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Bless You Boys Podcast 120: The Derek Jeter Invitational

This week Big Al and HookSlide talk far too much about Joe Nathan and the bullpen in general, wonder how Jim Leyland would handle the closer situation, complain about All-Star Game coverage and the Home Run Derby, and learn Phil Coke is a really nice guy.


Bless You Boys Podcast 120 was recorded July 20, 2014, has a running time of 60 minutes, and features Al Beaton and HookSlide.

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Bad start to the second half: For better or worse, the Detroit Tigers remain streaky as all Hell. They start the second half by losing three straight to the Indians, including dropping both halves of a Saturday doubleheader. With a win on Sunday, the Tigers avoid a sweep and head west with a 5 1/2 game lead over the Tribe. Losing 3-of-4 is not the end of the world, but it wasn't the start you wanted to see.

Time to replace Joe Nathan? Another bad outing for Nathan in Saturday night's 5-2 loss, giving up three runs in the top of the ninth. It was all the more ironic thanks to Ken Rosenthal reporting earlier in the Fox Sports 1 broadcast the Tigers want to acquire bullpen help (rumors abound about their interest in Joakim Soria and Joaquin Benoit), but they don't want to replace Nathan as their closer. Nathan did bounce back with a 1-2-3 outing on Sunday.

Ausmus not ready for a closer change: When asked about the possibility of demoting Nathan, Ausmus admitted it was a possibility, but he wasn't yet considering it.

"I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime. I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am."

Bullpen struggles: The bullpen's combined numbers in the first two games of the Cleveland series: Seven innings, eight earned runs, 15 hits, five walks. Add Nathan's brutal Saturday night performance and it's eight innings, 11 earned earned runs, 18 hits and seven walks. Of note is Joba Chamberlain didn't pitch in those first two games. At times it feels as if the Tigers have one relief pitcher (Chamberlain) they can truly rely on, while the rest are little more than coin flips ... or worse.

Miguel Cabrera's admission: He tried to backtrack after admitting in a Spanish language interview his lower body was still affected by last season's groin injury and resulting surgery, saying Justin Verlander was having the same issues.

The Derek Jeter Invitational, aka MLB's All-Star Game: Miguel Cabrera hits a two run homer in the first inning, Max Scherzer pitches one inning to get the win, Ian Kinsler played the last few innings, and Victor Martinez showed up to be introduced. But forget about all that. On FOX, it was ALL DEREK JETER, ALL THE DAMN TIME.

The Home Run Derby: It's broken. The derby is too damn long, there's too much Chris Berman, and few true home run hitters take part. Brian Dozier? Really?

Adventures with Phil Coke: Hookslide and Hookslide Jr. have nothing but good things to say about the Tigers' left-hander.

All that, plus tangent galore!

Find the BYB staff on Twitter: @BlessYouBoys, @BigAlBYB, @BYBKurt, @HookSlideBYB, @BYBRob, @Tigerdog_1, @JGoro8, @MelissaHeyboer, @CSlonksnis, @NoRunSupport, @Yooper_IA, @GregEno, @SBNationMLB.

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HookSlide's Detroit Tigers audio clips archive at and Facebook page.

Kurt's Detroit News columns can be found by clicking here.

For more MLB news, check out SBNation's MLB page. For the latest rumors, head to SBNation's MLB Daily Dish.

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