Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Authoritative Detroit Tigers Season Preview Vol: 1

While sitting in my Con Law class today I felt a sharp pang in my stomach. My first instinct was "I'm never eating Chicken Shawarma again god dammit," but after a moment I realized this wasnt the side effect of indulging in some Middle Eastern food yesterday but was the need for me to write a season preview for the Detroit Tigers. This guide has nothing to do with sabermetrics, so if you are a robot and your name is Rob Neyer and you want to replace everything that makes baseball fun and interesting with a cold objective analysis of the game, just stop reading right now because this post will not be for you. Seriously though I know nothing about sabermetrics and thats because I loathe math and given the chance I'd punch Euclid of Alexandria in the mouth and smash up his geometric tablets....but I digress. Also there will be times I'm sure when this preview will read like schizophrenic word salad but thats because I'm crazy for baseball (I also suffer other various forms of mental illness). But enough with introductions it's time to present your 2006 Tigers.

Owner: Mike Ilitch. I like Ilitch, sure he may be a crappy baseball team owner, but being a college student I appreciate the way he revolutionized the low end pizza market by introducing the five dollar Hot and Ready pizza. Sure it's the most processed food this side of Smore flavored Pop-Tarts but its affordable and I dont have much's like I found my soul mate. Although I am keeping the old boxes on top of my fridge so when I'm found dead after having a stroke they'll know what caused it. I wish I could see my death certificate just to see: Cause of Death: Little Caesers. Anyways Ilitch has vowed to get more involved because nothing lights a fire under an owner like Death's cold icy hands approaching you (Ilitch will be 77 this July), and he's recently upped payroll and spent money to improve the whole teams infrastrucure, because he doesnt want to be remembered as the worst owner in Tigers history, so I'm going to enjoy this before he becomes senile authorizes signing Todd Jones to a two year deal...........Oh no.

Manager: Jim Leyland. Like I've said before I like Leyland because he looks like a friendly chain smoking janitor. I also like the fact that he filled his staff with early 90's Pirates: Andy Van Slyke, Don Slaught, and Lloyd McLendon. The only exception was pitching coach where the Tigers hired Chuck Hernandez. What the hell Leyland, you're telling me Zane Smith isnt available for that job.....John Smiley....anybody.


Ivan Rodriguez: I think Pudge will have a bounce back season this year after using last season getting adjusted to not being able to use steroids anymore..... Whoops. I think Pudge will try to prove he's not finished, or beginning to go into that precipitous decline that hits catchers around his age, and have a solid season of doing Pudge things, and if Leyland is as good at keeping the clubhouse in check as he's supposed to be I don't think Pudge will be allowed to be the petulant little baby he reportedly was for most of last season, especially after the team traded his completely insane, gun-toting, torturer, best friend Ugie Urbina last year.

Vance Wilson: What the hell is he doing back. I love Vance and his BluBlockers, but doesnt he realize Detroit is where backup catchers go to die? Mitch Meluskey, A.J. Hinch, Matt Walbeck, Mike DiFelice, are all buried underneath the Tigers old bullpen....and thats just in the last 4 years. Congratulation Vance, now could you try to hit better then .197......thanks.

Chris Shelton: I'm intrigued by Shelton and guarantee I'm going to draft him about 5 rounds to early in my fantasy baseball draft Monday night. (Note: Last year I did this with Oliver Perez and....well you know how that turned out.) I still believe that Shelton looks like he should be an overzealous sales rep at Best Buy telling me the XBOX 360 is the most overrated console since 3DO, rather than a professional baseball player, and nothing beats the crowd reaction when they show his face on the 100 foot scoreboard before his first at bat, the gasps from people unprepared for such an event resounds throughout the stadium as though they had just seen The Phanton of the Opera, but all I care about is if he hits .300 with 25 homers and 90 RBI's.

Carlos Pena: I'm not going to spend much time on Pena because he might not be with the team by the time I finish this post. But I will say he has the most Luis Gonzalez "Holy crap I can't believe the Tigers gave up on this guy" potential....and that scares me. However I don't think the Tigers can afford to waste time on him anymore.

Placido Polanco: I like Polanco, but I'll never be able to get over the shape of his head. It appears in my nightmares, and I think I'm the only one who is noticing it's expanding, until one day it cracks open and a little alien falls out, a la
The Head from that old MTV cartoon. Hopefully it doesnt happen this season, because I dont like the idea of Omar Infante playing everyday again. The two best examples I can think of to describe Polanco's head, and I wish I could take credit for thinking these up, are 1: His head is actually a Milk Dud and, 2: He is storing food in his cranium like a hamster.

Carlos Guillen: If he's healthy he's in the second tier of shortstops in all of MLB. However thats a big if. Since he's been in the Big Leagues he's torn his ACL, contracted TB from Jane Austen, broken his hip, suffered leprosy, the Bubonic Plague and battled
Hysterical Pregnancy. Here's hoping to a healthy season and a .315 average 15 homeruns and solid D.

Brandon Inge: I can't believe he is the longest tenured Tiger. He looks 16. I hope he can continue to steadily improve this season, avoid a second half collapse, and become a more consistent defensive player. He makes some spectacular plays and then kicks around some of the most basic, although Im not sure there are basic plays at a position where the ball screams at you at 100 MPH from 90 feet away.

Omar Infante: I'm a little concerned that on the Tigers official website he's listed as the only backup for 2nd base, SS and 3rd base. It just seems like its spread a little thin. Can't they sign Craig Paquette again.... I think he owes us money still after his pathetic tenure in Detroit. Anyways Omar seems like he was hurt from being rushed through the system and comes in a close second to Pena in the "Holy Crap" potential race.

The Meat Hook: The Hook always seems like a good guy, but I think last season started to wear on him. There is a certain shelf life when it comes to playing for the Tigers, usually after about five consecutive seasons, a player realizes "Oh my God, this team will never improve, I wasted my prime on a crappy team in a crappy city thats cold 10 months out of the year.", and they start pouting. It happened to Higginson, it happened to Juan Gonzalez in about 7 minutes, and it even broke Steve Sparks, arguably the most laid back, funniest guy to come through the organization in years. However instead of sulking Dmitri got motivated and dropped his weight down to a Jabba the Hutt-esque 900 pounds and I admire that kind of dedication. Hopefully this will keep him from being slowed by nagging injurues that have haunted him in the past and he'll post a solid season.

Craig Monroe: The Tigers gave him a decent one year deal this off season so he didnt feel the need to steal belts from Target anymore, which is good because God knows we have to fight that temptation everday. He also came back from having a breaking ball snap off about 8 inches
right into his crotch last season against the White Sox. My friend T.J. is inexplicably in love with Monroe, which makes me not want to like him, but I can't resist.

Curtis Granderson: He's the front runner for the center field job over my favorite player Nook Logan, so I'm inclined to not like him emotionally. But my rational side lets me know that he really is the better player of the two and deserves the job. I also think he has 20/20 potential, from center field which the Tigers havent really had since Chester Lemon roamed the outfield at Tiger stadium. However I also remember feeling the same way about
Kimera Bartee.

Magglio: I don't think Magglio will ever live up to his contract, but I hope he can at least give us a few solid seasons, maybe with a couple of 35 HR 100+ RBI seasons, Please (I know it's not happening but I can dream right) before turning into a DH. He battled so many injuries last season that I don't feel comfortable passing judgment on him yet, so I'm just hoping for the best, (how's that for analysis and you said I needed Sabermetrics...Ha).

Nook Logan: He is my favorite current Tiger and it's not even close. Hopefully he can make the team by living on Dmitri's shoulder talking shit, and eating scraps of food out of the Meat Hook's beard, hell he might actually gain weight. I've always had a soft spot for slap hitters who bat about .270 with no power and are disruptive as hell on the basepaths. He also gave me the highlight of last season, even more so then when Dmitri homered three times on opening day, when he robbed 2 homeruns in the same game against Baltimore. I remember watching the game at my house and jumping onto my couch after the second grab, and it's not often a Tigers game will make you do that. So it was devastating for me when I read in
Danny Knobler's excellent Blog (seriously though, how many bodies are in Knoblers crawl space.....5, friends and I have been guessing at this for years) that the Tigers were seriously considering trading the modern day Otis Nixon before the season began. After reading it I wanted to tug on Nook's jersey and go "say it aint so Nook" but security got there first.

Alexis Thames: The battle for the last outfield spot is between Alexis Gomez and Marcus Thames, it really doesnt matter who wins this spot, although I'm rooting for Thames because it seems like the Tigers have been jobbing him the past couple of seasons and I think he deserves a chance, especially to provide a little pop off the bench, which this team is sorely lacking.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another update

I managed to follow up my semi-successful first day of picking, with an abysmal 7-9 record on Friday, so I didnt bother making choices for the second round, mostly because I was rocking back and forth in the shower with a my crumpled up bracket in my hand bleeding the ink from my mistakes down the drain. (Thank You Kansas and Michigan State, nothing like seeing Paul Davis get owned by a bunch of 6'6 guys, to bad he's graduating I'll miss him.......) I know that last sentence made me sound like a whiny bitchass goth kid.....but thats only half right. Anyways, after 96 consecutive hours of watching tournament basketball I didn't have the energy to write anything sports related for at least a couple days, as just the mere thought of sports made me physically ill, along with the tapeworms coarsing through my duodenum.

But now my batteries are recharged and Im ready to go again. The big local sports story was
that Joey Harrington was "vacationing" in Southeast Asia after it was highly recommended by his good friend Gary Glitter (Hey I've watched Dateline, I know what goes on in Bangkok), and he was expected to be released upon his return. The writing was on the wall when the Lions signed Josh McCown, which I was hoping they would do because Ive always been intrigued by him and I think/ hope that he'll flourish in Detroit. I'm going to hold off writing about Harrington until he's actually released because as Ive said before I think Harrington is really Jason Voorhees and I won't believe he's actually gone until he's beheaded. I'm just waiting for the season opener next year where the stadium will be full and then you'll hear, Ha-Ha-Hee-Hee-Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha, and he'll slowly be walking onto the field as everyone screams in terror, before Tommy Jarvis storms the field and takes care of business with a machete. In the meantime The Wayne Fontes Experience (which almost has as many letters in its name as this site, let's face it I am the John Vanbiesbrouck of Detroit area sports blogs) has been doing an excellent job of covering the demise of Joey Harrington.

The bigger story is that the Tigers are less then two weeks away from Opening day, and I am officially getting giddy. Just like Nascar (note I hate Nascar....loathe it, and never watch it) the Tigers biggest game of the Tigers season is the first one, and after that its all downhill until I stop paying attention in about mid September, and devote all of my false hope and energy into believeing this is the Lions year. Nevertheless I'm going to give my second annual Tigers season preview sometime between now and Opening Day.

Finally, because as I mentioned before I've become addicted to Atari, and feel the urge for some Space Invaders right now, I'd recommend checking out the blog TURN UP THE SUN, it's by a fellow Detroiter who has been writing for a while but is new to Blogger. It's mostly about music, sports and other happenings and its good stuff.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tourney Picks Day 2

I've been on spring break for nearly a week now and my schedule is already completely out of whack. It's 3:30 in the morning and it feels like the middle of the afternoon for me. I've become reacquainted with the magnificent World News Now on ABC, which hasnt been the same since Anderson Cooper Juju Chang era ended a couple of years ago, but the show is still excellent late night television (although there are moments I want to crawl through the screen and punch Ron Corning in the nose.) I also dusted off the original Atari for some late night Asteroids ( I was distressed to find that I had lost my copy of Custer's Revenge.......). And now with nothing else to do I'm going to run through my Day 2 picks for the 1st round of the tourney. Yesterday I went 12-4, which is about average, and correctly guesse one of the upsets, UW-Milwaukee over Oklahoma, so we'll see how todays games turn out.

(2) Ohio State over (15) Davidson: Being from Michigan its in my blood to hate Ohio State, I hate Jimmy Jackson, Michael Redd, Scoonie Penn, and I especially hate Lawrence Funderburke........fucker. Regardless of my hatred for the Buckeyes I think they will beat Davidson, which has a kickass logo and hopefully makes Columbus sweat a little bit tomorrow.

(3) Iowa over (14) Northwestern State: I have always had a soft spot for unathletic, goony, white, Big Ten forwards dating back to former Pistons great and 12 time Purdue letterman (seriously he played for the Boilermakers for at least a decade) Brian Cardinal. I think Greg Brunner has proven worthy of carrying on the legacy.........get back in your hole Graham Brown, you upset me.

(9) Bucknell over (8) Arkansas: I know nothing about Bucknell outside of the campus being located in Kansas and their nickname being the Bisons. Did this prevent me from wagering on this game. Of course not.........go Bisons!!!

(9) Wisconsin over (8) Arizona: I have no idea who will win this game as Arizona was inconsistent all season, and Wisconsin can't win a game away from home, so I'm going with my Wisconsin Corollary here, not to be confused with the Roosevelt Corollary, and if another Wisconsin team lets me down this theory will go to the wayside along with my "I think Larry Foster could be a solid NFL receiver." statement.

(7) Georgetown over (10) Northern Iowa: I like Northern Iowa because they have someone who shares my surname: Stout. However Grant Stout alone is not enough for me to pick the Panthers over the Hoyas, although I think this game will be tight.

(11) Southern Illinois over (6) West Virginia: I like the Salukis and how they shut down teams with their stifling defense. I also like Kevin Pittsnogle, but I cant get over the game he had against Pitt earlier this season when he went 0-everything and fouled out, I just get the feeling he'll struggle again tomorrow.

(16) Oral Roberts over (1) Memphis: Ha, I was just seeing if you were still paying attention......or even reading, but seriously I think Memphis will roll in this game and in case you don't know who Oral Roberts is all you need to know is that he's completely insane.

(1) Villanova over (16) Monmouth and (1) UConn over (16) Albany....moving on.

(6) Michigan State over (11) George Mason: George Mason is a university named after the alleged "Father of the Bill of Rights," but everyone knows he just ripped the idea off of Willam Eustis and claimed it as his own. I don't see how Mason has a chance against the oldest cow college in the country which doubles as the alma mater of World's Sexiest Sports Blogger (translation: least troll-like and not morbidly obese): Andrew Stout, unless Tony Skinn suits up and goes on a nut punching rampage. Note: I do hate Paul Davis and his bitch face he bought from Cliff Robinson.

I'm just going to quickly run through the rest:

(12) Kent State over (5) Pitt: I love the MAC.....and apparently hate the Big East

(10) N.C. State over (7) Cal

(4) Kansas over (13) Bradley: I have Kansas in my Final Four, I also have the feeling my bracket is about to get busted by Bradley. Kansas in a close one

(3) North Carolina over (14) Murray State

(2) Texas over (15) Penn

(9) UAB over (8) Kentucky: I can't go against a team with a guy named Squeaky Johnson, also the guy responsible for the Lazy Tuesday abomination found on Deadspin told me to go fuck myself. LEACH! LEACH! LEACH! I just hope Patrick Sparxxx takes it easy on his asshole after tomorrow night.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Day 1 Picks cont.

Now for the late games......

(8) GW v. (9) UNC Wilmington: I like GW in this game. I think this is the most excited Ive been about a GW team since Yinka Dare was in the post and Mike Jarvis was patrolling the sidelines. I also think that GW will be a little bit rowdy about their low seed, considering they were 26-2 and undefeated in their conference play. I also think that GW will be pumped about the return of Pops Mensah Bonsu and will beat the Seahawks on what is will essentially be a home court game for UNC-Wilmington.

Once again I've procrastinated on updating this site so I'm just going to pick the winners of each game

(4) LSU over (13) Iona: Big Baby (not Shaun Rogers) goes crazy on the Gales as Louisiana exacts a little revenge on strong winds.....what's that, Iona is nicknamed the Gaels....what the hell is that? A Gaelic speaking person, you say....hmmm LSU still wins.

(3) Gonzaga over (14) Xavier: Ive always like the name Xavier, it was my French name for one semester in high school, before I became Jean-Jacques, and eventually shortened it to Jacques, but I'm going with Morrison who reminds me of a scuzzier Jack White......if thats possible.

(4) Illinois over (13) Air Force: Personally I dont think air Force is a joke, I kind of like Jeff Bzelick and think he kind of got screwed in Denver, but Illinois is to deep and tourney tested to lose this game.

(11) SDSU over (6) Indiana: Im going with the upset here and taking Steve Fisher (oh how I miss Steve Fisher......) and Olivier St. Jean over Indiana. I watched PTI the other day and I did not find Mike Davis to be a very sympathetic character. In fact I found him to be the total opposite, I thought he was rather whiny and arrogant, so I'm hoping he goes down in flames in the first round Bobby Knight style.

(1) Duke over (16) Southern: Duh....

(5) Syracuse over (12) Texas A&M: I think Syracuse didnt play out of their minds to win the Big East just to lose in the first round, so I think theyll win at least one game before bowing out .

(5) Washington over (1) Utah State: Nevada let me down today as Fazekas-mania will not be overtaking the country, so I'm hoping the whole conference goes down.

NCAA Tourney Picks Day 1

This is a quick rundown of my tourney picks, hours before tipoff, however it pales in comparison to the mammoth and kick ass tourney guide Deadspin has put out over the last two days.

Game 1: (7) Witchita State v. (10) Seton Hall: I like Withchita State in this game, mainly because there nickname is the Shockers. Is it something that you learn about before gym class in 8th grade? Yes. Is it still funny now that I'm in law school? Absolutely. Also I don't like Seton Hall this year for two main reasons 1: They didnt accept me to their law school (I wouldnt have went anyways.......) 2: They were a bubble team that might have taken a bid away from Michigan, who would have totally lit up Witchita State (probably not).

Game 2: (6) Oklahoma v. (11) UW Milwaukee: I smell an upset in this one. Every year it seems like the Wisconsin schools are tough outs for whatever reason, whether its the Badgers, Marquette, UW Milwaukee (watch out for UW Stout next year......) and I don't think this season will be any different. Sure Bruce Pearl and his muckraking self is sweating it up in the mountains but I still think this team will be dangerous. Also Ive never been a big fan of the Big 12 in college hoops and wouldnt be surprised if Oklahoma got bounced early.

Game 3: (4) BC v. (13) Pacific: I dont know much about Pacific (Do they still have the Kandi man?) but I have been to Stockton California and it's boring as hell, at least when your ten it is. Also I think BC went far into the tourney last year (this is the kind of in depth analysis you guys expect on this site I know), so the pick is BC.

Game 4: (3) Florida v. (14) S. Alabama: Billy Donovon teams are famous for having a tough time in the first round, but I don't even know the South Alabama nickname let alone one of their players so I'm going familiarity here and I'm a closet Yannick Noah fan. So I'm going with the Gators.

Game 5: (7) Marquette v. (10) Alabama: As I said earlier the people from Wisconsin do two things 1: Make cheese 2: Ball. Although Im a little distressed that there are not at least three Diener brothers on Marquette this season. Regardless I'm going with the Warriors....errr it Golden Eagles...fuck it ......moving on.

Game 6: (2) Tennessee v. (15) Winthrop: This seems to be a trendy upset pick but personally I don't see it happening. I think it will be close at half time and then Tennessee will begin to pull away as Bruce Pearl gives Gregg Marshall tips on how to get the hell out of Winthrop.

Game 7: (5) Nevada v (12) Montana: Trust me, by this time Monday morning Fazekas-mania will be spreading the country. Ive always liked Nevada after watching them bounce MSU from the tourney a couple a years ago while living in Hooverville-esque conditions in East Lansing (that's not a great Depression photo, its the Cedar Village apartment complex). I am torn though because I also love Larry Kryztrzotrwiak (thats not even close, but you know what its late). I always liked those Buck teams of the early 90's with the plethora of unathletic white guys, namely NBA Jam stud, Brad Lohaus, but I' still picking Nevada.

Game 8: (2) UCLA v. (15) Belmont: A friend of mine has picked Belmont to upset UCLA. The same friend was also high when he filled out his bracket. I'm going with the Bruins.

I'll be back with a preview of the 7:10 games later this afternoon. Here's hoping for another exciting NCAA tourney.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lions Free Agent Signings Vol. I.

The NFL off season began this past weekend with a flurry of free agent signings. Some bad teams made a splash and signed some marquee free agents, such as Drew Brees in New Orleans, Edgerrin James to the Cardinals, and LeCharles Bentley to the Browns, in an effort to show their fan base that they are committed to winning. Others added role players to improve their teams depth or strengthen weaknesses or in the case of the Dophins aqcuire a quarterback in Culpepper that could take them from potential playoff team to a sleeper Super Bowl contender. On the other hand the Lions....err....well they are the Lions and here are a few observations from their first few offseason moves. With Grades!

1. The Lions signed "Baby Herman" from Who Framed Roger Rabbit to compete with Harrington for the starting quaterback job. Actually the Lions signed Jon Kitna, who always bore a striking resemblance to a big fat cigar smoking baby. I don't know what to make of this move. I like Kitna better then the other stinkbags the Lions were bringing in to compete for the job, especially Patrick Ramsey who is a less proven and potentially crappier version of Joey Harrington. On the other hand I was slightly intrigued by Josh McCown, but once I realized Id be subjected to "Tears of McCown" Bermanisms on NFL Primetime next year I'm glad we didnt sign him. I'm also a hell of a lot more relieved that the Lions won't be going into next season with Harrington/King/Orlovsky/Ware on their depth chart. On the other hand this signing isnt making me want rush out to buy season tickets.

Grade: B-

2. Signing Corey Bradford. Let's see the Lions signed a former Packer receiver who runs a 4.3 40, refuses to go over the middle and bobbles/drops a ton of passes. Hmm.....this sounds
awfully familiar....hmmm.....where did I see this before? Oh my god we just signed Bill Schroeder again. At least the Lions won't have to rely on Bradford as much as they did on Schroeder, because among our current receivers, Roy Williams never gets hurt, Charles Rogers doesn't smoke weed all the time and Mike Williams doesnt suck....Nevermind, I'm sure he'll be starting by Week 3.

Grade: C

3. Re-signing Kalimba Edwards. I'm torn about this move. The positives with Kalimba are that he's young (26), fast, and has a kickass first name, he sounds like a character from the Lion King, I wonder if his midle name is Rafiki? Also Marinelli has a history of turning players like Kalimba into big time pass rushers, namely Simeon Rice. The negatives with Kalimba are that he's been injury prone, and he doesnt really have any pass rushing moves, as he seems to rely on his athleticism/quickness alone to get to the quarterback, I always trade him in the first season of my Madden franchise, and if someone gets their hands on him, he instantly becomes a non-factor. It also shows how weak of a free agent class it was this season when Kalimba was one of the top defensive ends available. I guess this also eliminates the rumblings that John Abraham and his .215 blood alcohol level won't be reuniting with Donnie Henderson in Detroit. Reports are that the Lions are going to spend the rest of their money to re-sign their own players, (theyve already done this with Backus and Drummond) because who wouldnt want to try recapture the magic that was the 2005 Lions season. (Fire Millen........Fire Millen.....)

Grade: B

Based on the first round of free agency I'm still down on the Lions. It's actually gotten to the point where I don't know if I'll use them for my franchise when I buy Madden 2007, and thats saying a lot, and sadly for me its the equivalent of breaking up with a long time girlfriend, because honestly I invest as much emotionally in my Madden franchise as I do most of my relationships.........moving on. It's not that I disagree with the moves it's just that I'm not excited by them and I was so disillusioned at the end of last season that I don't have the patience for these incremental improvements, especially with the devision shaping up to be the weakest in the NFL in years....possibly ever. The only way I think my attitude will change is if we draft an exciting defensive player (Michael Huff) this April, or make a run at one of the remaining game changing free agents (Lavar Arrington?).......oh who am I kidding, I know I'll be playing in Super Bowl XLI with Jon Kitna come August. God, I hate the Lions.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Longing for Brian Ellerbe

It appears as though Michigan might have played themselves out of the tournament today, with a loss in the first round of the Big Ten tournament to the Golden Gophers. At least we have a history of tearing up the NIT, so I guess I have that to look forward to. Some quick observations from todays game.

1: I'm down on Tommy Amaker right now, hence the title of this post. I'm sick of his turtle necks, I'm sick of hearing about what a nice guy he is, and I'm tired of these late season collapses t
hat Michigan has suffered the last two seasons. I thought this was Michigan's best chance to get back in the tournament since they stopped paying their players but now it looks like they'll be on the outside looking in.......again. I also realize that this senior class has been hampered by injuries, and suspensions, since that promising sophmore season when they won the NIT, but part of their underachieving can be attributed to questionable coaching, and todays game was no exception. For example when they were down 7 with about two minutes to go in todays game, Amaker had Michigan still playing a zone defense, which allowed Minnesota to dribble nearly 30 seconds off the clock, when time was precious to Michigan. Even Steve Lavin was imploring Michigan to do some kind of trap/press to force a turnover, or a shot, or ANYTHING that might make Minnesotas give up possession, and/or stop the clock, and it's never a good thing when Steve Lavin is outcoaching you from the scorer's table. Later with a little over one minute left and Michigan having cut the lead down to 4, Chris Hunter missed the first of two three pointers he would heave up in the closing minutes. Why didn't Amkaer call a timeout and instruct his charges that they didn't need a three yet and there was still plenty of time left? Oh, because Michigan had already burned up all of their timeouts. So it was a miracle when Lester Abram took the initative to drive to the basket and get a quick two instead of panicking and jacking up an ill advised three. Even though Abrams ended up fouling out after a Minnesota player drew a charge, it was still refreshing to see that at least one guy on the team knew what the hell was going on and it wasnt even our head coach. I'm not saying they should fire Amaker or do anything reactionary if Michigan fails to get into the tourney.....I'm just saying I wouldnt be surprised if he turned into the next Quin Snyder.

2: I hate Courtney Sims. Was anything more predictable then him disappearing in what was arguably Michigan's biggest game of the year, when their NCAA tournmanent hopes were on the line? No, of course not. Can't Michigan pay someone to brainwash Sims into thinking
he's playing Delaware State every night?

3: I love Brent Petway, and I like him even more now that he got the No. 23 shaved into his head. I just noticed this today, and he may have always had it and I was just to blind to see it, but it's great. I hope he get's the chance to have an NBA career similar to Kenny Walker, who inexplicably has his own ridiculous website, I think I was the first visitor ever.

4: Is anything more ridiculous then those Pride of the Program segment ESPN runs during their college basketball coverage. They always pick the most obscure schools, schools I didnt even know existed let alone have Division I college basketball teams. Also I know a lot of these small schools havent had much of a chance to get to an NCAA tournament or do anything of real significance, but some of the entries are pretty pathetic. The other night there was one for
Slippery Rock University, (a school cleverly nicknamed The Rocks) and their Pride of the Program moment was knocking the Boston Terriers out of the conference tournament about five years ago. I just want to know what is needed to qualify as a Division I basketball school, if me and four of my friends got together and called our Gus Macker team Amorphous Blob University, would we be eligable to play in the North Coast Atlantic Conference, or better yet if I rounded up a similar group of temas could I get an automatic NCAA berth? These are the questions I need answers to.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Barry Bonds

The big news coming out of sports today is that Barry Bonds allegedly took steroids, in other news scientists discovered cats and dogs don't like each other. Now, I'm a Barry Bonds apologist, and personally I don't see what the big deal is about this book. It appears to be an encyclopedia of all of the rumors and allegations that we've been discussing (or in other words had forced down our throats by ESPN) for the past 5 years. I love baseball, its arguably my favorite sport, and I would trade a Pistons title for the chance to see the Tigers in the World Series........and I love the Pistons, but personally I'm just tired of hearing about steroids, I just don't care anymore, it was a problem in the past which will hopefully be put to rest by the stricter testing, harsher suspensions, blah, blah, blah. I'm ready to move on but I just can't get away from this, I'm actually more interested in seeing Karim Garcia in uniform again in the WBC then hearing another story about steroids. So having said that I'm going to completely contradict myself and write five observations about the most recent steroid scandal.

1: The thing that bothers me the most, and about the only thing left for Barry Bonds supporters like myself to stand on is the fact that he's never failed a drug test. Even with all of the evidence that
SI came out with today the most glaring omission was there failure to explain how he was masking his steroid use, or whether the steroids he was allegedly using were undetectable. I find it hard to believe that he could be shooting up with steroids on a daily basis, showing up at drug tests with a needle practically hanging out of his ass and still pass EVERY ONE of them. Also I keep hearing talking heads talk about the court of public opinion and how thats all that matters. Wrong, the court of public opinion has hated Barry Bonds for about 10 years or more. He could be totally vindicated tomorrow, break the home run record, and put an end world hunger and 90 percent of the population would still think he was an asshole because he gets short with Pedro Gomez after being asked about steroids for then 5,982nd time.

2. If he did take steroids he wasnt breaking any rules, and thats Major League Baseballs fault and not his. If a great player has the chance to become the greatest player of all time, by taking a sub
stance that baseball had been glacially slow to outlaw, thats his choice. It certainly isnt morally right but neither is cheating on your wife, or being a crack head, or a drunk. When we start looking at athletes to determine our values, which many people seem to do, well maybe its time to start re-evaluating things. Also it's not entirely inconceivable that someone who is a workout fanatic and dedicates his life to being one of the greatest athletes is able to play longer and more effectively then fat ass Babe Ruth who smoked cigars in the dugout, battled syphilis, and lived in a time when people were still dying of Tuberculosis in this country on a large scale.

3. I don't think they should put an asterisk by Barry Bonds name, based on hearsay and suspicion. Should they put an asterisk by Roger Maris' record season because he played a longer.......oh wait they tried that, and immediately realized how stupid and shortsighted that was. Speaking of Babe Ruth should people recognize his homerun total when he played in an era with no Latin or African American players. Can you imagine how many homeruns Adam Dunn would hit this season if he got to tee off on the Jason Johnson's of the world of the world on an almost daily basis.

4. Was anything more satisfying for a Detroiter then watching Jeffri Chadiha calmly and rationally destroy a reactionary Drew Sharp on Jim Rome today. I'm not just saying this because I hate Drew Sharp, which I do since he quit trying to write columns about five years and started to follow Stephen A. Smiths career path of shouting people down and trying to be intimidating over being right, but its always a pleasure to see Drew Sharp get put in his place.

5. Finally I touched on this in the beginning but I hate that this book is being released the week before Opening Day. I hate it beyond words so in protest I will never, ever buy or read this book. I won't let this book, steroids, or Barry Bonds ruin my passion for baseball, because well...thats what I follow the Tigers for.

Monday, March 06, 2006


With my latest paper finished, I no longer have any big obligations for the remainder of the semester other then reading for class, which means that I'll be more prolific in my postings, or I'll just turn into Bill Simmons and post half assed entries about what me and my girlfriend watched on TV last night (Note: in my case girlfriend is a box of Cheez It's that Ive been eating out of for the past 6 weeks, which is about the longest relationship I've ever had with anything.)..........which actually doesnt sound like a bad idea.

Just because I've been busy writing a paper doesnt mean I've been living in a cave, as I still managed to find time to watch the Oscars last night even though I had seen none of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture, because I go to see movies like Land of the Dead in theaters (surprisingly no nominations), although Crash has been in my Netflix queue since August for whatever thats worth. However I still find the Oscars interesting, and last night was no exception. 3 memorable moments.

Keira Knightley cemented her status atop Andy's list of most beautiful women. No.2 right now is Kate Beckinsale and it isnt even close.

2. Tab trying to reinvent itself as a hip drink for young women. What? TAB? The only people I know who drink TAB are old chain smoking women. My friends mom is the only die hard TAB drinker I've ever met, they have a refrigerator in their garage that is constantly packed with TAB. I don't even know where she bought it from, my friends and I used to always joke that she bought a warehouse of it back in the 80's and had cornered the TAB market, because nothing goes better with cigarettes and Wheel of Fortune then TAB. Oh and I'm always a little skeptical of any soda that warns that its cancerous on the can, because apparently making TAB is easier then bottling cigarettes.

3. My personal highlight of the night was Three 6 Mafia winning an Oscar for Best Song. Their winning led to so many questions that needed to be answered. BET shouldve sent a camera crew along to chronicle their night at the Oscars. Were they the lonliest guys back stage, or were they walking around blowing ganj smoke in stuffy old white guys faces? Did they come to the awards show dressed in Burgundy sweatsuits and Phillies hats or had they not had a chance to change since their performance? Was anything funnier then them givi
ng a shoutout to Jamie Foxx about liking his T.V. show, because who doesn't love the Jamie Foxx show? How many rich, white girls did they collectively plow through at after parties? 5? 10? 50? These are the things that are important, I don't care about Best Sound Mixing, or animated short, I need to know these things. Also in an interesting side note Crunchy Black is not the first award winner named Crunchy, as Rex "Crunchy" Harrison won an Oscar for his hard hitting Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

Finally......what is this site about again......hmmm.....Sports? Is that it? Anyways Michigan is trying its best to play its way out of the NCAA tournament, losing at home to Indiana on Saturday because Dion Harris couldt hit water if he fell out of a boat for about the tenth game in a row. Anyways from watching that ESPN troll
Joe Lunardi discuss Bracketology, I get the feeling that everyone is going to talk themselves into letting an insane amount of mid majors in this season, with five coming from the MVC alone. I don't like this because the reality is these teams that are in small conferences just arent as good as......say the 6th best team in the Big Ten, and I'm not just saying that as a Michigan fan (O.K. I probably am). Sure every now and then one of those teams puts together a decent run and makes it to the Elite Eight, like St. Joes a few years ago, but just as likely, if not more is the chance that a team with more losses in a tougher conference and a lower seed ends up in the Final Four. I can't wait until GW which will probably be a 2 or 3 seed get bounced by a team like Wisconsin, and I like underdogs, but I don't like Lunardi busting onto the scene with all this noise about Bradley, and George Mason.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another hiatus.......

The paper that nearly caused me to have a nervous breakdown a couple of weeks ago was only the rough draft of the paper that is due this Monday. Seeing how poorly I handled the last paper, I'm making preparations for another nervous breakdown that will probably occur at about 1A.M. Monday morning. I'll resume posting Monday. In the meantime here is a picture of a baby monkey.