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Tigers' bullpen nearly held J.D. Martinez' 30th HR ball for ransom

Threatening to light a baseball on fire seems serious ...

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers bullpen had it all planned out. But J.D. Martinez's home run ball was saved in the nick of time. On August 7 in the first of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez homered for a two-run shot. He almost didn't get it back.

Martinez passed his previous career-high of 23 homers some time ago, but the home run on Friday was his 30th of the season. Obviously that baseball carried some special meaning for J.D.

No one would go into too much detail about it as some of their well-laid plans weren't repeatable, according to reliever Alex Wilson.

Those plans included a ransom note wherein the bullpen threatened -- among other things -- to "burn it, blow it up, and scatter the pieces across the field" if certain demands weren't met.

How Martinez's ball got rescued before the bullpen got their hands on it was only because of an MLB authenticator. The baseball had landed in the visiting dugout. Try as they might to complete their plans, Martinez's home run ball was quickly scooped by the authenticator just in time.

Wilson had a foolish grin on his face as he talked in vague terms about he and his teammates' plans. Asked what Martinez thought about the plans when he found out, Wilson broke down laughing. The list was ... exorbitant and crazy. Martinez cracked up about it.

The hooligans' well-laid plans went awry but Wilson assured that next time would be different. The bullpen already has a plan in place for Martinez's next milestone. They're waiting for a big one. Next time the authenticator won't get in the way. And the Tigers' bullpen will get their ransom demands met.