Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Subject Is Barry Bonds And The Tigers...

I have this way of putting things at times that I admit is a bit of a copout. When somebody brings up something that is a remote possibility, but I really feel is highly unlikely to occur, I will say, "It’s possible, but not probable." It’s my polite way of saying, "That isn’t going to happen."
And it was in that situation I found myself Tuesday night as I hosted my radio show. The subject was Barry Bonds. He cleared waivers. The thought of him becoming a Tiger was raised. The phone lines lit up with "get Barry" calls
"Well, it’s possible, but not probable," I said.
People are enamored with big names. And Bonds is the biggest name in the game. There is also strong suspicion he is a cheat, and he is beyond difficult in terms of his personality. People around here generally couldn’t stand the guy, but as soon as his name is mentioned for the Tigers, people are, "Get him." A little absurd, perhaps?
I had one call suggesting they release Gary Sheffield and sign Bonds, because the two omne-time friends and workout partners obviously don’t get along after Sheffield’s comments to HBO about Bonds. Releasing Sheffield would force the Tigers to eat $26 million. And Sheffield is considerably younger and has much more athleticism at this stage than Bonds.
Well, here are the facts as I honestly see them:
1. Bonds will turn 44 next season and has noticeably declined.
2. It would cost the Tigers a small fortune to sign him - I’m guessing at the very minimum $15 million for one season.
3. At a park as spacious as Comerica Park, he would only be able to DH.
4. Outfield and DH are actually strengths for the Tigers.
5. Shortstop, catcher and perhaps a veteran starter to replace Kenny Rogers are far more pressing needs for the Tigers
6.. Even if Bonds has a strong relationship with Jim Leyland because of their days together in Pittsburgh, it’d be a risk in the clubhouse.
Yeah, it’s possible, but honestly, I don’t think it will happen - nor do I think it should.

Random Thoughts

- The Hockey News seems to think the Red Wings will live up to their reputation this season. In their preseason magazine, they rate the Wings as the best team in the NHL - but pick Anaheim to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. I can’t wait for hockey to start. I need my hockey fix - badly.

- How can the Tigers have 16 hits and score just three runs? That was a bad loss Tuesday.

- I watched the first half of the Raiders’ third preseason game against St. Louis and they looked good. QB Duante Culpepper scrambled a couple times for first downs and looked sharp passing. Based on what I saw, I would be surprised if he isn’t name starter. And they are strong defensively. The Lions will have their hands full in their season opener in Oakland.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

I whole-heartedly agree with you that signing Bonds makes little to no sense for the Tigers. Maybe if the shoulder injury to Sheffield ends up being carreer ending it might have some merit, but it would still be unlikely.

That was a strange game last night. I have faith that they will have a better outcome through the rest of the road trip though. It was more of a freakish loss than a bad loss. Hopefully their pitching gets a little more consistantly good for the rest of the season.

-Marty

12:45 PM 
Anonymous Tony B said...

Book, is Leyland getting arrogant with his "midas touch" or is he simply desperate? Only one or the other could explain Timo Perez batting third last night. Either way, it completely blew up in his face.

The Tigers scoring just three runs on 16 hits is very hard to do. Check that, hard to do for a tough team. I said it before and I'll say it until they man up and prove me wrong. This is a SOFT, SOFT, team. They care and compete, but they just don't have the extra drive to get them past the adversity. Mags had four hits last night but popped up when they needed a hit the most. And Polanco, he had three hits but grounded into a double play when they could have gotten back into it. Those two are GREAT but it underscores the soft nature of this team in my opinion. Good for Grilli by the way. He was spectacular to keep the game in reach.

Bonds to Detroit is just talk show fodder. I bet Dombrowski would laugh out loud at the suggestion.

1:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, don't rule out the Barry Bonds/Tigers scenerio just yet. There is no guarantee that Shefield will be returning next year. He is currently on the DL with this chronic shoulder pain problem. Bonds is still one of the game's great hitters and he may even find a rebirth being the Tiger's DH. Jim Leyland and Bonds have remained very tight over the years. If Bonds plays next year with a team, other than the Giants, I believe the Tigers would be on top on Barry's wish list.

1:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonds is a shadow of himself in his prime. Whatever team did pursue him would be getting exactly what they deserved. I don't care about the money issue - it's not my money and there's no cap.

What amazed me about Sheffield was how electric he was as a baserunner. What a gift and feel he seems to have for it. He really was, and hopefully will continue to be very soon, a special player.

Did I mention lately that the Lions are a horrible team? Just in case anyone forgot.

Allan

1:42 PM 
Anonymous Chalk said...

Pat,

I know you are a Leyland supporter. I am watching this team crumble in the 2nd half for the 2nd straight year under him. Some things are out of his control, I will concede that. But when I see things like Timo Perez hitting 3rd, I have to wonder how he isn't on the hot seat.

2:41 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
It was, without question, a strange game. They won the other day when they had four hits - and scored five runs. And that was against a much better team. I would be surprised if Sheffleid's injury is career ending. That would be a lot of money for him to walk away from.
Caputo

6:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tony B,
Hitting Perez third was a bad move. I don't understand why he does that type of thing sometimes. And considering Ordonez, the fourth hitter, had four hits, it was a decision that probably cost the Tigers the game. I don't think Leyland is arrogant, but he does have a stubborn streak. But how many successful people don't?
Caputo

6:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
If Sheffield has a serious shoulder injury, I don't see where that means he is done. He would have to leave $26 million on the table to walk away. I don't see that happening.
Caputo

6:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
I agree with you. I was amazed how well Sheffield ran and played in the field. If he is healthy, he is a much better player than Bonds at this point.
Caputo

6:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Chalk,
That is a valid point. The last month or so of last season, he didn't do his best work, either. There have been some curious decisions lately. It's true. I think Leyland is a terrific manager, but I think your points are fair.
Caputo

7:02 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,

You did a great job of putting the Bonds scenario to bed in this post. I heard your show last night and tonight - I am surprised at the support of this Bonds idea.

We are starting to sound like Yankee fans.

And I hope this state of everybody down on Pudge will subside soon. I guess that can only be controlled by Pudge himself.

As I write this we are down 5 nothing.

Baseball man, it's a crazy game. The questions and puzzles seem to have no answers. I think it is time we sacrifice something to the baseball gods. They see disgruntled with the English D.

Here is what I know. Cleveland is playing as Cleveland should be playing. We are slumping. We have a better chance of pulling out of this deep purple haze - this Jimmy Hendrix funk - and winning this division than Cleveland.

Momentum is a fickle variable. It certainly is not a constant.

But the truth is in the outcome. Too bad we can't flip to the last page to see how this friggin saga plays out.

C'mon boys. Get your **** together.

Thanks man, and you need more than an hour on the air. You just get ramped up and you gotta go.

Keep the faith.

9:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
You never want to say never. Sure, it could happen, but seems very unlikely to me. And you're right - it's the Yankees fan type of thing. Bonds the player is a very different these days than Bonds the big name. He doesn't play up to the level of his reputation anymore. Not even close. To be honest with you, I still see him sticking in San Francisco. They just love the guy there. That is not the case anywhere else.
Caputo

10:51 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

Great column on Curtis Granderson in the OP. I am get that same anticipating feeling of something special and magically occurring with him that I used to get when Cecil Fielder came to bat. Except with Curtis it could be at the plate, on the base paths, with the glove or possibly his arm.

I think the "possible not probable" response is a good way to hedge your bets Book. After all, it was possible but not probable that someone could hit a ball over the left field roof at Tiger Stadium. It is possible but not probable that someone hits an inside the park homer. But there isn't anyway in God's green earth that Barry Bonds is wearing the Old English D. Unless he can pitch five strong innings.

Andrew Miller needs some Mudhen seasoning. Unfortunately their season is over in less than a week. Maybe some winter ball? One thing is undeniable, that start tonight was uuggllyy.

Oh, the best game you can name is the good ol' hockey game. I swear I saw a tree with some red leaves among the green ones. Fire up the Zamboni, just make sure that it doesn't catch fire. You can ask the crew at the Novi Ice Arena about that being possible but not probable.

If the Leos start 0-2, then add at least a dozen losses to the Millen regime's legacy. If the Leos start 2-0 they'll still be fortunate to finish with less than double digit losses. I've reached the realization that the only hope for our gladiators and to get rid of Millen is that the owner dies. Since hoping for someone's demise in order to have a winning NFL franchise in the Motor City seems quite morbid I elect to pay the Leos little to no time or thought.

10:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
Andrew Miller is still inexperienced in certain ways of professional baseball. One of them is coming back from injury. I agree that he shouldn't be pitching in the major leagues at this very time, especially in a pennant race. He seems healthy, but he did not respond to being on the D.L. at all. That's not the same pitcher as earlier. That Novi Ice Arena was bizarre. A fire in the middle of the ice. Guess anything can happen.
Caputo

12:21 PM 

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