Saturday, May 12, 2007

Big Ben's Attitude Hasn't Been What it Was

I suppose when all is said and done and the totality of Ben Wallace’s career is considered, what has happened in this series between the Pistons and Bulls will be glossed over a bit.
He did win a world title with the Pistons. The Bulls are better with him this season than they were before he arrived in Chicago.
But Big Ben’s reputation as the consummate pro has gradually taken hits since his "couldn’t do anything wrong" days with the Pistons. Late for a playoff game? From the team leader, that’s unbelievable. Pouting because he doesn’t like the way his team is playing or the way he is being used? Only familiar doesn’t it? The truth is, the Pistons never would have emerged if it weren’t for Big Ben. Yet, it’s also true they are much better without him. He was about attitude - the best kind. Now that he has developed this propensity to act like a "star" he isn’t nearly as valuable.

Random thoughts

- Look, Virgil Vazquez is a marginal prospect, but he is throwing the ball better than he ever has as a professional. The Tigers are wise to put him in the major leagues to see if he can transform that to success for them with Jeremy Bonderman ailing It’s foolish to have an advanced prospect pitching better than ever and leave it in the minor leagues. It’s another sign the Tigers have become a smart organization.

- If the season stopped right now, should Magglio Ordonez be the American League MVP? I think so. Wonder how he will do in the All Star Game voting. I notice how the many fans who constantly ripped the guy on talk radio last season have been silenced.

- It got very loud at Joe Louis Arena last night. It’s about time. Seems like this is Hockeytown again. The Ducks are pretty good. The Red Wings were fortunate to win that game. The series is long from complete. I like the Buffalo-Ottawa matchup, too. Then again, I admit it, I am hockey freak. Just can’t get enough of it.

- Give credit where credit is due. Flip Saunders definitely has the Pistons ready.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, right on with Ben. Great to see Pistons playing hard all the time. They look unbeatable at times - very veteran attitude to go along with the talent.

Can't wait to see Vazquez Sunday. Talk about throwing a guy right in the mix.

How do the Tigers figure out which minor league players are on which team? (Lakeland, Erie, Toledo) Seems a little strange.

Magglio is really living up to his potential this year. He is MVP now. Tigers 1-6 are a really tough run for a pitcher- and 7-8-9 are not a gimme either. Fun to watch!

Cheers!
Danny

2:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Danny,
It has to do with a combination of age and experience. Vazquez has been around for awhile, so he'd have to pitch at Triple-A or be released at some points. Triple-A is mostly for minor league veterans with just a few prospects. Double-A is where the advanced prospects are. The best players often play a full season at Double-A, but usually not a full season at Triple-A. Low A-ball (West Michigan) is for young kids breaking in or who survived the short-season teams the year before. High A-ball (Lakeland) is the next level up from that. The Gulf Coast league (Lakeland) is mostly first-year high school players and Latin American youngsters. The New York Penn League (Oneonta) is mostly college players drafted that year and kids from the Gulf Coast League the year before who aren't quite ready for West Michigan.
Caputo

5:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,
You have changed your tune on Ben. You got on the fans for booing him during the regular season.

5:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I did, but it was because you can't take away his importance to the Pistons franchise. No Big Ben, no championship in 2004 and those other marvelous seasons. It's just he has become egotistical lately.
Caputo

5:14 PM 

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