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Morning Prowl: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke

OK we'll start to get back into our patterns of things after what I admit was a slow week or two at the blog.

Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: A Front Line Soldier in World War II
Yesterday was Memorial Day, so Lee Panas took a break from baseball and stepped back to let his father tell a story about being an infantryman in Italy in 1944. Not to be missed is this first-person account of a bloody battle I hadn't even heard about. Thanks go out to Mr. Panas and the other veterans (and their families) for their service.

Jose Valverde’s 2012 Option: MLB Rumors -
Ben Nicholson-Smith discuses whether the Tigers will (and should) keep Jose Valverde in 2012. He has a $9 million option. I love Valverde. I thought I'd hate his antics. But he's seriously one of the most fun players on the team. And from what we hear of the locker room, sounds like he's hilarious there too. I'd hate to see him go. But at $9 million? That's just too much for a reliever, especially when you have Joaquin Benoit in the wings to close. Maybe they can work something out extend Valverde at a better price. Because I swear no matter where he plays after Detroit I'll remain a Valverde fan. Nicholson-Smith, by the way, thinks they won't pick it up.

Joaquin Benoit back in groove in Tigers' bullpen |
Speaking of Benoit, things seem to be going better and he's more confident.

Purcey making the best of his new home - Detroit Detroit Tigers |
Our Matthew LaFave, writing at his other online home, quotes Dave Dombrowski and talks about David Purcey's work as a reliever.

Tuesday's soup - name that grade
Tom Gage says at the one-third mark of the season he gives the Tigers a C. Sounds like he'd be one of those "70" voters in our weekly confidence poll. (Maybe he is!)

Introducing the Traditional Manager Index - Beyond the Box Score
Who is surprised to find LaRussa on top and Jim Leyland near the top, raise your hands. I don't see a lot of hands up.

Tigers pitcher Phil Coke's rehab stint to be brief | Detroit Free Press
Phil Coke discusses intelligence vs. impatience, and makes a week sound like three months.

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera gets driver's license back | The Detroit News
Provided without comment.

Ozzie Guillen Blasts Fans ... Or Does He? - Baseball Nation
Our buddy on the South Side saw Leyland go off and wanted to get involved himself, apparently.

Why is This the Worst Pitching Staff in Major League Baseball? - Twinkie Town
Our SB Nation Twins blog explores why the Twins' staff is among the worst in baseball. Lack of quality pitchers has to be part of it, of course. I think anyone could see before the season they were hurting for pitching both in the rotation and bullpen. It turned out worse than anyone could have imagined, I think. Worse than I could have imagined anyway. So here's a more technical look.

Francisco Liriano Injury: Sore Shoulder Still Barking, Lefty Placed On DL - Baseball Nation
As soon as Liriano threw the no-hitter, I told people -- I can provide eye-witness testimony if necessary -- that it was going to mess him up and I wouldn't be surprised if he hit the disabled list. Too many pitches for a guy with an injury history.