Wednesday, February 04, 2009

About The Tigers, U-M's QBs, Manny And Millen

A couple of the baseball preseason magazines have come out, and it’s interesting how they portray the Tigers’ coming season.
The Sporting News doesn’t see them doing too well. In fact, they are picking the Tigers to place last in the American League Central - with the Twins winning the division.
Lindy’s picks the Tigers for third - and also has the Twins winning the division.
I see the Tigers as a .500 ball club that could go in either direction. How they swing from that point depends on a numbers of factors.
Foremost is starting pitching. Will Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson have bounce back seasons? Can Armado Galarraga and Edwin Jackson maintain double figures in victories?
Second is how well the bullpen holds up. Better starting pitching will make the relief pitching much better, but there are two huge "X" factors in the bullpen - Joel Zumaya’s health and how quickly 2008 first-round draft choice Ryan Perry develops. The Tigers also need a couple surprises along the way - like non-roster spring training invitee Juan Rincon returning to the form he displayed a few years ago with Minnesota
The Tigers are going to be improved defensively, but did they give up too much hitting in the process?
The division isn’t that strong. Winning 89 games captured it last season. I don’t see the Tigers as long shots, but their margin for error in the above-mentioned areas is relatively slim.

Random Thoughts

- The Michigan player with the most expectations and pressure on him entering next season will be Wolverines’ quarterback recruit Tate Forcier. He was able to enroll early, and it’s been widely anticipated he will be U-M’s starter. Denard Robertson from Deerfield Beach, Fla., who Rich Rodriguez closed on well during national signing day Wednesday, is definitely another option. He is a legitimate 4-star recruit, too, and is more elusive than Forcier. That will be an interesting competition come fall.
There seems to be little doubt, though, the Wolverines will open the season with a freshman at QB.

- I can’t recall a player lifting a team into the postseason to the extent Manny Ramirez did for the Dodgers last season. Yet, clubs still view him as a gamble because of conduct issues. I hear they were far worse in Boston than the Red Sox let on. It’s why he is having issues getting the desired contract.

- Honestly, I thought Matt Millen added nothing to NBC’s Super Bowl coverage. I don’t understand the rush - ESPN is also reportedly interested in him - to get Millen back on the air after the way his credibility as a commentator was damaged by his performance as Lions’ team president.



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I always stay positive with the Tigers because they are in a weak division. They only have to play 16 games above 500 to win or have a great season.

7:31 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I tell you what book the Pistons I don't think will compete in the playoffs. I think they will make it, but I also think they will fall quickly. I was at the game last night. A good win, but guys just don't seem to have that urgency. I think the big key is Iverson. I think he is just so use to running up the court and doing what he needs to do with the basketball. Where as now he seems to be very hesitent. ANother thing I don't get is all the careless turnovers this team is making. So it will be interesting to see How joe works this.

I agree the QB was a huge need to address for UofM as we all know the paper recruits is just that. We need to see them play before the judgement can be passed down.

On the Tigers. What I don't get is why a lot of the writers are ignoring the Guillen in Left situation. I personally don't like it. There is talk that there might be a couple trades in the works. Would it be a starter for some minor leaguers? or do the tigers plan on doing something to possibly fix that lf spot? There are some solid players how come the tigers don't take a guy like Adam Dunn and offer him a 1 yr contract or something to protect Miguel in the lineup. I think one more power guy would really help. Plus he is a left hander. I don't know.. I just think the tigers are still 1 or 2 peices away, but I think they can be solid this year. If their starters can go at least 6 innings on a more consistent basis like they did in 06.

As far as Millen... Geez what a Boob. Of course nationaly they think it is wrong we react the way we do toward the guy. it wasn't their team he destroyed. hell I think bill ford should get a crawl everytime the TV shows his sorry mug on the TV. Cause he is the boob who kept the other boob as long as he did.

9:00 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I think it is absolutely perfect to have preseason pickers picking the Tigers low. I think it sets the perfect mindset for the boys to hit Lakeland with.

It will be a pins and needles first forty games as a fan to see which way they look like they're heading.

I know the current preference is for power-hitting homer-filled run-up-the-score offenses - Our line-up isn't exactly weak - but personally I would love a scrappy small-ball offense that closes opposition down by strong D.
And that might be where they're heading.

12:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The AL Central does have balance, but there is no dominant team. 90 wins and you're right there.

9:48 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

While it is not to the same degree obviously as it is here, I don't think the rest of the country finds Millen that appealing, either. He might have made a mistake by returning to broadcasting so soon.

9:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
They aren't set up for "small ball" offensively. They will still have to be dependent on power. That could lead to a lot of inconsistency.

9:51 AM 

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