Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday show/chat

This is a replay of the Monday show/chat at We do this every Monday afternoon from 12:30 to 1:15

Win in Buffalo sums up Red Wings' collective character

I don't what is more amazing: How clutch the Red Wings are, or how it flies under the radar in this town.
Take the Red Wings' victory Saturday night in Buffalo, for example. Down 2-1 with less than a minute remaining in the regulation time, Jiri Hudler scored as the Red Wings went with an extra attacker. In the shootout, Hudler and Pavel Datsyuk scored, with the first two shots, on the Sabres' Ryan Miller - the world's top goalie. In the meantime, Red Wings' backup Joey MacDonald thwarted the Sabres, who had been stellar in shootouts this season. This came after back-to-back home losses by the Red Wings and they appeared to be reeling.
The Red Wings are unflinching in regard to coming through. That was a truly thrilling hockey game Saturday, which has received little notice. That just isn't right. The Red Wings are too good to be taken for granted in this town.

Random Thoughts

- A 1-0 shutout in a spring training game? Weird. The best part from the Tigers' standpoint Sunday was the one-inning shutout performance by Joel Zumaya. If he pitches well and stays healthy this season, it would provide the Tigers with an extraordinary boost. Then again, can there be a bigger "if."

- Prediction: Michigan State will beat Iowa and lose at Michigan this week to finish 9-9 in the Big Ten. That would also mean Michigan is 9-9, putting the fate of both in-state Big Ten schools regarding the NCAA tournament resting on the conference tournament. At least it will make the Big Ten Tournament compelling for a change.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is an NFL Draft the Lions should consider trading up to get another elite player

My column in Monday's Oakland Press:

Ultimately, what matters to fans is what Miguel Cabrera does on the field, not off

My column in Sunday's Oakland Press:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cabrera is back where he rightfully belongs - on the field

There are so many things to pick at when it comes to Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera and his DUI arrest.
The alleged swigging of hard liquor in front of police officers. The "don't you know who I am" attitude he reportedly presented. The evidence that keeps mounting strongly suggesting he has a drinking issue.
It'll be a long time before Cabrera will fully earn the trust of fans, management and his teammates. I mean, he was not fully there down the stretch for the Tigers in 2009. Obviously, his dedication to this coming season was not good. He is, justifiably, perceived as the other shoe about to drop. And will be deep into the future.
The term is knucklehead. That's not meant to be mean. It's just what people are saying because it fits Cabrera at this point. There is no defense for getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, especially a person making $20 million per year, who can afford to be driven from Florida to California and back 50 times - and still have plenty of pocket change.
It's just that I disagree with the notion, the Tigers should keep him off the field. Or that he must be locked up for the public's safety.
First of all, the Tigers aren't the bad guys in this. They not only need to protect their investment, they also need Cabrera to flourish. He is the best hitter they have had in my lifetime and a Hall of Fame caliber player. I think he is the best hitter in the game. I'm not alone.
The Tigers are running a business with an annual budget conservatively estimated at $200 million per year - 10 percent of which goes to pay their top player's salary.
The other thing, who is to say Cabrera wouldn't better dealing with this issue while playing? While the road is tempting and the baseball lifestyle slanted toward the "beer or two after the game" mentality, it is much easier to keep him under control when he is under the watchful eye of the team.
There is also the matter of due process. This is, albeit technically because he wasn't charged with anything in Birmingham in 2009, a first-time offense for Cabrera. He shouldn't be treated by the law and Major League Baseball any differently than anyone else. I have no issues with the way the Tigers are handling this matter.
The only thing I do wish, is that Cabrera would admit that has a drinking problem. There does seem to be self-denial going on there.

Random Thoughts

- The piling on Richard Hamilton continues. The Pistons reportedly could have traded him to Cleveland, but only if he had agreed to an undisclosed buyout of his contract. Yeah. So he is selfish for not giving up $25 million the next two years? Please. Joe Dumars made his bed here when he gave Hamilton that contract extension. Don't blame Hamilton because the Pistons - and their confused and suffering fans - have to sleep in it.

- Three reasons Michigan's basketball team has turned the corner: Tim Hardaway Jr, Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan.

- If I'm the Carolina Panthers, I'd take Missouri QB
Blaine Gabbert with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. He is the most underrated player in this draft, and a much better player than Jimmy Clausen


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Before you get too judgmental about Miguel Cabrera...

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera let down a lot of people by getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Compounding the issue was his alleged deportment during the arrest (if this was taped, it will be the all-timer to see) .
Obviously, he has a drinking problem. And has had for sometime.
It was kind of the Tigers' dirty little secret - and baseball's as a whole - before it became public in Birmingham late in the 2009 season.
But Cabrera, although contrite, never came clean about the drinking problem itself. And while it is likely he will be following this incident, it doesn't mean he will have it licked. What is it they say? It will just be the first step.
I knew Steve Howe. He was a good guy, who understood fully his drug problems were hurting people surrounding him and hindering his career. He couldn't get over them. He was constantly suspended from baseball.
I've worked with Lary Sorensen. Good guy. Drinking and subsequent DUI arrests caused havoc, which tore his family life apart - which he cherished - and ruined a promising broadcasting career.
Those guys couldn't help themselves - even though there were many people reaching out to help them, and each fell under the category of reasonably bright.
This will hurt the Tigers immensely. It is the worst possible distraction for a contending team, especially considering Cabrera's top rank in the game. He needs help, the kind that takes longer than six weeks for results. The Tigers need him on the field. Where do you find balance in that? Play him - and get help after the season? Bite the bullet - and have Cabrera go to rehab?
But ask yourself, could Cabrera help it?
I tend to think he couldn't.

NOTE: I am still recovering from my surgery, but if all continues to go well, I will be returning to work full-time at the end of next week. Thanks, again, for your support. Caputo


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

To the readers of this blog....

I have been in the hospital the last week, have had surgery and returned home today. I will be returning to work within the next couple weeks. A quick and full recovery is anticipated. That's why I haven't posted any entries. I did want to take this chance to thank those who support this blog. I learn quite a bit about sports - and life - from you. I enjoy the interaction. Have a great day.