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April 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm ET
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Return of the King

Well, one thing you can say about Papa Grande’s return to the closer role is; who doesn’t like to see a fat man dancing? Seriously, it’s almost always funny. And the way Valverde does it is especially so. In a sports world where most every athlete gives clipped, prepackaged answers, and where personalities are rarely on display, it is kind of fun to watch his act. Not if you’re an opponent, I’m sure. But if you’re a Tigers fan it adds a little spice to the viewing experience.

As for the win-loss impact, the main thing you can say is that it can’t really get any worse. We all knew going into the season that the Tigers’ bullpen was going to be a work in progress, and we’ve already seen that through the first month of the season. It didn’t take long for the organization to hit the panic button, signing Valverde to a minor league deal a week into the season, and promoting Rondon just three weeks after declaring him unfit to open the season on the big league roster.

What’s more, these are probably just two of what will likely be many moves made to shore up the back end before the season is out. Not that I’m complaining. Relievers are always a volatile commodity. Unless you can stock your bullpen with a handful of consistently effective guys (which there are only about thirty of in all of MLB), going with the revolving door approach while spending your money elsewhere isn’t always the worst idea. Plus, as always, I trust Trader Dave to figure this thing out as the season goes along.

Mocking the draft
Tonight, as I’m sure anyone who has been conscious these past few weeks has heard, is the beginning of the odyssey that is the NFL draft. ESPN, in their continuing effort to alienate anyone who enjoys sports other than the NFL, has spent countless hours featuring draft “experts” Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, allowing them to fill the airwaves with constant updates to their projections, which are sure to be mostly wrong, and won’t pan out for several years anyway.

This is one of the many reasons I enjoy baseball more than football. When the MLB draft comes along we all stop to see who our favorite team drafted, maybe scan the rest of the picks, then wait a few years before making any judgments on the outcome. In the NFL, they start handing out draft grades hours after the process is complete, apparently assured in their ability to tell how the futures of a couple hundred twenty-somethings will pan out.

Nonetheless, I’ve decided to offer my own mock draft for the first ten picks below. Enjoy.

1. Kansas City: Some guy who people have spent way too much time talking about lately.
2. Jacksonville: Who cares? (Seriously, does anyone care who Jacksonville drafts?)
3. Oakland: Some guy who will be arrested for assault and battery within the next 18 months.
4. Philadelphia: Some guy who will be signed to a massive bonus, then booed out of town before he gets a chance to prove himself.
5. Detroit: It doesn’t matter. It’s the Lions. They’ll go 4-12 no matter who they pick.
6. Cleveland: Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)
7. Arizona: Some guy who will be arrested for a DUI within the next 18 months.
8. Buffalo: Mel Kiper’s Hair.
9. New York Jets: Chris Christie (OG – Trenton)
10. Tennessee: Anybody but one of the two guys Mel Kiper and Todd McShay predicted will be taken here.

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