Friday, May 09, 2008

Call Me Crazy, But Tigers Will Still Win 90 Games

There are a number of factors about the Tigers’ struggles that can be explained.
Gary Sheffield, Ivan Rodriguez and Kenny Rogers are older players, and it is entirely possible - perhaps even probable - they have nothing left in the tank.
Dontrelle Willis struggled mightily for the Florida Marlins last season. This is probably a continuation of it, making it the wrong decision to put so much faith in him.
But what is Justin Verlander’s deal? He is healthy, enormously talented and has proven to be competitive in tough situations. Who could have anticipated a 1-6 record with an ERA over six?
Carlos Guillen played first base well for the Tigers in the past. He played third base on a club in Seattle that won 116 games - and played it well. Who could have anticipated his defense would have such a negative bearing on the Tigers?
They need their starting pitchers to come through. They haven’t. The Tigers have a great lineup on paper, but they keep getting shutout.
I’d lambast Dave Dombrowski for his off season moves, and it’s his job to get it right, and apparently he hasn’t. But that would hypocritical because I agreed with them at the time - and strongly.
So did virtually all of the Tigers’ fan base, who couldn’t purchase tickets fast enough despite a flagging economy.
Call me a knucklehead. I probably deserve it for this...but I still think the Tigers are going to win 90 games. There is too much talent there for them not to turn it around at some point.
The question is, though, will it be too late?

Random Thoughts

- To all national media: Niklas Kronwall’s big hit Thursday night was Vladimir Konstantinov-like, not Scott Stevens-like. Get it right. This is the Red Wings you are talking about. Show the proper respect to one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

- Barry Melrose called the Red Wings "a finesse team" again Thursday night. What surprise.

- People who are writing off the Cavaliers are wrong. The Celtics have yet to win a road playoff game. Despite his struggles in the first two games of the series, LeBron James knows what it is like to steal a Game 5 on the road. Remember last year? If the Cavs win Game 3, this series will take on a completely different tone.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Tony said...

Pat - sure the Tig's COULD win 90 games, but will they? Giving the "eyeball test", it looks doubtful. In your blog you give many reasons why they are struggling right now and no reasons why you think they will turn it around and win 90. Is it just a hunch?

Keep up the good work.

1:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are crazy. No way the Tigers win 90 this year. No way. Too old, too slow, too little desire from some players. I think Dombrowski is really smart, but this go for for broke gamble doesn't look like it will pay off.

2:08 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I hope your right the Tigers will win 90 games but that means the Tigers will have to win 75 games out of next 126 games. That is 24 games above 500 clip or 600 ball. With the Tigers being 11th in the league in hitting, last in pitching and having three starting pitchers having E.R.A above 6.25. I do not think it could get worst. Tigers should improve in all categories, but good enough to play 600 ball is the million dollar question. I just thankful nobody has got hot in the Central and ran away with it. They might need only to win 87 games this year to win the Central.

6:59 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,

This Cherry thing has me all confused. As a Canadian who grew up in the south and now living in Windsor, I'm not sure but I think I hate myself. Which redneck side of me is worse? The Georgia or the Windsor side?

Wings take Dallas in 5.

The Tigers will break the 90 mark. We (especially me) seem to take the last thing that happens with them and explode it into being the doom or fortune of the season.

But my guess is the Tigers of the fall may not resemble to closely the Tigers of April& May.

If I may - I had my right knee rebuilt Wednesday at Henry Ford Cottage hospital. I want to thank my American friends there for letting this Canadian get top-notch surgical services we can't easily get in Windsor. And my room had HDTV in it. They had to drag me out of there! Literally - I can't walk.

4:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tony,
I guess it is just a hunch. The Tigers have a lot of talent, more than last season when they won 88 games. And I have seen many teams struggling this early only to come on like gangbusters later. Remember the Twins in 2006, the Yankees in 2005, the '87 Tigers - I can name a lot of them.
Caputo

11:12 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I can't disagree the Tigers look old and slow. It is one of the things I find most disconcerting about their present state.
Caputo

11:13 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
A really good team is capable of playing that kind of baseball without much issue. In 2006, they were 40 games over .500 at one point. The 1987 Tigers won 87-45 to close the season. But are this Tigers really that good?
Caputo

11:15 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Best of luck on the knee. The red neck thing was weird. He has a lot of people defending him on that comment, but Detroit is anything but a red neck town. I like Don Cherry a lot, but his suits are getting more ridiculous by the day.
Caputo

11:18 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2006 we had "Gum Time", in 2007 everyone rallied around the "Sheff" with the hats. Where has the spirit gone? I am fully aware of the wins and losses. I'm talking about the "sparks". There isn't anything for the fans to grab hold of and have fun with. We (the fans) need to come up with something new for this season. I truly believe the Tigers want to do well, I watched the after the game show on Friday and they seemed to show real emotion about their current situation. We (the fans) need to show our support. Maybe if we could come up with something it might boost the moods of the players. Perhaps you could have people call in to your show Pat with ideas. I know there will be the people with the ideas to put down the Tigers, but maybe just maybe someone will come up with something good. I'm grasping at straws right now, it really hurts to watch them right now, but I still do. Maybe today's rain is a God send. It gave them an extra day to reflect on what's wrong and what's right with the team before heading to Kanasa. ch

8:40 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

anonymous,
I just think the Tigers poor start has taken the life out of their fans. They are so disappointed - and they have a right to be.
Caputo

1:17 PM 

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