By: Mike Stone
Happy New Year to all and to all the first 2013 edition of the Stoney Six Pack is here for you reading pleasure or disdain.
1. It appears the NHL and its players will agree to a deal shortly at least that’s what all indications are, and if recent rumors about the schedule are accurate I would almost rather them stay away. According to published reports the league will play a 48 game schedule with 7 games within the division for 28 plus a home and home with each conference rival. That means the Wings will play Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, and Columbus more times in a 48 game schedule than they would in an 82 game one. This also means no game against the Eastern Conference, so no Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, or Toronto. I am sorry that schedule simply blows. Why not play each divisional team four times and the rest of the conference twice. That would give you at least 12 out of 15 non-conference opponents. The stupidity of the NHL reigns supreme and the ones who suffer in my opinion are the fans.
2. It was really nice of the Lions to make general manager Martin Mayhew available to the media yesterday or shall I say selected media. Eleven members of the print media and our own Tony Ortiz were invited to the session, in which no comments were allowed to be broadcast on the air. I don’t know if that is the Lion Way or the Mayhew way, but whatever it is unfair to the fans and stupid. By not being able to hear the tone of voice or the actual answers the fan gets less information and the Lions run the risk of boobs like me misquoting Mayhew. It is so sad that the team that I love and pay good money to see is run so poorly.
3. Speaking of Mayhew, I am glad and least he did acknowledge the mistakes of overvaluing his talent and believing the Jahvid Best would come back. Hopefully he will actually draft players who will impact the team immediately instead of the depth draft of 2012, where they had just 14 starts from that class.
4. Could the Pistons actually be turning into a decent team? There play of late has been much improved, thanks to the contributions of the bench. Who could have predicted that Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueava, and yes Austin Daye would actually spark the team to three straight victories and five of their last six? Andre Drummond is turning into a monster and dare I say that if he continues his steady improvement, this 19 year old could turn into a superstar.
5. I love debating fans about college football. I have turned into a pretty big Michigan football fan and yes I can love Michigan and have MSU as my second favorite team. I thought Michigan played admirably against South Carolina but I don’t want moral victories. They still finished 8-5 which is not real good. I got into a debate on Twitter the other day where I claimed it was going to be almost impossible for a non Ohio State Big Ten team to be a consistent top 8 team. (Consistent means 8 out of 10 years) I honestly believe that the majority of the best high school players hail from warm weather states or Ohio. Michigan will be able to get their share of good players from those areas, but I don’t think it will be enough to get to that lofty ranking consistently. Other Michigan fans think I am nuts or hating. I am not. I want them to be in national title contention every year. I just don’ think it will happen. I have been in Michigan since 1986 and in those 27 seasons of Michigan football I have witnessed the Wolverines have only cracked double digit wins ten times and have a bowl record of 13-12. That is the record of a very good 27 years not a great one or dare I say not elite. College football is much different than it was in the past 40 years. I think Michigan fans need to realize that.
6. When the 2013 class of baseball’s hall of fame is announced next week we might be able to cheer the election of Jack Morris but not that of Alan Trammell. I think Trammell compares favorably to most other shortstops that are already in Cooperstown. His numbers are not that different from Barry Larkin who was inducted last year. What bothers most Tiger fans is that Ozzie Smith was a first ballot electee while Tram, in his 13th year barely gets a sniff. Smith deserves to be in, but his all around play was not that much better than Trammel’s. Yes he was arguably the best defensive shortstop ever, but Trammell was much better offensively and could hold his own with the glove. It’s a crime that he will probably have to wait until the veterans committee elect him sometime in the next 20 years.