Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Beilein Can Coach, But Can He Recruit?

Can John Beilein recruit? That will be the bottom line to whether he is successful at Michigan. Bo Ryan is a tactical coach who runs a strict system, but Wisconsin was extremely deep and talented this season. Ryan can recruit. He had deep recruiting ties in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Beilein doesn’t in Michigan nor the Midwest. Ultimately, if Beilein is going to take the Wolverines where they want to go, he will have to get players from the Detroit Public School League. That is where Tom Izzo doesn’t - and probably never will - have a strong hold. Michigan used to, yet now many of the best PSL players are ending up out of state. PSL talent was dotted all over the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. This state - and particularly Detroit - has an abundance of basketball talent. It would be a terrible thing to waste. Getting that talent will make or break Beilein.

Random Thoughts

- Fernando Rodney did get a tough call on Frank Thomas by home plate umpire Rick Reed in the opener, but hitting Thomas and then allowing a single on an 0-2 pitch were inexcusable. Rodney has to be a lot better than that if the Tigers are going to reach the playoffs. After seeing that performance, though, I am not sure he will be. Lets face it, the guy is shaky. If I have a concern right now about the Tigers, it’s their bullpen. Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones can’t do it all. They need help.

- Changing the prep sports seasons in Michigan makes no sense whatsoever. It’s amazing how a few can mess up the lives of so many others for suspect reasons. Girls basketball, which actually got a lot of attention in the fall, will suffer the most because of this.

- Niklas Kronwall is really impressive player, but he does seem destined to always be injured. It’s the price a relatively small defenseman pays playing such a rugged style. Replacing his 20-plus minutes per game along the blue line could prove to be difficult for the Red Wings.


Anonymous Marty said...

Rodney is a lot like Santana. He has a mid 90's fast ball and excelent control of his change-up. The difference is that he doesn't have good control over his fastball, so whenever he gets in trouble he throws nothing but changes. Santana gets in trouble when he relies too much on his change up, usually early in the year, and Rodney has had the same trouble. I hope that Chuck Hernandez can get him to trust his fastball, because when he throws that regularly - even when he isn't throwing it for strikes - he gets people out, because it throws off their timing on the change.

I think he can be a very good pitcher if he ever gets to trust his fastball in tough situations. Last year was the first year where I saw him throw his fastball in any count, and he had the best year of his career. Lets hope that he sees this and goes right back to it the next time he pitches.


10:43 AM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Book, I'm pretty sure that J.B. will be able to recruit the PSL, Metro Detroit and the out-state environs. Why, you may ask yourself, would I hold such confidence in a stranger to our strange land? Because anyone that can bring players into the Mountaineer State, should certainly be able to keep the home grown talent within the state here. Here where family and friends will be able to see them play live and in person.

Regarding the over cited facilities at the U of M, Cazzie Russell and Bill Buntin didn't even get to play at Crisler. These two greats played at Yost Arena for gosh sakes! OK, I'm not so old that I actually got to see them play in college. I do remember Cazzie playing for the Knicks. So you might want to double check my WMD fact I just lobbed out.

Here is a fact that I'm 100% sure of: Eastern Michigan University has one of the finest basketball facilities in the state. Possibly only behind Breslin at MSU for the purpose of watching hoops. The Hurons haven't won squat since they lost Ben Bruan as coach and forsaked their heritage. Heck most of the kids on campus don't even know why the Huron river is named the Huron.

My point is this, if you have the right coach and the right players, you can play anywhere, anytime and win. After all, the rim is 10' off the floor at both ends and there is 94' from baseline to baseline in every gym.

11:47 AM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...


I think it's high time you give a few "props" to your regular bloggers. I scan through quite a few blogs and I think the folks that post here are pretty darn insightful. I agree a lot with what Marty had to say about Rodney. The only thing I will say differently is that he seems to wilt under pressure situations.

I also agree with Andrew on Beilin. The man seems to be a master of the Xs and Os. If he develops a consistently winning team, I don't think he'll have a problem recruiting the kids from Detroit.

12:15 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's not just what he throws, but how he throws it. He falls behind in the count too much with his fastball and then he will groove one. When he gets ahead in the count, sometimes he hangs a changeup or throws a fastball down the middle. He lacks feel for pitching, I guess. His stuff is excellent. He should be very good, but is just average.

4:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
I went to Beilein's press conference today and he said all the right things. He doesn't seem too concerned about the facilities and thinks Crisler's old-school charm may be an advantage. We'll see. We'll also see about recruiting. Maybe he will surprise in that area.

5:00 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree with you about the bloggers, yourself included. It gives me a great chance to interact with people, exchanging opinions. I've learned as much from you as you have me. Responding to the comments is one of the highlights of my day. Also, I was touched when so many people left comments on the blog after my father passed. Thank you.

5:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three years from now, Michigan will pass Michigan State as the top team in the state. This guy can coach.

10:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think he can coach and I was impressed by Beilein Wednesday, but Michigan, in my opinion, is not going to pass MSU anytime soon. State is set up to win deep into the future. The Spartans are where Michigan wants to go.

11:47 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Cheers Pat, "Rodney", well I went to the second game of the season and got to see Rodney go out and "get the bad taste out of his mouth" from the first game- supposedly. Great, get hit like it is BP. As you know it is worse now. Maybe he can pitch again today! LOL! If you can't pitch under pressure, how can you be a reliever? Plus if you can't control your fastball, bad things happen.

It's amazing how many chances someone with a good arm can get.



12:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Good to hear from you again. You make some good points. I am writing my column for Friday's paper about their bullpen. It could be a real problem - and F-Rod is the key.

4:03 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, just read your column on "deep 'pen". "Right on", as we used to say. It didn't take long for the hole in the armor to appear.

And what about last night in KC? I know it was cold, but come on. What's the deal with Mesa? BP on him as well. The Tiger webpage says Mesa was "touched for two runs". I would say he was hit hard and no one was fooled at all. The same batters that Verlander shut down looked like Ted Williams vs. Mesa.

Thanks for the welcome back - I read your blog and the column year round, but don't have the passion for the other sports that I do for baseball.


9:39 AM 

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