Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Right idea, but oddly arbitrary NHL decision to suspend Niklas Kronwall for Game 7
But if the NHL is going to take measures such as suspending Kronwall, the Red Wings' best defenseman and in some ways their most important player, for such a critical game, the league must become much less arbitrary in its rulings overall.
The NHL has traditionally set different standards for the playoffs. Presumably it's why Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban, the Canadians' top player and perhaps the best defenseman in the league, wasn't suspended after his two-handed, baseball-swing-like slash fractured Ottawa rookie-scoring sensation Mark Stone's wrist. Moments before Subban had his stick way up, made contact and was, oddly, not given a penalty. At Tampa in Game 5, in an act that seemed like revenge for an earlier incident, Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison finished off the Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader by running his head into the boards. Abdelkader was half-way-down and in a vulnerable position at the time. A few years ago in the playoffs, just as a game ended, Nashville defenseman Shea Weber slammed Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg's head violently and dangerous into the boards. No suspensions were handed down after each of the above-mentioned incidents. So why this one?
Kucherov was carrying the puck at the time Kronwall hit him. The referees saw the play. They didn't even call a penalty.
If the NHL is going to gain the credibility it has lacked because of these type of subjective rulings, it has be more standard across the board. As is, everybody is confused, from the players to the fans, about when they are going to let "the boys decide it on the ice and play" and when they are going to "call the game according to the rule book."
And when player safety really seems to matter, and when it really seems like it doesn't.
My column. Don't be surprised if Kirk Gibson wins his toughest challenge yet: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150428/pat-caputo-dont-be-surprised-if-kirk-gibson-wins-his-toughest-challenge-yet
Monday, April 27, 2015
My thoughts and column on the Red Wings loss to Tampa Bay in Game 6 Monday
My column. Series isn't over, but it should be: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150427/pat-caputo-series-isnt-over-but-red-wings-let-game-6-get-away
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Thoughts after 6 innings Indians, Tigers Sunday
- Miguel Cabrera. Opposite field home run. Classic Comerica Park moment. We saw another one of those today.
- It was overdue for the Tigers to honor Lou Whitaker like they did today, but truthfully they need to do more for him and Alan Trammell. It's one thing for the duo to be ignored like they have been by Baseball Hall of Fame voters, but another here in Detroit. The Tigers seem to be against the idea of putting up another statue at Comerica Park in their honor, but I think it would be appropriate. They are what symbolized the '84 Tigers more than anything else.
My thoughts and column on the Red Wings winning Game 5 at Tampa Bay Sunday
My column. Red Wings' pedigree showing through while turning tables on Lightning: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150425/pat-caputo-pedigree-of-detroit-red-wings-shows-in-turning-series-on-tampa-bay-lightning
Thursday, April 23, 2015
My thoughts and column on the Red Wings' collapse in Game 4 loss to Tampa Bay Thursday
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The Lions will get better if Riley Reiff and Larry Warford do
It's undeniably true. But you also need exceptionally strong links to build the chain. As such, this is the season the Lions need tackle Riley Reiff and guard Larry Warford to step forward.
Both these players are immensely talented. Each took a step back instead of the anticipated step forward last season. The Lions will have to fill holes on their offensive line, especially now that they have cut Rodney Austin this week. But as the off-season program begins, there are a number of places the Lions need year-to-year improvement. None is more important than with Reiff and Warford on the offensive line.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Thoughts after 6 innings Yankees, Tigers Monday
- The home run by Mark Teixeria off Alfredo Simon I thought was a mistake pitch. Not the location. It was low and on the outside part of the strike zone. But it was a flat pitch. And why not throw him fastballs? Seems like Teixeria doesn't hit the hard stuff like he used to.
- C.C. Sabathia has become the classic pitcher. He is making a lot out of reduced stuff. The double play ball is killing the Tigers tonight.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
My thoughts and column on the Tigers rout of the White Sox Sunday
My column. How off-season moves by Dave Dombrowski have spurred hot start by the Tigers: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150419/pat-caputo-how-off-season-moves-by-dave-dombrowski-have-spurred-hot-start-by-detroit-tigers
Thoughts after 5 innings White Sox, Tigers Sunday
- It's amazing how routine Jose Iglesias made Tyler Flowers' slow grounder in the hole look during the fifth inning. Last year, when Iglesias was out, that play was an adventure for Tigers' shortstops.
- Watching Rick Porcello struggle today in the early innings vs. Baltimore for the Red Sox, and Shane Greene sail through the White Sox order so easily, it's not a stretch to suggest the Tigers didn't lose anything by replacing Porcello in their rotation with Greene. Opposing hitters just haven't been getting good swings against Greene. It's a sign he has excellent "stuff." His command has been pretty good, too. Certainly, considering Porcello got an $82 million contract with the Red Sox, the price is right.
- With all the Tigers' right-handed thunder, I don't envision relatively soft-tossing left-handers like Jose Quintana faring well against them. Quintana appeared completely overmatched today. What a beating.
My column. The Red Wings have a lot of issues heading into Game 3 vs. Tampa Bay, but Petr Mrazek is not among them: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150418/pat-caputo-detroit-red-wings-have-many-issues-vs-lightning-petr-mrazek-not-among-them
Saturday, April 18, 2015
My thoughts and column on Red Wings' 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay Sunday in Stanley Cup playoffs
My column. Red Wings have many issues vs. Lightning, but Petr Mrazek not among them: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150418/pat-caputo-detroit-red-wings-have-many-issues-vs-lightning-petr-mrazek-not-among-them
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Detroit Lions, NFL Draft, need for a running back and what they should do
But his knee injury (ACL), suffered late last season, should keep the Lions from drafting him. They need a fast running back after finishing near the bottom of the NFL in rushing last year, even with defenses loading up to stop their passing attack, and displaying light boxes up front literally daring the Lions to run the ball.
But Gurley's progress is unknown, and will still largely be even after a scheduled evaluation by teams this week in Indianapolis (he wasn't examined at the combine).
In the first round, the best way for the Lions to fill their needs and aid their running attack would be to draft LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins. Not only does he project as a long-term starter with a good upside, but he is advanced enough to start immediately at right tackle or inside at guard.
I wrote after the Senior Bowl that I felt Collins was the ideal fit for the Lions in the first-round. I still do with the draft just a little more than two weeks away.
My column. A case for the Red Wings stunning Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup playoffs: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150415/pat-caputo-a-case-for-detroit-red-wings-stunning-tampa-bay-lightning-in-stanley-cup-playoffs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Thoughts after 6 innings Tigers, Pirates Wednesday
- Alfredo Simon has an average MLB fastball. His breaking ball is his out pitch. Because he is tall (6-foot-6), the 12/6 break he has consistently features makes his breaking ball even more effective because of the increased tilt. It makes it difficult for hitters to lift the ball against him. Last year, 13 of the 22 home runs he allowed were in the small ball park in Cincinnati.
- That was a nice play by Nick Castellanos in the sixth inning. Perhaps he is making progress defensively. His range is still limited, but not nearly to the same degree as last year.
My column. The case for the Red Wings stunning Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup playoffs: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150415/pat-caputo-a-case-for-detroit-red-wings-stunning-tampa-bay-lightning-in-stanley-cup-playoffs
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Thoughts after 6 1-2 innings Tigers, Pirates Tuesday
- It took the Tigers longer than you'd expect to break through against Pirates' starter A.J. Burnett. The two-out hit by Rajai Davis was huge. I think it was a good decision by manager Tigers' Brad Ausmus to not over-react there and pinch hit either Anthony Gose or Victor Martinez for Davis. It was a good piece of hitting by Davis to lay off Burnett's breaking ball and a high fastball that was close before delivering the hit.
- It continues to be obvious just how important the return of Jose Iglesias is to the Tigers. It's weird, but he seems like a more settled and consistent player than he was before forced to sit out the entire '14 season because of injury. Watching Iglesias and Ian Kinsler turn a routine double play is like watching some sort of baseball arm form.
- Shane Greene does have the ability to miss bats, but what is really impressive is how it doesn't seem like hitters get quality swings against him. It's a lot of weak grounders. The Tigers improved defense should help him. In fact, it has tonight. That was nice play by J.D. Martinez in the sixth.
- This could be the Tigers' bullpen first real test this season. We'll see if it passes.
My column. Tigers, Royals and how opposites clash in American League Central: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150414/pat-caputo-detroit-tigers-kansas-city-royals-and-how-opposites-clash-in-al-central
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
My thoughts and column on the Tigers' 11-0 victory over Minnesota Wednesday
My column. Why the Tigers start, while terrific, might be misleading: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150408/pat-caputo-terrific-start-by-detroit-tigers-could-be-misleading
Thoughts after 4 innings Twins, Tigers Wednesday
- I don't what the situation was for Ian Kinsler at Texas, but whatever they were, those issues have not been a problem for the Tigers. He has played excellent baseball since the day he arrived, and he continued the pattern he started last year this season. His clutch single essentially broke this game open during in the third inning. He had another clutch RBI hit in the fourth.
- You could just tell how hesitant Twins' starter Ricky Nolasco was to throw his fastball against the heart of the Tigers' order. The Tigers took full advantage of the situation as Nolasco was rendered to throwing mostly sloppy curveballs.
- If there is any lingering effect from Jose Iglesias leg injuries from last year, it is not noticeable. He is running well. It was evident on his double, when he legged out an infield single and scored from first base on a triple by Anthony Gose.
Monday, April 06, 2015
My thoughts and column on the Tigers' 4-0 season-opening victory over Minnesota Saturday
My column. An encouraging Opening Day, and in every way, for the Tigers: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150406/pat-caputo-an-encouraging-opening-day-and-in-every-way-for-the-detroit-tigers
Thoughts after 7 innings Twins, Tigers Opening Day
- The good news is the Tigers have David Price and Yoenis Cespedes this season. They are both performing exceptionally well. The bad news is they are not signed past this year. It makes it even more imperative the Tigers come through in 2015.
- Just like last season, the Tigers are running a lot early this season. They didn't continue the trend as the season moved on '14 because they started getting thrown out with regularity trying to steal. They will continue to run this year, though, because they have much improved overall team speed.
Thoughts after 2 innings Tigers, Twins opening day
- J.D, Martinez has incredible power. Not many right-handed hitters are going to drive it over the big wall in right-center at Comerica Park, especially on a 52-degree day. That was a bomb.
- Alex Avila is at his worst when he is pull happy. He is at is best when he hits the ball where it is pitched. Thing is, he does have power to drive the ball the other way. His home run was a very good sign.
- David Price has such good command. It's a joy to watch him pitch. Good first two innings for him.
Saturday, April 04, 2015
My thoughts on the Red Wings' 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota Saturday
But the Red Wings have had a few nice wins, and some good goaltending mixed in, with mostly subpar overall play and mediocre goaltending since coming back from an outstanding and long road trip that took up most of February. We'll see what Howard has to offer in his next star,t and Petr Mrazek Sunday vs. Washington. It's a quick turnaround against a very good team and a truly great player, the Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin.
My column. Why the 2015 season will define a generation for the Detroit Tigers: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150404/pat-caputo-for-the-detroit-tigers-the-2015-mlb-season-will-define-a-generation
My thoughts and column on the MSU Spartans loss to Duke in the Final Four
My column. No shame in MSU Spartans losing to much better Duke in Final Four: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150404/pat-caputo-no-shame-for-msu-spartans-losing-in-final-four-to-much-better-duke