AL Central Standings
Austin Jackson has come a long way since last season, Justin Verlander would win his second Cy Young if it were voted on today, and the Tampa Bay Rays apparently moonlight as gladiators. These stories and some bad a** groundskeeping in today's Morning Prowl.
Austin Jackson, Man of Action for Tigers -- FanGraphs Baseball, Wendy Thurm
"The Detroit Tigers are in third place in the American League Central at 20-21. They’re not where they — and many of us — expected them to be at this part of the season."
Heather Nabozny of Tigers, Nicole Sherry of Orioles: Women groundskeepers in MLB -- Big League Stew, David Brown
A pretty cool article on an aspect of the game you don't often hear about and almost never read about.
Detroit Tigers' Ryan Raburn expected to return Friday after death in family -- MLive.com, James Schmehl
Not an easy thing to deal with in the least. I wish him nothing but the best.
ESPN analysts have Tigers' Justin Verlander winning Cy Young, Austin Jackson third in AL MVP race -- The Detroit News
I think some would disagree based on stats alone. But like I've said before, Verlander is pitching arguably better than last season, so I don't think this is too far off base.
No 'Wizard of Oz' among Detroit Tigers infielders -- MLive.com, Philip Zaroo
"This week's FOX Major League Baseball Player Poll asked which player is today's Ozzie Smith, making the "sickest plays in the infield," but the Tigers didn't garner a mention." Obviously.
Remember Early April? That Was Awesome. -- Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
Another article about how the Detroit Tigers aren't very good. Or at least not as good as they were when they started the season 9-3.
Drew Sharp: Toothless Tigers still capable of clawing out of funk -- Detroit Free Press, Drew Sharp
I get the NFL/MLB comparison, but I'm not buying it in this situation. Sixteen games is not the same as 162. And there are too many things that factor into it. Also, never compare the Tigers to the Patriots again. Thanks.
Thoughts on Thoughts that Extrapolate to more Thoughts -- Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
"I didn’t write a word yesterday. I’m going to write thirteen hundred words now." Except you'll find out early that he's lying. He actually wrote a lot of words yesterday.
Austin Jackson's Resurgence at the Plate: A Fundamental Explanation -- Motor City Bengals, Brian Sakowski
A look at Austin Jackson's return to productiveness this season. What's changed and how he's improved. Let's hope he returns to the lineup soon as well, too.
Around the AL Central:
Twins 9, White Sox 2: Nothing to see here -- South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"Even with a new manager, the White Sox's struggles against the Minnesota Twins continued." Don't worry, the Tigers know the feeling.
Twins 9, White Sox 2: P.J. Walters Pitches the Twins' First Complete-Game Victory of the Year -- Twinkie Town
"Twins 9, White Sox 2: PJ Walters Pitches the Twins' First Complete-Game Victory of the Year."
Elsewhere in baseball:
No team with a top-five payroll has a winning record and four are in last place -- HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman
"This obviously isn't going to last all season, but right now it's pretty damn startling to look at the standings and see that the five teams with the highest payrolls in MLB are all .500 or worse and four of them are currently in last place."
Rays’ gladiator helmets: Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta do as Romans do (VIDEO) -- Big League Stew, David Brown
This is why the Rays are my second-favorite (a very distant second) team in baseball.
Major League Baseball 2K's Cancellation Looms on Grim News from Game's Creators -- Kotaku, Owen Good
Sorry to all the Kate Upton fans out there.