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Detroit Tigers links: Nathan, Vizquel and giving Trammell the 1987 MVP

Joe Nathan is the final piece, Gabe Kapler reminiscences about his Tigers days, the passing of the managerial guard and Alan Trammell is the most meritorious player of 1987. These stories and more in today's Afternoon Prowl

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Making a case for Joe Nathan as the final piece of the Tigers' World Series puzzle. Not many in Detroit need convincing.

Nathan could close book on Tigers' title quest
Mike Bauman,

As we speak, there is no shortage of competent closers on the market. These free-agent firemen can be divided into two categories:
1. Joe Nathan.
2. Everybody else.

It's becoming a consensus, Nathan to the Tigers needs to happen.

One deal for every AL team
Jim Bowden, (Insider only)

The Move: Sign Joe Nathan to a two-year, $24 million deal.

There's a media dissenter in the rush to make Nathan a Tiger. The name of said dissenter is one you may find familiar.

Brian Wilson might be better for Tigers than Joe Nathan
Kurt Mensching, The Detroit News

Not only does Detroit need a closer, it also needs a setup man, a left-hander (or two) and probably another middle reliever.

That brings us to what may be the real issue here: By concentrating on getting the big-name closer that comes at a big cost, might the Tigers be cutting into their budget elsewhere, possibly with little extra value to show for it?

Gabe Kapler recalls how his being ribbed as a young player by veterans on the late 90's Tigers made him stronger mentally.  But they didn't cross the line into bullying.

Of bullying and ribbing in baseball
Gabe Kapler, Fox Sports

Awareness goes a long way and the strong voice of a respected leader on a team can influence the rest of the group if things are getting out of hand. In the final days of Tiger Stadium, I’m confident Tony Clark knew just how far to let things escalate, which is why nothing passed the stage of simple discomfort with the team from my rookie season.

Another rave over Brad Ausmus' hiring of Omar Vizquel.

Detroit Tigers Smartly Add Omar Vizquel To Coaching Staff
Brent Smith, Rant Sports

Vizquel made a living off intelligent play and reading other players who were trying to steal. There may be no better guy outside of Rickey Henderson to tell you about the art of running the bases and not just stealing bases but also getting quality leads and how to be as effective a runner as possible.

If the BBWAA awarded just one Cy Young between the two leagues, who wins?

If there were only one CYA: Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer?
Bill Chuck, Gammons Daily

There were 60 votes cast for this year’s Cy Young Awards and 57 first-place votes went to Clayton Kershaw (29) and Max Scherzer (28). Whether you are a traditionalist when it comes to stats, or a Sabrmetrician, you really can’t have significant problems with this year’s winners.

The AFL season ended this week with the team full of Tigers' prospects making the title game. Just like the parent club, they fell short.

Detroit Tigers prospects wrap up Arizona Fall League with loss in title game
Josh Slagter, Mlive

Here's the complete stats for all Detroit prospects in Arizona:
Tyler Collins, OF: .260 (19 for 73), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 16 runs, 15 BB
Devon Travis, 2B: .236 (17 for 72), 2 HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB
Dixon Machado, SS: .158 (6 for 38), 4 RBI, 1 SB
Cory Knebel, RHP: 8.2 IP, 4.15 ERA, 11 K, 3 BB, 4 ER
Tommy Collier, RHP: 14.0 IP, 3 GS, 0.64 ERA, 10 K, 2BB
Kenny Faulk, LHP: 10.1 IP, 6.97 ERA, 11 K, 11 BB
Blaine Hardy, LHP: 2-0, 16 IP, 3.38 ERA 16 K, 5 BB

No matter what the Tigers do personnel-wise, MLBTR believes the Tigers will remain the class of the AL Central.

Offseason Outlook: Detroit Tigers
Steve Adams, MLB Trade Rumors

The Tigers could also use a left-handed reliever. Coke is a non-tender candidate after a brutal 5.40 ERA, and the team already lost Darin Downs on waivers to the Astros. Names like Javier Lopez, J.P. Howell and Boone Logan are all available on the free agent market for lefty relievers.

Don't blame Alex Avila when the opposition runs wild.

The overrated value of catcher's throwing arms
Max Weinstein, Fangraphs

A pitcher who had past success maintaining the running game had more of an impact on the battery’s ability to throw out runners. This leads us to surmise that the pitcher’s success of holding runners on has more influence on CS% than a catcher’s past success in throwing runners out.

Alan Trammell gets his due for his remarkable 1987 season. I'll go to my deathbed believing Trammell was robbed blind by the BBWAA,

Most Meritorious Player: 1987 results
Baseball Think Factory

Congratulations to Alan Trammell for winning his first MMP award. This election set a record for the most players with a first place vote.

Meet the new boss, can't yet say if he's the same as the old boss.

The rise of the middle-aged manager
Chris Jaffe, The Hardball Times

We always think of managers being older sorts. Someone in their 40s tends to sound young, and anyone in his early 40s seems really young. But rookie managers should be young, and a lot of the best-regarded potential managers start in their early 40s.

Look at some of our current managers. Braves boss Fredi Gonzalez filled out his first big league lineup card at age 41, as did Yankee skipper Girardi. Going back a bit further, Bruce Bochy was just 40 when he became a skipper. This still happens now—Mike Matheny was a 41-year-old rookie in 2011—but the guys just hired now are a bit older.

Of the new managers, just two are younger than 50, and one of the other two—Washington’s Williams—will turn 48 later this month. Ausmus, who will turn 45 next April, is the baby of the group.

More Roars

Ausmus’ coaching picks put Tigers on cutting edge

Joe Nathan being recruited by Torii Hunter

Offseason target: Andre Ethier | More possibilities

2013 yearbook | Jhonny Peralta

Essay: Jim Leyland’s legacy in Detroit

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