With spring training camp opening soon, the amount of stories to track has increased several-fold. Here's what you may have missed.
Dontrelle Willis: 'The issue is, I'm terrible'. -- Tigers' fans: 'We noticed two seasons ago.' I considered a full post on Willis, but truth be told, this is a broken record matched only by Damon Watch 2010. There's really nothing to say. He knows he's terrible. We know he's terrible. Whatever.
- Beck's Blog: Coke could still end up a starter -- Reason #431 why you can't really take anything the Tigers tell the media too seriously. GM Dave Dombrowski thought Coke could be a starter. Manager Jim Leyland said he doesn't have enough spring training innings to see, so Coke is a reliever. Dombrowski agreed, Coke is a reliever. Now, Coke says he was told he might be a starter. Holy geez, these guys are fickle. In short: if Coke can start and eat innings effectively, it's a pretty good use of his talents and makes the offseason trade look much better.
- Speaking of wishy-washy ...
Jon Heyman says Mrs. Damon prefers Chicago to Detroit, but Johnny insists he wears the pants in the family. -- But if he chooses Chicago over Detroit despite a much larger offer from the Tigers, the evidence speaks for itself.
- Wait for it ... wait for it ...
Ken Rosenthal says Damon does not want to play in Detroit. -- If my Twitter feed is to be believed, Tigers fans are quickly coming to the same conclusion: They do not want Damon to play in Detroit. That is 100 percent definitely not the way you win fans in Motown. As Big Al's tagline says at The Wayne Fontes Experience: In Detroit, you're with with us, or we hate you.
- Tigers' Nate Robertson had groin surgery in November -- Apparently didn't feel comfortable at the end of the season, still didn't in October, had surgery after that.
Verlander's second home may as well be Lakeland, he's there so much during the offseason, the Lakeland Ledger writes. But saber-enthusiasts excited to learn about pitchers tracking their FIP will be sad to learn Verlander believes ERA is the most important stat. Bright side: he doesn't like wins, anyway. Small steps, right?
- Beck tweets Leyland seems committed to rookie Austin Jackson leading off, so the No. 2 spot in the lineup is what's up for debate.
- Dave Cameron with this always-necessary reminde at FanGraphs: Spring training stats don't matter.