The Detroit Pistons and the NBA took center court, if you will, last night on “The Knee Jerks”, my weekly sports gabfest with Big Al from The Wayne Fontes Experience.

That’s because our guest was A. Sherrod Blakely, who is the Pistons beat writer for MLive.com.

Sherrod gave us his insights on the Pistons and the league, from his vantage point as a training camp observer and beat writer. We covered the gamut, from new acquisitions like Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and draft pick Austin Daye, to returning veterans like Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and oldie but goodie Ben Wallace.

So does Sherrod think this year’s Pistons squad is in the midst of rebuilding, or is his beer mug half full? I guess you’ll have to listen to the show to find out!

After Sherrod’s segment, Al and I dove right into yet another busy slate of talking points.

We started by giving our final thoughts on the Tigers’ epic (?) one-game playoff in Minnesota, and what we would have done differently if we were in the dugout pushing the buttons. Hint: we both agree that a certain left-handed swinging rookie should have been called upon to pinch-hit!

From there, I, once again, had to be “The Voice of Reason” and talk Al down a little bit when it came to the Red Wings and the loss of Johan Franzen.

We wrapped things up by dissecting the Lions’ 28-20 loss to the Steelers on Sunday, and Al went on a mini-rant, panning Daunte Culpepper’s performance.

The piece de resistance, of course, was the show-ending Jerks of the Week!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Next week’s guest: the always colorful Bob Page, retired (in theory) broadcaster of Detroit and New York.

Upcoming guests:

Oct. 19 Bob Page
Oct. 26 Former Lions great Alex Karras (tentative, but we’re guardedly optimistic!)
Nov. 2 Jose Canseco (yes, THE Jose Canseco!!)

Some highlights from last night:

Big Al

On the Tigers’ offense: “Adam Everett is a good player, but he doesn’t hit and the Tigers had four batting slots full of Adam Everetts this season. The Tigers need to find a good blend of offense and defense; no more of this one or the other stuff.”

On Franzen: “Who knows if he’ll be 100 percent when he returns, because this is a torn ACL injury. But I’ll take a 75 percent Johan Franzen over a lot of guys in the league.”

On Culpepper: “He made some mistakes that Matthew Stafford, as a rookie, wouldn’t have made. I think it’s time to sit him down and see what you have in Drew Stanton.”

Eno

On the one-game playoff: “It was like the whole month of September in a microcosm. The Tigers get off to a lead and the Twins peck away at it. In the end, the Tigers couldn’t execute fundamentals and the Twins did, and that was the difference.”

On the Red Wings losing Franzen: “They don’t ever have the mentality of, ‘If one guy goes down, the whole thing collapses,’ like some other teams in town. They just kind of hunker down and say, ‘We have enough talent to overcome this.’ They still have Cleary and Zetterberg and Datsyuk, and others. I’m more concerned about the penalty kill.”

On the Lions-Steelers game: “Isn’t it funny how the good teams like the Steelers, who are defending champions, can dial up three sacks like that when they need it? The Lions wouldn’t have been able to do that against Ben Roethlisberger. But that’s why the Steelers are the champs.”

You can listen to the episode by clicking HERE.

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