Monday, November 12, 2007

Lions Difficult To Figure Out, But Infante Deal Isn't

To be truthful, I don’t know what to make of the Lions about now. They have won six games, but when they are bad, they are so bad it is impossible to dismiss.
They dropped a stink bomb Sunday in Arizona that wasn’t unlike their performances earlier in the season at Philadelphia and Washington. And both times, they came back nicely with victories. So what do you believe more, the Lions’ past history or their track record this season? I tend to believe their track record this season is more relevant.
It’s going to be more difficult now from a schedule standpoint. The Giants and Packers and their combined 14-4 record are coming up within a span of 10 days. But those games are at home - and the Lions have been a much different team at home compared to the road.
There has been an unexpected flip-flop with the Lions. The offense, considered the strength, is now the concern. The defense, which had been the concern, is now the strength. The Giants have a great pass rush. I don’t see the Lions manhandling them at the line of scrimmage and running the ball all that effectively, either. Brett Favre has been getting most of the ink in Green Bay, but the Packers’ defense is actually the reason they have emerged as dominant force.
The Giants’ Eli Manning and Favre are a cut above the caliber of the quarterbacks the Lions have seen to this point, but both can get a little careless with the ball if pressured. Getting that pressure will be the key. That means getting defensive end Dewayne White back from injury is very important.
One thing is for certain: The mistakes must end. When the Lions have won, they have limited their turnovers and penalties. When they have lost, they haven’t. It’s been very simple.

Random Thoughts

- If the Tigers do, indeed, trade Omar Infante to the Cubs for Jacque Jones, it would be fitting. I’ve always thought he is a talented player with a good upside. But Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski, obviously, don’t feel the same way. Time will tell if the deal comes back to burn the Tigers. At this stage, Jones appears to be little more than a platoon player, a rather expensive upgrade from Timo Perez. Wonder how much input Alan Trammell, on the Cubs’ coaching staff, had on the deal? He was less than enamored with Infante when he was the Tigers manager.

- It’s a great sign for Michigan’s basketball program that freshman Manny Harris is off to a fast start. The Wolverines need a star-caliber player to build around. Early indications are he is that player.

- Look, I know the Blackhawks are better. But come on, how can they continually beat the Red Wings? They seem to be the only team that can. It’s weird.


Blogger Barry said...

Hey, Pat: Unfortunately for Infante it looks like it is a number game and he does make over $1million a year. Both Raburn and Infante are out of options I think. Jones for some reason lost a lot of power last year, wonder why? I guess it be an upgrade from Perez but they should spend some dollars on pitching. Is there any truth that the Ray's Kazmir is available, are the Ray's nuts? He would push Verlander as the Tiger's ace. I would give up a main prospect and other prospects and Nate for him. I like Willis but Kazmir is great.

1:24 PM 
Blogger Teach313 said...

Jones sounds like a 4th outfielder and spot starter hitter. I think are Tigers are hoping that Maybin will be ready next year.

8:57 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

The lions ok I understand they are 6-3 if the season ended today they'd be in the playoffs. Boy though that was a game that was one they blew. I am not upset that they lost. I am more upset that they didn't put any effort forward at the end of the game cause they were in it. Boy how much has Mike Martz play calling cost this team. The Colts had a depleated offensive line, the running game wasn't working, but yet they still got Addai involved. Ever hear of screens or play action passes. I think they will need to incorporate some of that against the Giants cause they will be bringing it. I This maybe the game Kitna doesn't walk out of.

The Jaque Jones trade to me works for both sides. We needed a left handed bat, the tigers obviously didn't want nothing to do with Infante. The Jones for 7 million. Hey the Tigers are desperate for a closer. Outside of renteria the to me the Tigers have improved at all in the Pitching Staff. I still think they should sign Cordero. I'd still like to see them get a starter. even if they bring back Rogers. I justh ope this team isn't done.

On the Pistons front how nice has Jarvis hayes been.

12:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, Jones will cover more ground than Timo Perez, and he can hit for power. He probably is an upgrade from Casey in the line-up, hitting 6th or 7th. Infante might get the chance to play more with the Cubs. Do you think the Tigers should risk a high salary on Kenny Rogers, or should they spent that money on some other free-agent pitcher? Dave

3:24 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I liked your collumn about the Lions. That is so true, they are finally back to where they were before Millen was hired. A playoff contender, but not an upper eschelon type team. He has done an obviously poor job as a GM, and I don't see that changing anytime.


11:46 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

To be honest with you, Infante is a much better player than Raburn, at least in my opinion. But then again, the Tigers never would have been able to get Jones for Raburn. It took Infante. The Tigers traded their best available prospects for Renteria.

2:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They will platoon him with Thames and maybe Sheffield will play some in left. It was a good move, I thought.

2:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I don't know about the power. We'll see. Jones didn't display much last season, but has in the past. He is definitely a better player than Perez and an upgrade.

2:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It was just bad. I thought the defense played well and hard, but the Lions offense was awful. And a lot should go on Mike Martz. His play calls were brutal.

2:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thanks. I appreciate the compliment. I like the 6-3 record and many of the things the Lions have done this season, but I felt some things needed to be pointed out to put the Lions' start into perspective.

2:12 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

That Lions game on Sunday was too familar in appearance to days of yore. Hi-O Silver, away. Who was that masked man and where is he hiding Detroit's professional football team? Oh right, in the '50's, when cars had fins and the majority were American made.

The Lions need to win two of the next three. They definitely play better at home than away. That being given: Two tough teams in the G-men and Pack coming to town. Then the local gladiators go to the Northwoods to take on the Vikings. The Lions could go 3-0 or they could go 0-3 in the ensuing weeks. Anything less than a 2-1 outcome for these games and an 8-4 record heading into the last four games spells trouble.

Book, if the Lions are 7-5 after playing Miny Soder, I'll probably sprain my ankle jumping off the bandwagon. That's OK, I feel sorry for the ones that will ride along until the cart gets run over by the train that is the last four games. Let me do the math for the faithful fans, a 7-5 record, add on an 0-4 stretch run, that totals to a 7-9 record. Better than most would have given the Lions prior to the start of the season.

Still totally unacceptable considering a 6-2 first half. Still would leave the Lions failing to have a .500 season since Millen brought his savoir faire to town. Yet we'll still see Millen in charge until William Clay kicks the bucket and Bill Jr. takes the reins.

So still, I'd like to see the Lions win two of the next three. Then I could still believe that they can upset the Cowboys and beat the Chiefs at home. Then they would be 10-6 and playoff bound.

2:45 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I think the deal with Infante is that he always seemed to have lapses in concentration when he was fielding; even back when he played for the Sea Wolves. He did better when Guillen was there to mentor him in the infield (or at least that was what one columnist claimed before the Tigers got Polanco), but he was a liability in the infield. I think that Leyland didn't want to call out his lackadaisical nature on defense to the media, so he would use the lack of arm strength as an excuse. The reason I say this, is that both Leyland and Tramell gave Infante a shot at playing regularly, and both soured on him defensively. Leyland did so even faster than Tramell.

I think it was a good trade for the Tigers. They got a left handed outfielder, who was known as a good defender when he was with the Twins (I didn't follow him in the NL). Infante will probably play more in Chicago, so it was a good deal for him as well. He is a great fastball hitter, and that should help him do well in the NL. He seems best when put in pinch-hitting type roles, as he has always been a big clutch hitter (although he was never that good when he wasn't hitting in the clutch; again it seems like a lack of concentration.)


3:25 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Hey Pat...can I get your thoughts on adding Andy Pettite to the Tigers rotation? Could he help get Bonderman's head and arm finally fused together for a full season of success? Also, you know I'm a Phils fan, do you like the Lidge deal? I'm down on it...if you need a "change of scenery" from Houston, Philly is not the place to land! I don't question his stuff, just his head. He did his best work last year as a setup guy for Dan Wheeler (who in turn blew ALOT of saves)

Thanks and sorry for the long post!

11:16 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
Andy P is very particular about where he is going to pitch. It'll either be with the Yankees or nowhere. He wouldn't even think about going to another team. His decision is more about whether he wants to play any more.

12:28 AM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, how about we DON'T play Sheffield in left field (or anywhere else). The last fall he took in right field didn't seem like anything at all when I saw it live, but look at the shoulder now. One more and he's probably done.


12:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, you really need to update more.. i can't take this 2 times a week stuff. I need my wednesday fix.

11:33 AM 

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