Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This Is Not A Real Rivalry

There was an article on the cover of The Oakland Press sports section that caught my eye. It was not about Chris Webber, either. It was about the Red Wings and Nashville and whether they are really rivals. In the “new” NHL, they absolutely should be. Nashville has an excellent team and leads the division. The two teams play each other eight times. The Red Wings, typically strong, are not far behind. They play tonight (Wednesday) at Joe Louis Arena. Yet, there is little buzz about the game. It points out the folly of the “new” NHL as it relates to the schedule. Unless the Red Wings and Preds play an epic series or two during the playoffs, they will not be considered rivals. I cannot help but hope that the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference in the future. It is just so much more interesting when they play teams from the Eastern Conference. It is not that I do not appreciate what Nashville has accomplished. The Preds are really good, but the rivalry seems forced and contrived, and as much as I would like to, I am having trouble buying into it. Sorry.

Random Thoughts

- As long-time readers of this blog know, I have always thought that Omar Infante has enormous potential as a player. I just wonder if he will ever get the chance to display it as long Jim Leyland is his manager.

- Signing day is not too far down the road for college football programs. I hear Michigan State is not doing too well in recruiting and will definitely finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten. Not a good sign. But it is not surprising. The Spartans football program is really on the back burner in the mind of the public and, evidently, recruits.

- I do not understand why Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson still have so much appeal to clubs. Both used to throw in the high 90s. Now both throw in the low 90s. Both are well into their 40s. Neither is close to being the same pitcher they used to be. Clemens got a million dollars per start last season and will likely get that much this season. That is insane.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, Pat. Chris Webber is hitting the Palace hardwood tonight and you're grumbling about Omar Infante?!

6:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marlinfan,
I was at the game. I wrote my column about Webber. It doesn't make sense to me to write my column and blog entry on the same subject.
Caputo

12:12 AM 
Blogger mudhenfan said...

Pat,

I tend to agree that Infante has a huge
upside. However I wonder what the
other GM’s in baseball think of his
potential. Here is a young guy who
can play both short and second
capably. He has pop in his bat and
can hit for a respectable average.

So why aren’t the Tigers receiving
trade offers that they can’t refuse
with Infante as the principle player?

Clemens and Johnson. If I had to
give the ball to a pitcher in game 7
of the world series, it sure wouldn’t
be either of them. They are way down
on my list of dominate pitchers.
But then again, if you’re an “inning
eater”, your worth at least 5-6 million
in today's market.

Tiger pitchers report in less a one
month!

1:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, you forgot the important numbers when it comes to Roger Clemens: 2.30 ERA last season, an average of a 1.50 ERA over the last 7 years. He clearly can still throw the ball. Apparently, if a pitcher who used to throw in the high 90's and doesn't anymore they're nothing? Not if they are smart. And I believe Clemens to be one of the smartest pitchers baseball has ever seen. THAT is why teams still focus on him. And even though I don't really like Randy Johnson all that much, and people constantly complained about him last season, the guy still won 17 games. Granted, being on the Yankees certainly helped that total, be he may have had a little to do with it, eh?

8:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mudhenfan,
I wonder, too, about other GMs. Do they look at him as an every day player? He may just be somebody I think is better than baseball people do.
Caputo

8:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
You make some great points about Clemens statistically. I agree with your premise except for one thing. He averaged less than six innings per start last season. Not too good for only pitching 19 games. But he was very good. Johnson isn't nearly as good.
Caputo

8:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, you're dead-on when you say that Clemens' and Johnson's best days are in their rear-view. I would like to see either one in a Tigers' pitching-coaches uniform, though.

12:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that you "hear" MSU has a bad recruiting class shows just how uninformed your opinion is. The bottom line is that MSU will end up escaping that one hellish season last year with a lame duck coach with a very respectable class ranked in the 40's nationally. Get your facts straight caputo before you bring that nonsense on here. It would help if you knew what you were talking about, but it doesnt look like thats a concern of yours unfortunately.

2:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
The "40s nationally" being good at any time for Michigan State only points to how far the program has plunged. Maybe I have greater expectations for the Spartans than you do.
Caputo

6:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Archemoros,
The Tigers do not need to overpay for the likes the Johnson or Clemens because they have what everybody else in baseball wants at this point - very good, young starting pitching.
Caputo

6:09 PM 
Anonymous Tom Mohan said...

If Dantonio impresses next season that will help matters.

11:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tom Mohan,
I agree. That will be especially true if they can knock off one of the big three - Michigan, Ohio State or Notre Dame. They only play U-M at home, though, and also Wisconsin on the road.
Caputo

2:27 PM 
Anonymous David said...

"As long-time readers of this blog know, I have always thought that Omar Infante has enormous potential as a player. I just wonder if he will ever get the chance to display it as long Jim Leyland is his manager."

Not in '07 unless Guillen or Polanco or heaven forbid both go down. I agree, he is a quality and underrated middle infielder. But how long do you give a guy on a Major League roster before you stop talking about potential. 2010-2012 project to be his peak in his career, if they can hold onto him until then (Polanco and Guillen will both be 35), he could post a .900 OPS.

Other thoughts, I am probably the only person in the world who things that Mike Maroth could CONTEND for the CY Young award. Anyone else see him posting a 18-8 record with a 3.10 ERA next year?

11:10 PM 
Anonymous David said...

"As long-time readers of this blog know, I have always thought that Omar Infante has enormous potential as a player. I just wonder if he will ever get the chance to display it as long Jim Leyland is his manager."

Not in '07 unless Guillen or Polanco or heaven forbid both go down. I agree, he is a quality and underrated middle infielder. But how long do you give a guy on a Major League roster before you stop talking about potential. 2010-2012 project to be his peak in his career, if they can hold onto him until then (Polanco and Guillen will both be 35), he could post a .900 OPS.

Other thoughts, I am probably the only person in the world who things that Mike Maroth could CONTEND for the CY Young award. Anyone else see him posting a 18-8 record with a 3.10 ERA next year?

11:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

David,
I never sell Mike Maroth short. He is the ultimate competitor, but I seriously doubt he will be able to post those kind of numbers.
Caputo

10:46 AM 

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