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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

COLUMN: There may not be a magical fix for Tigers' closer problems hiding in someone else's back yard

DETROIT — The grass is not always greener in your neighbor’s yard.

No, this is not meant to be a lawn care or hardware store commercial, and no I’m not complaining about my neighbor’s lawn being greener than mine. (My lawn is the best in the neighborhood, rest assured.)

No, this is more about the concept that there are magical fixes for every problem lying just across the lot line on someone else’s property.

Everything is horrendous where you’re at — thanks to the myopia of sports, where every problem HERE seems to blown in to a dilemma 100 times greater than anyone else could possibly have over THERE — and peachy keen everywhere else.

(If only we could get a piece of that Magical Land of Elsewhere to come here. There might be unicorns over there, too. You never know. We should get one.)
When Tigers fans look at the unending mess that the closer’s role has been over the last nine months, understandably they think that it’s a burden completely unique to them.

So there was a huge sigh of relief from those quarters when the team finally took official steps to take Jose Valverde out of that role Thursday afternoon, naming Joaquin Benoit the new No. 1 ninth-inning option. There was an even more tangible relaxing when Valverde was designated for assignment 24 hours later, banishing him at the minimum to the minors — or possibly out of the organization altogether, for the second time in nine months.


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