Monday, March 03, 2008

Rogers Trade, Smith Signing Good Start For Lions

Free agency isn’t a panacea for an NFL team. It can only really help an organization that has a solid base of players. Currently, the Lions don’t qualify because they have drafted so poorly under the stewardship of Matt Millen since 2001 (has it really been that long). And trades, more times than not, don’t make a big splash in the NFL.
But having said that, the off season had gotten off to a decent start for the Lions. I think the trade with Cleveland for Shaun Rogers was a good one. A third-round pick is still at a point of the NFL Draft where teams (expect for perhaps the Lions with Millen) aren’t shooting blindly in the dark. There are usually quality athletes still available. Also, Leigh Bodden is a bonafide NFL player with a good chance of starting and being effective for the Lions at an obvious position of need - cornerback. I also liked their free agent signing of Dwight Smith. Like Bodden, he isn’t a great player by any means, but an upgrade from both their starting safeties last season.

Note: Check out my audio podcast, "Three Point Stance" at Blog Central at theoaklandpress.com. I update it every Monday and Thursday. Also, I have a video podcast "The Book and His Boss" with Oakland Press Sports Editor Jeff Kuehn we do every week (it is usually out by Friday). You can get to it by clicking on "more" at the multi-media link at theoaklandpress.com. Just scroll down to the bottom. The past video podcasts are under "specialty" on the left-hand side under "The Book and His Boss."

Random Thoughts

- Anybody surprised Michigan State blew out Indiana? I wasn’t. The Spartans are great at home, but soft on the road. Lets face it - the Spartans just aren’t that good. It would be a decent tournament run for Tom Izzo if he gets his team into the Sweet 16.

- People have tired of Niklas Kronwall in this town because he has been injury prone. While durability is obviously an issue, it should be noted just how good he is. The Red Wings beat Buffalo Sunday because of Kronwall more than any other factor. He was Lidstrom-like in distributing the puck and breaking out of the his own zone. Could it be he is maturing into a special player?

- As somebody who generally thinks Kobe Bryant is a selfish, overrated ball hog, I must admit he was brilliant Sunday during a victory over Dallas. Not just because of the 52 points he scored, but because he played so hard and effectively defensively. It was truly impressive.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Hollis Keys in Detroit said...

Book, it was obvious from day one that Rogers didn't respect Marinelli and the hypocrisy that showed in Allen Park. This season would have been more of the same and since Millen and Marinelli are obviously in full save my job mode he had to go. He will excel in Cleveland. I am one that is not down on Nik Kronwall because he is an excellent two way defenseman he just needs to learn from Lidstrom how to keep himself out of those bad positions along the boards so he doesn't continue to get "cranked". The Wings loss last year to the Ducks can be attributed directly to the loss of his and Lebda's speed and creativity from the back line which caused Lilja to get more PT. Looking for Kronwall to star in the playoffs and it would be a grave mistake for Holland to get rid of him.
Hollis Keys in Detroit

10:12 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

It is kind of funny, but when I read the headline I thought that the Tigers traded Kenny Rogers. After reading the blog, I saw that the Lions traded Shaun Rogers. I don't really care that they traded him, or who they got in return. I'll start to be interested in them once they start playing well.

Since I thought we were talking about the Tigers, I have to ask if you have seen any of Spring training and if so, how are the new relievers looking? Can Bautista hit a barn door with his nasty stuff now? Has he finally learned to dial it down a few MPH to locate his pitches?

-Marty

1:08 PM 
Blogger Dakota Mark said...

Hey Book - it is funny that you bring up the topic of Kronwell as one of your "Random Thoughts". I was thinking the same thing watching the Buffalo game. I have watch him for a few years now, and injuries aside, I have always liked him. But, I never really noticed anything that special about him playing along side of Lindstrom, Rafalski or Schnieder. But WOW, now that he has been back without any of the others, I am finally able to see what the Wings management have been seeing. And you can really notice now too, he is a great distributer and play maker. I hope he breaks out of the injury tendency, because you are right, he IS very Lindstrom like. We need him for a long play off run this year for sure.

Later, Dakota Mark

1:21 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Hollis,
I think you're right about Rogers and his view toward Marinelli, but he was like that about everybody. It would be poetic justice for Kronwall if he starred in playoffs.
Caputo

5:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
So far so good from Bautista - two scoreless innings.
Caputo

5:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Dakota Mark,
He must good based on just the prominent role he played for Sweden when it won the gold medal. Kronwall got lots of ice time - and that is the ultimate hockey tournament on the world stage.
Caputo

5:53 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

Enjoy the banter between you and the F-bomb in the evenings. I realize the station is going with an open topic format but I would really enjoy an evening of wall-to-wall baseball. Possibly on the eve of Opening Day?

I'm glad to read that Kronwall is back in the line-up. Here's to his health, and Rafalski's and Lidstrom's health, too. Can't forget to mention Chelios though maybe I should.

My two cents on Brandon Inge, that Shakespeare fella wrote something called "Much Ado About Nothing" that says it best. Inge is a solid MLB player. It is unfortunate that he hasn't come to terms with the idea of returning to catching. But he has put a lot of time and effort into becoming an above average everyday third sacker. He needs to do the same at the plate.

Miguel Cabrera should hopefully play 150 games this year for the Tigers. I would imagine that at least 140 will be at I Don't Know, third base.

6:26 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
I don't blame Inge as much as Leyland on this one. Why is he letting Inge dictate how his ball club is being run? Seems odd.
Caputo

10:44 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat: I hope Miner is ready for 8th innings with Mantie out, Cruceta stuck in DP and Rodney shoulder having a twitch. They should baby Rodney's shoulder because Tigers need him. So much for the cool headband. I hope Bazardo is ready for the 7th. I cannot see putting career AAA pitchers in the 7 and 8th for the Tigers. Grilli has a good arm but he is too predictable and he even got tattoo in AAA in 05. Chucky,Chucky,Chucky. Carrying three lefties may not be a bad idea, thinking two lefties might get over used to contain Hafner, Ortiz and Yanks lefties ect in the late innings and the Tigers do not have any real established powerhouses from the right side. I hope JL got an A in creative in school.

1:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
Yeah. It is not looking real good for the Tigers bullpen at this point. Wonder what Dombrowski has up his sleeve.
Caputo

5:21 PM 
Anonymous Hollis Keys in Detroit said...

Book,that game even if it was an exhibition game was atrocious once Jones came in,to give up that six run lead along with not being able to field his position brought back many bad memories. Maybe it was because he was pitching out of character. Question? Are the Tigers going to plan to broadcast more Grapefruit League games in the future? I watched the game against Houston on FSN Houston and they added it because of interest in the Tigers. I think there is interest here also.
Hollis Keys in Detroit

12:29 PM 

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