Joe Nathan’s antics overshadow Tigers win, Red Wings ink Ken Holland to new deal and a new High School Conference
Joe Nathan and the Fans
The Tigers actually won last night. Not only that, but they got a very good quality 8-4 win over Pittsburgh. They actually scored runs, added on late and the bull pen pitched four scoreless innings. It also ended a four game losing streak. Great game right? Well, something else is overshadowing the win today. That would be one Joe Nathan. Everyone’s favorite closer was greeted by boos last night. Those boos got even louder when, in Joe Nathan fashion, he walked the first two batters. He came back to get a fly out and a double play to end the game, but then the controversy starts. Following the final out Nathan turned sent a derogatory signal to the crowd.
As if one time wasn’t enough he was sure to do it twice for everyone to see. Nathan did come back out and apologize today, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he did it in the first place.
I really don’t get Joe Nathan. It’s as if he doesn’t realize he’s pitching bad. But then again, his attitude has been here all season. This is the same guy who blamed Castellanos, a rookie in his first month in the majors, early in the season when he missed a groundball. This is the same guy who has an excuse every time he pitches bad. This is the same guy who gives up walks, base hits and bombs and acts like they just were hitting good pitches. Now he has the audacity to blame the crowd when they decide to show their displeasure for his acts? Look, this is not the fault of the fans. May I remind Nathan, all those fans weren’t with you in game two at Toronto when you blew a save on Saturday. That was all Nathan there. Yeah, I know no one likes getting booed, but you haven’t exactly given the fans a reason not to boo. All they wanted more than anything last night was a win, and they don’t get too happy when you walk the first two guys. But I’m sorry. I forgot that was ok to do.
Nathan needs to stop acting like he’s some god out there and just go pitch. He seems oblivious to the fact that he’s having the worst year of his career and he shoulders plenty of the blame for a World Series favorite now being in second place in a bad division. It appears there are a certain portion of these players that don’t realize what’s actually going on here. They get upset when people ask them why they are pitching bad. Perhaps he doesn’t look at his stats. Well we do. What do they show? A 5.11 ERA (which is actually down from the 6.50 about a month ago), with a 1.57 WHIP, and perhaps worst of all, six blown saves. That blown saves category ties him for worst in the league and is the worst among all guys currently closing games for their teams. So acting like a god on the mound? How about he realize that he is lucky to still have a job in the ninth inning.
Ken Holland’s new deal
Ken Holland has a new contact. The Red Wings announced today that they have inked him to a new four year deal. It will continue the tenure of the long time Red Wings boss. He’s been the Detroit GM for the last 17 years. Under his watch the Red Wings have more wins in the regular season and post season than any other franchise in that time and have won three Stanley Cups in that time. There was some question of whether he would be allowed to continue his time in Detroit. This upcoming year was the final year on both his and Mike Babcock’s deals and Red Wings teams have underperformed and barely reached the playoffs the last few years. Still, the Illich family looked past that and feel confident with him being the boss going forward.
Holland has come under fire in the last few years. There are some valid concerns with him as well. They have been far from the dominant team we saw in the early 2000s and 90s. A lot of this can be traced back to one big thing. The salary cap. Ever since the NHL added it, Holland seemingly has lost his magic touch. Before that he was thought to be one of the best GMs in the game, but perhaps that was all because of the money he had to spend. He isn’t getting big free agents and he isn’t making big trades any more. This last offseason was all of that and more. Holland tried to sign but was turned down by numerous free agents. Now instead of getting the big time players this team is hanging onto players that are long past being good and block the path of promising young guys. The one thing he is doing is building through young guys, but I’m not sure how that is supposed to work if you don’t do anything with them. Either use them or trade them. Letting them sit in Grand Rapids is doing nothing good. He has a nice new deal but it’s time to show he can actually do something again.
High School conferences look settled
The final shoe has dropped in the future of area high school athletic conferences. Recently it was announced that six of the eight KVA schools would be leaving to join the SAC conference. It left Parchment and Comstock without a conference and they have been looking for a new one ever since then. Well, they have found that conference and they will be joining the new Berrien-Cass-St. Joe (BCS) conference. This is a newly formed conference that will have 15 teams beginning play in the 2015-2016 school year. This appears to settle all of the area conference realignment which has been heavy. Beginning this year the SMAC conference lost the majority of their eastern conference teams and have remade their divisions without Marshall, Harper Creek, Coldwater and Sturgis. Comstock was already leaving the Wolverine for the KVA and was replaced by Sturgis.
This is far from an ideal situation for Comstock and Parchment but they had to do something and this was as good as they can do. They will be with schools similar in size but the travel will not be easy. If I may, it’s going to be similar to what Olivet was in the KVA. These two will be very much outliers to the rest of the conference. Parchment and Comstock will develop a nice rivalry if for no other reason that they are the only two schools close to each other. In terms of competition level I don’t think it will be terrible by any means. Both schools will be on the larger end and will feast on some of the lesser competition, but the schools that are similar to their size (Buchanan and Berrien Springs) will offer very good competition. Like I said, it’s not ideal, but it’s the best option for them and in the long run I think it will benefit both programs to be there.
On Tap for Tonight:
Tigers vs. Pittsburgh.