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Detroit Tigers Links: SB Nation United, Playoff Chases, & Jose Valverde's Ineffectiveness

Jose Valverde hasn't been as effective as he was in 2011, the Tigers have a tougher schedule than you think, and Octavio Dotel wants to pump you up. These stories and more (in splendiferous SB Nation United!) in today's Morning Prowl.

Dave Reginek - Getty Images

AL Central Standings

Chicago 82 72 .532 0 Lost 1
Detroit 82 72 .532 0 Won 2
Kansas City 70 84 .454 12 Lost 3
Minnesota 64 90 .415 18 Lost 1
Cleveland 64 91 .412 18.5 Won 1

(updated 9.25.2012 at 10:26 PM EDT)

Good morning and welcome to the new Bless You Boys! If you're incredibly confused, check out SB Nation's FAQ for a quick tutorial on the changes that have been made. If you're just mildly confused, read Kurt's official welcome post. Otherwise, get comfortable with the new and improved BYB with today's Morning Prowl.

And a quick aside for Melissa and I: any and all constructive feedback about the link format in our new setup is much appreciated.

Tigers have their hands full playing nothing-to-lose Royals and Twins
The Detroit News, Lynn Henning

"The Tigers aren't complaining. In a division with a minimum of heavyweights, they will be asked to beat two teams Leyland's club has beaten in 2012. The Tigers are 7-4 against Kansas City and, despite Sunday's catastrophe, they're 8-7 against the Twins."

30th anniversary: 18th-inning walk-off wild pitch
The Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe
Imagine how angry Chris Perez would have been after this marathon game between the Tigers and Indians.

Detroit Tigers' Jim Leyland defends decision to bring in closer Jose Valverde tied at 1-all
MLive, James Schmehl
Leyland hits the nail on the head when he says that the offense needed to score more runs. I had no problem with him bringing in Valverde at that point.

Octavio Dotel: Tigers 'should be more pumped up' in playoff chase
The Detroit News, Tom Gage
Somewhere, Dotel is in the bullpen with Jose Valverde and Phil Coke doing this.

Miguel Cabrera favorite for MVP, Vegas odds say
Big League Stew, David Brown
Well, that settles it.

Jose Valverde’s Lack of "Stuff" is Concerning Down the Stretch
Motor City Bengals, Matt Snyder

"But Jose Valverde is very clearly not the same pitcher he was a year ago. His strikeout rate is down by over two per nine innings, and he’s not getting the swings-and-misses that he used to."

Around the AL Central:

Will Luke Hochevar have some help next season?
Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
Better question: is Hochevar even good enough to be in Kansas City's rotation next season?

Elsewhere in Baseball:

Josh Hamilton back in Rangers lineup, blames caffeine and sports drinks for vision problems
HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman
Red Bull gives you wings... and horrible vision, apparently.

White Sox Expected To Decline Peavy’s Option
FanGraphs Baseball, J.P. Breen
File this under "things we've known since 2010."

Washington Nationals' Davey Johnson will sit regulars once team clinches
ESPN, Associated Press
Meanwhile, hipster Stephen Strasburg was quoted as saying "I was sitting before we clinched the division."