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Detroit Tigers Links: The importance of the utility man & J.A. Happ gets hit by line drive

Terry Foster argues the importance of the utility man, a fan's guide to the Washington Nationals, and J.A. Happy leaves Tuesday's game on stretcher after being hit by a line drive. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Bob Levey

Tigers links:

Jim Leyland knows value of keeping every Tiger involved
The Detroit News, Terry Foster

Utility man Don Kelly does not have compromising photos of Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

No matter who you play, wins are wins for Tigers
Detroit Free Press, Jamie Samuelsen

This is a very good, very complete team playing at a high level. Will it continue? That remains to be seen.

The Detroit Tigers Fan's Guide to the 2013 Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are the opponents. Unlike Houston, these guys are good at baseball.

Detroit Tigers Thought Experiment: Free-for-all Batting Order
Motor City Bengals, Matt Snyder

A quirky never-going-to-happen (but still fun to think about) rule change was suggested for discussion by a Bill James reader (and brought to my attention on the Tangotiger Blog) pertaining to batting order. Here’s the idea:

Around the AL Central:

Mets 1, White Sox 0 (10 innings): Santiago good, Harvey better, neither win
South Side Sox, Jim Margalus

Baxter single makes third consecutive extra-innings game a losing proposition.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ hit in head by line drive, taken off field on stretcher
NY Daily News

Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive and taken off the field on a stretcher during Toronto’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

Maybe It’s Time We Stop Underrating Pitchers From Asian Countries
FanGraphs Baseball, Dave Cameron

According to Baseball-Reference’s Place of Birth Report, there are 13 major league players currently active who were born in either Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan.

Bud Selig is not gonna kowtow to the IOC to get baseball back into the Olympics
HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra

Good for Bud: Any chance that baseball had to get back in the Olympics for 2020 likely was scuttled when commissioner Bud Selig said Major League Baseball wouldn’t put its season on pause to enable the best players to compete.

A simple request on improving umpires
Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee

It seems to be fashionable to at least acknowledge that umpires have a tough job before you slam them. Okay. Fair enough.

Behold: Bo Jackson’s scouting report from 1985
Big League Stew, David Brown

As much of a megastar as Bo Jackson was in the 1980s and early '90s before a hip injury turned him mortal, he's going to be even bigger in legend as time passes.

We're in a golden age for leadoff hitters
SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield

I don't think I ever got proper credit about being smart about the game. -- Rickey Henderson