The Detroit Free Press reports Jim Leyland is faced with his greatest challenge yet as the Tigers' manager: Michigan's smoking ban in public places. Leyland's reaction to the news, which he learned during The Jim Rome Show:
"Houston, we’ve got a problem."
"I’m not saying that I won’t cheat once in awhile," he said. "I’m not going to lie."
- Lynn Henning of the Detroit News may be the first area reporter to find his way to Lakeland and begin reporting on the Tigers. He talked to Joel Zumaya on Monday and checked in on how Jeremy Bonderman, Scott Sizemore and Brandon Inge are feeling. All four players are already in Lakeland.
- Zumaya, feeling "the best" he has in 2 1/2 years, reports the biggest change for him is his arm angle. He told Henning:
I came down (dropped) big time last season. I'm a high three-quarter guy, and what bothered me is that I had to drop that arm angle in order to be a little more comfortable. "Now I'm on top of my breaking ball again. And I'm behind my fastball and change-up instead of pushing it. "I was short-arming a lot of stuff last year."
- You've probably heard with Chinese New Year, the 2010 season will be played under the year of the Tiger. MLB.com's Jason Beck has some bad news about that in his mailbag: Detroit has never won a division title in the year of the Tiger. It did, however, lose 97 games in the last one. Uh oh! But he does have some good news for Astros fans ...
- Wondering about the Tigers' depth at shortstop? It is surprisingly good compared to most positions in the organization, Matt Wallace tells us at T75N.com.
- New site alert! Via Wallace, we learn Nick Underhill -- a correspondent for Scout's TigsTown.com -- will be writing about the Erie SeaWolves this year at a blog named after himself. Considering Double-A is where some of the most exciting prospects can be found, his blog will likely be a must-read this coming season. His first post says Cale Iorg is not ready to be promoted to Triple-A Toledo.