Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 at 1:36 PM

Tigers Quick Note.

Tigers trade Roberto Novoa to the Chicago Cubs for Kyle Farnsworth. This is a move, it looks like, to bolster the middle relief. Here is the ESPN link on the trade, later - the sports dude.

at 11:37 AM

Feeling a little "snubbish" today.

Well, at least Ben made it as a reserve. I think everyone knew that once Shaq was traded to the Eastern Conference this off season that Big Ben’s reign as the East starting center was all but over. When the fans get the vote sometimes things like this happen, players get selected to start that have no right being starters let alone being on the All-Star team period. I am not talking about Shaq, he deserves to start as well as be there. I am talking about two of the other starters that have no right whatsoever starting, Allen Iverson and Vince Carter. The argument could be made for A.I. at least as a reserve, but Vince Carter should be on vacation during the All-Star break. That guy is a puss, he is overrated and doesn’t belong anywhere near the All-Star game unless it is as a spectator in the stands! But, as fans vote, sometimes you get controversy and a lot of time you get snubs.

Speaking of snubs, Rip and Chauncey definitely come to mind as far as I am concerned. Wade deserves to be there, in fact that is who I think should be starting in the place of A.I. The name that sticks out, to me, is one Gilbert Arenas. He is simply having a “stat” year, nothing more and nothing less. The Wizards are definitely a surprise team in the East, but not because of Arenas and his contributions. They have turned it around due to the play of Antwain Jamison and what he has brought to the team, also earning a much deserved spot as a reserve. Arenas is putting up some decent stats, but that is all they are – he put up similar numbers last year, but did the Wizards do anything then? No!!!! I would take Rip and Chauncey any day, any game and any game before I took him, and that is why all I can say is “snub”. But, for what it is worth, Rip can do this year what Chauncey did last year – win a Finals MVP Award before ever being selected to an All-Star game. Maybe a little bold, but I can see it happening all the same. But when you play like a team sometimes the individual accolades get passed by the sum of the whole, that whole being the team. Just look at the New England Patriots, they have less Pro Bowlers than the Steelers, and we all know what they did to Pittsburgh. In the end, it all comes down to “team” and as the old cliché goes, there is no “I” in team.

For what it is worth, here is an ESPN link to the All-Star roster, listing the starters and the reserves. Enjoy the day and we will talk to you all later – the sports dude.

at 9:16 AM

Thoughts on "Fun Maggs".

I wonder if Tram spent his Super Bowl Sunday with a pen and a bar napkin? Can’t you just see his face, smiling and doodling batting orders this way and that? “Well, I can put him here and him there…” like a kid playing a baseball video game? It seems fairly obvious to most that the numbers 3-4-5 are all but set, but what about the rest? Here, just for fun, is my very own bar napkin line up:

Inge – 3B
Guillen – SS
Pudge – C
Maggs – RF
Young – DH
Pena – 1B
White/Monroe – LF
Infante – 2B
Sanchez – CF

Yes, I dropped Mr. Sanchez to #9 and gave Inge a shot at the top of the order. Why not? Tram loves “little ball” and Sanchez at #9 is very much that, a national league style line up. He bunts very well but is not patient enough at the plate to be your typical lead off man. The pitcher in the NL is all but a situational bunt hitter and Sanchez fits that bill to a tee. I think Inge could excel if given the opportunity at lead off, he makes good contact and has a patient eye. Obviously I am not Tram, but I still would give it a shot none the less. Even Infante might be better suited at lead off, but I say Inge because he has a little more big league experience in. But if you ask me, and unfortunately Tram won’t return my calls, Sanchez would be better suited at the #9.

As far as the knee is concerned, I think it is worth the risk. If something like that is going to reoccur, it will happen in the first year most likely and the contract gives the Tigers an out if that does happen. The thing that scares me the most about Maggs is not his knee, but his career stats at his new home field, Comerica Park. He has 1 home run in 135 career at bats with a .259 batting average to boot. Forget the damn knee, even when it was healthy he sucked at big old “Co-Pa”!!!! He will (hopefully!) be playing half of his games there each season and those numbers are not exactly what I would call “clean up hitter friendly.” Hopefully he will get more comfortable playing there on a consistent basis, otherwise knee or not he is damn Juan Gonzalez Jr.! Hate to say that, but damn if it isn’t true! Hopefully he will grow into his new home park or maybe Illitch will finally wise up and make the park a little more hitter friendly for everyone.

As far as an outfield log jam I don’t see it being a real big issue. The names that keep popping into my mind are Higgy, Monroe, Thames and White. For what it is worth, this is what I say they do and it doesn’t involve releasing Higgy at all. He is in the final year of his contract, as is White, and it seems clear to me that neither will be back next season. For that very reason I say send Thames down to Toledo to play everyday and continue to grow as a consistent hitter. He could be next year to the outfield what it appears to me Monroe will be this year – a platoon type of guy. Monroe will still get plenty of AB’s this year between resting an aging Rondell White and being cautious with Maggs recovering knee. He may not start everyday, but he will still play damn near a lot. The leftfield job will all but be his next year, full time, unless he does something this season to screw it up. Thames then could come up next year and see more playing time and be much like Monroe is this year, platooning and resting guys, especially with White and Higgy off the books. What about Higgy, you still haven’t said why the hell you wouldn’t give him the Easley treatment and release his under productive over paid ass? For two reasons – he a lefty hitter of the bench and his defense. He would be a left handed pinch hitter off the bench and a late inning defensive replacement, nothing more. His bat speed may have slowed down, but he still has a canon of an arm. Put him in the outfield in a tight game and I dare anyone to try and squeeze an extra base out of a hit. Every day player or not, he still has the best arm out of the bunch. I say send Thames down to Toledo to grow, go with the main four of Monroe/White in left, Sanchez in center and Maggs in right. Sit Higgy on the pine, keep him for the reasons I stated and nothing more. Plus, don’t forget, Monroe got some time in center last year and held his ground out there when he played.

So, if I had to pick my opening day 25 man roster, here is what I would give myself:

Pitchers – Jason Johnson, Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Wil Ledezma, Gary Knotts, Chris Spurling, Jamie Walker, Steve Colyer, Fernando Rodney, Ugie Urbina and Troy Percival.

Position Players – Alex Sanchez, Craig Monroe, Rondell White, Magglio Ordonez, Dmitri Young, Bobby Higginson, Brandon Inge, Carlos Guillen, Omar Infante, Carlos Pena, Ivan Rodriguez, Vance Wilson and Jason Smith or Ramon Martinez.

Look, if you release Higgy you still have to pay him right? Just keep him, use him like I sad and look forward to next year when his contract will be off the books and his ass will be off the bench. He has no trade value either, the only guy I see being moveable in Rondell White, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen either. So, in closing, I would like to go on record now and say that the Tigers are going to flirt with .500 this season, Maggs or not! That is right, I am putting it in writing right now! Later, I have got to go finish smoking whatever it is that you guys, I am sure, are accusing me of smoking right now. Later – the sports dude.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005 at 10:09 AM

Super Bowl Recap.

Sorry, the sports dude was out sick yesterday. Not the party too hard on Super Bowl Sunday type sick either, unfortunately. I am talking the down and out flu like sick my friends. Let’s just say my Super Bowl Sunday was not quite as fun as I originally had hoped, but I enjoyed the game none the less. Now for my recap.

Not going to get into it too much since it has already been talked about plenty. T.O. outplayed everyone’s expectations, even mine, and although I can’t stand the dude what he did was amazing. He is a great receiver and you have to give him props for the way he gutted it out. The Eagles, to me, really just looked “happy to be there” all night long and their lack of urgency at the end was puzzling and shameful. I have seen the Lions run better two minute drills then that! But something tells me they will be back in the big game before too long and quite possibly we may see them represent the NFC in next years Super Bowl, hosted by none other than your very own Detroit city!

The Patriots, you just got to love them, don’t you? They do just enough to punch you in the mouth and gut out a win. No flash, no flare, just down and dirty hard work. Brady was poised, patient and confident all night, constantly checking the Eagles blitz packages prior to each snap. Branch was spectacular in winning the MVP Award, Dillion got the tough yards when they were needed and the defense played a great game. They got the sacks, they got the interceptions, but most impressive to me was the zero they held McNabb’s feet to – as in no rushing yards for the Philly QB. Let the dynasty talk begin folks because it is legit! It is sad to see Weis go to a crap school like Notre Dame and Crennel go to a mess like the Browns, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Belichick will be just fine. I am going to say playoffs next year for these Patriots, but I think the Pats’ will let someone else have a turn in the Super Bowl next year – the dynasty is going to take a season off before going for #4.

The commercials were kind of a disappointment; I thought the nipple gate and FCC scare really took away from some of the fun of them. It would have been nice to see some more “racy” commercials, but they were not too bad. “” had a smoking hot chick, I liked the monkeys for “” and the half time show was actually pretty good. Sorry, I never really liked the “let’s throw every musical genre together” crap they always tried to pull with the mixes of Aerosmith, Brittney Spears and Nelly. To me, I will take just one type of music, one performer and leave it at that. I would love to see Bob Seger next year, maybe some “Motown” greats, but Kid Rock and Eminem can stay home. Plus, the pregame tributes to the soldiers actually gave me goose bumps. All in all it was very moving and nice to see.

Well, that is all I got for now. I am planning on talking some Maggs this week, what his signing might mean to the season and what it may do to some current Tigers as well. Plus, I may even talk a little about Jose Canseco’s garbage if I feel up to it. Until then, good-bye and stay healthy – drink your O.J. and take your vitamins my friends! Later – the sports dude.

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