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Detroit Tigers Links: José Valverde's struggles & Gerald Laird's speed

May 6, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Donnie Veal (46) pitches during the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-1.
May 6, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Donnie Veal (46) pitches during the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-1.

AL Central Standings

Cleveland 15 11 .576 0 Won 1
Detroit 14 13 .518 1.5 Won 1
Chicago 13 15 .464 3 Lost 1
Kansas City 9 18 .333 6.5 Lost 1
Minnesota 7 20 .259 8.5 Lost 2

(updated 5.6.2012 at 9:10 PM PDT)

José Valverde continues to struggle in the night inning, Gerald Laird swears he's faster than Alex Avila, and Chris Davis does his best Don Kelly impression. These stories and an Albert Pujols home run in today's Morning Prowl.

Tigers links:

Rough Series for Jose Valverde -- Motor City Bengals, Chris Hannum
Are Valverde's days as the Tigers closer coming to an end? Doubtful. Unfortunately.

What Should the Tigers Do With a Struggling José Valverde? -- Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog, Alexandra Simon
Another look at the José Valverde situation. And as much as Tigers fans might want to replace him, it doesn't look like there are many options behind him.

Cartoons to sigh disgustedly over. -- Roar of the Tigers, Samara Pearlstein
So much awesomeness in one post.

.gif | Rick Porcello Takes a Spill -- Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
Just in case you want to get a laugh at the expense of Porcello one last time.

Delmon Young's future actions, not words, will determine his legacy -- The Detroit News, Bob Wojnowski
Which is, in my opinion, the way it should be.

Detroit Tigers' Gerald Laird says there is 'no doubt' he is faster than teammate Alex Avila --, Chris Iott
"Alex is what we pinch-runners call a 'base clogger.'" Awesome.

Tigers putting plan in place to limit Smyly's innings -- Out of Left Field, Matthew B. Mowery
"It also makes a lot of sense to figure that Smyly may not be able to maintain his current torrid pace. Even with a guy as composed and sure of himself as Smyly will have to deal with failure at some point." Or does he?

'Sparky and me' | A Free Press exclusive book excerpt: 'We got some talkin' to do' -- Detroit Free Press
"Three days in October of 2010. That's all the time we had left to share. Neither one of us talked about it. But both of us knew. My best friend was dying."

Around the AL Central:

Ubaldo Jimenez and his missing 96 mph heater: A mechanical look -- The Hardball Times, Kyle Boddy
"His velocity has been diminishing since his trade to Cleveland. Is it a mechanical issue?" No, it's a "I'm in a Cleveland Indians uniform" issue.

Mariners 5, Twins 2: Early Innings Hole Too Much for Doumit's Two Homers -- Twinkie Town
"Twins drop the weekend series by losing the rubber match. Early holes are becoming far too common."

Hochevar. No Bueno. Royals Split Series With Highlanders. -- Royals Review
"Luke Hochevar, sure to find himself "on the DL" by the end of business tomorrow, threw 51 pitches on this Sunday. One of them might have been good."

Game 26: Indians 4, Rangers 2 -- Let's Go Tribe
"Ubaldo Jimenez shut the Rangers through 7 innings, and the Indians held on to win both the game and the series. A recap of the 4-2 Tribe victory."

White Sox 1, Tigers 3: Every run a solo shot -- South Side Sox
"White Sox drop the rubber match of a gut wrenching three game set in Detroit."

Elsewhere in baseball:

Are Concussion Lawsuits Coming to Major League Baseball? -- Baseball Nation, Wendy Thurm
I'm not sure it would ever be as intense as what's going on in the NFL right now, but it's certainly a possibility. Though I could see it happening in the NHL before major league baseball.

Albert Pujols hits first homer of season, returns to empty Angels dugout (VIDEO) -- Big League Stew, Kevin Kaduk
Cool, now that that's out of the way, let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Chris Davis goes 0-for-8, gets the win in 17-inning game -- HardballTalk, Matthew Pouliot
Don Kelly doesn't see why this is such a big deal.