Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joe Dumars Needs a Basketball Intervention...He's Killing the Pistons with each Move that He Makes!!

Joe Dumars is at it again. The Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations has signed former two time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady to a one year contract for $1.3 million.

Ten years ago, this would have been the steal of the off season. Back then, it would have transformed the Pistons from cellar dwellers in the Central Division into heavy favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals.

Now though, it gives them just another aging superstar. Another aging superstar that plays small forward and shooting guard (a place where they already have a plethora of players).

To be quite honest, I have no idea where Joe Dumars head is at. The past two years he has made player personnel moves that have made me go “huh?” Last year he gave away over $100 million in contracts to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva (13.8 & 11.9 points per game respectively last season). Now this season he has already signed a washed up Ben Wallace to a two year deal and today signed Tracy McGrady.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When Dumars first took over the Pistons he could do no wrong. Each and every move he made (with the exception of Darko) was pure genius. In my mind, the last good move that he made was when he traded for Rasheed Wallace.

Since then, it seems like Dumars is attempting to catch lightening in a bottle with his moves without even thinking of the consequences. Trading Chauncey Billups for AI two years ago looked good on paper, but exploded with failure during the season.

Dumars needs to remember what the successful Pistons teams of the past were like. They didn’t have a “superstar” on their roster. They were built with blue collar type players who were willing to work hard for the good of the team.

McGrady doesn’t fit the mold of past Piston teams. He fits the mold of a team looking for a big name player to use so that they can sell more tickets.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tigers Owner Illitch eats too much Crazy Bread and Declares that Leyland is Going to Return as Manager

Webster’s dictionary defines the word half truth as “a statement that is only partially true”. For example, the statement that “Brett Favre was a great quarterback and I hope that he comes back next season” is a half truth. I believe that he was a great quarterback but I certainly hope that he does not come back next season.

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch gave us a half truth at a news conference yesterday when he said that both general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland will be returning to the team next season.

I believe that Dave Dombrowski will be back next year. However, I would be shocked to see Jim Leyland back on the bench for the Detroit Tigers next year. Even though his contract runs through the 2011 season, the Tigers cannot afford to keep him past this current year.

Ever since they shocked the world and made it to the World Series in 2006, the team has had high hopes going into spring training. They seemed to always play well in the first half of the season as well. It is the second half that has been their Achilles heel ever since Leyland took over back in 2006.

Sure, they made it to the World Series in 2006, but they had to back their way into the playoffs. They lost their last 5 games in the regular season and were lucky to win the Wild Card race. The Tigers collapsed in 2007 & 2008. We all remember how we thought the Tigers had the division wrapped up last year. They had a 7 game lead over the second place Minnesota Twins on September 6th with 26 games remaining. Over the next 26 games, the Twins went 18-8 while the Tigers went 11-15. The Twins also won 4 of the 7 games that were played between them and the Tigers as well. The Twins ended up beating the Tigers in a one game playoff at the end of the season to win the division.

Now I know that the manager can’t control how his team plays on the field. But, he can control who plays on the field. That is where I think that Jim Leyland is failing as a manager. He does not seem to be making the adjustments needed to keep his team playing well. His inability to do that will most likely cost him his job.

Mike Ilitch may have said that Jim Leyland is coming back next year, but I’d bet anyone an order of Little Caesars crazy bread that he won’t.