The Mandalorian is not what you think

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were charged with fill in content and adding context to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. A trilogy that divided the fan base and is by and large a mess. Shows such as The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian are being used as the means to try and explain some of the trilogy, well as best as it can. Yet, fans either do not see it or are just unaware of what is being laid out before them.

The Mandalorian is being used to set up the sequel trilogy and how Emperor Palpatine returned as a clone. First of all Season 3 of the widely loved show is tell viewers how the First Order rose to power. Dr. Pershing plays a big role in cloning starting with Moff Gideon’s Dark Trooper fleet.

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The New Republic will soon split into two sides, creating a First Order. Yet what is really taking place aside from that rather large event is the groundwork is being laid for how Emperor Palpatine returned. After his supposed death on the second Death Star during Return of the Jedi, Palpatine’s consciousness was transferred to a clone on the Sith planet Exegol. The body was too weak, enter Dr. Pershing who would build stronger clones including Supreme Leader Snoke.

This is actually a great place for Favreau and Filoni to begin to right the ship, if you will. One of the most perplexing questions fans had was how in the heck could  Palpatine return.

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It has recently been announced that the next Star Wars film will be released in 2025 and will continue right after the events of The Rise of Skywalker. So no matter how fans feel about the sequel trilogy, it is getting some very good fill-in content.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and with Jon Favreau saying The Mandalorian is going to continue for a while there will be other opportunities to add more content.

Andor proved Star Wars can be successful in new ways

Cassian Andor, who sacrificed his life to deliver the Death Star plans in Rogue One: A Star Wars story, the movie was the first stand-alone Star Wars attempt and was embraced by the fan base. The movie hit such a cord that Disney/ Lucasfilm created and Andor show for Disney+ the show while not for everyone was by and large successful and helped to show Star Wars could be big without some long standing traditions.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 24: Diego Luna takes part in a Q&A during the Lucasfilm and DISNEY+ screening of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, an exclusive look at Disney+ Star Wars series ANDOR, in partnership with EMPIRE VIP FILM CLUB, at The Ham Yard Hotel on August 24, 2022 in London, England. “ANDOR” launches on Disney+ on September 21, 2022. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK)

First off Andor is very well done and the cast gives outstanding perfomances throughout. While it is a prequel it does not feel like it is and it does not answer and lingering questions. Andor pushed Star Wars forward as a sort of espionage series.

There is no Force use, no lightsabers. It is written for mature audiences and carries a lot of drama and not much fighting, at least not in season one. Andor is more violent than other Star wars streaming shows such as The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Season one kicks off a bit slow, but it builds and builds and the story is rich with spy like intentions. Though, many have seen Rogue One, there are some interesting twists.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Star Wars Stormtroopers appear onstage during the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

With no real Star Wars characters except for Storm Troopers and some new characters such as Luthen Rael who could be good or not. Kino Loy who is a prisoner along with Cassian Andor. Deedra Meero, who is a great character who is driven by the Empire to sniff out the small threat of a rebellion.

If you have not watched Andor, it is a must watch show. There will be no cameos by fan favorite characters, but there is no need for any. Andor is strong enough to stand on it’s own.

Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch’s coaching staff is curious

One manager, one first base coach, one third base coach, one hitting coach, one pitching coach and one bench coach, this how a “normal” baseball coaching staff is supposed to look like. For the Detroit Tigers, manager AJ Hinch he has thrown “normal” aside and put together a coaching staff built to help with the Tigers new organizational direction.

DETROIT, MI – MAY 28: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Detroit Tigers during a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on May 28, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Keith Beauregard; Hitting Coach, Michael Brdar; Hitting Coach, James Rowson; assistant hitting coach. Three hitting coaches! New Tigers president Scott Harris’s vision for the Detroit hitters and pitches is the same, own the strike zone one that AJ Hinch subscribes to as well. Too often in the past the Tigers were a bunch of free swinging few walk taking group of hitters. That is going to come to a halt. Now the focus is owning the strike zone and being more selective at the plate.

While it is currently unknown where two hitting coaches will be during games, due to limited dugout space, one can assume two will be watching from a box or luxury suite. One coach in the thick of things and two coaches watching from above. This can only help Tiger hitters improve at the plate.

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Chris Fetter #52 of the Detroit Tigers walks to the dug out before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Hitting is not the only position AJ Hinch wanted multiple coaches. Pitching now has, Chriss Fetter, Juan Nieves and Robin Lund instructing young pitchers. Again, one can assume Fetter will be in the dugout and both Nieves and Lund will be looking down from above. Once more this can only help as more coaches can spot things one coach may miss.

The organizational switch to owning the strike zone is the right move to make. Scott Harris’s offseason moves, while not spectacular were effective as he got rid of players with a high strikeout rate and few walks and brought in players with good eyes at the plates and who are more selective in what they swing at.

While the Detroit Tigers are retooling once again, this seems to be a very good move for the organization. Scott Harris was instrumental in putting World Series winner’s together for the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.

A new writing venture

It is happening once again. I have been tasked with covering the Detroit Tigers minor leagues. In being blessed to cover a sport I really enjoy not too mention covering a farm system I know really well, means new challenges. I intend to meet those challenges head on in an attempt to bring you, the fan and the reader closer to the Detroit Tigers organization.

The Lakeland Flying Tigers, Lakeland Fl., known as “Low A,” or sometimes “Single A.” This is close to a developmental league for players drafted who may need to fine tune their game. It is generally a pitching friendly league, as hitters tend to struggle.

The West Michigan WhitecapsGrand Rapids Michigan, known as ‘High A,” this is where more in-depth development takes place. Pitchers no longer have the advantage, hitters have equal billing. Depending on the organization a player can spend two-full seasons at the “High A” level. Simply because players, all players are trying to be more consistent which occurs differently player to player.


Minor League Baseball: Erie SeaWolves Casey Mize (32) in action, pitching vs Bowie Baysox at UPMC Park.
Erie, PA 5/4/2019
CREDIT: Fred Vuich (Photo by Fred Vuich /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X162637 TK1 )

Erie SeawolvesErie PA, Known as “Double A,” this league is starting a player towards the final stages of development. This is advanced baseball at it’s core “Double A’ is designed to end the developmental phase of players. Pitching is really good, hitting is really good.


TOLEDO, OH – JULY 28: Toledo Mud Hens first baseman Spencer Torkelson (20) waits for the play during the second inning of a Triple-A Minor League Baseball regular season game between the Indianapolis Indians and the Toledo Mud Hens on July 28, 2022 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo Oh, “Triple A,” Development has for the most part stopped, sure players fine tune things as adjustments are needed. At the “Triple A” level it becomes all about being consistent. No player gets called up unless they show consistency in their game. At times a player does get called up, struggles and is sent back down to “Triple A” to refine and find the consistency they lost. It happened last season to Spencer Torkelson.

So there you have it. As spring training is underway and the Detroit Tigers are looking at all the organizations players, minor league rosters are unknown, that will become more clear as spring training goes on.

For all content on the Detroit Tigers prospects please head to Inside the Diamonds as I bring you the latest on Tiger prospects. I will continue to bring Detroit Tigers content right here.

The Detroit Tigers rebuild is going to be fixated on plate discipline

For the past several seasons the Detroit Tigers have been a free swinging group. Ranked near the bottom in team hitting percentage, walks and on base percentage. New Tigers team president Scott Harris has said that the team is now going to focus on finding players who are discipled at the plate. Harris was very blunt when he said this at his introductory press conference.

When looking at the current Detroit Tigers roster they did shed themselves of some players who were free swingers. However, the organization elected to hang onto SS-Javier Baez a notorious free swinger. There are young players whom the team can build around and who either have or are working towards disciple at the plate.

Last season if it could go wrong it did for former first overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson. This offseason manager AJ Hinch sent both of Detroit’s hitting coaches Keith Beauregard and Michael Brdar to meet with Torkelson in Arizona. The team has stated that Torkelson is a big part of the teams future. Scott Harris and Hinch have said they are going to use spring training to evaluate young players.

MESA, AZ – NOVEMBER 06, 2022: Justyn-Henry Malloy #24 of the Scottsdale Scorpions bats during the Fall Stars Game at Sloan Park on November 6, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Two players in the Tigers system fit what the team is transitioning towards. 3B/OF Justyn- Henry Malloy, whom the team received as part of the trade from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for closer Gregory Soto. Malloy can flat out rake. playing in the Arizona Fall League, Malloy posted a 408 OBP, .306/.438/.444 with five doubles, one triple, and one homer, while drawing 16 walks with 20 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances.

Malloy has the plate disciple the Tigers are looking for. Malloy could start the season at Double A- with the Erie Seawolves or in Triple A- with the Toledo Mud Hens.

The other is a player who was drafted by the Tigers during the 2020 MLB Draft, 3B/2B Colt Keith. There is a lot to like about Keith. He is a discipled hitter with power. Keith does not chase balls out of the strike zone and is willing to take a walk. Possessing very good bat control through the zone, Keith finds a way to get on base. Probably heading to Double A when training camp breaks, Keith will not be in the minors much longer.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 3: Spencer Torkelson #20 of the Detroit Tigers wears Franklin batting gloves during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on September 3, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

While it seems disappointing that the Tigers have embarked on yet another rebuild, with Scott Harris and AJ Hinch calling the shots it feels like the right direction is upon the entire Detroit Tigers organization. Both Justyn-Henry Malloy and Colt Keith are the poster boys for what the organization is looking for. If the team can help Spencer Torkelson get going than this rebuild could take shape quickly.

The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies make a 5 player swap

New Detroit Tigers president, Scott Harris promised to take calculated risks in rebuilding the Tigers roster. Saturday afternoon, Harris made good on his promise as the Detroit Tigers sent two-time All Star relief pitcher Gregory Soto and utility player Cody Clemens to the Philadelphia Phillies for Nick Maton, Donny Sands and Matt Vierling.

This is a trade that helps both Philadelphia and Detroit. The Phillies looking to improve their bullpen did so by trading for closer and All Star pitcher Gregory Soto, giving up utility players in the trade the Phillies also received Cody Clemens to aid the loss of a role player.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 05: Nick Maton #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies singles in the eighth inning against Phil Maton #88 of the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

So what did the Detroit Tigers get in this trade that can help them in 2023? The answer is a lot. Nick Maton, brings  infield and outfield versatility appearing in 86 games for the Phillies it was clear that he had become one of the team utility players. Again, Maton’s versatility is a big asset as the Tigers can insert him in just about anywhere on the field.

C- Donny Sands, seems to be more of a throw in and will not be counted on very much if at all at the MLB level. That is okay as it strengthens the Tigers overall minor league system.

OF- Matt Vierling is the real get in the trade for Detroit. Vierling is a player who has breakout potential which is why he was Detroit’s prime target in the deal. With a Phillies team that was stacked with outfielders, Vierling has been waiting for a legitimate opportunity to play everyday. Scouts believe Vierling has the potential to develop into a solid hitter not too mention he can play all three OF positions.

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The loss of Soto was big for a Tigers team looking to improve their bullpen. However, there is a bigger picture. This is another rebuild for the Tigers and they needed and need to cash in players for prospects and players who are on the verge of breakout seasons.

Headed to the playoffs? The Detroit Lions push forward

No matter if the Detroit Lions are on target or arriving a year early in the organizations rebuild, the 2022-’23 Lions have shown fight and the team is on the cusp of being a pretty good football team. As for the playoffs, a couple key things have to go right one in a stadium the Lions rarely play well, the other is hoping another team can knock off the team currently in the final playoff spot.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 20: A Detroit Lions helmet is seen on the sidelines during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 20, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions head to a place that has been nothing short of a house of horrors for the team on Sunday, Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. Of course a possible playoff spot would hang in the balance an Lambeau. Yet, this is a golden opportunity for the Lions to end the SOL (same old Lions) once and for all.

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has stated this is the new Lions, players have echoed the coach. Even if the Lions fall on Sunday, the team has taken a big step forward and show the promise of being a very good, competitive team as soon as next season.

A win against the Packers alone will not get Detroit into the NFL Playoffs. The team needs the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seattle Seahawks to get in. Ironically enough, the Lions hold the Rams first round draft pick which is set to be #6 overall and could be higher, if Seattle beats the Rams.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 01: An Inspire Change logo is seen on the field prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 01, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

For the young Detroit Lions no matter the outcome, this season has been one that the future foundation will hang on. Starting the season 1-6 to then get red hot was a great turnaround. The fact that the Lions are even close to being a possible playoff team is testament to the work GM Brad Holmes, has done.


In 2023 the Detroit Tigers are planning to bottom out, again

When the Detroit Tigers named Scott Harris president of baseball operations, they did so by subtlety and not so subtlety announcing the team would enter a rebuild, again. That is back-to-back rebuilds for the Tigers. Former GM, Al Avila rebuilt the team and announced the rebuild was over only to see his version of the rebuilt Tigers crash and burn, Avila was dismissed as GM.

DETROIT, MI – MAY 29: A detail view of a Detroit player’s hat and glove resting on a shelf in the dugout is seen during a regular season Major League Baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Detroit Tigers on May 29, 2022 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Through offseason moves made and not made Scott Harris, who is reluctant to use the word rebuild is doing just that. Last season the Detroit Tigers took the most swings and fewest walks of all MLB teams. Most of the free-swingers are no longer on the roster.

The 36 year old Harris began his MLB career working under some heavyweights, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer helping put a World Series winning Chicago Cubs team together. Harris then took over as GM of the San Francisco Giant, the Giants in 2019 posted the  third best winning percentage in the Majors at .613. Harris looking for a new challenge took over as president of baseball operations in Detroit and said that he plans to hire a GM at some point.

The Detroit Tigers who have been void of playoff appearances since 2014 brought in Harris, who is widely viewed as one of the best young minds in baseball. Harris said that he did believe the Tigers have some good pitchers but, needs bats.

Not trying to kick a man when he is down, Avila left the Tigers organization in a bit of a mess. Pitching trumps hitters, Harris said he is looking for a balance between the two as it should be.

The 2023 Detroit Tigers are going to be bad. There simply is no way around it. The team needs to bottom out again. This time there is room to sign players, though that likely will not happen until there are more pieces in place.

DETROIT, MI – JULY 02: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on July 2, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Royals 4-3. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

So the Tigers are rebuilding again. This time they are armed with a bright young mind and a very good manager (A.J. Hinch) who have said they can work well together.

The 2022 Detroit Lions are changing the narrative

As improbable as it may be the Detroit Lions are in the playoff hunt. No really. After starting the season 1-6 the team has won 6 out of their last 7 games and now stand at 7-7 on the season. Sunday afternoon in New York to play the Jets, the Lions were held in check by a stingy Jets defense most of the day, until it counted most.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 18: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws the ball during the second half a New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Lions QB- Jared Goff who had been lights out the past two weeks had a bit of a let-down game. Yet, when the game was on the line Goff delivered the knockout punch against a solid Jets defense. On 4th and 1, Goff hit TE- Brock Wright on a 51 yard touchdown with 1:49 left in regulation.

The Lions sealed the victory when Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 58 yard field goal that would have tied the game. For the first time in a long time the Lions were on the right side of special teams. It is the second win the Lions have had in New York city this season. The first came against the Giants.

Not the “Same old Lions,” for years the Lions would have lost a game like today’s. The Lions found a way to come away with the victory despite not playing their best game. That is not a slight on the Jets who are in the playoff chase in the AFC. It shows how far the Lions have come this season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – DECEMBER 18: Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets is sacked by James Houston #59 of the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions defense while flawed has found a way to come up with turnovers, sacks and been able to get off the field on third downs. This has been a pleasant turnaround as the defense struggled during the 1-6 start.

Surely you’ve heard the phrase “Good teams find a way.” The rebuilding Detroit Lions are growing into a good team this season. Sunday afternoon on the road in New York the Lions found a way. Proving once again this team is going to be really good very soon.

In the midst of a rebuild the Detroit Lions are playing a big game today

When Brad Holmes took over as GM of the Detroit Lions, both Holmes and Lions Principal Owner, Sheila Ford Hamp said the team was going to rebuild from the ground up. That rebuilds take time, but in order to set future winning up, the rebuild was necessary. Not even two years into a massive rebuild the 5-7 Detroit Lions host the 10-2 Minnesota Vikings today at Ford Field. The 5-7 Lions are favored to win.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – MAY 27: Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp watches the afternoon practice session with Head Coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes and President Rod Woods on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Every fan base of a team the has rebuilt or is rebuilding, looks for a sign that things are trending in the right direction. Rebuilds do take time. How much time is largely dependent on the GM, scouts and head coach. When Brad Holmes took over the Detroit Lions, Holmes took an axe to previous GM Bob Quinn’s roster.

The Lions won just 3 games last season, Holmes has had two very good drafts which is laying the foundation for what is taking place today. with two more wins and still more games to be played the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field on December 04, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Jared Goff who was viewed by, well everyone as a bridge quarterback seems to have found a home in Detroit where Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell view him as “THE GUY.” Goff’s numbers back leaderships view of him. 3022- yds passing, 19- td’s 7-ints show why Goff has been to two Pro Bowls and taken the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl.

Still football like every sport is a team game. The Lions defense which struggled mightily to find it’s footing, has done just that the past 4 games. The team has found a pass rush, the secondary has played better and the linebackers are getting to the ball much better.

Still this is not even two years into a big rebuild and the Detroit Lions are favored over a team that has 10 wins and is the division leader. This should excite fans, it should be a warning to the rest of the NFC, the Detroit Lions are coming. They may or may not make the playoffs this season. But they are coming, sooner than later.