It’s that time of year where most of us make promises to better ourselves. It usually doesn’t work out.
But with our four professional sports teams there’s plenty of things we’d like them to stop doing. Let’s discuss one big thing each of our clubs should make a resolution about for 2023.
Detroit Pistons – Stop Winning
This is more for this season but I truly believe this is the most important thing for them to do. They’re 1-9 in their last 10 games and have the worst record in the NBA so they’re off to a good start.
I really can’t stress how important it is to get the number one pick in the draft this year. Like I really can’t. I know there are plenty of you out there that don’t care about that and want to see your team win as much as they can.
I’m not arguing with those people on this because they are just wrong. Even if you finish dead last it doesn’t guarantee you get the first pick. I get that. But I’d rather finish last and have a better chance at it than finish fifth worse in the league and have a lesser chance of Victor Wembanyama.
Firing Dwayne Casey would be the second resolution on this list. It’s a popular tweet for Pistons fans today, justifiably so. But having Casey around one more year is not as hurtful as not getting the number one pick.
Detroit Red Wings – Don’t Hide the Kids
I’ll admit this is half resolution and half wishful thinking. The Red Wings were once known as an organization that would let their top prospects gain experience in the minors before getting their feet wet in the NHL. That was back when there was players on the team named Shanahan and Lidstrom.
But the Wings are expected to get Robby Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana back shortly after the New Year. And with that three forwards will have to come out of the line-up. With some either being sent down or put on waivers. Young bucks Elmer Soderblom and Jonatan Berggren can be sent to Grand Rapids without having to go through waivers. Which makes them the “easy” choice to be replaced by the three aforementioned forwards.
But I don’t want to see those two come out of the nightly line-up. Berggren has 12 points in 21 games. He’s been effective on the power play and shown flashes of offensive brilliance. Soderblom hasn’t put up stats like that, but he makes a play every once in a while that catches your attention. You can see the potential, but he needs more seasoning.
Two forwards I would rather see come out of the line-up are Pius Suter and Adam Erne. Both are more reliable veterans that on a night in and night out basis are more consistent than the two youngsters. Taking Erne and Suter out of the line-up would also hurt you more defensively. But at this stage I just don’t care.
If it hurts the team a little bit to get the young guys make experience, I’ll take it. We’re 40 percent through the season and the Red Wings are seven points out of the wild card. Short of some miraculous second half run, I don’t see them making the playoffs. So I’m all for letting the young guys play.
Detroit Tigers – Stop Being Cheap
What else am I supposed to say? Start playing better?
We can’t even say draft better because it takes 12 years to figure out if a prospect is good or not in baseball.
Tigers fans have had a tough time adjusting to new ownership in the last few years. Mike Illitch would do anything to win. Including open up his check book.
His son Chris, not so much. He’s too busy pointing the finger at others for why the Tigers have struggled the last several years. Which is why I can already tell you this resolution won’t happen.
If Chris Illitch is going to get up at the podium, look fans in the face and say that he wasn’t the one who made bad trades, why would he try to fix them?
But Chris needs to do what dad did in order to quickly get this team back in the playoffs. Out of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last year, eight of them were in the top 11 in payroll. Tampa Bay was one of those four and they’ve been doing this for so long we shouldn’t even count them.
The Tigers had the 18th highest payroll last year and that’s largely thanks to Miguel Cabrera’s salary. Which at his current state he is outrageously over paid.
As of right now heading into next season the Tigers have the 17th highest payroll, even though the number is actually less than last year. Free agency isn’t over yet though.
But Tigers fans can’t hope to be one of those few teams that makes the playoffs consistently with a lower payroll.
Detroit Lions – Don’t Draft For the Distant Future
Last year the Lions took Jameson Williams and Josh Paschal with their second and third picks in the draft. We knew both would miss significant time this season due to injuries.
General Manager Brad Holmes can’t do the same thing this year and play long-term with the draft. The Lions are a borderline playoff team as constructed and adding a full season from Williams along with progression from their other rookies could make them a real threat in 2023.
That’s why Holmes needs to draft players that can come in and be impactful right away. I don’t want to draft a guy who is hurt going into the draft. Do not take some project that if everything goes right he’ll be really good three years from now.
Go get guys who from week one can be meaningful contributing players. If they do that and the picks pan out, the Lions might even win the division next year.