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Today's News column: Bullpens! ::throws hands in the air::

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Aug 13, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit (53) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins won 9-3 Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 13, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit (53) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins won 9-3 Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Bullpens, huh, what are they good for? Well, obviously far more than absolutely nothing. But they're nothing if not frustrating and mind boggling. That's the topic of today's column in The News.

Take the Tigers for instance. One year the late innings are unbeatable -- and no one saw that coming, I think, even if we knew the final two innings might be pretty good. The next year, with the exact same pitchers, the final couple of innings are full of frustrations.

That's yet another reason I'm never all that concerned about picking up the biggest names available on the free agent market. Your blue-light special could turn out great while your high-paid stopper could stink.

1) Collect relievers

2) ...

3) Profit?

So, what can be done to shore up the Tigers' bullpen? Unfortunately, not a whole lot any more. But potential for improvement is on the way, as Al Alburquerque draws nearer to the end of his rehab assignment, and everyone's favorite pitching prospect (now that everyone's other favorite pitching prospect has been traded) should see his MLB debut this year.

Those still won't help Joaquin Benoit keep the ball in the park or Jose Valverde stop issuing baserunners. But at least it's something, right?

So go check out my full column in The News. I'm sure it makes a lot more sense than this post.