Detroit Tigers: 52-42, 1st Place (1.5 ahead of Cleveland).
Baseball is back!
The Tigers head into Kansas City to kick off the 2nd half of the season (which, with only 68 games remaining, is actually almost 60% over). Which also means we have less than 2 weeks remaining before the July 31 trade deadline. The Tigers, who seem to have lost Octavio Dotel, have jettisoned Jose Valverde, and have watched Bryan Villarreal and Al Alburquerque struggle, would seem to be prime players in the relief pitcher market.
There were murmurings that the Tigers may be pursuing Tim Lincecum: not as a starter, but to do a Smoltz and make a closer out of him. Lincecum’s no-hitter and subsequent praise by the Giants General Manager make it unlikely they will move him anywhere, although if they do, there would be a very short list of teams willing to take on his contract ($22 million this season).
Whatever trade rumors are brewing though, be assured Mad Max will be on top of it all. Scherzer says, somewhat redundantly, that he is a “pretty fanatical fan” of the MLB Trade Rumors web site, which he reads almost every day.
Also of note as the second half of the season begins: it is beginning without Omar Infante. Infante’s injury was originally deemed minor enough that he was not even put on the disabled list: now it is beginning to look increasingly bad (it is not the shin contusion that is the problem, but the accompanying sore ankle). At any rate Infante is still down in Lakeland and will join the team Saturday for a medical re-evaluation.
It’s yesterday’s news now, but the Tigers shone in the All-Star game, which resulted in AL home field advantage for this year’s World Series. Scherzer pitched one perfect inning; Fielder tripled, Cabrera doubled and made some nice plays at third, Peralta singled, and even Torii Hunter, who hit into a DP, contributed by making the AL pre-game speech. Good job, guys!
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Prince Fielder. Prince has finally caught his breath from his All-Star Game triple, and is ready to start the 2nd half with a bang.
Today’s Oh My No Omar Lineup: