Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sizemore vs. Granderson: The Debate Has Begun

Sports rivalries can’t be contrived. They just kind of happen. Sometimes they develop because of factors that would have been difficult to foresee. The Tigers and the Indians, for example. I see a rivalry brewing there that may last a number of years. And I see the impetus of the rivalry being the center fielders for each team.
Grady Sizemore or Curtis Granderson - which is the better player? Guess it is the Midwest’s version of Willie, Mickey and The Duke. Or is fast becoming that.
This hit home with me Tuesday as the Tigers, in what was an utterly fascinating game, took sole possession of first place by downing the Indians in a tight game at Cleveland. Sizemore hit a two-run homer off Jeremy Bonderman during the first inning for Cleveland’s only runs. Granderson made a breathtaking diving catch to save the Tigers’ bacon during the late innings.
Sizemore has gotten a lot more hype coming up than Granderson. Everybody has always talked about fast he is, and that Sizemore has power potential. He has been moved out of the leadoff spot to third in the order. I still think the national perception would be that Sizemore is the better player.
I am not so sure about that, though. Sizemore is very good, and is on his way to becoming a great player. But I’d take Granderson. Look at all the triples he has a hit. For a guy who wasn’t supposed to be that fast, he sure runs the bases well and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. His flaws are he doesn’t hit left-handed pitching worth a lick and strikes out too much. But given Granderson’s exceptional work ethic, it wouldn’t surprise me if corrects those problems.
The Tigers have two very good center field prospects - Cameron Maybin and Gorkys Hernandez. Both are faster than Granderson - particularly Hernandez who has truly exceptional speed. But I’d hand the center field job to Granderson right now for 10 years and make those other guys shift position. Center field is kind of a leadership position. Granderson is going to be the Tigers leader deep into the future. When I talked to Maybin at the Future’s Game, he discussed at length how he is following Granderson’s lead.
Not that Sizemore isn’t, but Granderson is the real deal. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has a better career than Sizemore.

Random Thoughts

- I would highly suggest seeing the current edition of "Real Sports" on HBO for two reasons. It provides a true glimpse into why Pacman Jones is so troubled. In his interview with Bryant Gumbel, he takes accountability for nothing. It’s really unbelievable. Also, there is a segment on dogfighting that is, to say the least, disturbing.

- OK, OK...I’ve had enough of Joey Harrington’s whining about how rough it was when he played for the Lions. He finally figured things out by the end, but it was too late. For his first three seasons in a Lions’ uniform, he not only underachieved on the field, but he was arrogant, aloof and clueless about the leadership role of an NFL starting quarterback. Harrington’s biggest enemy in Detroit wasn’t the fans or Dre Bly or Steve Mariucci, it was himself. Bottom line.

- For Michigan and Michigan State to play just one time in a college basketball season just doesn’t seem right.


Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, Tigers and Indians are starting to look like a rivalry for sure. Great game last night even if the Tigers hadn’t won.

It's interesting how the baseball fans are so much different in Cleveland as well. Weird how they were running for the exits after Mag's bomb. Less outwardly intense, more polite and sober - sort of "old school" fans. I've been to the Jake a few times and it is way different than Comerica in the stands. I almost like the fan atmosphere better - but I'm old I guess. At least the fans stay in their seats through the inning! LOL!

Granderson is the real deal. He continues to improve. I like everything about him. He combines his true talent with hard work, humility, and a great attitude. He can only get better.


11:12 AM 
Blogger WiredTiger said...

I think Sizemore has a better track record than Granderson but Grranderson has been the better player this year. He's better on defense and offense. I think you can make the arguement that the only CF better than Granderson this year is Ichiro and it isn't by much.

12:10 PM 
Anonymous lennyw1971 said...

This Sizemore-Granderson debate is a tough one to call. Sizemore has more RBI's, but Grandy has 64 extra-base hits. They both are gold-glove caliber guys. A sidenote to this is that both the Tigers and Tribe like to develop their farm systems, so the next debate may be Maybin vs. Franklin Gutierrez of Cleveland.

Excerpts from the Pacman-Gumbel interview were on the radio last night. This guy has a pure sickness that only a cell can cure. But this coin has two sides because if he won't be paid by the Titans this year, the Titans shouldn't prevent him from making a legal living.

I wish Joey Blueskies well. I hope that he learns to step into the pocket and step into his throws. I'm not sure if a QB can develop heart in his late 20's, but we'll see.

2:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Ohio sports fans are strange. They are beyond obnoxious for football, both Ohio State and the Browns - but especially for OSU. Yet, for baseball, they seem different. Even when they were winning so much in the 1990s and the Jake was sold out every game, they were somewhat calm compared to Tiger fans last season and in '84. Granderson is just an impressive person.

4:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree with those three, and perhaps Torii Hunter, who has a decent year for the Twins. He is still a terrific fielder. I wonder how the Gold Glove voting will go. I wonder Granderson is starting to get noticed nationally.

4:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think the term forPacman is a fry shy of ahappy meal. The guy is not living in reality. I do agree that he should be allowed to wrestle if they aren't paying him to play football.

4:33 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...


Amazing things happen when you cut down your K's!!!

12:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
Yes, it is definitely one of those factors that often turns good players into great ones.

7:34 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, just heard your interview on WXYT-AM regarding Maybin.

Cameron Maybin, cool! Can't wait to see him play. Talent over experience. I like the way they bring him up in Yankee Stadium. Same as Miller.

They need a left fielder. As you said, Thames is not an everyday player. His hamstring is just waiting to pop. I think Monroe is done in Detroit. Too bad, but you can't play him in this pennant race when you have other options.


12:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I just put a new post up about the Tigers and Maybin. I agree about Monroe. Don't know if you can trust him to produce at this point.

12:57 PM 

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