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Detroit Tigers Links: Justin Verlander steals all the headlines & Mike Ilitch discuss his dream team

April 5, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem before the opening day game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park.
April 5, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem before the opening day game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park.

According to headlines, Justin Verlander pitched decent yesterday, Mike Ilitch discusses the 2012 team and what his hopes are, and in Miguel Cabrera's past life he was a gymnast. These stories and much, much -- OK like a ton -- more in today's Morning Prowl.

P.S. Baseball is back!

Tigers links:

Mitch Albom: Mike Ilitch talks about his dream team in exclusive interview -- Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom
Great man. Great interview. I hope the Tigers can bring one home for him.

Happy Opening Day! -- Roar of the Tigers, Samara Pearlstein
Jose Valverde isn't my favorite right at the moment, but his drawing is certainly the best.

Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder says he owed it to Miguel Cabrera to work hard at first base --, Chris Iott
"I couldn't be here without him being willing to play third base. I owed it to him to work just as hard as he did at third. Seeing him work really motivated me." Classy thing to say in my opinion.

Untouchable Justin Verlander should have pitched ninth for Tigers -- The Detroit News, Terry Foster
As much as I think Verlander could have finished it and as much as I would have loved for him to. I think Leyland made the right call.

Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline hides nerves, tosses ceremonial first-pitch strike --, James Schmehl
"At 77 years young, Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline's only goal in throwing out Thursday's ceremonial first pitch was to keep it from bouncing across the plate."

Opening Day: Starters terrific, bullpens not -- SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield
I hope Jose Valverde bought Austin Jackson something very nice, very big, and very shiny.

Justin Verlander proves he’s not a liar, downs famous Taco Bell order before opening day start -- Big League Stew, Kevin Kaduk
I have no idea what they put in that food -- and I don't mean like special powers, I mean like I have no idea what that meat is -- but whatever it is, it's working wonders for Verlander's ability on the mound. Perhaps we all need to start supporting Taco Bell like we do Little Caesars. On second thought ... nope, no we don't.

Drew Sharp: New Tiger Prince Fielder has 'cool' Opening Day -- Detroit Free Press, Drew Sharp
"I’m thinking, ‘Man, I’m really playing for the team I grew up with as a kid.’ And you stop and think that’s pretty cool." Yeah, it is pretty damn cool.

Michael Rosenberg: Tigers' Justin Verlander makes his case for 2012 MVP -- Detroit Free Press, Michael Rosenberg
Yes, Justin Verlander was fantastic yesterday. I'm not sure he could have pitched any better. But can we slow the roll on announcing him as a 2012 MVP candidate. I love the optimism, but he has a lot more innings to pitch.

Cabrera: "I was a little scared with my eyes" -- Beck's Blog, Jason Beck
I can't say I blame him. I hope it won't continue to affect him. But, man, I'd be scared to get in front of a ball too.

The Nightmare That Was Opening Day in Detroit -- DesigNate Robertson
Poor Rogo. While most of us were probably enjoy the game from the comfort of our own homes -- or in my case, my work chair -- Rogo was watching the game at CoPa. But as he tells it, it's not as exciting as it sounds.

There is a particularly awesome GIF after the jump. So I suggest you go there.

Complements of World of Issac. Enjoy.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Baseball's average salary rises to $3.44 million as teams increase spending, according to report -- ESPN
I think we can thank Prince Fielder in part for that. And probably Matt Cain and Joey Votto.

Rangers unveil Shannon and Cooper Stone statue -- Big League Stew, Kevin Kaduk
Talk about a powerful image. Wow. Just wow.

On Opening Day, Just Where Are the Royals Going in 2012? -- Royals Review
"The Royals have more promise than in years past, but there are still problems." Yeah, like Bruce Chen being your opening day starter.

Opening Day opens brightly, ends dark with disappointment for Cleveland Indians and their fans: Terry Pluto --, Terry Pluto
"Think of someone carrying a birthday cake and tripping before reaching the table. Not only did the cake go splat, but the entire house caught fire. That's what happened Thursday." And yep, only in Cleveland.

Bill Murray runs, slides, pitches, quips --, Fred Mitchell
I love Bill Murray. That is all.

Baseball's Brand New Soundtrack -- NBC4 Washington, Kate Kilpatrick
But obviously we know there's only one walk-up song that reigns supreme. Sing it with me: "Tooniiight ... I will love, love you tonight ..."

Police pull their guns on Torii Hunter … while he’s in his own home -- HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra
Surely you've all read about this by now. But, just in case. Behold.

Is The Marlins' New Outfield Just Too Big? -- Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
That and there's a weird, trippy carnival thing going on in left-center field.