Tasters Choice Moments

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

For the past 5 years of my life, my appreciation for what my father has done for me and my family has grown an enormous amount. At 23, I have matured to a level that allows me to be aware of the gratitude that is due. Aside from being the absolute best father I could ask for, one of the greatest appreciations I have for my dad is that he introduced me to the sport I love and know so well: baseball. He would talk to me about it before and after school and even coached me perfectly, mentally and physically, as I was coming into my own as a pitcher during my teenage years. He was the ideal coach and role model, instilling in me a real passion for the game that I could also parallel to real life situations. If it weren't for my dad's enthusiasm about sports in general, I probably wouldn't be as true or loyal of a fan as I am today. I MOS DEF wouldn't keep a blog about Detroit sports and if I had a blog at all it would probably be more like a gournal, keeping everyone posted on my current moods by displaying different types of smileys. Lame, right? Anyway, I really wanted to write this post because of the night I just spent with my father at Comerica Park watching the Tigers beat the Cardinals in the 9th inning. Tonight was so special to me not because of the walk off win, but because I was able to spend a night at a Tigers game one-on-one with my father for the first time in my life, watching the sport he raised me to love, know, and play for the last 18 years. This post may cause tears so I hope you have your kleenex handy. It also might be a good idea to have a telephone near because you are probably going to want to call your daddy after reading this....

The idea to invite my dad to a Tigers game dawned on me the other day when I realized that this is probably going to be the last full summer I will ever spend in Detroit. The past couple weeks have been full of me lamenting about Detroit sports and how I can't wait to see how my loyalty will hold up in the next 25-100 years. With that very sad realization, I've become more eager than before to attend every single Tigers game I possibly can for the rest of the summer. (I typically do this anyway, as I have probably attended more than 10 home games a summer for the past 5 years I have been home. Last year I was home for only 2 weeks during the season and I still attended 8 games; 2 of which were on the road). I digress... The more I think about my love for Detroit sports and how I wish I could stay, the more I think about how my father helped shape it. The more I think about that, the more I wanted to go to a game with him. I understood that this was probably not going to be the last chance I would get to attend a baseball game with my father, but it may very well be the only chance I get to go with him by myself, as a maturing kid phasing into adulthood with him still-and always- being my wise old man. So I asked him to go to the game while we were at work the other day. He seemed more than happy to go, so I went ahead and got two seats behind the Tigers bullpen. The date was set: June 25th, 2008 Tigers vs. Cardinals regular season game. Just me and my dad.

The day with my dad started just as special as it finished. We arrived at the stadium about 30 minutes before game time and shared a moment looking for the brick that his summer baseball team donated to him. Afterward, we meandered to our seats in left field. Along the way, my dad and I stopped at every statue/display of old Tiger teams and I listened as he told me old war stories about each and every player. For example, Ron LeFlore was a Tiger in the 1970s. He was an inmate at the Michigan State prison before being recruited to play for the Tigers. His speed and strength earned him an opportunity for parole and a chance to play baseball with the Tigers. He would later become an All-Star. My dad told me the story in much more detail though. My dad is an encyclopedia for real. We then bought a pizza and went to our seats. We watched the first 5 innings in the rain behind the Tigers bullpen. The game was really exciting as the Tigers traded runs with the Cardinals every other inning . In the bottom of the 5th the game was delayed for 2 hours and 25 minutes. However, my dad and I never ever thought about leaving. In fact, the only comment my dad made was "this delay will weed out the true fans." I loved that. It was exactly what I was thinking. Out of 40, 091 fans that were at the game to start it, only a quarter of them remained after the delay. I was so proud to be a part of that with my dad, the man who made me such a true fan.

Throughout the entire rain delay I day dreamed about moving up some 5-10 rows to RIGHT behind the bullpen and asking Zumaya or Todd Jones for a ball so I could give it to my dad. I was really happy to be at the game with him so I thought it would special if I got him a ball from one of his favorite current Tigers. During the delay we walked around the stadium though; probably 2 or 3 times, chatting and sharing some laughs at the expense of the people taking too much advantage of the beer sales that would not stop as long as the game was stuck in the 5th inning. As soon as the game was scheduled to resume for 11:05 pm, we strolled down the stairs of the nearest aisle to some seats along the 3B line. We sat about 6 rows from the field. An inning and a half later a 2-2 pitch to Granderson was popped up down the left field line right in front of us. The ball bounced on the field in foul territory and up into the seats right in front of us. As if my day dream before had come true, the ball landed 2 seats right in front of me, there for the taking if I was aggressive enough. If you didn't see me on Fox Sports Detroit (because I was on there), I reached down and out scavenged a big black man, man with a glove, and a 7 year old boy for the ball. As soon as I picked it up I immediately turned to my dad and handed it to him. He tried to give it back, saying it was mine but I said "no no dad. This one is for you." I could tell he was really happy about it because he rubbed it with his hands for the next ten minutes before tucking it deep into his pants pockets.

The time with my dad was special also because it was an amazing game. The Tigers traded runs with the Cardinals the entire game, we saw Zumaya's return to Detroit, and we saw a walk off hit in the 9th (a hit that my dad geniously predicted before the inning started). After the walk off hit, which occurred just 6 hours before my dad would have to go to work again, my father and I exchanged high fives and smiles as we started to walk to the car. My dad said "this was all well worth waiting out the rain delay." I was happy the Tigers won the game for sure, but not nearly as happy as I was to be there with my dad. I might have gotten him a foul ball off the bat of Curtis Granderson, but my dad has given me so much more. I want the baseball I gave him to serve as a symbol for what the game has represented in my life. Baseball symbolizes the love, hard work, passion, and loyalty I try to possess in my life... all instrumental aspects of life that my father has gracioiusly passed down to me throughout my upbringing.

I want to end by defending my dad for buying me that mike's hard lemonade. He didn't know there was alcohol in it, Chip!

UNITY

Here's to you, Mr. Umpire

Posted by Chip Stevenson


I was just reminded of this story as I observed Marcus Thames' ejection from the game tonight against the Cardinals.  He came up with one out and men on second and third base, fell down in the count with no balls and two strikes, worked the count full, then got called out on strikes on a pitch that was half a foot outside.  Marcus immediately ran towards the umpire, got in his face, said some choice words and was swiftly kicked out.  Anyways, it got me thinking that the umpire had to know that he made a bad call but there was no way in hell he was going to admit it to anyone.  I would assume that most umpires would act this way after making an egregious call like that one.  That is, except for one.....


.... I was probably 13 years old, playing a stellar 2b for the legendary 13 and under Birmingham Barons.  I led the team in home runs that year with two and both of them were inside the parkers (one was a shot over the center fielder's head that just kept rolling and one, get this, was a ground ball down the right field line that got past the first baseman and rolled all the way to the fence.  I will never see something like that again in my life).  ANYWAYS, I was at third base, probably after hitting an impressive triple or something, and one of my teammates came up to hit.  He hit a shallow fly ball that was borderline deep enough to score me from third.  I went back to tag, left right when the ball fell into the fielder's glove and I raced for home expecting a close play.  The on deck hitter started waving for me to slide so I decided to try one of those "slide to the right of home and reach back with your hand" slides.  Everything worked perfectly- the ball beat me to the plate by a split second, the catcher reached for the tag right as I was sliding by him and I slipped my hand in there right before I felt the tag on my chest.  Still, the umpire called me out in the heat of the moment as he was probably swayed by the fact that the ball beat me to the plate and he had never seen a 13 year old make that impressive of a slide into home in his life.

So, to make a long story short, I got up and immediately yelped with my Eshelman-esque, onset of puberty voice, "I WAS SAFE!" and that was that.  The half inning ended and as I was running out to my position in the field, the umpire called me over.  I thought I was going to get a lecture about how I shouldn't show up the umpire like that, but instead, he admitted to me that he missed the call.  He told me that I was actually safe, he was sorry for blowing it, and he asked me for my autograph so he could sell it on ebay when I made The Show.

That is the first and only time in my life that I have seen an official in any sport admit a bad call.  While I wish he would have made the right call because it obviously would have catapulted me into Major League prospect territory (ever seen The Butterfly Effect?), I still appreciate the honesty.  I'm sick and tired of seeing umpires being as aggressive as the players or managers who are arguing with them.  I've seen too many umpires initiate too much yelling, and I think that baseball would be better off if more umpires acted like my main man instead of like Stone Cold Steve Austin about to drop the stunner on anyone who gets too close.  And to that, I salute you Mr. Umpire wherever you are and whichever garbage truck you are driving now... Pacman is drinking a Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade (his favorite) in your honor tonight at the Tags game. 

Freestylish

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Shaquille O'Neal is at it again. Upon realizing he is washed up and may not have the strength in his big toes to ever rule the NBA world again he figured he better get used to making headlines in other ways or else find himself living vicariously through younger stars like Bill Russell does with Kevin Garnett. Shaq thinks he's still BIG though and he must know exactly what the media world loves: A Shaq/Kobe feud rekindling. Sunday night Shaq freestyle rapped at a NYC club and made Kobe Bryant the butt of it. Shaq continuously dissed Kobe, asking him how his ass tasted (gross probably), claimed Kobe was a tattle and the reason the O'Neal's were going to get a divorce, and also rapped that Kobe couldn't do without him. See for yourself:



This is probably the worst freestyle ever. No wonder his CDs have sold less copies than a Scarlett Johansson album.

Anyway, this video leak has made me think about times when athletes or people are caught on tv and do something stupid or use language that they should not probably be using.

For example, Kevin Garnett, who has made a real DERP out of himself lately is caught here saying "fucking faggots" right before a TNT commercial break. Smooth and classy move, KG.


This next video is from the same exact playoff series between the Celtics and Cavs. It happens after a hard foul by Paul Pierce on Lebron James. As their momentum carries them into the crowd, a woman tries to get in the middle of the scrum. While Lebron and Pierce are trying to get back on the court you can see that Lebron tells the woman to "sit yo ass down." Well, that woman is his MOTHER. I would also like to point out that KG pulls another classy move by trying to reach around Mrs. James and touch her left boob. He is inappropriately being very touchy with her. Also take a look at the Celtics' players reactions after they hear Lebron tell his mother to sit her ass down. They are pretty appalled. I love you mom.


The next video I have isn't really that embarassing or stupid. It's actually funny. First of all, the woman reporter for Detroit's NBC is clearly a bitchy slut. I think she sucks at interviewing and probably has had more of her fair share of sucking. But here she demands Lebda to get interviewed and he rightfully so disrespects her about 25 seconds in to hold up the cup. Right around the 37 second mark he drops a "F" bomb. This example is clearly one of the more classier ones.


The next couple of videos come again from the Red Wings finals series vs. the Penguins. I believe these are pre-game commentary by Bernie Smilovitz and Mickey Redmond in Pittsburgh and a Penguin fan decides he wants to make himself look like a jackass on television. This is also a prime example of Mickey Redmond acting like he's been there before. He handles the situation brilliantly.


The only funny thing about this douchestick interrupting Mickey is that he comes back for more.

I know there are tons of videos of athletes or people making themselves look like anal creams on national television so if you have any links to ones you want to throw at us here then please feel free to leave them in a comment. If you get a chance try searching for Rasheed's "get that f***ing camera out of my face" from this past playoffs (he has a ton I'm sure though), and the video of Manny Ramirez picking his nose on FOX.

Another good video would be of Kenny Rogers (tonight's starter for the Tigers) tossing a Texas camera man around like a football. PS- The Tigers are 4-0 when I am in attendance and I'll be there the next two nights. Look for me on television, I'll be the guy asking Chip how my ass tastes.

UNITY

Kevin Garnett- A Fraud

Posted by Chip Stevenson

When the Celtics won the NBA championship, many people put aside their hatred of the Celtics to be happy for Kevin Garnett. Everyone seemingly respected the passion that he displays in nearly every single game, and they thought that he deserved the championship ring because all he ever cares about is winning. Well, this story might change everyone's mind about what Garnett REALLY cares about. It comes from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. I'll post the relevant parts from the story but you can read the whole thing here.

"Did you catch Kevin Garnett's over-the-top emotional postgame interview with Michele Tafoya after the Celtics clinched the title last week?

Tafoya asked him to reveal his emotions and Garnett paused, put his hands on his head, looked up to the heavens and said, 'Anything's possible.' Then he practically bawled it out, 'Anything's possible.'

I about threw up, but I didn't get fully disgusted until I read a comment by CNBC reporter Darren Rovell. He pointed out that Garnett had been involved with the adidas' "Impossible is nothing" campaign for several years.

Instead of a spontaneous response, Garnett was filming a commercial. And, perhaps as some poetic justice, he flubbed his line."

So the guy who is supposed to only care about winning basketball games uses his very first national interview after winning the championship to try to cash in on some advertising dollars... Sheesh. All this time I thought Kevin Garnett was a relic, a blast from the past, one of the last few professional athletes who truly cared about the bottom line- winning. Unfortunately, he has been led astray by the almighty dollar just like almost everyone else.

Here's the video of the post game interview. The adidas ad comes in at about 1 minute and 30 seconds.

-C. Stevenson

Grow Up and Act Like You've Been There Before

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

It looks like Bugs Bunny is puking all over him. "Ehh..Sorry about that, Doc."

I was going to let the Celtics win their 17th championship and have their parade in peace. I did not want to say anything more about their winning of the championship because frankly, I am bitter about it. I've hated Paul Pierce more than anything since he and Antoine Walker beat us in the playoffs in 2002 and that hate grew like a raging Hulk after this year's defeat. Obviously, anything I say can, and probably will, be construed as pure bitterness. I don't care because it was a really boring playoff series and Chip's friend pooped his pants. Take this for what it's worth but I have to speak out on a few issues that have come to my attention about the....(cringe) Boston Celtics.

For appetizers, I've learned that the Celtics were less than classy during the final quarter of their blow out victory over the Lakers. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one because it's not clear how a team about to win the championship should act when absolutely destroying a team. I'm actually more disappointed in the Lakers getting blown out because a championship game should not be a blow out. (Although this series was pretty much summed up by this game. The excitement level of this series was about as high as an extra point in football). Either way, you can't ask the Celtics to tone it down obviously because they are about to win what they have been working, or buying, for all season. Then again when you are up more than 30 points, a 3 pointer by Ray Allen should not be reason for the scrubs to be jumping up and down on the sideline. Save the celebration for the closing minute and after the game. If you look back at the Pistons in 2004, the bench was certainly into the game, but were definitely not jumping up and down, or slapping the towel against the floor after every basket like Eddie House loves to do so much. Grow up.

The main purpose of this post is to send a message to Paul Pierce and the Celtics: Act like you've been there before. In the history of the NBA, there have been over 60 championship seasons, the Celtics have won 17 (cringe), and I have been alive for 23. In my 23 years of existence, I have never EVER seen an NBA champion pour the gatorade jug on his coach. I can think of 3 legitimate reasons for this: 1) the coaches wear very expensive Barney's type suits. 2) it makes the floors all sticky and creates more work for the janitors who already have to clean up confetti, sweat, pop corn, and peanut shells around the arena. 3) It's not an NBA tradition! I have never seen this happen in the NBA before. I know Paul Pierce has never ACTUALLY been there before, but that's no excuse to link 'NBA championshp' with 'gatorade shower for the coach.' Correct me if I'm wrong. The only excuse for doing this is if Pierce wanted to start something different, a new tradition, but I would never in a million light years think he is that smart and creative. Perhaps because the NBA playoffs have been refereed like a bunch of football games that Pierce grew confused as to what kind of championship he was about to win. Other than that, all I can say is act like you've been there 16 times before.

Keeping with the theme of the post I will give a short list of other instances in which I think people should act like they've been there before with a few "He acts like he's been there before" examples mixed in there:

- The people who get to the front of the line at fast food restaurants and take forever with their order because they aren't quite sure what they want yet. Most fast food chains have been around for decades. People usually have an idea what the restaurant has to offer. When you get to the front of line (and especially if you were waiting in a long line) know what you want to order. Act like you've been there before.

- A guy that defintely acts like he's been there before and plans to be there a lot more times is Bengals' WR Chad Johnson. I think he serves as a great role model for young receivers who botch their celebrations and don't act like they've been there before. Chad is known and loved mainly for his creativity with his end zone celebrations. It makes the game more enjoyable and definitely gets fans (even if they are not Bengals fans) to root for him to score. I think this is a great example of Chad acting like he's been there before. He creates his celebration before it ever happens and knows exactly what he will do when he gets there again. He acts like he's been there before.

- I've heard the phrase "act like you've been there" the most probably after a baseball player hits a home run. A lot of times, a player might pimp the home run or pump fist all the way around the bases with a shit eating grin on his face. Unless it's a close game and the homer is a walk off or a game changing one, this type of behavior is considered bush. As a result a guy like me might yell 'act like you've been there before' and then probably hit the next hitter square in the back leading to a brawl where I will steal the bat of the hitter and crush his skull. That's neither here nor there though. I don't care if it's your first career home run: act like you've been there before. Another thing... for the teams that greet a normal, mid game home run hitter at home plate: act like it's NOT a walk off home run, and act like you've seen one before. High five him at the top of the dugout and act like you've been there before.

-Good example of a guy acting like he's been there before: Chip Stevenson birdied hole #9 of the Beech Woods golf course yesterday. After making his birdie putt, he gave a short, mild fist pump because he birdied; and of course because he realized he beat me, a very very very good golfer. When I made my first birdie 13 years ago, I was jumping up and down and talking about it all day. Chip acted like he's been there before even though he's never EVER made a birdie putt before in his life. I think he had his first par yesterday too. He acted so cool and collective that I would have never guessed it. Kudos to Chip.

Speaking of Chip I would love to congratulate him (through the blog) on him attending Ohio State Law School this coming fall. Ohio State has extraordinary graduate programs and I know Chip is going to do very well there at the law school. Ohio State and I have never liked eachother, but we have agreed to be on good terms while Chip attends there for 3 years. Congrats Chip and remember...there has always been a dot above the letter 'i.' Ohio State did not create that tradition. Go Blue but most importantly, go You.

I would like to leave you with a video of some Massholes celebrating the Celtics championship on the streets of Boston. Although this is quite entertaining and I am impressed that they found three do not enter signs near the same area I still have to say: act like you've been there before....


UNITY

Six in the City then San Francisco? Coincidence?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

I think not. Will you please trust me that this entire piece comes full circle like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm? Bear grylls with me here...

If there were ever any questions about my sexuality, I think this past long weekend would almost certainly raise the most. Besides the 2nd grade ballet lessons and the occasional man genital grazing my mouth, this past weekends antics were by far my naughtiest in terms of crookedness AKA gayness. Yes I did some good things during the week. For instance, I went to two straight Tiger victories at the COPA and followed that up by listening to the sweep of the ChiSox, against my mommy's wishes, on the radio while I was at work. Well my balls really receded quickly after that.

Thursday night, I was in a really good mood from the Tigers sweep, so I was taken advantage of and lured by my girlfriend into seeing the "Sex and the City" movie with her. I didn't give in that easy though. I was able to salvage a free dinner, a free movie ticket and free candy to go along with it as long as I just sat in the theater with her and not walk out ten minutes in. I thought I'd be able to handle it but when I walked into the theater I found myself trapped in the middle of the girls on "The View" and felt like I was getting mugged by hundreds of hormonal chicks at a PMS convention. I was scared and very uncomfortable; especially when one lady walked by me and said, "Ohhhhh there's a guy in here hahahaha." Then the movie started and I really wanted to Owen Wilson myself. Nevertheless, I sat through the entire movie jeopardizing every ounce of straightness and sanity I had in my body. After the movie, I felt so guilty. Before, I cursed any guy that ever saw this movie. I was a hypocrite. I had to speak to someone. So I confessed my sins to Dupree and Chip. Chip responded by telling me that I would be 10% gay for a month. I thought he was right.

Things were not going to get better for my rep though. The next day I travelled with my girlfriend for a romantic getaway to Chicago. Well, I wound up shopping for 5 hours and buying more stuff for myself than I ever have in my life. I sheepishly admit that I was giddy about the 8 floors at Macys and I fully admit that I'm probably 30% more gay for coming out of H&M with a stupid ass smile while carrying hundreds of dollars worth of man clothes. I did however try and remain cool like those guys in the ESPN commercials by continuously checking my phone for Tigers updates. I would learn later in the evening that the Tigers beat the Dodgers in game 1 of that 3 game set. I was not interviewed though. I was instead doused with the champagne of guilty behavior.

Saturday, my birthday, was no different for me in terms of totally ruining my knowledge of my sexuality. As I drove from Chicago to Milwaukee to see my sister, I ate tons of chocolate and other junk foods because I was depressed in Chicago traffic for two hours. It was my birthday and I was sitting in a traffic jam instead of opening birthday presents. I am now 23 but at this point I was acting like a 13 year old girl whose birthday party just got rained on. Any other man would have cussed "Fuck the police" and rode the curb at 90 mph out of the traffic jam. Instead, I patiently wait it out, and for what? To blow out only 22 of my 23 candles on my cute birthday cake??? Meanwhile, the Tigers win their 5th in a row that day.

That night I searched for a good movie or show to watch on tv. Looking back at it, I should have never paused at "The Notebook" and thought seriously about watching it. I was already trying to recover from seeing that other stupid girl movie on Thursday night. Unfortunately, I allowed my niece to take over the controller (un-manly move there itself) and painfully watched as she flipped to a Hannah Montana episode. I cried for 30 minutes straight because I had terrible thoughts while watching it: "She's just being Miley; and she's kind of funny."

The next day, on Father's Day, the Tigers won their 6th straight game in the city of Detroit, the ULTIMATE man's city on the ultimate man's day. Six straight wins in the manly city. This is where it comes full circle folks. Following the game, the Tigers travelled to San Francisco, a city that is known for its high population of homosexuals, to play the Giants. Get it now? We won six in the city of Detroit- a streak that began right before and ended right after I made my manhood mistake of seeing SEX in the City. See what I did with the words there? Anyway, the Tigers lost the first game of the series in the Gay...err Bay, ending the curse of my own homosexual activities. I am not 10% gay for a month. I was gay until the Giants of the gay city themselves ended the curse. Make sense? It's complete and utter science.

Now that my curse is over, the Tigers got back to winning again by beating the Giants tonight, 5-1. And I'm proud to say that I am back manlier than ever! Today I did over a thousand crunches, slapped my girlfriend after I told her to make me dinner, and walked around all day without tying my shoe laces. So manly now, right?

Moral of this post: Be comfortable with who you are, never accept candy from a stranger without first receiving oral sex, and skipping with your best friend is totally cool.

Anyway, if all that symbolism and metaphorical blahhh went way over your head that just means you're a midget and midgets are weird. They smell like cabbage. Regardless, the Tigers remain 6.5 games back, Fernando Rodney remains overrated, and at this rate Marcus Thames will hit over 100 home runs this season. Also check this out.. read the last paragraph from this 2007 post I wrote regarding Marcus Thames....he's good.

Finally, I would just like to congratulate Chip's friend from Boston on....shitting his pants. Seriously though, I forgot that the NBA finals were on tonight. That's how CAPTIVATING this "classic" series was. I give the NBA a D+ for this one.
All bow to Michael Curry.

UNITY


Triumphant Return and Ramblings

Posted by Chip Stevenson

You don't have to tell me.  You can keep it to yourself.  It's ok, seriously... I KNOW you have missed me terribly.  Indeed, I have been MIA for a little while in order to do some soul searching.  You see, my friends and I entered a softball tournament a couple weekends back.  We had thought long and hard about which division we should join and finally decided on joining the lower league as a sort of "warm up" for the rest of the Summer that we thought would be filled with web gems, giant taters, rehearsed home run trots and winning.  Well, things didn't exactly fall into place, and the results catapulted me into a downward spiral from which I am just now recovering...

After losing both games to guys who had entered, enjoyed, and left their athletic prime before I was even conceived, I needed to take a little break from sports to gather my thoughts, reevaluate my existence, and maybe change the direction of my life.  

I have triumphantly emerged from my desperate state refreshed and ready to rock the socks of this freaking blog.  I just showered for the first time in months (yes, the softball tournament that started this whole state of depression was only like a week ago... sue me), shaved for the first time in my life (Mr. Bowbeer would be proud), and I finally took off my jock strap that Black and Brew knows I so proudly wore during the softball tournament.  So here goes nothing, a post of random thoughts and ramblings about the last couple weeks in sports...

-The Tags just had their 6 game winning streak snapped by the Giants as Fernando Rodney blew it in his first game this season.  Rodney threw his first two pitches of the season for strikes in a pressure situation, and he walked around the mound with that nasty swagger that basically the whole team has adopted during the last week.  Great to see.......... and then he gave up a game breaking home run and it looked like his confidence was shattered.  He has worked hard to get back to The Show only to blow the first game he appeared in and I really hope that he comes back strong next time out.  While I always thought he was a little overrated, he can be a key component of the bullpen if he keeps his head on straight after that outing.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that his distinctive swagger comes back for the rest of the season.

- I joined a gym for the Summer, and I thought that it would involve a little cardio work, some lifting, maybe some basketball every now and then.  What I did not expect and what I have experienced wayyyyy too often so far is seeing naked old men in the locker room.  Look, I understand that we are supposed to be comfortable in our bodies and all of that but why do we feel that when we shower in a public place it's ok to take off our towel to show the world what we are really made of and hold said towel in our hands while we walk across the locker room?  Is it really that much of an inconvenience to just keep the towel on until we reach our locker or something?  Sheesh, Dupree is having visions of these naked men whenever he closes his eyes and I think it's time for this practice to come to an end. 

- Tragically, it looks like the Celtics are going to win the NBA championship.  I hate Boston sports more than anything, and I usually can't stand the idea of Boston sports fans being happy.  But I have to admit that I'm not that upset about the Celtics winning... It's not because I respect Kevin Garnett or that I think Paul Pierce deserves a ring.  OOOOH  no.  It's because the only friend that I have that is a fan of Boston sports recently pooped his pants.  Go ahead and read that line again.  Let it soak in.  He is a 20 something year old male who normally has control over his bowels, but they got the best of him a few weeks ago.  So whenever my blood starts to boil about Boston fans being happy, all I have to think about is the Bostonian adult who couldn't make it to the toilet in time.  I'm smiling as I write this.  Serenity now.

- I watched the US Open this past weekend and as we all know, Tiger Woods is absolutely incredible.  I read a story about him on Joe Posnanski's blog (www.joeposnanski.com) that I'd like to pass along to all of you.  You can go over there and read it because he is an unbelievable writer or you can take my little summary for what it's worth-  Tiger was giving a tour of this apparently famous golf course to a few lucky American Express card holders or something.  They reach a stunningly tough bunker on one of the holes, and one of the card holders asks Tiger if he would mind hitting a shot out of the trap to show them all how it's done.  Tiger politely declined.  The conversation moved along, but before they left the hole, someone asked if he would at least stand in the trap with his sand wedge or whatever for a photo opportunity.  Again, Tiger declined... well, at least he declined bringing a club into the trap.  Apparently, he never tried to hit a shot out of that bunker in his practice rounds either.  When asked why he wouldn't bring a club in there, Tiger replied something to the effect of, "Because I have absolutely no intention of being in that bunker. Ever."  Bad ass.

GO JUMBOS

Sweep'em Up Tigers... Sweep'em Up

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in

Gas prices are as high as Mark Buerhle on a Friday night. People are going to start whipping out their Schwinns to get to work and refuse pumping gas altogether. Honestly, it's a real pain like Carlos Guillen's hemroids. However, the gasoline that continues to get pumped daily into the Tigers tanks are the words of Jason Grilli from last month that still serve as fuel for the fire that has appeared to be just a flickering candle of late. With summer just a little over a week away, the Tigers are certainly terrified that their fall and winter will start before summer ever comes. This would be true if they did not sweep this home White Sox series. Well today, thanks to another stellar pitching performance and a Miguel Cabrera walk off home run, the Tigers in fact completed the 3 game sweep of the division leading White Sox and have started selling the above baseball card to fans across the universe for 2 pennies (price according to Becket magazines). Coming into the series 11 games back, the Tigers were in a virgin's desperate need to pick up some games to get back in the central division race. By playing the best baseball they have played all year, they were able to do just that and complete the sweep. Obviously, the sweep was amazing, but the Tigers are still 8 games back and have a lot of yard work to do. They are turning it around slowly but surely, winning 5 of their last 6 games against quality teams and have consistently been picking up big hits which has never happened up to this point really. Nonetheless, unless they are within 6 games of 1st place by the All-Star break, I don't think a 2008 Tigers playoff spot is in store. I hope they can stay hot and win 5 out of 6 for the rest of the season though.

I would like to end by mentioning how much I LOVE jinx jobs by tv/radio broadcasters...I have received only about 11 'jobs' of some sort in my lifetime, but have probably experienced a billion jinx jobs. One day I will compile it all into an award winning book but today I'll just mention the day's two best and most important jinx jobs:

1) In the top of the 9th inning with a runner on first base, Mario, the king of the jinx, mentioned that Paul Konerko has hit into 6 double plays this year. After Konerko fouls a pitch off he continues to work his magic by mentioning that he had grounded into a double play earlier that game too. Right as he finishes the jinx job, Konerko grounds into a HUGE double play that clears the bases for Todd Jones to get the final out in the 9th and take a 1-1 tie into the home half.


2) In the bottom of the 9th inning, radio broadcasters, Dan Dickerson and Jim Price, were introducing Octavio Dotel as the new White Sox pitcher. They did the normal height/weight/favorite porn magazine statistical read off, but followed it up with adding in that he had only given up 1 HR all season thus far. They were not afraid to really emphasize that stat-stating that he should probably be in the hall of fame probably. Next pitch, Magglio hits a for sure home run- but the wind holds it back. The jinxing Gods were pretty pissed at mother nature for this so they made sure that Miguel Cabrera would hit an opposite field, away from the wind, walk off home run in the next at bat. Thanks.


Now I know you are sooo eager to know, "How or why were you watching the game on television and listening to it on the radio too?" My answer to that is simple. I was driving in the car when the 9th inning happened. When I got back to the office, I simply rewatched the entire 9th inning on MLB.tv archives. Ernie Harwell would be very proud of my dedication and hard work to being a Tigers fan.


Please leave me some of your favorite tv/radio broadcasters' jinx jobs. It always happens. Joe Buck and Mario probably have 384,485,134 between the two of them. Leave your thoughts.


UNITY

What Will Joe Do?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Piston fans have been sporting their W.W.J.D. bracelets all around town for the past week trying to predict who Joe Dumars would appoint as the new Pistons head coach. Today, that question has been answered as he named former Piston, former NBA Players' Association President, and father of one of my high school classmates, as the man in charge for the 2008-2009 season-Michael Curry. If you looked Curry up in the dictionary you would get the following definitions: 1) a pungent dish of vegetables, onions, meat or fish, etc., flavored with various spices or curry powder, and often eaten with rice 2) a roleplayer who averaged 4½ points, 1.6 rebounds and 20 minutes a game in his career, but was able to stay in the league as a journey-man because of his leadership and tough defensive skills. Joe Dumars is very fond of Curry and feels he is the man to take the Pistons over the Eastern Conference Finals hump that has gotten in the way the past three seasons.


However, if I would have to guess, 90% of Pistons fans probably dislike this move and will be questioning Joe's motivations for making it for the entire off season. Personally, I really like this move. Curry has proven to have a tremendous work ethic that has obviously gained the respect of the players in the NBA or else he would not have been named President of the players' association in the past. Curry brings a defensive minded approach to a team that has seemed to have lost that defensive fire they had in 2004 when they won the title. Not only do the fans question the move, but I'm sure analysts and critics throughout the NBA will too; and will probably count the Pistons out as being favorites in the East. Everyone thinks that Curry's lack of experience and close relationships with the players will be a problem. However, this move could simply put the Pistons back in the underdog role that they embraced so much during the 2004 season. We all know how that worked out for them. Lastly, I like this deal because who else would we have hired? Terry Porter is just as inexperienced and is almost as close to them personally probably. There are not many coaches in the NBA that are SURE THINGS, actually there is probably only one or two (Phil Jackson or Papovich), so why not take a chance with a hard working, proven leader? I'm looking forward to seeing Michael Curry prove the critics and fans wrong.

In addition to the coaching move, there have been a number of rumors circulating the past few days about the moves the Pistons might make in terms of player personnel. News from Miami says that the Pistons are thinking about trading Chauncey Billups to Miami for the #2 pick overall, which would most likely be Beasley. Another rumor is that the Pistons are interested in righting their draft pick in 2003 by trading for Carmelo Anthony. Joe Dumars is the first to admit that he was wrong in drafting Darko. He said he thought the height on paper and his name meant he would pan out to be a real good black basketball player. Unfortunately, he was very white, unathletic, and too much of a chain smoker to run up an down the court. I strongly dislike the Chauncey rumors although having Beasley, Rip, Carmelo, and Stuckey on the floor at the same time sounds awfully lethal and would be for the next decade. Finally, Gilbert Arenas opted out of his contract in Washington so he is also a player that I'm sure will be mentioned as a possibility in coming to Detroit. I'm not sure if any of these rumors will prove true during the off-season, but I can guaransheed that atleast one of the core players will be gone before next season starts, if not two. My guesses would be Tayshaun and Sheed, but then again I'm not Steven A. Smith- although, quite frankly, everything I say IS important.

If you would, please leave your thoughts on the Michael Curry hiring and your prospective trades/deals Joey D may make this off-season. Although the head coaching question has been answered, fans will continue to wear their W.W.J.D bracelets.









I'll leave you with a video from Dave Matthews Band concert live at Folsom Field. I had the privilege of seeing him in concert last night at DTE Energy Theater (DTE, please restore my power in my house. As much as I loved the concert, you think you could take some of the energy you're using for all the electricity at the concert to restore my power at my house before Friday. Thanks). Anyway, he was absolutely amazing. Thanks to Chip's father, I was 3 rows from the stage, soaking wet, not from the rain because we were covered, but because Dave was sweating all over me. Enjoy....




UNITY

It's A Lot Like the Song "Hit Me Baby One More Time"

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Have you heard of it? In the song a young, beautiful girl delivers a real knock out punch to the ever so popular, and growing, pop world. After that the song took off to number one on the charts and she has since been the main focus of all paparazzi and plays an integral role in the themes of certain South Park episodes. Well more importantly, the effect of my favorite song ever is exactly parallel to what James Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays are doing to the Boston Red Sox world. Like Spears was with her first single in respect to the pop charts, the Rays are a hot, young team trying to climb the AL EAST. This analogy is very appropriate and serves its purpose perfectly, so I don't want to hear any guff about it. Let's just hope the Rays can contain themselves once they do get to the top and don't shave their heads and start trading their kids (farm system) in for partying and bipolar induced shenanigans.

A little analysis regarding the photo above. It looks like Coco Crisp the cereal was photo shopped in to a picture of James Shields pitching. Shields has perfect balance and great arm motion as he throws that punch which also emulates very solid pitching mechanics. Crips looks like he is dodging a pitch that is high and inside. This fight was pretty cool because benches were obviously cleared and punches were thrown and landed. Suspensions were handed out a couple days after the brawl and the most surprising suspension of all was Sean Casey, Detroit's better mayor. He received 3 games. I was shocked when I saw this at the bottom of my ESPN ticker and immediately wondered how he could have been suspended considering he is probably the nicest guy in baseball. MLB cited Casey as suspended "for fighting," but I refuse to believe he threw punches or tried to hurt anyone. My only guess to the matter is that Casey was way too nice in trying to break up the fight. A 3 game suspension, the least for any of the players involved and that were suspended, is Selig's way of saying, "Grow a pair and throw some punches. You are way too nice."

I saw the movie You Dont Mess with Zohan the other night and it was pretty funny. The randomness of it made it pretty gooooood. Anyway, I had found this video before I saw the movie and considering she played an instrumental role in the film (and that I talked about pop music earlier in the post) I thought it was even more relevant to include in this post. I beg her cleavage's pardon for making fun of this pitch and saying that she might have a Cannon for a boyfriend but she definitely doesn't have a Cannon for an arm.




Lastly, I found a video of the Penguins' Malkin playing hockey in the playoffs. It's too bad his goal at the very end was way too late for the Penguins. I hope to see the Stanley Cup out on the town and party with the Wings like they have been doing with a ton (2) of other people I know....


UNITY

"Chuck Norris, We Did It!" DETROIT RED WINGS 2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in

For the 4th time in 11 seasons, and 11th time in franchise history, the best team in the NHL all season long, the Detroit Red Wings, clinched the Stanley Cup Championship tonight. I think its entirely fitting for this blog that the winning goal was diarearah'ed into the net by Fleury as he sat on the puck. Not the most glorious of goals but definitely one to remember forever.

I just want to send out my congratulations to the Wings along with a personal celebratory YAY! to go along with the chocolate sundae I cockily ordered with 3 minutes left in the 3rd period (I did not learn my lesson from game 5). I am really enjoying this Stanley Cup victory because I think I'm old enough to appreciate it and there aren't any real distractions in the way. In 1997, it was amazing, but obviously the celebration was cut short a week or so after when Konstantinov was involved in the life changing car accident on Woodward. 1998 was special because Konstantinov was there in his wheel chair; and of course it was a repeat title, but still depressing that he was in that accident in the first place. It was definitely emotional, but more of a celebration of him still having his life than it being a Stanley Cup celebration. In 2002, I was probably old enough to appreciate it, but that weekend they won it my grandma passed away and I absolutely destroyed a deer (and my jeep) while driving on the highway. Since 2002, I have been away from home for almost 4 years which has definitely allowed my loyalty and passion for Detroit and its sports to grow immensely. I followed the NHL even closer than ever this year because of how good the Wings were supposed to be despite not having my favorite athlete ever, Steve Yzerman, on the team as their Captain. I really feel like I can fully enjoy the title this year in a different light and in its entirety. Pray to God it can be. Either way, let's be happy that the Stanley Cup is back in Detroit. Unfortunately, cheesy congratulations, massive erections, and Gramatica-like celebrations will not be the only focus of this post tonight though. I would really like to take a step back and tell everyone to shut up about Sidney Crosby and the upcoming NBA finals. First, about the NBA....When I went to espn.com tonight after the Wings game, it takes me to a friggin advertisement of GAME 1 of the NBA FINALS. GAME 1!! The Red Wings just won the CHAMPIONSHIP! Why in the Gary, Indiana is that advertisement there, trying to steal the thunder from the Red Wings?? Game 1 of the NBA FINALS should be an after thought after a major sporting team just won a CHAMPIONSHIP. Especially since this STANLEY CUP FINALS SERIES has revived the NHL. Speaking of the NHL, let's get over this whole- "Sid the Kid is the face of the NHL" ploy. This series was amazing and it wasn't because of Sidney Crosby. That's for sure. Let me elaborate here and point out how ridiculous the obsession with Crosby has gotten. Don Cherry and Barry Melrose start off their analysis after DETROIT WINS THE CHAMPIONSHIP (!!!) by saying, "Ohh Pittsburgh did a pretty good job....uhhh I think Crosby was hurt when he was hit in the corner there." Are you kidding me with that jacket and analysis Don??? You and Sid need to grow up here. I will forgive you though because you did end by predicting the Wings to repeat next year. But seriously, ESPN and sports world, let's put all this side crap where it belongs...on the side for tonight.


Minus all the bullshit hype for the pre-planned NBA finals and absurd over-focus on the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby, tonight is an amazing night in sports, the NHL, and especially DETROIT. DETROIT RED WINGS. 2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS. Holla. I'll see you and Kid Rock at the parade on Friday. Once again, YES hockeytown. Insert Zumaya fist pump here. (PS- He hit 100 mph twice today, apparently. Too bad the Tigers might very well be out of contention by the time he gets back...okay let's not ruin tonight by talking about the Tigers. I'm going to go dismantle my toilet, pretend its the Stanley Cup, drink out of it, and speak one of the gibberish languages like I'm on the Red Wings. "YA YA Very great. It's great" Celebration time.

PS- Kris Draper was called Chuck Norris by Smilovitz on NBC during the celebration and sure enough Drapes said what is posted in the title of this post. Not only that, but according to Chip, Draper forced his 10 year old kids to drink alcohol from the Cup. Good parenting, good quote, good stuff and good night.


UNITY

Follow Up....

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

I want to follow up on my post from last night about the Detroit Red Wings game and talk about how everyone in Detroit should be convicted of their guilt. Game 5 was absolutely amazing- everyone at the Joe, at the bar, and at home watching this game was on pins and needles as the Wings dominated all three Otis Thorpes until Hudler's 4 minute double minor. Unfortunately the Penguins took advantage of their 3rd power play in the extra sessions and have sent the series to a game 6 in Pittsburgh. This wasn't supposed to happen though. Everyone and their cats and gerbils thought the Wings were going to be hoisting the Cup last night-not only before the game started but definitely with a minute to play. Even the Cup caretaker was primping it to go out onto the ice. Everyone in Detroit was celebrating a Stanley Cup championship when we were only up 3-1 in the series. Everyone is guilty. I'm definitely guilty of this. After the game Mike Babcock put the loss into Shakespearian words: "We were too focused on outcome and not the process." Now the Wings will go into Pittsburgh with a 3-2 series lead without any assurance of a Stanley Cup win. Perhaps this will be good for the Wings because everywhere they go in Pittsburgh, people will not be already patting them on the back for their Stanley Cup victory before it happened. Instead, they will be booed, flipped off, and most likely mooned by guys who don't like to wipe. I hope this means they will be able to focus better and actually come back with the Cup.

I chose a picture of Patrick Roy bleeding because I love to see him hurting. Hockey's a great game though because there's tons of tough hits and bloody brawls with really dramatic play. I have a lot of respect for a guy like Malone on Pittsburgh because he took a puck to the face and came back to play shortly after nearly bleeding to death. This picture has nothing to do with my respect for the game because I really don't respect Patrick Roy. Especially since this referree is escorting him to the woman's washroom.

I would like to finish with another allusion to my last post and own up to being 100% wrong with my prediction. Flip Saunders has indeed been fired by the Detroit Pistons. Mainly, I owe Flip an apology for making fun of his eating habits. He was not being fat. He was in fact walking through Birmingham for the last time and that is why he was eating ice cream and looking so depressed. At that point, he had already discussed his future with Joe Dumars earlier that day and so he wanted to drown his sorrows by eating a tub of ice cream like a high school girl who didn't get her dream date to the dance. He said he was going to go to KFC later because he probably wanted to say good bye to the workers there since they had served him so many times before games. I have to apologize to Flip for defaming his character. Lastly, if the Pistons sign Avery Johnson that will be the worst thing in the world and I will miss Flip greatly. I have heard though from an inside source that Michael Curry will be the new coach.

Flip... Flip... GAME OVER.

UNITY

Let's Work Out the Kinks and Finish'er Up with a Happy Ending

Posted by Bob Biscigliano

Let's start off with a little Coors light venting. As I know you all already know, the Pistons ended their season at home against the Boston Celtics (same as they did in 2002 when I was in attendance). After the game, mother nature proceded to rub that shit in like it was sun tan lotion by having it piss rain on us all night long. It was such an awful night that I got locked inside a BMW for 5 minutes unable to escape, and Chip went home crying like he did when Steve Antinotti stole his tomagtochi in the fifth grade. It was a miserable night to say the least.

Anyway, the Pistons need to make some changes here during the offseason. For starters, Joe Dumars needs to figure out what to do with Flip Saunders. A lot of people have been griping about his style of coaching and that he needs to go. Personally, I think he'll be fine if he just eats a little less and focuses more on managing the substitutions better. I saw him in Birmingham yesterday, eating Cold Stone's ice cream by his lonesome looking very depressed. When I told him I was going to his favorite restaurant KFC he told me he was going to go there a little later. This was at 630 pm. Either he has dessert before dinner (major no-no) or he was planning on getting fat with another meal later in the night. Jenny Craig would be so disappointed. Honestly, I think he'll be back but I don't think Jenny Craig's favorite anorexic customer, Tayshaun Prince, will be. The entire team needs to come back next year with that chip on their shoulders that they had when they won it all in 2004 (not Chip Stevenson- that would be tough to play with). Until they get that back they are never going to win another championship in the near future. I'm getting depressed and starting to think about eating a tube of cookie dough, so I need to change the subject to something that will make me throw up my fat.

The Tigers continue to win a couple then lose a few, making their season feel much like I'm buckled in for a very long ride on the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World. The Tigers were shut out a ridiculous 5 times during the month of May, which serves as the inspiration for the new main title of this blog. Even though the Tigers can't score any runs with their revamped offense, it doesn't mean we can't have the runs-because we certainly do have the runs. I'd be willing to bet that 90% of Detroit has more runs than the Tigers thus far this season. Actually, I think I had more runs yesterday than the Tigers have had all year. That's mainly because I had a few beers, a red bull, 2 terrible hot dogs, and a melted cookie. Jokes and Chip's creative title aside, I still hold hope that the Tags are going to turn it around. However, 6 1/2 GB does not provide any pleasant reminders and makes my tummy ache.

The Red Wings and Penguins played a miraculous game 5 tonight. Unfortunately, the Red Wings' millions of shots to the Penguins 20 some were not enough to pull out the victory in 3 OT's. This was definitely the best hockey game since the triple OTer in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, because this game had everything from a major buzz to a puck to the face that caused massive bleeding. It was really an electric game and although the Red Wings did not win the Cup on their home ice, it will really build up the sport of hockey and this series as they go back to Shitsburgh for game 6. Everyone who wanted to watch the action news and/or wanted to watch Leno massage his 4 chins on the late night show wound up watching the end of this game, and I'm certain they were all thankful for that. I would not be surprised if Wednesday's game 6 gets the largest rating in a hockey playoff game in the past 15 years . We'll see I guess. I'm just hoping for the Wizard of Ozgood-type happy ending. GO WINGS!

Scarlett Johannson is really pretty but she should not sing nor should she try and sell music albums. I totally feel where shes coming from with trying to sing, but please stick to acting baby.

(This post will probably be edited and links will be added. Grizzly bear with me here.)

Love,
UNITY

Waiver

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