Rob Parker: Iglesias out, MSU's March Madness buzz

Published On: Mar 21 2014 07:43:48 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 07:46:43 AM EDT

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

The Tigers were dealt a huge blow with the loss of shortstop Jose Iglesias.

On Thursday, GM Dave Dombrowski announced that Iglesias will miss at least four months and possibly the entire season with stress fractures in both legs.

"(He could) perhaps be back later in the year, but in my thought process that's more unlikely than likely at this point," Dombrowski said to reporters before the Tigers played the Washington Nationals in Viera, Fla.

Some are trying to discount his loss, saying he's just a light-hitting shortstop. But his absence in the everyday lineup will hurt this team. He was supposed to be the glue in the field. Plus, the Tigers don't have a real replacement for him on the roster.

Danny Worth will probably get the nod to be the starting SS on Opening Day and beyond.

In reality, it says a lot that the Tigers aren't willing to make a trade for a starting shortstop or sign Stephen Drew, a free agent.

The Tigers simply won't spend money unless they are forced - when things don't work out.  

It's hard to imagine that it will, especially since Iglesias was supposed to be a perfect catalyst in new manager Brad Ausmus' small ball way of playing for the Tigers.

This, plus the loss of Andy Dirks to an injury as well, has weaken the Tigers. And the loss of Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante should have Tigers fans worried about the postseason. It's not same team as a year ago.

March Madness

Michigan State and Michigan both did what most expected on Thursday - winning its opening round games against much lesser competition.

Granted, it's isn't always a layup as Dayton stunned Ohio State right off the bat of the tourney.

But, MSU beat Delaware comfortably and Michigan knocked off Wofford.

The buzz coming in was all about the Spartans, who were coming off winning the Big Ten tourney. They finished the job beating Wisconsin and Michigan.

Even President Obama got into the act, picking Tom Izzo's squad to win it all.

Sure, the Spartans are healthy now. Still, some aren't sold though.

Plus, Izzo - for all the praise he gets for having a great program - hasn't won a title since 2000.

Michigan, on the other hand, went to the championship last year. This season, they won the Big Ten's regular season. And during the Wolverine's tremendous season, they proved they can beat quality teams, knocking off three Top 10 teams in three straight games.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time a team did it since 1987.

Michigan will go further than State.

NCAA champion: Arizona over Virginia.

Jax Could Be Next Millen

Phil Jackson is back with the New York Knicks as team president for a boatload of money.

If you think the Pistons have hit a dry patch, Jackson's mission is simple: build a team to win an NBA championship for a franchise that hasn't won a title since Jackson left Eighth Ave. in 1973.

Many fans will embrace the idea of Jackson being in charge simply because they are desperate. Plus, Jackson is a big name. New Yorkers love that.

And, Jackson comes with 11 NBA titles in his back pocket. Sadly, all the hardware won't make a difference.

At this point, for all we know, Jackson could wind up being the NBA's Matt Millen, the worst GM in pro sports history.

Millen came to Detroit with four Super Bowl rings as a player. It told everyone that Millen was a winner. For sure, it impressive for the Lions' organization, which has won just one playoff game since 1957.

But Jackson and Millen shared one thing at the time both took over championship-desperate teams.

No experience. None. Zilch. Nada.

Go ahead, pooh-pooh it. Act as if it doesn't matter when taking over a team's front office.

"This is an opportunity, that's what I look at it as, not as a possible failure chance," said Jackson, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal at age 68.

Jackson won't tarnish his legacy one bit - he's won the most championships as coach, a record that's safe.

This gig, however, will prove that Jackson isn't any smarter than the countless others who have tried before him.

It's hard winning a championship from scratch, something Jackson never did.

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