Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fuentes Would Have Been Better Than Nothing

Nobody is surprised the Tigers didn't win the Brian Fuentes' sweepstakes. Not sure they were ever really involved in them. The Angels signed Fuentes to a two-year contract worth $17 million Wednesday.
Fuentes has pretty much been a good closer on bad teams. The year Colorado did get into the postseason was the year he lost his closing role to Manny Corpas. In the postseason that year, 2007, he had a 6.52 ERA.
I agree with the premise that Fuentes isn't a premier closer despite some statistics that are impressive. He isn't clutch. However, he is better than nothing. And that's the what the Tigers essentially have at this stage for a closer - nothing.
General manager Dave Dombrowski obviously still has a lot of work to get done this off season.

Random Thoughts

- The most ridiculous premise about the hiring of Martin Mayhew as general manager of the Lions is that he has been there for the past mistakes, so he knows what needs to be done to correct them. It was also strange when Mayhew brought up the coaches he played for in response to the issue he has never been surrounded by winners.
While it's true he played for great coaches along the way, so did Matt Millen. It meant nothing when he was an executive.
In truth, there is little that can used to justify Mayhew being the Lions' general manager. The only hope is that William Clay Ford's shot in the dark turns out to be right. It's just that given Ford's track record, it's not exactly a comforting thought.

- Michigan State's basketball team seems to be hitting stride at the perfect time. Having Goran Suton back has meant all the difference in the world. But don't read too much into the Spartans' impressive victory at Minnesota Wednesday. The Golden Gophers' undefeated record going in was build on a house of cards. Minnesota had played an easy schedule to that point.


Blogger Fred Brill said...

Happy New Year Book!

While I agree that Fuentes would have been better than nothing ... Perhaps he is not better than somebody else.

The closer role is the most important one we need right now. A guy who not only can shut the door closed on the opposition in the ninth - but does so and does it every time.

I guess I am saying I agree with you a hundred percent. And there is still time left for Mr. Dombrowski.

As for Mr. Mayhew - I could live with him for 2009. But I agree with everyone else that Mr. Ford should have cleaned house in that office from the top to bottom.

I don't expect much improvement for the Lions in 2009. But I do for the Tigers.

32 days until pitchers and catchers show up in Florida. I can smell the hot dogs and beer already!

It's a perfect time to be optimistic about next season.

5:00 PM 
Blogger john of metamora said...

while i agree with you that the promotion of mayhew could be another shot in the dark by wcf i believe that we are going to be surprised and pleased with his efforts. unlike his previous boss, millen, mayhew has a track record of planning ahead for his career after football, going to law school and making a conscious decision to go into the management side of the business as opposed to representing football players. i believe he has spent his years getting ready for this job by paying attention to what went on around him, talking to scouts about the process of scouting, by networking with cronies in the business and by evaluating lion as well as other team drafts after the drafts. i see him as a maticulous planner who has prepared himself for this job. and that is way more than we can say about the previous president of the organization. it's always possible he could fall flat on his face. but, i will be very surprised.

5:38 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

The price on Fuentes did come down which is nice to see. I thought Fuentes would provide a nice mix well among the power arms. You have to cut DD some slack because Fuentes wanted to play for the Angels. DD likes power arms so maybe Cruz is on his list but I wonder if the Tigers are willing to part with a draft pick? Tigers will have to do a trade to get a reliever.

3:20 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Happy NEw YEar Book! So much going on where does one begin. How about with the bowl games? If u love college football like I do there is no denying the quality of play in the early bowls thus far. So under rated with all the hype going to the big games.

I will be honest Fuentes isn't a guy that I'd look at. Personally I am surprised we haven't looked at a guy like Saito yet who was recently released. THen sign his set up man Biemel. If Dombrowski gave Nate the shot at closer to be honest I'd be ok with it. Another area I am surprised Dombrowski hasn't addressed was the left hand hitter situation. There are some quality veteran Lefties out there that could help this team make a push. A one year deal to maybe a Griffey who could play left field. So I agree Dombrowski has some more moves to make. I still think this team is just a few right signings away from being back there.

I agree MSU has turned it on the right time. The team that has my interest is UM. They started out with a loss to Wisconsin. Can they maintain their competitiveness that they had in the nonconference run. Will be interesting to see in 2009.

Pistons you know why they looked good recently. They are playing basketball. 1 guy I'd like to see step up a bit more is TP. The guy comes and goes. I think he is the key cause when he is playing at a high level this team is really good it seems.

11:42 AM 
Anonymous John in Oxford said...

I'm not excited about Mayhew, but have liked the fact that he's looking for a defensive minded coach and seems to want to have a bigger, stronger team.

If I recall correctly, Millen wanted to be smaller and quicker, as did Rod Marinelli.

Too soon to tell, but that is one piece of potentially good news.

2:02 PM 
Anonymous Tre' said...

Happy New Year Pat,

There were two glaring items from the Mayhew/ Lewand presser.

1) The best reason they had for Ford to give them the jobs was that they were there to see how everything went wrong. To take this excuse on, I will use myself as an example. Like many of us in SE Michigan, I have worked for multiple auto suppliers that have either filed for Chapter 11 or have shut their doors. Using M/L's logic, I am now a turnaround expert for failing auto suppliers. This is of course incorrect. I can recognize when things are going bad, but I am not qualified to fix it. M/L's argument is ridiculous and invalid.

2) When Mayhew was asked if he could tell WCF Sr. "no" if Ford asked for a certain player that goes against Mayhew's philosophy, he refused to answer the question on grounds of being "hypothetical". This response by Mayhew was completely 100% unacceptable. Based on this, I want him OUT NOW! Being a good employee also includes protecting the boss from himself/ herself. You can do so respectfully and in private. Why was this question so hard for Mayhew to answer? It disgusts me how everyone around WCF Sr. falls over themselves to call him "Mister". WCF Sr. is a small, self important, petty, cowardly, little person that has surrounded himself with boot lickers.

4:03 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Happy New Year to you, too, Fred. I expect the Tigers to be improved as well, but just can't see it that much right now because of their bullpen - or lack of it. I know it's a slow off season, but it is getting a little late in the process for a role as important as closer. Then again, when did the Tigers get Willie Hernandez?

8:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

john of metamora,
Martin will work hard and he is bright. I just think there are many others with a better background for the position.

8:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

There are two problems with Cruz. He has never closed and he lacks command of the baseball. He would be fine for bullpen depth, but not ideal as closer, that's for sure.

8:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Happy New Year to you, too, Maddog. I thought Michigan got exposed by Wisconsin. Sims and Harris are outstanding talents, but they are head and shoulders above the rest of that team. It's unlikely teams will take U-M lightly anymore after those wins over Duke and UCLA.

8:12 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John In Oxford,
A team can't win at any level of football without being able to stop the run. The Lions run defense was incredibly bad this past season. I agree - it's good that Mayhew is making that a top priority.

8:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

There are two things. One is it is just a news conference. What is said there often doesn't really reflect what those talking are really thinking. Secondly, Mayhew will play it close to the vest. You will not hear him say anything to rock the boat. It just wouldn't be his nature.

8:17 PM 

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