There are only 5 days until pitchers and catchers report, so get in the mood for the real holiday with 15 great things about baseball.
The 10 best things about being a Detroit Tigers fan - Big League Stew, Ian Casselberry
Former BYB overlord Ian Casselberry came up with 10 of the best things about being a Tigers fan. While "Eat 'em up, Tigers" guy is a glaring omission, we'll let it slide for an otherwise spot-on list.
Derek Jeter: Tigers a 'great team' that's now 'even better' - Detroit Free Press
If The Captain (Not That Captain) is impressed with this version of the Tigers, then clearly we're destined for greatness (/sarcasm).
The Gift Of The 2003 Tigers - Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee
While I appreciate the sentiment of the article, I'm hoping that the 2012 Tigers provide an even better gift to the city of Detroit: a championship.
Tigers Release Cody Satterwhite - Motor City Bengals, John Verburg
Yet another reason why drafting relievers in the first... oh, 50 (or so) rounds of the draft is a bad idea. (h/t wilsonm24for the fanshot)
Country Strong Tigers Q&A with Aaron Westlake - Country Strong Tigers
Westlake, the Tigers' 3rd round pick in 2011, played his college ball at Vanderbilt. He's also on Twitter, so make sure to give him a follow.
Justin Verlander would like Kate Upton to teach him how to throw a circle change - Detroit4lyfe
Emily Yuen might not be too happy with her boyfriend's enthusiasm in the latest MLB 2K12 promo, also featuring swimsuit model (and Michigan native) Kate Upton.
Manhole explosion rocks Max Fisher music venue in Detroit - Detroit News, Josh Katzenstein
This isn't Tigers-related, but when a manhole explodes because of a build-up of methane gas, you can't NOT link that. (I am so getting fired for this...)
Around the AL Central:
Royals’ Moore: Adding starter would block promising in-house candidates - Kansas City Star, Bob Dutton
Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore is apparently not even considering offering Roy Oswalt a contract because he doesn't want to block in-house candidates for a rotation spot. Come on, rest of the AL Central, at least put up a fight.
Twins infielder Luke Hughes out 3-4 weeks with shoulder sprain - Minnesota Twins, Rhett Bollinger
"Hughes has a sprained right shoulder and will be shut down for 3-4 weeks." He absolutely lit up the Tigers last season, and should be healthy by the time Minnesota comes to town in May.
Cleveland Indians to Sign Jon Garland - MLB Daily Dish, Marisa Ingemi
The Indians appear to be going the 2011 Tigers route by signing a veteran coming off an injury-plagued season to fill their 5th starter's role. Here's hoping the similarities continue when Garland faces the Tigers next season.
Sox take flier on ex-USC QB Mitch Mustain - Chicago Sun-Times, Daryl Van Schouwen
Like the link title suggests, the Chicago White Sox are pinning their hopes (sort of) on a guy that hasn't played baseball in 8 years... and I'd still rather pitch to Adam Dunn.
Elsewhere around baseball:
Chicago Cubs expected to add 19-year-old Cuban Jorge Soler - Chicago Tribune, Dave van Dyck
Soler was another Cuban target on the radar of some of the BYB faithful this offseason. Too bad no one told him what happens to prospects (or anyone, really) once they go to the Cubs. (h/t InLeylandWeTrust for the fanshot)
MLB.TV subscriptions are available for 2012 MLB season - MLB.com, Mark Newman
I should be getting paid for this unsolicited advertisement, but MLB.TV is well worth the price tag. The link above might be of particular interest to some, as it illustrates how a fellow Tigers fan enjoys his favorite team outside of the great state of Michigan.
The Best Pitches of 2011: Fastball - FanGraphs, Carson Cistulli
An in-depth look at the many factors that go into throwing a good fastball, all summing up to reveal a familiar name among the cream of the crop in 2011.