Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On Hossa, Willis And Tigers Draft

Given his reputation as a world-class player, the expectation is that Marian Hossa would be an impact performer. Somebody who would notch at least a point per game in the playoffs. And score important goals.
Count me among those who believe Hossa has fallen short in that regard for the Red Wings. I believe he is more a luxury than a necessity in their situation, that the Red Wings would be exactly where they are right now - tied game three games apiece in the Stanley Cup Final with the Pittsburgh Penguins - whether they had Hossa or not.
Having stated that, however, I do believe that Hossa gets too much blame when the Red Wings come up flat, such as they did in Tuesday’s 2-1 Game 6 loss to the Penguins. No, Hossa didn’t win the game for them, but he didn’t lose it, either. Yet, he is taking more than his share of blame for it.
That was a team effort. Hate to use a cliche, but it fits, the Penguins wanted it more. If anything, it’s as if Hossa, after leaving the Penguins as a free agent for Detroit, wants it too much and is pressing.

Random Thoughts

- You have to give Dontrelle Willis credit for this: He has displayed pluck. He isn’t throwing that well and has had command issues, but has hung in there exceptionally well. That was a great play he made with the bases loaded Tuesday.

- Tigers’ first-round draft choice Jacob Turner, like Rick Porcello before him, is an advanced high school pitching prospect who figures to advance quickly in the minor leagues. But like Porcello, he is going to cost a small fortune to sign. The good part: Drafting Turner is a sign the Tigers don’t plan on going cheap anytime soon despite the flagging economy.

My column in Wednesday's paper about the Red Wings Game 6 loss:



Blogger Larry Baker said...

Love these morning updates (posted by glow of Tivo at 3:50 am?!?). Re: Tigers. I have not ever wavered on Leyland being a top manager, but I have to admit his expiring contract seems to have focused his attention on winning now. Less hesitant to go with hot players and rotation decisions based on who is ptiching best now (rather than who has paid dues,etc.).

7:21 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, the Tigers were sitting in awfully good spot in the draft. I was leaning more towards Matzek and Crow was there too. But Turner is definitely an excellent pick-up. The way he is throwing we could see him in a Tiger uniform in 2011 as your #5 starter. Heck, Turner is throwing better than some of the Tigers’ relievers or #5 guys right now. Oliver is more of a project. Not too many lefties can reach 98 m.p.h but I didn’t think it is possible that a lefty cannot throw a curveball. This should be fixable.
One thing I like about Willis is he gets an A for effort and maybe that will help later in the year. The NHL playoff last night, the players were skating so slowly or there legs are dead. Those two teams would have had a hard time beating a fresh NHL team that collected 90 points last year.

9:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love the Turner pick, and you're right: it's nice to know that the Tigers will still not be afraid to put out the money for talent.

That play that Willis made was fantastic. That was important win for the Tigs last night. That would have been a disaster had they actually blown the game. Blowing it would have been an '08 Tigers thing to do. Thankfully, Cabrera got that big hit, and Lyon actually stepped up in the bottom of the 10th.

We have a serious 5th starter problem. Neither Willis nor Bondo are reliable at this point, and we can't continue with a 6-man bullpen. A tough decision must be made, and it better be soon.

By the way, how hurt does Cabrera look right now? Should he hit the DL?

Love the morning updates, just like Larry. Keep them coming, Pat.


10:39 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
Maybe that's just human nature. I do feel this, Leyland wasn't given a level playing field last season. He the pressure of a high-priced team, but it was very unbalanced.

5:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Great point about Game 6. Didn't seem like either team had that much jump. It's been a long playoff. The Tigers' draft has followed a familiar pattern since Chadd has been heading scouting efforts. They will take advanced high school prospects, but mostly they select college players.

5:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Talk about walking a slippery slope in the late innings. Big hit by Cabrera. He needs to put the Tigers on his back at some point.

5:41 PM 
Blogger tuneouttv said...

Count me in as someone who is pulling for Willis. There are glimmers of hope that he is turning a corner and if he continues to improve he could prove to be a potent weapon.

9:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Good sentiment on Willis. The effort is obviously there from him.

2:24 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


with regards to the MLB draft and Strasburg all of the columnists and commentators keep talking about all of the other big name busts such as; Clyde, McDonald, and Prior, but it seems like everyone has lost sight of one of the biggest busts to sign a Major League deal out of school; Todd VanPoppel. Wasn't he supposed to be better than all of the above guys, and does he get no mention because he was a high school player rather than a college prospect?

Lil Rob

12:43 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Lil Rob,
David Clyde was high school bust. So was Brien Taylor with the Yankees - and others. Van Poppel was pretty bad, though. Say hi to your dad, would ya?

9:12 PM 

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