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Kirkland's Rollercoaster Ride

Slumps are a huge part of baseball. They can happen at the plate, on the mound or in the field. Every player goes through them—tough times in which nothing seems to go right. What sets apart the successful players from the others is the ability to block out their misfortunes and continue playing the game. Luckily for the Tigers organization, Kody Kirkland was able to do just that.

Kody Kirkland was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2001 in the thirtieth round out of the College of Southern Idaho. He showed some potential, mostly at the plate as a power hitter. Despite this, the Pirates traded him to Detroit in a deal for veteran Randall Simon. Kirkland had mixed emotions about the trade. "At first, I thought to myself 'they don't want me,'" he says, "but then I...

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