Craig Calcaterra

DETROIT, MI - JULY 20: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after making the final out of the sixth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 20, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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The Tigers scored four runs in a three-game series against the Twins

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When people ask me if I think the Indians will hold on in the AL Central, I’ve taken to saying “heck yeah.” The Royals are good but have a lot of injuries and a pretty decent-sized hold to dig out of while down several key players. The Tigers are closer and healthier, but then they Tigers-it-all-up like they just did against the Twins.

Justin Verlander pitched fantastically against Minnesota today, allowing one run over eight innings and striking out nine. The Tigers lost, however, because (a) they could do nothing offensively against the worst pitching staff in baseball; and (b) their closer, Francisco Rodriguez, gave up three runs on two homers in two-thirds of an inning.

In all, the Tigers scored only four runs in dropping two of three to the Twins, who allow a league-worst 5.2 runs per game. Only Colorado and Cincinnati are worse at preventing runs than the Twins are, but the Tigers couldn’t figure them out.

On paper Detroit has a pretty good offense. It has the tendency of calling in sick in bunches, however. It’s just an inconsistent club. For that reason, I’m feeling pretty good about the Indians these days.

Dodgers starter Alex Wood to have elbow surgery

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21:  Alex Wood #57 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 21, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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The latest from the intensive care unit that is the Dodgers pitching staff: Alex Wood will undergo arthroscopic elbow debridement surgery today and will miss the next eight weeks.

Wood hasn’t pitched since the end of May, but was on his way back. He was facing live hitters and was on the verge of beginning a rehab assignment, but not anymore. The recovery time puts his return at mid-to-late September which, if you’re a betting man, likely ends his season. If it does, he’ll finish with a line of 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA, 62 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56.1 innings pitched.

Kansas and Missouri fight over who can claim the Royals at the Republican convention

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19:  Delegates hold signs that read "Trump Digs Coal" on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
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My favorite part of the big political conventions is when each state, as is custom, gives a little spiel about how amazing their state is and why just before it names its nominee. For example, Kentucky talks about how all the great bourbon comes from Kentucky. Michigan talks up the auto industry and the great lakes. Ohio, well, I’m not sure what Ohio says, but I’m sure it has something to do with how everyone lives here at some point but then moves away for very understandable reasons and they suppose it’s nice enough a place to be from even if it’s rather boring to actually live here.

While other parts of the conventions aren’t so wonderful — maybe I’m in the minority in not being a big fan of party leaders calling for the summary extrajudicial jailing and/or killing of one’s political opponents – but the little state speeches are all show and theater and a little bit of fun.

In their runup to nominating Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention yesterday, the speaker from the Great State of Kansas (they’re always “The Great State of [whatever]”) called Kansas “home of the greatest fans of the reigning World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals.” That rankled the Missouri delegation, who said, “Kansas, I love you, but Missouri is the home to the World Series champion Kansas City Royals.”

Like so much else at a political convention, this little dispute involved people speaking past one another in an effort to make the point they wanted to make while not really listening to the other side. Maybe the best Royals fans ARE in Kansas! Who is to say?  Meanwhile, we can all agree that they play in Missouri. Like so much in the world of politics, maybe this isn’t actually a dispute!

All I know is that it wasn’t too terribly long ago that the Missouri people probably would’ve let this one go and just talked up their love of the Cardinals, forgetting about the little American League team way over there on the left side of the state. How things have changed.