Friday, March 14, 2008

Like Always, No Plan B From The Lions

I’ve always liked Kevin Jones as a player. I think he is a solid running back.
When healthy, he has some speed, runs hard, has decent size and is powerful. He has also gotten better as a receiver. But he also wore down, both physically and mentally, under the strain of being in the middle of the malaise that is the Detroit Lions. I think more than any of the low-round draft picks by the team during the Matt Millen era, his career was ruined by the team that drafted him. Elsewhere, he would be a big star already.
Can you imagine being the primary running back on the Lions during that era? What a beating.
Releasing Jones, in itself, isn’t that troubling, though. He has had injury problems. A bad foot. A busted up knee. But he wasn’t that expensive and the Lions, typically, have no Plan B. There remain holes everywhere on their roster. Running back was that way before Jones was released. It is even more so today. I can’t see where this helps the Lions.

Random Thoughts

- Is it just me, but has some of the luster over the Tigers off season moves been dulled by what is happening to their bullpen during spring training? The Fernando Rodney situation is particularly disconcerting. Seems to me like Dave Dombrowski should do something before camp breaks.

- Funny how it works isn’t it? The Pistons lost to Philly the other night. It was a bad loss, but not fatal. But there is some sense they are losing it. Then the Red Wings rallied to win their fifth straight over Dallas. All is well in their camp. Yet, just two weeks ago - when the Pistons were rolling and the Red Wings were slumping - the roles were reversed. Know what I think? Both teams will be fine come playoff time.


Anonymous Marty said...


I was immensely surprized that Kevin Jones was released. Not because it was the wrong move, but because it was a difficult move. I am starting to believe that Matt Millen might actually be learning from his mistakes. I can't believe that he did this, and that move alone gives me more hope for the future than any of the others they have made, even though it doesn't help them in the short term. Booting K. Edwards and Shaun Rogers was a step in the right direction, but were obvious moves. Getting rid of Kevin Jones was a tough decision, and shows that Millen is finally able to cut bait when his projects don't quite pan out. Doing it now may mean that they are trying to set the draft up to draft a RT or MLB in the first round, if they have one in particular they are zeroing in on. We will see. Maybe now they will start to give low drafted players a chance to make a difference in camp. Seeing guys like James Mungro clearly outplaying everyone else, and still getting cut because he wasn't drafted high really bugged me in the past.


12:11 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Hey, Book - snow is melting!

I remember quite vividly a show you did with Dave DomBrowski at the Tiger-Fest in January. He was telling 'the tale of the block buster trade' which was a great story. At the end of it he said (and I'm not quoting him exactly) "We made the trade to win this season."

So in my thinking - that block-buster trade will be for nothing unless the capsized bullpen is righted. That bullpens been a visible problem since at least May or June last year.

If this does not get fixed - we will spend a frustrating summer of watching our boys knock the snot out of the ball for the first five or six innings - until our starter tires and the bullpen comes in. The next three or four innings will be nail biters as we try to hold off the onslaught. Half we will win - the other half we won't.

By July our batting will dry up because it's just to disheartening hit that well and still lose time and time again.

And Book, you will pay the highest price because clowns like me will call in night after night after night to your radio show and complain about the bullpen.

PS - unless Kwame K. puts on a Tiger uniform and can pitch three solid innings - I don't want to hear about him on my favorite sports station anymore - good luck Detroit.

12:51 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...


Bullpen and back-up catching for Pudge are real concerns. Makes me wish that the season didn't start until a week or ten days later. Even then I doubt that Fernando Rodney nor Vance Wilson will be ready prior to May Day.

Which might be just what Jim Leyland will be calling out if Pudge gets hurt or the starters cannot consistently go six strong innings.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Brandon Inge catching quite a bit these last two weeks of Spring Training. Leyland realizes that is what the team needs and he will convince Inge that Brandon must prepare accordingly.

I agree that both the Wings and 'Stons should have long play-off runs. I have to admit I'm anticipating that both will at least advance to their sport's conference finals. What a great spring this would be if the Tigers start strong and both the Wings and 'Stons made their league finals with hopefully one them winning it all.

By the by, read your article about the Birmingham Brother Rice basketball team of 1974. Great read. But then, I'm a sucker for those nostalgia sports history stories. But the thing that made it a good read for me was how you kept it relevant and fresh to today. What with the boy's basketball championships taking place this weekend.

I was surprised to learn that only three schools from Oakland county had won state basketball championships. Made me wonder what school beat those Bruce Flowers lead Berkley teams?

12:53 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Way things are going Pat, the H.C.G or AAA pitcher will be setting up the rollercoaster but this is the bed the Tigers made. I would not trade Inge unless you get a quality reliever or a good prospect. If the bullpen is shaky as predicted then the everyday line-up will have to play a full 9 innings. The more they play the greater the chance they can get injuried or need a break, with Inge he can play all positions except ss. Is there any pitcher available that can help out the Tigers or at least be better than what they got? Looks like in White Sox camp Linebrink and Dotel are both struggling.

5:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going into Spring traning in 1984 it was apparent the Tigers were a piece short to make a run at the pennant. Fortunately, the Willie Hernandez deal worked out, beyond any reasonable hope. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they will make a deal, and it feels like they are a piece or two short in the pen., Dave

3:49 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

THe Lions do have a Plan B book it is call Plan Buccanneer. This is just sick. I will be honest I am more sick cause of the prospects that they could of had last year. because of the dumb fudging organization we find ourselves every year trying to fill wholes that already should be filled. Look at last year a lone. We could of had Johnson, Ugoh(Starter OT), Harris(Starter LB), Khalil (Starter C), maybe moved bacus and Raiola to the guards. Built some continuity. You could of still drafted I bet in later rounds Alexander, Stanton or Edwards, and Francis. Then this off season. You add the secondary (which I am fine with) you line would be going in their 2nd year together. Continuity. You could of gone after another OT. In draft. We could be going after a stud RB/DE/LB i.e. Mendenhall, Harvey, or Connor. Can you imagine Harris, Connor and Sims. Not bad. You could focus on FA that you actually need. It makes sense. Why don't this dumb fudging franchise see that. We all do. Instead every year we are back pedaling to another bismal season. As far as the Runningbacks. I don't care about KJ. He was good. How does the guy get healthy when he is constantly be tackled by 8 guys and having 300 LB offensive lineman(his own guys) pushed on top of him. Micheal turner probably said are you crazy. I am not committing career suicide. People talk about Julius Jones. Dude Julius Jones sucked in Dallas. That is why he lost his job. they had an O-Line. He is not going to do better here. Now they are talking about getting a RB in the draft that might be out 6 months or so. Great. Thank your Ford. I am glad you raised your ticket prices. I am sorry but you are an A-hole. Nothing more can be said for the way you laugh at your fans.

11:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Seems like Millen is letting Marinelli make more decisions. It's why there is this Tampa Bay infusion. It's a, can't get who they want, so they get what they know, type of thing.

10:43 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I am with you on the bullpen. I am writing my column for Tuesday's paper about it. They need to make a deal. There is nothing as devastating to a baseball team as late-inning losses resulting from a bad bullpen.

10:45 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
I don't know about when Flowers was a junior and sophomore, but he was beaten by Terry Duerod and Highland Park in the semis as a senior. Yeah, backup catcher is problem - if they trade Inge or if he whines constantly about it.

10:47 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

While acquiring veteran relief help is iffy, the Tigers still need to do something. That bullpen could be a real problem.

10:48 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Brilliant minds think alike. I am beginning my column for Tuesdays paper talking about the Hernandez trade. It made that team. Without it, there is no way the '84 Tigers would have won the pennant. You just can't let the bullpen go.

10:50 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

LOL on the Plan B Buccaneers line. It is so true. I agree the Lions would be much better of going into this season with David Harris rather than Drew Stanton.

10:52 AM 

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