Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
.It's Trek on Trek crime as Levar Burton says what many (of us) have thought about JJ Abrams attitude and direction with his vision of Trek. "I just came from a conference in San Francisco with Advanced Micro Devices, and they're working on technology towards building a holodeck. That was Next Generation. And that's part of what Star Trek has brought to the culture. So when JJ Abrams says, There should be no Star Trek except the one I make,' I call bulls---, J.J."
.Even when it happened nearly four years ago I was baffled by Dumars' signing of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon at the prices they cost. I also thought coming into this year that facts needed to be faced that Brandon Knight was a combo guard at best. At this point, if he transforms into a viable 40% 3 point shooter only then will justify where he was selected. Zach Lowe from Grantland says this much more artistically than I do. Plus, I like showing off my wisdom against the writing heirarchy.
Joe Dumars has carved out a bunch of cap space, raising fears of a botched free agency sequel to the Charlie Villanueva–Ben Gordon spending spree of 2009 — the potential NBA equivalent of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That kind of failure seems less likely with new ownership and an increased emphasis on analytics, but every game provides Detroit with a better understanding of what it has on the current roster — an understanding that will allow Detroit to enter the next two summers with more certainty about what it needs.
Andre Drummond's back issues have hurt Detroit's ability to learn more about how Drummond's pick-and-roll game might mesh with Greg Monroe's facilitating from the elbows — and whether Drummond really might be the explosive back-line helper who can cover up for Monroe's slow-footed, unintuitive defense. The Pistons have allowed exactly 100 points per 100 possessions in the 248 minutes the two have played together, a number that would rank eighth overall — far above Detroit's standing as a team. But Detroit's (very bad) offense has been worse when the two bigs share the floor, and 248 minutes is a tiny sample size.
Then there's Brandon Knight, fresh off two straight very good games before Sunday's contest working as something between a point guard and a shooting guard next to Jose Calderon. There's no shame in topping out as a hybrid guard instead of a ball-dominating lead dog, even if Knight would be small for a 2-guard; secondary ball handlers are valuable, and two very good secondary ball handlers can almost mimic the impact of one very good point guard. But where Detroit sees Knight's game going in 2013-14 will play a role in their decision with Calderon, a free agent this summer, and with Knight after that. Regardless, Detroit needs another wing who can shoot; Kyle Singler looks like a backup, and teams are scoring like mad against smaller lineups featuring Rodney Stuckey as a nominal small forward, per NBA.com.
My other prevailing Pistons sentiment has been that they need to do nothing but target '14-'15 as the time when they need to be able to penetrate the top four of the Eastern Conference.
.The Lions have over 20 unrestricted free agents heading into next week. It's one less now that they've come to terms with DeAndre Levy. Levy wasn't a terrible linebacker, but he was far from a disruptive, playmaking linebacker that many quality teams employ. The Lions are absent one of those players behind their front four. With all those UFAs, if the Lions had selected astutely, they had the chance to fill the roster with better players than the ones they head. Instead, to begin, they've brought back a player who was just serviceable in my eyes. A missed opportunity to improve the team. Same ol' Lions.
.You realize how much of a joke it was that someone connected the Tigers to Carlos Marmol. It was never realistic.
Many have abandoned the Bruce Rondon bandwagon after he lacked control in his first four Grapefruit League outings. But anyone who believe Marmol is a logical replacement should take a look at the numbers.
Marmol has issued 6.0 walks per nine innings of work over the course of his career. His ratio of walks per nine innings climbed to 7.3 during the 2012 season, when he issued 45 walks in 55 1/3 innings.
That's Mlive's Chris Iott.
He's right. Even if the Cubs paid a chunk of Marmol's almost ten million, he'd just be a pricier version of Rondon.
Demote Rondon, sign Brian Wilson get what you can of him, promote Rondon when ready/as needed late(r) in the year.
.Atl's Jonny Venters as a Tigers closer? Something happened to him last year. Actually, maybe it happened in 2011 when he lead the league in appearances. He was on that Braves team that ran out of gas in September, a big reason why that happened is because the bullpen was taxed all year. You ready? You're about to get a taste of how I read semi-advanced stats to determine the story behind a pitcher's success or demie. According to Fangraphs, Venter's fastball's velocity was down (95 to 93.7) last year from prior season, he used it less (79% of the time to 69), likely leading to him being a lot more hittable as indicated by his BABIP that skyrocketed to .364 (.300 is average). Makes sense? If he was the Venters of '11, I'd say yes, the Tigers should want the Braves want for him.