Friday, December 08, 2006

The Next Great Lions Mistake

When the Lions signed Shaun Rogers to a long-term contract, it seemed, on the surface anyway, to be the right thing to do. He was the one really good player on the Lions defense - a legitimate Pro Bowler with the capacity to become great. The problem is, the Lions did not see beyond the tree. They signed Rogers knowing his work ethic was questionable. They signed him knowing his attitude was sour. They saw all the physical aspects of his game - and reacted predictably. But they did not do what good organizations do. They did not see beyond his talent to what is inside him as a competitor. To keep a player like Rogers motivated, you do not give him a long-term contract. Matt Millen is so poor at judging talent it is incredible. He does not understand the tangible aspect of players, nor the intangibles. Now the Lions are saddled with a big problem for the long-term - Shaun Rogers.

Random thoughts

- Yeah. Great. Barry Bonds is going to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. The nation has not been this happy about a development since Tom Cruise got married. Yippie. Where is my party hat?

- I know Steve Nash had 42 points Thursday night. I know his Phoenix Suns scored a zillion points against the Nets. I still think he is overrated. I just do not see the Suns winning an NBA title playing that kind of basketball. Has there ever been a more lame NBA MVP than Steve Nash? And he has won the award twice. Wow.

- Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best players in the NHL when he tearing down the wing on a two-on-one break, and he plays with the puck as if it is on a string. That was a great goal he scored in overtime Thursday. Problem is, there is never that kind of room during the playoffs - even in the new NHL.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

Pat - I couldnt agree more about S.Rogers. What a disappointment he is.
I wanted to ask you about the reports of a contract extension for Brandon Inge (4yr-$24M). I think that is a great move by the Tigers, especially looking at the current market. Most 3B that would be considered an upgrade get paid $10M and up, and some like Beltre in Seattle are way overpaid period. What do you think?

9:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat..Lions 50 year enigma.... Even the pigeon in a poker game gets lucky once in a while.. Don't know much about Steve Nash but watch out for the Gretsky Syndrome. I agree with you on the Datsyuk take. He may have been better inthe old league as the players were more his size i think. Vinny

9:14 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Chris,
Inge is an up and down player and I'm not sure if he will ever find the consistent level he and the fans are looking for. But I would give him the extension. He does more good in the field than bad and should improve defensively. As a hitter, there are a lot of holes in his swing, but he does have power and athleticism, so I would suspect he will never go back to being a below .200 type of hitter. His attitude is excellent, too, and he is outgoing. He doesn't get hurt. He can catch if you need him. The fans like him. The media likes him. Sometimes, those type of guys are needed on your team. And he came up through the Tigers system. I believe you take care of your own first - if they deserve it.
Caputo

10:21 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Vinny,
I thought they got lucky with Rogers, taking him in the second round and getting elite talent because of an injury. Instead, it's turning out bad.
Caputo

10:22 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

The lions next great mistake. Now there is the more appropriate topic when talking Lions. Yeah I understand about Rogers, but look no further then Millen. That is the biggest mistake the lions made. Keeping him around making more mistakes. Ford not selling his team to someone who gives a rats ass about the franchises and the city that supports it. To me that is the mistake. But as Art Regner says now. I don't care anymore what they do.


I think it is great the tigers are signing Inge. People like him or hate him. Lets face it. Is there really that many better third baseman in the league then Inge. Is there that many third sackers that hit 26 HR's in the 9 whole. I still think he needs a lot of work on his offense as far as being disciplined at the plate, but I think he will only get better as a third baseman. Personally I think it is a great move. Because you don't want to see him leave and enter his prime with another team and i think he is headed into that phase.

Listening to the Big Show yesterday. I have one big concern with the Tigers. To me it is the debth and first base. Is Shelton going to be the guy? I really would like it to be, because of the promise he showed 2 years ago and the first month of the season last year. I would like to see us get good debth on our bench. I don't think it is good at all. You need solid debth to win a world series. A guy like Hillenbrand or a left hander off the bench like Huff wouldn't be so bad. So much can happen in 162 games. I think there are a few names out there that can still help us in the free agent market. I was thinking though can you imagine our team in a couple years especially if out Pitching holds up, and we can sign a Texeria. WoW!


The Pistons looked good last night. I kind of like Dale Davis playing in the middle. WHen the Pistons attack the rim they are as dominant as any team in the league. When they just lounge outside the Arc they stink like against Portland and the bobcats. With Chauncey Banged up, and hunter out. I think flip will now be forced to play the young guys. Which i think will benefit us. You have to play them sometime. I think Joe knows that with the garbage East he has a chance to win it all and I wouldn't be surprised to see him make a move of some kind by the deadline.

11:31 AM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Barry Bonds is a tool. I don't care if he hits 800 home runs ... in my mind, his records will never be legitimate. In my book, Roger Maris is still the single season champ and Hank Aaron will be the champ until someone other than Bonds breaks his mark. Just to prove my point about Bonds being a complete a-hole... the other night, Steve Phillips was trying to get Barry to comment on where he might playing next year. He was walking through the lobby at the hotel where the winter meetings were going on. Instead of stopping and talking to Phillips for a moment, like a human being would do, Barry just keeps walking and smirking and kind of half-answering Phillips. I can't stand that SOB ... if the Tigers would have brought him to town, I wouldn't have watched 1 game this coming season.

As far as Shaun Rogers, didn't he have character issues at Texas when he was in college? At this point, the Lions must get rid of anyone that doesn't step in-line whether that's Rogers, Bly, Jones or whoever. For Marinelli's plan to work, that must happen.

But I will say this, too. The Lions must reach these decisions faster. If Mike Williams is a problem, cut him. If Shaun Rogers is a screw-off, cut him or trade for whatever you can get. The Lions are so far down that getting rid of a few more, no matter how much "talent" they have, will make no difference. They can go 2-14 with or without Shaun Rogers! The most important thing is for the entire organization to be on the same page ... and Matt Millen being handed his walking papers.

12:56 PM 
Blogger mudhenfan said...

As a white male aged 55,
I can vividly remember the
day that Hank Aaron broke
Babe Ruth’s career home run
record. When Barry Bonds
breaks Hanks record, it will
be just another day. A day
that I surely won’t remember.

A note on Mark Teixeira,
he is 26, a gold glover,
a switch hitter with MVP
type stats. The bidding will
start at 100 million and go up
from there. If the Tigers do
enter a bidding war for him,
I hope they don’t finically
mortgage the future of the
franchise.

1:46 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I disagree with folks in here on Rogers. In my mind you can't get rid of the only talent that the lions have especially when there are so many glaring wholes. My mind Rogers, R. Williams, Sims, Redding (I actually thought he developed good for the li-downs) and Bly. Everybody else see you becasue you haven't been worth crap anyways. Yes there are character issues, but at this stage i don't think the lions can salvage the very few talented ones they have.

3:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I can't figure out why the Pistons don't play Dale Davis more. They have been paying him a lot to do nothing. With their four starters and bench players like McDyess, Mohammad and Murray, he would be ideal. Stand near the basket. Guard it. Rebound. Don't do anything stupid with the ball. He fits that role.
Caputo

3:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thinkingman,
I do feel bad for Roger Maris and certainly for Henry Aaron if Bonds passes him. Aaron went through so much to break that record. He truly deserves it.
Caputo

3:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mudhenfan,
I don't think the Tigers will do anything stupid to get another first baseman. And it wouldn't surprise me if Casey is actually their first baseman for a few seasons. He is a better player than a lot of people are giving him credit for. Think he proved that in the postseason.
Caputo

3:35 PM 
Anonymous sportznut said...

Pat,

As DD scours through the majors and minors looking for a potential replacement for Pudge in 2008, something came to mind to me.

Guys like Pudge happen once a generation.....if you're lucky.

Generally speaking, a catcher can either hit OR play great defense, but usually not both. A catcher's number 1 priority is taking care of the pitching staff, and hitting second.

So what about this scenario? Pudge's replacement in 2008 is the very same guy he replaced. That's right, Brandon Inge.

He's close to signing a 4yr/24 mill contract, and he will never be the hitter anyone wants him to be. His defense at third will continue to improve, but he is a tremendous catcher with a great arm already.

He already knows the entire pitching staff, even if he hasn't caught many of them yet.

Its much more acceptable to have a light hitting catcher, then a light hitting 3B.

Moving Inge back behind the plate also would allow a guy like Guillen to move to third, or a trade for an established 3B, or a hot prospect.

The more I think about this, the more it makes a lot of sense to me.

5:08 PM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Pat,

I agree with you about Casey. He's a decent player. If he can put 500 ABs together, I think he'll drive in 90 runs, hit .290 and hit about 15 home runs. Something tells me that injuries will keep him from getting there, however. Hope I'm wrong.

6:27 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Sportznut,
Inge wants to play third base. It will be interesting to find out if catching in the future came up during the negotiations. And I wonder if he could be as productive offensively as a catcher as he is as a third baseman.
Caputo

7:27 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I agree with you the Pistons biggest problem in my mind so far has been Flip. He substitution patterns have been horrible. THe really good coaches seem to know when to plug in guys. Sometimes your starters struggle and that is why you have the pine. You have good talent there. Another thing with the Pistons there are some big names being floated around. We don't need our First Round picks plus we have an extra from orlando. I'd would let Chicago or someone else in the east jump a head of us. I'd say make a deal.

10:11 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat
I agree with you that the red wings were fun to watch. The operative term is were however. I think it was a big mistake to get rid of Shanahan because that left us without enough scoring. That is why we got rid of Paul Coffey.

I think a good scorer aught to have size. Although the penalties are making it easier for the small players to score, size will always be an important factor in hockey. Yes Marcel Dionne was short but he was extremely stocky. Yzerman was not big but really was not that big of a scoring factor in his latter years. Most of the scoring leaders with the wings and all other teams have had some size-Lang, Howe, etc.

Datsuk and Zetterberg are awesome skaters but not prolific goal scorers and never will be. They dont have the size. I played hockey and the bigger players always were ahead of the pack. Lets hope the wings goal tenders dont get overworked.

What are the plans for Chelios and yuri-the guy with the heart problem?

12:52 PM 

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