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Like Stripes on the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 07/17

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Over at The Spot Starters, Blake rounded up a few Tigers bloggers for an All-Star break "State of the Tigers" panel. I joined Kurt of Mack Avenue Tigers, Lee of Tiger Tales, Bill from The Detroit Tigers Weblog, and Blake himself to discuss several pertinent topics including Justin Verlander's second half, the Gary Sheffield dilemma, who could finish the season strong, and which off-season deal to call a Mulligan on.

Thanks to Blake for inviting me onto the panel.

Lee and Kurt weren't finished talking Tigers with us, however. They also participated in Life in the Cell's mid-season report on Detroit's baseball team. Jeeves is doing this for each of the teams in the AL Central.

I already knew Big Al might be a better man than me, but his willingness to post in-depth mid-season grades (something I just couldn't bring myself to do) for each part of the Tigers' roster confirms that. You can read the grades for starting pitching, bullpen, infield, and outfield in separate posts at The Wayne Fontes Experience.

And as you should expect, Big Al was far more harsh - and honest - than Jon Paul Morosi was with his grades. I'm convinced that Morosi either made out those grades in the middle of the clubhouse with the entire team watching, or had each player grade himself. Though your perspective is obviously different when you cover a team each day.

At Take 75 North, Matt examines how the Toledo Mud Hens will be affected by Mike Hessman and Blaine Neal leaving to play with the USA Baseball team in the Beijing Olympics.

Christina Kahrl has a Transaction Analysis of the AL Central at Baseball Prospectus ($$), looking at each team's recent big moves, gaping holes and potentially cool (and underrated) moves.

Finally, two housekeeping items:

1) If you have a Facebook account, have you signed up for the Bless You Boys page? If you're taking any photos or videos from the ballpark that you'd like to share with others, this is a fun place to post them. Someone added some pretty cool pictures from the recent fan appreciation effort when he and a buddy were able to play catch on the Comerica Park field.

2) I also just started a BYB Twitter page, which has a feed for each blog entry, but I'm hoping to post items that might be too short to warrant a full post by itself or just pass along some Tigers news and thoughts for the day.