Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Would Be The Red Wings Ideal Opponent In The First Round?

Who would the Red Wings be best-suited to play in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs:
1. San Jose - I know this sounds odd because the Sharks are the top seed, but they choke each year in the playoffs and the Red Wings have their number. Is there a more overrated player in the league than Joe Thornton, who disappears each April and May and never sees June?
2. Phoenix - The Coyotes are inexperienced and lack scoring punch. They are totally about their system and goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov. If the Red Wings score first in a playoff game against this team, that game will likely be over.
3. Chicago - The Blackhawks have goaltending issues of their own and some injury problems. Also, the Red Wings are inside the Blackhawks' collective head. But it should be noted there have been times this season when the Red Wings clearly lost the puck possession game to Chicago. This is a very skilled team, with several world-class players, led by Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
4. Vancouver - The worst option of them all. Ryan Kesler is playing out of his mind and Henrik Sedin has been the best forward in the NHL this season. And Roberto Luongo's reputation may have slipped some - despite Canada's gold medal - but he is still formidable.

My column in Wednesday's Oakland Press: Five Reasons Why The Lions Shouldn't Take Ndamukong Suh With The Second Overall Pick In The NFL Draft:


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Robertson Trade Makes Sense

The Tigers trading Nate Robertson to the Florida Marlins makes sense on a number of different levels.
One is they might be saving money, although how much is unclear at this point. It's doubtful the Marlins are picking up anywhere near all of Robertson's $10 million salary for the coming season. Also, Jay Voss, the pitcher acquired from the Marlins, is being developed as a left-handed situational reliever. He isn't that far from the major leagues, having done well in Double-A ball last season (3-0 record, strikeout per inning, not that many walks, opposing hitters batting just .200 against him).
He has a good arm, touching in the low 90s with his fastball, and more importantly he throws a couple different versions of a slider, which makes him more effective against left-handed batters. It allows the Tigers to begin the season with Dontrelle Willis in the rotation, but also for a couple backup plans in the bullpen should there be a need to move left-hander Phil Coke into the starting rotation.
One thing is apparent: Robertson isn't effective out of the bullpen. He also had some trade value. Willis has none.
The Tigers still would have plenty of lefty depth if Coke is moved into the rotation with Fu-Te Ni, Daniel Schlereth and Voss - despite the injury status of Bobby Seay.

Transcript of my live chat today at




Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Fool Yourself About Reported Oregon Offer: Izzo Loves Such Attention

Don't think for a second Tom Izzo doesn't love the notion of Phil Knight and NIKE U offering him a boatload of money to move to the land where "Animal House" was filmed.
While an offer and actually accepting it are two very different things, Izzo loves such attention because it only solidifies his place on the bully pulpit in East Lansing.
Not that such power is necessarily a bad thing. Izzo doesn't tend to abuse it, but he does understand fully well how quickly the worm can turn in his profession. A couple mediocre years and it would be amazing how quickly the Final Four appearances will be forgotten. Izzo has gotten a dose of that in the past and expressed distaste for the "what have you done for me lately" aspect of his job.
But especially with the University of Michigan floundering athletically these days - including basketball - Izzo owns the recruiting pipe line in this state, which does feature some of the best high school basketball in the nation.
He can recruit nationally, too - and his type of players. Oregon is a bunch of flash - more about style than substance.
Izzo's style is substance. Doesn't seem like he'd fit well there.

Random Thoughts

- It's entirely possible the Pistons could end their season on a 17-game losing streak. Of their remaining nine games, only four are at home - all against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. What a disaster. They can't even beat New Jersey. Wow.

- Lets see, center fielder Austin Jackson and second baseman Scott Sizemore have never played an inning in the major leagues, and pitchers Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and Joel Zumaya are all on the comeback trail - the Tigers will enter this season with anything but a settled roster.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press on Michigan State:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Column On MSU In Sunday's Oakland Press

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Might Be Ken Holland's Best Work

Being the subject of praise is nothing new for Red Wings' general manager Ken Holland, but this season may end up representing his best work yet.
Not only because he didn't panic and dump Jimmy Howard and opt for a veteran to backup Chris Osgood - Howard has easily been the Red Wings MVP despite a spotty minor league career and poor performances in brief shots with the Red Wings in the past.
But he acquired inexpensive veterans such as Todd Bertuzzi, Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves to fill out the Red Wings salary cap-depleted forward lines.
Can you imagine with the Red Wings this season, not only without Howard, but without the three above-mentioned forwards?
Me neither.

Random Thoughts

- Calgary getting beat by the Islanders Thursday was a huge boost for the Red Wings' playoff hopes. My best guess is they end up as the sixth-seed in the Western Conference.

- You have to give Dontrelle Willis this much: He has pitched far better than anticipated this spring.

- Yeah. I'm the idiot who picked Butler to lose to Syracuse and Washington to beat West Virginia Thursday.

My column in Friday's Oakland Press - Michigan State faces "a trap game" tonight against Northern Iowa:

Caputo And His Boss video with myself and sports editor Jeff Kuehn: On the Michigan State-Northern Iowa game tonight

Caputo And His Boss video with myself and Jeff Kuehn - Jim Schwartz says the Lions have found their quarterback for the next dozen years in Matthew Stafford. Is that true?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

On The NCAA Tournament, Hank, Doc And Rich Rod

My fearless forecasts for today and Friday in Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament:

- I see Washington as the Cinderella story that doesn't have its glass slipper shattered. Washington has won nine in a row, and has two key components that work well in the NCAA tourney - an excellent point guard in Isaiah Thomas, and a tough, veteran forward in senior Quincy Pondexter. The Pac-10 got ripped on all year, but it wasn't really that bad.
Yes, I see the Huskies beating West Virginia today.

My other picks today and tommorrow:
Kentucky over Cornell (no-brainer).
Syracuse over Butler (Butler has been living on borrowed time).
Kansas State over Xavier (Frank Martin is the meanest-looking man I have ever seen)
Purdue over Duke (Purdue has bonded under difficult circumstances).
Ohio State over Tennessee (Evan Turner is the best player in the country).
Michigan State over Northern Iowa (But it will be very close...)
Saint Mary's over Baylor (Saint Mary's is far better than its 10th seed indicates)

Random Thoughts

- It's hardly a conincidence the Red Wings are playing better now that Henrik Zetterberg is playing better.

- It's a shame about Doc Gooden. At his best, he was the most talented pitcher I've ever seen. Better than Nolan Ryan, better than Roger Clemens, better than Pedro Martinez, better than Jose Lima.
Ah, just kidding about Jose Lima thing.

- I don't know, honestly, as it stands alone, whether Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez being involved as part of a lawsuit for not repaying a $1 million loan in Alabama is that big a deal in the minds of Michigan's faithful.
But it hasn't been just one thing with Rodriguez. It's the gathering of issues, compared to his lack of accomplishments, since he arrived in Ann Arbor that is so troubling. It's been one issue after another. Just another headline sent out across the world making the university look bad.

My Column in Thursday's Oakland Press on why the Lions should not sign Pac Man Jones:


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On Change In Overtime Rule, Red Wings' Schedule And Avila

I like it that the NFL is changing its overtime rule for the playoffs, so the odds aren't overwhelmingly in favor of the team winning a coin flip.
If one team only kicks a field goal after the first possession, the other team will now get the ball. They are considering, and should also implement, this rule change for the regular season.
That's because there have been two dramatic changes in football, both involving the kicking game.
One is that field goal kickers are much more accurate - and from longer range - than they were decades ago. Another is the kickoff rule. The ball is kicked off from the 30-yard line now, allowing for returns, and better field position for the offensive team.
The first two decades of the overtime rule in the NFL, it was a 50-50 proposition on which team would win.
Now it's slanted dramatically to the team winning the flip. It will also add interest in overtime. Teams will play for touchdowns now, rather than field goals. And by the way, I like the college rule better. Now that would be exciting in the NFL. At least this is a step in the right direction.

Random Thoughts

- The schedule is finally on the Red Wings' side, and they must take advantage of it. Six of their last 10 games are home. Six of those games are against teams already essentially out of the playoff hunt - five of those at home. They have home games remaining against St. Louis, Minnesota, Columbus twice and Edmonton. One of their remaining road games is at Columbus. The Red Wings play the struggling Blue Jackets three of their final 10 games overall.
If the Red Wings don't make the playoffs, the schedule certainly can't be used as an excuse at this point. But I think they will get in - and maybe secure as high as a No.6 seed.

- Because Gerald Laird is obviously going to do the bulk of catching this season, the Tigers would be wise to send Alex Avila to Toledo to begin the season. The bigger issue isn't who will start the season as the Tigers' regular catcher, but who will end it. If I were a betting man, I'd say that will be Avila. He has a potential to be a solid receiver - and an excellent, power-hitting left-handed stroke.

My thoughts on Jimmy Howard's facewash of Sidney Crosby in Caputo and His Boss video. If Sidney Crosby is "the face of Canada" like Jeff Kuehn says, then it got washed Monday night:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Tigers Pitching Staff, Jimmy Howard And Prediction About MSU-Northern Iowa

Injuries can have a ripple effect on what transpires with a pitching staff.
If Bobby Seay's arm ailment lingers for a long period, it will make it less likely Phil Coke will eventually assume a spot in the Tigers' starting pitching rotation. And Coke to the rotation is part of Plan B should Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson and/or Jeremy Bonderman not pan out.
And, as encouraging as spring training has been for that high-priced, underperforming trio, it remains the more likely scenario none will pitch effectively this season.
Another "X" factor in this equation is Daniel Schlereth. It remains difficult at this point to know exactly what the Tigers can expect from him this coming season - and when.

Random Thoughts

- If Jimmy Howard keeps this up, how can he not win the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year?

- Red Berenson's Michigan hockey team was fabulous, after a mediocre regular season, while winning the CCHA tournament as a seventh seed. It would be a great story - and a terrific thing for this state and area - should the Wolverines advance to the Frozen Four at Ford Field. Backup goalie Shawn Hunwick - all 5-7, 165 pounds of him - has been brilliant for the Wolverines.

- Prediction: Michigan State won't miss Kalin Lucas as much as anticipated Friday against Northern Iowa because Korie Lucious will emerge as bonafide floor leader.

- My column in Tuesday's Oakland Press about how Sidney Crosby proved again Monday against the Red Wings he is more hype than substance:

- Transcript of my live chat Tuesday on Tigers' prospects, Lions draft, minor league team in Oakland County, MSU in NCAA tournament, Red Wings-Penguins game and high school basketball:


Live Chat Today


Monday, March 22, 2010

On Tiger, Sid The Kid, Izzo And Pac Man...


What Tiger Woods said during his short interviews with The Golf Channel and ESPN were predictable. What struck me more than anything else, though, is the look in his eyes. Is it just me, or did the guy look incredibly sad? If so, that might be a good thing. Maybe a sign he is truly contrite.

- Gee. I wonder if they will boo Sidney Crosby at Joe Louis Arena tonight? Or whether there will be cheers for him from overzealous Canadians? We are a border town, remember? You know who really deserves nothing but boos is Matt Cooke. He has to be the biggest cheapshot artist ever play in the NHL. And that's saying something.

- My statement on MSU beating Maryland under improbable circumstances? Hook, line, sinker. Everybody bit on Izzo's motivational tools for this team, and have grossly underestimated the Spartans. Yeah, even with Kalin Lucas hurt.

- If I were the Lions, I'd pass on Pac Man Jones. His trouble sheet is just way too long.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press on Michigan State. What's the surprise? Really:

My column in Sunday's Oakland Press: The Bar Has Been Raised For Oakland Basketball


Friday, March 19, 2010

On OU's Chances, Nate And Dontrelle - And The Goofy NHL

Technically, the odds of Oakland, as a 14th seed, beating Pitt today are about 12 percent.
But I think, in reality, the Golden Grizzlies have a better shot than that.
Keith Benson is the key. He is a 6-11 player with a probable NBA future. Pitt doesn't have a player like that. He is a force around the rim. But if he gets into foul trouble, Oakland is in trouble. I did pick Pitt in my pools. I'd give Oakland about a 20 percent shot at winning this game.

- There are two ways of looking at Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis, and the fact they have pitched reasonably well this spring. One is it is fool's gold - especially in the case of Willis because nobody has ever bounced back from what he has had.
Or the Tigers might as well throw them out there in the regular season to find out for sure what they can do to earn their hefty salaries. You can never find out anything for certain from spring training. You can always go to Phil Coke in the rotation later and/or call up Armando Galarraga from Toledo.

- As much as I love hockey itself, I must frustratingly admit the NHL is poorly run in many regards. How can the Red Wings have four days off in Western Canada and then play a marquee game against Pittsburgh at home on a Monday after playing a night game - the second of back-to-back games - in Vancouver on Saturday?
No games in four days in the middle of a road trip, followed by three games in four nights with a trip back home from the West Coast as part of the mix. As Marty Morhinweg used to say: Jeeez.

Caputo And His Boss video on today's Oakland game:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Playing The Masters A Sign Tiger Is Still All About Tiger

Some are of the thought Tiger Woods' return for The Masters is perfect timing. That if Tiger somehow triumphs next month, it will be the culmination of this great comeback story.
It would be the classic American tale. Biggest of all hero takes fall because of glaring weakness that is easily identified by society. It's Thanksgiving weekend when all you-know-what breaks loose.
Said hero is run through the ringer by everyone from the tabloid press to the women on "The View" to a sports media that is generally more comfortable about analysing how much under par Tiger is on the course rather than over par off of it.
It would all be wrapped up in a neat little package just in time for spring. Just another showing at the cinema now ready for distribution via DVD and pay-per-view.
Thing is, life does not work like that. Seems to soon. If there was ever anyone who needed to stay away from work for awhile to spent time with his family, it is Tiger Woods. To me, being unwilling to bypass The Masters, is a sign Tiger is still about Tiger - not Elin and the kids.

Random Thoughts

- I like it when the Lions play marquee teams on Thanksgiving. New England is perfect. Tom Brady made his NFL debut against the Lions on Thanksgiving in 2000. He was 1-of-3 in garbage time for Drew Bledsoe. The Lions won that game in a rout, 34-9. My, how things went in a different direction for both franchises after that, eh?

- Look, I've never been one to put too much meaning in spring training games. But it is not an encouraging sign for the Tigers, at least for this coming season, that Daniel Schlereth and Max Scherzer have not pitched well. The talk about Dontrelle Willis in the rotation is ridiculous. He has four walks, a hit batter and just three strikeouts in seven innings. His command has not been good.
Conversely, it does mean something that outfielder Austin Jackson, with a lot of pressure on him, has performed well.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Transcript Of My Live Chat This Morning At

On a variety of subjects:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Thoughts To Consider About The Lions Trading for QB Shaun Hill

Reminder: I will have a live chat Tuesday morning at 11:30 at

The Lions reportedly are in the process of trading a seventh-round draft choice to San Francisco for quarterback Shaun Hill.

At 30, Hill is the ideal backup for Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford. Here's why:
- He is just 30 years old and has a 10-6 record in the NFL as a starter.
- He has completed better than 61 percent of his NFL passes.
- He has a touchdown pass-to-interception ratio of better than two-to-one during his career.
- He played Lions' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan when both were with the Vikings, so he knows the offense.

Why he was available:
- After getting off to an impressive start, Hill played two bad games last season and was replaced by former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith.
- He is not signed long term. He is in the final season of a three-year deal that reportedly will pay him $1.5 million in 2010.
- The 49ers agreed to terms with the more physically-gifted David Carr last week, giving them two No. 1 overall draft choices at QB, neither of whom has had much success in the league.

The Skinny on Hill:
- He has always been undervalued because of a lack of arm strength and overall athleticism, but all Hill has ever done is win.
- He wasn't recruited by Division I schools out of high school and went to junior college.
- He didn't win the starting job at Maryland until his senior year, but then led Maryland its best season in a long time - and to heights it hasn't reached since.
- Hill is not a long-term solution. If he were to start for an extended period, he would be exposed. What he can do is win a few a games if your starter goes down. He is always ready for opportunity and is a cerebral player. And he is in his prime years for an NFL QB, not an aging veteran with little tread remaining.

Question, though:
Would the Lions have been better off with Derek Anderson?

My column in Sunday's Oakland Press about the Lions utter need to draft defensively in the upcoming draft:

My column in Monday's Oakland Press about Oakland University getting a disappointing seed, but a great draw in NCAA tournament:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honestly, I Don't Want To Know How I'd Do On The Wonderlic Test

I would make fun of people not scoring well on the Wonderlic Test, but to be honest with you, I‘m not sure how well I’d score. I think of all the testing done through the NFL’s draft process, I think it’s the least accurate. And I also think it puts an undeserved stigma on players who don’t do well on it.

- Count me among those who feel like Cliff Avril is still going to be a good player.

- I’m far from convinced about Scott Sizemore and Austin Jackson. That is still the most iffy factor for the Tigers - those two rookies. Do think their pitching will be fine. Lots of depth there.

- Double-whammy for Twins is leaving Metrodome and losing Joe Nathan. After Joe Mauer, they were best things going for that franchise when it came to winning games.

- How come every time there is a nice day at this time of the year I want to get out a baseball and throw it? Doubt that feeling will ever leave me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not A Good Sign For The Red Wings

All season, I have maintained it was just a matter of time until the Red Wings got their entire team back from various injuries, and make a strong run.
And I haven't viewed it as just a strong close to the regular season and making the playoffs, but also to making a deep run into the postseason.
I have been of the thinking the Red Wings would beat Chicago or San Jose were they to meet in the playoffs. I have envisioned the Red Wings peaking at just the right time.
But that theory got thrown badly out of whack Tuesday night against Calgary. The Flames are hanging on. The Red Wings should have taken advantage of it by surging by them on home ice.
Instead, the Red Wings were outshot 15-4 in the final period during what was arguably the most important game of the season thus far.
Here's the bottom line about the Red Wings: They need more from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They must be the great players they are reputed to be, although questions are being raised about Zetterberg's health because he hasn't displayed much jump of late.
Jimmy Howard is not the problem. The Red Wings were so badly outplayed in the third period Tuesday, no goalie would have stopped the Flames under the circumstances. The Red Wings were similarly punked at home by Vancouver in their first home game after the Olympic break. Not a good sign.

Random Thoughts

- Ryan Perry is an "X" factor for the Tigers. He is capable of doing for this club what Joel Zumaya did as a setup man for the American League pennant winners in 2006.

- Max Scherzer is not a veteran pitcher. He is a young pitcher with a new ball club. If he doesn't start pitching well soon, it will mean something.

- Michigan State may be a three-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but the Spartans' bracket is pretty manageable. Would be surprised if they don't reach the title game.

My column in Wednesday's Oakland Press on Oakland University winning the Summit League Tournament:

Caputo And Boss Video (James Briggs in for Jeff Kuehn): Has the Lions' off season really gone that well?


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Three Reasons Why, At this Point, I Would Take Berry Over Suh And McCoy

1. Tennessee's Eric Berry is the best playmaker on the defensive side of the ball in this draft. Not only does he have the size and speed to play both safety and corner, he is a solid ballhawk. He is also one of those players with the ability to get to the quarterback if asked to blitz.

2. Berry would make more plays than Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy, who are not really fits for what is required of tackles in the Lions' version of the 4-3 defense.

3. The Lions need turnovers. They somebody to force fumbles. Somebody to intercept passes. It's a passing league. They need to be as strong as possible at the last line of defense, which is safety. Look what Darren Sharper did for the Saints last season. Look how much safeties from Ed Reed to Brian Dawkins to Bob Sanders have meant to their defenses in recent years. Louis Delmas is probably going to be a very good player, but it's unlikely to be in their class. Berry has a chance to be because he is such a great athlete and skilled player.


Transcript From Live Chat

This is the transcript from my live chat today at

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Good And Bad Of The Lions Getting Chris Houston

Chris Houston fits the Lions in a number of ways. He is fast and can run with the best receivers in the NFL. He is young. Just 25. He wouldn’t cost much. A late-round draft pick. The Lions wouldn’t be on the hook with him forever - like they would be with a free agent. This is the last year of the contract Houston signed in 2007 after being taken in the second round (41st overall) in the NFL Draft.
But Houston is available for a reason. While he is often in good position to make plays, his ball skills are lacking. He not only has gotten beaten on a number of so-called "jump balls," but he has been prone to pass interference penalties. Also, how healthy is he? He missed the last few weeks of last season because of a significant hamstring injury.
There is a reason the Falcons gave up on Houston so soon, and were willing to give free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson such a huge contract as a free agent.

My Column in Monday's Oakland Press: Mike Hart's Words Have Comeback To Haunt Michigan:


Friday, March 05, 2010

Vanden Bosch A Stop Gap On A Team That Needs Building Blocks

It seems pretty obvious that Kyle Vanden Bosch has likely played his best football. It would seem likely, on the other side of 30, he would fit better on a contending team that is looking for a final piece or two to a puzzle than building blocks.
Will he play well this coming season? Probably. But will he be around when the Lions, if they make the right moves, find themselves in contention? Probably not.
I see the Lions needing a core of young players that come up together. Once that happens, signing a player such as Vanden Bosch would make much more sense.

- I don't get the impression Corey Williams is on the downside of his career. He is a good gap-control tackle with plenty of size. Fits Lions' 4-3. But how early a draft pick would the Lions have to surrender? Again. This is a 30-year-old player during the coming season. Fifth-round or above - cool. Fourth-round or lower - crazy.

- Three Things I like about the Lions singing Nate Burleson:
1. He can catch the ball. He may not be the biggest home run threat, but he doesn't drop passes. His last season in college, he caught 138 balls. He has been consistent. And he will get chances because Calvin Johnson does create room for the Lions' other receivers. Last season, however, it was pathetic how they weren't able to take advantage of it, which only led to more attention on Johnson.
2. This is not some older player on his last legs. Burleson should have a couple good seasons remaining. He did have a serious knee injury in 2008, but bounced back nicely last season.
3. He can return punts. He has actually returned a few punts for TDs in his career. He did well in this role last season. And it has been one of the Lions' many weaknesses in recent years.

My Column in Friday's Oakland Press: Why The Tigers Couldn't Do Better Than Jim Leyland


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Could It Be Ozzie Time Again For The Red Wings?

The Red Wings loss to Vancouver Wednesday was disturbing. I don't recall a game in which the opposing team continually got behind the Red Wings' defense like that. I don't know if it would be fair to put the loss on goaltender Jimmy Howard, but it wasn't like he stepped forward, either. Getting pulled like that could be significant. I do wonder if Chris Osgood will get an opportunity. It could be Ozzie's late-career M.O. t0 play poorly most of the season and then come on just in time for the playoffs. That team needs to wake up. It was sure asleep Wednesday. And time is no longer on the Red Wings side.

Random Thoughts

- No LenDale White for the Lions. He was tendered by the Titans as a restricted free agent and would cost the Lions a second-round draft choice to get him. That is not happening. Still think the Lions would benefit from a bigger every down back.

- I took a long look at The Palace when I was there Tuesday, and it really hit home just how much nicer a venue it is than Joe Louis Arena. The lower-level suites, the wide concourses, the restaurants. Just much nicer. Couldn't help but thinking what a cash cow it would be for the Red Wings in comparison to Joe Louis. It would be naive to think they haven't thought the same thing.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Some Thoughts On The Combine....

I thought the running back that improved his stock the most at the combine was Tennessee's Montario Hardesty. A 41-inch vertal, sub 4.5 40 time - wow. He was a good college player, but overlooked. His college teammate, safety Eric Berry might emerge as the top defensive player. It's obvious he can play cornerback, if needed there. Thought Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were also impressive. There are some great athletes, particularly on defense, available in this draft. It's exceptional in that regard.

- Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour hurt himself by not throwing. He could have really separated himself from the pack and stood out. Instead, people are left to wonder what he is hiding. He got some bad advice. Tim Tebow also hurt himself by not throwing. He is a great athlete, but he is not trying to win the decathlathon. His excellent workouts otherwise meant little because he didn't throw.

My Column in Wednesday's Oakland Press: By any standard, if Toby Gerhart were black, he'd be a first-round NFL draft pick


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sizemore, Inge Biggest Issues As Tigers' Exhibition Season Begins

I look at the Tigers, as they open their exhibition season, as being a glass half-full, glass half-empty proposition. Half-full because I think the Tigers pitching staff has the potential to be as good as any in the American League this season. Half-empty because their lineup is not pieced together with a lot of sense to begin with, and it's iffy how ready second baseman Scott Sizemore and third baseman Brandon Inge are going to be physically when the season starts.
I don't see options for the Tigers at third base or second base should Sizemore or Inge not be healthy. That's particularly true at third base.
Jim Leyland still has to fill out his starting pitching rotation, but there are numerous options there. I still see Phil Coke as the fourth starter and Armando Galarraga as the fifth starter.

Transcript of my live chat today on a number of subjects from the NFL Draft to Tigers to U-M football - and various others:


Monday, March 01, 2010

Live Chat

I am doing a live chat 11:30 am Tuesday at

Antonio Cromarte Would Fit Lions Needs Perfectly, But...

Don't believe the reports the reason the San Diego Chargers are willing to trade shutdown cornerback Antonio Cromartie - and apparently not for a lot - is because he is not a hard-hitting tackler.
He is a great player, just 25 years old. In 2007, he had 10 interceptions and was a first-team All Pro. He had fewer picks the last two seasons, but teams don't test him. He is a sure-thing as a football talent.
His issue is off-the-field: Cromartie reportedly has fathered seven children with six different mothers in five different states - and has been named in at least five paternity suits.
There are two ways to look at this. One is that Cromartie could be distracted. Another, he will be motivated. That's a lot in child support payments.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press about how American hockey is now equal to Canadian hockey

My Column in Sunday's Oakland Press about the fall of Michigan's athletic program and challenge facing new AD David Brandon