Nightcap on FSN Detroit locally

Ok, here’s the deal on the TV situation for the second game of the doubleheader: It’s on FSN Detroit in Michigan and NW Ohio, and NESN in Boston. It’s also on MLB.TV everywhere else. So one way or another, it should now be available just like any other game. That came as a result of talks with ESPN to waive their exclusivity clause for this one.

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Looks like Raburn got off to a slow start in this his “new season”.

Unless I am mistaken, JD Drew seems to hit JV rather well.

131 . Finally is official JL want to destroy this team

Pitch counts are BS!

Okay, so we finished the week 3-4 and at .500. Didn’t go down the way I would have thought, but the end result is the same. Good enough for survival purposes. If you’re like Lynn Henning and base expectations on schedule, we just finished the tough part at 26-26. “I don’t believe in” the schedule thing, since I think a team either plays well or not, regardless of opponent. “That’s just something for the media to talk about.”
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I would have been satisfied if just you folks in Michigan got the game, and it wasn’t on Extra Innings, but I did see it on MLB.TV, so it was all good. Hope you all are having a nice Memorial Day weekend and hope your bar-b-q is good. Remember the troops and veterans who fought for what they believe in and sometimes what they didn’t believe in. All are defending their country.

Jose Valverde’s 2012 Option
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [May 30 at 10:08am CST]
Just about anything could happen between Memorial Day and the beginning of November, when the Tigers have to decide whether to exercise their $9MM option for Jose Valverde. Injuries, trades and the performance of other Detroit relievers could affect the Tigers’ willingness to commit to another year of Valverde, so consider this an early and imprecise look at the closer’s option.

What’s unlikely to change for the 33-year-old is his profile as a hard-throwing right-hander who strikes lots of people out, allows more than his share of walks and works in and out of jams for saves. Since becoming Arizona’s full-time closer in 2007, that’s essentially what Valverde has offered and it doesn’t figure to change in the next five months.

So far in 2011, Valverde has a 3.52 ERA (3.53 xFIP) with 12 saves, 9.0 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. His fastball has averaged 94 mph and he has a 41.3 % ground ball rate through 23 frames.

Those are respectable numbers, but they’re not enough to command $30MM-plus on the open market, as Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera did last offseason. Valverde compares better with the likes of Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz, who signed two-year deals in the $10-12MM range last year.

Those contracts are worth $5-6MM per season, which makes $9MM seem like a lot for one year of Valverde. Plus, there will be even more selection than usual for teams seeking relief this winter, because there’s a deep class of free agent relievers.

Yet it seems unlikely that the Tigers will shy away from Valverde’s option if they believe he’s the best option for them. GM Dave Dombrowski, who’s in a contract year of his own, has shown that he’s willing to move quickly to secure the players he wants, even if it means spending aggressively.

Last offseason, for example, he signed Joaquin Benoit in mid-November instead of waiting for bargains. That particular deal hasn’t worked out to this point, but it shows that Dombrowski tends to pursue the players he wants, instead of waiting the market out for bargains (Dombrowski also locked Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge and Victor Martinez by Thanksgiving).

There’s no question that $9MM is on the steep side for one season of relief pitching. Plus, the Tigers could potentially obtain draft picks by turning down the option, offering arbitration and allowing Valverde to sign elsewhere. For a team that has given up its share of high draft picks in recent years, collecting an extra pick or two would likely have appeal.

As a result, the Tigers don’t figure to keep Valverde around for $9MM unless they’re convinced in his ability to perform at an elite level in 2012. But if the Tigers decide he’s the person they want in high-leverage situations next year, it’s hard to imagine that an inflated salary would prevent them from keeping their closer for another season.

Boy, all the rose-coloured projections by Leyland and DD in Spring Training look pretty limp right now.. I guess we are all now supposed to get excited (and believe) JL in his waxing enthusiasm for Magllio hitting the baseball well again. Can’t wait for the “new season” with Raburn at 2B and Maggs in RF. That should work.

Sizemore might do just fine as a a 3B man. He gloves the ball pretty well when moving to his left. Moving to his right and doing anything twoward the bag at 2nd seemed problematic to me. I think there is a small consolation for Tiger fans in that there is no way DD will allow JL to insert two .200 hitters in the lineup everyday. Not in a contract year for him. They will go out and they will get an infelder who can hit–I’m pretty sure of that.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy like Pedroia? I sure like the way he plays the game.

Saw an article mentioning Tiger interest in Jose Reyes. I don’t see that happening. Too expensive and it would mean you would have to shift Peralta. I don’t think JP would feel good about that and perhaps his success here is due to the fact he is happy playing short again. He’s pretty good there. Dependable with a very nice accurate arm, generally.

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