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

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Instead of the usual Open Thread posted on off-days, I thought maybe we'd be a little more topic-driven today because there's a decent amount of news to bat around.

After Justin Verlander's turn in the rotation was moved up because of today's day off, it looked like we'd get a clash of pitching titans tomorrow night at Comerica Park. Verlander vs. C.C. Sabathia. Instead, we'll get something a bit less glamorous. Sabathia, as you know, has all but officially been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for four prospects, including last year's first-round pick, Matt LaPorta.

So who will be starting for the Indians tomorrow night, in Sabathia's place? Could it be Jeff Weaver? He signed a minor league deal with the Tribe over the weekend, perhaps in anticipation of the Sabathia trade. (Since Weaver was in Milwaukee's organization before being released in June, maybe he should be considered a de facto part of the Brewers-Indians transaction.)

UPDATE: It looks like Jeremy Sowers will get the start for Cleveland tomorrow.

Why did Jamie Burke end up pitching for the Mariners in the 15th inning yesterday, instead of, you know, an actual pitcher? The last available reliever, Arthur Rhodes, slept on his arm wrong, according to Seattle manager Jim Riggleman.

"Arthur, he came in today and said he slept on his arm funny and just didn't feel good. So he said "If I get up, I want to get in.' He didn't want to get up (in the bullpen) and down. So we had a point in the lineup where we were going to use him, and Norm (Charlton) called down and said he's not feeling to good, so we shut him down."

Lookout Landing isn't too worked up about it, though. Jeff thought Burke pitching provided some entertainment value for a long day.

Something we didn't talk about when it was making the rounds last week was the possibility of Joel Zumaya being a starter for the Tigers in the future. Jim Leyland said it was "possible," looking at the organization's lack of starting pitching. The press then went to Zumaya to ask what he thought about such a move, and he laid a verbal smackdown.

"That's a stupid question," he said. "I'm not answering it."

Zumaya then said that he didn't see himself going back to starting, though that's what he did for his entire minor league career. His mindset and personality seem ideally suited to be a closer, yet his injury history and the emergence of Freddy Dolsi as competition to take over Todd Jones' role next year (along with the many relievers Detroit drafted last month) have the Tigers considering other possibilities.

Brandon Inge begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo tonight, and will alternate between catcher and designated hitter with the intention of rejoining the Tigers after the All-Star break.

Ramon Santiago appears to have finished his rehab assignment and is set to be activated to the Tigers' roster tomorrow. That will send Michael Hollimon back to Toledo, where he can play every day.

With Carlos Guillen possibly missing tomorrow night's game due to the birth of his daughter, however, I wonder if the Tigers might hold off on that move for one more day so Hollimon can play third base. Probably not, since Ryan Raburn or Santiago could fill in there. It was just a thought.

Something else that we haven't discussed here - largely because I'm not sure I want to get into it - is the pending demolition of Tiger Stadium. It began with a bang - almost literally - last week with a wrecking ball punching a hole through one of the stadium's walls. That's certainly a sobering image, one that brings what seems like an inevitability that much closer. But to me, it's not much worse than seeing the pictures and descriptions of the decay that the ballpark has fallen into over the past nine years.

This probably deserves its own post, but I figured we could talk about it here. I realize how much Tiger Stadium means to a lot of people, and I have many happy memories associated with that ballpark, as well. But it's been almost 10 years since it closed. We've all had more than enough time to say goodbye. If part of it can be preserved, as The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy would like to do, that might give Detroit a feature that other cities don't offer. Is it the best thing for Detroit? Probably not, but unfortunately, no one else has been able to establish what would be best. And because of that, a landmark has been left to rot.