Detroit Sports

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Gone Again

Sorry for the serious lack of updates recently. I have been busy, and there has not been a lot of news in Detroit other than Brown leaving the Pistons. I will be gone again for the next week. Expect a lot more updates in August.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

7/19 Notes

I was gone again most of the past week so I was unable to post anything new.

The biggest story in Detroit during this past week was the departure of Larry Brown. Although it is not official yet, the Pistons and Brown are working on a buyout that will allow Brown to leave Detroit after just two seasons of being the Pistons head coach.

Larry Brown had said all along that he wanted to coach in Detroit if he was healthy enough too. He apparently could not guarantee the Pistons a full season because of his health issues.

All of this seems so strange, how can Larry Brown be leaving? He came within one win of winning two straight NBA Championships. The Pistons and he seemed so close to one another at the end of this past season. The Pistons played so good under Brown, they consistently came back in playoff series when they were down. I still can not believe Brown would want to leave Detroit for something else (if his health has nothing to do with him wanting to leave).

Even though it is a huge disappointment that Brown is leaving, it was a great two years with him in Detroit. They Pistons won the NBA Title the very first season he coached them. They were huge under-dogs against the Lakers in the Finals, but the Pistons destroyed the Lakers in just five games. This season, in the playoffs, the Pistons came within one quarter of beating the eventually NBA Champions Spurs.

In other news in Detroit, the Red Wings signed Mike Babcock, as expected, to be their new head coach. Babcock comes from the Ducks, where he came within one game of winning the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. I still am not sure about this signing, but we will just have to see what happens.

Monday, July 11, 2005

All-Star Week

The MLB All-Star game is in Detroit this year. The Tigers are represented by their catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Tonight is the Home Run Derby and the actual game is on Tuesday.

It is exciting to have an All-Star game in Detroit. The Tigers have been doing decent this year, and it will be interesting to see how they respond after the All-Star break. The Tigers record sits at 42-44, 15 games back of the division leading White Sox. They sit 6 games back of the Wild Card spot.

The Tigers strength throughout the year has been their pitching. Their team ERA is an amazing 3.88 on the season. Four of their starting pitchers have an ERA below 4.19. Last season the Tigers team ERA was 4.93, over one more earned run per-game than this season. With the Tigers pitching much better this season over last season, one has to wonder if the Tigers hitting has to do with their below 500 record. Here are the Tigers offensive numbers from this season compared to last season.

This Season
Batting Average: .268
On Base Percentage: .322
Slugging Percentage: .418
Walks: 218
Hits: 798
Home Runs: 77
Runs Batted In: 362

Last Season
Batting Average: .272
On Base Percentage: .337
Slugging Percentage: .449
Walks: 518
Hits: 1531
Home Runs: 201
Runs Batted In: 800

As you can see, the Tigers offensive numbers are down from last season. However, now that Magglio Ordonez is healthy, the Tigers offensive should get better. They need to start hitting better to keep their record around 500. I do not expect them to finish much higher than 500 even though I think they are capable of finishing above 500.

The Tigers have won five of their last six games after they lost 10 of 12. Their bats have been lighting it up and their pitching has been very solid. They have outscored their opponents 36-21 in the last 6 games. Who knows, maybe they will be able to play this well for the rest of the season.

With the season now halfway over, the Tigers can start to think about finishing the season on a strong note. They probably won't make the playoffs but they can finish the season on a solid note. If the Tigers finish this season around 500, it will be the second straight season they have finished around 500, something good to build on for next season.

Another Note: Here are some good articles about the All-Star Game.
There's no place like Detroit
Meet the real Detroit

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Wings Drop Lewis

With the NHL Lockout coming to an end, the Detroit Red Wings have decided not to
renew Dave Lewis' contract after just two seasons of being the Red Wings head coach. With Lewis out, the Red Wings are seriously going after Mike Babcock. Babcock has been the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' head coach for the past two seasons.

I fully understand why the Red Wings are not going to resign Lewis. In his first year as the Wings coach the Wings could not even get past the first round of the playoffs (they lost to Babcock's Ducks). In his second year with the Wings they lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Calgary Flames. The Red Wings are like the Yankees of hockey, anything less than a championship every year is unacceptable. When Lewis was handed the reigns, he inherited a team that was ready to compete for the Stanley Cup. He did not have to build up the team because the pieces were already in place. His failure to get the Wings deep into the playoffs is what cost him his job. He has been coaching, as a head or assistant coach, in Detroit since 1987.

Although I agree with Lewis not being resigned, I am not sure if I exactly agree with the Wings going after Babcock. I know he came within one game of the Stanley Cup a few years back, but what else has he really done? Last season the Ducks did not even make the playoffs and they have a below 500 record (in the regular season) with Babcock as their head coach. He coming to Detroit might be a big risk, but we just have to wait and see. I am not the biggest hockey fan in the world so maybe I am completely wrong. Hopefully it will work out if they sign him (which appears as if they will sign him).

The only way we can tell if his signing was a good one, is how well the Wings perform under his coaching.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Around the Horn

There has been a lot of news in the Detroit Sports scene lately. I have been on vacation and since I have not been able to see any of the stories unfold, I am just going to put up links to articles about the news going on.

Brown insists nothing's changed with Pistons

The Pressure on Harrington

Lewis out, Babcock in?

Box Scores, Old News and Birthday Presents

Detroit's Bonderman matches career high in wins

Friday, July 01, 2005

Tigers Get Swept

Right after I posted about the Tigers potentially being able to make a run at the wild card, they got swept by the White Sox in three games. The Tigers record now sits at 36-39. Detroit opens a home series tonight against the struggling Yankees.

The Tigers lost game one of the White Sox series 2-1. Nate Robertson pitched a gem, but the Tigers could not give him enough run support. The Tigers left runners stranded a few times and that really hurt them in this loss.

In game two the Tigers lost again by one run, this time losing 4-3 in 13 innings. Frank Thomas of the White Sox hit the game winning homerun in the 13th inning. Jason Johnson pitched a great game for the Tigers, but yet again, another good pitching game went down the tube for Detroit.

In game three of this series the Tigers got destroyed 6-1. Freddy Garcia of the White Sox pitched a complete game five hitter to get his 8th win of the season. Mike Maroth picked up the loss for Detroit. Maroth has lost 7 out of his last 8 and his record now sits at 5-9.

The Tigers problem throughout this series was their hitting. They managed just 5 runs in three games against the White Sox. They must start to support their pitchers and get some runs. The Tigers played weak against an obviously better team. If the Tigers can't compete against baseball's best, then they have no right to have a shot at the playoffs.