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Like Stripes On the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 03/16

Nothing like setting the bar high from the very start, eh? Today's Detroit Free Press wonders if Miguel Cabrera could be the majors' first Triple Crown winner in 41 years. (Maybe it's more fair to point the finger at Houston Astros' Cecil Cooper, who made the lofty suggestion in talking with reporters about Cabrera yesterday.)

Over at Baseball Musings, it's the Tigers' turn to have their starting pitching rotation evaluated. If these projections hold true (though I'm sure we'd all like to see Jeremy Bonderman exceed predictions), baseball should be pretty fun in Detroit this summer.

Who thinks Justin Verlander has the best fastball in the major leagues? Major league scouts. Verlander's heater was judged better than Joba Chamberlain's, which differs a bit from rankings posted at Baseball Digest Daily last month. The Tigers got only one other mention among the various categories, with Gary Sheffield being deemed one of the best at breaking up a double play.

Even though he's now a part of the Florida Marlins' future, Cameron Maybin will probably always be considered "our" prospect by a lot of Tigers fans. Take 75 North (which is on the way down to Lakeland) takes a look at how he's doing this spring, comparing his current numbers to what he put up in Lakeland a year ago.

Just because he's 746 miles away from Comerica Park these days doesn't mean that From the CoPa is finished with blogging baseball. Rock & Rye has posted season previews for each of the six divisions, as well as predictions for regular season awards and playoff winners.

Nick Cafardo's Baseball Notes in today's Boston Globe include praise for another recent Tigers prospect, Jair Jurrjens, from fellow Atlanta pitchers John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. (Presumably, those comments were made before Jurrjens' rough outing yesterday vs. Houston.)

For those of you who could be still wondering how Carlos Pena finally pulled himself together in Tampa Bay after crapping out as Detroit's Next Top Prospect, he reveals one of the secrets behind his career resurgence. Watching Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz go about their work during his short stay with the Red Sox in 2006 changed his approach to hitting.

Also among Cafardo's Sunday notes is a mention that Colorado reliever Brian Fuentes might still be on the Tigers' shopping list for bullpen help.

This isn't really Tigers-related, but remember Daniel Cabrera trying to show he was mas macho by staring down Gary Sheffield after he gazed adoringly at the home run he hit last May? The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck has had enough of waiting for Cabrera's to live up to his talent.