Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ernie's Interview With Costas On MLB Network Terrific

I don’t know how widely available it is on various television systems, but the interview Bob Costas did with Ernie Harwell on the MLB Network is very good.
It was taped during the World Series. Ernie is at his classic best. He discusses his impending death with typical class and grace. There isn’t much of the interview we haven’t heard around here before. No revelations. But it is a one-hour picture book into Ernie’s life. He looks great. His mind is sharp as a tack. I’ve always been amazed by Ernie’s memory. Still am. As usual, his storytelling is terrific. The best part is at the end, though, when Costas asked Ernie to recite the end of his Hall of Fame speech about baseball. And Ernie did so, word-by-word. It was amazing.

Random Thoughts

- If the Pistons play with the same effort the rest of the season, as they have the last two nights in losses to the Lakers and Portland, they will win a lot of games. That’s especially true of their performance last night. They were one long rebound to Steve Blake away from winning that game. Seems like Rodney Stuckey is starting to come on.

- The Red Wings did get a raw deal on the disallowed goal Wednesday night, but the bottom line is they are a better team than the Dallas Stars. And the Stars carried much of the play. The Red Wings, in their current state, can’t allow home games like that to slip away. They had terrific momentum going - and lost it.

- Who cares if Shaun Rogers wants to return to Lions, which he is hinting. He was a horrible locker room influence while here. Look what he’s done for the Browns? They were a 10-6 team before he got there. They’ve been a dysfunctional mess since. Rogers is a really good player, but his sour attitude trumps his ability on the field.



Blogger cgsmith1986 said...

I agree with the Wings. They should have won, no doubt. And as for stuckey, my jury is still out on him. I'm not going to let 2 good games from him make me think he's a "superstar." Last year he had a couple 40 point games, and sill only averaged maybe 12 points a game the rest of the year. He needs to turn into a 20,8, and 5 guy for the Pistons to return to form. And I am sick of Shaun Rogers as well.

1:43 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

We probably will always be on opposite sides when it comes to production versus "character" (ala the Miguel Cabrera thing). However, regarding Shaun Rogers, saying: "Look what he’s done for the Browns? They were a 10-6 team before he got there." is ridiculous.

Much more relevant fact, look what trading him did to us? In my opinion the 2 most important factors in our decline from a 7-9 team to a 0-16 team were firing Mike Martz and trading Shaun Rogers. Both were scapegoated after our inevitable decline from the 6-2 start, but truth be told they were our best coach and our best defensive player. They were far from perfect, but they were a hell of a lot better than anything else we had. (I was one of the few fans against both moves at the time btw, I'd take half a season of dominating Rogers over a full season of crappy Chuck Darby anyday)

If we can get Rogers back cheap, why the hell not? If there are better options out there that we can actually get then go with them, but I doubt it.

8:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Stickey was rolling last season when Richard Hamilton came back from an ankle injury. Stuckey just dropped off from there. We'll see if he is able to sustain his performance for rest of season.

12:46 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
How productive, really, was Cabrera last season? Name me a clutch hit? Same with Rogers. Not there - in terms of performance - when you really need him.

12:47 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I finally found some excerpts of the Costas interview with Mr. Harwell last night on and saw the clips of his recounting of his time with Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn. I also got to watch his HOF speech - which I believe should be put on a golden monitor under a statue in the Comerica Park statue area in center field.

As for the Cabrera thing - Michael - Pat started raising this point in June that while Miggy's numbers where high - the hit was never there when the game was tight - only when we had a big lead or we were getting blown away - and it is astounding to have watched a whole season of a guy hitting top of the league numbers when they didn't mean anything - only to then see him watch strike three go by with a man on third and your down by one.

Time after time after time ...

But he did improve defensively big time this year ... except that one Saturday in the first week of October ...

7:31 AM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Pat, check out the results from Baseball Prospectus's awards

Cabrera finished 6th in MVP voting on a national scale. He was very productive all season. You like to bend the statistics to find areas where he didn't look good (typically with a small sample size) and ignore everything else. It seems extremely biased.

You seem like one of those guys that thought Peyton Manning wasn't that good until he won a Superbowl. Ignore everything good, and just focus on a couple games where he wasn't at his best.

By the way, what do you think about my opinion that firing Martz and trading Shaun Rogers were the top 2 reasons from declining from 7-9 to 0-16? And how did you feel about the Martz firing at the time? (just curious)

11:09 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
With all due respect, and I mean it, but were you ever in the Lions locker room to see Shaun Rogers act? It was disturbing. So was it the way he'd literally quit on the field. As for Cabrera, no one is questioning whether he is a good player statistically. But you're talking about a player with issue that are now well known. How'd productive was he that weekend against Chicago? Why was he so unproductive?

11:29 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
At one point, over a span of months, Cabrera was 1-for-29 with runners in scoring position on the road and didn't productive an RBI. Just two or three hits there at the right time and the Tigers win the division going away. Defending Cabrera or Shaun Rogers based on "production" is,in my opinion, wrong. You can't count on them when it matters. That's as much a part of their track record as gaudy stats.

11:32 AM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Fair enough, Pat. As a fan I indeed will never really know what the locker room atmosphere of a team is like. I can only judge based on my opinion of their impact on the field.

Rogers and Martz seemed like the top reasons that a bad team got off to a 6-2 start that year. (Still wondering if you agree with that or not and if you agreed with firing Martz)

And Cabrera was far and away the #1 reason our offense was decent enough to be in contention last year.

I think I'm going to stop arguing about Cabrera with you though. You don't seem to understand how stats fluctuate. 29 at bats is not evidence of anything (as I've pointed out to you several times). I could take 10 samples of 29 at bats from other years with runners in scoring position and find him hitting over 500 over that small stretch.

But you're searching for negative stats, Pat, and then ignoring the rest ... That's not journalism, that's propaganda.

4:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just thought I would throw out some relevant Cabrera 2009 stats from Baseball Reference to add to the discussion:

2 outs RISP: .233/.370/.417
Late and Close: .308/.400/.516
Tie Game: .312/.400/.482
Within 1 run: .323/.406/.522
Margin >4 runs: .384/.418/.733

By the stats, I think Cabrera was fairly consistent during most times of the game except for when there were 2 outs with RISP and the run differential was greater than 4 runs. I cherry-picked Albert Pujols to compare him to. Guess what his line was with 2 outs with RISP? .243/.563/.486. with only 2 Ks as opposed to 13 for Cabrera. Similar Avg, but a much higher OPS.

Honestly, I think if Cabrera improved his number of walks in a season, that would go a long way. Why he doesn't walk 80-100 times per year is beyond me. That alone would go a long way at improving his production, and it doesn't have anything to do with the "Is Cabrera clutch or not" discussion.


1:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Here's the most important stats regarding Miguel Cabrera in 2010 - zero drinks the night before an important game. Zero 911 calls from his wife to police.

1:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Haha. Touche. Well-played, sir.


4:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who missed the Harwell interview, like me, it will be repeated on the MLB Network, on Friday, Dec.4, at 8:00am, Dave

2:03 AM 

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