Detroit Tigers spring training complete, long season ahead

Embed from Getty Images Commence project rebuild. That should be the 2018 Detroit Tigers theme this season. For good reason 100+ losses are going to be the flavor.

Comerica Park is nowhere near a sell out for what is usually a big day in Detroit. Opening day. I’m not entirely sure why? Yes the Tigers starting pitching is thin. Perhaps razor thin. But, I’m actually interested to see the bullpen.
The batting lineup has some good hitter littered in it. After all Miguel Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos are still dangerous. Even thought to be washed up Victor Martinez has knocked the ball all over in spring training.
Yes, they are going to be bad. There is no way to sugar coat it. But, they need to make it through this season and then next spring training start inserting the kids (top prospects) into the starting pitching rotation and batting lineup.
Next years team will look much different than the one they are breaking camp with. Christian Stewart, Isaac Paredes, Beau Burrows and others will be placed in the Motor City.
My feeling on all of this is lose. Lose big, lose small, lose a lot. Win soon. I’m focused on the fact the Detroit Tigers are setting themselves up to win for a while with home grown talent.
That is a much more sustainable approach rather than going and spending on high priced free agents. Even the New York Yankees who are notorious big spenders have switched to winning with your own.
I’m very interested and very excited to see where this goes. Forgoing the pain that is sure to come this season. With  brighter ahead.

Detroit Red Wings they aren’t going to tank?

Embed from Getty Images Teams do it all the time. Ease off the gas and coast to the end. Move up in the draft order. The Detroit Red Wings are saying they will not. But, I’m not buying it.

Either the Red Wings are worse than I thought or they are tanking. But would a team come right out and admit that’s what they are doing? Probably not. That’s a good way to have even less fanny’s in the seats at Little Caesar’s Arena.
With the play of younger guys the Red Wings are not as bad as they appear. In a season that has seen Dylan Larkin grow into a first line caliber center and Anthony Mantha score with more consistency I simply do not  think they are all that bad.
The emergence of Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov have also breathed more life into the team. These four guys will make up the core of the Red Wings next great team.
Tanking is as I have said before the quickest way to get out of a rebuild. In my opinion the Red Wings are already in good position in the 2018 NHL draft. The tank (yes I’m going to say what they won’t) will further aid the speed up and winning will return faster to Motown.
In reality it is not cheating the fans or even the current team. That team had it’s day. Instead it is about the future. A future that can be closer by mounting losses.
That said it is not entirely pleasant. The process of losing more than winning. But it is needed. And I for one am fine with it. So tank away Red Wings.

Detroit Lions still rebuilding

Embed from Getty Images The Last championship was 1957. It’s all been downhill from there. The Detroit Lions have been in an 61 year rebuild ever since.

That’s not fun to read and it certainly was not fun to put down. That said I believe the Detroit Lions are close to being a model of consistency in the NFL. But being a Lions fan is not easy.
General manager Bob Quinn has masterfully added players in free agency and added both depth and quality personnel to the roster. And now we find ourselves heading into April’s 2018 NFL draft.
Lions fans know the needs. Defensive ends, running back, offensive guard are at the forefront of needs that must be addressed. I feel they will. As guard and running backs are very strong in this draft.
The Detroit Lions are in good shape headed into the draft. Free agency has yielded in my opinion better more athletic linebackers. They are certainly better at tight end. And finally have a solid conerback opposite Darius Slay. Although the secondary was not a huge weakness.
I’m both very interested and curious to see where Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia go in the draft. They are a lot of good options that can help improve the team moving forward. With glaring needs I have faith Quinn will adress them.
This is a great time to be doing homework on every player who will be available. That is what I am doing. I want to know when the name is called what that player brings to the table.
So get excited Detroit Lions fans. The team is coming together.

Detroit Pistons Stan Van Gundy’s last stand

Embed from Getty Images When the Detroit Pistons hires Stan Van Gundy, he was said to be the guy who would return the Detroit Pistons to the playoffs while leading the charge of more consistent play.

Yet, that has not been the case. Sure the Pistons have made the playoffs under Van Gundy’s  watch. But they simply have not taken the next step. They have even looked lost at times.
I feel the Pistons owner Tom Gores, needs to assess the state of the team. I’m not suggesting replace Van Gundy. It could be something else needs to change. Or a free agent or two need to be added.
Assistant coaches, player personnel, scouting department. Something is not working. Yes. Mr. Gores should look at Stan. After all he’s the guy who was brought in with the high hopes of returning  the Pistons to the NBA post season and positioning them to perhaps something greater. It simply has not happened.
The Detroit Pistons have some soul searching to do. No knee jerk reaction will fix the deeper issues of the franchise. Begin the process and systematically go down a check list. Then make corrections. That process should start sooner than later.
There is talent on the roster. They need to find a consistent balance and go forward. I realize that is easier said than done. But, a billionaire owner should have the resources needed to push forward.

Detroit Tigers: When is a prospect ready for the majors?

Embed from Getty Images It’s a waiting game. Players drafted or traded for. Young players to help a team sustain or acheive success. But when are they actually ready for full time major league duty?


As they swing into rebuild mode the Detroit Tigers wait for promising young prospects to develope into everday players. There are varying results. Some can’t miss prospects like former Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was ready less than a year after being drafted. Others take longer.

The key to player development is to help a player  find consistency day in and day out. Night after night. They are able to produce productive reluts that help the team.

The Detroit Tigers trimmed veteran players and chose to go all in on a massive rebuild that will take 3-5 years. Pitchers are not an issue in Detroit’s minor league system. Pitchers, however generally take longer to develope than position players.

Hitter’s are difficult to gauge. Simply because they are more than likely to play in the field as well. So they need to learn corners and cut-off routes. For young players the only way to do this is to pay their dues in the minors.

It’s a waiting game for sure. It’s also a gamble. Some thought to be can’t miss prospects do in fact miss. Some little thought of prospects wind up in Coopertown at the baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball’s a funny game like that.  It commands more than just paying attention to the parent club. But, know what is in the minor leagues as well. Get to know the entire organization. Highly and lightly thought of prospects. Simply because you never know who is going to step up and who is going to miss the mark.

Going forward, I will bring Detroit Tigers prospects into light. In hopes to bring fans closer to the team.

Detroit Red Wings it used to bother me

Embed from Getty Images What use to bug me has turned into a very interesting perspective. Let see where the Detroit Red Wings go from here.

Growing up and following the Detroit Red Wings when things were so bad, if they picked up and left town it would have been seen as mercy move. That is how bad things were before Mike Ilitch bought the team. He was a god-send to Detroit and the franchise.
But Mr. I built them into a winner. A long time winner. With Hall of Fame players littered all over the rosters. And winning became a way of life in Motown. The Red Wings were the hottest tick in the city for year.
Now in the midst of a rebuild and with losses mounting it is  for some strange reason  ok. Do not get me wrong. I do not like losing. However, the talent and draft picks the Red Wings have is enough to want to see this rebuild through. It should help fans to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Questions will arise. Such as will Ken Holland see it completely through or be replaced?
Jeff Blashill is facing similar questions. Will long time Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall decide they have had enough and ask for a trade or retire?
For me this is actually exciting to watch unfold. Better days are ahead. But this is worth following. I have always followed Detroit sports teams. The good, bad and ugly. I have seen great sports moments. I have seen nearly unwatchable sports moments. Never wavering my support or enjoyment of the city and teams.
I suspect very good hockey is going to return to the Motor City very soon. I the meantime I plan to attend games with regularity. You can count on it.

Would Steve Yzerman work for Chris Ilitch?

Embed from Getty Images Rumors among Detroit Red Wing faithful is Red Wings legend, Steve Yzerman would not work with hands on owner Chris Ilitch. But is that true? Lets take a closer look.

Steve Yzerman 20 year captain on the Detroit Red Wings. He came to Detroit when they were still known as the “Dead Wings.” He left a legend and hall of famer.

Chris Ilitch son of Detroit lover and beloved owner of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings Mike Ilitch. When the elder Mr. Ilitch (Mr. I) passed away last year Chris took over full time duties on Ilitch inc. including ownership of both MLB and NHL teams.

Last season saw the closing of Joe Louis Arena. “The Joe” as it is often referred to by Detroiters. A glorious arena in it’s day to be certain. That saw many Stanley Cup champions.

So where did the Yzerman, Ilitch rumor come from? Steve, is currently the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and his contract is almost up. He has shrugged off future pans with simple “I’m the g.m. in Tampa Bay right now.”

The closing of Joe Louis saw Red Wings legends come on the ice after the game where Red Wing fanatics let their choice be known 

I feel that Yzerman would indeed go back to Detroit and would not be shocked to see it happen.



Detroit Tigers enough already

Fans need to embrace reality. The Detroit Tigers are going to be bad for a few years. There is no bandage the deep cuts of years big spending.

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I’ve read a few articles about what it would take for the Detroit Tigers to finish .500. What?! This team is not going to sniff .500. They are not in position for that. Let’s just get that out of the way now.
This is a Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies sized rebuild. 100
loss seasons for 3-5 years. Part because they will be that bad and part because tanking gets you back to winning quicker. Also the fact that more minor league talent is needed.
But, for people to even remotely think .500 is possible I guess I’ll be the voice of reason. Not trying to ruffle feathers. Just giving it bluntly. It simply won’t happen anytime real soon. But, the team has made the right call in developing players in the minor league system.
It’s to be expected. Years of big spending, big free agents and years of winning have come to a grinding halt. Now comes the aftermath. It’s part disappointing and exciting. Frustrating days certainly lie ahead. That is to be expected in a rebuild of any sport.
But so does the promise of returning to competitive baseball. So no .500 seasons for a while. Enjoy the kids as they get called up. Focus on them. It will make things a little easier to swallow. It will also give fans a reason to go visit minor league ballparks and see a Beau Burrows or Matt Manning. To see what gives the Tigers hope.
There is no doom and gloom for those who love the game. It’s still baseball. Fans should take pride in the fact the Detroit Tigers are doing things better than they have in a long time.

Detroit Red Wings in a bad season youth is being served

Embed from Getty Images Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Evgeny Svechnikov. Detroit Red Wings fans need to commit these names to memory. They are 3 of the building blocks to the next Red Wings next great team.
In the middle of a rebuild that has netted more and more losses 35 to be exact. Hasn’t left a lot for fans to cheer about. But let’s focus on the future. It’s looking a little less cloudy.
A future that fans can see young center Dylan Larkin wearing the captain’s “C.” His growth as the man in the middle has been eye opening. Along with Anthony Mantha gives the Red Wings the making of have a nasty young line.
And young Evgeny Svechnikov. The Red Wings have handled this pure goal scorer with kid gloves. Recently they have removed them and let him go. I look forward to seeing him grow more as a player.
The Red Wings have 2 first round draft picks in the 2018 NHL draft. They also have 2 second round picks and have amassed 5 that’s right 5 third round draft picks.
This is a great year to have a plethora of draft picks as this is widely considered to be the best group of prospects is the last 15 years. That will help the franchise moving forward.
The Red Wings need to focus on two positions. Left wing and first line defensemen. Names to watch are Brady Tkachuk LW Boston University. His game is being compared to the great Brett Hull.
And defenseman Quinton Hughes from the University of Michigan. He is sure to take his place in a long list of Michigan Wolverine defensemen like Jack Johnson, Zach Werenski, and Jacob Trouba.
The Red Wings will be able to speed up they’re rebuild in this years draft. I for one will be keeping close tabes on Larkin, Mantha & Svechnikov the rest of this season.

Detroit Tigers: made the correct call

As the Detroit Tigers prepare for what looks like will be a very long Summer amidst the infant stage of a rebuild. General manager Al Avila made the correct call by beginning to assign the teams to prospects to minor league affiliates.

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2017 top pick Alex Faedo will begin the season and his professional career in Lakeland Florida, with the Flying Tigers. Not in Grand Rapids,with the Whitecaps as some had thought.
Other top prospects Beau Burrows, Christian Stewart, Dwell Lugo, will start the season in Erie PA, with the Seawolves. Though many, my self included expect Burrows to get a start or two in Detroit at some point this season.
As this is published. We are still waiting on word where other top prospects such as Matt Manning and Issac Paredes will land. With the end of an era of Detroit Tigers baseball. I’m looking forward to another chapter in the storied franchise.
No prospect of a bad two or three years can scare me from following this team begin to find they’re stride again.
My focus is going to be on the tomorrow. The yesterday’s are gone. So it will be a Spring, Summer of prospect watching. But, it’s baseball. Glorious baseball.