Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bonderman Deal A Dandy

There was a point last season, during the second half, when I must admit I wondered if the Tigers should give Jeremy Bonderman a long-term contract. As good as his fastball is - and the fact he probably has the best slider in the American League - aside, there seemed to be something missing. Too many big innings. He would pitch seven innings and six would be great, but he would give up a lot of runs in that one big inning and lose. Or he would struggle mightily in the first inning. They needed him a couple key starts during the second half - and he did not come through. But that changed during the postseason. He was really good in some pressure-packed games. I do not believe, either, that his problems have been the lack of a third pitch - the conventional thinking. He has a good changeup and a decent forkball (he has thrown both). This is more a mental hump he had to get over about getting out of jams. He seemed to do that during the postseason. And he has made a little more pro gress in that area each season. Bonderman is a tough kid mentally. He gets through the tough times. Given his talent and experience, the four-year, $38 million contract they gave Bonderman was a very good signing by the Tigers.

Random thoughts

- Are the Red Wings really playing Columbus again tonight? Yuck. Is Garry Bettman clueless or what?

- Kalin Lucas from Orchard Lake is the ideal Tom Izzo recruit. Not only is he talented athletically, but he has the attitude to fit the program at Michigan State. He is smart and he is tough - the prototypical MSU player, actually.

- I follow college football as closely as anybody I know, but I do not know anything about Middle Tennessee State. I wonder Phil Steele knows anything about Middle Tennessee State? The Motor City Bowl has to do better than that in the future if it wants to remain a viable entity.

16 Comments:

Blogger mudhenfan said...

Pat,

The Bonderman signing is yet another
dazzling move by Dombrowski. After
seeing what some teams gave mediocre
pitchers, this signing should turn out to
be a bargain.

Let’s not forget that Bonderman was
part of the 2003 staff that was literally
thrown to the wolves. He lost19,
Maroth lost 21, and Cornejo lost 17.
To survive that season is a testimonial
to Bondermans character.

I can remember a young Jack Morris
that more times than not became unraveled
when things didn’t go his way. With time
Bonderman will learn to stay level headed
when the game is at a critical juncture.

I’m hoping that by 2008 or 2009, the Tigers
will have the best starting trio in baseball with
Bonderman, Verlander and Miller. Now
hopefully Dombrowski can sign Robertson
to a long term contract.

3:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only is it a great deal for the Tigers, it's a great deal for Bondo as well. With the graduated pay scale (per year of the contract), Bonderman could set himself up as a big game pitcher with a big game pitcher salary at only 28.

It also seems that any doubts about him could be cleared up in 4 years, a relatively short time. If he doesn't get over that "mental bump" as you described, they won't have to worry that he'll be with them forever, with a bad contract. (i.e. Damion Easley, Fernando Vina, etc.)

4:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice thoughts on bondo. In this hyper-inflated market (created mainly by the cubs/royals) the 38M deal is perfect if not a bargain.

P.S. Please make sure to write about the Ford Field walk-out if it does or does not happen. I unfortunately will not be there but would love to hear about it.

4:02 PM 
Anonymous the jedi said...

Pat,

Totally agree on Kalin Lucas. I'm wondering whether you think MSU hoops will be back at a National Title level as early as next season? Joining Lucas will be two other stud wings in Durrell Summers and Chris Allen. Also redshirt Tom Herzog, a 7 footer, is added to the mix. Huge factor people don't realize is that they have no seniors on this current squad.
Bondo = Horse. Absolute go-to-guy #1 starter. Just think Pat...as great as he pitched in the playoffs...he hasn't reached his peak! It's a bargain deal.

4:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me Bonderman needs a split finger like Jack Morris threw, that breaks down, late, to contrast his slider.I don't notice him throwing a fork ball much at all. His potential is still great. Dave

7:44 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

The bonderman deal was awesome. The Tigers definately have a plan and if you think about it. IF He and a guy like Inge enter their prime and can provide some stability. Boy the tigers are going to be something else. Because I think both are talented players. I am upset the Tigers haven't upgraded the bench a little better. I think there are a couple of quality guys out there that will really help this team. Especially if a guy like Polonco or Casey don't hold up.


I was listening you you and Evil Drew this afternoon. I have to admit you both made good solid points. I love the Pistons. I think they are solid and will remain solid. Though I totally disagree with you about the role players. I think Muhammad is awful. Yes he one a championship with S.A. but trust me it was not because of him. That is why they were in no hurry to bring him back and he was using benoculars at the end of the bench last year. He is a 10th or 11th guy at best always has been. He had one decent year. If flip murray is that disgruntled hear see you, what does he want us to do bench the most consistent guy in the league for him. When the Pistons one the championship they were solid all the way around. ANd there bench was huge. I think you were right on about the coach. To me he still hasn't got that rotation right. I'd really like to see the Pistons make amove. Maybe offer a guy like Muhammad and Flip Murray and maybe a First round pick to Golden State for a Double Double guy in Troy Murphy and maybe DUnleavy Jr. Or maybe even get in the Corey Magette sweepstakes. I think either move along with Dale Davis, Maxiell, McDyess, and Delfino would put this team over the hump. We got guys locked up so we don't need first round picks. Just a thought.

7:54 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Book I would also like to take a moment and just say thinkd for the blog this year. It is pretty good. A lot of people make good statements. some agreeable, some not so agreeable. but either way it shows we have smart sport fans.

Have a happy holidays.

7:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what you are saying. I tend to agree with most of your points. I realize this isnt a part of the article however, I am really bummed out to here that Art Regner was fired from XYT station. I realize I dont understand the inner workings of the station and I dont no the relationship that out to share however, I was very upset to hear the news. Between you and Art I gather all of my praticle sports knowledge it feels like part of that is gone now. Sorry to leave this dribble on your blog. I just hoped that I wasn't the only one with these sentiments.

Thanks

Brandon
Royal Oak
brl1117@yahoo.com

12:35 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mudhenfan,
We have to see a lot more from to know whether he belongs in the same class with Verlander and Bonderman, but it's possible the Tigers have their Hudson, Zito and Mulder in place. And all will be under contract deep into the future.
Caputo

3:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Zenitram,
I agree that it was a solid deal from both sides. It was well thought out by both the Tigers and Bonderman's representatives.
Caputo

3:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I don't know if the walk out will happen, but I am sure we'll have plenty on it, and that I will comment on this blog about it, if it does take place.
Caputo

3:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jedi,
As good as that class is, I do not see it having the same type of impact the one at Ohio State has had this season. It will be interesting to see how they handle the guard situation. It will be Drew Neitzel's senior year.
Caputo

3:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Dave,
He can throw a split-fingered pitch. He used it the second half of the 2004 season with great effectiveness, but switched back to the changeup in 2005. It seems like they don't like pitchers using the splitter for fear it leads to arm problems.
Caputo

4:00 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Thanks for the kind words and thanks for your contribution to the blog. I truly enjoy the interaction.
Caputo

4:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat.--Do you think Bettman hockey is more attractive to the fans? I think the money spent on Bonderman is more acceptable than the whole deal with Sheffield. Vinny

6:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A time to reflect.... this summer, tiger's trade talks. i was driving home from the westside of the state on sunday afternoon and a guy calls promoting a dontrelle willis trade. you ripped the guy for close to an hour. everytime i hear a misinformed caller, it still cracks me up!
Happy New Year!
tbone

8:30 AM 

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