Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Few Updates and Thoughts

Congrats to Kentucky on winning the tournament that nobody cares about anymore. Apparently "Anthony Davis" is the best college basketball player in years. I couldn't even tell you if he's white or black. I guess I'll find out next year in the NBA.

Congrats to Baylor's women's team on going 40-0. But here's the more pressing question: if Baylor's women played Kentucky's men, would the score by 40-0 in favor of Kentucky within 5 minutes, or would it take 6 minutes?

Also, Tigers opening day is tomorrow. Verlander against Lester at 1:00 pm. The office is taking the afternoon off to watch the game at Uccelllos. Best. job. ever.

Inge is on the 15-day DL with a fake groin injury that Dombrowski conjured up so that Inge wouldn't make the 25-man team, because he knew that would outrage the fans. But then Jimmy Leyland announced that when Inge returns, he'll be the starting second baseman against lefties (Raburn against righties ... ironically Santiago is better than either of them). And everybody was outraged after all.

Tomorrow's Opening Day lineup is pretty awesome though.

Jackson, CF
Boesch, RF
Cabrera, 3B
Fielder, 1B
Young, LF
Raburn, DH
Peralta, SS
Avila, C
Santiago, 2B

I love Santiago in the 9 hole against lefties. I love Boesch in the 2 spot. I actually like Avila hitting 8th. The obvious weakness is Jackson, but with his speed you have to keep hitting him leadoff for now. If he's still leading the AL in strikeouts by July, they'll have to consider moving him to the 9 spot. If Jackson doesn't figure out how to get on base, I'd like to see Andy Dirks lead off.

Obviously, any lineup with Cabrera and Prince hitting 3 and 4, and Verlander on the mound, is pretty stinkin unbeatable. That's 3 of the 17 best players in baseball, according to ESPN; also, 2 of the top 4, which is just laughably awesome.

It's not a great Top 500 because Joey Votto is 10 spots too low and Mariano Rivera got a lifetime achievement award - he's 50 spots too high. There was plenty of 'popularity contest' going on, like Pedroia being 22 spots better than Kinsler when they're basically the same player, except one guy wears Red Socks.

But I think they were right to put Pujols at #1; he doesn't have the regular season numbers of Cabrera lately, but he did hit .353 with 16 RBIs in the playoffs while winning the World Series.

The biggest outrage on this list is going to end up being Brennan Boesch at #251, behind nine Tigers including Porcello and Peralta ... when they do this list again next year, Boesch will be a top 50 player. He's going to mash 25 HRs and hit for .305 average with 100 runs scored, with good speed and B+ defense. He might be the 4th best Tiger, certainly not the 10th best. Oh well.

So changing gears, did you hear about the Detroit Lions 2011 draft pick who got busted in his car with marijuana? Which one, you ask? Well, how about THREE of them. 7th rounder Johnny Culbreath (who shouldn't even be on the team with that rancid-sounding last name), 2nd rounder Mikel LeShoure (busted twice in a week, tried to eat the bag of weed in front of an officer, will likely spend time in jail), and Nick Fairley, the 14th overall pick who most teams didn't want because of "maturity issues."

Wow. I wasn't excited about the 2011 draft two weeks ago, but now I'm really, really, really not excited about it. Turns out our scouting department just searches for stoners.

I'm actually more disappointed in Schwartz and the Lions coaches than these players. I guess if you're 22 years old and have insane amounts of money and all you do all day is run and jump and get tackled by huge men, you might want marijuana to make yourself feel relaxed and happy. I mean, it makes sense. But isn't the coach's job to teach these guys all the reasons why that isn't a good idea? Like, it's illegal, it ruins your reputation, you are not just hurting yourself but the team, etc, etc. Seems like Schwartz's philosophy of "treat the players like men" backfired.

It's becoming more and more evident that the investments in Best and LeShoure are probably both going to fail. And Fairley is never going to live up to a 14th pick. But the good news is: the NFL is a passing league, and we've got Stafford and Megatron, with Burleson, Titus and Pettigrew, and a pretty good pass-blocking team, so who cares if we've got two injury-prone, weed-eating running backs who we traded UP to draft when we could have waited 100 picks and got somebody better. Running backs are irrelevant nowadays anyway. Mostly. So let's just hope Schwartz doesn't trade up in the second round again and try to fix this problem.

...Go lions.

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