Monday, August 21, 2006

Lions need to be better than that

They say the third preseason game is the most important because it is, in essence, the final dress rehearsal for the regular season. So the Lions better hope they play better this Friday in Oakland than they did last Friday in Cleveland. They forced some turnovers and kicked some field goals as a result of those turnovers. Otherwise, it was not a good performance in any way. It was particularly disturbing the way they could not stop the run. The Lions have some serious issues at linebacker. Somehow the injured Boss Bailey coming to the rescue as a middle linebacker is not exactly comforting. It is understood he has speed and covers ground defending the pass. But he is also thin - almost with the build of safety - and is easily engulfed by blockers. And he does not tackle well and is often hurt. The Lions could not run the ball, pointing out a lack of progress from their offensive line. They also did not throw the ball enough to wide receiver Mike Williams. He has made two nice catches, one in each of their preseason games. Yet, they have not thrown the ball his way hardly at all and he is still buried down the depth chart when he is clearly a better talent than any other receiver they have with the exception of Roy Williams. The least they can do is test Williams this preseason. It is surprising - and disappointing - the Lions have chosen not to. As for Charles Rogers, the Lions need to end this charade. Either cut him or make him part of their plans. Keeping him in such a vague position is not only hurting Rogers, but the team collectively because he has become a distraction.

Random thoughts

- What is a safer assumption: Jason Hanson making an extra point attempt or Tiger Woods winning a major golf tournament when he enters the final round with a lead? Both seem about as "automatic" as can be.

- Just when it seems like Jeremy Bonderman has turned the corner and become a truly elite pitcher, he turns in a stinko performance like Sunday. Adding salt to the wound is that the Tigers never needed him more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Book,
Like to hear your thoughts on the perez trade. When I heard of the deal, I thought it was a nice little move, well done by Dombrowski. Looking at Neifi's stats, I'm not so sure, infante looks like a superior player now. They have similar stats, but infante has about 100 less ABs this year. How do you expect this to play out? I think Infante should keep 2B for the time being, with Perez there as additional depth, but I don't think you just hand over 2B. My other question about this trade, is down the road. Pudge is almost 35, with 1 year left on his tigers deal (i think). It seems trading our top catching prospect is a somewhat suspect move. I'm not necessarily going to take Dombrowski to task for it, because with a legit shot at a run this year, you have to do it. But how do you see the tigs catching shaping up over the next couple years. While for the most part pudge has been good here, I'm very leary of resigning a 35 year old catcher who will most likely want a multi year deal. Is there another prospect who might be ready in 2008, do you see us going outside the organization, maybe move inge back to catcher?

7:57 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow up for you Pat,
I'm worried about 2 players, and I'd like to see two big lineup changes made:
Move both Granderson and mags towards the bottom of the lineup. Both are having good years, but since the break, they both have OBP under .300 and 1 HR each.
Put Guillen in leadoff, followed by Pudge, monroe, DY, inge, mags, granderson, casey, infante

I just don't think you can keep mags and granderson at the top of the lineup right now.

9:54 AM 
Blogger J.T said...

What are your thoughts on Ernie Sims as of late? He seems to have been playing very well in both the preseason games, but doesn't seem to be the clear cut starter at weakside linebacker. Is this just a ploy by Marinelli, starting Alex Lewis instead, or is Lewis seriously the best choice?

10:22 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

nick p,
i liked the trade a lot from the standpoint perez is a much better player than ramon santiago. you might be right about infante. i've always thought that he has excellent potential. he has very good tools, but has lacked consistency. there was an error he made the other day that was an example. perez gives jim leyland another viable option. robinson, from i hear, didn't impress them and wasn't considered their catcher of the future. as for the lineup, almost everybody is slumping at once. that makes practical changes difficult to make.

10:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I like sims quickness and he seems to shed blockers pretty well. what i don't think is so good is that he missed a few tackles. maybe that will change as he adjusts to the pace of the nfl. he should definitely start friday in oakland. he is obviously one of their three best linebackers. what are they waiting for? they need to use sims now. they should be getting him ready by playing him with the first team.

10:54 AM 
Blogger Daver said...

Where is the "this is the biggest test of the season" sentiment, Book? LOL. If the Tigers don't take this series, or at the very minimum, split, I think they are in trouble. Not so much the standings and the numbers game. But the question will remain...can they win the games that they HAVE to win? And believe me, they all matter from here on out. Minnesota is tired of playing catch up. Everyone keeps talking CWS and Tigers. But MN has a real chance to take this division, and the Tigers could be left out of the playoffs if they finish behind these two teams. Probable? No. But definitely more possible then it was seeming last month. Another thing that has been irritating me does the Dodgers and Padres game get to be the "Game of the Night" over the arguably best two teams in the entirie Major Leagues.

4:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't too happy about the trade. Perez is a liability at the plate and if he's taking away at bats from Infante, it's a negative. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a late inning defensive replacement, but that's about it. Plus we're on the hook for his salary next year.

I liked your idea on the radio of Craig Counsell a lot better. Did that fall through, or were you just speculating?

4:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

good point about the twins. people counted them out as soon as liriano was hurt, but they have an excellent bullpen and aren't going away. the tigers can still survive if things don't go well this week, but it will be much more difficult.

6:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

i think it is more a case of perez giving them another veteran option at second base than anything to do with how they feel about infante. counsell has been hurt and would not be available yet - and may not have been because the diamondbacks remain playoff contention. they may have wanted to keep him around for depth.

6:40 PM 

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