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Posted on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.

Detroit Tigers drop in on Ann Arbor Google office

By Melanie Maxwell

Brandon Inge, Rick Porcello, Alex Avila and several other members of the Detroit Tigers visited Google Inc.'s downtown Ann Arbor office on Friday to talk baseball.

The players, as part of the annual Tigers Winter Caravan, engaged in a question-and-answer session with the Google employees, and there were plenty of laughs.

Inge, who lives in the Saline area and has been with the Tigers since 2001, joked that he doesn't know why he's hit by pitches so frequently (66 times in his career) since he carries a .235 lifetime batting average.

Ryan Raburn was teased about his choice for his "walk-up" music of "Hicktown" by Jason Aldean.

The Tigers also stopped at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, the Hudsonville Creamery in Holland and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.


Kai Petainen

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

correction... 1 and 2 year... not a 5 year basis

Kai Petainen

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

compare GOOG to the S&P 500 on a 1 year, a 2 year, a 5 year basis... and it has underperformed. lousy performance to the shareholder. don't get confused between a company and the stock. i may dislike the stock, but it doesn't mean that i dislike the company or the people. google is a great company and this tigers thing was awesome. and although people complain about 'shorts trying to dump on a stock'... i would almost argue that as insiders are selling... they are ... in some manner... the ones dumping on their own stock. complain more about the insiders selling their own stock, than those who might bash it a bit. the insiders could decide to start buying back their stock and by doing so... it would send a good signal to the market.

Ron Granger

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

I feel like I just stepped into a stock message board, with the usual messages from shorts trying to dump on a stock. Having the Tigers drop by your office must be pretty surreal.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

i think its cool that the tigers dropped by -- i'm not bashing the tigers. great team. this article does create an interesting academic question: on the day of 'bad' earnings, how many local newspapers across the country.... in google towns... had positive news stories about google? i hate to pick on google, but i have heard stories... of how companies time good news with the bad news on earnings days.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

there are plenty of academic papers that point to the topic of insider selling. here's one: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;This paper provides evidence that insiders possess, and trade upon, knowledge of specific and economically-significant forthcoming accounting disclosures as long as two years prior to the disclosure. Stock sales by insiders increase three to nine quarters prior to a break in a string of consecutive increases in quarterly earnings. Insider stock sales are greater for growth firms, before a longer period of declining earnings, and when the earnings decline at the break is greater. Consistent with avoiding an established legal jeopardy, there is little abnormal selling in the two quarters immediately prior to the break. &quot;

Ron Granger

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

&quot;this article does create an interesting academic question:&quot; That word does not mean what you seem to think it does. One of my great lessons from trading stocks - and I did okay - was that Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to hear about the boring minutiae of the retail stock market. Why a stock went up or down. What you think it will do. Conspiracy theories about the price. Short interest. It's just hollow, chase a dollar, kind of stuff. It's like talking about what you did at the casino last night. Nobody wants to hear what machines you played, or about the lady with the big hair who won at slots, how your hours at the card table went, what you drank, whether they comped you anything. The stock market is just like that - it's just another casino. I'd much rather hear about how your kid made a finger painting. Or the kind of birds visiting your bird feeder and what you're feeding them. Pro tip on insider selling: All companies have insider selling. Stock is a form of compensation some people get. They aren't retail investors - they actually make money from the stock. It's sort of like casino employees getting paid money without gambling - they get it because they are working - and it should not seem unusual that they don't decide to immediately gamble their paychecks.

Kai Petainen

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

I'm fascinated when companies provide feel-good, 'good news' stories on the day of a 'bad news' story. I'd expect you to write about how they missed earnings and how Google fell today, but instead I hear about the Detroit Tigers. Believe it or not, but there are academics who study this sort of stuff. Anyways, Today GOOG fell -8%. The estimate was at 10.51, GOOG came in at 9.50 (so they missed estimates) But, even more disturbing.... usually the December numbers are higher than the September numbers. (so usually... seasonally... December is better than September) This wasn't the case this time as they got 9.50 (December) vs.. 9.72 in September. GOOG is usually characterized as a growth company... and so when we see a possible slowdown in growth, then this is a concern. Growth investors might get out and into other stocks. Also -- I should note that GOOG is one of those companies that is rather notorious for insider selling. It constantly has insider selling and that is a concern of mine.