Thursday, October 31, 2013

RE: World Series - Lions - UM/MSU Game

World Series: I wasn't rooting for the Sox, but it doesn't bother me too much either that they won. They're generally pretty likeable, though Victorino really bugs me for some reason, and they deserved it. I also don't know that the Tigers would have been able to pull it off with the bullpen injuries and Cabrera's injury and seeming them lose the series to the Cardinals might have been worse that the loss to the Sox.

Lions: I heard on the radio that when the Lions got the ball at the end of the game they only had a 1% chance of winning, yet I wasn't surprised at all when they managed it. I said earlier in the season to my Dad that there was no outcome to a Lions game that could shock me. They're so talented and so inconsistent that anything is possible.

The Game: On paper MSU should win this one. The offense has improved from utterly pathetic to just very poor and the defense is legitimately good. However, they have a tendency to give up the big play, and Gardner is good at that, but you'd also think there's a good chance he throws a pick six. Whatever the outcome, I'm pretty sure the loser is going to feel like they should have come out on top.


Would anyone else feel a lot better if they knew David Ortiz had passed a drug test in the past week? Besides Colin Cowherd I haven't heard anyone mention this, but it seems worth considering. Sports writers like to point out how foolish "we" all were to take McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds at face value just because it was a great story in the moment. Now a 37-year-old hitter, who has been good, even great, but definitely seemed to be declining, starts performing Ruthian feats and no one is suspicious? I want it all to be true, but I've got this nagging feeling that it might not be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

World Series - Lions - UM/MSU Game

It's gotten a little easier to watch the World Series after the Tigers blew it. But, I'll stick with my personal thought: Watching Boston in the WS is like seeing your ex-girlfriend with the guy you hate the most. By the way, when Boston wins this WS, does it make the Tiger choke job hurt more? Just think, that could have been us winning the title this year!

Lions, what an unbelievable win. The HUGE Show Monday question: Where does Sunday's victory rank in Lions history? That's a great question. Some would say "no where, because it didn't mean anything." And that's just it, the Lions don't play any meaningful games, and if they do, they lose. The only meaningful games they've had are playoff games and Lambeau Field and they lose. So, if you are a franchise that doesn't win many games, let alone a come-from-behind win with 1:02 remaining, no timeouts, and needing a touchdown, then Sunday's win has to be ranked pretty high. And, it DID mean something: the difference between being 5-3 and 4-4. 5-3 is playoff bound. 4-4...forces you to go 5-3 in the second half of the season for a shot at the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

So, the fact they played a meaningful game and won in dramatic fashion has to be one of their all-time greatest wins.

Saturday's game at East Lansing: As a UM fan, I'm nervous. Very nervous. Game is at MSU. Advantage: MSU. MSU has by far the better defense. Advantage: MSU. MSU has gotten better lately. UM has the better overall offense, but MSU appears to have the better running game. Advantage: MSU. MSU is favored by 6.5 points. I'd like to have seen this game played in September and November. It would probably be two different results. All I know is the game will come down to turnovers...and Devin Gardner is a TO machine.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just Get Me to Verlander

Boston definately played last night like it was a Game 7. They do NOT want to see JV in Boston in a Game 7. I'll still take my chances on the road with Scherzer and JV. Detroit, although it would have been spectacular to win game 5, did not have to win that game. They still have two aces up their sleeve.

"Home field advantage" probably means the most in Football and Basketball and arguably not an issue at all in Hockey. I've heard home field equals about a 3 point advantage in the NFL. I am curious what, if any, advantage there is in baseball. There's obviously some type of gain to playing at home.

So, Scherzer, just get us to Verlander!

Other Notes:
Did you know Boston Manager John Farrell last played/pitched for the Detroit Tigers (May 1996)?

This is Manager John Farrell's second stint (3rd year total) as an MLB manager. It's his first year with the Red Sox. Also, the Red Sox finished 2012 in dead last in the AL East (3rd worst record in the AL). Halfway through the season they traded half their team to the Dodgers, which helps explain why the Dodgers did well in the 2nd half of the 2012 season and why they are successful this year. Probably also explains why the Red Sox did so poorly in 2012. Boston, however, has completely turned things around in one year to finish with the best record in the entire MLB (tied with St. Louis).

Here's my point: We've certainly heard the expression "Worst to First." It happens. But how often does it happen with a new manager/coach in ANY of the "Big 4" (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL)? I realize many times when a team finishes in last place, with definately higher expectations than finishing .500, that the manager/coach usually gets fired so the next season the team will have a new manager/coach. But still, how often does THAT happen? Worst to first, with a first year manager, and not only first place, but one win from the Championship Series.

However, John Farrell didn't exactly inherit a bad team, just under-performing/motivated players. They were still good. But, he's also not playing the KC Royals, with NO playoff experience, for a chance at the World Series. He's playing the Detroit Tigers, where 75% of the team has been to the ALCS three years in a row and last years World Series! He's beating experience.

How often do you see a first year coach/manager take a last place team and beat a talented, experienced team to advance to the Championship round? Never. And not this year either!

That's why I'm sticking with the Tigers!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Know How This Movie Ends...

...and it doesn't end well.

I'm pretty sure we've all seen this movie before:

2006 - Great year, great team, and got HOT going into the playoffs. World Series comes and they get embarrassed

2009 - Great year, choke the final 10 days, fail to make playoffs in Game 163 at Minnesota

2011 - Great year, unbelievable team, slammed by Texas in ALCS

2012 - Underachieving year until September 15 when they finally pull ahead to win Division. Get HOTT in the playoffs. World Series comes and they get embarrassed.

2013 - Basically in 1st place all year, yet never pulled away and then nearly gave it away in the final two weeks. (Were in sole possession of 1st place since July 3.) September 15 comes and they forget how to hit. Advance to ALCS and still can't hit.

I know how this movie ends.

By the way, will anyone EVER see playoff pitching like we've seen in the last four Tiger games, let alone the ALCS, again? Verlander...One ER in the last 23 IP and the Tigers are 1-2.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? The Tigers were down 1-2 with game #4 at Detroit in a 5 game series with a hot Oakland. Tigers are down 1-2 with game #4 at Detroit in a 7 game series with a Boston team that can't hit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Anyone have Dave Dombrowski's number? I'd be willing to be fat and strike out on three pitches for much less than what Prince Fielder makes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Bad Luck

I was doing homework last night during the game and would randomly come upstairs to check on the game. I'm 100% sure that every time I checked the game, the Tigers were either always batting or it was a commercial break. I am pretty sure I never saw Scherzer throw one pitch...until the 6th inning I took a homework break and the very first pitch I saw broke up the no-hitter. (I did know he had a no-hitter going, though.) The very next batter broke up the shutout.

I came upstairs in the 5th inning to help put the kids to bed and Cabrera was batting. I thought I'd watch for a second...DINGER! Fielder is up. I think I'll watch for a second...Double off the monster! Wife is now mad, so I come back later, score is 5-0 Tigers!!!

It's now the 8th inning. My wife had been asleep with the girls. I decided I would wake her up to watch the Tigers win game 2 and go up 2-0 in the series. Things got dicey so I waited until 2 outs with the bases loaded during a pitching change. She comes out...GRAND SLAM!

Detroit, MY BAD

About Last Night

Going into the ALCS, I told myself the Tigers have to win 2 out of the first 3 games. If they do that, they'll be fine. JV is dealing tomorrow in Detroit and can still accomplish that goal. But after last night, is that good enough? Now it's just greed. They HAD the game. The only positives are the Tigers get today off, play game 3 in Detroit, JV is pitching, and it's a day game. Those four things should help keep the momentum from swinging to Bean Town. If last night had happened and Detroit had to play the next night back in Boston, they'd be mentally screwed.

Hey Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter...ANY TIME NOW BOYS! Time to start showing up! Please come to Detroit!

Hey Don Kelly: Is it too much to ask you at least put wood on the ball in the 8th or 9th inning?  You've seen the closer two nights in a row and he tops out at 88 mph. Please tell me you can see that! I've made as much contact off the Boston closer (Koji Uehara) as you, zero. The only pine you are holding is the bench.

Speaking of closers, it's time for Benoit to go. Actually, that moment passed a long time ago. Why not walk David Ortiz? The worst thing he can do is hit a grand slam...AND HE DID! Look at their line-up. There's David Ortiz and everyone else is smaller than ME. Just walk him. Make ANYONE ELSE beat you. Or, don't give him ANYTHING he can hit 500 feet! Do the ol' unintentional-intentional walk. I know the bases were loaded, but there are two outs in the 8th. One more out and the runners disappear and then you only need 3 more outs in the 9th, starting from scratch with no runners on base. The game plan should have been this: "If you walk him, THAT'S OKAY." Instead, you gave him one pitch to hit; the one that goes 500 feet.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Who wants to watch football?

I'm glad Fox can get in all the commercials they need during the second game this Sunday, even if it means missing a few unimportant plays like first down.


What's the etiquette for a baseball announcer dealing with a no-hitter? I assume he shouldn't actually say "no-hitter" but can he mention pitcher X has not allowed a hit? Or do you just let the box score do the job for you?

Monday, October 07, 2013

"NFL tried to nix no-huddle"

If even half of this story is true, you have to wonder how often this type of behind-the-scenes activity goes on. Unbelievable.

Friday, October 04, 2013

"I've got a lot of apologies to make..."

I think I owe Brian Hoyer, and Cleveland Browns fans, an apology. You see, my fantasy team is struggling and I needed to do something crazy to keep myself interested so I picked up Hoyer and started him at QB this week, thinking my usual starter, Russell Wilson, might not score many points this week and Hoyer might just come up big again. Plus, if I could win with the former Spartan QB it would pretty much make my season. Within six hours Hoyer's season was over.


"The greatest hitter living..."

The WSJ has a fantastic article today about Miguel Cabrera and hitting in baseball. It has a number of interesting facts and great quotes, but the section below is my favorite:
"The greatest hitter living can't hit bad balls well," [Ted] Williams wrote. "A good hitter can hit a pitch that is over the plate better than a great batter can hit a questionable ball."

Unless the great batter is Cabrera. This season his slugging percentage (total bases divided by at-bats) is a frightening .590 on pitches that pass between him and the inside edge of the plate. That is, inside pitches that shouldn't be swung at, never mind hit.
The downside? You're not going to learn much that will help your players hit better because the big takeaway is that Cabrera is a freak.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Quote of the Day

You feed a lineman a cookie, he's happy, you know?

-USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron on changes he's made after Lane Kiffin was fired


Step aside Jeff Dunham. Move over Melissa Joan Hart. See ya, Conan! I just found out Miguel Cabrera shares my birthday. You are now in 2nd place of most famous people sharing my day...right behind Suri Cruise. Miggy jumped ahead of Eric Robers and Rick Moranis.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Postseason Predictions

There is an interesting article on about what all the "experts" think will happen in the MLB playoffs. One thing that stood out to me (besides the fact it seemed ESPN had polled 1000 "experts") was that MANY of them picked Oakland over Detroit in the first round. However, I also noticed that if anyone picked Detroit to win the AL Pennant, then they also picked them to win the World Series. No one had the Tigers LOSING in the World Series, which is kind of weird since they are 1-8 in their last 9 WS games.

So, I agree with them. I believe, if the Tigers make it back to the WS, they will win it all. I can't see them losing in the Series again.

It's all about pitching, pitching, and pitching. If you have to go through Scherzer, Verlander, and Sanchez...good luck to you. Oh, and some guy named Fister isn't so bad either. But, I don't care who you have, if you go 1-5 against two last place teams to finish the season, scoring 3 runs in the final 3 games...I'm nervous.

They beat Oakland last year when Oakland had home-field advantage, just like this year. I believe they can do it again, just like they eliminated the Yanks in 2011 and 2012. Even if you lose in the WS, you have to be pretty darn good to do that.

I predict the Tigers in 6 games over the Dodgers for the Championship.