Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Drake, Hank, Emma, The Tigers' Outfielders, et al

Various odds and ends:

  • Dave at GC provides the sole dissenting opinion on the Drake signing. More on that in a bit.
  • First though, via Christy at BTJ, a great interview (in Swedish!) with Hank Zetterberg in which he says he wants to be a lifer Red Wing and doesn't care about money. Good news on both fronts. I will say this: no single thing is more important to the Red Wings' near and distant future than locking up Zatta. Even more important than re-signing Lidstrom.
  • The most important thing to come out of the Zetterberg interview (and I think the commenters at A2Y agree) however was the news (to me) that his girlfriend is Emma Andersson. Nice.
  • Darryl Bootland has bolted for Isles. Too bad, since he had about as much chance of making this roster as Valtteri Filppula does not making it. Maybe this is what prompted the Drake signing? Who knows.
  • Tigers: Was anyone as excited as I was that Magglio OrdoƱez got bounced immediately from the Home Run Derby? It would have been cool to see him win I guess. You know what else would be cool? If he didn't fuck up his swing for the second half. That would be really cool.
  • Speaking of outfielders, Curtis Granderson (he's no Anderson) is a minor deity at worst. If you're unsure of why it's such a great play, I'll tell you: it wasn't the mile he ran to get there, or the fact that he had the coordination to make the grab or the presence of mind to hold on. It was the fact that on that play, 99 times out of 100, the outfielder will get up against the wall and jump straight up, or plant a foot against the wall and climb; Curtis simply jumped, from his feet, midstride, over the wall. Watch the video again, and consider whether, at any point in your life, you were or will be capable of such a physical feat, forgetting the part about running, and catching the ball and holding on and doing it all with a huge game on the line. Simply fucking ridiculous. (And as always, the only way to watch these things is with the original commentary by Mario and Rod. ESPN does a disservice to not play the original call.)
  • Okay, now back to Drake. Dave makes some good points, and one of his best is in a comment on Bill's post at A2Y:
    The one difference I’d point out with the Hasek analogy was that Dom was amongst the best netminders in the NHL before he was injured. He’s also a proven playoff performer. Does that really describe Drake? I just don’t think so.
    That's a good point by Dave. Drake has never really been one of the top netminders in the league. Top 15 maybe at his peak. Seriously though, I think the thing about Drake is that, at worst, he's irrelevant. I don't think there's any way that this actually a *bad* signing. Babcock is not one to give a veteran IT over a kid (see: Jason Woolley, Cory Cross, Brad Norton, Andreas Lilja) so Drake won't stifle anyone's development. If he is in GR then he's a great insurance policy; when injuries start piling up (they will at some point) I'd rather have Drake than Josh Langfeld or Matt Hussey. That goes triple in the playoffs. That being said I may jumped the gun by assuming he'd be on the roster. After hearing everyone talk about it a bit more, maybe he will be a GR fixture. In which case, it is a good move, for the Griffins and for the Wings.
  • Here's what Dave said in a comment on my last post:
    The Wings can field a very solid grind line consisting of any combination of Franzen, Kopecky, Draper, Cleary and Maltby. Where exactly does Drake fit in?
    Another good point. My thought was, if you have Drake on the grind line, it frees up Cleary and Franzen to both play in the Top 6 - both guys have offensive potential that would certainly be lost on the grind line. I hadn't thought about Kopecky though and he might be a logical choice to play the wings on that line this upcoming year. So like I said, maybe it is the case that this is simply a depth move and we won't see Drake until the injuries hit.
  • Bill at A2Y doesn't like it when I say "et al". Well, I don't like all his pop culture references that go over my head. So there. Who the hell is Delma Huddle anyway? I was born in 1986, man. Gimme a break.