By: Matt Dery
A Wednesday Morning list for you:
1. This Tigers reunion with Jose Valverde is borderline laughable. Remember a few seasons ago when President/GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters that he had “Ten Major League ready bullpen arms” in the system? Okay, where are they? DD is a good GM and as good as it gets when it comes to making trades; (Acquiring Austin Jackson and Doug Fister was a stroke of genius) but sometimes I wonder what the organization is doing from a PR standpoint. Why name rookie Bruce Rondon your closer in November? Why say publicly that Joaquin Benoit “doesn’t like to close?” Why rush Valverde up right this second? Is it because his agent, (Detroit Mayoral Candidate) Scott Boras wants him up here now? The Tigers are 18 games in. 18. That is it. It is not like we are 50 games in and the back end of the bullpen has blown 10 leads already! I don’t get it.
2. I think this move also is a message sender to other players on the team. It is time to perform. Jhonny Peralta should be on full alert. But it is not all Jhonny’s fault. He is not a shortstop and hasn’t been one for years when it comes to range and agility.
3. The New York Daily News reports that Nate McMillan is the “front-runner” to land the Pistons Head Coaching job. While the 48 year old former player does fit the criteria for what the Pistons are looking for, I’m not so sure he is the right fit. In Portland, he had a “my way or the highway” philosophy and the players reportedly found him stubborn in his ways. Those complaints sound very familiar right? In February of 2012, a month before he was fired by the Blazers, McMillan told The Oregonian, “Sometimes if you go down, you are going down your way.” Sound familiar?
4. We can talk all about the next Pistons coach and who some of the candidates are, but the bottom line is that the locker room needs to be flushed out a little bit. There is a good young core there, led by Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. I really like Kyle Singler as an important “glue piece”. But there needs to be changes made to add some veteran leadership and subtract some of the guys who have assisted in hurting the culture.