By: Mike Stone
For today’s six pack we have a taste of at least one treat from each of our professional teams.
1. When Roger Goodell steps to the podium to announce the Lions first round selection, I do not want to hear him say,” With the 23rd selection of the 2012 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions select Doug Martin, running back Boise State.” Yes, the Lions are in a bit of a pickle at the running back position, with the status of both Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure, and yes, Martin has a chance to be a very good pro. I just do not think they need to go that route in the first round, or second round for that matter. Defense is the Lions biggest need and I would expect them to focus on that side of the ball in the early rounds.
2. Ken Holland has taken some criticism for the early exit of the Red Wings. Many fans can’t understand why he did not do more to acquire more scoring. I am sure he tried to spend some of the five million he had left under the cap, but there was nothing out there worth anything, and no they were not going to get Rick Nash. Unfortunately, Anaheim was still in the playoff hunt and did not want to part with people like Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, or Ryan Getzlaf. I do take him to task for the Kyle Quincey acquisition. Giving up a first round pick for Quincey seems high considering Philadelphia only had to give up a 2 and a 3 to get Nick Grossmann who I think would have been a much better fit than Quincey.
3. I kind of feel bad for Ben Wallace. His last game as a Piston Thursday night should be celebrated by a big crowd at the Palace. That won’t happen as the event is blurred by the general malaise about the team and the NFL draft starts the same time the game does. Despite not entering the game in Orlando in 2006 and leaving the team for the Bulls a few months later, Wallace was the face of the Pistons for almost a decade. He exemplified the soul of the city with his work ethic. He was the every man on the floor. Who can forget the gong that played after a big rebound, or the “fro” he wore for big games. Ben Wallace was the Pistons identity and as he found out elsewhere the Pistons were his identity. He was never the same player when he left Detroit. Congratulations and thank you Ben Wallace. You were the icon of a team that brought this city pride, good times, and a world championship.
4. The Tigers certainly do not look like a team that will be playing for the World Series this October. Quite frankly they stink right now, but unless I just awoke from a coma it is not even May yet. Baseball is the one sport where patience for a fan is paramount. I don’t expect them to be this bad for long, but there are problems that must stop. Besides the obvious Inge-burn-tiago mess at second base, other players have to get going or else there will be trouble. After a torrid start, Austin Jackson looks more like the 2011 model. Jhonny Peralta and all star will never be in the same sentence again unless he gets his butt in gear. Brennan Boesch is not close to having the breakout season that many predicted and while Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have been good, they have not been as clutch as they should be. And, then there is pitching. Justin Verlander has been as advertised; Drew Smyly and Rick Porcello have been good most of the time. With Doug Fister being hurt, it has been imperative for Max Scherzer to step up and he hasn’t. Scherzer looks dazed and confused right now. His stuff is too good to pitch like this. Daniel Schlereth and Adam Wilk are Mud Hens, which is a good thing. Octavio Dotel and Phil Coke have done a nice job, while Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde have been hot and cold. Despite the mediocre start I must remind myself that they are tied for first place with a 10-8 record. Last year’s 18 game record was 8-10 and at one point were 12-17. I believe they will get their stuff together sooner rather than later, but meanwhile it’s a tough watch for Tiger fans.
5. Speaking of the Tigers, how much longer are they going to mess around with this travesty at 2nd base? Of the three guys who have played the position, Ramon Santiago is the only one hitting .200 and he is hitting at exactly .200. Brandon Inge is at .100 and Ryan Raburn is at .091. The three have combined for two RBI’s. Meanwhile Danny Worth is hitting .309 with a slugging percentage of .596 at Toledo. I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to bring Worth to the Tigers now.
6. I used to do mock drafts all the time, but I now find them mindless and useless. So with that in mind I give you my wish list for the Lions first 3 picks. If they can secure three of these players I will be pleased…Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, Stephon Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Amini Silatolu, Lavonte David, Josh Robinson, Nick Perry, Andre Branch, or LaMichael James.