Monday, April 20, 2009

Make No Mistake: Billups Wasn't Addition By Subtraction

The subplot often not mentioned about the Pistons and their collapse this season is the way Chauncey Billups has taken off in Denver.
There is a prevailing thought this will not do much long-term damage to the Pistons because Allen Iverson has an expiring contract. Billups was signed long-tern by the Pistons, but is he really done as a championship-caliber player? He had 36 points and eight assists while handing Chris Paul his lunch when the Nuggets beat New Orleans Sunday. Billups is in his 30s. That’s understood. But what player, honestly, are the Pistons going to get who is as good as Billups in free agency this off season?
It’s a bonafide question to ask in lieu of the way the Pistons faltered this season, and the way Billups’ has sky-rocketed in Denver. He wasn’t addition by subtraction, the way a lot of people are making him out to be, that’s for sure. He is sorely missed.

Random Thoughts

- Rick Porcello throws plenty hard enough, but his success comes more from command of all his pitches and mound presence. It’s amazing, but age and experience often don’t matter in that equation. Some pitchers never acquire it. Others are born with it.

- The ESPN trade rumors about Miguel Cabrera seem like wishful thinking on the parr of the Red Sox. They are floundering without Manny Ramirez, and now that it appears David Ortiz is on the downside of his career.

- Anybody notice the Marlins are 11-1? Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller aren’t necessarily why. Maybin is hitting .206 and Miller’s ERA is sky-high. The best former Tiger on the Marlins: Cody Ross. He turned out to be a pretty good player. It always seemed odd to me that one of the knocks on Ross is that he throws left-handed and hits right-handed. What difference does that make other than it is unique?

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

I think the knock on Cody Ross was just that he doesn't bat left handed. The Tigers really needed lefthanded hitting, so the fact that he is left handed but doesn't bat that way didn't help them. Of course, now that he is gone, it doens't make a difference anymore.

I also seem to remember reading that he wasn't much of a physical specimen, so maybe they thought he would break down over the course of a full season, or maybe they thought he wasn't fast enough or strong enough to make it in the majors?

It is likely that he was just another solid prospect out of a whole stable of solid prospects the Tigers seem to have had in the outfield lately. He just wasn't spectacular enough to stand out.

-Marty

2:16 PM 
Blogger Joe said...

Book, who is saying Billups was "addition by subtraction"? The only Piston I've heard with that label this year is Allen Iverson.

The Billups trade was strictly a salary dump. This team is toast after what was a good, sometimes great, run. Dumars, like many in the league, is freeing up as much cap space as possible for the vaunted 2010 free agent class.

Now if Joe D can land Chris Bosh in 2010 and show Rasheed Wallace the door, that will be addition by addition and addition by subtraction!

9:36 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

Sorry, but when it comes to Billups, you just refuse to look at facts/history. You come out with this after he has an amazing game, and it was amazing. I would rather base my opinion (that we would not win anything with him here so I'd rather have the money for the future) on facts. The fact is that he did all he could for us the last three years and each time our playoffs were worse. He has one, yes ONE, good game in the playoffs this year so far and you base your statements on that. To me, three years of decreased playoff production trumps one good game.

Steve

10:45 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, Porcello kind of remind me of Verlander when he first come up where he would use different pitches. Verlander use to come at you with 98 m.p.h, fastball, 91 m.h.p fastball, change-up and curve and Porcello has a number of different pitches. His sinker is great and not a lot of pitchers throw a sinker, which is fun to watch. The Tigers starting five is shaping up to be good and when Zoom
gets back the bullpen will get solidify.

9:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
He is also small - shorter than his listed size. He had some power and a really strong arm. There was some question when the Tigers drafted him whether they'd make him a pitcher.
Caputo

2:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Joe,
Yeah, but they be better off after Rasheed Wallace leaves still having Billups? That was my point. I mean, who are they going to get better than Billups?
Caputo

2:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Steve,
You hold the common belief on Billups. I did, too, but am examing it a little more closely. We'll see how it goes in the playoffs, but his addition seems to have given the Nuggets a chance they didn't have before.
Caputo

2:05 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
Porcello has a lot of late life on his fastball and commands his pitches. Doubt this start is a fluke.
Caputo

2:06 PM 
Blogger Jim15032 said...

Bats right, throws left unique? Don't you remember Hank Aguirre, or was he before your time?

Hank his .500 in 1968, but with only 2 AB. His lifetime BA was a robust .085. No wonder few guys who throw left bat right.

Just a useless tidbit to add to your Book.

1:18 PM 

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