Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: Is Verlander still an ace, Leyland & Zimmer, relievers impressive in Toledo, Torii on Lebron


Is Justin Verlander still an ace? – Sean Heyboer, Bless You Boys

Justin Verlander wasn’t just an ace, he was the ace.

From 2009  to 2012, Justin Verlander won a Cy Young Award (finishing in the top three on two other occasions), an MVP Award, was a four-time All-Star, won 78 games, and was worth 26.1 WAR.

But, there were times during the 2013 season that he appeared like his reign of superiority may be coming to an end. He was being out-pitched by his teammate and soon to be Cy Young recipient Max Scherzer, his fastball velocity was down, his WHIP went up, and he was having trouble pitching late into games

Justin Verlander’s struggles have been well documented and discussed, and there is no denying that the Verlander of today is not the same pitcher he was during the 2012 season. But, having said that, Justin Verlander is the type of pitcher where one game could change everything, just look at what he did in September and the post-season last year.

Competitiveness, horse racing bonded Jim Leyland and Don Zimmer - Tony Paul, Detroit News

For 10 years, they talked every day, sometimes even twice a day — often about Jim Leyland’s Tigers, often about Don Zimmer’s Rays, then about whatever else was on their mind.

Last Wednesday, the phone calls between longtime friends stopped. Zimmer, the colorful manager of the Cubs, Red Sox, Rangers and Padres, had passed away at the age of 83.

“When you saw him, you’d smile. When you saw that round face, you’d smile. He was a character-looking guy,” Leyland told me this week. “But there was really nothing funny about him.

“This guy was a serious baseball guy, a tough competitor.”

No one would dispute that Don Zimmer was a gift to baseball. Widely respected by players, fans, fellow coaches, general managers, and generally anyone who knows anything about baseball, the news of Zim’s death has been tough for the baseball world. Former Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland reminisces about their friendship, and shows us he’s still Jim Leyland in the process.

Detroit Tigers’ Torii Hunter with the perfect rebuttal to LeBron James’ cramps - Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press

This is about as Torii Hunter as Torii Hunter gets.

The veteran Detroit Tigers outfielder joined Jim Rome’s show on Showtime this week and was asked about LeBron James’ early exit from Game 1 of the NBA finals with cramps.

His answer was outstanding. 

Just go watch the video. Torii Hunter will be one of the best baseball personalities on TV when he retires.  Hilarious.

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