History of the Detroit Tigers: 1961-1970: Championship and Division Play Starts!

Detroit Tigers history

Welcome back to another post in this series about Detroit Tigers history. I know it has been a long time since I have posted in it, but I will be finishing the series this summer and then starting a new one on one of the other Detroit sports teams when this series is finished. But today we will be talking about the Tigers from the period of 1961-1970.

To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here,  like my Facebook page here, and you can join my Discord here. You can view the other posts in this series here.

1961-1962: Good Success

After the 1960 season, the Tigers decided to hire Bob Scheffing as their manager, and Rick Ferrell as their GM. In their first season, the Tigers won 101 games and finished just 8 games behind the Yankees. Norm Cash won the AL batting crown, as he hit .361 with 41 homers and 132 RBI. Frank Lary lead the pitching with a 23-9 record and a 3.24 ERA.

The next year, the Tigers once again had a good season, going 85-76, but they still only finished third in the AL. Al Kaline hit .304 with 29 home runs and 94 RBI, while Jim Bunning led the pitching with a 19-10 record and a 3.59 ERA.

1963-1965: Average Seasons

in 1963, after the Tigers started off winning just 24 of their first 60 games, the Tigers fired Bob Scheffing and hired Chuck Dresson on June 18. He led the team to a 79-83 record, despite coming in to manage a team 12 games under .500. Al Kaline hit .312 with 27 homers and 101 RBI, and Hank Aguirre was their best pitcher with a 14-15 record and a 3.67 ERA.

The next year, the Tigers were 85-77, as they finished 4th in the AL. Bob Scheffing joined Ernie Harwell in the radio booth of WKMH. Bill Freehan hit .300 with 18 homers and 80 RBI. And Dave Wickersham had a 19-12 record and 3.44 ERA.

In 1965, the Tigers finished 16 games over .500 despite changing managers throughout the year. During spring training, Chuck Dressen had problems with his heart, so Bob Swift had to step in until Dressen returned on May 31. Willie Horton hit .273 with 29 homers and 104 RBI. And Hank Aguirre was 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA.

1966

In 1966, the Tigers won one less game than the previous year but still moved up to third in the AL. Chuck Dressen managed until May 16, but was sidelined with a heart attack and ended up dying in August. Bob Swift took over for the Tigers when Dressen was sidelined, and Swift was appearing to be doing a good job leading the team until he went to the hospital during all-star break and a test showed he had lung cancer. Unfortunately, he would die in October after the season. Frank Skaff took over for the team after Swift was sidelined.

Al Kaline lead the team in hitting with a .288 average,  29 homers and 88 RBI. And Denny McLain led the team in pitching with a 20-14 record and 3.92 ERA.

1967-1968 New Leader and Championship

After the 1966 season, Mayo Smith was hired as the new manager of the Tigers, He quickly led the team to a 91 win season, and they finished tied for 2nd in the AL. Al Kaline had a breakout year with a .308 average, 25 homers and 78 RBI. And Earl Wilson was a great pitcher with a 22-11 record and 3.27 ERA.

In 1968, the Tigers won the pennant, and eventually, beat the St Louis. Cardinals in a 7 game World Series. Mickey Lolich won the World Series MVP after pitching 3 complete games and winning all three. During the regular season, Willie Horton batted .285 with 36 home runs and 85 RBI. Denny McLain won the Cy Young and AL MVP after an amazing 31-6 record and 1.96 ERA.

1969-1970 Division Play

After the 1968 MLB season, the league decided that the AL and NL would each be split into 2 divisions, and the 2 teams that won their divisions in each league would play in a best of 5 league championship series. In the 1969 season, the Tigers won 90 games, but they still finished 19 games back of an amazing 109-53 Baltimore Orioles team. Jim Northrup led the team in hitting with a .295 average 25 home runs and 66 RBI. And Denny McLain once again led the team in pitching with a 24-9 record and 2.80 ERA. He won the AL Cy Young again.

In 1970, the Tigers went back to mediocrity with a 79-83 record, good for 4th in the 6 team AL East. Willie Horton hit 17 home runs and drove in 69 RBI while batting .305, and Les Cain was their best pitcher with 12-7 record and 3.84 ERA.

This wraps up another decade in Tigers history. Make sure you stay tuned for more posts in the History of the Tigers series.

Cristiano Ronaldo Signs for Juventus

Ronaldo Juventus Transfer

The Ronaldo Juventus Transfer

Earlier today, Juventus tweeted that they had signed Cristiano Ronaldo. This is a huge deal for Juventus and for Real Madrid. Today we are going to be looking at why this deal could have happened. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here, like my Facebook page here, and join my Discord here.

So why would Ronaldo want to leave a team that has won the last 3 Champions League titles? On May 31, former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane announced his resignation from managing the club. On June 12, Spain manager Julen Lopetegui was announced as the new manager for Real. The next day, the Spanish FA fired him. The reason all of this matters is because the reason Ronaldo might have wanted to be sold could be because he does not like Real’s new manager. He could have wished that they were still going to be managed by Zidane. We don’t know for certain why Ronaldo left Madrid, but we do know why Juventus bought him.

Juventus paid 117 million dollars to buy Ronaldo, so obviously, they really wanted him. He will join Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, and Giorgio Chiellini. With this lineup, Juventus has the potential to win the Champions League as well as the Serie A title.

It will be interesting to see Ronaldo in a new jersey this season, but it will be a new challenge for him and will make the soccer world more interesting. Look for previews of the Champions League and other soccer games throughout the year.

Why the Detroit Pistons Will Finish Top 5 in the East Next Year

Detroit Pistons Coach Dwayne Casey

The Detroit Pistons season was disappointing last year, with the team having hopes of making a playoff run and instead of missing out on them all together. But the Pistons have a new look this year, and so does the Eastern Conference. Today we are going to be looking at why the Pistons could be towards the top of the East next year. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here and like my facebook page here. You can join my Discord here.

The Detroit Pistons New Coach

The Pistons fired their head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy in the offseason. They replaced him with Dwayne Casey. Casey won the coach of the year award this year and led the Raptors to the 1 seed in the East. The one thing that people are a little bit worried about is that Casey has never made it to the NBA Finals despite lots of high seeds in the playoffs. But Casey is definitely a great hire for the team.

The Detroit Pistons Roster

The Pistons have all of their key pieces from last year returning, and they signed Glenn Robinson III in free agency. The Pistons definitely have the talent to make it to the playoffs, they just need to perform.

The Eastern Conference 

With LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers, they do not seem like a team that will do very well next year. The only other teams that I see as being better than the Pistons in the East are the Celtics, 76ers, and depending on how they actually perform, the Raptors. This gives the Pistons a very good chance to get home court advantage in the first round next year.

I hope you enjoyed my post about the Pistons next season, and look for more posts about the team previewing the next year to come soon.

Why DeMarcus Cousins Free Agency Choice Will Ruin the NBA

On July 2nd, it was announced that the Golden State Warriors had signed star center Demarcus Cousins. Lots of people have been angry with this signing, so today I am going to be breaking down why this signing is bad for the NBA’s image. To stay updated, follow my Twitter here and like my facebook page here. You can join my discord here. Thank you.

The Contract

Demarcus Cousins made 18 million dollars last year. So why is a player of his caliber signing a 5 million dollar contract? The answer is because he is chasing championships. If he had signed a contract for the money that he was worth, the Warriors wouldn’t have been able to pay it. But he took a significant pay cut just so he can play for the Warriors. The NBA should make a rule where players cannot sign a contract that is a certain amount lower than their estimated value or the contract they made last year. This would prevent situations like Cousins’ contract.

The Team

Cousins will join a team with Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green. This will mean their entire starting lineup will be all-stars from last year, and they will have 2 MVPs. A team should not be able to have a lineup this good. Even teams like the 2010-2014 Heat had non-all-star players in their lineup. This will be a new era of superteams in the NBA, and I do not agree with it. There need to be rules about just how good a team can be.

In conclusion, DeMarcus Cousins could have played for a different team and gotten more money, and he would have been the star. Instead, he will be shadowing Curry and Durant, and he will be earning less money than normal players like JJ Reddick, just so he can have a great chance at rings.

 

NBA Free Agency Preview 2018

Welcome back to another post, today we are going to be talking about LeBron James Free Agency, and the 3 best teams that I think he should consider playing for. Today is July 1st, and LeBron can now see which teams will offer him contracts and choose the one he wants to play for. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here, like my Facebook page here, and join my Discord here. Thank you.

LeBron James

Probably the biggest star ever, LeBron will once again go into free agency with a decision that will change the entire NBA for years to come. In 2010, he left to win a championship, and in 2014 came back to Cleveland to win one for his hometown. Now, he has nothing to prove, so there are 2 sides to his decision this summer. One, he could stay in Cleveland and play the rest of his career for his hometown team, or two, he could go to a different team and try and defeat the superteam Warriors and get a couple more championships before his time is up. Personally, I don’t think he will be coming back to Cleveland next year, but some people think otherwise. Here are the 3 teams that I believe he could be playing for next season.

3. Los Angeles Lakers

What better place for LeBron to play then Hollywood, where all the stars are. The Lakers have a variety of young talent and the potential to sign established stars to the roster. By signing LeBron, they could convince other free agents to sign for them and trade for more stars. This could give LeBron a better chance to beat the Warriors. And by beating the Warriors, LeBron would have a great chance to make it to the NBA Finals again and win more championships.

2. Philidelphia 76ers

Another team with lots of young talent including reigning ROY Ben Simmons and big man Joel Embiid, the 76ers have a chance to complete the process by signing the best player in the world. To do so, they will need to hire a new GM that will earn the trust of LeBron, and their players will need to prove that they are mature enough to become a superteam. There were many times last year that Joel Embiid let his emotions get out of check, and he will need to clean his act up a little bit to ensure happiness throughout the team. Other than that, the 76ers are a huge contender to sign LeBron.

1. Houston Rockets

Finally, the team that Lebron will be best at and the team I hope he signs for, the Houston Rockets. With the other 2 teams on this list, you need to have growth from young players or signings of other stars. With the Rockets, LeBron will be put into a lineup that features Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela. Here, there is a reigning MVP, a rising star, and a veteran leader. The Rockets went 7 games with the Warriors in the conference finals last season, and by adding LeBron, I think they could beat them next year.

I hope you enjoyed my post on where I think LeBron will be playing next season and if you did, make sure you stay tuned for more posts on NBA free agency and other sports topics.

Detroit Tigers History Part 6: 1951-1960

Detroit Tigers History

Welcome back finally to the History of the Tigers series. I’m sorry that I stopped posting this back in September but now I am going to finish it before the MLB Season starts. This post will focus on the Detroit Tigers history from 1951-1960. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here and like my Facebook page here. To see all of the Detroit Tigers history posts, click here.

Detroit Tigers History 1951-1954: Tough Years

In 1951, the Tigers finished 8 games under .500, a huge change from the 95 win team of 1950. They did not change any staff besides adding Paul Williams to the radio booth along Ty Tyson. The Tigers also hosted the All-Star game, as it was the City of Detroit’s 250th birthday in 1951. George Kell was their best hitter with a .319 average, 2 homers, 59 RBI and 36 doubles. Fred Hutchinson was their top pitcher with a 10-10 record and a 3.68 ERA.

In 1952, the had the second-worst season in team history with a record of 50-104. Walter Briggs Jr. became the owner of the team after his dad died in January before the regular season started. Charlie Gehringer became the GM of the team, and Fred Hutchinson, a player, took over for Red Rolfe in July. These were clearly not the best times for the Tigers. Van Patrick became the TV and radio commentator. Walt Dropo may have only hit .279, but he was clearly the best power hitter on the team with 23 homers and 70 RBI. And Hal Newhowser was their best pitcher with a 9-9 record and 3.74 ERA. Virgil Trucks threw 2 no-hitters but had a horrendous 5-19 record.

1953 was another rough one for the Tigers. They went 60-94, 6th in the American League. Dizzy Trout joined the radio booth with Van Patrick. Ray Boone was the top hitter with a .312 average, 22 homers and 93 RBI. Ned Garver was their best pitcher with an 11-11 record and 4.45 ERA. Al Kaline started his career this season, only appearing in 30 games and hitting .250.

1954 was yet another hard season for the Tigers, but every year since 1951 they were making slight progress. The team went 68-86 and hired Muddy Ruel as their new GM. Harvey Kuenn was the team’s top hitter with a .306 average, 5 homers and 48 RBI. Steve Gromek was their top pitcher with an 18-16 record and 2.74 ERA. Following Al Kaline more, he hit .276 with 4 homers and 43 RBI.

Detroit Tigers History 1955-1960

In 1955, the Tigers finally got back to a winning record, going 79-75. This was Buck Harris’s first year as the manager of the team, and he proved to be better than Frank Hutchinson. Al Kaline had his breakout season, hitting .340 with 27 home runs and 102 RBI. Steve Gromek led the way pitching with a 13-10 record and a 3.98 ERA. The Tigers were finally starting to look like a team that could compete for titles, and they had found their star player.

1956 was another good year for the Tigers, but they still did not have enough power to beat the Yankees. Fred Knorr and John Fetzer joined Walter Briggs Jr. in owning the team. They finished 5th, with an 82-72 record. Harvey Kuenn was the top hitter on the team with a .332 average, 12 homers and 88 RBI. Frank Lary was their best pitcher with a 21-13 record and 3.15 ERA.

In 1957, Walter Briggs Jr. and John McHale became GM’s of the team. Briggs no longer was a part owner of the team. Jack Tighe also became the manager. They finished 78-76, good for 4th in the AL. Al Kaline hit .295 with 23 homers and 90 RBI, while Jim Bunning went 20-8 with a 2.69 ERA.

1958 was a year in which the Tigers finished exactly at .500, with a 77-77 record, 5th in the AL. Bill Norman took over as manager mid-season for Jack Tighe, and Walter Briggs Jr. was no longer a GM with John McHale.  Al Kaline batted .313 with 16 homers and 85 RBI. Leading the pitchers was Frank Lary with a 16-15 record and 2.90 ERA.

In 1959, the Tigers started 2-15 and fired Bill Norman on May 2. Jimmy Dykes took over as the new manager, and he helped the team recover to a 76-78 record, 4th in the AL. Rick Ferrell and Bill DeWitt took over the GM spot. Al Kaline batted .327 with 27 homers and 94 RBI, and Don Mossi went 17-9 with a 3.36 ERA.

We finish this post in 1960. Bill DeWitt was now the only owner on the team, and as a result of a trade and travel issues, the Tigers had 3 managers in one year. On August 3rd, the Tigers traded Jimmy Dykes, their manager, to the Cleveland Indians for Joe Gordon! Billy Hitchcock, the third manager the Tigers had that season, was their interim manager for 1 game after the trade of managers happened because Joe Gordon had not yet arrived yet. The 1960s ended on a high note, however, as Ernie Harwell joined the radio booth, and we know how great he became. The Tigers went 71-83, 6th in the AL. Norm Cash was their best hitter with a .286 average, 18 homers, and 63 RBI. And Frank Lary led the pitching with a 15-15 record and 3.51 ERA.

Thanks for reading this History of the Tigers post and I hope you read the next one next Friday!

Pistons Mid-Season Review

Today we are going to be looking at how the Pistons have been performing up to now and how they can improve in the second half of the season. Before we start to review, I would like to remind you that we will be starting the Pistons Week in Review on Saturday, March 3 and adding a new post every Saturday until the end of the season. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here and like my Facebook page here.

First Half Review

The Pistons are 28-29 at the break but are 6-3 since acquiring Blake Griffin. I think the deal they made to get Griffin was worth it and might be the deciding factor as to whether they make the playoffs or not. I think the Pistons can easily be a 6 seed if they keep playing like they have been lately, but they can’t lose games to bad teams. I also think there are a few pieces they could add to make the team more prepared for a playoff push.

Ways to Improve

I think the Pistons should sign a backup center to give Andre Drummond some rest. The only other centers listed on NBA.com’s Pistons roster are Jon Leuer and Eric Morland. They are both listed as forward centers, and Leuer is out for the season. Also, Morland averages just 1.5 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. I’m not saying the Pistons have to trade away key assets to get a backup center, but if they can sign a free agent for a cheap price, or trade away unwanted players or picks (which should only be second rounders), they could make sure Andre gets the rest he needs to play extra games if they make the playoffs.

I also think the Pistons should trade away some of their guards. Once again according to NBA.com’s Pistons roster, the Pistons have 8 guards. I don’t see how they could get all of those players in games consistently, and they could potentially get some good items back for trading away useless players. Obviously, they shouldn’t trade away their best guards like Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith, or Luke Kennard, but they could trade away Dwight Buycks or Reggie Hearn.

This will conclude the Pistons Mid-Season Review, and I hope you will read the Pistons Week in Review when it starts. Also, vote down in the poll whether you think the Pistons are going to make the playoffs or not. Thank you!

The Huge Blake Griffin Trade Analyzed

Monday the Pistons and Clippers made a huge trade that put a lot of people in disbelief. Today we are going to be reviewing it for both teams and previewing the future lineup for both of these teams. To stay updated on future posts, you can like my facebook page here and follow my Twitter here.

Players the Pistons Received

The Pistons received 2 decent players and a superstar in Blake Griffin. One of the 2 other players were Brice Johnson, who averages just 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, but only gets 4.2 minutes a game. The other was Willie Reed, who is more experienced. He averages 12 minutes a game in his career and 5 points a game. Blake Griffin’s stats are very good. Although his career has been filled with injury, in the games he plays, he averages 21.6 points a game, 9.3 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks a game.

Players the Clippers Received

The cost for the Pistons in getting such a huge player was harsh. The Pistons gave up small forward Tobias Harris, shooting guard Avery Bradley, and center Boban Marjanovic. The Clippers will also receive the Pistons first rounder and second rounder in the 2018 draft. Tobias Harris is a player that averages 14 points a game in his career and was having a breakout year averaging 18 this year. Avery Bradley is a defense-first shooting guard that averaged 15 points this year for the Pistons, and 1 steal a game. And Boban Marjanovic is a 7 foot 3 center who doesn’t get much playing time but could be like Yao Ming if he got enough experience.

Who Won the Trade?

I think the Clippers won this trade based on the past stats of the players involved but that the Pistons might win it if Blake Griffin stays healthy and has a good pairing with Andre Drummond. The Clippers got 2 good players and the Pistons only got 1, but the impact of taking 2 starters out of the Pistons lineup could be damaging, or not matter. I think Reggie Bullock will become the starting small forward and Luke Kennard will be the shooting guard. I also think the Pistons should get a veteran shooting guard to help Luke Kennard out because both him and Langston Galloway are fairly young.

AFC Championship Game Preview

After this weekend’s divisional round games, there are just 4 teams remaining in the playoffs. Today I will be previewing and predicting the AFC Championship, and later this week I will preview the NFC Championship. Make sure you like my facebook page here and follow my Twitter here to stay updated.

New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars

The Patriots are the top seed in the AFC, and they beat the Titans 35-14 yesterday to move on. They have the best QB in the league in Tom Brady, but they have almost no running game. They went 13-3 in the regular season, and they lost 2 of those games to playoff teams. They average 276 passing yards and 118 rushing yards per game, and only gave up 365 yards total per game. The question will be whether the Jaguars can force the Patriots to run the football, and they will first have to stop the passing game for this to work.

The Jaguars come into this game as the underdogs, but that’s the same position they were on today vs the Steelers. They won 45-42 in Pittsburgh, but things will only get tougher as they have to face a hostile Boston crowd for the AFC Championship. They have a more balanced offense than the Patriots, with Blake Bortles throwing for 224 yards a game, and Leonard Fornette and the other back rushing for 141 yards a game. Their defense gives up about 285 yards a game, much better than the Patriots. But they haven’t faced an offense like the Patriots yet.

Prediction

I think the Patriots will win and move onto the Super Bowl because of their offense and veterans. The Jaguars are a good team, but their young age may play a part in whether they can compete with a team like the Patriots, which has been winning for years. Tom Brady can pick apart any team he wants, and I cant see a way that the Jaguars defense will stop him. It will be a high scoring game, but I think the Patriots will win by double digits.

The Stephen Piscotty Trade That Isn’t All About Baseball

On Thursday, the Cardinals shipped right fielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland A’s for 2 minor leaguers. The deal wasn’t only made because the Cardinals wanted prospects, but also so Piscotty could play closer to his mom, who was diagnosed with ALS in May. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Piscotty grew up in California and went to Stanford for college. He missed some time last season after his mom was diagnosed. In days leading up to the trade, there had been reports of him being shipped to either the A’s or Giants.

He said, “The thought of playing at home is a dream, and to be close to my mom and family is priceless.”

Piscotty has 38 home runs, 163 RBI’s, and a .262 average. But the trade is not just about how good he is, but about how he will now be able to spend more time with his family.