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Sunday Short Hops - 09/30

Jon Paul Morosi hands out letter grades for each of the Tigers in today's Detroit Free Press. (In some cases - Jason Grilli? Nate Robertson? Sean Casey? - he might have graded on a rather generous curve.)

Remember when we were worried about Justin Verlander coming out of Spring Training? Tiger Tales compares his 2006 and 2007 seasons, and Verlander improved across the board.

In today's New York Times, Murray Chass recaps the various scheduling and travel difficulties the Cleveland Indians had to endure this season. I thought the Tribe losing off days toward the end of the season to make up that snowed out series with the Mariners was one reason the Tigers would win the AL Central. So much for that theory.

Is Carlos Guillen the next Andres Galarraga? Rafael Belliard says he could be.

Here's something that I know will drive Mike McClary crazy: Craig Monroe is in the playoffs, while the Tigers are not. (Console yourself with some D-Backs playoff games, my friend.) On the bright side, the Cubs being in the post-season means that Alan Trammell will help coach some meaningful baseball.

If it's any consolation - and I imagine it isn't - the team that beat the Tigers in last year's World Series has a bunch of things to fix, with both the on-field roster and the front office. (And is Troy Percival really starting today's game for the Cardinals? Yeesh.)

Joe Posnanski sends Buddy Bell out the door with a less-than-flattering sentiment in the Kansas City Star.

South Side Sox thinks the A.J. Pierzynski contract extension is a bad sign for the future direction of the Chicago White Sox.