Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the state of MSU football and basketball - and the Tigers signing Brad Penny

The disappointment of the bowl rout to Alabama aside, Michigan State shouldn't be unhappy with a final ranking of 14th in the Associated Press poll. The Spartans finished one spot ahead of the "other MSU" - Mississippi State. When history looks back at 2010, it will see that the Spartans beat Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State in the same season, and that the Spartans did have a signature victory over Wisconsin, which placed No. 7 in the final AP Poll. There was a lot more good than bad for the Spartans football in 2010.

Random Thoughts

- Who would have thought at this stage of January, the Spartans' football team would be rated in the Top 25, and not the basketball team. Yet, who doesn't expect Tom Izzo's squad to make a long tournament run in March? It's all about peaking at the right time.

- Brad Penny is a quality pitcher and should help the Tigers - if he is healthy. It's good the one-year contract, reportedly worth $3 million guaranteed, is incentive-laden. If healthy, Penny could easily win 12-to-15 games for the Tigers. If healthy, Penny would be a significant upgrade from Armando Galarraga as the fifth starter.
But look, in that relatively short paragraph, how many times "Penny" and "if healthy" were mentioned. The knock on Penny is that, just when you start to depend on him, he breaks down. Happened just last year in St. Louis.



Blogger Core Contrarian said...

Don't think Penny is a bad signing considering the money but I can't get Troy Percival out of my mind.

2:27 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Let's count the "if healthy" club members:

Magglio Ordonez
Joel Zoom-by-ya
Carlos Guillen
Scott Sizemore

(am I missing somebody?)

Notice two of our three 2Bs? And a second catcher who won't DH would help .. help us more than Penny.

I'd rather throw Galaraga - and instead find a 2b or a catcher.

But that's why I sit in the cheap seats.

12:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
The one difference is that Percival was a closer, Penny the fifth starter. Less money involved, too.

3:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
You're absolutely right, Fred. Health will be a huge factor for Tigers in 2011 - on a number of different fronts.

3:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, Fred and Pat, regarding injuries.

Baseball is a game of odds or optimizing and the Tigers are set up worse than many (young)clubs. Key Tiger players have histories of injuries. It's a long season.

Tigers currently have too many "ifs".

Agree, catcher is a key, key spot.

Dombroski had better not fall asleep because there is work to do.

6:26 PM 

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