Sunday, February 18, 2007

About Shecky And Shaq...

When Jim Campbell was president of the Tigers, the running joke was the next person who smiled was going to be ushered from Tiger Stadium by one of the old guys wearing those weird-looking orange uniforms. Baseball was serious business. It was like attending church. Or spending a night in the pokey. They played very little music over the PA system. When the Tigers hit a home run, their elderly organ player would play the "Mexican Hat Dance." Suffice to say when the Tigers hosted the All Star Game in 1971, Wayne Newton wasn’t invited. Heck, they booed Jose Faliciano’s guitar rendition of the national anthem during the ‘68 World Series. At the first Super Bowl in Los Angelos, the big pre-game entertainment was college marching bands and these two guys who dropped onto the field from the sky wearing battery-powered rockets on their backs. It’s not that I clamor for the old days. And I do understand that entertainment and sports are national partners. But Wayne Newton at the NBA All-Star Game? That was ridiculous. I know he is Mr. Las Vegas, but it made about as much sense as having Nathan Lane play Jake LaMotta in a Broadway rendition of "Raging Bull." When he went "Hey, James, this one is for you..." The Godfather of Soul" immediately began spinning around in his casket and screaming, "I don’t feel good..." And was that really Wayne Newton? Or was that some guy wearing a mask? His face could have passed for the entertainment wing of the robbers in "Break Point." I am just glad they spared us Joan Rivers breaking out the one liners, sticking her fingers down her throat and hawking trinkets like she does on QVC. But where was Shecky Greene? David Stern blew it. If "Shaq meets Shecky" isn’t fodder for a reality show, then what is?

Random Thoughts

- It took awhile, but finally Tommy Amaker’s Michigan team showed some competitive character during its victory over Indiana on Saturday. It could spur the Wolverines on during the stretch run.

- The Tigers prospect I have never been able to quite figure out is reliever Eulogio da la Cruz. A right-hander, he has great stuff. On several occasions he has hit triple digits with his fastball. He has the makings of a major league-caliber breaking ball. Yet, his numbers have never been that good. He will be at Toledo this year and could provide the Tigers with a bullpen lift if they need it - especially if Fernando Rodney struggles - this season. But he needs to start dominating minor league hitters first.

- Just my opinion, but the most underrated Lions player of all-time was Larry Hand. The most underrated Piston was the "Man with the Golden Arm" Eddie Miles. The most underrated Red Wing was and still is Tomas Holmstrom and most underrated Tiger was Auerlio Lopez. Willie Hernandez got all the credit, but without Senior Smoke setting him up, 1984 doesn’t happen.


Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Let's go off-topic just a bit and talk about Dmitri Young. I find his recent comments about the Tigers to be absolutely ridiculous. Didn't support him? Most teams would have cut his ass long before the Tigers did. The truth is they gave him an opportunity to come back and perform. The fact is he played poorly and, although I can't say for sure, was mostly likely was a cancer in the clubhouse. He deserved exactly what he got.

I'm sick to death of hearing the "I represented" card, too. Acting like a professional and treating people with respect, because you happen to be a MLB player, doesn't earn you special favors. It's what you SHOULD be friggin doing anyway.

So, Dmitri, SHUT UP and just play ball (if you still can).

12:46 PM 
Blogger mudhenfan said...


Regarding Eulogio de la Cruz, what concerns
me is his physical stature. At 5’11”, 160, he doesn’t
have an awful lot of body weight to help propel his
high 90’s fastball. His biggest challenge seems to be
the ability to throw strikes. Like Andrew Miller, Eulogio
will need to be able to power pitch with control.

This coming season at Toledo will be an interesting one.
We will be able to see how some of the Tigers young arms
stack up against AAAA players. Nope, not a typo, players
better than AAA but not quite good enough for “the show”.
These guys can and will drive a high 90’s fastball not spotted.

3:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I will talking about D.Y. tonight on my show starting at 6 p.m. on 1270 XYT, The Sports Station and he will be the subject of my blog entry Friday. Guess Jim Leyland really ripped into him today to the beat writers. I think you're final line says a lot.

3:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You sound like a lot of scouts I've talked to throughout the years. They do not like short right-handers. They give short lefties a little more of a break. But what about Pedro Martinez? What is he? About 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9? Height does have a bearing on the plane the ball is thrown upon. It is more flat than it is for a taller pitcher. Still, this guy throws some serious heat. That has to matter.

3:14 PM 

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