Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lidstrom Will Get Whatever He Wants - And The Red Wings Have No Choice

Transcript of my live chat today at theoaklandpress.com http://tinyurl.com/26oj4s5

There will not be a prolonged contract negotiation with Nicklas Lidstrom. The Red Wings will try to cut his salary a bit for cap reasons, but if he still wants what he made last season - nearly $7.5 million - he will get it.
For Lidstrom isn't only part of the Red Wings' past, he is their future, too - as in next season.
I don't know where the idea came from that Lidstrom has "slowed a step."
It could only come from people looking at his age, not his actual performance. He had lesser years when he was in his early 30s. He played in every game, the Olympics and the playoffs. He had a scoring slump early in the season, but played well defensively with a rookie goaltender and reduced firepower. And he scored at roughly a point-per-game clip when it mattered most late in the season.
With Lidstrom, the Red Wings' chances of getting back to the Stanley Cup finals will be pretty good. I think they would have beaten the Blackhawks had they met face-to-face this year. Without him, they have little chance. He is still the best defenseman in the world.
It's a joke he wasn't nominated for the Norris Trophy.

Random Thoughts

- Brandon Inge is on pace to hit 19 home runs with 75 RBI. He is hitting the .230s. In other words, he is having a typical Brandon Inge season. So what is everybody complaining about? It's not his fault the Tigers are getting virtually no production from the catcher and shortstop positions.

- Speaking of Inge, he does have power - and it's not just home runs. He has 15 doubles this season. Magglio Ordonez has just 16 extra base hits (seven home runs, nine doubles).

- Pitching is the least of the Tigers' problems. They don't need to acquire more pitching. They need a bat or two. Problem is, shortstops and catchers who can hit are not readily available.

- I very much like what I have seen from Carlos Guillen at second base. If he can keep it up - and stay injury free - it'd be a huge plus for the Tigers.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press. Are Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson going to be the next great passing combination in the NFL. Seems possible. http://tinyurl.com/2ebjvml



Blogger Barry said...

Tiger fans better get used to Inge. There is a possibility he will be sign next year. Cantu is a free agent and can hit but how good of 3B is he?

10:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I also like what I've seen from Guillen at second. He should be no worse than average defensively, and he'll certainly be above-average offensively. I've always loved his leadership while in the infield. No matter what position he is playing, he's the leader of the infield. He has great instincts about when to go calm down a pitcher and about when a guy might need a breather after a heavy workload. I'll be surprised if he's not a manager in the future.

On another note, Alex Avila might be one of the keys to the Tigers season. If he can raise his average to .250 with extra-base power, then the Everett/Santiago platoon at shortstop will be palatable.


1:35 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Cantu has been hot and cold throughout his career. Inge, I'd guess, will stay. And the Tigers, I'd guess, will want him back. He did play early this season with two surgically repaired knees.

1:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree about Avila. He has started come on a bit. Leyland will start playing him more. Guillen has to hit.

1:30 PM 
Blogger Steve said...

I love how you use the useless phrase, "At this pace..." when talking about Inge. If you had said the same thing last year he would have had 45 home runs and 125 RBIs.

To spread his stats now out for the rest of the year has proven to be useless. Inge will do what Inge does: Fall off the table at some point in the next month. THAT is a proven statistic throughout his career. Not "at this pace."

Ridiculous, Pat.

1:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rumor is he signed for less. Yet another Wing, signing for less to help out the team. These guys over the years have been so outstanding. Gotta love it.

I mean, it shouldn't be that big a deal if you sign for 5 million instead of 7. But in sports, that is the way it is. And it is a big deal when a player who can get more chooses to sign for less.

12:42 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My point was merely to point out that Inge is on pace to have a typical season for him.

1:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Whatever they are paying Lidstrom, in this case $6.2 million, he is worth it.

1:37 AM 

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