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  • This afternoon I caught the last three innings of the Red Sox-Yankees game from New York. In the bottom of the ninth, with runners on second and third with one out, Pudge Rodriguez pinch hit for shortstop Cody Ransom. Sure out, right? Oh, ye of little faith! Pudge drew a walk. Sure his walk numbers are up this year, but in countless similar situations with the Tigers we saw him swing at that low-and-outside pitch. Jason Giambi came up next and singled in the winning run for the Yanks. Does the Pudge Era, which ended less than a month ago, seem like a distant memory to you too?

  • Carlos Pena continues to dazzle with the Tampa Bay Rays. How did this happen? Seriously. Didn’t the Tigers give him a pressure-free environment (2002-05) in which to thrive? It may have been pressure-free but apparently it wasn’t simple enough.
    Rather than letting your mind get cluttered by internal pressure, just focus on the most basic element of hitting, which is to see the ball, and this is what Pena has been doing — what all the Rays have been doing.

    Rays hitting coach Steve Henderson must be a miracle worker if he can get this level of performance out of the once enigmatic Pena

  • Have you seen the Tigers’ schedule for September? Oh, dear lord. Angels, Twins, White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Royals and Rays. They also have the A’s at Comerica Park for three but that’s not as intimidating as the others. Then again, given how bad Detroit’s playing these days, the A’s could cause trouble. But it’s all relative, isn’t it?

Finally, I received a complimentary issue of the newly refreshed yet not-exciting Sporting News yesterday. Can someone explain to my why Tank Johnson is wearing a Tigers hat during Cowboys Training Camp? According to always-reliable Wikipedia, he has no obvious ties to Detroit.