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Tigers Great Denny McLain: Joe Nathan’s Dead Arm Is ‘Ridiculous,’ ‘Excuse’

Tigers closer Joe Nathan (Getty Images)

Denny McLain threw for well over 300 innings twice in his MLB career, so it should come as no surprise that the Tigers’ legendary right-hander has no remorse for current closer Joe Nathan and his dead arm.

McLain joined Fred Heumann on Mad Dog in the Morning Thursday and ripped into Nathan.

“What the hell is a dead arm? Can you tell me please?” asked McLain, baseball’s last 30-game winner.

“Get a shot of cortisone, put a little dirt on it, Joe, kick yourself in the ass and get out there. I am tired of excuses. Everybody’s got an excuse in this game today. Get dressed, go play. They’re paying you tens of millions of dollars to play the game and you want to come up with a dead arm?”

Nathan appeared on a satellite radio show Wednesday, saying he had a dead arm. Several hours later, Tigers first-year manager Brad Ausmus put Nathan on the mound in the bottom of the ninth with a three-run lead to close out the Dodgers. But Nathan gave up three runs and blew his second save of the early season.

The Tigers went on to win anyway thanks to Victor Martinez’s 10th-inning solo shot.

McLain called Nathan’s dead arm “ridiculous.”

“Let’s step up, let’s be a man, let’s retire from the game because our arm is tired and let’s find another guy who can pitch, if your arm is dead,” he said. “That’d be the right thing to do, wouldn’t it? Just walk away from the game, leave $30 million on the table and go home? Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do if you can’t help us?”

McLain also talked about his dramatic weight loss (he’s lost 162 pounds), his contentious relationship with Hall of Famer Ted Williams and more on the Tigers. Listen to his full two-segment interview below. His thoughts on Nathan begin at the 11:12 mark.

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