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Lunchtime Prowl: Grandy or Charlie, Fu-Te Ni's Pitches, Big Al's Back, and Shaving Cream Pies

Curtis Granderson answers reader questions in his latest post for Big League Stew. Among the subjects covered are Grandy's resemblance to Charlie from The West Wing, his minor league city of choice, and favorite childhood cartoon. This was pretty fun, and hopefully, it becomes a semi-regular feature.

Fire Jim Leyland has been busy with its Pitch F/X machine, and points it at Fu-Te Ni's debut last night. Not only do the flight graphs show the movement on Ni's fastball, slider, and change-up, but they also indicate that Ni throws from multiple arm slots.

I'm overdue in welcoming Big Al back to the blogosphere, following his major back surgery. Al's still working his way back into fighting form, but he's slowing getting back into the groove.

Here's one of his latest posts at The Wayne Fontes Experience, about Dave Birkett leaving the Oakland Press's Detroit Lions beat for a gig covering the Michigan Wolverines at the new It's a big loss for Lions coverage, and it's troubling to see good reporters (Danny Knobler, Jon Paul Morosi) move on. Detroit sports fans are losing out.

As something of a follow-up to that point, Kurt has an issue with how the Tigers are covered by the Detroit sports media. The Tigers are the only game in town right now, and the major columnists still don't cover the team regularly. Ultimately, I guess the lack of coverage is good for Tigers bloggers. But it's infuriating to see how other papers cover their local baseball teams, while Tigers fans are left to suffer with bare-bones reporting.

Or did you really enjoy the in-depth coverage of Magglio Ordonez getting his hair cut last week? The major outlets were all over that one. Meanwhile, stories like Dontrelle Willis going back on the disabled list receive no reporting attention at all.

Tiger Geist was in attendance at McAfee Coliseum last night, sitting right by the Tigers' bullpen and making friends with Gerald Laird.

How does the Tigers' "power trio" of Granderson, Miguel Cabrera, and Brandon Inge stack up against other slugging threesomes throughout baseball? Blake breaks down the numbers at The Spot Starters.

More from Big League Stew: 'Duk wants to ban the shaving cream pie from baseball? (EDIT: We now hear Mr. Kaduk will defend this stance on Thursday's On the DL podcast.) But didn't we all enjoy seeing Rick Porcello take one in the face as part of his rookie initiation?

(We know James Schmehl liked it. Thanks for the link, pal. Oh, wait - you didn't post one.)

Fernando Rodney's warm welcome of Luke French (who replaced Rodney's cousin on the roster) appears to be yet another example of the strong team chemistry Jim Leyland is enjoying so much.

You probably already knew that Edwin Jackson wasn't getting nearly enough run support from his lineup this season. But could it actually be worse than you thought? Eye of the Tigers looks at the troubling numbers.

Filling in for Peter King on the "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, former Rams and Chiefs quarterback Trent Green recommends that anyone going to St. Louis for the All-Star Game make a stop at Ted Drewes to get some frozen custard. Having made that visit myself, I'd have to agree.