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Rob Parker: Pitching was wasted in Motown

2016 Cy Youngs prove it
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Posted at 12:47 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 12:48:41-05

In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

Forget that Justin Verlander didn't win the American League Cy Young award. Many, of course, were disappointed.

But if you're a Tigers' fan, it should have made you sick that the AL and National League Cy Young winners this past season were both former Tigers.

In the AL, it was Boston's Rick Porcello who beat out Verlander for the award. In the NL, it was Washington's Max Scherzer.

How can you not think what could have been in Motown if these two right-handers stayed here along with Verlander.

Scherzer and Porello were both here as late as 2014.

When we look back at this era of Tiger baseball, it will be viewed as a missed opportunity to win the franchise's first World Series championship since 1984.

For sure, the Tigers had the arms to a championship.

And just to make it sting a little more. Don't forget that in 2014 the Tigers had the three previous AL Cy Youngs in Verlander (2011), David Price (2012) and Scherzer (2013). The result? The Tigers were swept out of the playoffs by the Baltimore Orioles.

The Tigers had high hopes, indeed. Before you knew it, only Verlander was left.

And while Tigers fans have a real issue with the two BBWAA writers who left Verlander off their ballot all together, it's hard to be down on Porcello winning, though. He was 22-4 with a 3.11 ERA. He led the AL in wins and WHIP (0.99). Porccello was definitely a worthy winner.

Big debut

Flint has the right to be very proud on Saturday.

That's when Olympic boxer Claressa Shields makes her pro debut in Las Vegas. And don't get it twisted. Shields isn't just any Olympic boxer. She is the first boxer - male or female - to win back-to-back gold medals.

In 2016 in Rio, Shields won two gold medals. She also struck gold in 2012 in the London Olympics.
Here, Shields, 21, takes on Franchon Crews who is also making her pro debut as well. The pair with fight in a preliminary match before the Kovalev-Ward fight.

Shields' four-round middleweight fight won't be apart of the pay-per-view event, but instead begins on HBO's "freeview" in the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas at 7 p.m.

"I'm excited," Shields told The Detroit News. "I'm ready to take on this new task of being a professional fighter and ultimately, winning a belt."

Shields enters the fight with an amateur record of 77-1. "I'm a smart fighter, I'm an entertaining fighter," Shields said. "The world is going to see a level of boxing that no woman boxer has ever shown before."

That why so many are thrilled to watch her pro debut.

Lions better win

This should be a layup, an easy one.

The first-place Lions (5-4). Yes, first place in NFC North have a game on Sunday they should win.

But before you get all into the idea of the Lions both winning the division and making the playoffs, there's just one thing: the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Yes, the lowly 2-7 Jaguars come to Ford Field.

But of you know the Lions - who are coming off a bye week - and have watched them closely this season, the easy one never seems to be that easy for this team.

They lost at home to Tennessee earlier this season. Worse, they let the winless Bears, at the time, with a backup QB beat them in Chicago.

If the Lions are serious about making a run to the playoffs, this is the game they have to win. It's pretty simple.

The Lions have seven games remaining and the backend of the schedule is tough - even though only three of those teams has a winning record.

That's why the Lions know they have to stay focused and not look past an opponent like Jacksonville.

"If you look at the big picture, it can become overwhelming," Lions QB Matthew Stafford said to the media at Allen Park. "You just have to go in there and go week to week.

"That's what I tell the young guys. Don't look ahead at anything, just take it day by day, play by play and go out there and get better."