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Afternoon prowl: Future Tigers, attendance woes and Ray Oyler

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Where's the morning prowl? (YAWN) It was in bed with me.

Thanks to the "kindness" of MLB and NHL schedulers, I was up too damn late watching the Tigers and Red Wings play in the western time zone, and I decided to sleep in.

At least the Red Wings made the late night worthwhile. The Tigers, on the other hand...

As I'm too ticked off about the present to write about it (11-3? Come on!), let's look at possible future Tigers. The very near future, if the News' Lynn Henning is to be believed, as he picks 4 of the most likely call-ups. Who might be the first position player promoted?

Brent Dlugach, shortstop, Triple-A Toledo: Dlugach probably had the best spring of any farmhand. An infielder who always was a prospect, and never much more than a prospect, convinced manager Jim Leyland he can play in the big leagues.

Will it happen this season? Probably not -- at least not before September. But it depends how things go for the Tigers, where they are at midseason, and how much offense they believe they might gain from a shortstop that, at the moment, looks like the best bet to succeed Adam Everett as starter in 2011.

If Adam Everett continues tearing up the American League to the tune of a .273 OBP, could we be seeing Dlugach sooner than later? Personally, I'd love to see the team do something to improve the offense at the bottom of the order, as it remains (as we suspected it would) an offensive black hole. It's where rallies go to wither and die.

Something to keep an eye on, especially here in Detroit, is the noticeable drop in attendance around MLB. This is Via the Toronto Globe and Mail, where they describe a scene at a virtually empty Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays.

Well, it was hardly a rush down the left-field line at Rogers Centre. A lone man ran through six empty sections and into a seventh, pursuing the prize.

There weren't too many people sitting downstairs, either — in Toronto, or a few other parks this season.

The Blue Jays, Baltimore and Cleveland already have drawn record-low crowds of barely 10,000 at their ballparks. The New York Mets also saw their smallest crowd, albeit they're just in their second year at Citi Field.

It's hard to determine what's going to happen at Comerica Park due to the (I know some of you hate this term) small sample size of only 3 games. It's far to early to guess if the Tigers' attendance is going to be adversely affected by the tanking Michigan economy. It's really only going to come down to one thing and one thing only...if the Tigers win games.

(Said in the voice of James Earl Jones) Win, and they will come, economy be damned.

I missed this earlier in the week, and I'm guessing many of you did as well. The Tigers' own Miguel Cabrera was named AL Player of the Week for the period ending April 11th.

Here's Miggy's accomplishments for the opening week of the season, as listed in the MLB press release.

In six games last week, Miguel hit an American League-best .522 (12-23) with six runs scored, two home runs and eight RBI. Cabrera also posted a .783 slugging percentage and led the Majors with a .621 on-base percentage behind an A.L.-best six free passes and 12 hits, which tied for the A.L. high. On April 8th, the four-time All-Star hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the eighth inning to lead the Tigers to a 7-3 victory over the A.L. Central-rival Kansas City Royals. Miguel made history by collecting eight hits and seven RBI through the first three games of the season. The only other Tiger ever with at least seven hits and seven RBI through the team's first three games of the season was Harry Heilmann, who accomplished the feat in 1923. On Sunday, Cabrera, who will turn 27 on April 18th, reached base safely in all six trips to the plate against the Cleveland Indians via three hits and three walks. This marked the first time in his career that the native of Maracay, Venezuela has reached base safely six times in a single game and the first time any Tiger has done so in a nine-inning game since Carlos Peña collected six hits on May 27, 2004 at Kansas City. This marks Miguel's seventh career weekly award and third in the American League (previous: 7/28/08).

Someone needs to tell the folks at MLB PR paragraphs are a good thing! But I digress...

We all know the Tigers' offense will go as Cabrera goes. As he seems to have his head on straight, and we won't see anymore all night benders, I'm sure this won't be the only Player of the Week honor he wins this season. There's going to be plenty to worry about on the Tigers this season. Cabrera won't be one of them.

It's coming out in drips and spurts, but the season preview at the Mickey Tettleton Memorial Overpass is slowly making it's way onto the web. In part 2 of the series, Beefshower takes a look at the Tigers infield. Here's part of his quite verbose take on the man we call Opie, Adam Everett.

His arm seems a little weak out there as it seems like he really has to load up on his throws to get it across the diamond. Also his bat is completely non-existent almost on a Ray Oyler level of uselessness, especially against right handed pitching. I never thought I would ever see a Tigers shortstop that made me long for the Edgar Renteria era but Everett's helpless flailing at the plate made me misty eyed for the days when the Tigers had a shortstop who could ground out solidly to the shortstop with regularity.

The problem with hating Everett is that he seems like a likable enough guy and he's making near the minimum for a veteran and there were no expectations of greatness when he signed as a free agent. In fact he was supposed to be a one year patch for an organization that had shockingly little depth at the position unless you're one of those people who believed Cale Iorg would be anything other than a below average Double-AA player, and I think the only person who believed in that scenario was Cale Iorg and maybe Iorg's mother.

I don't know about you, but I'm always game for a Ray Oyler reference.

Just how bad was the Tigers former Tigers SS at the plate? He hit over .200 all of once in his 6 year career. In 1968, when he was the everyday SS (111 games) for the Tigers' World Series winning team, Oyler stood at the plate helplessly, posting an OBP of .213. It was a weird era for baseball, where pitching dominated to the point of absurdity. Oyler was the poster child for the lack of offense in the 60's.

Ray Oyler makes Adam Everett look like Mark McGwire. So it's all relative...

There's another "The Tigers will trade Cabrera in a fire sale" articles. This time the silliness is spewed from HotStove.com, and makes the case for the Giants (Seriously?) trading for the unavailable Miggy. At Motor City Bengals, John posts a thorough debunking of this crazy talk.

The Tigers have only $55MM committed to the 2011 payroll, and that’s with Cabrera making $20MM. Mike Ilitch is not hurting for cash, people, and even if he was, financial flexibility is only six months away. Why on earth would he want to jettison a future hall-of-famer still in his prime? He wouldn’t.

You know what, Mr. Bensch? There are a whole list of players who would also make the Giants better. Albert Pujols could probably play left field if you really like Aubrey Huff at first. Joe Mauer is signed for eight more years, maybe the Twins would deal him. What about Mark Teixeira, or Kevin Youkilis, or Alex Rodriguez? Surely they could help.

Except that none of those players are available, because hitters like those get locked up to long term contracts by financially stable teams. Those players don’t get traded with six seasons left on their deals, unless of course, this is just a video game.

Damn straight and well said!