Friday, June 16, 2006

So Far, So fast

It is difficult to believe the Tigers have already won as many games this season as they did all of 2003. It just shows how far the organization has come in a short period of time. It helps they have drafted well. Former scouting director Greg Smith, now a major league scout for the Tigers, deserves credit for a lot of this. Taking Curtis Granderson in the third round and Joel Zumaya in the 10th round were great picks. So, it has turned out, was selecting Justin Verlander second overall in 2004.. Verlander, although he obviously throws hard, compiled just a 21-18 record in college. He was anything but a slam dunk with the second overall pick. General manager Dave Dombrowski has also made some key trades. Jeremy Bonderman for Jeff Weaver worked out very well for the Tigers. Can you imagine how big that deal would have been if Carlos Pena and Franklyn German had panned out? He also traded for Nate Robertson and signed Kenny Rogers as a free agent. That is the heart of the starting staff right there. And the starting rotation is what has transformed the Tigers more than any other element.

Random thoughts

- Dirk Nowitzki has gone from hero to goat for Dallas in the NBA Finals. His missed free throw near the end of the Game 3 seemed to turn the series Miami'’s way. And he could not buy a basket in Game 4 Thursday.

- It does not seem as if the 2-3-2 format the NBA uses for the Finals is fair to the home team. The series would have a much different tone if it were heading back to Dallas for Game 5.

- Yeah. I will watch the USA vs. Italy World Cup Game. I am trying, honestly, to keep an open mind after years of bashing soccer. Then again, I have to admit, I wonder why. Is it just me, or is soccer really that boring?

- The Tigers are not the only team going to younger players with great success. The Dodgers have rallied behind a lineup that consists of often half rookies to vault into the National League West lead. Outfielder Matt Kemp is a potential superstar.

- Does it make you feel any better knowing the teams that knocked the Pistons and the Red Wings out of the playoffs, the Heat and the Oilers, are doing so well in the finals? No. I'm not surprised. It would have been something, eh, if the Pistons and the Red Wings both made the finals at the same time the Tigers had the best record in the American League. Guess we can only dream.


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