Monday, October 5, 2015

Detroit is in trouble

Finally, mercifully, the Detroit Tigers season came to an end, They finished last in their division and only the Oakland A's posted a worse record in the American League. Things likely won't get any better next year either. Former GM Dave Dombrowski looted the farm system, their bullpen is still a train wreck, and even their aging stars are just that. Aging. The only two bright spots they have are outfielder J.D. Martinez and young catcher James McCann. Jose Iglesias? Please. He can't stay healthy for a full season, and even slugger Miguel Cabrera is showing signs of career wear and tear.

Of course, at this time of year, the local hype machine has cranked up regarding the Detroit Pistons. Don't be fooled. These guys are not good. Thing is, the Eastern Conference of the NBA is weak, with no team other than the Cleveland Cavaliers projected as being excellent. The Pistons could well make it into the playoffs, only because the field is so watered down. In they were in the Western Conference, the Pistons would be considered as plankton. It's a shame one conference has so many good teams and have to slug it out, while the other mostly consists of mediocrity at best.

The Detroit Red Wings have been impressive in their preseason. They have a few aging stars as well, a new coach, and would have their fans believe a wealth of young talent. Even two goalies that are both world class. We'll see about that. Wake me up when they get to the conference finals in the playoffs. Chances of getting that far? Likely not so good.

Who's in really deep trouble are the Detroit Lions. Already 0-3, they square off against Seattle in the formidable stadium the Seahawks call home. As roughly 10 point underdogs, it was the largest point spread of the week across the NFL. A ten point spread is a bunch in pro football.

To make matters worse, the Seahawks already find themselves trailing the Arizona Cardinals by two games in their own division. They can't afford to lose any more ground and will likely come out ferocious against the Detroit puddy tats. This game could get ugly. Then again, Seattle might be overlooking the Lions as inferior competition and open themselves up to an upset possibility. Hmm. Nah, the Lions on the west coast, much less tangling with the Seahawks? Not a chance. Give the points.

Through no fault of their own, the Lions had another bad break go their way this week. The above-mentioned and previously unbeaten Ariz Cardinals got knocked off at home by the St. Louis Rams. That wasn't supposed to happen. A seven point spread said so.

Bottom line? The Cards are likely pissed, and guess who they play next week? Yep, the Lions. They'll likely come into Ford Field and have their way with the Honolulu blue and silver bunch much like Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos did last week.

I've been saying it all along. Head coach Jim Caldwell was a good offensive coordinator under other head coaches that had built terrific teams, but when given the reins of command himself has been an abysmal failure shortly thereafter. This is his second season in Detroit, he's brought in his own staff, and instituted his own system. The Lions are 0-3, and might very likely be 0-5 in another week. If it plays out that way, it will be interesting to see and hear what JC's latest spin will be at his press conferences. So far, his "mistakes are correctable", we "need to get better", and "it's all a matter of execution" lame lines for a sorry team has enabled him to skate. That, and after all, it's Detroit, where the fans and media would rally behind Weird Al Yankovic if he was the head coach. In fact, after Caldwell is inevitably kicked to the curb, that might not be a bad idea. At least it would be fun to watch.

But all in all, Detroit professional sports appear to be in a very bad place right now, and the near future doesn't hold out much promise either.

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