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Let's start with the customary trip around the AL Central. 

The Twins are a bit late on the uptick, as they are just this season retiring Bert Blyleven's number.  If it were a White Sox pitcher, the statue would be a healthy shade of green by the time of induction. As are typical statements after player injury, both Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan feel good recovering from knee surgery and Tommy John surgery, respectively.  Fangraphs recently chronicled the top ten prospects in the Twins system, while Twinkie Town shares some damn optimistic offensive projections with the world.

Meanwhile, the Tigers out of Detroit recently went on a two-day tour of Michigan, their annual Winter Caravan.  If the White Sox did this sort of thing, I might be a bit torn at first; it's a bit lowbrow for a large-market team. I think it passes the Veeck test, though, so I'd probably end up loving it.  Anyway, here's Maggs and Valverde serving food at McDonald's as part of the Caravan. Oh, and Jerry Crasnick wrote a nice column on the revival of the Tigers.   

According to Royals Review, the Royals recently had an outstanding couple of weeks. Rany weighs in on Billy Butler's new contract, while, in relatively old news, Joe Posnanski shares his thoughts about Gil Meche retiring. Are these stories a bit long-winded?  Yes.  Are they worth it?  Yes.    

Oh, Indians. Sigh and sigh.

Alright, enough of that organizational stuff.  Randomness:

The debuts of four Hall-of-Famers, including Luis Aparicio, occurred 20,011 days ago.

Curtis Granderson went to New Zealand this offseason to promote baseball while learning other sports.  This is his wrap of the trip. I'm a fan, despite his status as a Yankee.

Dave Cameron compares Bobby Jenks to Kyle Farnsworth, with a good reaction piece here.

An amusing view on clubhouse chemistry, enhanced by the Rangers' appearance in the World Series last year. 

The Mike Napoli Saga, or how I learned to screw the Angels and love the Rangers. Oh, and on top of that, here's Dave Cameron again in the Wall Street Journal talking about the Angels overpriced outfield.

From Baseball Musings, the idea of hard slotting in the draft.

Via larry and ESPN, Scorecasting is a new book that sheds light on sports cliches of all types.  More (debatable) baseball depth here.  Makes me wonder about the accuracy of Pitch/FX. 

Fangraphs now has a library open for, uh, business.  It exists as a handy reference for your basic sabermetric needs.  Good stuff.

Lastly, as has been done around here lately, Hawk also compares Morel to Crede, while I indulge myself by watching Rios go 5-6 with a walk, 4 RBI and 3 runs scored more than a couple times.