Dec 31, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of the rink before the Alumni Showdown between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the Winter Classic at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: Snomerica Park, Don Kelly's increased role & the triumphant return of Gumtime


Snow won’t keep Comerica Park from being ready for Opening Day – George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

Despite another snowstorm that hit the region Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers expect their new field at Comerica Park to be ready for the season opener against the Kansas City Royals on March 31.

Metro Detroit has been hit by near-record snowfall, which means the grounds crew at Comerica Park has had some snow-removal duties while preparing for next week’s shipment of Kentucky bluegrass.

“I know there’s a lot of angst,” said Michigan State University turfgrass specialist David Gilstrap, PhD, but he explained this turf isn’t like what is in the average homeowner’s front lawn. “This is an engineered sand. It’s coarse. There’s a lot of openings for air and water to move.”

Worrying about things like this highlights the absurdity of opening a baseball season in March in cold weather cities. There are plenty of stadiums with roofs and warm weather cities for baseball to start the season. They tried this concept briefly in the 1980′s and abandoned it for whatever reason. For instance, the Tigers play the Royals for the bazzilionth time on Opening Day. Why not start in Kansas City?

Kelly could play his way into increased role – Jason Beck, MLB.com

Don Kelly spent years of his Tigers tenure with the reputation as a Jim Leyland favorite. It’s a new era of leadership in Detroit these days, but Kelly seems to be making some of the same impressions on new manager Brad Ausmus.

“The thing I didn’t know about Don Kelly is, one, he’s got some baseball savvy to him,” Ausmus said Thursday. “He knows what he’s doing on the bases. We talked about his versatility, but I don’t know that I realized what type of outfielder he really was and what type of arm he had.

Oh boy. Just when the Leyland haters thought they were rid of the “old man” and his bromance with Donny baseball. #FireAusmus? Too soon?

2014 over/unders: Detroit TigersMatt Snyder CBS Sports

Wins: 90

Finish in AL Central: 1.5

Postseason series wins: 1.5

Number of combined wins for Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez: 45

Number of rate stats (AVG/OBP/SLG) in which Miguel Cabrera leads the AL: 1.5

Major individual awards (MVP, Cy, ROY, MGR): 1.5

Additional “controversies” between Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 0.5

Joe Nathan saves: 38

The most interesting stat on here is postseason wins over/under: 1.5–which hits on exactly what the Tigers did last year (series win over Oakland, win two games but lose series to Boston). This can be taken as Vegas not thinking Detroit has improved (or gotten worse). Which is good since they were considered strong World Series contenders last year too.

Detroit Tigers bring lefty Nate Robertson back on Triple-A contract – Anthony Fenech, Free Press

The Tigers announced they signed left-hander Nate Robertson to a Triple-A contract. Robertson, 36, played all but two games of his nine-year big league career with the two teams on the field at Joker Marchant Stadium. The deal was completed four days ago, the team said.

Bad couple of days for Tigers fans prone to overreaction. First Wil Ledezma and now Nate Robertson–and Don Kelly could be playing more. The truth is Ledezma and Robertson are likely filling holes in Toledo and don’t figure in the Tigers’ big league plans. But it really seems like someone’s been trolling Tigers fan recently, no?

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