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Morning lede: Today's media topic du jour is relief pitchers

No, I'm not your normal host, the esteemed Kurt Mensching. Yes, I'm back! Unfortunately, a medical issue had me on the DL for a few weeks, but all is now somewhat well.

As Kurt has been working his fingers to the bone here at BYB, and needs a little R & R, I'll be covering for him today. In fact, we're going to try to work out a schedule between us where I can take the occasional load off of Kurt when it comes to game threads and recaps, so he can do what he does best, write opinion and analysis.

I know what you're saying...Enough of the jibber jabber!

Let's tour the tubes of the internets, and see just what is going on in Tigers nation!

You can tell it's spring training for the local media, as they have to crank out content when not much of importance is going on in Lakeland. (Yes, Tigers baseball is important, but it is early on). So we get feature pieces on fringe players...

Speaking of which, the Freep's John Lowe has a long feature piece on the Tigers' lone Aussie, and one of several left handers vying for a bullpen gig, Brad Thomas.Here's Thomas' money quote:

"We gathered that the World Series was like the grand finals of soccer in Australia,"

I have no idea what Australia's grand finals of soccer are, but they must be exciting...for an Aussie.

I swear the Detroit media guys get together every day in Lakeland, and discuss what will be the topic du jour. Today's topic must be relief pitchers, as Lynn Henning's latest at the News is a review of Ryan Perry's spring. The money quote regarding Perry is from the Marlboro Man, Jim Lelyand:

"Right now, he's on quite a mission,"

To be honest, I was slightly confused by the News, as the picture with the piece is not of Perry, but the Nationals' uber-prospect, Stephen Strasburg. And we wonder why the 4th estate is losing readership...

After the jump...more epic stories about relief pitching!

With the Twins losing Joe Nathan,'s Tigers beat writer Jason Beck asks a question we all have been wondering, "Are the Tigers now the AL Central's best bullpen?"

With 3 1/2 weeks left in Spring Training, things could dramatically change. The Twins could go out and acquire another established closer, or they could add setup help that would allow them to shift Jon Rauch to the ninth inning. Or the Tigers could have a loss of their own to deal with, whether it's an injured Seay or an ineffective Zumaya. But for now, the question of how the Tigers match up against the Twins took on an entirely different answer.

That said, the Tigers can distinctly remember the Twins being counted out down the stretch last year when Justin Morneau was injured. We all know how that turned out.

Beck managed to harsh my mellow. I'm still trying to erase the memory of last September from my memory bank. As the bottle in front of me hasn't worked, it's going to take a frontal lobotomy... (Apologies to Tom Waits for butchering his famous quote)

In the Tigers blogosphere, the always entertaining Samara at Roar of the Tigers has a diary of yesterday's Tigers-Nationals game. She leads with what is essentially a LOLNationals pic. It's good for more than just a giggle!

In the Twittersphere, former Tigers beat writer made good, Fox Sports Jon Paul Morosi, fired off this tasty little nugget late yesterday:

While we're at it: Magglio batting .500. When I was in Florida last week, Tigers players told me his bat had come alive again.

Please, please, please, let this be true! (Hat tip to Scott at Mlive's Cuttoff Man for pointing out Morosi's missive)

Coming up later today: The return of Curtis Granderson, as the evil empire, the New York Yankees, take on the Tigers in Grapefruit League action! On the flip, it's Johnny Damon taking on his old Yankees teammates for the first time since siging with the Tigers!

You can cut the tension with a knife!

OK, you're not buying tt. Neither am I, as it's only an exhibition game. But we need something to talk about, right?