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The holidays put a serious cramp in my news-following style. Not sure how too much time results in not enough time, but that’s what happened over the past two weeks.

  • I was bummed out by the passing of Bill Lajoie and began writing a little something … and then realized I’d already written it back in November.

  • Peter Gammons put together a roundup of 10 “overlooked baseball success stories” from the past year and placed at number-three Miguel Cabrera:

    Cabrera is on the outskirts of history. Whatever mistake he made in September 2009, he addressed, and he has now placed in the top five in the MVP race four of the past six seasons. In his eight seasons playing for the Marlins and Tigers, in ballparks that were not exactly built for hitters, he has averaged just under 31 homers and 110 RBIs. His .388 on-base percentage speaks volumes about his growth, and his OPS+ through age 27 is 145. Pujols’ was 167 at that age, Henry Aaron’s 153, Ken Griffey’s 150, Frank Robinson’s 148. That is the air Miguel Cabrera breathes. In his seven full seasons in the Majors, he’s averaged more than 157 games played. He turns 28 on April 18. The next day, Joe Mauer turns 28.

  • So Zach Miner signs with the Royals.

    “There were a few teams that checked in, and the Tigers and the Royals were the most aggressive,” Miner wrote in an e-mail to MLB.com. “But in the end, we just felt like K.C. was going to be a very good opportunity going forward, not only for this year, but for a few years down the road.”

    I can understand the guy wanting a fresh start if he’d had a bad experience in another city, but if the choices are Detroit or Kansas City, how do you choose the latter? I suppose you choose it based on your chances of seeing more action, though I thought Miner had a decent shot at supplanting Armando Galarraga at the backend of the Tigers’ rotation. Maybe not. I thought this quote in Jason Beck‘s story was interesting: “I … loved playing for Jim Leyland.”

    He did? Whenever Leyland came out to the mound when Miner was pitching, it seemed as if Miner wanted to run and hide.

  • Mark Simon at ESPN’s Stats and Info Blog has written a couple of interesting posts on the Tigers’ offseason moves — one here on Joaquin Benoit, another here on Victor Martinez. If you listen to ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast, you’ve no doubt heard Simon from time to time. I enjoy his stuff and, if you haven’t already, recommend you add him to your daily rotation.

It’s almost kickoff time for Michigan State and Michigan. Enjoy the bowl games and have a Happy New Year.