Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Tigers' Cupboard Bare? Hardly

Did the Tigers overachieve? I don’t think so - not when Justin Verlander finished third in Cy Young voting, Rick Porcello third in Rookie of the Year balloting and Miguel Cabrera fourth in MVP voting. Look how young those players are? The cupboard is hardly bare for the Tigers.

Random Thoughts

- The Red Wings must start winning - and winning now. Here’s why: At the start of the new year, the Red Wings play 14 of 19 games on the road. Many of those are on trips out West. That includes their first five games of the new year.
The Red Wings were playing better, but recent losses to Dallas and Nashville were disappointing. They need to play with a sense of urgency. It’s not that early in the season anymore.
If the playoffs started tonight, the Red Wings would not be in the field.

- Michigan State middle linebacker Greg Jones is a really good football player, but the best in the Big Ten? It didn’t seem like he dominated games like you’d expect from a player given that award.

- Talked to Yale Lary, the Lions’ Hall of Fame safety from the 1950s and 1960s, during Sunday’s game against the Browns.
Lary was also one of the greatest punters of all time, routinely averaging 45 yards or more per punt per season. Punting is one area the game hasn’t really improved over time. I asked him why.
"I think it’s because we had to punt in all different types of weather conditions," Lary said. "Even in practice."
He added that he does think punting is still very good in the NFL.
"The Lions have a really good punter here in Nick Harris," Lary said. "He is one of the best."

My column in Tuesday's Oakland Press about why Lions need to keep Thanksgiving Day game: http://tinyurl.com/npj8op



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale Lary was my favorite Lion as a kid. He was fearless as a safety and shut down half the field in passing for the opponent. Lary was a hall of fame safety and a hall of fame punter. He was the original "hang time" punter. I can't understand why this Great Lion's player has not had his number 28 retired.
Pat, what do you know about that?

11:49 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynn Henning wrote that M. Cabrera may be available. I think that is smart by the Tigs. Cabrera should go before Granderson even though Cabrera is the better player. Granderson's roots in Detroit are stronger. He is an ambassador for the team, a community leader and an African American presence that the black community embraces, his intangibles for the franchise are great. Cabrera on the other hand would be of great interest to the Mets, Bosox, Angels and others. His clubhouse presence is not great and trading him would not cause great dissension the way the uproar over losing Granderson would. Plus trading Cabrera would bring greater relief to the payroll.


11:54 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you about Greg Jones. Jared Odrick of Penn State received the award from the coaches and staff, and I think that's fair. Shouldn't you have to be from a decent team to win an award like that? Admittedly, I am not a Spartan fan. I am a Michigan fan and might be a little biased. I just don't see how a single player for a defense that got torched by Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Penn State even comes close to earning that award. If Brandon Graham had won it, I would say the same thing, and he truly was an impact player in the division.

As for Alan's comment about Cabrera, I disagree completely. I don't care if Cabrera's "clubhouse presence is not great." That could be a matter of opinion, and I'm not sure the Hispanic players on the Tigers would share that. If the Tigers want to ditch the guy because of off-field issues, then that is fine. But I don't want to hear about clubhouse presence and roots in Detroit when we are discussing one of the top hitters in the American League. Jim Leyland always says that talent is what wins and that he doesn't want or need a bunch of boyscouts. I think he's a wise man. Just put the talent together, and let a solid manager handle the rest.


2:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


IMO Greg Jones is very overhyped. He leads the world in tackles, but if you watch the games closely, the tackles always happen after the opponent has crossed the 1st down marker. The offense has had them in almost every game this year and the defense always, always, always, comes up short. When has this guy made a single (i mean SINGLE) game changing play all season? I've seen Decker make more big plays.

lil Rob

4:30 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Pat, I think the Tigers were extremely under-rated at the start of the '09 season because of how they tanked so bad and finished last in '08.

We knew they were better than that - regardless of the '08 record.

And nobody could have guessed Porcello's success and were snake-bitten by Galaraga's great '08 season and fizzling - evaporating early in '09.

It was the same core as '06.

PS - I would gladly (eagerly) trade Cabrera to keep Polanco and Granderson.

Happy Thanksgiving - I miss this holiday and am jealous.

12:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Only way Tigers would trade Cabrera is they don't feel he is seriously addressing off the field issues.

12:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They don't retire many numbers, but if they did retire Lary's, it would not be out of line. True championship player.

12:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

lil rob,
I think you're right on point about Jones. There is a big difference between making tackles and making plays.

12:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Cabrera, Granderson, Porcello, Verlander, Jackson - if the Tigers keep that nucleus together, they will be a good team. That's 20 percent of your team being of all star caliber and 28 and younger.

12:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mark Dantonio is hanging his hat on running the ball and playing stout defense. The Spartans did neither this season. Not good.

12:59 PM 

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