Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Burke, McGary, sheer will lead Michigan into Elite Eight
|Trey Burke, Mitch McGary = dynamic duo|
MSU Spartans, Izzo will pick up the pieces after laying an egg vs. Duke
|Gary Harris: Will he return to MSU?|
Thursday, March 28, 2013
On Bruce Rondon being sent to Triple-A and Detroit Tigers closer situation
The Tigers fit into the latter department.
I think they have the best club in baseball myself, well, except they don't have a closer. It's like entering the fastest car in the Daytona 500, except for missing a gear.
The Tigers threw all their eggs in Bruce Rondon's basket. He is not remotely ready for the major leagues. So the Tigers are forced to Plan B. Oh, there is no Plan B.
|Jim Leyland: Won't be handing the ball to Bruce Rondon|
Everybody knows the Tigers' plight. The price just went up for legitimate potential closing candidates, if their are any available, which is questionable. Once the season starts, it's highly unlikely the Tigers will be able to make significant trades for a couple months. Everybody likes their team right now. All think they can be like the 2012 Oakland A's. It takes awhile for sellers to understand their fate.
Yes, the Tigers are far superior to their opposition in the American League Central, but a season can get away quickly because of closer issues. For proof, look at the 2008 Tigers. For more recent evidence, check out what transpired for the 2012 Boston Red Sox early last year after projected closer Andrew Bailey was injured.
The Tigers might be fine. You never know. Hey, they got to the World Series with Phil Coke closing when months before he couldn't seem to get any hitters out, regardless the situation. One of manager Jim Leyland's strengths is handling his bullpen. This will take all his skills, but could be like asking Leyland to split the fish and divide the loaves.
It's knocking on wood, crossing your fingers, hoping you roll a seven and a 11. Given the strength of the Tigers' roster otherwise, it's as perplexing as it is inexcusable they find themselves in this spot with the opening of the season mere days away.
Why Michigan, MSU will have trouble carrying Big Ten flag in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Wide receiver high-risk, high-reward position in NFL Draft for Detroit Lions
Monday, March 25, 2013
What it will take for Michigan, MSU to reach Final Four of NCAA Tournament
|John Beilein: Team must do well in half-court sets|
|Coach K and Izzo: Legends of March meet again|
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Why VCU will be such a test for Michigan today
In truth, VCU has a well-established program. It is a part of a conference which is the most underrated in college basketball, the Atlantic 10, which is 6-0 in the NCAA tournament to this point. Yeah. 6-0. The A-10 has 15 percent of the victories in the tournament so far.
Michigan is a young team. The Wolverines' poise will greatly tested today. Their big edge: The home court advantage. I still like Michigan to win this game because it will be as close to a home game as possible at The Palace.
If it were on a neutral court, I'd think VCU would win it. As is, it will be an extremely tough test.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Michigan seeking to gain respect, MSU maintain it
|Izzo, MSU have done it in NCAA tourney, unlike Michigan|
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
NCAA tournament another chip for MSU coach Tom Izzo's shoulder
On Michigan, MSU, Lions' free agency, Tigers' closer, Pavel Datsyuk
Monday, March 18, 2013
Bruce Rondon as Detroit Tigers closer? What we really know
Much better, actually.
But in regard to the most important issue - by far -surrounding the Tigers entering the 2013 season, do we know any more about whether Rondon is capable of filling the closer role now than we did when spring training began?
The answer is, "No."
|Bruce Rondon: Has made significant progress|
He does throw hard. He is striking out nearly two hitters per inning. But he throws too many pitches at this stage.
It does appear less likely the Tigers will trade Rick Porcello for a closer. Drew Smyly has struggled. The Tigers need both Porcello and Smyly.Hitting prospect Nick Castellanos has increased his value by hitting well this spring and not making an errors in left field..
There are two ways to look at Castellanos. He is a extremely valuable chip for a trade, but he could hit himself out of that position if he gets off to a slow start this season, and his value drop.
It all comes back to how desperate the Tigers are to trade for a closer.
My gut feeling is Jim Leyland will not anoint Rondon closer. He will just be in the bullpen mix. Then the season will start, and Leyland will play it by feel.
Before he came to the Tigers, I talked to a number of people who said what Leyland did best in the National League was handle his bullpen. For the most part with the Tigers, that has been true. Certainly he brought Phil Coke along properly last season when he struggled and it paid off handsomely in the playoffs.
Leyland won't panic one way or another, but it's a precarious situation.
NCAA Selection kind to The Palace, Michigan, MSU
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Tigers have become what the Yankees still wish they were
|Boesch: Yankees actually need him|
Friday, March 15, 2013
The Palace, Oakland County - treasures that will shine on NCAA tournament stage
|The Palace: Has stood the test of time|
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Detroit Tigers left field: Lot of pieces to the puzzle, but few fit
The exception: Left field when a left-hander is the opposing pitcher.
AAndy Dirks is a good player. And his numbers are not bad against left-handed pitching (he is left-handed hitter). But Dirks, ideally, plays in about 130 games to get the most from him in regard to production. In a perfect world, the Tigers would have a right-handed hitting option.
|Andy Dirks: Key player for Tigers in '13|
Quintin Berry and Don Kelly do bring a lot of good things to the table: Neither is right-handed hitter.
The Tigers could make a move toward the end of spring training as roster spots get tight and clubs look to make moves.
But ideally, Garcia does show development in Triple-A and can return to the major leagues. It's also up to Dirks. The Tigers are counting on him to reasonably repeat his performance in 2012, which was one of the most underrated factors in the Tigers squeezing out the AL Central title
Monday, March 11, 2013
Detroit Lions can be cured by right free agent moves, NFL Draft picks
|Matthew Stafford: A reason Lions have a shot to contend in '13|
On whether Tigers should trade Rick Porcello, Lions' free agency, Red Wings, MSU, Michigan
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Ultimately, Michigan was just too flawed to win Big Ten title
|Michigan: So close, yet so far away|
Saturday, March 09, 2013
MSU fans need not root for Michigan to beat Indiana
|Izzo's team may be better off with Michigan loss Sunday|
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Why not a guard for Detroit Lions in first round of NFL Draft? This is why
He will play at least a decade in the league. It would surprise no one if he is eventually an All-Pro.
The Lions do have a need at guard. Why not select him fifth overall?
|Chance Warmack: Best NFL guard prospect|
The idea "take the best player available" regardless of position is not a wise one. Some positions are simply more important than others in the NFL Draft. Guard is near the bottom of the list, above fullback and kickers.
It's because guards play in limited space. There is a tackle and a center on each side protecting them. A tackle has to be agile enough protect an open border. It's why the best athletes on the offensive line generally play tackle. Secondly, a guard never touches the ball - like a skill position player on offense. He can help a team score touchdowns, but won't actually be the one who does. Unlike a center, a guard doesn't snap the ball and is rarely as involved as the center with the line calls. A guard's job, in simple terms, is too not be a weak link in the chain in the passing game and run block. It's not that it isn't an important spot. Poor guard play certainly doesn't help a team - and superior guard play does. But there are much more pressing concerns. It's an easier position to fill adequately in the NFL than most others because it doesn't require as much athleticism.
It's why no offensive guard has gone within the first 10 overall picks in the NFL Draft since Colorado's Chris Naeole in 1997 by New Orleans. He was a solid NFL starter for more than 10 years, but few people remember him. It's not his fault. It's the position. It's a limited impact position.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Plan B for Detroit Tigers closer stands for Bewilderment
|Bruce Rondon: Hasn't commanded the baseball|
Monday, March 04, 2013
The Red Wings, their chances of making the playoffs - and the wild, wild West
The half-full part: The Red Wings are very much in the playoff picture (they have made the playoffs 21 straight years, the longest current streak in professional sports). Also, several promising players have emerged and given the Red Wings a much needed lift (Damien Brunner, Joakim Andersson, Brian Lashoff, Tomas Tatar),
The glass half-empty: The Red Wings have lost an inordinate number of man games to injury. Also, they been remarkably inconsistent, literally from period-to-period, let alone game-to-game. In the process, they are letting points get away here and there, which ultimately could prove to be painful.
|Red Wings: Scrambling to make playoffs|
They lost the lead. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who has developed in a solid NHL defenseman after years of getting blistered by Red Wings' fans for being a turnover machine, shot the puck over the glass for an automatic penalty. Then, Patrick Kane, Chicago's superbly skilled center, took over the game with a pretty one-timer tying goal and a sensational clinching move in the overtime shootout.
Ah, the Red Wings got a point. Glass half-full. Ah, Red Wings flittered away a point they should have gotten. Glass half-empty.
Glass half-full: If the season ended today, the Red Wings would be in the playoffs.
Glass half-empty: Yeah, but they have 24 points, and so do five other teams in the Western Conference. In fact, the Western Conference is extraordinary balanced. It's rapidly approaching the halfway point of the NHL's lockout shortened schedule of 48 games (the Red Wings have played 22), and 12 teams have between 26 and 20 points in the Western Conference.
So when the Red Wings let a late lead get away and lose at Los Angeles. Or if they lose twice at home to dreadful Columbus. Or if they get a point when they probably should have had two against Chicago, it's something that could eventually put their spot in the playoffs in jeopardy. Fourteen of the Red Wings' last 22 games are on the road.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Michigan proves it can beat MSU at its own game
|Trey Burke: Great steal essentially won game|
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Seems unlikely Michigan is tough enough to beat MSU
|Gary Harris (left) Best Big Ten freshman|