Monday, July 14, 2008

Could Be Season Before Dumars Makes Splash

Trade rumors surfaced over the weekend that had Tracy McGrady coming to the Pistons. The Pistons have reportedly denied interest. They should.
Although still a very good player, McGrady is not the explosive athlete he once was. He is older and has been beat down to a degree, particularly by back injuries. He had his moments last season, especially when the Rockets went on a long winning streak after Yao Ming was injured, but he misses a lot of games.
Honestly, I wouldn’t trade any of the Pistons core players one-for-one for McGrady, who has never been part of a winning playoff series. He is not the answer. The Pistons don’t need perimeter players. They need help inside. As the off season moves on, it appears more and more like the Pistons core will remain intact.
There just don’t seem to be any moves that would improve the Pistons. I strongly feel, if Joe Dumars does make a major deal, it must be for an inside player, or to improve the Pistons’ defensively. There is nothing wrong with the Pistons’ backcourt of Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey. That’s a strength. I also don’t get the issues many fans have with Tayshaun Prince. He is a unique player. The obvious player to move is Rasheed Wallace, but there just doesn’t seem to be a fit that would involve the Pistons getting a quality big man in return. And Wallace, despite his propensity for hanging around the 3-point line, is the Pistons only real inside presence.
The landscape could change during the season. Teams, after reviewing the way they are playing, often look to make moves. Phoenix (Shaquille O’Neal) and Dallas (Jason Kidd) last season are examples.
It’s less than ideal, but Dumars might not be able to shake up his team until after the season starts.

Random Thoughts

- Yankee Stadium is a treasure of baseball history, and that obviously will make the All Star Game interesting. It is, however, disappointing the way average baseball fans, who represent the roots of the game, have been priced out of enjoying the experience. You could take three Hawaiian vacations for the cost of spending three days in New York and buying tickets for the All Star game and its various sidehows. It’s ridiculous.

- The Tigers have no excuse for losing like that to the Twins, especially at home. The Twins have three players - Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan - of note. The rest of that team is made up of raw young talent, average major leaguers and 4-A players. The Twins are overachieving and the Tigers underachieving. That’s the bottom line.

- An underlying story entering the All Star break: The wheels are starting to come off the Tampa Bay Rays. That could help the Tigers move into the AL wild card race, assuming the Yankees continue their spotty play.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,
outstanding analysis of botht he Tigers and the Pistons. You outdid yourself with this blog. I don't understand the NBA salary cap so it's hard to speculate on trades in that league. But an inside presence is what the Pistons need. As for the Tigers, they need to play like there is no tommorrow. The young guys have helped the intensity level. It just seems that it takes that team too long to get going. I think they are a bit long in the tooth.

Alan

11:03 AM 
Blogger Bill said...

On the Tigers and Twins I agree with their respective under and over achieving. And I don't buy the Twins offense one bit. But they do have pitchers, both in the rotation and pen, who are good. They don't walk anybody, and they pitch efficiently. And they should get Liriano back soon.

So the team does have something going for them outside of Mauer/Morneau/Nathan.

11:04 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

I agree completely with your assessment of the Tigers and the Twins. The Tigers have no business losing games like that to the Twins. It doesn't give me much hope for the Tigers since they just don't seem to want it like the Twins do. It will be very difficult to win the ~48 games they would need to win to make the postseason.

-Marty

11:57 AM 
Blogger Dakota Mark said...

Hey Pat - actually I think the inactivity by Joe Dumars after his season ending tirade just shows how good a GM he really is. By doing nothing with the roster, he is actually making the best trade of all, NO TRADE!
You are correct neither TMAC nor Mellow is the answer to our teams problems. Neither come with winning experience in the playoffs.
Maybe the answer is our current batch of young players. The experience they got last year, even if the Coach did limit it, was invaluable. Especially for Stuckey. But with Curry, maybe he will actually allow the rooks to push the vets for playing time, not just act to spell the vets.
I thinks Joe is thinking the same way. If a superstar becomes available, of course Joe has to consider it, but that has not happened. Standing Pat, no pun intended, is his smartest move. (FOR NOW)

12:47 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, Tigers have to get going to pull this off. Tigers will have to play 632 pct ball to reach 90 games which is very possible but the Twins and White Soxes have to play no higher than 514 pct clip. This is a tall order. At the tradeline, sellers usually do better than buyers. Joyce and Thomas prove they can hit right hand pitching, but the Tigers have too many right hand hitting OFs or DHs. They should make one available except for Maggs. Even if they trade one and someone gets hurt they still have one or two outfielders in the minors that hit from the right side.

12:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Alan,
I agree about the Tigers need to play with more urgency. I think there have been times when they have been outhustled by teams, particularly the Twins.
Caputo

5:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

bill,
Based on what those pitchers have done in the past, the Twins' pitchers shouldn't be this good. Based on what they have done in the past, the Tigers pitchers should be better.
Caputo

5:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

dakota mark,
Interesting thoughts on Dumars. I agree he shouldn't cut off his nose to spite his face.
Caputo

7:58 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat,

I would trade Maggs, Miguel, Pudge and any pitcher whose initials aren't J.V. to the Twins for Morneau, Mauer and Nathan. I bet a yard of kielbasa Dave Dombrowski would too.

None the less, those first three games were there to be won. The team that wanted it more and knew how to take it won these games. Give the Twins some props, especially their defense.

What I wonder is does Nick Punto play that well all the time? Or is he like Joe Crede of the Chisox, saving his best games when playing against the Tigers? Hearing the name Nick Punto is having the same effect on me that hearing "Niagara Falls" had on the Three Stooges.

10:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
The Tigers have been four games below .500 since the All Star break last year. That's more than a full season. It seems unlikely they will turn it around and play .600-plus baseball. I do remember, though, they were 19-31 to close '06 and then lost their first postseason game in New York. And then won seven straight to get to the World Series. Those things do happen, and the talent is there.
Caputo

10:03 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
I don't know if the White Sox or Twins are that good. They may come back to the Tigers a bit. But the odds are getting less likely by the day.
Caputo

10:05 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
Those three are great players for the Twins, but overall, they just shouldn't be that good. The Tigers should have their record and the Twins should have the Tigers record. Says a lot about their manager, doesn't it?
Caputo

10:07 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Congrats to Matt Joyce winning AL Player of the Week for last weeks play.

But how did Joyce out-rank Morneau?

I know I am the biggest Homer (d'oh!) going, but I don't get this pick? Joyce's error in game 1 with Minni quite litterally cost us the game - and like a kick in the gut - took the wind out of our sails for game 2 and maybe 3. Morneaus 11th inning bomb was clutch.

Those two event's (in my feeble mind) changed the course of the next two games.

And Joyce gets picked over Morneau for AL Player of the week?

Mr. Joyce - I am sorry because you have done so fantastic so far - so much higher than we expected - and I am so happy to root for you as a Tiger, but I have to question this award to you. You will get lots more. But this one makes me go "hmmm..."

d'oh!

12:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tigers are back to their old habits, trying to hit the long ball with guys on base. The Twins were not hitting home runs like crazy, but they were stringing their runs together by getting their guys home when they were on base. The men left on base have been the down fall of the Tigers.We will never get any where with guys like Sheffield getting up there and popping out or striking out, when we need to bring a guy home. It's "small ball" time whether Leyland likes it or not. ch

11:03 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Joyce has outstanding potential. He has fast hands, power and room to grow on a lanky frame. He is also a good defensive outfielder. The Tigers might have found something in that kid. Morneau is the most underrated player in baseball. His numbers will suffer, though, because the Twins don't have a big-time hitter batting behind him.
Caputo

11:41 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
You're absolutely right. Getting Ordonez back should help in that regard. One of his strengths is taking the ball the other way to drive in a run when necessary.
Caputo

11:42 AM 

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