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ypsieast

MotownSports Fan
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About ypsieast

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  • Birthday 07/26/1976
  1. I think Kitna shows some self-awareness and addresses some of the "issues" fans/teammates/observers might have with his comments. "I don't use my faith maliciously, to damn or to judge -- people who do are not Christians." "What guys really have a problem with is inconsistency -- people who say one thing and do another. Hypocrites. Chameleons. My teammates learn pretty quick that this is who I am, every day and in every situation." When Kitna credits God with helping him to succeed, its not another typical cliche from an athlete (that some of you have cited displeasure with). I think he has proven that its what he really feels and believes. It sounds like the Lions players who don't share his beliefs have at least accepted that Kitna is being real and true to himself and those players can respect this. I think, as fans, we can extend that same respect regarding his remarks.
  2. Interesting discussion. Here's an espn article that puts into perspective the roles of Kitna and religion on your 2007 Lions: espn.com Kitna seeks help from above By David Fleming ESPN The Magazine This is what passes for a wild postgame party at Jon Kitna's house. As midnight nears, Detroit's quarterback sits at his kitchen table picking at a container of leftover pasta salad. The kids are asleep. Worn out after an emotional overtime game at Ford Field, they stayed awake just long enough to wash off the crosses painted on their cheeks. Everyone else is still up, wired and giddy from Kitna's self-proclaimed "miracle" comeback against Minnesota. After missing half of Detroit's Sept. 16 game with a mild concussion, Kitna returned in the fourth quarter to gut out a 20-17 win. Then he fell to his knees on top of the Lions' midfield logo and linked hands with teammates and foes in a postgame prayer circle. Now, inside the Kitnas' massive cut-stone home in suburban Detroit, wife Jennifer eats homemade ice cream while Jon's mom, Fay, celebrates with a bowl of cornflakes. Meanwhile, the QB monitors his two-way pager as it vibrates with incoming messages like "Miracles do exist" and "You and the Lions are so very blessed." Kitna and a visitor then begin a loud, verse-quoting joust about the Bible's stance on men with long hair. It's easy to predict Kitna's position: Whenever he bows his head to pray, he also rubs concentric circles into the buzz cut atop his head with his left hand, almost subconsciously. In the middle of this debate, Kitna's brother-in-law brings in a gift for the QB, who will turn 35 a few days later. Inside the cardboard box is a ceramic figurine of Jesus in flowing white robes handing off a football to a child. There is a brief, uncomfortable moment of silence. But the statue is so cheesy, even the Kitna clan can't help but laugh when Dad sets it down to reveal the inscription: JESUS IS MY COACH. In light of Kitna's success, there are some locals wondering just what the Almighty is up to in Motown. And at least some of them sound like they're speaking in tongues. Says Lions backup QB Dan Orlovsky: "Indy can have Peyton. New England can have Tom. We wouldn't trade Jon for anyone." That was still true following Detroit's 56-21 loss in Philadelphia a week after the "miracle" comeback. Kitna completed 29 of 46 passes for 446 yards with two touchdowns and one pick against the Eagles, mirroring the kinds of numbers he's been putting up since last season, when he led the league with 372 completions while throwing for 4,208 yards, the second-highest total in Lions history. That happens in coordinator Mike Martz's offense. But Kitna didn't make news until this spring, when he predicted at least 10 victories for Detroit, a team that has suffered through double-digit losses in each of the past six seasons. He made headlines again after that OT win against Minnesota, when he credited the hand of God for healing his concussion and helping him slingshot the Vikings. Like many athletes who are outspoken about something as personal as faith, Kitna -- with his ubiquitous cross hats and constant biblical references -- is often dismissed as a loon. But his impact in Detroit is undeniable. He is part of a team prayer group on Friday afternoons and hosts a Bible study for teammates and their wives at his home on Monday nights. Since he signed a four-year, $11.5 million deal in March 2006, about 20 Lions have given their lives to Christ. Teammates, converted or not, credit Kitna -- and, in part, this religious awakening -- with helping change the previously poisonous attitude in the Lions' locker room. Says Orlovsky, "He is the pulse and the heart and the soul of this team." By combining two of the most fervent elements of society -- faith and football -- a previously anonymous journeyman quarterback has catapulted himself into the zeitgeist. "People feel football is too trivial for God to care about, especially with so many bad things happening in the world," says Tim Pitcher, a spokesman for Athletes in Action, which uses sports to push Christianity. "For a lot of people, the worlds shouldn't mix." Yet they do, sometimes with uncomfortable results. After the Colts won the Super Bowl last February, Tony Dungy asked his team to kneel and recite the Lord's Prayer. While everyone complied, several players looked at each other in disbelief at the request, which forced them to interrupt their celebrations and interviews. To reporters in the room, the moment appeared awkward and forced. Such discord isn't limited to NFL locker rooms. Last June, New Mexico State settled out of court with four Muslim football players who had accused coach Hal Mumme of religious discrimination. Among other things, the athletes said Mumme made the team recite the Lord's Prayer after each practice and before every game. When they objected, he labeled them "troublemakers." "Being a coach doesn't give someone the right to make a football team into a religious brotherhood," says Peter Simonson, executive director of the New Mexico chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Jon Kitna is doing everything he can to bring positive karma to the Detroit locker room. Still, no one in the NFL is rushing to file religious-discrimination lawsuits. Every Detroit practice now ends with about 30 percent of the team gathering for a prayer, followed by the players shouting, "One, two, three ... JESUS!" Meanwhile, the majority of the squad heads in the opposite direction. "You can't bring religion up in most workplaces; you can't do a team prayer in the office," says Lions center Dominic Raiola, who doesn't join the prayer circle. "So this is something unique that we have to deal with. I don't think faith has a lot to do with football. Everyone in this locker room is a teammate, not a believer or a nonbeliever." This is as close to criticism as you'll hear in Detroit, and not just because Kitna, a team captain, has mastered Martz's spread offense and is completing 67.8 percent of his passes. Dissent of any kind is tantamount to blasphemy in the NFL, where nothing is more sacred than being considered a team player -- especially when a team is winning. The huge importance placed on unity in football creates a general intolerance of any kind of locker-room pluralism -- something Christian athletes often mistake as tacit approval of their preaching. In the God Squad sect, players often use moral conviction as an excuse for closed-mindedness. But that's not Kitna's style. His responses to questions about his faith and leadership are mostly tinged with humility, perspective and openness. Asked to consider whether a Muslim, Jewish or agnostic teammate might feel excluded by group exaltations, Kitna pauses, rubbing his head. "I know there are people in the locker room who don't like where I stand, don't like me as a leader or wish I'd shut up," he says. "My first responsibility to this team is to be a quarterback. But my priority in life is to be a man of God. I don't use my faith maliciously, to damn or to judge -- people who do are not Christians. And when I've had Mormon teammates, I've tried to understand where they come from. Because we have different beliefs doesn't mean we can't coexist." Kitna is a fanatic for Christ, there's no question. He often prays on his way to the line of scrimmage, to calm himself. But it's clear to teammates that he sees God as more than a lucky rabbit's foot, which is why, while the vast majority of Lions prefer to keep their beliefs private, Kitna's public pronouncements don't grate on them. Posers and prima donnas splinter far more locker rooms than religion. And Kitna walks his talk without sanctimony. He doesn't drink or cuss. The worst anyone can recall him saying on the field is "fudge." He says he has tithed at least 10 percent of his salary his entire adult life. That includes the time he spent as a teacher after a record-setting career at Central Washington. The donations got bigger when the Seahawks signed him as a free agent in 1996, and they continued to grow after stops in Cincinnati (where he was the league's 2003 Comeback Player of the Year) and, now, Detroit. "It's about production on the field and consistency off it," Kitna says. "What guys really have a problem with is inconsistency -- people who say one thing and do another. Hypocrites. Chameleons. My teammates learn pretty quick that this is who I am, every day and in every situation." And the tests come constantly. Walking into the Lions' locker room a few days before the Vikings game, Kitna was greeted by silence. The Lions have three iPod docks that plug into their speaker system. But when someone began blasting Christian music, a tense standoff ensued. It was noted, loudly, that a majority of people in the room didn't want to listen to God rock. And so the speakers remained mute until Kitna arrived. "Everyone's music should be heard," he said, "or no one's." The Christian rock was resurrected, followed by a heavy dose of hip-hop. "Learning about each other, understanding each other, compromising for each other -- that's what it's like in a good locker room," says Lions wideout Roy Williams. "That's some real s... that went down with the music and Jon's response. And that's the stuff we never had around here in years past. Is that religion? I don't know. Jon talks to everybody, I know that. And the last quarterback we had didn't do that." Last November, during a long flight home after another defeat, Williams asked Kitna if his cussing during games was getting out of hand. Kitna said he wasn't one to judge, then explained in a whisper how he hadn't always been so pious. In 1993, Kitna was drinking himself to oblivion four nights a week, shoplifting, brawling, cussing constantly and sleeping with, he says, "all different kinds of women" behind Jennifer's back. Eventually she caught him in bed with another woman, which is when he decided to go back to church. He believes God removed those vices from his life with a snap of His mighty fingers. Ten months later, Jon and Jennifer were married. "I didn't feel pressure or like he was judging me," Williams says of his talk with Kitna. "Jon just said, 'If you ever want to go deeper, I'm always here.' I'm young; I have questions about religion and faith. He's a good guy to ask." What's important, Raiola says, is that both sides of the locker room, vocal believers and everyone else, feel comfortable with their boundaries. Right now they do, as much because of how Kitna plays as what he preaches. Late last season, a group of disgruntled players on the Detroit sideline mocked teammates who were still trying. Kitna responded in the season finale against Dallas by throwing 4 TD passes to thwart the Cowboys' hopes for the NFC East title. Many Lions say that's when it clicked for them. The same things Kitna believed in -- hard work, responsibility, temperance and selflessness -- were exactly what the team lacked. Over the summer, coach Rod Marinelli weeded out the malcontents. "It was sickening on our sideline last year," Kitna says. "Whatever creates it, the tighter you are as a team, the better chance you have to win. That's why I predicted 10 wins. You could feel it." After lunch following a mid-September practice, Kitna walked down a hall toward the locker room. He passed Lion prez Matt Millen, standing in front of a banner with the Lions' motto: POUND THE ROCK. "Why are you so happy?" Millen asked. "I'm always happy," Kitna answered. "Only time I'll be happier is when I get to heaven."
  3. ypsieast

    2008 Roster

    Robertson for Loaiza = Whole article loses credibility Why would the Tigers trade Robertson for an older right-handed Robertson? Robertson career ERA 4.61 WHIP 1.413 SO/9 6.18 SO/BB 1.97 AGE 29 Loaiza career ERA 4.63 WHIP 1.410 SO/9 5.95 SO/BB 2.29 AGE 35
  4. Source? This would be bad news, as the guaranteed 2008 payroll (+ Pudge's option) is only about $7mil under this year's payroll with 6 potentially open roster spots remaining.
  5. Illmatic is right. Tigers likely make the playoffs this year if any starter not named Verlander pitched like an all-star all year long. Or if 2 starters pitched a little above average all year. Instead, Nate had a bad year, Bondo had an aweful 2nd half and we only got a few starts from Kenny. Cleveland made the playoffs because they got an AS-calibur year out of Carmona & CC and above average performance from Byrd. TOP PRIORITY FOR 2008 is to fill in the blank: 1) Verlander 2)_______ 3) Bonderman 4) Robertson 5) Jurrjens I would like Johan Santana. I expect Kenny Rogers. Top priority isn't 3B or LF. Those are luxuries. Starting pitching will win more games.
  6. Batting Against: Pitcher A: .263/.315/.399 .714 OPS Pitcher B: .235/.310/.358 .669 OPS The -.041 in SLG% tips the scale to Pitcher B. Which begs the question: Why are 'Batting Against' stats not more prominent?
  7. Its not even close. The '07 Tigers were far better at bringing home RISP than the '06 tigers. RISP 2007: .311/.383/.475; 630 rbi; 277 k; 40 GIDP RISP 2006: .277/.342/.439; 539 rbi; 293 k; 38 GIDP RISP 2 out 2007: .287/.387/.485; 274 rbi RISP 2 out 2006: .249/.329/.408; 209 rbi The 2007 Tigers underperformed the 2006 Tigers because of pitching.
  8. Very interesting. I've also seen an analysis that showed an increase in injuries for pitching staffs in the year following a world series (i.e. extended season). It wasn't conclusive, but there certainly seemed to be a correlation.
  9. I don't put any weight into an AL/NL rivalry. I would root for the teams that haven't won much over the years (except Cleveland). Cubs, Brewers, Phillies and Padres in that order. I'd probably include Cleveland if they hadn't beaten the Pistons this year. The Angels and Diamondbacks don't excite me at all. I used to hate the Mets, but I actually can't help kind of liking their current team. I don't mind Boston, but the attention they get irks me. I dislike the Yankees more than any team in sports, so under no circumstances will I root for them.
  10. I know that. You missed my disclaimer: consider the buyout a sunk cost and not applied to payroll figure
  11. OK... Step 1: Assess Payroll under contract The Tigers 2007 Opening Day 25-man payroll was about $95 mil. Now, add up the roster payroll (as is) and see where we're at: Note: anyone close to 1mil (young guys) I'm putting at 1 mil. Starting 9: PR(13), PP(4.6), CG(12), BI(6.2), MO(15), CG (1), RR (1), GS(14) [note: could save 10 replacing pudge; might offer Grandy a L-T deal] TOTAL = $66.8mil Bench: Thames, Santiago/Infante, Timo and Rabbs @ approx. $1mil each TOTAL = $4.0mil Starters: JV(1), JB(8.5), NR(4), JJ(1) TOTAL = $14.5mil Relievers: Zumaya, Rodney and Seay are the only safe bets @ 1mil TOTAL = $3mil TOTAL COMMITTED SALARY (Barring trades, demotions) = $88.3mil Unaccounted for: 1 position (1B/SS depending on Guillen), 1 starter, 4 relievers TOTAL: 6 players Now, the Tigers are looking at only $7mil to sign 6 players to keep the same payroll as 2007. Or, its $12mil to sign 6 players and push the payroll up to $100mil. Or, its $16mil spend on 6 players and push the payroll up 10% from 2007. Can we be sure how high Illitch will let the payroll go? Step 2: Saving money a) Cutting Pudge gives us $13mil extra to spend (consider the buyout a sunk cost and not applied to payroll figure). <-- Toughest decision for DD early in the off-season. Will set the course for the rest of his moves. b) Not tendering Nate saves $4 mil, but really, that's a bargain rate for a starting pitcher. IMO, we have to keep him until Miller is ready or he's a FA. c) Trades could shed some salary, but only in the case of Bondo, Nate or Inge. Everyone else is either min salary, untouchable or unrealistic to trade. Conclusion: Cutting Pudge allows for a total of $20 - 30mil to be spent on 7 players. Very, very, very tempting.... Step 3: Target upgrades NECESSARY (These positions will be void) 1) (potentially) Catcher 2) 1B/SS (depending on Guillen) 3) Starter (K-Rog replacement, who might just be K-Rog; finding from within the organization is unlikely, IMO; Bazzardo, Tata, Durbin, Miller... et al seem like longshots) 4) Closer (or set up if the role goes to zoom or Rodney) KEY (We have players, but maybe they should be better) 5) 3 middle relief spots (Durbin, Miner, Byrdak, Grilli, McBride, Lopez, Capellan... et al OR someone new) LUXURY (it'd be nice to upgrade, but I consider it unrealistic based on needs and financial limitations) 6) 3B (sorry, Inge haters, but he's signed and less urgent than the above) 7) LF (Perez, Raburn, Thames... et al is the likely result) Steps 4/5: FAs and/or TRADES to fill the necessary upgrades I'll wrap it up here. Haven't done any FA research, but hopefully I've given a little context to the offseason situation of the Tigers (at least how I see it). With any (or monumental) luck, the debate will be put on hold as the Tigers tear through the playoffs.
  12. I agree that WP and HBP are not huge problems, though I'd prefer the numbers be a little lower. JV is actually having an historically "wild" season. He has moved to 10th all-time for most combined HBP/WP in a season (since 1900). He's tied with Walter Johnson (1910) and 2 behind Christy Mathewson (1901) to tie for 5th all-time. Not exactly bad company.
  13. Without too much thought, here's my top-10: 1) A-Rod 2) Magglio 3) Granderson 4) Ortiz 5) Vlad 6) Ichiro 7) Posada 8) Sabathia 9) Pena 10) Timo
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