Father’s Day 2018

Embed from Getty Images As a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13

If Mother’s are the staple of who we are. Father’s are the backbone. It is a gift from God to be a father.

Some father’s are involved. Some father’s are more distant. Some father’s are absent. But they all give us lessons to make us grow.

I have been blessed with a great father who leads by example. Even when I did not always get it. I got it. He gave me the space to grow and understand.

Beyond my father, I have been grateful for my wife’s father. We have shared many laughs and disagreements over the years. But, there has always been respect.

Even now as he struggles with his memory. To honor the man is, was and still is important. It is important because my children are watching. Something that is not lost on me.

The same way I watched my father and learned. In the same vein as my father who paved the way and lead by example. I hope to be the example of the grace I saw. Sometimes it pays to watch and learn.

It is Father’s Day.It is a time to reflect on the lessons taught and learned. And it is a day to watch baseball. And to remember what a gift it is to be in the position of being a father.

Detroit Lions: How imroved will the run game be?

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions, have not been in the top half of the NFL since Hall Fame running back Barry Sanders, graced the Detroit backfield. 2018 has Detroit with a new coach, new running backs. What does it mean?

Veteran running LeGarrette Blount and rookie Kerryon Johnson, join the attempt to kick start the worst running attack in the NFL. Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, has stated many times he wants a balanced offense.

Coach Patrica, has also adopted the New England Patriots, “Do your job” slogan.  That seems simple enough. But it is almost to basic. If everyone is focused and blocking the player lined up against them. If running backs are focused on hitting the designed running lane and not improvising. Better results are sure to follow.

The Detroit Lions, have not had a running back break 100 yards in a games since 2014 in the person of Reggie Bush.  Needless to say that is a long time. It is a long time the Lions have been toothless (pun intended) to the point of being dead last in every rushing stat.

Matt Patrica, is dead right. The same way a team can not win if defenders are not tackling. The same way a team will have a mixed bag of results mostly bad if the offense is not balanced.

An improved offensive line is a good start. But, the rest is up to the tailback. Whoever’s number is called on a certain down must “do your job.”

Detroit Lions: Matt Patrica’s way or the highway

Embed from Getty Images Several media outlets say Detroit Lions, head coach Matt Patrica is causing a stir in mini camp. When players do not do the simple things the coaches ask they run. A lot.

Some think Patrica, could lose the team. Others say it is a slap on the hand. I say it is the coach. It is his team, his way. Why does there need to be drama behind running?

Should Matt Patrica, reward rebellious players who can not do the simple things? What does that look like in key times of a game? Order, structure and boundaries are needed. Even for grown men. Especially grown men with ego’s.

I believe Detroit Lions, players, front office, fans and media are getting a look at what it is like with a New England Patriots, practice and mini camp. Structured.

That has not been a word that has necessarily been associated with the Detroit Lions, very often over the years. Yet Patrica, is placing a premium on listening and obeying and the Detroit media is saying he is in danger of losing  his players 

Too me that is laughable. If they are grown men. Which they are. Then take the kid gloves off and change the culture. What is wrong with a new direction? The old way did not produce anything more than a playoff game once in a great while.

In the meantime, the “Patriot way” has produced in an epic fashion. Division titles, playoff births and let us not leave out Super Bowl appearances and victories.

Detroit, media should settle down. They should allow this to play out. They may be surprised by the results. If the Detroit Lions, do not achieve those results then tell people they feel it is a result of a coach telling his player to run a lap for failing to comply.

 

Detroit Red Wings: draft should mimic the Detroit Tigers

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Red Wings, need to get better in a few key areas. Much like the Detroit Tigers, the Wings can use the plethora  of early draft picks to begin aiding those areas.

Fresh off the 2018 MLB draft. The Detroit Tigers did a masterful job of hitting all the team needs. Pitchers. Check. Infielders. Check. Bats. Check. Left handed hitters. Check.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, would be wise in using the same sort of checklist in the June 22-23 NHL draft. Because of past trades Detroit, is in prime position. Two first round picks, one second, four third, two fourth. The Detroit Red Wings can do well.

Ken Holland, has returned to his roots. Once a great NHL scout before he took over as Red Wings general manager. Holland, himself has set out to view talent. This is a good thing for the organization.

The team has needs at forward, defense and special teams. This years draft is deep with talent. Many scouts and general managers say there is NHL ready talent through the first three rounds. Because the NHL is a young mans game this is good news for rebuilding teams.

Still Ken Holland, should follow the Detroit Tigers and Tigers general manager Al Avila’s blueprint. He should identify exactly the needs of his team and throw “best player on the board” out the window.

When a team has needs that is what must be addressed. Only playoff teams (because they select in the bottom half of the draft) should take the best player available.

Much like the Detroit Tigers, who picked first throughout the 2018 MLB draft. The Detroit Red Wings, will pick near the top in all rounds of the 2018 NHL draft. This is where the Red Wings can take a big step forward in the rebuilding process.

Detroit Pistons: head coach before new general manager?

Embed from Getty Images In the good old days owner brought in a new general manager and allowed them to hire the coach they wanted. Tom Gores owner of the Detroit Pistons, does not seem to want that approach.

It seems as if the Pistons have narrowed the head coaching position to Dwane Casey, (formerly of the Toronto Raptor) and Ime Udoka, (assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs.)

Dwane Casey, has been called a very good communicator with players. While Ime Udoka, is an up and coming coach from the great Gregg Popovich tree. It seems both would be solid choices.

There is one small detail not really being talked about. The Detroit Pistons, still need a general manager. That is usually how it works. Almost never is a head coach hired before the general manager.

There could be a few reasons Gores, has not hired one as of yet.  Perhaps he simply has not found his guy. Or perhaps he is waiting for a member of the Cleveland Cavilers or Golden State Warriors to speak with after the 2018 NBA Finals.

The general manager, is the person who brings in his guy. That way it is all on his shoulders in wins and in losses. Both Casey and Udoka are hot names this off season.

It is possible that Tom Gores, thought one of the coaches would be snatched up and he would like to secure one of them. That would mean the person brought in as general manager would have to agree to the coach they had no part of hiring.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming days and possibly weeks. I would think there will be a new person calling the shots before the 2018 NBA draft.

Detroit Tigers: draft pick Kody Clemens

Embed from Getty Images Needing a dependable second baseman. The Detroit Tigers, got a gift when the son of MLB legend Roger Clemens fell to them in the third round. He projects as a very good middle infielder.

Kody Clemens, from the Texas Longhorns, began his college playing days at third base. Late in the 2016 season he under went Tommy John surgery. Texas moved him to second base. As they say the rest is history.

Due to a loss in arm strength after surgery Clemens, took off at second base. More comfortable Kody’s offense took off. He was named Big12 player of the year.

He is lacks range but that should not hurt him. He projects as an everyday second baseman. He plays with great energy. He can pull the ball or go the other way.

For a second baseman he has pop. He projects as a 20 homerun player.  Al Avila, really nailed this draft for the Detroit Tigers. He went for game changing players. He found them.

This has been the best Tigers draft in years. The first five players taken by the team all project as future all-stars. Suddenly, the Detroit rebuild is not all that bad. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Detroit Tigers: draft pick Parker Meadows

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Tigers, needing to add another bat to the prospect pool went back to high school. Drafting 6′ 4″ outfielder Parker Meadows. A pick being applauded by MLB experts.

Meadows, is the brother of current Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Austin Meadows. He has plus raw power. Not too mention for a big player he has a nice compact swing. He generates a lot of contact at the plate.

Parker Meadows, is blessed with outstanding speed. Like his brother Parker figures to be roaming center field. Detroit Tigers, fans should be happy it will be at Comerica Park.

He has an outstanding arm and plays excellent defense. This is a player who much like his new teammate and Tigers, first round pick Casey Mize will speed up Detroit’s rebuild.

Detroit Tigers, fans and I’m sure front office can smile as they can picture an outfield of Daz Cameron, Parker Meadows, and depending on what choices are made either Christian Stewart or Nicholas Castellanos.

Detroit general manager Al Avail has done a masterful job during the 2018 MLB draft. Getting players that despite age are MLB ready. Speeding up the rebuild while setting a new blueprint for other teams to follow.

Detroit Tigers: select Casey Mize

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Tigers, already with a good group of pipeline pitchers added the best pitcher in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft.  University of Auburn pitcher Casey Mize.

His 2.95 ERA is good. However, what pops off the stat sheet is 151 strikeouts while only walking 12 batters. Casey Mize has pinpoint contol. That is very good news.

Mize, was widely viewed as the best player in the draft. The Detroit Tigers already stockpiled with pitching prospects added an absolute gem. A four pitch (three of them plus) Casey’s bread and butter is his split finger fastball.

What is impressive is that Mize does not rely on one pitch. He throws them all. Now he has the makeup and charater to take his place along former Detroit pitchers Mickey Lolich,  2018 MLB all of Fame inductee Jack Morris and Justin Verlander.

Tiger fans should not think Casey Mize is Verlander 2.0. He is Casey Mize 1.0. That should be beyond good enough. As soon as 2020 the Tigers starting rotaion should be:

Casey Mize

Franklin Perez

Beau Burrows

Matt Manning

Alex Faedo

That is a fantastic group of pitchers all of whom sport plus pitches. By drafting Mize the Detroit Tigers have now sped up the rebuild. Mize very well could be in Motown at some point next season.

Detroit Tigers: what to do with Nicholas Castellanos

Embed from Getty Images He is 6’ 5” and has made the transition from third base to right field. At 26 years old Nick Castellanos is playing his best baseball.

The Detroit Tigers, in a rebuild already have a young big bat at Triple-A Toledo in Christian Stewart. However, Nicholas Castellanos, is a bat you simply don’t shove to the side.

Castellanos, is hitting .346 with 6 home runs along with 32 R.B.I’s. Nick has gone on record as saying he wants to be in Detroit long term.

for the rebuilding Tigers, he could be a great trade chip bringing in 2 top prospects. There is no easy solution. Detroit general manager Al Avila, will have to assess what is best for the future of the organization.

It is easy for fans to say keep him. It is easy for fans to say trade him. Keeping him means stay the course and let the rebuild take 3-5 years. While trading him means knock a year or so off the rebuild process.

Conceivably, the Detroit Tigers could keep Castellanos and when his is major league ready place Christian Stewart at designated hitter. That way the team would have two quality bats capable of hitting a home run.

If a team on the bubble of making the playoffs offer a good deal then all bets would be off.

As much as I like Nicholas Castellanos, and have enjoyed watching him become an All-Star caliber player. Much like Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer, trading  Castellanos speeds up the rebuild and gets the team closer to playing competitive baseball again.

I am glad I do not have to make the hard choices Al Avila is going to have to make. I do know that whatever is done it will be with the big picture in mind. And that is a good thing.

Detroit Tigers: need to trade Michael Fulmer

Embed from Getty Images He is a very good, very young pitcher. The Detroit Tigers, need to trade the former American League rookie of the year. Never mind that he is only 25 years old and he is under control for four more years. Michael Fulmer, can speed up the Tigers rebuild.

This is a hot debate for Detroit Tigers fans. Fulmer, is an outstanding pitcher. He is young and under team control for four more years until he can hit the open market as a free agent.

It is no secret the New York Yankees, are interested. That is a good place to start for Tigers general manager Al Avila. The Yankees have a top three rated farm system. It will take a lot to pry a talent like Fulmer away.

The Yankees, who have a history of getting players they need for a championship run are likely to bite. That would speed up the Detroit rebuild. The Yankees contacted the Tigers last winter in hoping to reach a deal. They currently have two starting pitcher injured.

While the organization has several prospects that are about ready to make the jump to the majors it would help them grow together and learn to win together. That can not be over stated.

As much as Michael Fulmer, brings to the mound and as difficult as it would be parting with him. The temporary pain of loss as well as temporary pain of the team taking a step back will be soon forgotten when the top prospects begin to land at Comerica Park.

For me it is a no-brainer. Trading Michael Fulmer, needs to happen. For the big picture. Detroit, will be able to knock two years off the rebuild by trading him. They will be able to return to competitive baseball in 3-4 years.