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Detroit Tigers Links: On Cole Hamels trade rumors and Darin Downs' debut

They're so cute together!
They're so cute together!

AL Central Standings

Chicago 45 37 .548 0 Won 3
Cleveland 42 39 .518 2.5 Won 2
Detroit 41 42 .493 4.5 Won 2
Kansas City 36 44 .450 8 Lost 2
Minnesota 35 47 .426 10 Lost 2

(updated 7.5.2012 at 9:40 PM EDT)

Melissa's on vacation, Rob and Al are both without electricity, Alli is canoodling, so I'm left here all alone at Bless You Boys. Don't mine me if I kick off my shoes and wander around in my tighty whities while I share links with you. Today we've got Cole Hamels talk, a closer look at Darin Downs' first MLB appearance, some all-star stuff, and more.

Dissecting Darin Downs’ Detroit Debut | Josh Worn, Walkoff Woodward
Josh Worn takes a closer look at, well, the head line does kind of explain things.

Leyland wants right-handed production: 'We need Raburn to do something' | Tom Gage, The Detroit News
The Skipper explains why he chose to go with Ryan Raburn over Quentin Berry, and it makes some sense, really. Why he chooses to have Raburn bat second may be a different matter, though.

Laird gets blown up by teammates, not plays at the plate | Matthew B. Mowery, Oakland Press
Gerald Laird got splatted by Prince Fielder, but stayed in the game. He took more abuse than that, though.

Tigers' Rick Porcello comes up with a first since at least 1918 | John Lowe, Detroit Free Press
I suppose you can find a historical footnote for anything. John Lowe found an interesting one from Thursday's game.

What every American League team could do at the trade deadline | Buster Olney, ESPN
Many people think the Tigers need an upgrade at second base. I feel like corner outfield / DH is the best place to make an impact. I suspect the Tigers will trade for starting pitching. Meanwhile Buster Olney sees ... bullpen help?! (Sub-Req)

Detroit Tigers Pawing at Cole Hamels? | RBI Magazine

Are the Tigers looking at Cole Hamels? Some have said so. But RBI Magazine thinks the Tigers need someone who can produce RBI. (Go figure!)

Midseason MLB awards feature familiar names and some surprises | Joel Sherman, N.Y. Post

Sitting atop the halftime Cy Young leaderboard is Detroit's own Justin Verlander.

Detroit Tigers' Poor Performance Among Biggest Surprises During 2012 MLB Season | Adam Biggers, Y! sports

While Verlander being in the Cy Young conversation around the All-Star Break, the Tigers almost being closer to last than first in the division is certainly a huge surprise.

Halfway Home, Tigers Sending Fans To Halfway Houses | John Verburg, Motor City Bengals

These Tigers could drive you to drink with their poor defense and inconsistent offense.

Around the MLB:

Adam Dunn Heads For The Record Books, Again | Baseball Nation

First Adam Dunn was awful. Now he's awesome. But he might set a futility record while being awesome.

Final Votes In: Yu Darvish, David Freese Join All-Star Teams | Baseball Nation

Kind of surprised that Bryce Harper didn't win the fan vote. But he'll make plenty of ASG during his career, I'm sure. On the AL side, Darvish is deserving.

People vs. WAR | Joe Posnanski
WAR! HUH! What is it good for? Well, absolutely nothing is pushing matters. But Joe Pos uses it to compare players who deserve to be starters vs. what the fans chose.