In order to prolong his career the Detroit Tigers should move Miguel Cabrera to full time D.H.

Embed from Getty Images It happens to the best of them. Age catches up with all of us. That is the case with Detroit Tigers first basemen Miguel Cabrera.  Cabrera, already a first ballot Hall of Fame caliber player who has made life rough for MLB pitchers.

A groin tear, two herniated disks in his back in 2017, a cracked foot  in 2014 and a ruptured bicep last season is proof that father time has caught the elite slugger. For his sake he needs to put his glove away.

Cabrera, has played around 2,265 games in his 16 year career. In order for the rebuilding Tigers to keep his batting average, R.B.I.’s and home runs in the lineup The move to full time designated hitter should be made this season.

Word is general manager Al Avila, and Tiger manager Ron  Gardenhire have approached Miguel about spending “more time at D.H.” For a player who prides himself on his defense. He gets a rather large paycheck for his offense.

For the first time in his career  Miguel Cabrera is open to the switch. Perhaps a silent acknowledgment that time has caught up. Perhaps, he understands his value is with a bat in his hands. Showing the young Tiger players how to go about at bats.

One problem is it would leave a HUGE hole at 1B. Unless the Tigers place John Hicks or move Jeimer Candelario from 3B to 1B. One other option would be to see if Nick Castellanos could field the position. Castellanos is playing on a one year deal and is the focus of trade rumors.

It is never easy, never fun to watch a star enter the twilight of their playing days. But if there is a way to ease a player into it those steps should be taken. Cabrera can still help the team. That needs to be the focus.

Detroit Pistons make solid moves for the future while still eyeing the playoffs

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Pistons executive Ed Stefanski was brought in to Detroit for two reasons. To help the team get out of bad contracts handed out by Stan Van Gundy and help groom a new general manager.

The 2019 NBA trade deadline has come and gone. The Detroit Pistons made  few moves to help their cause. The team traded guards Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson freeing up salary cap money.

In each case the Pistons received both players (Svi Mykhailiuk and Thon Maker) as well as draft picks. Stefanski, did a very solid job as he began a lengthy process of re-shaping the Detroit Pistons roster.

The team then released Henry Ellenson and added Wayne Ellington from the Miami Heat. The Heat are going nowhere. While the Detroit Pistons have won three in a row to climb within one game of .500 as well as back into the playoff picture.

Ellington fits what Detroit is trying to do this season. Get into the post season. Ellington is a 10 year NBA veteran. At 31 years old still has a lot left in the tank and a lot to give a playoff hopeful team.

He is averaging 8.4 points per-game as well as 1.9 rebounds and is shooting 37% on 3-pointers in his 25 games with the Miami Heat. It is his veteran leadership that Ed Stefanski and the Pistons covet.

The signing of Ellington is a smart move for a Pistons team in need of leadership from anyone not named Blake Griffin. Griffin simply can not do it all. The deal also makes sense as Ellington is playing on an expiring contract.

Detroit will most likely let him walk after the season while cashing in on the draft pick and get younger, more athletic and further un the salary cap.

The Pistons may look to make other deals after the season. This will allow them to do what Stefanski and owner Tom Gore said they were looking to do. Build around Griffin.

It will take some time. But it is a start. While no one knows what Stefanski’s vision is for the future. It is easy to see that it is not bad contracts with players with a low ceiling and limited ability. To move on from Stan Van Gundy.

Who is the best running back since Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders retired

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions have had 12 different leading rushers in the 20 seasons since Barry Sanders retired. So as we weed through the options it goes without saying Barry is still the Lion King.

James Stewart, Kevin Jones, Reggie Bush are just a few names in a long list of running backs who tried to fill the large shoes worn by the last Detroit Lions player to wear number 20.

Flash forward to this past season. A season that saw a Lion running back given an huge honor. Kerryon Johnson, who was just named Lions Rookie of the Year. One thing Johnson played in just 10 games due to a knee injury.

Now fully recovered Kerryon Johnson is said to be ready for the 2019 NFL season. Still playing in only 10 games was a large enough sample size to see the Detroit Lions may finally have  stability at a critical position.

Johnson was on pace for over a 1,000 yards rushing. 118 carries for 641 yards and 3 touchdowns are a good start to the young backs career. Kerryon averaged 5.4 yards per carry.

Those numbers allowed Barry Sanders to proclaim “I think he looks promising,  I thought  he handled himself well. I forgot how many games he played, but out of the rookie running backs he looked as good as any of them.”

Big words from a guy who by some did it better than anyone. The Hall of Famer Sanders, is the Detroit Lions benchmark for all running backs who come through the Motor City. The bar is set high fair or unfair.

It is easy for defenses playing against an offense when they do not have much of  a running game. But a solid running game opens the offense up. Suddenly defenses have to play honest and not just blitz or sit back and wait for a pass.

The overall health of an offense is in running game. Always was and always will be. No matter the trends. It is still early. But Kerryon Johnson has the making of being the Detroit Lions running back since the great Barry Sanders. That is high praise.

Detroit Pistons trade Reggie Bullock to the L. A. Lakers

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Pistons issued a statement that the team would like to build around Blake Griffin. They did not say they would be adding players at the trade deadline this season. The key word is BUILD.

Last night the Detroit Pistons traded guard Reggie Bullock to the L.A. Lakers for guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a 2021 second round draft pick. A trade that was met with anger from Pistons fans.

Mykhailiuk is a rookie and has some offensive upside. He is in the first year of his three-year, $4.6 rookie contract. A team friendly deal for sure.

Bullock, in the final year of a contract that expires at the end of this season is making $2.5 million. So cashing him in for a high draft pick was a wise move for the Detroit front office.

The Pistons have taken $1 million off of their tight salary cap so that helps out some. Detroit seems to be refocusing their attention to next season and beyond. Which is the right path to take.

Losing Bullock hurts the Pistons this season. Much like when the Detroit Lions traded wide receiver Golden Tate during the season hurt them. Like the Lions the Pistons are looking down the road. Surrendering any playoff thoughts this season.

That is what fans need to do. As unpopular as that is. The fact is the Detroit Pistons  roster was not working. There needed to be a change of direction and philosophy. That appears to be the thought process with this trade.

This is not a flashy trade. But it does not need to be. It needs to be a gain future asset trade. That is exactly what it is. With that this season has and is being sacrificed. The Pistons need to make more deals. Which some NBA experts believe the team will do.

Michigan State basketball looking to end losing streak

Embed from Getty Images Back- to- back losses to  Purdue and Indiana has left the Spartans searching for answers. Give head coach Tom  Izzo credit. After Saturday’s loss at home to Indiana his team was not frustrated. They were looking for answers.

Michigan State started the 2018-19 season with a bang. Winning 13 straight and starting 9-0 in the Big Ten made the Spartans look like they would cruse through the season. Then the wheels came off a bit.

First things first. There is plenty of time for the Spartans to get back on track. There is not reason to hit the panic button yet. It is rare an Izzo coached team is outplayed. Yet that is what happened last week. Twice.

Given the roster and talent there is no reason to think this will be a prolonged losing streak. But for the Spartans it all went wrong at the same time. Poor shooting, rebounding as well as defensive issues all hit at the same time.

Now with a few days to recover it will be interesting to see how Michigan State responds tonight when they play at Illinois. When things go wrong no game is a given.

Nothing drives Tom Izzo crazy like his team rebounding poorly. He preaches rebounds all the time. Yet the Spartans last week were woeful in the rebound department. That must change.

During the course of a season shooters go hot and cold. That is to be expected. But the defense has been equally as bad as the rebounding. There is no masking that. Like you can a shooter in a slump.

While Illinois does not rebound well the Spartans next foe after does. Minnesota features the top rebounder in the conference in forward Jordan Murphy. The Golden Gophers as a team lead the Big Ten in team rebounds.

There is work to be done for sure. As for tonight’s game, Illinois is forcing nearly 17 turnovers per game while Michigan State team that’s second-to-last in the conference in turnover margin. So the work must be done quickly. Sure there will be in-game adjustments.

The Big Ten has some very talented teams and the season is and will continue to be a grind. I have little doubt Tom Izzo will have his team playing more consistent.

In the right move the Detroit Tigers are going back to the smaller “D” on the ball cap

Embed from Getty Images All is right with the world again. Well in terms of Detroit Tigers baseball anyway. Gone is last seasons over sized Old English “D” enter the good old smaller “D.”

 

Listening to the fans anger the Detroit Tigers have done an about face. Last season they tried to say the larger “D” was a better overall appearance for the Tigers uniform. It was not.

 

Detroit Tigers fans like tradition. Being one of the original baseball teams they typically do not respond well to change. To change the look of the Tigers caps has never gone well.

 

In 1994 the Tigers put an orange bill on the away caps. The fans voiced their displeasure and it was gone this next season. 1995 the team tried to change the away cap all together. A tiger crawling through the “D” with an orange bill. Fans were over-the-top upset.

 

It is a teams right to change uniforms. The Lions have done it several times. The Pistons have as well. But in Detroit where baseball and hockey reign supreme. Where one of the oldest MLB team plays as well as one of the original 6 NHL teams play. Those uniforms are off limits. Just ask the fans.

 

To Tiger and Red Wings fans. They want their team to have a direct link to the history of the teams and the city. That is why when new things are offered up they have been short lived. Fans like the clean crisp look of the Tigers and Wings logos. Anything that is viewed as an alteration is shot down.

 

Last seasons hats were by far the worst offering yet. If the 1995 crawling tiger through the “D” did not have an orange bill they could have kept it for a batting practice hat or Spring training cap. As that cap was not nearly as bad as the other offers.

 

Once again the Detroit fans have spoken. Once again the Detroit Tigers public relations people have listened. The Tigers uniform will once again have the classic look that fans have come to well, love.

 

It is good to have a passionate fan base. It is equally as good to have public relation personnel who listen when the paying customers speak.

Detroit Tigers prospect Wenceel Perez

Embed from Getty Images As bullish as I am on Detroit Tigers prospect Isaac Paredes. I am doubly  bullish for Tigers young prospect Wenceel Perez who is only 19 years old and a switch-hitting SS. He is as close to can’t miss as there is in the prospect ranks.

 

The Detroit Tigers signed Wencell Perez at just 16 years old he hails from the Dominican Republic. A solid contact hitter with limited power and a well above average glove and arm makes Wenceel a prospect worth following. Not to mention he is fun to watch.

 

He will be a Detroit Tigers mainstay for many years. Perez has a great eye at the plate and draws a lot of walks. He will not be in the minor leagues long. He also has great range in the field and moves with good fluidity to the ball.

 

One more thing to know about Wenceel Perez. He is fast. He will steal a lot of bases. Sometimes he runs into outs so he needs to clean that up.  With a 5 for 7 plate performance July 13, 2018 Perez’s legend began to grow. Tigers fans began to talk about this kid.

 

Weceel Perez will not hit many home runs. He is a spay-gap hitter and he has lead the teams he has played on in extra base hits. Perez hits a lot of doubles. He will most likely be a top of the order table setter for the power hitters.

 

A player who can disrupt when on base. Stealing bases something the Tigers do not do enough of because they are limited on speed. 2019 the Tigers expect Perez will take another step forward. Detroit has taken steps the past two years to add speed to the organization.

 

At just 19 years old he is a talent that comes around rarely. His growth will be fun to watch. It will also be fast. Fans can expect to see Perez in Motown at some point in 2020.

 

Coaching shuffle for the Detroit Lions as the offseason is set to start

Embed from Getty Images After his worse season Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will have a new position coach. Gone is George Godsey who over saw Stafford’s bad season and enter Sean Ryan who will be tasked with getting the Detroit signal caller back on track.

 

The good news for Lions coach Matt Patricia is that Sean Ryan comes from the Houston Texans. While there Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson took off. So there is some hope in the hire.

 

Hope that Ryan can work his magic and help Stafford regain his Pro-Bowl form. While it is not known why Stafford and Godsey did not click perhaps they did not see eye to eye. But that is hindsight now. Godsey is leaving for a coaching job with the Miami Dolphins.

 

Ryan, is known around the NFL as a fundamental coach. That is the reason Deshaun Watson excelled. He was not asked to do to much while Ryan tailored to his strengths.

 

Matthew Stafford did not have it so good. A new coaching staff brought a new system. Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter was let go the after the regular season ended. Godsey was thought to be a candidate to replace him. Instead Patricia has chosen to move on and start fresh.

 

Time will tell if that is a good move. One thing is for sure the Detroit Lions are fortunate to land a coach like Sean Ryan. It can do nothing but help. With Darrell Bevell calling the offensive plays. Lions fans can hope coordinator and position coach are on the same page and can get the maximum out of their quarterback.

 

On a side not Detroit Lions running backs coach David Walker has stepped down to spend more time with his family. So Patricia will have to fill that vacancy. Although it is not as pressing and the coach could possibly already be on the coaching staff.

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores speaks about the direction of the franchise

Embed from Getty Images At 21-28 the Detroit Pistons season has been rough. There is talent on the roster. Team chemistry seems to be an issue. With only Blake Griffin playing consistent basketball, Owner Tom Gores finally spoke.

 

“We have to look at all possibilities — that’s just the way it is. Not specifically with those guys, but in general,” Gores said. “Our responsibility, in general, is to move this team forward; we have to look at everything.’

 

Gores also insisted he has not lost faith in the team. But he also acknowledged The team may need to make changes as the NBA trade deadline is approaching. Leaving fans to scratch their heads. If Gores still has faith why make moves?

 

“We want to win. Nothing’s changed; we want to make the playoffs,” Gores said. Another off the cuff comment. His team is under .500 and he is still talking playoffs? How about the team gets to .500 first? Set small goals first.

 

The Detroit Pistons are currently in a  8-21 stretch. Needless to say that is just about abysmal. Gores was asked if he would be willing to trade Andre Drummond and or Reggie Bullocks. His response was they will   “look at all possibilities.” Which is a bit surprising as for years the Pistons have tried to put players around the talented Drummond.

 

Clearly Tom Gores has not given permission for the team to tank for a high draft pick. He feels the Pistons window is now. In some aspects that is that is well and good. In some aspects that is somewhat delusional. In order for the Pistons to have any shot of the playoffs the roster needs to be overhauled.

 

Fan favorites need to be shipped out. It is nothing personal. It simply is not and has not worked. On paper the 2018-19 Detroit Pistons looked and still look like they are a playoff team. But team chemistry is everything in sports. The Pistons have a severe lack of chemistry and it is showing on the court and in games.

 

The blame is equal. Head and assistant coaches, players something is not working. It is time for the Detroit Pistons to take an honest look at themselves and figure things out.

Michigan State football team lost speed with decommit

Embed from Getty Images The Michigan State football team desperate need of speed was dealt a blow. Incoming wide receiver Alante Brown who had committed and was going to be a big recruit for the Spartans. Suddenly changed his mind.

 

Speed has been lacking from the Michigan State Spartans for some time now. Alante Brown was going to help. The speedy four star wide receiver would have developed into a go-to target for the Spartans. Now that does not matter. Big Ten opponents exploited the Spartans speed short commings.

 

Until a student athlete signs their letter of intent they have every right to change their mind. This time it hurts Mark Dantonio and his team. Michigan State has been struggling to score points quickly. It appears that may continue at least for now.

 

Michigan State also lost running back Aaron Young to Rutgers. Another player who could have breathed speed and life into the Spartan offense. Young is off to play at the same school his brother plays at so that was the deciding factor.

 

Michigan State does have incoming freshman WR Tre’Von Morgan. However at 6′ 6″ 215 LBS, Morgan projects more as a tight end as he does not have the speed Brown has. So it will be interesting to see how Morgan is used in the offense.

 

Coach  Dantonio, has said he would like to still add speed. There is no guarantee they will be able to flip a recruit in the days leading up to National Signing Day. That is where the Michigan State football program is right now.

 

Mark Dantonio and the Spartans are paying the price for simply shuffling the coaching staff and not bringing in fresh coach to breathe life into the football team.