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Detroit Tigers Links: Joe Nathan is ready to be nasty & Justin Verlander faces live hitting

Joe Nathan is ready to be nasty as Detroit's closer, Justin Verlander passed his first test against live hitters, and thoughts on baseball's new collision rule.

Kevin C. Cox

Tigers links:

Detroit Tigers notes: Justin Verlander passes first test vs. live hitters
Detroit Free Press, John Lowe

Five weeks before what might be his seventh straight Opening Day starting assignment, Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander moved closer Monday to his delayed first start in exhibition play.

Cruel closer Joe Nathan ready to be nasty for the Tigers
The Detroit News, Lynn Henning

This is Nathan. The man - and the pitcher. Resolute. Confident. Comfortable that he knows what is best for him, and for his team, which is why it required about 30 seconds for him and the Tigers to seal their deal in December.

Jim Leyland's plan: Do what Dave Dombrowski asks, stay out of way of Brad Ausmus, players, Chris Iott

Leyland plans to spend most of the remainder of spring training in Lakeland with the team and expects to take in some Tigers games -- probably while the team is on the road -- during the season.

Brad Ausmus impressed with baserunning as Detroit Tigers roll in spring opener
Detroit Free Press, John Lowe

After Brad Ausmus got a 12-0 win Tuesday in his first game of any kind as Tigers manager, he went out of his way to express his happiness with . . . The hitting? No. The pitching? No.

The comedic stylings of Jim Leyland
Motor City Bengals, Matt Pelc

Ex-Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was in camp for the first time in Spring Training, ahead of Detroit's 12-0 victory over Florida Southern College.

Elsewhere in baseball:

"Bigger Than the Game" Lives Up to its Title
The Hardball Times, Paul Swydan

Itā€™s a story that shows how complex life as a baseball player can be, particularly for an injured player.

White House petition seeks to make Opening Day a national holiday
HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra

Wait, it isn't? No one I know works that day, so I just assumed . . . Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith is heading out on the campaign trail for the next 30 days. His platform? To turn Major League Baseball's Opening Day into a national holiday.

Bacon caps are just the beginning ā€” the Triple-A IronPigs also have bacon pants and scratch-and-sniff bacon T-shirts
Big League Stew, Mike Oz

In our rush to bring you the all-important news about the bacon caps, we missed two other crispy developments from the IronPigs' merchandising department.

New rule on collisions good for the game
SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield

I can hear the old-timers grumbling from their graves.

Tigers tweets:

In case you want to know what Max does in his free time.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bought some Tesla stock at 190, 2 weeks ago. <a href=";src=hash">#MyBad</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) <a href="">February 25, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>šŸŽ¶For it&#39;s one, two, three strikes, you&#39;re out,&#10;At the old ball gamešŸŽ¶ <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) <a href="">February 25, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Ain't she peeeeerty?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>RT if you&#39;re glad <a href=";src=hash">#BaseballIsBack</a>! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Detroit Tigers (@tigers) <a href="">February 25, 2014</a></blockquote>
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