Here’s some other stuff to read while I finish up the preview of the offense…
The big media outlets have started to release their predictions.
-CBS Sportsline’s panel has the Tigers finishing anywhere from 2nd to 4th in the AL Central. They also have several Tigers on the All AL Central Teams. Pudge, Maggs, and Guillen are first teamers while Infante and Percival are second teamers.
-The ESPN Baseball Tonight Crew has their video preview of the Central. Harold Reynolds likes the Indians to take the division while Kruk likes the Twins. Both mentioned the Tigers as greatly improved and in the mix.
What was refreshing about both of these previews is that the Tigers weren’t just automatically pegged for 4th place. When Baseball Tonight was talking about the AL Central, the 3 teams that were most talked about were the Twins, Indians, and Tigers – not the White Sox. Too many previews I’ve read this year just stick the Tigers in 4th, mostly out of habit. Now the Tigers could very well end up in 4th as I think the middle 3 teams (Sox, Indians, Tigers) are all pretty close.
The Free Press is running a three part story about the rescue of Ugueth Urbina’s mother. The first part is today, and details the actual kidnapping.
Ibis said gently: “I had a message that there’s something wrong going on with your mother.”
Then she told him all she knew. Afterward, Urbina said one thing: Book him a flight to Venezuela.
Tigers catcher Pudge Rodriguez, who often had invited Urbina and other Latin players to his Miami mansion, drove Urbina on the four-hour trip to south Florida with two other teammates: shortstop Carlos Guillen and second baseman Omar Infante, who both grew up in Venezuela and have family there.
They felt for Urbina, but could not help thinking of their families.
The back-up centerfield battle is down to two candidates. DeWayne Wise who is battling a bum wheel was sent to minor league camp. That leaves Alexis Gomez and Nook Logan in the running.
Update:Alexis Gomez was assigned to the minor league camp today. If the Tigers go with 11 pitchers, that most likely means that Thames and Logan will be the final two outfielders.