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Like Stripes on the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 01/29

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If you missed it last night, the latest episode of MLB Network's "Baseball Seasons" looks at the 1968 season. The show will be replayed at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. today, 10 a.m. on Saturday, and 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Tim Kurkjian sees a close race in the AL Central, but doesn't think the Tigers did enough to improve their starting pitching and has questions about Brandon Lyon. There's also an interesting quote from an anonymous Tiger about what may have been done to Comerica Park's infield grass to help the defense last season.

(via DesigNate Robertson)

Jason Beck (covering the Royals beat this week) thinks Zack Greinke's new four-year, $38 million contract is bad news for the Tigers. Meanwhile, their arbitration hearing with Justin Verlander is looming.

At Tiger Tales, Lee applies RBI Percentage to the Tigers' lineup, and some of the data might surprise you.

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch says he's happy with the offseason plan of improving the defense and pitching.

(I have to agree with Mike McClary, though. Isn't it kind of weird that he answered those questions at a press conference announcing Henrik Zetterberg's new contract with the Red Wings? I guess you have to get Ilitch when he's available.)

Take 75 North tries to make sense of the Tigers' minor league shortstop situation, figuring out where prospects like Cale Iorg, Danny Worth, Brent Dlugach, and Audy Ciriaco will play this season. If Michael Hollimon is thrown into the mix at Toledo, things could get complicated for the Mud Hens.

Tom Gage doesn't believe there will be any competition between Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney to be the Tigers' closer. I tend to agree, but I'm sure Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski want to see what Rodney is capable of, as a closer would earn more in free agency than a middle reliever.

Lynn Henning takes a look at Detroit's minor league pitching prospects. With several pitchers returning from injury, there could be many names to keep an eye on. (Henning has also become rather enamored with Robbie Weinhardt recently.)

At Old English D, Jennifer's heart goes out to those who came so close to tasting glory with the Tigers in recent years, but ended up falling short.

Over at Yahoo! Sports, Tim Brown looks at the Tigers for their "Hot Stove Daily" series. Would another last-place finish mean Dombrowski has to blow this thing up? (This was written before Lyon signed with Detroit, by the way.)

(via The Daily Fungo)