Detroit Tigers: winter meetings

Embed from Getty Images As MLB general managers and owners gather in Las Vegas the Detroit Tigers needing a short-stop may be willing to listen to offers on a few of their other players.

 

Day one of the 2018 MLB winter meetings bring rumors that teams are asking Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila if outfielder Nick Castellanos is available for a trade.

 

Castellanos, is a gifted hitter who was going to draw a lot of interest. It is and is not surprising that teams are checking in on him day one. The Atlanta Braves showed interest last season and are said to be the first team to ask.

 

Castellanos, is 26 years old and is under team control for one more season before being able to become a free agent. Teams looking for a middle of the order power hitter have turned to the young Detroit budding star.

 

Nick has the most to offer teams and will bring in a solid group of prospects if and when he is dealt. It seems almost certain he will be.

 

I do not think the Tigers are looking to trade pitcher Michael Fulmer at this time. It seems (for good reason) they would like him in the rotation after the rebuild for a crop of young pitchers to learn from. That is a wise move.

 

Out side of a short-stop and possibly moving Nick Castellanos the Tigers figure to have a pretty quiet winter meetings.

Michigan State to play December 31 in the Redbox Bowl

Embed from Getty Images Michigan State was forecasted to have a good season. Injuries and inconsistent play were too much for the Spartans to overcome. So off to Santa Clara California they head.

 

Fresh off a 7-5 campaign Michigan State will face off against the 8-4 Oregon Ducks from the Pac-12. In a 3 p.m. Fox sports televised game.

 

The two teams last squared off in 2015. A game that saw the Spartans come away with a 31-28 victory. The two teams are 3-3 against each other all time.

 

After a few seasons out of the spotlight Oregon is back in a Bowl game. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has a 5-5 Bowl record.

 

Bowl games are important as they set up recruiting season. It is a selling point for would be athletes to see a school they may attend in action.

 

All time in Bowl games Michigan State is 12-15. From 2007-2015 the Spartans set a school record with 9 consecutive Bowl appearances.

 

Michigan State and Oregon are evenly matched. Both teams have had defensive issues mostly due to youth. While both teams starting quarterbacks have struggled both in play and with health.

 

Look for the Spartans to try to establish a running game and grind out the clock while giving their young defense a break.

 

Oregon is well the Oregon of old. They can score in a hurry. They try to out score teams with little defense as is the case with much of the Pac-12 schools.

 

It should be an interesting game. December 31. Be sure to tune in.

 

Detroit Tigers: one more really bad season and then………….

Embed from Getty Images As the Detroit Tigers enter another phase of the rebuild. Tiger fans want to know when they will begin to see light from the darkness. Here is a hint. One more really bad season.

 

As both game attendance and t.v. rankings dropped. The Detroit Tiger forged ahead with a rebuild that seemed was going nowhere. It will feel like it again at the start of the 2019 season.

 

By the time the 2020 MLB season rolls around the Detroit Tigers will begin to emerge from the bad baseball and begin to resemble a young talented team.

 

In all 5-7 years of bad baseball will come to a halt. That is the price Detroit must pay for keeping a winning team on the field for  years.

 

Heading into 2019 new faces Christian Stewart (OF) and Grayson Greiner (C) will be in the every day lineup. I think Detroit Tigers fans will also see the arrival of pitchers Beau Burrows and a few relief pitcher.

 

2020 the rest of the franchises top prospects will arrive. Franklin Perez, Casey Mize, Matt Manning will be starting pitchers in what will be a nasty rotation.

 

Also expect to see Isaac Paredes, Willi Castro, Cody Clemens and Jake Rogers. Will be inserted into the playing field at some point in 2020.

Then the lumps will come. The kids will need to grow up. That means taking their lumps as they learn everyday MLB play. It is absolutely needed.

 

It goes without saying the Tigers will be signing big name free agents by 2021. Tiger fans can also count on general manager Al Avial to make a trade or two.

 

When the dust settles the Detroit Tigers will be made new. Young and more athletic. Then the wins will begin. Hang in there Tiger faithful. The reward is going to be great.

Michigan Wolverines: teams on the rise

Embed from Getty Images Every college has had teams ranked in the top 25 at one time or another. This year the University  Michigan has 3 different athletic programs ranked in the top 10.

 

It is no surprise the Michigan Wolverines football team is a top 10 program. They have been on the rise since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach.

 

The Michigan football team can lay it’s claim for a College Football Playoff spot with a win Saturday against a sluggish Ohio State team. Michigan is 6 point favorites and boasts the better team this go round with their old rivals.

 

Michigan basketball on the other hand was reloading from a National Championship game last season. College basketball experts thought this would be a bit of a rebuild for Wolverine coach Jim Beiline.

 

However, when the Wolverines beat the then 8th ranked Villanova Wildcats last week the team leaped into the top 10 in the nation. Michigan basketball looks like they will be in the thick of the Big Ten race and another March Madness invite.

 

Next we switch the  Michigan Wolverines hockey team. A hockey program that has seen more players to the NHL than any other. The Wolverines got off to a slow start.

 

But big wins and young players understanding their roll has the hockey team ranked # 9. A hockey team that prides itself on excellence.

 

It is a good time to be a Michigan Wolverine alumni and or fan. College sports are good and fun when certain teams win and are doing well.

 

Michigan is one of those schools. Loved by some hated by others. The fact remains winning has returned to Michigan. It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine!!

Detroit Lions: the wheels have come off

Embed from Getty Images In a season with much promise. The same old Detroit Lions have emerged. The team that can not block, can not tackle and can not coach. This is the opposite of what general manager Bob Quinn actions were taken for.

 

Detroit Lions fans were told Jim Caldwell was fired and Matt Patricia was brought in to get the team over the hump. Fail. There will be no 9-7 finish this season.

 

The Detroit Lions have taken not one or two but three or more steps backwards. Not ideal for general manager and first year head coach. It gets worse though. The team is getting out everything gameday.

 

Other than Kerryon Johnson, Quinn’s draft picks have been close to awful. Both the offensive and defensive lines are a total mess. Even quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked lost at time. When he is actually on his feet and not the ground from yet another sack.

 

I am not sure where the blame falls. Fans are pretty divided. Some say Quinn some say Patricia. I would like to toss in team owner Martha Ford who sign this clown show on.

 

Trading Golden Tate was the right move. The problem was in doing so there was no replacement on the roster. I am at a loss for where this team is. But more than that how pathetic they look.

 

I am not sure if the team has quit on Patricia. They seem to be playing hard. It also seems like the talent gap is huge. Detroit sits firmly planted in last place with a national t.v. game Thanksgiving Day with the Ford family in there luxury box.

 

It would be great to be a fly on the wall. Or in late November in Michigan a snow flake. The Lions were supposed to be a fringe playoff team. Not one that is joining the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers in a rebuild.

 

The Detroit Lions have been a mess since 1957. At this rate the Tigers and Red Wings will return to competitive play long before the Lions. Maybe that is it. Maybe the Fords should sell the Lions to Tigers and Red Wings owner Chris Ilitch.

Detroit Lions: so long Golden Tate

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions were never going to give a 30 year old wide receiver a contract extension. General manager Bob Quinn is following the New England Patriots way of doing business. Keep a player on his rookie contract or until 30 and bring in new players.

 

Golden Tate was the Detroit Lions most productive receiver since Calvin Johnson. Tate excelled in yards after catch (YAC) in fact he is the best in the NFL.

 

At 30 years old according the  Patriots Golden Tate is past his prime. Thus when the Philadelphia Eagles offered a third round draft pick Bob Quinn jumped. It is a good value trade.

 

It is both the right move for the Lions to make and it is frustrating for fans as Tate was a big fan favorite. The Lions could have justified giving Tate an extension. Because that was not going to happen they made the safe deal.

 

The trade leaves Detroit somewhat thin at receiver. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are both lethal and offensive fixtures. Bob Quinn has made two in season trades and signed a free agent linebacker.

 

Why? In my opinion, Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have their sights on 2019. This was always going to be a transition season as far as players learning a new coaching staff. As well as a coach knowing what personal he wants.

 

It is also my opinion that Quinn will be looking to draft longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s replacement in the next two NFL drafts. Trades are always unsettling and there is a fear of the unknown. But in order to keep the team young and headed in the right direction the moves will continue.

Michigan Wolverines: dominating again

Embed from Getty Images It seems like forever since the Michigan Wolverines bullied teams the way they are this season. Jim Harbaugh’s team is not only dominating teams they are flat out suffocating  them on both sides of the ball.

 

Jim Harbaugh is not an elite coach they said. Jim Harbaugh can not beat rivals they said. After beating Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State by a combine score of 101-20 that can be tossed out the window.

 

Penn State is the latest big name team to get hammered by the Wolverines. Last season Penn State had the ball in the waning seconds of the game. They chose not to take a knee and scored a touchdown to run the score up. Fatale mistake.

 

In this seasons tilt Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson said he was not here last season. But, if Michigan had the chance to run the score up they would do it. Check that. Michigan dropped the hammer. 42-7.

 

Jim Harbaugh’s team did not want to just beat Penn State, they wanted to embarrass them. Sacking Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley 6 times and intercepting 2 passes Michigan’s top ranked defense was relentless.

 

As the “Revenge Tour” rolls on. It is a safe bet the Michigan Wolverines have their sights set directly on Ohio State. The game is in Columbus. Michigan would have it no other way.

 

Like Penn State, Harbaugh’s boys will want to embarrass the Buckeyes on their home field. Given the glaring talent gap. Michigan will be favored. This will be the game that changes the guard in the Big Ten. It is the game that will show Michigan is back and ready to stand on the national stage again.

 

With a very talented team and Harbaugh not being afraid to agitate fellow coaches. Michigan is set to both irritate opposing fan bases while enduring themselves to Michigan loyalists.

Michigan Wolverines: 2018-19 basketball preview

Embed from Getty Images The Michigan Wolverines had a great season last year. One that saw them come up short in the title game to Villanova. Michigan finished last season with 33 wins and 8 losses. Head coach John Beilein is set with new players.

 

With big names from last seasons team gone to the NBA. Michigan is looking for new players to push the program forward. The did get a blessing.

 

6’6″ guard Charles Matthews chose to come back for another year and another shot at post season play. Matthews was the second leading scorer for the Wolverines last season behind Moritz Wagner.

 

Matthews is joined by returning teammate 6;0″ guard Zavier Simpson. This is good as it gives Michigan a returning backcourt for this upcoming season. The loss of Moritz Wagner(center), Muhammed-Ali-Abdur-Rahkman(guard) and Duncan Robinson (forward) were a blow. One that will test the Wolverines early in the season.

 

Losing 3 valuable players hurts any team. Coach Beilein, will have to find players to fill the sizable void. Enter Bandon Johns and Ignas Brazdekis. both players play the forward position. Look for Johns to be at the power forward.

 

Projected starting lineup for the Michigan Wolverines basketball team:

 

Zavier Simpson

Jordan Poole

Charles Matthews

Isiah Livers

John Teske

 

Michigan was one game away from being Nation Champions last season. They should settle for nothing less than getting back to the big dance and in that big game.

 

Matthews, will be counted on to score even more. He has the ability to carry the team. Expect Michigan basketball to be top three in the Big Ten. This team is loaded. John Beilein is tasked with growing them up in time for March Madness.

 

 

Detroit Lions: made a huge trade

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions who are on a 3 game winning streak ranked 30th against the run. Giving up 139.3 yards per game. Today made a trade that will shore up the defensive line.

 

The New York Giants have waived the surrender flag and will enter a long pain-staking rebuild. Yesterday the Giants traded corner back Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints.

 

Needing more push up front the Detroit Lions were going to shop for a nose tackle this off-season. With the New York fire sale they got one of the best in the game.

 

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, taking a page from the New England Patriots stole Damon “snacks” Harrison. Quinn gave up one of the Lions two 5th round draft pick which they obtained when they traded Laken Tomlinson to the San Francisco 49ers . A tremendous value trade to be sure.

 

Damon Harrison is a game changer. He has an overall 89.9 grade. Harrison 6′ 3″, 341 lbs is a run stuffer. His size and strength allows him to shove offensive linemen out of the way and attack the ball carrier.

 

The Detroit Lions are ranked third in quarterback sacks. They are very good vs the pass. Now with Damon Harrison they should improve vs the run. Harrison makes up for the oft injured Ezekiel Ansah.

 

For the second half playoff push Bob Quinn knows his team is playing better and is within striking distance of the division leading Minnesota Vikings. They have 2 games against them and also 2 games against the Chicago Bears. While the Lions beat the Green Bay Packers a couple weeks ago they still have to travel the cheese state which is never easy to win in.

 

Harrison has lead the NFL in run stuffs each of the past three seasons. Damon signed a 5 year $46.25 million dollar deal with the Giants three seasons ago. Detroit is on the hook for $4.1 millions and $7 million next season.

 

That is not bad for one of the NFL’s best defensive  interior linemen. Not to mention Damon Harrison is just 29 years old. To get a player of this caliber for a 5th round draft pick shows that the New York Giants are desperate to shed talent and payroll. It also shows that Bob Quinn made a savvy deal.

 

This sets Detroit up nicely for the remainder of the season. It also give Matt Patrica a key player and a disruptive force in the middle. Making the Detroit Lions defense more physical.  Something Quinn vowed to do after last seasons final game.

How Jim Harbaugh shifted Big Ten power to Michigan

Embed from Getty Images He was questioned. All good coaches are. He was booed from a fan base that demanded more. Yet through it all, Jim Harbaugh was building the Michigan Wolverines to win. Not just for one season. To over-take the conference elite. The time is at hand.

 

Ohio State has owned it’s fair share of Big Ten titles for 17-18 years. Michigan State had a nice little run in there as well. Jim Harbaugh was brought to be the savior of a university he played quarterback for in the 1980’s.

 

While the aforementioned Ohio State continued to win and as Michigan State continued to beat the Wolverines. Harbaugh did not flinch. Like a mad chemist he kept adding. a three star recruit here. A four star there. While releasing troubled players from the school.

 

Other teams kept winning. But history was on Jim Harbaugh’s side. History of building championship programs. He did it in college at Stanford. He did it in the NFL with San Francisco. Interesting both places fell on hard time when Harbaugh left them.

 

He accepted the Michigan coaching job. Upon his arrival in Ann Arbor he gave a warning. “It takes time to build a sustainable program. That is what I am going to do.”

 

He has done it. Never listening to the media, fans and critics. Sticking to his guns. Allowing other schools the false sense of security. When you have a coach who has accomplished as much as Jim Harbaugh it is a bad idea to fall for such thoughts.

 

Now the Michigan Wolverines football team is loaded. Not just for this season. But this is a return to glory. Michigan is here to stay. They will continue to grow and beat the teams that once “owned” them. Jim Harbaugh has done it under the radar.

 

Teams that were winning, he was building. Now Michigan is winning the recruiting battles. Players are not jumping at Ohio and Michigan State they way they once did. Those programs  if they have not already soon will begin to feel the sting of Harbaugh’s work.

 

The kicker is Jim Harbaugh wears glasses that are a direct tip-of-the-hat to Woody Hayes. The former Ohio State coach. Sort of a shot at the school he beat 3 times in his playing days.

 

The Big Ten should brace for it. Michigan Wolverines football is back. With a coach that built the program the only way he knew how. His way.