Monday Morsels: Puzzling Power Rankings, Fancy Party Favors and 50 Games Over .500 at Home

Hooray! The NBA season is over. Wouldn’t it be great if Detroit had a franchise?

  • The Tigers enter play tonight tied with the Indians for first place in the Central. Why, then, is Cleveland two spots ahead of the Detroit in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings this week? It’s especially puzzling given that the Tigers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, the Indians 1-9. Maybe it’s the .002 point lead the Tribe has in the winning-percentage column. Discuss.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman outlines the managers who could be next in line — or at least sitting on a warm-and-getting-warmer seat. Number 1 is the Nationals’ Jim Riggleman. Number 2? Edwin Rodriguez of the Marlins. And number 3 is Jim Leyland.

    Leyland is likely to make it back, but there are no guarantees. He is in the final year of his contract following a so-so 2010 season, and the expectations were raised by high-cost signings such as Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit. With the White Sox and Twins starting slowly, they have a real shot at the AL Central and sit pretty now at 34-28, only a game behind the upstart Indians. Leyland’s legendary status can’t hurt him, either, but the Tigers free-spending owner Mike Ilitch wants results.

    In case you were curious, Ozzie Guillen in number four.

  • Tonight’s game against the Rays is the 99th time the Tigers have faced them in Tampa Bay’s history. Detroit’s record is 48-50 all-time.
  • Speaking of records, did you know that the Tigers have compiled a 122-72 record at Comerica Park since the start of the 2009 season, a .629 winning percentage?
  • Phil Coke (1-6, 4.11 ERA) is back on the mound for the Tigers tonight and faces the Rays for the second time. He had a no-decision in his start on May 23 and lasted 3.1 innings allowing a pair of hits and one earned run. The Tigers won the game, 6-3. Coke made one start with Triple A Toledo during his injury rehabilitation assignment on June 3 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He did not figure in the decision after allowing three runs in 5.1 innings of work for the Mud Hens.
  • It’s not often I agree with (much less listen to) something the aforementioned Ozzie Guillen says. The White Sox manager says that he thinks Paul Konerko will be elected to the Hall of Fame.

    “He will be in the Hall of Fame,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Sunday. “And by the way, PK did it clean, there’s no doubt he did it the right way.”

    Clearly my opinion is biased because he’s hit 39 career home runs against the Tigers (he’s hit more against only the Indians, 41, and Twins, 42) but if he marches to 400 home runs, he’s probably worthy of Hall discussion, isn’t he?

  • I’ll be attending the Tigers’ finale against the Dodgers next Wednesday in Los Angeles. At this point, if my calculations are correct, I’ll be seeing Brad Penny on the mound. Not my first choice.

Finally, Happy 58th Birthday to native Detroiter and fellow Western Michigan alum Tim Allen.

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