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first best-on-best tournament in a long time -- he wa

in BMI-Ranking 29.03.2019 06:08
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This story is part of ESPN The Magazines Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!Detroit TigersOverall: 49 Title track:?T45 Ownership: 28 Coaching:?T106 Players: 53 Fan relations: 44 Affordability: 45 Stadium experience: 32 Bang for the buck: 59 Change from last year: -3Were now 11 seasons into what we would argue is the greatest period of sustained excellence in Tigers history, a period that includes five trips to the postseason, two appearances in the World Series and just two losing seasons. Only five franchises in baseball have won more games than the Tigers since 2006. But is their window closing?Whats goodComerica Park is gorgeous, and its attendance hasnt slipped below 2.4 million in a season since 2006, so its no surprise that one of the Tigers best rankings comes in stadium experience (32nd overall). This is still a team with star power on the field -- Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton -- and that constellation is complemented by a group of younger players who could be the stars of the next generation, from J.D. Martinez to Nick Castellanos to Michael Fulmer. Meanwhile, off the field, the Tigers have a powerful combination of committed ownership (fans appreciate that 87-year-old Mike Ilitch is still passionately pushing his team to win and ranked him 28th in ownership), rabid fan base and sizable market, which gives them a strong financial advantage in a division in which none of their competitors can match them.Whats badFans are clearly unsure about the job manager Brad Ausmus is doing; he ranked just 106th in coaching after a second straight year missing the playoffs. His roster for next year is uncertain: For the first time in the free-agent era, the Tigers ended this season with a higher payroll than the Yankees, and many competitors believe this team doesnt have the revenue to sustain a $200 million roster. Dont rule out a massive deal, especially when you start counting how much money is tied up in the Tigers aging core. In a sport thats trending younger every year, bringing back all the stars could be a formula for the same sort of implosion that brought down the mini-dynasty of the Phillies just a few years ago.Whats newDetroit climbed 15 spots in fan relations in 2016, thanks in part to kid-friendly events (kids run the bases every Sunday!) and promotions (Coloring books! Growth charts! A piggy bank!). Thats especially fitting because the Tigers future is largely in the hands of their young pitchers: Michael Fulmer is 23, the likely rookie of the year and a future ace. Daniel Norris is a 23-year-old left-hander with a bright future. Matt Boyd is 25, with a dazzling feel for pitching. When we say its been a long, long, long, long time since any Tigers team has had three young starters such as that, we arent kidding. You have to go back more than a half-century, to 1965, to find the most recent Tigers team before the 2016 edition that had three starting pitchers, age 25 or younger, who made at least 10 starts apiece and all had winning records.Next: Arizona Diamondbacks?| Full rankings Cheap NFL Jerseys . The winner Saturday will remain in the elite 10-team field next year. "We talked about wanting to be disciplined and stick with our game plan and good things will come," Draisaitl said, who had two goals for the victors. Cheap Jerseys . Vettel was 0.168 seconds faster than Red Bull teammate Mark Webber around the Suzuka circuit. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was two tenths of a second off Vettel. "The car balance is decent, but I think we can still improve," Vettel said. http://www.cheapjerseysbychina.com/ . -- Ty Montgomery had 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Stanford held on to beat No. Cheap Wholesale Jerseys . Collaros, 25, was solid last season, posting a 5-2 record as the starter while incumbent Ricky Ray was injured. Collaros also started Torontos 23-20 regular-season finale loss to Montreal — Ray didnt dress because the Argos had already clinched first in the East Division — but was one of three quarterbacks to play that day. Cheap Jerseys China . -- Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, ran for another score, and led No. OTTAWA -- Is there such a thing as a soft underbelly on the back-to-back defending Olympic champions?You wouldnt think so when on Monday, the first day of World Cup of Hockey training camp for Team Canada, the fourth line had Claude Giroux between Matt Duchene and Joe Thornton.Thats right, fourth line.But Im here to tell you that losing defenseman Duncan Keith (right knee rehab) was a huge blow, no matter how skilled this team is. And not only because his stand-alone talent speaks for itself, but also because his absence puts more pressure on a Canadian left side on defense that isnt as deep as the rest of this otherworldly squad.Pretty nice luxury to lose a player like Keith and be able to replace him with a player with [Jay] Bouwmeesters international experience and ability, a Western Conference coach requesting anonymity said via text message. That said, they may miss Keiths offense; his puck movement from the left side of the ice and his ability to get up ice. I think Canada is going to face some teams who are really going to approach their games with a strong defensive approach and their D will be huge in countering that. Losing him on the power play may also force the coaching staff to be a little more creative, depending on what they were planning with setups and left/right shot combinations.And, frankly, thats putting it mildly. Next to Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Carey Price, Keith was on a list of about four or five players Team Canada would have considered irreplaceable, again in large part because of that left-right concern.Thats no disrespect to Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was outstanding at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has continued to elevate his game ever since, but the reality is that Jake Muzzin is a newcomer to this stage and the respected Bouwmeester has some miles on him. As such, the drop-off from Keith is real. Whereas if Canada had lost Norris Trophy winner Drew Doughty or veteran stud Shea Weber on the right side, there would have been replacement options such as P.K. Subban, Kris Letang or Brent Seabrook, such is Canadas ridiculous high-end depth on the right side.Which begs the question some Canadian hockey fans have had in the aftermath of Letang, Seabrook and Subban not making this team: Why does the left-right thing matter so much?Its just a simple thing, began Team Canada coach Mike Babcock on Monday before going on to answer the question in a complicated way.To quickly sum up the Canadian head coachs detailed, Xs-and-Os answer, the left-right balance matters to him greatly in the areas of puck possession and transition.It does make a huge difference, Doughty said Monday, echoing his coach. Most teams in the league will do the lefty-righty combo. Its really important to have.Except Team Canada might not get it completely in this tournament. There was Alex Pietrangelo on Monday, skating on the left side of fellow righty Brent Burns on what appears to be the third pairing.No big deal, insisted Pietrangelo.Its a bit of an adjustment, but when you have the quality of players we have, its not really an issue, shrugged the newly named St. Louis Blues captain. Pietrangelo said he played three or four games last season for the Blues on the left side.It was different, but it worked out, he said. I look at it this way: If I can be versatile and play on both sides, its like a switch-hitter in baseball, right? If you can play both sides, it should just benefit you.Babcock spoke with Pietrangelo a few weeks ago to see if hed be willing to try it. No sweat, said Pietrangelo.What it means is that Canada could open the tournamment with four righties in the top six, which is not ideal.dddddddddddd. But the coaching staff might think thats what makes the most of the talent at hand. Keiths injury has had other repercussions: Vlasic played well with Doughty in Sochi but now finds himself at the start of camp replacing Keith and thus pairing with Weber, while Muzzin logically gets paired with his Kings pal, Doughty.Still, if Keith were here, I believe Muzzin would have been the seventh defenseman. Now hes in a top-four role -- just more domino effect from Keith being out.And while Pietrangelo downplayed his switch to the left side, its clearly a big adjustment for others.For me, if I have to go play on the left side -- not that Im bad at it -- but its definitely not as comfortable, said Doughty. And defensively, its different with your stick positioning on one-on-one, or even just exiting your zone or taking a D-to-D pass; youre looking at your partner rather than up ice right away. So its hard to play on your off side, but once you get used to it, its like anything else; once you keep practicing it and playing it, it gets easier. But if you basically havent played it in years and get thrown on the left side, its going to be a challenge.Added Weber: It seems like a simple thing [switching to the left side], but everythings different. Your body is accustomed to turning predominantly one way for the most part on the one side of the ice. It can be done -- guys are good players and can adjust -- but it does take a little bit of time to get used to it.In fact, Weber played on the left side when Seth Jones entered the league with the Nashville Predators.I would catch myself just drifting over to the right all the time because it was just an automatic, subconscious thing, said Weber. Theres an adjustment, for sure.If Pietrangelo can comfortably handle it, thats going to go a long way toward Team Canada having the kind of top-six blue-line machine that propelled the squad to an unreal defensive performance in Sochi.Still, Keith is a special player, as he showed in winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015.Hes one of the best, man, Team Canada goaltender Corey Crawford, Keiths Chicago Blackhawks teammate, said Monday. He can make plays all over the ice. He just makes everyone better around him. Obviously, Canada wants a guy like that to be here. But it is what it is.Veteran head coach Ken Hitchcock, missing out on his first best-on-best tournament in a long time -- he was a part of the Canadian staff from 2002 in Salt Lake City through Sochi -- had a first-row seat to observe Keiths impact at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games.Duncan was never afraid of the stage, Hitchcock said this weekend. Bigger the game, better he played; he could play in all situations.Yes, Team Canada was able to overcome the injury loss of Steven Stamkos before the 2014 Olympics and of John Tavares during the tournament. But again, top-shelf forward depth is rarely an issue for Team Canada.Keiths injury could be more impactful.If Canada wins again, it will be a testimony to a great coaching staff and a defense corps that adjusts swimmingly.If the host team loses? Canadian fans will want to know why Subban or Letang wasnt on the team.The great thing about being in Canada, you can second-guess all the players, and theres always someone who got left off, said Babcock. What I find is, if you win, when you win, they dont ask you any questions. If you dont win, they ask lots of questions. ' ' '

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