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MLB Rumor Central: Roy Oswalt To Detroit?

Its been suggested by ESPN and the Detroit Free Press the Tigers might be possible suitors for Roy Oswalt. The question both sources state is whether the Tigers have enough young talent to pull off a deal.

Buster Olney suggests the market for veteran pitchers might be a buyers market, as there are quite a few pitchers expected to be on the block. 

Oswalt is a proven pitcher who is throwing very well this year. The Tigers could use another proven pitcher, and they might actually have some pieces to entice the Astros. 

I think the Tigers would need to offer two top tier talents to get Oswalt. The first two which come to mind are Daniel Schlereth and Ryan Strieby. I think any deal between the Tigers and Astros will include Strieby for two reasons: one, he is very close to being major league ready and two, he has no position in Detroit and will fill a need in Houston. 

Lance Berkman is on the down side of his career, Striby would be able to take over at first base and provide Houston some much needed pop. The Tigers might offer other pitchers, the ones which make the most since to me are: Schlereth, Andy Oliver and Armando Galarraga. A lower tier pitcher(s) will probably be added as well. 

I think using Strieby and one of the above pitchers would be a good place to begin discussions. The Tigers management has always been good about trying to make the Tigers better both now and in the future

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R.I.P. Ernie Harwell: You’ve Earned It

On Tuesday, one of the greatest baseball announcers of all time past away. Ernie Harwell, the voice of Tigers baseball, died at the age of 92. 

As a lifelong Tigers fan, I have associated Harwell’s voice with baseball since my early childhood. Harwell called games for the Tigers for 42 years. Every time I see a home run, I remember Ernie’s “and its loooonnng gone!” or his, “two for the price of one,” every time the Tigers would turn a double play.

Ernie was far more than just a great play-by-play announcer.

The Tigers have done a marvelous job honoring Ernie. Over 10,000 people filed by his casket at Comerica Park on Wednesday.

Ernie’s legacy will be his kindness and gentleness; the gracious way he interacted with fans. 

Until the day he died, Ernie had been an example of what is good in sports. He was passionate about his sport, he loved his family and his God.

It seemed Ernie always had his priorities right, and had the balance in his life that we all look for. He faced death with the calmness and confidence he exhibited during his life. 

The world has lost a caring, loving gentleman. Ernie will be missed, and can never be replaced. Rest in peace Ernie, you’ve earned it.

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Detroit Tigers: Is The D-Train Back on Track?

Dontrelle Willis pitched arguably his best game for the Detroit Tigers Thursday night, earning his first victory since May of 2009.

This is only Willis’s second victory since arriving in the Miguel Cabrera trade and signing a three year extension.

Willis has struggled since coming to the American league. This is a step in the right direction for Willis who is still a fairly young pitcher at 28-years-old. Its easy to forget Willis has pitched in the world series (2003,) won rookie of the year, and won more than 20 games in a year (2005.)

Willis is extremely important for the Tigers if they are going to be able to contend with the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox for the central division title this year.

Willis is pitching this year instead of throwing. He has a 1.25 K/BB far better than the last two years (.61 and .51) and his WHIP is a respectable 1.54. 

Willis still needs to work on his control and cutting down on the free passes, but he is pitching like he is capable of winning 10-12 games this year assuming the Tigers provide enough offense for him.

The game against the Twins saw Willis strike out six in six innings of work. Willis has never been a big strike out pitcher. In 2005 when he had his best year going 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA Willis only struck out 170 in 236.1 innings. Willis needs to force batters to put the ball in play and rely on his defense.

Its early but so far it appears the D-Train is getting back on the right track. He has given the Tigers a couple of quality starts and is showing he is ready to be a contributor at the major league level again.

For the Tigers and Willis’s sake lets hope so.

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