Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Memo To Rodriguez: It's All About Ohio State

The more I read about the reaction in West Virginia to Rich Rodriguez’s decision to leave for Michigan, the more I understand why.
Rodriguez took a lot of heat when his team, with a bid to the BCS championship game on the line, dropped a stink bomb during its season finale against Pitt. It was a game the Mountaineers clearly should have won - and in a rout.
Coaches sure are a sensitive breed. The criticism stings them more than it should. Especially those prone to cut and run will move on rapidly if they don’t feel secure. It’s why Nick Saban left MSU in a huff after his best season there. His family was perfectly happy in East Lansing. LSU was not in great shape. Saban had gotten his program righted at MSU. He left because he didn’t feel like he had enough backing, and the criticism from the previous years stung him mightily.
I like the Rodriguez hire. I don’t think Michigan could have done better. The only thing I don’t like about Rodriguez is the way he kind of blew off the Ohio State question at his press conference. He has never been involved in a rivalry close to matching it. You can just tell. Wonder if he understands just how big it is, particularly since Michigan has lost six of its last seven games against the hairless nuts. I can guarantee you this: He will soon find out.

Random Thoughts

- I can’t help but wonder what the first of the year has in store for the Tigers. I know Dave Dombrowski is going to make some moves to bolster the bullpen. It will be interesting to see what those moves will be.

- I think the Pistons will beat the Celtics tonight. And I do think it will matter. This is as close to a statement game as a regular season game can be. Look for Chauncey Billups to have his best game of the season - and for the Pistons to clamp down defensively on the Celtics’ Big Three.

20 Comments:

Blogger Fred Brill said...

No comment on the Rodriguez hire, except to say it is definitly the start of a new - completely new - era at Michigan. It may have been a long time since a change in direction this distinct happened there.

As I was reading your random thought on the Tigers - I couldn't help but wonder how much the Mitchell report is really going to affect off season trading - as it is another list to check - and it seems everyone - including NHL players - are hoping "those named are dealt with" - what ever the hell that means. Who would trade for such a liability?

Pistons - Celtics tonight out to be an instant classic. I'll admit this will be my first pistons game to see this year.

1:05 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat: I agree the bullpen has to be deal with, they fix the line-up to be the best in baseball and have one of the best rotation in baseball. Dotel and Otsuka are still available but they both had injuries last year but pitch well when healthy. There would be risk involved but at this stage and being so close, there would be more risk of not doing anything. Is there anyone else, beside Dotel and Otsuka, out there that would be an upgrade?

5:29 PM 
Blogger Bryan said...

Haha wow Pat. You really called that game tonight and were absolutely right about Chauncey. For him to recover after a humiliating miss and come back with two FTs was great. That move he has to draw the foul with his jumper is outstanding. Even though it was an anticlimactic win, Detroit reminded everyone who is the Top Dog in the East.

Why did Rodriguez have to leave West Virginia right before the bowl game? Was it Michigan's way of saying "We can take who we want, when we want"? I didn't like it and it will likely leave the Mountaineer players with a bad taste in their mouths before their game against Oklahoma.

Speaking of bowl games, how do you like the Spartans' chance against BC? I think MSU is far more grateful for their bowl game appearance and that might show with more heart out of Sparty.

10:31 PM 
Anonymous dave from windsor said...

hey pat.
those are some prophetic words re: the pistons/celtics game tonight!! i read your entry after the game and it could have doubled for a post-game report!! lol

it was nice that the game lived up to the hype .. and to see Mr. Big Shot make that veteran move at the end to draw the foul.. that was fun to watch.

question - do you think chris webber will be a piston this season? i keep reading rumblings about this on various blogs/articles that it's still a part of joe's plan.. just wondering if you had a opinion on that..

thanks for the great blog and the radio show..

Go Detroit Sports!

dave from windsor

10:46 PM 
Blogger Scott (Thinking Man) said...

Hi Pat,

Honestly, I think the whole Ohio State rivalry thing with Rodriguez has been overblown. I'm sure he doesn't get how important it is around here just yet. But the fact that he didn't do a big song and dance about it at the presser means very little. I think he probably just had lots of other things on his mind. I think you'll hear a different tone from him on it towards the latter part of next season. Let the man get his bearings!

I guess I just find the situation with college coaches disturbing. I don't like universities openly trying to steal each other's coaches. It has gotten really ugly, and I'm a little surprised that Michigan got down in the mud to make their hire. It's a different era, I guess. But when Rodriguez leaves in 5 or 6 years for the NFL or the next college gig, I sure hoepe the Michigan Mafia doesn't bellyache about it.

1:00 PM 
Anonymous Timo said...

Pat,

I doubt that Coach Rodriguez had to do much to address the Ohio State rivalry at the introductory press conference. If he didn't already know, he will soon learn the magnitude of that greatest of all rivalries.

I only watch the Wings on TV but it appears that the arena might be filling up a little more with fans. Hard to get people to see teams like the Kings but I think there was a pretty good crowd - announced at about 19,500. Anyway, I hope the new guy can get people in the stands by getting them to lower ticket prices. Thank you.

1:46 PM 
Anonymous maddog52 said...

I like the Rodriguez Hire. It should add some new flare and give the fans more excitement to the boring old Carr format. I agree with you is how we he adjust to the Big Ten. Cause it is a different breed then most conferences. They are about good defenses and going north and south.

Ialso agree I am intrigued by the Tigers. I find myself checking every single day. Cause you almost know that they aren't done. I know the Tigers got a good deal, but in the NL. Arizona got a pretty solid one as well. Webb and Haren as a 1 and 2 isn't that bad. It was kind of what I was hoping for to have a verlander and haren, but I won't complain to having Crabera.

The Pistons won the first round. I think it puts even more pressure to respond in game 2 on 1-5. There is still a lot of season and we should read in to much of this.

Guys I'd like to talk about is the Wings. These guys are playing unbelievable. I tell you what. I know they had good regular season in the past just to fail miserably in the playoffs, but I think this team if they remain healthy has what it takes to go deep into the playoffs if not win it all.

3:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I do think those named on the Mitchell report will carry a stigma with them. The great players on the report would be hindered by it, but the fringe players will be.
Caputo

7:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
Those guys are both, to me, not real good fits on a good team. They both kind of seem to fade when the going gets tough. I'd like to see them pirate a small market team for some decent arms - the pirates, devil rays.
Caputo

8:00 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Bryan,
Hey, I was right for once...As for Michigan, I think they had to act quickly. The heat was really being turned up on the administation.
Caputo

8:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

dave from windsor said...,
It was great the game lived up to the hype. It was very intense. I thought the Pistons sent out a strong message. I think with the development of Maxiell, the Pistons don't wabt Webber. I very strongly doubt they will pursue him.
Caputo

8:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Scott (Thinking man),
I think ultimately, you're right. It's just that it did stick out at the press conference the way he blew it off. As for the future, I think you're right. I don't see this guy staying in one place for 15 or 20 years.
Caputo

8:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Timo,
I hope the Red Wings start getting more attention. They certainly deserve it. Seems odd a team that good would be flying so far under the radar in this town.
Caputo

8:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
The Diamondbacks are rolling with those two at the top of their rotation. I am surprised Haren didn't draw more. I think he is an excellent pitcher.
Caputo

8:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pat

Re: Wings boredom. For me it's all about match-ups. I just can't get up for teams in cities that can't support an outdoor ice rink. Minnesota should be the North Stars, but they left. I don't care about the replacement yet. Chicago has been bad for so long, plus they left a lot of their mystique behind in the old stadium. Colorado should still be in Quebec fighting Montreal, instead of sipping pepsi in Denver.

When I look at the tv guide and see Nashville I sigh. Or a game that starts at 10pm. After the 30th or 40th time, apathy sets in.

A lot about the game is good now, though I still hate the instigator rule. But the product is so dilluted. I liked it better when it was more of a niche sport, and it seemed like every matchup had some intrigue.

Allan

9:16 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I think a player from the Pirates or Rays will take some magic. Our farm system is dried isn't it? Pirates and Rays payroll us very low.

9:58 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
I don't see the product as diluted. Not with all the great European players in the league. During the last year of the Original 6 era, every player in the league, except one, was from Canada. The other was from the USA. It will be a lot better when they change the schedule next year and everybody plays everybody.
Caputo

11:16 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
I can see Inge going to that type of team for relief help with the Tigers picking up part of his salary.
Caputo

11:17 PM 
Anonymous Ryan said...

Pat-Aloha from Hawaii, I think Rich Rodriguez handled the question with great class-unlike the sweater vest to our south. Here at Michigan we have pride and prestige-something the "hairless nuts" cannot fathom.

8:08 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Hey Pat, nice call on the Pistons -Celtics game!!

I thought you said you weren't much good at predicting.

I guess Leyland WAS wrong when he said you didn't know s... from shinola. LOL!

Cheers,
Danny

8:54 PM 

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