KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Gerald Laird is feeling the excitement and anticipation usually reserved for Christmas morning -- and Tony La Russa will be Laird's personal Santa Claus.
Laird and reliever Octavio Dotel, who played for the World Series champion Cardinals last year, are scheduled to receive their championship rings on Sunday, with their former manager coming to Detroit for a special delivery presentation.
"I heard [the ring] is really nice," Laird said. "It's going to be fun."
After retiring as manager of the Cardinals, La Russa has the time to catch up with those players who left the Cardinals after the 2011 season. In addition to Laird and Dotel, the ex-Cards include Albert Pujols with the Angels and Nick Punto with the Red Sox.
"Tony will probably take Albert's ring to Anaheim, Nick's to Boston and me and Dotel [in Detroit]," said Laird. "I can't wait to try it on."
Jackson bringing action to Tigers' offense
KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder rightfully get a lot of attention for the power they bring to the Tigers' lineup.
But leadoff hitter Austin Jackson also deserves a lot of credit for what he is bringing to the offense.
Jackson, who went 1-for-3 with a leadoff homer in Monday's 3-2 victory over the Royals, leads the American League with an on-base percentage of .511. Jackson is tied for first in runs scored (11) and is tied for second in batting average (.405).
"When [Jackson] gets on base, we're a little more exciting than normal," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We're not a real exciting team, to be honest with you. We're more of a 'hit it over the fence' team. But when he gets on, that changes it a little bit."
Fister throws on Monday with no setbacks
KANSAS CITY -- So far, so good for Doug Fister.
The Tigers right-hander, who has been on the disabled list since April 8 with a left costochondral strain in his rib cage, threw 10 fastballs of a mound at Kauffman Stadium on Monday with no setbacks.
"He threw today and felt good," manager Jim Leyland said. "A little stiff, but he felt good. It's just a process."
Nighttime is the right time for Leyland
KANSAS CITY -- After two weeks of exclusive daytime baseball, which limited the effects of harsh weather, the Tigers are settling into a normal routine, with three consecutive night games on the road against the Royals.
It's a routine that best suits manager Jim Leyland.
"As we sit here today, we can consider ourselves fortunate that we played them all [the nine day games]," Leyland said. "We got 'em all in. But I do like night games, getting up in the morning, having coffee, walking around a little bit."
The Tigers will continue their night stretch at home on Thursday and Friday against the Rangers before returning to day baseball on Saturday and Sunday.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.