Monday, May 14, 2007

Piston Loss Just A Blip On The Screen

Maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but I can’t imagine they are broken up at The Palace because the Pistons didn’t sweep the Chicago Bulls in four games. Game Five Tuesday night means one more big gate for The Palace - a couple more million dollars for the Pistons to bank. It doesn’t seem like Sunday’s loss was flirting with danger, either. The Pistons should crush the Bulls on Tuesday. Talk to coaches, and they invariably will tell you the same thing: There is no such thing as a good loss. But the Pistons weren’t going to run the table in the playoffs. The loss allows for a little bit of concern, and some regrouping. It’s the elixir, if you will, for overconfidence. There is one tangible concern, however. It is the performance of Chris Webber. He didn’t have a point and gathered just one rebound Sunday. He must play better if the Pistons are going to take a run at the NBA title. Antonio McDyess is a good player, but fits the sixth man role better than anything else for the Pistons. The last thing the Pistons need is for Webber to be so ineffective that McDyess goes into the starting lineup.

Random thoughts

- We’ll know a lot more about the Tigers in a couple weeks. Boston is a very difficult place to play, emotions will be running high for the St. Louis series, the Angels are very strong and Cleveland has emerged as the Tigers’ primary rival, so far anyway, in the American League Central.

- People scoffed when I picked Utah as a darkhorse in the NBA playoffs, but the Jazz seemed headed to the final four. The reason I feel the Jazz are better than most think is point guard Deron Williams. He reminds me of Chauncey Billups in that he is more strong and big than quick and fast. He also shoots the ball exceptionally well.

- I absolutely feel alcohol should be banned from every clubhouse in the major leagues. Nor do I feel it should be served on team flights.

- I am not sure if Virgil Vazguez did enough Sunday to merit a second start. The Tigers should look elsewhere in their system for the next start in that spot. Zach Miner has not pitched will for Toledo, but I still like Dallas Trahern at Erie. Oh, and what about Wilfredo Ledezma getting a spot start now and then. How much can that hurt?

- How about Oakland County with representatives in Sports Illustrated’s "Faces In The Crowd" back-to-back weeks. Birmingham Brother Rice lacrosse player Colin David made it one week, Oakland University baseball Ryan Heath the next.


Blogger Rick said...

If alcohol were banned on team flights, would Placido be the Tigers second basemen today? It would be interesting to read about the team flights back in the early 2000's ... We get bits and pieces, but things didn't sound so good. These being grown men, they should be able to make appropriate choices. I'd still like the rundown on what "the convict" did to warrant getting shipped to Philly the next day ...

9:48 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I honestly don't know the details of what happened. I did, however, see Urbina interact a lot with his teammates and he was odd, to say the least. He did seem to be a trouble maker in the clubhouse. You could tell his teammates were taken back by him.

10:27 AM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat The Book,

In this day and age, someone would have to be naive not to be a cynic. One of my favorite lines I read in a Frank and Ernest comic strip, it read, "Life's a game and the fix is in." The Pistons playoff run this spring reminds me of Moses Malone's quote from the 76ers championship run back in '83, "Fo', fo', fo'." C. Webb will rebound, literally, and score. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a double-double tomorrow night.

This will be a merry month of May for the Tigers. I write this after two of the worst consecutive pitching performances by the Tigers staff since maybe the '05 season? The next two starts by Verlander and Maroth will be key. The bullpen is in desparate need of a respite.

If they can finish the month still 10 games over .500, then that will be an accomplishment. Luckily there are series with the Cards and Devil Rays on the schedule. Did I mention that Bonderman needs to get back in the rotation and that the rash of pitching injuries has to quit spreading?

How 'bout that Chelios? What 40 plus year old doesn't love seeing him taking everything the youngbloods dish out and never miss shift. He's the Red Wings version of the "Raging Bull". A knight errant in the mold of Don Quixote. Always fighting the good fight.

12:25 AM 
Anonymous Nick P said...

Hey Book,
Just wanted to comment on last nights Tigs/Sox game. First off, I was really looking forward to Dice and Nate pitching. I thought Nate pitched well, obviously Dice had a very solid game. But I gained a real appreciation for a patient offense. Even though nate seemed to pitch ok, it seemed every inning there was a batter who would have a 10-12 pitch at bat, just keep fouling off pitch after pitch after pitch. I think it's farily obvious that the tigers are going to have to go thru Boston if they want to get back to the World Series. They won't be able to do it with Maroth and Nate, its going to have to be bonderman and verlander to get past this team. Have to have some real heat to get theses guys to make outs. That's why this is a very important start for Verlander. Hopefully we'll get a nice 1 run start out of him although its a lot to ask. If nothing else, we have to get 7 innings out of him, our bullpen is just wiped.

7:23 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
Great stuff...I just have a feeling this will be a rough stretch for the Tigers. It's important they win at least one game in Boston. The Red Sox pitching is much better than it had been. The key is Beckett. He tends to get hurt at odd times. Webber is not looking good. The Pistons should blow them out of the gym tonight. But what about on the road later in the playoffs? What will Webber do when they really need him? It has become a concern. Will he show up then? Chelios is a great competitor and he is putting up a good fight. But there were times Sunday when the Ducks overwhelmed him.

9:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Nick P,
I agree with you about Robertson. He was a lefty in Fenway and did keep them in that game. He is a tough battler. Dice K is pretty good, but there are going to be times when the Tigers get to him. It just wasn't their night. This is where Verlander has to come through. They really need a win in this series and with Bonderman and Rogers out, he has to step up and be the ace. Wonder how he will react?

9:39 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Virgil Vasquez was nervous, and overthrew and kept the ball up in his first start. Most pitchers do that in their first MLB start, so I am not worried about him.

12:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You can't judge guys on one start, but he is a marginal prospect at best. I liked them using him in that spot because he was pitching better than he ever has at the time, but obviously he wasn't up to the task.

1:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Webber's legs are shot. He isn't the same player. It's why Philly paid to get rid of him.

2:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

We'll see. The one thing about Webber is that he does a lot of good things that don't show up in the boxscore. But I agree, he does have to start making a shot or two here and there and grabbing a few more boards.

2:31 PM 

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