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Friday, March 7, 2008


Here's a test!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

D Train and Cabrera?

The Detroit Tigers have officially traded Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo, and three unnamed minor leaguers for Cy Young winner Dontrelle Willis and 3rd basemen Miguel Cabrera. Let the shock sink in, I didn't believe it myself at first, Tigers in the sweepstakes for two of the most sought after young players in all of baseball. Not only did they have to give up the two best prospects, but seemingly the entire farm system as well. With this move it is clear that the Tigers are planning for the now and believe that they can win with this nucleus of players. With the bat of Miguel Cabrera added to the likes of Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, and Curtis Granderson the Tigers should boast one of the most powerful lineups in all of baseball. Adding a Cy Young winner, and a young one at that, to the rotation can only boost the Tigers stock as well. Look for more analysis to come, most likely when it all sinks in.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Finding the next 'Michigan Man'

From, but written by me.

In case you haven’t heard, Lloyd Carr has retired and the University of Michigan is in the midst of a head coach search.

The prerequisites for this position are very simple; he must be a “Michigan Man”.

What is a “Michigan Man” you ask? Simple, it is a man who understands and respects the culture and winning tradition of the University of Michigan.

Here are the top 10 candidates for being awarded the title of Head Coach at the University of Michigan.

The Head Coach Long-shots

10. Rich Rodriguez – Head Coach West Virginia University
- His name is simply thrown into this pot because of his renowned success with his unique 3-3-5 defense and run-heavy offense at West Virginia. He isn’t a great fit for the position because he isn’t a traditional coach like Lloyd Carr was and his system doesn’t look to be a great fit in the Big 10. He could land the job however if he wins the National Title and Michigan decides to buy into his system

9. Jeff Tedford – Head Coach University of California
- Tedford is known for churning out great college Quarterbacks such as Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller and Akili Smith; just imagine what he could do with Ryan Mallett. Tedford has no real connections to UofM but could really benefit if the Michigan brass puts a lot of emphasis on the development of the offense.

8. Bob Stoops – Head Coach University of Oklahoma
- The King of the Big 12 moving to the Big 10? Maybe, but he probably won’t want to abdicate the throne he has built at Oklahoma. He has one of the best QB’s in the country in Sam Bradford and a great recruiting class coming in headed by two 5-star prospects (RB Jermie Calhoun and DE R.J. Washington) to boot. If he is willing to leave all that then maybe he is a Michigan Man after all, but all signs point to Stoops remaining a Boomer Sooner.

7. Greg Schiano – Head Coach Rutgers University
- The most likely of all the long shots is Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano. While he doesn’t have any major ties to the University, he plays a very run-heavy I-Formation offense that would translate very well in to Big 10 play. He was almost dragged to Alabama after last season, so his name is out there, but don’t be surprised if he remains in Piscataway.

Small Name Guys with an Outside Shot

6. Mike Trgovac – Defensive Coordinator Carolina Panthers
- Trgovac is a name that many may not know but has strong Michigan ties and therefore is a contender for this position. Trgovac played Offense Guard at the University of Michigan from 1977-1980 under Bo Schembechler. Not only did he play, but he was a second team All-America at his position in his Senior Year. He has proven to be a very keen defensive mind and will warrant at least a look as the Head Coach of his Alma Mater; if not there then someone else will come calling soon.

5. Jim Harbaugh – Head Coach Stanford University
- If you are a Michigan fan then this name is pretty familiar. Harbaugh was a 3 year starter under Schembechler and led his teams to both the Fiesta and Rose Bowls in his tenure. After being drafted with the 26th overall selection in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, he went on to have a relatively successful playing career. Coaching-wise Harbaugh began as an unpaid assistant at Western Kentucky University from 1994-2001, then becoming an assistant coach at for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. His most recent stop before becoming the Head Coach at Stanford this past year, was as the Head Coach at San Diego State University. Harbaugh’s coaching record is not as stellar as most would like, but his passion and connections to the University could win out in the end.

4. Brian Kelly – Head Coach University of Cincinnati
- Just a year ago this man was the Head Coach of the best Central Michigan football team to take the field but this year he is the Head Coach of a much-improved Cincinnati Bearcats program. Kelly has been known to get the most out of his players and can recruit with the best of them. His connections to the state and the local talent-rich areas, could give him the inside track. But his relative inexperience as a head coach at he major level could also hold him back.

The REAL Candidates

3. Ron English – Defensive Coordinator University of Michigan
-This would be by far the easiest transition of any of these candidates. English has been around the program for several seasons and was Lloyd Carr’s best assistant. He is very active in the recruiting process, so this move probably wouldn’t cost as much in terms of recruiting. The players are very familiar with his style of coaching and would likely respond very well to his leadership. This move would make a lot of sense but the UofM administration may be looking fro a complete overhaul and English would most likely be a casualty of that move.

2. Kirk Ferentz – Head Coach University of Iowa
-There may not be another coach at a major program that gets more out of his players than Ferentz. He has made stars out of undersized and underrated players like Drew Tate and Charles Godfrey, and he has many connections throughout the Big 10. His tenacious coaching style and experience in the Big 10 really make him a solid fit for the job. He doesn’t have the direct connections to UofM, but what he lacks in direct connections he makes up in Big 10 familiarity. If he decides to finally break his allegiance to the University of Iowa, we could see him in the Maize and Blue come fall 2008.

1. Les Miles – Head Coach Lousiana State University
- Shocker, huh? Miles is far and away the best candidate for this job. He has the connections to the school, he played and coached under Bo Schembechler in his career and constantly says that he owes all of his success to the folks in Ann Arbor. He may be, outside of Pete Carroll, the best recruiter in America and he has roots all over the country and he could bring many of those current LSU commits up north. LSU was obviously worried about Michigan when they wrote Miles’ contract, putting a clause in which will cost Miles more than $1 Million if in fact he chooses to become the coach in Ann Arbor. If Michigan is able to pry Les away from the deep and open wallets down in the bayou, then they have will have themselves a great coach for a long time to come.

Published 11/29/07 NFL Section “Standing 10”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Utah Jazz: A thorn in the Pistons side

For those of you who have followed the Pistons the last few years you might think to yourself " seems like we lose to the Jazz a lot." That intuition of yours is right. After doing a little research I have come up with some interesting numbers. Since the 2003-2004 championship season the Pistons have played the Jazz 9 times and it has resulted in a 2-7 record. There last win against the team from Utah was back on March 13, 2005. Yes, you read that correctly. It has been almost 3 years since the Pistons have been the victors over the Jazz. The score of that game ended at an exciting 64-62. I can't say that I remember that regular season game back in March of '05, but that must have been one hell of a defensive battle.

Anyway, The other win came during the 2004 championship run and the final score was 96-75. The average scoring margin in the losses the Pistons have suffered is 7.7 points. A couple of the games were decided by 2 points or less. So it is not like the Pistons have been horrible against Utah, they just can't win. This proved true on Sunday afternoon when a Rasheedless Pistons team lost by 10 at the Palace.

So, what does this all mean? Well, nothing. It is more of a joke at this point than something that means something as The Pharcyde song would say. (Great song, check it out) It just seems as if the Jazz have the Pistons number, and it is up to Detroit to simply take a game from them. One possible explanation could be the curse of Mehmet Okur for the Pistons are now 1-7 after losing Memo to the Jazz after the 2004 championship. (I miss that Office Space clip everytime he scored) Unfortunately, they will have to wait until February 27th to travel to Salt Lake City and prove the people who say it can't be done wrong. It could be tough though. The Jazz are playing music to the tune of 10-4 and first place in the Northwest division. We could be waiting a 4th year for that coveted win over the team from the city of Salt Lake.

Oh, and by the way, for those of you who haven't noticed the Milwaukee Bucks are leading the Central division. I can't take that for much longer. Let step it up Pistons!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are taking a little break as you may have noticed here at the website, but don't worry we will be back very soon! Thanks for visiting the site, and as always give us any comments you may have on how we can improve! Thanks for keeping the site alive!

(I don't get the picture either don't worry.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

On The Reel 11/16

- Lions running more? Let's hope we get to positive yardage this time!
- If you grew up in Detroit, you know what this feels like.
- Pistons under the radar once again.
- Anything with Chauncey in the title is getting in my post!
- Hasek struggling...
- Osgood sick...
- Kenny Rogers coming back seeming more and more likely.

Tonight's Games:
Pistons @ Lakers

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kobe Rejected a Trade to the Pistons!

My dreams almost came true late tuesday night, even though I didn't know about it until today. According to, The Pistons and Lakers consumated a trade involving the disgruntled Kobe Bryant late Tuesday Night, but Kobe vetoed it the next day because apparently Detroit was not on his list of desired destinations.

The trade would have landed the Pistons Bryant in exchange for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson and a future 1st Round draft pick.

This trade would undoubtedly have been a steal for the Pistons. They would have been able to maintain their depth in large part, and merely would have substituted the more than capable Jarvis Hayes in at the Small Forward Position while Kobe took over as the Shooting Guard.

While most will contest that Tayshaun is one of the Premier defensive players in the league and that Amir Johnson has the potential to be an All-Star forward, it cannot be denied that Kobe is one of the best players of the history of the NBA and is only 28 years old. Kobe is also regarded as one of the best defenders in the league and can guard all three backcourt positions, and has the scoring output to more than make up for the departure of all three players.

As for Amir, he has the most dangerous word in sports basically engrained in his nameplate, "Potential". As Detroit fans we think he could be great, but we KNOW Kobe is great. The chances that Amir will ever amount to that are slim to none. The loss of Rip is cancelled out because Kobe is a Shooting Guard and would simply replace him.

This Blogger is both devastated and confused by the disintegration of this deal. Why Kobe would not want to join a team with Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and a very solid bench is beyond me. The Pistons would have topped the Celtics "Big Three" because they have the thing that will ultimately lead to the downfall of the Celtics and that is a bench and role players.

Kobe missed out on a chance to be a God in the greatest sports city in the world, and to win multiple championships. Have fun in Atlanta, Kobe. It'll be your team and I hear Zaza Pachulia is a real stud.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wings vs. Blues Reaction

I finally was given the opportunity to watch a Wings game thanks the Charter Cable not offering the NHL Center Ice last night! It was an exciting one. One which gave me a few thoughts.

- They outplayed the Blues for most of the night
- The NHL needs to rethink what a penalty is. I'm not blaming the loss on the officials because it was consistently called, but two hooking penalties on the same play led to the beginning of the end for Hasek. Neither one was a necessary call.
- Hasek needs to get healthy. He let in 4 goals in 6 shots. I don't care how good the opportunities are, stop a shot son!
- Dan Cleary was a beast all night. That guy is a workhorse who does more than you expect him to. Well, I guess that includes 360 degree backhand goals!

- Holmstrom was in front all night once again taking a beating. I don't know how he does it every night.
- Rafalski wasn't right all game. I'm hoping it was just a bad night for the former Badger.
- I love hockey
- The last five minutes were exciting thanks to a big goal from Flippula who received a perfect pass from Hudler. Beautiful play.
- Hudler was all over the ice, but never really got anything going until that great play.
- Power Play was weak.
- I liked the color commentator except for two comments. One being "the team that does better will win." The other being something about scoring 4 unanswered and that's why the Blues were winning. Thanks Sherlock.
- Osgood came in and played solid.
- Manny Legace took care of business after two weak goals. Datsyuk scored on a fluke wrist shot from the neutral zone that took an incredible bounce. I thought it was over at that point, but as they always say, "a two goal lead is the scariest lead in hockey!" (Yea, it really doesn't make sense does it?)
- I wish I could watch the Wings more!!!
- Here are the highlights...(For some reason the embed feature isn't working. Here's the link to the video...,2,253)

That's all I got. A very exciting game that had a playoff atmosphere to it. The St. Louis crowd was great all night.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The economy may be a big issue

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the Red Wings are struggling to sell out Joe Louis Arena after years of it being almost impossible to find tickets. In that post, I explained that my opinion was that the economy is not a big part of why people are not showing up to games. I have to admit that, while I still think there are other issues, the economy seems to be a big problem. Ticket prices are as high as ever and people are simply sick of it. After reading people's responses to Yahoo! Sports asking for a removal of the title Hockeytown for Detroit, I realize that ticket prices are a big reason for the decline in attendance.

I still believe that one of the biggest reasons is that Joe Louis Arena sucks. I am sorry to put it so blatantly and that might not sound professional but it is honesty. There is nothing about the arena that draws me in. If I was living in Detroit I would love to go to games because I am grew up as a die-hard hockey fan. Still, I would make a point to make it to games if I could go to an arena like what they have in Tampa at the Ice Palace. Very similar to The Palace of Auburn Hills (owned by Bill Davidson), the Ice Palace is beautiful and is a place that I would be excited to go. When I am heading downtown, I am excited for hockey, but not for parking, walking through the alley's that Joe Louis surrounds, and definitely not the 15 dollar Little Ceaser's pizza that comes on a paper plate and is covered by a sheet of plastic. Sorry, that does not do it for me.

...And Welcome Back Todd

According to, Closer Todd Jones has agreed to a 1 year deal worth $7 Million with your Detroit Tigers.

This deal is not a surprise, Jones wanted to come back and the Tigers desperately needed a closer with Joel Zumaya encountering yet another lengthy injury. And despite how much all of us may hate Jones, he is 4th in saves over the last 3 years only behind the likes of Joe Nathan, Francisco Rodriguez and the legendary Trevor Hoffman.

Hopefully this won't be the last addition to the Tigers bullpen. Look for the Tigers to target relievers like Scott Linebrink (Brewers), Francisco Cordero (Brewers), Kerry Wood (Cubs), and even, if he becomes available, Mariano Rivera (Yankees) all in free agency. The Tigers will also target Pittsburgh Pirate relievers Matt Capps and Damaso Marte.

As far as starters go, Andrew Miller figures to get another shot at the Big leagues for good, while former starter Zach Miner will probably be trade bait. Dave Dombrowski is being very aggressive this off-season and seems to be going for the win now approach and if he stays this course don't be surprised if he make a big splash landing either Dontrelle Willis (Marlins) or possibly signing Carlos Silva (Twins).

It's already been an exciting offseason, but it seems the ball has just begun to roll.

Bye Bye Omar!

Omar Infante's days as a Detroit Tiger are done as he was traded today to the Chicago Cubs for OF Jacque Jones. Infante was a solid player for the Tigers, but this seems like a pretty smart move. He had one year left on his contract and never really broke into a regular role in the Tigers lineup. Another reason that Infante was just not working is Maybin, who will likely take Omar's place at the flex position. Jones will be able to help out in the outfield by relieving Thames and Rayburn who both struggled at times in 2007.

Here are some articles about the trade. Omar's sweet batting stance will be missed!

- Detroit News
- Detroit Free Press
- M-Live

On The Reel 11/12

I know, I know. This has been weak. Last week was a pretty busy one so I would like to thank Austin for keeping this place somewhat updated. I figured I'd get back on track with a quick one for all you guys out there.

- A lions opportunity wasted in Arizona
- Why KJ didn't do to well. 4 carries maybe?
- 11 straight for the Wings!!!
- If you watched the Pistons/Bulls Thursday you noticed Prince is struggling to get offense going
- Amir needs to get over the rookie hump. Missing something?

Pistons and Wings both play tomorrow, and look for a Lions review very soon!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Smitty's Week 10 Picks

9-5 last week, with one game picked exactly perfect (TB 17-10 over ARZ) I'll take it.

Here's my take on this weeks games.

Denver Broncos (3-5) vs Kansas City Cheifs (4-4)
-Both teams coming off dissapointing losses to the NFC North, both need to bounce back quick if they want any sort of chance at winning the wide-open AFC West. The Broncos looked completely lost last week, while the Chiefs were in it until the 4th. Without Cutler the Bronc's don't stand a chance in Arrowhead.
Pick: Chiefs 24-21

Buffalo Bills (4-4) vs Miami Dolphins (0-8)
-Miami officially has nothing left to play for, while the Bills are battling for a Wild Card spot despite bad losses and injuries. Lee Evans and Marshawn Lyncch will prove to be too much for an injury and talent depleated Dolphins Defense. And with the #1 overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft the Dolphins select....
Pick: Bills 21-10

Minnesota Vikings (3-5) vs Green Bay Packers (7-1)
-Adrian Peterson is the best Running Back in football right now, no questions asked. But the vikings also have the most pathetic Quarterback situation in the NFL, no questions asked. Combine those two factors and add in what could be the worst pass defense in the game and you have the 3-5 Vikings. The Packers are on a roll and should win this game if they can contain Peterson. Favre makes the distance.
Pick: Pack 31-17

Cleveland Browns (5-3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
-For the first time in a long time this rivalry game will actually matter. Both teams have solid all around offenses but the difference will be made on the other side of the ball in this one. James Harrison is coming off of one the single greatest individual games in the last 20 years, and don't expect him to slow down. The steel curtain is looking scary.
Pick: Steelers 31-27

St. Louis Rams (0-8) vs New Orleans Saints (4-4)
-Ok, so I've made Blowout Alerts every week and as of now, the team I have picked to win has lost, badly. But I am confident this week that N.O. will win this game by at least 24 points. St. Louis is decimated by injuries and they were bad before those injuries took plaec. Reggie Bush is having a tremendous year and should run wild this week.
Pick: Saints 35-10

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3) vs Tennessee Titans (6-2)
-Big game in the South. If Jacksonville loses this game they are on the really damaging their playoff chances, whereas if they win they are very much in Wild Card contention. Tennessee would love to bury the Jags and keep their eyes on the playoffs. Look for Vince Young to struggle early, but for LenDale White to continue his hot streak. Quinn Gray scares me.
Pick: Titans 17-13

Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) vs Washington Redskins (5-3)
-Turmoil is the word of the season in Philly. After being smashed by Dallas on Monday Night Football they have to face another very difficult division opponent on the road, on short rest. Doesn't look to good for Donovan's crew. If the Redskisn contain Brian Westbrook they should be just fine.
Pick: Skins 24-13

Atlanta Falcons (2-6) vs Carolina Panthers (4-4)
-Congratulations Atlanta, you finally won another game. Don't get used to it though, the Panthers are way better than you. John Abraham will have a solid day off the edge, but DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster will prove too much for the weak Atlanta rush defense.
Pick: Panthers 23-13

Cincinnati Bengals (2-6) vs Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
-Two major disappointments so far this season, Cincy and Baltimore square off in a deciding game for the Ravens. Their playoff chances already slim, Baltimore needs a win this week to even be considered a minor player in the Wild Card chase. Cincy is just bad, their defense is terrible, but this week they should be able to survive because it appears that Steve McNair has forgotten how to throw the ball down field, and that the Ravens defense has forgotten how to stop the pass. Houshmanzadeh has a huge day with the abcense of Ocho Cinco.
Pick: Cincy 31-24

Chicago Bears (3-5) vs Oakland Raiders (2-6)
-Bears Win. I hate writing about how bad the Raiders are.
Pick: Bears 30-7

Detroit Lions (6-2) vs Arizona Cardinals (3-5)
-Without Matt Leinart, it seems that the Cardinals are lost. It doesn't get any easier, the Lions are coming to town riding a 3 game winning streak. If the Lions can keep thier balanced attack going against a porous Card's D, then they should be all good. Arizona has been turnover prone and the Lions are tops in the league in takeaways. Could God's team go to 7-2? Anything's possible.
Pick: Lions 28-14

Dallas Cowboys (7-1) vs New York Giants (6-2)
-Should be a dandy. The first game between these two was exciting enough and that was without Brandon Jacobs. The biggest factor in this game will be the Giants Pass Rush. If they can get consistent pressure on Tony Romo then they will be able ot force enough mistakes to win the game. If not, Romo will pick them apart down the field with his big weapons. I'm on the G-Men bandwagon.
Pick: New York "Football" Giants 32-30

Sunday Night Game
Indianapolis Colts (7-1) vs San Diego Chargers (4-4)
-Both teams lost tough games last week, so this one will coem down to determination. The Colts have looked like the best team in football several times this year, while the Chargers look to be the most disorganized more often then not. If Philip Rivers doesn't show up the Chargers don't have a prayer.
Pick: Colts 33-21

Monday Night Game
San Francisco 49'ers (2-6) vs Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
-Could it get any worse than last weeks? Well if it can this will be the week. The Niners lost to ATLANTA last week (the all caps is because I would scream that if i could), while the Seahawks came out on the wrong side of a shootout again. The Hawks are a mcuh better team by all accounts and should make this one disinteresting from the start.
Pick: Seahawks 30-17

Smitty's Season Record: 28-12

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Detroit Routs Denver 44-7

The Lions are 6-2.

No, you didn't read that incorrectly, the Lions are in fact 4 games over .500 and quickly approaching legitimacy. Believe it or not.

In last Sunday's victory over the Broncos the Lions looked to be clicking on all cylinders not only offensively but defensively at all. Detroit scored two defensive touchdowns, including a 66-yard scamper by Big Baby Shaun Rogers, and continued to be a force that Detroit hasn't had since Robert Porcher's hay-day.

The record is great, they have already doubled their win total from last year. But now the real schedule begins. The Lions still have to play Green Bay twice, Dallas, at San Diego and Kansas City. A very daunting schedule indeed, throw in games at Arizona and Minnesota and you may have the toughest second half in the NFL.

If the Lions are going to make the playoffs they will have to be 10-6. Assuming they take care of Arizona and the Vikings they will have to beat Green Bay once, and knock off either Dallas, San Diego or KC.

It's not going to be easy, but hey, this is God's Team.

Monday, November 5, 2007

On The Reel 11/5

- "The Governor" clutch once again. (Yea, I don't know where ABC gets this nickname from)
- I miss Jon Barry and his Alternatorz.
- Jason Maxiell stepping it up so far.
- An important stretch for the Wings. Hasek back between the pipes.
- The best play of the game from the 340 pound beast!
- Fun take on Matt Millen. He is the the man!

Yesterday was a great day in Detroit sports! The Lions legit? We'll take a look at that in a post coming at you very soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Smitty's Week 9 Picks

Back again after a 12-1 performance last week. It's gonna be tough to top but i'll try.

San Francisco 49ers (2-5) vs Atlanta Falcons (1-6)
-Yawn.... I'm sorry that was rude. But it all honesty, who cares? This is the case of the team that supposed to make the huge jump this year (SF) against the team that had no shot this year (ATL) I'll say SF wins it simply because of Joey Harrington.
Pick: Niners 16-13

Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) vs Buffalo Bills (3-4)
-Cincy is two things a) soft and b) really bad at defense. This team doesn't like to play in the cold, especially against a smashmouth football team like the Bills. And they don't like playing against teams with good running games, like the Bills. Marshawn Lynch is key in this one.
Pick: Bills 24-23

Denver Broncos (3-4) vs Detroit Lions (5-2)
-It still seems strange to be putting up more wins than losses for the Lions, but I like doing it. After getting torched through the sir on Monday Night against Green Bay, the Broncos now have to face one of the most dangerous aerial attacks in the league in the Lions. And oh yeah, the Lions can run a little too, and against Denver's league-worst rush defense Kevin Jones should surpass the 100 yard mark. Ryan Grant, the Packers 4th String RB did.
Pick: Lions 31-20

Green Bay Packers (6-1) vs Kansas City Chiefs (4-3)
-Two very surprising division leaders square off in what could be a very big game for both sides. The Pack are coming off a huge Monday Night Overtime victory and they look to be for real. But they still lack a consistent running game, despite racking up over 100 yards against Denver. K.C. is fresh off a bye week and is looking to maintain their lead over the ever-threatening Chargers. This should be a good one, but the extra time to prepare and home-field advantage for K.C. plus the short week and lack of a running game, losing DeShawn Wynn last week, equals a win for the Chiefs.
Pick: Chiefs 24-14

San Diego Chargers (4-3) vs Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
-BLOWOUT ALERT! San Diego has an incredible offense especially with the addition of Chris Chambers and Minnesota has exactly zero offense thanks to having Tarvaris Jackson at QB. Adrian Peterson is the R.O.Y but he is their only weapon against a very stout Bolts Defense. Minny has a good defense but they haven't seen anything like LT yet this season. Could get ugly quick.
Pick: Bolts 41-13

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) vs New Orleans Saints (3-4)
-Both coming off big victories last weekend the Jags and Saints could be poised for a great game. The Jags won a tight one over the Bucs, surviving in the absence of David Garrard, 24-23. And the Saints went to San Fran and won big 31-10. The slight edge goes to the Saints in this one though; they have won three straight and Drew Brees is finally throwing touchdowns. Plus, there's always the Bush factor. Jags need a big game from Quinn Gray to pull this one off.
Pick: Saints 21-16

Washington Redskins (4-3) vs New York Jets (1-7)
-Oh Mangenious! come out, come out wherever you are! The Jets have been pitiful this season and are looking to avoid falling to 1-8 by tossing Kellen Clemens into the fire in favor of Chad Pennington. The 'Skins are coming off being totally dominated by the Patriot Machine at Foxboro. This may be NY's only shot to take down a quality opponent like Washington, they are reeling and if Clemens can provide some downfield passing then the Jets actually have a shot.
Pick: J-E-T-S! 21-17

Carolina Panthers (4-3) vs Tennessee Titans (5-2)
-Carolina was run over by the Colts last week, and to no one's surprise, David Carr and Vinny Testaverde combined for 0 TD's and 1 INT. Tennessee is proving that they are making a serious run at the playoffs and that their defense can really play some ball without Pacman. If the Titans can get the same kind of play that they got from LenDale White last week they should take this one. The Panthers are too one-dimensional.
Pick: Titans 14-10

Arizona Cardinals (3-4) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)
-Arizona has lost two straight and is looking pretty bad without Matt Leinart under center. While the Bucs are coming off another mistake-fueled loss to the Jags. Whichever team makes less mental mistakes should win this battle of the underachievers. I like T.B.
Pick: Bucs 17-10

Seattle Seahawks (4-3) vs Cleveland Browns (4-3)
-Cleveland rocks! The Browns have won two in a row and are looking for more against an injury-plagued Seahawks squad. However, the hawks are coming off a bye week and were most definitely watching when the Browns beat the hapless Rams by only a Touchdown. I'm going with the Semi-East Coast Bias on this one though.
Pick: Browns 24-16

New England Patriots (8-0) vs Indianapolis Colts (7-0)
- You have heard everything that can be said about this "Game of the Century" and If you are anything like me, you just want hem to play the game so you won;t have to hear it anymore. Here's the pick.
Pick: Patriots 31-30

Houston Texans (3-5) vs Oakland Raiders (2-5)
-Both teams have lost three straight and both teams are really bad. The Texans get Ahman Green back, and still no one cares. The Raiders are starting Josh McCown, and people are now just remembering that Rich Gannon doesn't play in Oakland anymore. it may be time for a Jeff George revival in Oak-Town, because this team is awful. But, someone's got to win.
Pick: Raiders 13-10

Sunday Night Game
Dallas Cowboys (6-1) vs Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
-The Boys are coming off a bye and you had better believe that they are ready to go out and prove that they are the beast of the NFC. Romo just cashed in on a fat new contract with over $31 Million in guarantees, now it is time for him to start earning it. Philly narrowly escaped lowly Minnesota last week, behind the heroics of Brian Westbrook and is looking to get back to .500. But with all this Andy Reid tumoil and the fact that Brian Dawkins and Lito Sheppard haven't played in some six or so weeks, Jerry Jones club should make it home with a win.
Pick: 'Boys 31-24

Monday Night Game
Baltimore Ravens (4-3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2)
-A huge AFC north game between bitter rivals, this one could be great. The Ravens are coming off a bye week in which there was some serious coach bashing by none other than Ray Lewis. Ray Ray will come out fired up, no change there, and ready to break some skulls. But that may not be enough as the Steelers proved last week that they can bounce back after devastating losses by going on the road and beating division opponent Cincy handily. The Running Back match-up of Willis McGahee and Willie Parker will go a long way in determining the outcome of this one.
Pick: Steelers 24-20

Smitty's Season Record: 19-7

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Zumaya Injured in Freak Accident...Again

For the second straight year Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya will miss a significant portion of the upcoming season. And for the second straight season, Joel Zumaya did not suffer his injury playing the game he is paid to play, Baseball.

As we all remember Joel Zumaya infamously strained a tendon in his middle finger by playing too much Guitar Hero, limiting him to only 28 appearances and a 4.28 ERA. This year it is the AC joint in his shoulder which was injured while moving personal items during the recent California wildfires. He underwent reconstructive surgery on his AC joint on Wednesday and team officials are predicting him to miss at least the first half of next season.

This is a huge blow for a Tigers which bullpen was already in shambles going into this offseason, now the question is where do they look for help.

If everything goes perfectly for the Tigers (which it won't) Francisco Cordero, Scott Linebrink and Mariano Rivera will all become free agents and they will instantly become the top 3 priorities on the Tigers offseason wish list.

More realistically though, its going to be up to Jason Grilli, Zach Miner, Fernando Rodney and others to really step up their performance in Zumaya's absence. This is beginning to sound all too familiar.

07-08 Pistons Preview!

The long awaited preview by "Welcome to the D" is finally here! I'm sure all of you have been sitting on the edge of your seats clicking on refresh constantly! Well, enjoy what I have for you here.

What Happened:
Last year was supposed to be a return to glory. Back to the championship through an easy playoff schedule where the only competition for the Pistons was the team coming out of the West. Things were going great. After a very interesting up and down regular season, the team came in with new blood in C-Webb and started it off with a domination of the Bucks. Soon they rolled through the surprisingly weak Bulls. It was onto the lowly Cavs who played nobody to get to the ECF. After two great games that ended in the same winning score for the Pistons things went south. WAY south. Everything went wrong including the incredible 28 points straight points by Lebron in game 5 that ended up as a loss for the Pistons in OT. (28? I'm not sure)

Grades for different aspects of the 07-08 team:
Joe Dumars quietly improved this team. A very underrated move was dishing out the money for Chauncey Billups, who was being courted by a couple of other teams including his hometown Denver Nuggets. Other than that there was not much to be excited about. The draft came and went with the draft picks of two guards Stuckey and Afflalo. What did this team lose? C-Webb and Dale Davis...damn. Honestly, that doesn't bother me too much especially if Maxiell and Amir Johnson can step up and be big contributors. Finally the signing of Jarvis Hayes will help bring energy to the bench with a scoring threat. (Oh yea, Dumars lost patience with Delfino and traded him. Again...damn.)
Grade: B- (Not much happened but the team is improved thanks to the few moves.

You cannot tell me that the combo of Billups and Hamilton is still not in the top 3 guard combos, if not the best, in the NBA. With the addition of Stuckey (currently injured) and Afflalo, the Pistons also still have veteran Lindsay Hunter to fill some time while Flip Murray seemed much more comfortable out there in the pre-season than he did last year. So, once Stuckey comes back it is a very deep position. The question to be asked is if the youth can step up this coming year.
Grade: A-

This has been a sore spot on the Pistons bench for awhile. Tayshaun Prince will hold down the 3 spot easily but who can come in? Well, now there are a few options. Jarvis Hayes can come in and play 3 as well as Rip moving to 3 while one of his backups comes in at 2 and then there's the versatile Amir Johnson who could spare some minutes. It's a position that will be a strong point for the Pistons because of the presence of Tayshaun Prince. I'm looking for a huge year from Prince if he can be more aggressive than he's been in the past.
Grade: A-

Big Men (Centers):
I hesitate to title this section simply "centers" because that is an issue for the Pistons. Who's there true center? Well, that's why big men is here. The starting two of McDyess and Wallace shape out what I believe is still the best starting 5 in the NBA. Wallace, while I'm sick of his antics (I forgot to post about his most recent comments earlier this week), seems extremely focused and ready to dominate. People should realize as I did last week that the last time McDyess was a starter he was a dominating all-star. Yes, he's older but both of these guys, not just McDyess, are playing for a ring and will do anything to get it. As far as there backups go, I'm excited to see Maxiell and Johnson but will Nazr be a capable backup? I just don't know. It doesn't seem that we will see much of 7 foot 1 inch Cheikh Samb, especially early on so it is an interesting position to be in.
Grade: B+

It's been said elsewhere, but it is true. This is the deepest bench we have seen from the Pistons since the championship run in 2004. The next five looks very solid and should be able to produce rather than just try to hold the lead. Once Stuckey comes back from his injury you have him, Flip Murray, Jarvis Hayes, Amir Johnson, and Jason Maxiell. Most young guys, but it's crazy to think, finally, that this team could legitimately run a 10-man rotation when the last few years it has been a 7 or 8-man rotation. I love this bench. It is just very young so we will have to wait and see if they can produce like we think they can.
Grade: B+

That's all I am going to go into with the grades. Flip Saunders needs to take control of the team and stay focused. He needs to keep the friendly relationship with Sheed going because that was part of the problem last year during the playoffs. My final verdict on this team is "I don't know." On paper this team looks like one ready to make a championship run. The issue is the youth. There is a lot of young players that we "hope" will be able to contribute so early in their careers. As much as I love Amir Johnson, he has played a total 11 games in the NBA. Really, we just don't know.

I'm not going to make any prediction because it would be worthless. I am a homer, I admit it so I would have to go ahead and say that this team should make it back to the NBA championship series. I don't see the Cavs doing anything, especially after last night's performance. The Bulls just don't scare me as much as other people. They are the same exact team as last year except for they added another, less talented, Ben Wallace-type player. I'm sorry but they aren't solid enough in all areas to make a huge run. The Heat are a toss-up and will be around in the end, but a lot depends on what Shaq can do and if Wade will be the same player after his surgery.

This is long enough. The offseason has been long enough and we finally get to start tonight! I even get to watch it since it's on TNT! Wow, could life get any better! Well, yes is could, a Pistons championship would make it a lot better.

Enjoy this!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Little Pistons Respect

While TNT forgot to mention the Pistons last night in their East preview and Yahoo! "experts" forgot that the Pistons usually make it to the conference finals every year and decided to leave them out of that series, there is some respect out there.

Mike Kahn of Fox Sports picks the Pistons to win it all!

That's all I'm going to say right now. I have mixed reactions. It's very nice to see some respect to a team that I believe is better than last year's Pistons. It's also nice to see that this year's version should have a reason to have a chip on their shoulder, something they haven't legitimately had since the 2004 run.

Meanwhile here's a recap video of last season. Quality isn't great but still fun to look back.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lions defense key in victory over Bears

Over the past 6 years the Lions defense, especially their Pass defense, has been ranked at or near the bottom of the barrel. It didn't look like anything had changed this season when the defense gave up 56 points to Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in Week 3. This week though you would never have been able to tell, in fact you would have though the Lions were known for their defensive prowess, a far cry from the truth.

The Lions secondary held Bears QB Brian Griese to 208 yards and forced 4 interceptions, after he had thrown for over 300 yards and only 2 INT's in the past two weeks. Greise looked lost on almost every passing down, under-throwing several short passes to his running backs and wide receivers.

The Lions corners played exceptionally well, holding WR's Bernard Berrian and Mushin Muhammed to 45 and 23 yards respectively. Fernando Bryant and Keith Smith both had key interceptions in the final minutes, while Kennoy Kennedy and rookie Gerald Alexander both recorded INT's in the end zone. The only member of the starting secondary held without an INT was Travis Fisher, who was injured during the game.

The running game was once again very effective, with Kevin Jones going over the 100 yard mark for the first time since November 6th, 2006. This is a great sign, seeing as both times Jones has carried the ball 15 times, the Lions have won the game. Roy Williams also took a break from delivering pizzas to have a nice day with 8 catches for 77 yards.

At 5-2 the Lions are looking like a contender for the NFC north crown, but with a very tough schedule coming up with games against Denver, the New York "Football" Giants, and the Green Bay Packers, they will have to put up or shut up if they want to reach Jon Kitna's prediction of 10 wins.