Happy birthday to former White Sox farmhand Michael Jordan, who turns 49 years old today. Jordan played one season of Double-A ball with the Birmingham Barons in 1994, hitting .202/.289/.266 in 497 plate appearances. On the strength of those numbers, Jordan was named ESPN's greatest athlete of the 20th century. In hindsight, it's possible ESPN may have also taken Jordan's basketball career into consideration, but you'd have to take that argument up with the gang at MLBTR's new sister site Hoops Rumors.
Here's the latest from around the AL Central…
- Brandon Inge will be given a chance at the Tigers' second base job during Spring Training, manager Jim Leyland told reporters (including John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press). Inge joins Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago in battling for playing time at second. With Miguel Cabrera now playing third, Inge finds himself without a position. Inge has been a strong defensive third baseman throughout his career (a +5.6 UZR/150) but he has never played second during his 14-year professional career.
- Rany Jazayerli thinks the Royals should have acquired at least one more proven starting pitcher this offseason, arguing that such a move could have possibly given Kansas City a shot at the division title.
- Roberto Hernandez (a.k.a. Fausto Carmona) is visiting baseball camps in the Dominican Republic to teach young players not to lie about their identity or true age, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Jorge Brito, Hernandez's agent, didn't say whether these visits were necessary for Hernandez to regain his ability to leave the Dominican and rejoin the Indians.
- MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger gives his thoughts about what the Twins' Opening Day roster could look like.