Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Lions QB's/Pistons/Tigers

I'm currently suffering through what seems like purgatory as I'm watching the fourth quarter of the Eagles-Steelers pre-season game. If this were just a normal pre-season game, I would've turned it off a long time ago but it's not. I am currently watching a colossal battle featuring the Steelers 4th stringers led by Charlie Batch as they battle the Eagles 4th stringers led by Mike McMahon. I feel like I'm in the anti-fantasy football twilight zone. Joe Theisman has spent the entire second half proclaiming that Mike McMahon was clearly a better quarterback than Joey Harrington and that McMahon is very comparable to Donovan McNabb. I just found out that Troy Polamalu works out in his bare feet.

The amnesty deadline for the NBA was midnight last night. The new collective bargaining agreement allowed teams the ability to cut one player without having the salary count towards the luxury tax limit. The Pistons were waiting like sharks for the Knicks to dump Alan Houston and for the Raptors to cut Jalen Rose. Amazingly, neither were released. I'm not complaining too much since that guarantees that Alan Houston will not be a Piston. YES! However, the Mavs did cut Michael Finley. I would expect Joe D to pounce on Finley ASAP since there really isn't anyone else out there. If they can't get Finley, then there probably won't be any significant roster changes between now and the start of the season.

Drew Sharp has an article in the Detroit Free Press today that makes me wonder if he's been locked in the bathroom for the last two years. He says that Pudge needs to shape up his attitude or Illitch needs to get rid of him. Huh? Pudge is the first good free agent to willingly sign with the Tigers since..........I could go on with the periods but I think you get the idea. He's done everything the Tigers could ask. He's been among the best defensive catchers in the game. He contributed more offensively last season than anyone ever imagined. He's hovering around .290 this season. He made the All-Star game both seasons and probably played as big of a role as anyone in getting Magglio Ordonez to sign. He's played with a broken right hand and a broken left hand.

The main target of Sharp's attack is that Pudge went over Trammell's head to get permission from Dave Dombrowski to serve his four game suspension in Columbia so he could resolve personal issues. Is this really a problem? Is Pudge really the reason why the Tigers have underachieved? Pudge has been a class act ever since coming to Detroit. Other players around the league get permission to leave the team for personal reasons all the time. Pudge was classy enough to request this while he was suspended so he wouldn't interfere with the team. Sharp is precisely the kind of writer/fan that I'm sick of listening to. He says that the Tigers cannot have double standards for Pudge. Since when has compassion been confused with a double standard? Plus, if you're saying the Tigers cannot have double standards for anyone on the team, then everyone should have to play with two broken hands.

The Tigers haven't been good in 15 years. They came within one game of breaking the all-time record for losses in a season. They rebuilt the roster over the next two years and bam, the Tigers are supposed to just magically win. The pitching staff is suspect at best. Bonderman is nowhere near as good as he'll be next season and beyond. Mags missed the first half of the season. Pervical is out for the season. Polanco got hurt as soon as he came to Detroit. Rondell White has been hurt all season. Anybody who expected the Tigers to make the playoffs or even finish above .500 this season was expecting way too much. The same reason that the Tigers won't win this year is the same reason why the Lions won't win this year either. These things take time. People want to jump ship when things don't go perfect. It's a process. It doesn't matter how long we've suffered as Lion and Tiger fans. That doesn't mean diddly squat in terms of whether or not the teams are ready to win. Both teams will be better next season.

Sharp is one of those loudmouths that likes to lambaste someone just to create noise. I despise that kind of person. The Tigers are underachieving? OK, let's write an article attacking a veteran future Hall of Famer who plays through injury while maintaining a high level of play. Sounds fair.

Sharp is out of his mind. There are just a handful of people on the team that are NOT to blame and Pudge is one of them. He hasn't missed significant time due to injury nor has he been a disappointment. The Tigers aren't ready to win. If Sharp really thinks that the Tigers aren't winning this year because they have one of the best defensive catchers in baseball history behind the plate who provides above average offensive numbers, then I think that's an indictment on the hiring practices at the Detroit Free Press. This article was a waste of time for every person that reads that paper.


Tony said...

The word is that Pudge is in the middle of the divorce process, which should be finalized in less than 2 weeks. Who knows how this is affecting him, or if it's just his age that's starting to get to him. I'll I know is, he got into tremendous shape, and that doesn't matter (to this argument) if he got in shape cuz he no longer was on steriods, it shows that at age 33, he got himself into the best position possible to contribute.

I'm not going to blame Dombrowski for anything. A two year deal for Percival perhaps was a bit much, but what were the options? Urbina? He got drunk and fought a teammate, and that's the only situation we know of. Plus, at the time of the signing, we had no idea how the kidnapping of his mother was going to affect him. Was Farnsworth an option? At the end of last season, going into this season, he was a 7th inning guy. He pitched well this year, but if you told me at the beginning of the year that Farnwsorth was the closer, I'd say something along the lines of he might be good in a year - but it was for this year.

I hear on talk radio, and around the water cooler, how everyone seems upset with the Tigers latest slump. How fast do they want a turn around? Last year we added pudge. This year, we tried making splash after splash, and all we got was Percival, who we had to offer a second year to get. This is like when Millen took over the team, and had to pay Hakim and Schroeder extra money, because he had to get something in here. At least Dombrowski brought in a former All-Star. We didn't get Mags for a while later, yet that signaled wild card?

As far as pudge, I know hes a bit upset with some trades. He was friends with Urbina, thought the Farnsworth deal was throwing in the towel (I still don't think Colon, who after watching has a much powerful arm than I thought, will do anything) I can see his frustration, I felt it too. We were in the hunt for a bit, FINALLY. 84 and 87 were so long ago! Pudge wants to win! That's what it comes down to. If the team goes, and gets another (left-handed) bat for the middle of the line-up, and can get a top of the rotation starter (just don't overpay for Burnett) then I'll start to think maybe 06 is the year. Even then, we'll have to avoid injuries (Rondell, Guillen, Mags, Polanco, Percival)

As far as the Pistons. Rumblings on the Terry Foster street, are the Pistons are talking to Sprewell. I think I'd rather have Finley, but, Spree does do one thing that we seem to lack, and that's someone taking it to the hole.

Anonymous said...

Detroit fans are some of the worst in the country. Not surprising when you consider the quality of people who live in this area, generally speaking.

Other comments that infuriate me:

-Holland has driven the Red Wings into the ground and can't build a championship team.

I'm not a big Holland supporter, but I don't think I need to explain how that is wrong.

-Datsyuk and Zetterberg are primadonnas!

Understandable remarks from dolts who don't understand how a free-market economy work. These are probably the same people who like the "Hey Hey Hockeytown" song.

-After the Lions-Cardinals opener two seasons ago, the radio post-game jocks opined that the secondary needed to improve.

This is what's most galling about Detroit fans. Even in a win, some negative fact had to be harped upon, ignoring the fact that Jo Jo tossed 4 TDs in that game and the offense looked pretty good. A win is a win, and when you're a team like the Lions, or a fan of said team, you should be happy for any win. I wouldn't show any loyalty to a bunch of fans who, instead of celebrating with us, decided to go on and on and on about some third down in the first quarter where we "fukked" (misspelling intentional) up or a million other nitpicking, inconsequential events.

Anonymous said...

That second post is by me.

Anonymous said...

As far as Pudge, apparently his attitude has been more of a subtle type attitude problem. His answerings of "no comment," on a lot of questions in which he could have lessoned recent concerns about his attitude has further fueled the flame. I think he is seen as "going through the motions," despite putting up decent, though certainly not Pudge-like numbers. Having his mindset recently questioned and then topping it off by taking four days off and then showing up late made this issue full blown in the Detroit area.
I was tremendously impressed with Colon. He did give up a homerun against Ortiz, but otherwise looked extremely effective. He has a great fastball, but way more importanly, had great location with it. It was only the first time I've seen him, but I liked his fastball a lot more than Rodney and German's, who throw it with no clue as to where it is going. If he can develop something offspeed, the biggest if of all pitching ifs, he could be awesome.
Finally, if the Pistons sign Latrell Sprewell, I will puke. He is, as of the last 10 years, the most overrated basketball player, and furthermore, professional athlete, in the world.

Anonymous said...

Hey hwood, you and me and trivial pursuit or in an alley with a stapler. Either way I'll show you what the people of Motown are all about. Survival and winning. You never worried about either and would lose either duel.

I've been everywhere and back. Only New York and Chicago fans even come close to Detroit fans and any knowledgable sports fan would concur.

Specifically on your points, if you that was indeed your intention, thatis...to make a point:

-"Holland can't build a championship team." How many cups has your team won in the last ten years? Not more than Holland's Wings (3).

-The use of the word "galling." Did you mean vexing, irritating, or exacerbating? You may have but trying to hide the Cleveland trailer park spilled over into your senseless diatribe.

-Are you trying to say that preseason football is meaningful in your "a win is a win" comment? Jane you ignorant bitch. Preseason football means about as much as you do as a member of society. Not a whole hell of a lot. Go back to Cleveland, Akron, or whatever west coast state that could care less about the finer things in life like sports and the Hockeytown song and leave sportstalk to the professionals.

Anonymous said...

Since Hwood thinks Detroit fans are low quality idiots let's take a look at the nations worse sports fans by city:

1) Atlanta fans. They don't even sell out playoff baseball and a Falcons game is like Sadie Hawkins with a fat chick
2) Los Angeles fan: #2 media market with no football team. Nuff said.
3) Philadelphia fans: They will throw anything, at anyone, at anytime. If you want to talk genetic bottleneck you have to mention Philadelphia.
4) Boston fans: Bitch, complain, cry, bitch, complain, cry. Plus they only know their teams which is annoying.
5) Denver fans: Why does Denver have professional sports teams?
6) Cleveland fans: I chanted 1948 when the Indians were good and all their Ohio State alumni invaded Tiger stadium. Another battery throwing bunch of idiots.
7) Miami fans: Another group of whiners. They must be brought in from Boston although they don't like baseball.
8) Cincinnati fans: I like this group but that city is still in Ohio.
9) Columbus fans: See #8
10) Milwaukee/Green Bay fans: The Packers are the best, the Bucks are ignored, and the Brewers are the Brewers. Go Admirals!

Now the best
1) New York by far. Knowledgeable, realistic, and shit-talkers. They know their teams and everyone else's and unlike Boston or Philly fans, actually listen.
2) Chicago fans even though I hate all Chicago teams. They are well versed, realistic, and support the Blackhawk's no matter what.
3) Detroit fans put up with the Lions and still let that team own the city. That is insane. Although I am not a Lions fan I respect these people for their loyalty above all else.
4) Dallas fans would be next but there is a huge gap between three and four. Dallas fans support all their teams and love sports.
5) Any Canadian city with an NHL team. They love that shit and the football Eskimos too!
6) Kansas City fans are exceptional football fans and great baseball fans. They may or may not miss the Kings.

Tony said...

First off, I just want to say that Hwood is from Detroit, and while he favors (for whatever reason) the Cowboys, he is a Detroit sports fan.

Second, I am from Detroit, I do not favor the Cowboys, and I am very much a Detroit sports fan.

As far as the Detroit sports fans go however, a very, very large percentage of sports fans in the area only know sports on the surface level. Before I go any further, I have to say, that I do not believe that this is limited to the Detroit area. I'd have to say that the majority of sports fans really don't understand all that goes into the game. These are the people that automatically scream that something is a bad pass or bad pitch, failing to realize that it was just as likely, if not more so, that a wide receiver ran the wrong route or that the count was 0-2 and the pitcher wanted to see if he could get the batter to swing at a pitch out of the zone.

I listen to the sports talk radio stations, and somehow I am still a listener. So many callers call in, and their narrowminded viewpoint is so frustrating. They bad mouth Holland and the lack of signings, yet if you were to look at the salary/depth chart you'd see they are doing everything right (welcome to the nature of the new nhl beast).

I'm not saying all Detroit fans are bad. The majority of those that come to this site, are intelligent fans. I'd say without hesitation that the percentage of knowledgable fans per total fans in Detroit ranks near the top for any sports city sans a Canadian hockey town.

I've been to games in Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, and I get irritated by the fans everywhere. In fact, I almost despise going to games in person anymore because the fans around me are morons. One fan at Michigan Stadium kept calling everything offsides. Someone would have been interfered with 20 yards downfield, and I'd have an idiot yelling offsides, OFFSIDES! in my ear.

Still, the watercooler talk, the sports talk radio, and even the media, always present themselves with this cookie-cutter, pop culture, puck bunny drivel. But hey, this is a business right, and you do what you can to make money. Keeping the true loyal fan happy is the least of their concerns.

Bring in a new pocketbook, and call them a fan. That's fine, but your making it hard for a true and loyal fan sometimes. I support my Tigers and Lions through all the bad, as much as through the highs of the Wings and the Pistons.

As far as Hwood goes, I think he was pointing out that it seems no matter what, if Detroit teams win or lose, the fans always focus on the negatives, especially in the rare case of a win for a bad team. I can see what he's talking about, I DO see what he's talking about.

Detroit has fans, not all of them are good. The Tigers attendance for a while was laughable. I know the Silverdome was big, but how many damn blackouts did we have. Detroit is a Sports City, a top sports city. Having fans though, even loyal fans is only part of having a good fan.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Michigan fans, that is, in the State of Michigan are by a rule pessimistic. Look at what the population has been through in the past 20 or 30 years. Not in sports, in life. I don't care who hwood likes and it doesn't matter. Any Coboys fan not from Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas. or Texas tends to show a bandwagon jumper but unlike him, I try to not generalize.

As far as the blackouts go the Silverdome put 80k under that roof and they still got 70,000 to see a horrible franchise. I don't prefer the Lions because I just never liked them for some reason unlike the other area teams. But that doesn't mean I look down on the fans, if anything I feel sorry for them sometimes. But that is part of being a fan of sports. Some of your teams stink unless you change them like underwear.

Sure some Detroit fans are idiots and outside of Boston, Detroit sports talk radio is a big downer.

But by in large, compared to other cities and other sports fans; Detroit fans are well spoken, won't fight because you say the Lions suck, and know about sports going on outside their city. That is really the point. Don't say Detroit fans are shitheads when there are so many other cities where I would be embarrassed to say I was a sports fan. Philadelphia in particular comes to mind.

If the Lions, more than any other team by a longshot in the city win a championship, I think allot of the general pessimism in all the sports will subside. Like I said I'm not a Lions fan, but I just want that damn team to win so we can get that huge cloud removed from the ceiling above the city. I think world peace is then possible.

Anonymous said...

"I tend not to generalize"

Then maybe you should find out that I was rooting for the Cowboys back when they were 1-15 in 1989.

Besides, unlike you, lombowski, I don't argue or generalize about things that I don't know. I don't know what the Philly fans or the Boston fans are like, only what ESPN tells me. Frankly, I don't think their opinion on the matter is worth a damn, since it plays upon common nationwide biases to begin with. Your list of good towns and bad towns are invalid, especially the latter list, because of no criteria to base it on. LA and Atlanta have poor support from the populous, but Cleveland, Denver and Philadelphia do. By the way, Denver has sports team because it's a very populous region, and unlike Detroit or Michigan for that matter, it's actually growing.

Detroit fans are shitheads because the majority of the people from the Detroit metropolitan area are shitheads. I make that remark based on people I've dealt with who are from here, and its a long list. Many of them will be at the Dream Cruise this weekend.

Back to my shitty Detroit comments; take a look around and try to tell me that isn't true. An area with no culture. A dead urban center. Closet racism (both from blacks and whites) and a reliance on an industry (automotive) whose methods are way past the expiration date. Combine that with the fact that I can travel 4 hours east or west (Toronto or Chicago) and have a much more rewarding experience than spending time in the Detroit area, and the Dirty D is the pits.

Using simple probability, and you fancy yourself a pretty smart guy, one can deduce that the majority of Detroit fans are shitheads, if they come from a pool that is largly that. I remember when I could go to a hockey game and not hear "Hey Hey Hockeytown" and enjoy myself. Now, I get that insipid song that the rubes like to hear because they pay the money to sit in the lower bowl. And tell me, Lombo, if it's such a great town with tons of support, why is the lower bowl at the Joe not sold out every single game on the schedule. Why pay the money for season tickets when you aren't going to use them?

Onto the rest of your ill-written screed. Firstly, you mistook my comment about Holland's team building abilities to be of my own opinion. Wrong, I was commenting about how bothersome it is to hear people speak that way. Any point I made with a "-" was opinions that I took umbridge with, not my own.

Why yes, I did use galling in the context you described. Good to see you know how to use a thesaurus and are able to look up harder words than "the".

The Arizona-Detroit game I described was a regular season game, the first of the season. I remember watching it at Tony's (yep, the same as who posts here) apartment and enjoying the Lions getting a win.

And then, the coup de grace, you threaten me with physical violence, OVER THE INTERNET?!?!?!? Whoa, man, do u als0 talk li3k this, l33t d00d0r? Good thing I'm in my apartment with the door locked, a tough guy is after me! Grow up, man.

I apologize to Jake for shitting up his excellent blog with stuff not even related to his post, derailing the thread, if you will. But I take offense and someone, who doesn't know me, wishes to make vile remarks about my character. I would have let it go, but you had to call me common trailer trash. I find that highly offensive. I'm a proud graduate of a Big 10 university that currently holds an executive position at a company that brings down a billion dollars in revenue a year, all at 25 years old. I don't like Schlitz, don't beat my significant other, don't have any children out of wedlock, don't have any crappy tattoos and I don't drive a rusted out Grand Am.

I only let friends and family play the dozens with me. You're neither.

Tony said...

This thread is starting to get a bit off base, but, this is somewhat related to sports fans...

I went back and looked at the last 8 lists that The Sporting News has put out regarding what they consider is the best Sports City, which comes out annually.

I went and gave each city 20 pts if they ranked first in any of the last 8 years, 19 pts for a second, 18 pts for a third....1 pt for 20th, and 0 for anything lower than 20th.

Here are the top 15 sports cities since 1998...

Rank-City-Points-2005 rank
1. New York/New Jersey - 139 - 10
2. Dallas/Fort Worth - 126 - 8
3. Philadelphia - 125 - 2
4. Boston - 124 - 1
5. Detroit - 122 - 3
6. L.A./Anaheim - 119 - 5
7. Oak/S.F./S.J. - 118 - 14
8. Miami - 104 - 4
9. Denver - 95 - 13
10. Balt/D.C. - 80 - 7
11. Phoenix - 78 - 12
12. Atlanta - 73 - 9
13. Chicago - 67 - 15
14. St. Louis - 63 - 19
15. Minneapolis - 58 - 11
16. Seattle - 42 - 16
17. Houston - 39 - 6
18t. Indianapolis - 22 - 17
18t. Pittsburgh - 22 - 18
20. Tampa - 20 - 20

For the most part, each cities overall ranking for the past 8 years is similar to the ranking they received this year. Houston did well this past year, where New York, Dallas, and the Bay area seemed to have had an off year. Still, Detroit ranks a solid 5th, right on the heals of the cities above them.

A note: it looks like East Lansing is considered it's own city, rather than a part of Detroit such as Ann Arbor. I know there is a big divide between U of M and MSU fans, but add in MSU and you could make a case for pushing Detroit up a bit.

A lot of this relates to the fans, and their loyalty. The fact Detroit has had some horrible years lately in Baseball and Football shows how great this is of a place to be a sports fan.

I still feel Detroit is a bit too negative at times, but I think this goes back to a lot of Jake's U of M posts, about how aggrevating it seems to be, to be a fan in this area. We experience the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.

(If I have time, or Jake if you want to take this further, I was going to throw in Championships, Championship games, BCS bowl berths, and final fours, plus maybe metropolitan area population and attendance if we want to come up with a weird who is the best sports fans city...hey, my semester ends this week, I need something to occupy some time)

Tony said...

sorry, i added teams 16-20 in mid post.

In case anyone was curious, the next 10 were....

21. Nashville
22. San Diego
23. Toronto
24. Raleigh/Chapel Hill
25. Milwaukee
26. Salt Lake City
27. New Orleans
28. Cleveland
29. Cincinnati
30. San Antonio

none of those ranked with any authority.

Anonymous said...

Your funny woody. I hope you continue on your path to greatness and grace us all with your intelligent and witty responses henceforth. Someday the Grand Am will come, just keep saving. We're all very proud of you. I'm going to grow up now and won't give you my resume while doing it. I'm off the subject.


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