to the umpires at home plate before the game.

On the field, he positioned himself several feet behind the coach’s box.

“My main concern is having nobody picked off first base,” said Harbaugh, who coached first base for the Oakland A’s in a spring game last year. “And then, secondly, don’t get hit by a line drive.”

About 75 Michigan players and staff came to watch. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who grew up in Michigan as a Wolverines fan, met with Harbaugh and the players before the game.

Hurdle had no problem with Harbaugh sticking on the Tigers’ side when the game began.

“He’s a Michigan guy,” Hurdle said, grinning. “I get it. We’re good.”

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