Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Rumors of Tayshaun Prince for Carlos Boozer

While the Pistons have been rumored the entire off season to be going after Carlos Boozer, it doesn't appear that anything is happening in that regard. While I have little to no love for Carlos Boozer, the Pistons have put themselves in a position that they have neither money to spend, nor a big man on the roster worth a damn.

So...we are all resigned to the fact that either Tay, or Rip is going to have to be dealt at some point to get us one. With the signing of Ben Gordon as the free agent period opened almost everyone had to think that a Rip Hamilton trade would be forthcoming. While Gordon says that he wouldn't mind being the 6th man if Rip stayed, is that how it will eventually shake out?

Tayshaun seems to have a bit more value in that he is one of the most versatile players in the league, a superior defensive player, and I have heard him labeled a top 25 talent in the NBA before. While I love both Tay and Rip, I would not be against trading Tay away for the simple fact that he is going to wear down faster than any other player we have. HE has played more minutes than anyone in the NBA the last 6 seasons I would guess if you asked me this question. 6 Eastern Conference Finals, 2 NBA Finals, and even a few minutes in the Olympics. HE also has averaged nearly 40 minutes a game over that span, and hasn't missed much time to injury at all. HE definitely has the sound of a guy that could use some eye cream with all the sleepless nights he probably has.

So...the rumor now is that the Pistons along with both Portland and Utah may be looking at a 3-team swap that would send Tay to Portland, and Boozer to the Pistons.

While I wouldn't mind having Boozer for the season, I am definitely not enamored with the idea that trading for him will cost the Pistons a long-term contract starting at $14 Million per season. Boozer just isn't that good. We go from having the ability to sign ANYONE next year to basically not being able to sign anyone after this off season with the pick ups of Gordon and Charlie Villenueva.

Welcome back the teal jerseys. This team is gonna suck for a while.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Inge Gets Embarrassed in HR Derby, Granderson Scores Winning Run in All-star Game

While I didn't expect Brandon Inge to have much of a showing in his first Home Run Derby appearance, I expected him to hit at least ONE homer. HE did not. Brandon Inge had ZERO HRs in the HR Derby. He was the only one to accomplish this task so I guess that puts him in some elite company with guys like Mike Piazza who I believe did it twice.

On the brighter side, Curtis Granderson made his imprint on the All-star game itself. The speedy fat burner rifled a triple off the bottom of the left-field wall in the 8th inning to set himself up to score the game winning run on an Adam Jones sacrifice fly.

The AL won for the 1th year in a row. That's right. 12 straight years the American LEague has beaten the NL in the mid-summer classic.

Great news for us Tigers fans as the AL winning the AS game gives the AL home field advantage in the World Series. With the Tigers leading their division at the break there is a chance that it could come into play for us.

Justin Verlander did not pitch in the game, but Edwin Jackson became part of the run for the AL that retired 18 straight pitching one scoreless frame.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tigers Roll into All-star Break on top of Division

While we really didn't know what to expect out of the Tigers this season, we have been pleasantly surprised by the position they are in. Worries about our starting pitching staff, and even more worried about the Tigers bullpen and us wondering if the team could even finish above .500 for the year. We all expected the team to hit well, but even that hasn't turned out the way we had imagined it.

So through the first half of the season the Tigers are in first place with a 48-39 record by 3.5 games over the White Sox and 4 games over the Minnesota Twins.

So what has happened that put them in this position. The #1 reason is the trade that brought us Edwin Jackson. In his first year with Detroit he has made it into his first all-star game and has dominated since day 1 leading the team in ERA at 2.52. Justin Verlander has also dominated in stretches this season, and really has been so good in spots that he has been unhittable while striking out 144 batters already at the break.

Then we come to the rookie Rick Porcello who has continued to give solid innings to the Tigers at the ripe old age of 20. He has pitched well enough to win 8 games this season already. Just 1 behind team leader Justin Verlander at 9.

After a very rough start of the season for almost 2 months Armando Galararaga was looking as if he was no longer a pitcher. Even he has turned it around recently and is keeping the Tigers in position to win whenever he steps on the mound.

The bullpen has been quite steady this season as well. A few bumps in the road here and there are expected, but we have gotten some great pitching ourt of the pen all year from closer Fernando Rodney who goes into the break at a perfect 19/19 in save opportunities. After losing the closer's role to Rodney, Brandon "Detroit" Lyon has been very steady the last several weeks. Joel Zumaya is back and has dominated at times, but he still has a few bumps along the way. Bobby Seay has gotten a lot of clutch outs and may be the most consistent of the bunch, while Zach Miner continues to pitch in any way they want as a starter or reliever.

The hitting has been quite weak this season with the loss of Carlos Guillen for most of the first half and the possible swan song of Magglio Ordonez in Detroit. HE is relegated to platoon duty at the moment to see if he can find his bat again or if he will be selling wholesale computers in the near future.

Brandon Inge has been the biggest shock of them all. He will be participating in the HR Derby this week for the first time. Never having even 30 HRs in a season he is at 21 (after 2 today) at the all-star break. He also has a few memorable hits this season that have given the Tigers some wins.

Another big reason is the defense for the Tigers. Although the error count may not show it the Tigers have definitely improved their infield and outfield overall this season. The addition of Adam Everett at SS, and Inge moving back to third has widened the range over there significantly.

The OF has had many faces this season. Playing for Maggs, and for Guillen while he has been on the DL. Clete Thomas, Ryan Raburn, Josh Anderson, and Jeff Larish are a few that have all played quite a few games. They have all had some clutch hits this season and played well enough in the field to save us from some losses.

While the hitting hasn't been spectacular in the first half, Carlos Guillen may be returning soon to help out. There has also been rumblings of a possible trade coming that would get the Tigers another power bat. Adam Dunn and Aubrey Huff have both slipped into rumors as of late so we may see even more improvement int he second half.

Inge to be in HR Derby

Who would have ever thought that our Brandon "Strikeout Machine" Inge would ever make it to a home run derby? I certainly didn't and I would have offered to drive you to the nut house if you suggested it paying for the long distance movers if necessary to get you there.

Surprise, surprise. Inge is heading to the all-star game as the last man vote din AND he will be participating in the HR Derby. Can you believe this?

So...what do you think he will do at the competition? I am not real optimistic he can compete with the likes of Pujols out there, but maybe he will shock us all.

My prediction for Inge is 2 HRs in the first round, and an exit.