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Justin Verlander's inner ninja, Dave Dombrowski's Q&A session, and Baseball Boyfriend: Morning Prowl

Pitchers and catchers countdown: 11 days

Justin Verlander 'a ninja riding a cheetah' in new 'MLB 2K12' ad -- Detroit Free Press, Steve Schrader
I'm going to assume that you've all seen this. But I'm also going to urge you to watch it again. And so by me including it here, I'm simply making that easier for you. You're welcome.

Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes expected to arrive in Miami, meet with Marlins --, Joe Frisaro and Jesse Sanchez
Yoenis Cespedes has reportedly received a travel visa and is scheduled to meet with the Miami Marlins Wednesday. It's not clear if he's meeting with other teams in Miami, but it likely means the Tigers will have their first opportunity to schedule a meeting with the highly sought-after outfielder in person.

Prince is part of third father/son duo to play for the Tigers -- Detroit Athletic Co. Blog, Dan Holmes
But are they the first father/son duo to openly hate each other?

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski speaks at Detroit Sports Broadcasters Assn. banquet -- Out of Left Field, Matthew B. Mowery
In case you "accidentally" missed this, Mowery provides a brief overview of Dombroski's Q&A session at DSBA Tiger Day.

MLB preview: Detroit Tigers in Morris -- The Morris Mirror
"Even with Prince Fielder, Detroit may have only the sixth-best roster in the American League in my book." Yeah? Well your book is stupid.

Memo to owners: spend money! --, Joe Sheehan
Sheehan says Detroit Tigers Mike Ilitch is one of the few owners in baseball who is more concerned with winning than money. He says more owners need to take greater risks in signing free agents instead of worrying about putting their team "in red" so to speak.

Best Pitching Rotations Ever -- Tiger Tales, Lee Panas
Panas breaks down the best pitching rotations in the history of baseball. The final list includes the 1946 and 1949 Detroit Tigers. Can you name both those rotations without peeking?

Detroit Tigers' Dave Dombrowski expects Collin Balester to make roster; says one spot left in bullpen --, James Schmehl
Right-handed reliever Collin Balester is expected to be on the Tigers opening-day roster. So who does that leave for the final spot in the bullpen. My bet is on Duane Below, but it's possible I have a soft-spot for the guy. Who do you guys have?

Detroit Tigers' increased revenue could absorb cost of Prince Fielder's $214 million contract --, Justin Rogers
Rogers says if you factor in "attendance increases from the 2006 postseason appearance, and jumps after big acquisitions such as Miguel Cabrera and Pudge Rodriguez, the Tigers increased revenue could easily cover Fielder's massive contract." But will it cover the one we're about to give Yoenis Cespedes? What? I can dream.

Around the AL Central:

Competition in the Central Comes Down To (Fours): Part 2 of 2 -- Motor City Bengals, Chris Hannum
Remember the awesome seasons that weren't for Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy, and Joe Mauer (to name a few)? Well, let's pretend they all rebound significantly in 2012. Which, let's be honest, the only place Dunn can go is up anyway. But, what would that mean for the AL Central race, and more specifically the Tigers? Well, in short, hopefully nothing.

Travis Hafner: Exit stage left -- Let's Go Tribe
Though Hafner has been relatively consistent the past few seasons, his numbers against left-handed pitchers have been dismal. The Cleveland Indians should expect decent numbers from him again this season, but Let's Go Tribe argues that those numbers should be the result of appearances against right-handers, not left.

Royals Bullpen Handedness Splits -- Royals Review, Jeff Zimmerman
Zimmerman takes a look at "how the Royals bullpen's past handedness splits."

Elsewhere in baseball:

Dodgers sign Clayton Kershaw to two-year, $19-million deal -- Los Angeles Times, Steve Dilbeck
"The Dodgers avoided an arbitration hearing with National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw Tuesday by signing him to a two-year, $19-million contract."

Former MLB player Clyburn shot, killed in Lancaster -- The Herald, Nicole Smith
Danny Clyburn Jr., was killed in a shooting early Tuesday morning. Clyburn was an outfielder for both the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays, who were still the Devil Rays at the time.

A fantasy baseball game for girls who happen to live in the 1950s -- Ultimate Astros, Henry Schulman
You didn't think you'd make it through this entire link post without this, did you? Yep. Baseball Boyfriend is a thing. A very terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing. But on the bright side, it brought out the very best of people on the Interwebs. Seriously, there were some hilarious jokes as a result of this. So, I want to know: Who's your baseball boyfriend?