Pitchers and catchers officially report to Lakeland today. The full squad is due Feb. 20. And so the march to October begins.
It’s not really a blog. Nonetheless, we can give a welcome to our little fraternity to the Free Press’ John Lowe, who I’m sure also knows he’s not really blogging so much as posting a featurette (to use Krista Jahnke’s description).
Lowe: The baseball year has few better highlights better than the first look of the season at a perfectly green and trim field in a stadium — whether that look comes in the summer, spring or, if youâ€™re lucky like me, in mid-February.
It’s cold out. Like, really cold by my standards. So right now, that would be nice.
Media companies don’t even begin to understand the concept of blog. They have just shoehorned the word to mean an informal place for additional content that doesn’t make the print edition. Basically, breaking news, some light opinions and the like. No links or nothing, which, well, is what makes blogs blogs.
My theory, if you’re curious, as someone who works for a media corporation (that owns the Pittsburgh Pirates, which says it all. I mean, Go Pirates!) is that they don’t allow linking because it’s Cover Your (Butt) or because they don’t want to buy software that allows it. Media companies are afraid you may find something bad 5 links down the road and blame them for it. Plus they’re cheap. Anyway…
Speaking of blogging, Gage says Joel Zumaya will stop talking about Guitar Hero. Good thing because Samara nearly had a heart attack. (Hat tip Bilfer). Note to News: still can’t link directly to a post!
As we know, in 2006 the Tigers were the best team in the best division in the best league in baseball. And so, while they were not American League Central winners, they came away from the season with a pretty meaningful 2006 AL pennant to fly instead. Everyone else knows how tough the AL Central is, too.
Fox Sports has its five burning questions. Dayn Perry — who jumped on the Tigers bandwagon so early last season he was sitting in the coach’s seat on the bus — tackles the question of whether the Tigers can keep up their fabulous playing or whether they’ll come back to earth.
When you see a team improve by such a huge margin from one season to the next (in the Tigers’ case they added 24 wins to their total), it’s always possible they’ll come crashing back to earth the following year. So will that happen to Detroit? Probably not. Last year’s team is mostly intact, and you can expect skills growth from some of their younger players like Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson. As well, top pitching prospect Andrew Miller may be ready to take on a larger role. It’s possible the Tigers won’t return to the postseason, but neither will they be the listless Tigers of old.
Perry also tackles the question of whether Gary Sheffield can bounce back from his wrist injury. Check it out.
As Perry points out, there’s no team in the Central without questions, and he tackles them all. The Twins will have to find a replacement for Francisco Liriano and Brad Radke, for example. The White Sox are trying to rebuild while still playing strong enough to recapture the post season, and they’re looking for both a No. 5 pitcher and center fielder. The Tribe? They’re trying to fix the bullpen. Perry thinks they may have done enough to get back to the postseason.
Dmitri Young was signed by the Washington Nationals, current home of Nook Logan. Well, Da Meathook was signed to a minor league contract, but really, its the Nationals. If he’s past his 2006 problems, he’s going to make their major league club and be productive. I didn’t mind when he was released by Detroit last September, but I certainly wish him the best now and hope he puts up a great batting line. It’s the NL… so hey, quite possible.
Much like John Sickels at Minor League Ball, well identical, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranked the Tigers minors organization 15th in the MLB. (sub req). Basically, Goldstein pointed out the Tigers don’t have much in the minors right now, other than Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. Gorkys Hernandez is young and far from the pros.
The Tigers are actually fine because their talented youth is already in the MLB, I think Goldstein would agree.