I have a nice, brief message to the city of Philadelphia: Take a long look in the mirror and realize what just happened to you, your city, and one of your professional teams tonight. Your MLB team, you know the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that was the first franchise to reach 10,000 losses a few years ago, just won the World Series. The freaking Fall Classic. They are the World Champs. Champions. The Best. The first championship for your city in 28 years!
So I'm going to ask you in my shriekiest voice possible: Why the HELL are you booing the man on stage who is about to hand you that first championship trophy in 28 years? As Chip put it so eloquently, how could you possibly feel like booing anything at this particular juncture in your lives?
Give me one good, logical reason!
"Oh the poor bastard almost ruined it for us by making us play in those awful wet conditions. Boo hoo." (to be read like it's coming from a sarcastic adult doing a baby voice)
A reasonable person might ask, but how? Bud Selig would not have cost the Phillies the series if they had gone on to lose it. That's like Bartman being a proximate cause during the Cubs demise in the 2003 playoffs. He had absolutely nothing to do with the shortstop making an error and the team losing Game Seven. Just like Bud Selig would have had nothing to do with the Phillies losing the series, let alone Game Five!
"Oh, but boo hoo our footsies were cold and it was raining before the game even started..."
Again, a reasonable person would respond, what does that have to do with Bud Selig?
Maybe I can help you understand something, Philly. Bud Selig suspended Monday's game just as he should have. Had the Rays not scored a run in the 6th inning, he still would have suspended the game. Either way you look at it, the Phillies win. The city gets their first championship in 28 years. End of story, you should be happy.
Why is Bud Selig still getting booed then?
Maybe he should have never started the game on Monday. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt though. He was antsy in his pantsies for playoff baseball, just like anyone would and should have been. I know in 2006, I was praying the Tigers were going to play Game Five that Tuesday it was raining and eventually rained out instead of being PPD until Wednesday (although I was flying home Wednesday for a potential Game Six so of course I was especially unhappy about the PPD game).
Any normal fan can attest that they can't possibly wait another day for their team to play a game in the World Series. Hell, I may be too hardcore of a fan, but I'm always bummed when Tigers games are PPD in the regular season! I'm sure Bud Selig is no different. He wanted to get that World Series game in Monday as much as any Philadelphia fan would have rather been showered with champagne at midnight instead of mother nature's tears.
Instead, you won Game Five on Wednesday, in somewhat normal Fall Classic baseball conditions. A championship for the city, finally! Let's get reasonable now and look back on Monday. Instead of freezing your butts off in the rain during your celebration, you can celebrate as dry as one can possibly be while totally hammered and celebrating a championship in their beloved city for the first time in 28 years. There is nothing raining down on your parade, literally, except for maybe some dollar bills if you decide to celebrate at the gentleman's club down the street.
However all the "Oh good for their city" feelings I had vanished when I heard you boo Bud Selig. The absolute nerve you people have to boo the old man that's about to hand your team the World freaking Series Trophy. That's like booing the Priest when he announces communion your first day at Church after being Saved. 28 years of being trophyless and you ruin the moment by booing the man that bears the gift.
I'm going to tell you fans the same thing I told the ex-convict who booed Santa Clause the first time he came down the chimney with real gifts instead of coal because one of those gifts wasn't his favorite Golden Girls DVD: If another 28 years pass, I'm not going to feel sorry for you.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in NHL
Sarah Palin's carpet may swing St. Louis Blues fans to vote for Obama come November 4th, if they weren't already leaning that way. The blue carpet laid out for Republican party Vice President candidate Sarah Palin, sniped Blues goaltender Manny Legace as he came out from the locker room for the pre-game skate around. Legace wound up allowing two goals on 12 shots before leaving the game with a hip flexor injury related to the fall. The Blues got killed by the Kings, 4-0.
When Sarah Palin was introduced it appeared most of the stadium was booing her, perhaps because her presence caused the stupid Blues workers to place a carpet in front of the Blues bench, right where they step onto the ice. I noticed that as Palin walked alongside the bench before she dropped the ceremony puck, she tried to give Blues players quick shakefives (it's where you give a half-assed handshake but you try to grasp the other hand). Most of the Blues players were clearly not having it and she basically was just reaching in and tapping their gloves.
Anyway, I guess this treatment from Blues fans and players is better than what she received when she dropped the puck in Philadelphia, where she received a bombardment of BOO's and show us your BOOOOBS.
I still don't know who I want to vote for....
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
The Lions lost again today. They are now an atrocious 0-7. At least we're not the worst team in the NFL! The Bengals are 0-8.
Anyway, the Lions managed to lose this game very similarly to the way they always do when they at least have a chance to win. Continuously WRs came up a yard shy of a first down on third and five, six, or seven yards. Almost identical to the Dallas game last year, we failed to fall on a crucial fumble because a thickheaded lineman envisioned himself basking in the glory of a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. What are the odds of a 300+ D-lineman returning a fumble for a touchdown anyway? Slim. Just fall on it. We've had bigger earthquakes in the United States and have come out okay.
Once again, like so many times before, the Lions committed silly penalties, failed to execute on key possessions, and allowed one or two huge scoring plays that would turn out to be the difference. To summarize, on 4th and a short 3 yards at the end of the game, Calvin Johnson had a two yard reception in Redskin territory, with the Lions down 8. Game Over. Whether the Lions called for a two yard route or Johnson unawaringly ran a two yard route, a yard short of the sticks, I do not know. It's happened before, and it's inexcusable.
All I know, is that if, and I emphasize the IF, the Lions would have converted the fourth down and gone on to score, the Lions probably would have gone for one point with hopes to win after recovering an onside kick. Okay, maybe they are not that disconnected from Planet Earth. They probably would called a great play for the two point conversion, broken ten tackles, only to fall short on the one yard line. You think that's not possible, but I assure you, it's possible with the Lions.
That brings me to the issue of the Lions possibly going 0-16. People are talking about it, people are making shirts, people are actually hoping for it. That's where the Lions fans have made another grave mistake. If we hope for an 0-16, it most certainly will not happen. We'll probably kick a game winning field goal in week 17 to improve to 1-15. At the same time, the Bengals finish 0-16 and that win also loses us a chance at the #1 overall pick in the draft.
No matter what, no matter how: the Lions never fail to disappoint.
Posted by Chip Stevenson in Detroit Lions
We usually try to provide some comic relief here at detroit4lyfe and this might be the biggest joke we've ever had on the blog, courtesy of Tom Kowalski at mlive.com:
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte is the only quarterback to face the Lions this season who did not set a career high in passer efficiency rating.
Being a Lions fan is so awesome.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Philadelphia Phillies
I know I picked the Rays to win the World Series and I should probably root for them so they win and I look smart. However, tonight, I'm sticking with my father--Jamie Moyer.
Jamie Moyer is not actually my father. Although he could be (he's 45, while I'm 23), he's someone I look up to like I would a father figure. You see, Moyer is a fellow, soft tossing left handed pitcher. Like the Moyers of the league, I probably never touched 88 MPH during my life.
Tonight, at the age of 45, Jamie Moyer is starting for the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three of the World Series. After 22 years in the MLB, this will be Moyer's first WS start. Moyer throws 81 MPH consistently; and consistently, gets major league hitters out.
In the latter part of my baseball career, I dealt with a variety of shoulder injuries that prohibited me from ever throwing my normal 83-85 MPH. It's guys like Jamie Moyer who would still give me hope, knowing I could still pitch at not only the college level, but perhaps at the next level.
Once the injuries started settling into my arm, I had nowhere near the same control as I did before. I remember there being outtings when I would pray my fastball even made it to the plate, let alone cross the plate as a strike. Nonetheless, if I ever become a High School science teacher at the age of 40, my arm becomes fully healthy again, and I want to follow my childhood dream, it's Jamie Moyer that will still give me that hope.
Jamie Moyer is the type of baseball guy self acclaimed baseball guys dream to be. He has mastered the art of pitching over his 22 years in the league and it is absolutely scary to think about how good he would be if he had a 90+ MPH fastball. I know that's what everyone thought when they saw me pitch. (wink)
Jamie Moyer is the epitome of America's Past-time. Yogi Berra says baseball is 90 percent mental and I would say that Moyer fulfills every single percentage point of that quota. He's an old school baseball guy and the numbers for those types of players are slimming. It's not often anymore we hear stories about guys playing a single sport their entire life and when they are finally in a World Series claim, "It's been something that I've been dreaming about my whole life;" and they actually work hard enough at the game to reach that point at some point in their career.
Moyer may not be the ideal baseball idol, but he certainly fits within the framework of a typical one for me. I want the Rays to win the series, but I'm rooting for Jamie Moyer tonight. Cheers, Mr. Moyer...or can I call you Dad?
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in NFL
Upon first glance at this week's schedule, anyone could reasonably pick every home team to come out victoriously. I didn't want to be boring, or actually really extreme, by doing that, so I picked the away team to win in some of the tougher games to pick. The Giants/Steelers and Colts/Titans games are probably the "games of the week" and in both I have the away teams winning. I know the Titans are undefeated and this is their chance to prove that they are for real in front of the entire country, but the Colts are historically money on Monday night. I know this because that's what it said on my ESPN ticker all day. I trust ESPN with everything....
I went with the Giants against the Steelers merely because I'm growing to hate the Steelers. The loveable Bus is gone and now they have no one that is really likeable on their team--especially since Santonio Holmes loves committing crimes more than he likes catching footballs. Unless the weather is really bad, which I think would favor the Steelers, I'm going with the Giants here.
I think the obvious picks of the week are the Patriots, Jaguars, Jets and of course the Lions.
Denver is a winner for having a BYE this week considering Cutler's injury and their team's overall pitiful performance last Monday. I don't think it's back to the drawing boards for them, but I do think they'll spend a few of these extra days resting and looking at themselves long and hard in the mirror.
Detroit obviously wins at home against the most racist team in the league. Baltimore's defense will score more points than their offense en route to a blowout of a young, poorly coached Raiders team. The Steelers will prove that they are the best team in the AFC when they beat the defending champs at home and Tennessee will remain unbeaten after their defense manhandles the inconsistent Colts offense.
I'm sure that Major League Baseball was hoping for a better World Series match up than the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that can barely fill its stadium during playoff games, against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that hasn't won the World Series since 1980. They had a chance at landing the hottest chick in high school and slow dancing with her in front of everyone on prom night with a potential Los Angeles Dodgers against Boston Red Sox series. Instead, they ended up being forced to take all of those awkward pre-prom pictures with the ugly sister and pretend they are happy about it even though all they can think about is the one that got away.
Still, there are some good storylines to this year's World Series, and one of them is David Price, the number 1 overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft.
All season long, I heard about how Price was dominating in the minor leagues to the tune of a 12-1 record and a 2.30 era. Everyone expected him to be a secret weapon, an ace in the hole, for a Rays team that was contending for the first time in its existence. Baseball analysts all over the country couldn't wait to see Price play a huge role in the Rays' playoff push-- only it never happened.
He was called up in September, but he definitely did not live up to all of the hype. His stuff was certainly there, and his results left fans begging for more, but he ended up appearing in only five games and throwing a total of 14 big league innings. Even though he showed that he could contribute in those few innings, his career was put on the back burner as the Rays succeeded without him on their way to the playoffs. David Price was a forgotten man.
Then, almost completely out of the blue, there was David Price on the mound in Game Seven of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. Price had appeared in just one previous playoff game, but here he was facing the dominant Red Sox lineup with the bases loaded in a 3-1 game. Joe Maddon, the Rays manager, was finally using his secret weapon in the most important situation of the season, but would his utter lack of big league experience come back to haunt him?
I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. Just a year ago, Price was starting games for Vanderbilt, pitching against kids that I played against in high school (Zach Putnam, Adam Abraham, Doug Pickens...) and losing! The University of Michigan knocked Vanderbilt out of the College World Series by hitting a 10th inning home run off of the man that now held the keys to the Rays' entire season.
In one year, he went from throwing against my competition and failing to throwing against JD Drew with the bases loaded in Game Seven of the ALCS in a two-run game with both teams' seasons hanging in the balance- a dream scenario that could have so easily turned into a nightmare.
After being barely used throughout the season, he stepped onto the mound, charged with getting the most important outs of the Tampa Bay Rays' franchise when he had appeared in only 6 total games before. No problem. Two 87 mph sliders and one 97 mph fastball later and JD Drew was walking back to his dugout in disbelief while David Price was walking back to his a legend.
Instead of buckling under the pressure like so many people would have done, he owned that moment, and, because of him, the Rays marched on to the World Series.
He made an appearance last night in Game Two. Again, he was charged with getting the most important outs of the game, and, again, he succeeded. It didn't matter to JD Drew that Price had only a few big league innings under his belt, and it certainly didn't matter to the Phillies last night.
Players with dominating ability and ice water in their veins are rare- Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana-- Huge names. Successful players. Legends.
Maybe we'll have one more to add to that list when David Price's career is over.
This morning, I was listening to the Leo Mazzone show here in Atlanta on my way to school. In case you don't know, Leo is famous for grooming one of the greatest pitching staffs ever, perennial all-stars Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz. For a very long time, Mazzone was known as the best pitching coach in baseball.
In 2005, Mazzone was signed to a three year deal with the woeful Baltimore Orioles, but over two years those pitchers failed to yield even close to the same results. As a result, he was fired before his contract was up, and naturally, was left with a sour taste in his mouth.
Now I only caught part of the show this morning, but Leo was speaking with Christopher Rude, Perry Laurentino and Matt Chernoff about how he wanted to get back on the baseball field and help young pitchers. After that he was going through a list of the teams that need, or needed, pitching coaches that he would have definitely taken jobs with. Of those teams, Mazzone listed Detroit first. Although he didn't talk much about it, there was a bit of resentment in his voice when he said, "but they went with a younger guy from Minnesota."
That younger guy he speaks of is Rick Knapp. Rick Knapp was hired by the Tigers October 17 to inherit the pitching staff after Chuck Hernandez was fired. Knapp spent 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins organization, where he helped develop the young pitchers that combined for 52 victories last year in the bigs.
Now I can't say I'm not a fan of Rick Knapp. I barely know the guy. It will certainly be interesting to see how he does to help Dontrelle Willis and Justin Verlander. But I want to know why the Tigers didn't go with the high profile name that is in Mazzone.
Mazzone said on the radio show that he's probably not landing a job because of his high profile. He thinks that coaches are intimidated by it and don't want that extra pressure to succeed that a guy like Mazzone would add when he is on the staff. Also, if that team fails no one is going to point the finger at Mazzone because they know he can get the job done since he did for so many years in Atlanta.
Take it easy Ma-z-z. I think this is pretty arrogant, and wrong, considering he apparently didn't get the job done in Baltimore. In addition to that, he's now 60 years old and not getting any younger. I don't think his high profile is losing him any job opportunities, although those are very interesting takes on the situation. Also, I wouldn't put too much weight on what he did in Baltimore. His time spent in Atlanta is a far greater sample size and we all know how that turned out.
At any rate, it appears that Leyland really likes Knapp, and if the Tigers pitching improves, I could very easily buy into him as well. I just want to know: why wasn't Mazzone a better option?
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Tampa Bay Rays
The Liberty Bell is already cracked. Now all the Rays have to worry about is the baseball team in Philadelphia.
Thanks to a superb pitching outing from Matt Garza, the Tampa Bay Rays were able close out a 3-1 victory against the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS. A 3-1 victory in Game 7 bears some funny numbers if you haven't already noticed.
The Rays were up 3-1 in the series, and up 7 runs with 2 innings to play in Game 5, before the Red Sox came from behind to steal that game and Game 6 to force a Game 7 back in Tampa Bay. The Rays were completely fine with celebrating the ALCS Championship with their fans though as they now embark to their franchise's first ever World Series appearance, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cole Hamels will get the nod in Game 1 of the WS vs. Tampa Bay's TBD. My guess is it will be wheover is least hungover from celebrating the ALCS 'Ship. Kazmir seems to be the early favorite. Let's not forget that he was the winner in that All Star game that took forever back in July that landed the Rays home field advantage right now. Let's also not forget to give some props to Evan Longoria. Longoria was the one who tied the game in the bottom of the 8th to force it to go to extras and past my bedtime.
Anyway, I'm liking the young Rays to win this thing. I know in my earlier post, I picked the Dodgers to beat the Rays in the World Series, but I'm switching it up since the Dodgers are out like my belly button and the Phillies are in like flynn. I really don't have a legitimate reason for this prediction. It doesn't really matter though. I could say it's because I really like Upton's ski goggles from last night, or that I really appreciate that Matt Garza listens to Tupac on his iPod. It doesn't matter. The Rays are going to win. Rays in 6.
That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it. Now I'm going to go watch Emmitt Smith stutter himself into a seizure on MNF...
Before graduating from Davidson College last spring, for two years I had the distinct privilege of witnessing Stephen Curry drop three-pointers in the eyes of each and every defender that ever attempted to guard the son of former NBA star, Dell Curry. Standing in Coach McKillop's favorite fan section, the D-Block, I jumped up and down countless times while Steph, as everyone knows him around Davidson's campus, knocked down big three pointer after three pointer or made a sick up and under layup. For anyone who doesn't already know, he is the absolute Truth.
Last year he led the smallest D1 school in the nation to within a three pointer from reaching the school's first ever Final Four appearance. What's sweeter than all the success Stephens had in just two years at Davidson, and aside from the fact I know the guy personally, is that Davidson is no longer the lovable underdog. Just the other day, Dick Vitale ranked Davidson 19th amongst his top 40 teams. I can assure you that you can expect at least two more years with Davidson in the top 25. If you don't believe me, ask the alumni guy that Steph claimed this to.
I have to admit, I am a BIT skeptical. The loss of the nation's leading assist man, Jason Richards will surely hurt; moving Steph into a role where he will handle the ball more often. Steph has prospered from working off screens and running around like Rip Hamilton, so it will be interesting to see how this affects his game, and how Coach McKillop adjusts his system. Despite the loss, I don't think much of the results will differ because Steph is still more than capable of making things happen off his own dribble and one ESPN analyst said, "there's no coach in basketball I have more confidence in utilizing a player as gifted as Stephen Curry than Bob McKillop."
As for the team as a whole, there may be a slight hang over from last year's tournament run, but I don't see anything preventing them from making it into the tournament again in 2008-2009. You can bet on it if Curry comes out shooting as hot as he did at Davidson's Midnight Madness 3-Point Shooting contest a few days ago, where he hit 10 threes in a row and 13 of his last 15. You can see the video below. I hope you enjoy one of the sweetest looking shots in the NCAA; fittingly published on the Hallmark Holiday of the year, Sweetest Day. Go Cats!
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in NFL
You might notice that I did not highlight the teams on a bye. Typically, the bye week is seen as a small 'victory,' because it gives teams a chance to regroup and rest up any injuries they might have, thus all teams should probably be highlighted. Wrong. All four of these teams are coming off big week 6 victories. Therefore, the bye week is killing their respective buzz and serves as a "loss" in my book. No highlighting for them.
Anyway, in my life, I am about 87% accurate in predicting NFL games, so I'm pretty sure I'll be pretty close to that number again this week. Go Lions.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
Sad news came out of Asheville, North Carolina today. Kenny George, the 7'7 senior, freak of nature center from UNC-Asheville, had part of his right foot amputated about three weeks ago due to complications with MRSA, a difficult to treat and sometimes life-threatening antibiotic-resistant staph infection.
I've learned that the disease is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact or sharing an item used by an infected person, particularly one with an open wound. There is no word as to how he contracted the disease.
George, who was clearly on his way to the NBA because of his height, is supposedly going to return to school to finish his degree in mass communications.
It's unfortunate we will not see him play basketball. It was always a treat to see him take two steps to walk the length of the court and then reach up to dunk without ever leaving his feet. Best of luck, Kenny.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in NFL
Palamalu, what's kind of ridiculous is your terrible facial hair. You look like Tom Hanks in 'Castaway'. Although I do agree with Mr. Palamalu, he needs to cut that shit. No one is going to take him seriously.
I think he's sort of right though. The NFL is starting to get soft on us. That ticky-tack lousy call made against the LIons in Minnesota last week was atrocious. However, even when some calls aren't made in games, they are still winding up costing players money. That is ridiculous.
The fines and suspensions in the NFL are starting to pile up because Commissioner Goodell wants to clean up the image of the NFL. I'm all for that, to an extent. I'm not for it if it's going to make games in the National Football League wind up looking like an MLS match or an episode of Sesame Street.
I don't think fining every player and their mother for excessive touching is going to make the NFL a big, happy, clean imaged family. Let the players play.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
A telephone call from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre, a trade for WR Roy Williams, and a day later, Tony Romo's pinky injury that was supposed to keep him out up to a month miraculously disappears. According to ESPN, Tony Romo has told the Dallas Cowboys that he can play through his pinky injury Sunday vs. the St. Louis Rams.
The phone call from Brett Favre came first. Around noon yesterday, ESPN reported that Brett Favre called injured Romo and offered his encouragement.
Let's get real. We all know what he really offered him. Brett Favre admitted that he told Romo he should play through the injury, if at all possible. Of course, we know exactly how possible it was for Favre to play through the pain...Popping some happy pills. I can just imagine what that phone conversation was like:
Brett: Your pinky hurts?
Tony: Yes, Brett. It's broken. I'm out a month
Brett: Well now your back is going to hurt, because you just screwed your team. You'll have to carry the weight of that on your shoulders for a long time.
Tony: Well what do you want me to do, Brett?
Brett: You promise not to tell?
Brett: I know a guy who knows a guy, who robs a guy. You'll be pain free come kickoff, every Sunday...4lyfe.
Tony: I don't know, Brett....
Brett: Trust me...
So Tony has that going through his head when about four hours later the Cowboys pull off a trade with the Lions that land them star WR Roy Williams. Now what QB in his right mind wouldn't jump out of his seat with a raging Woody Allen and want to go under center on Sunday to play with this revamped Dallas offense? He already had TO, Barber, Witten, and Felix to throw to and NOW he has Roy Williams. With those kind of weapons, you might not even need an arm, it'd be so easy. I completely understand why Tony suddenly wants to try and play through this thing.
It's still kind of suspect as to how he goes from missing a month to suddenly being able to play. I'd say ask Brett Favre as to what he said exactly, but he's a pretty good actor and he might not tell us the truth, you dumbass. Either way, something very weird is going down, and I don't like it. I hope someone gets to the bottom of this thing.
Lions made a move today at the trade deadline that no one in Detroit really thought they would end up making. The Lions didn't even think they would make a move. WR Roy Williams, who has been at the center of NFL trade rumors all season, was traded at the last minute to the Dallas Cowboys right before the 4 PM deadline. The Lions send Williams and a 2010 7th round draft pick to the Cowboys for three 2009 draft picks: a first rounder, third, and sixth.
Here's my take on the whole trade:
Roy was probably 99.99999 percent going to leave after the season. The only way he would have been on the team in 2009 was if we slapped the franchise tag on him. I'm not sure the Lions were going to do that to a guy who didn't really want to be here. Essentially, we'd just be going through this year, all over again.
Randy Moss was traded for a 4th round draft (John Bowie) pick a couple years ago. We received not only a pick that was a round better than that, but another pick that was THREE rounds better than that, all in addition to a 6th round pick. We gave up our seventh round pick, but that selection means nothing because we'll just make whatever pick that would have been a round earlier when we have two sixth round picks. It's science.
The league reaction to this trade was "WOW!" Everyone seems to think that the Cowboys gave up too much and the Lions were the real winners in this trade. Personally, I don't think it becomes a success until we make good of those draft picks. If we draft three fullbacks from Furman University or three busts, it's going to go down as a failure. It all depends on what we make of these three picks.
The Lions are 0-5, and the season is almost as good as over. Unfortunately, they have eleven games remaining, almost 70% of their season to go. This trade certainly sends the message that the upper management has given up on the season and is looking toward the draft already. As Chip said, it's depressing. However, this could wind up being a good thing if it has what I like to call the "C.C. Sabbathia effect" on the team. If you remember, the Cleveland Indians were playing the worst in all of baseball when they decided to absolutely tank altogether and trade away their ace pitcher.
However, the team managed to win 7 of their next 10 games and finish the season strong en route to surpassing the Tigers and Royals in the AL Central. The optimistic inside me is coming out again as I think maybe this could possibly happen to the Lions. Perhaps, by some miracle, they will play relaxed and win 7 of their next 10 games. This would make them 7-8 going into their final game of the season at Lambeau Field. Judging by the way things are going in the division thus far, this very well could be the game that determines the outcome of the division, and a playoff spot.
Who am I kidding? Even if this happens, history has the Lions breaking our hearts again. It doesn't matter. Lions will finish 3-13.
At any rate, I hope this trade winds up paying off in the future, but for now I'm pretty happy with it. Never thought I'd be saying this as the Lions lay at 0-5, but good job fellas.
Posted by Chip Stevenson in Detroit Lions
Pacman wrote a post a while back about who the Lions should consider drafting with their first round draft pick in next year's draft (Isn't it sad that we are just 5 games into the season and we are already talking about the draft? Oh well).
He talked about some good players that would look great in the Honolulu blue, but he might have overlooked one kid in particular that Extra Mustard revealed to the world today.
His name is Ben Wilson, and he is 9 years old.
Without further ado, I present to you the Detroit Lions 2009 first round draft pick.
Posted by Chip Stevenson
Matt Stairs, a former Tiger for all of about one month, pinch hit last night in the 8th inning in pivotal game three of the NLCS. He came up huge, hitting a monster 2 run home run to put the Phillies up 7-5 and eventually 3-1 in the series.
... And then, apparently, his teammates hit a home run with him.
Here is a snippet from his post game comments...
"Not that I don't feel like I'm part of the team, but when you get that nice celebration coming in the dugout and you're getting your ass hammered by guys, there's no better feeling than to have that done."
I hope he's ok to play in game four.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
Game 3 of the ALCS between the Rays/Red Sox is today at 4:37 P.M. I'm glad it starts then as opposed to earlier, I have a meeting until 4:33 P.M. Terry Francona must have read my "Joe Maddon's So Cool" article from the other night because during the lineup exchange, he put on his acting shoes and tried to imitate Maddon as best as he could (seen above). Maddon was insulted, I'm sure. Francona looks more like an Asian down syndrome baby trying to swallow a big mouthful of fruit loops mixed with some skoal tobacco. Go Rays.
Posted by Chip Stevenson
I thought I'd pass this along since it's apparently brand new and freakin awesome. Enjoy.
Posted by Chip Stevenson
The Los Angeles Dodgers' 2008 season transformed from a disappointment made up of young players having poor seasons to full fledged championship contention when Manny Ramirez joined them in July. Manny completely changed the team dynamic, turning them into a group that believes they are going to win every game rather than one that simply hopes they are going to win.
Clearly, the whole team owes a lot to Ramirez and his .474 batting average this postseason. Unfortunately, Chad Billingsley, the young "ace" who took the loss in game 2 of the NLCS against the Phillies, has a weird way of showing his appreciation: he kicks his teammates in the private parts.
In game 2, Brett Myers threw behind Manny in his second at bat of the game. While Myers claimed that the ball slipped out of his hands, it was clearly an attempt to cool down the hottest hitter in the game and the Dodgers' most important player in the series. Myers essentially told Manny, "I had nightmares about you walking around the bases against me all night last night so take this!"
Normally, when a team's best player is hit in an important game, his team's pitcher will respond by hitting or at least brushing back a player on the opposing team. Nobody ever admits to reacting in this way, but it's one of those unwritten baseball rules that has been ingrained in the game for years. You hit our best player? Fine, we'll hit yours. Tit for tat, let's kiss and make up.
Chad Billingsley's dog must have ate his unwritten rule book. He was too busy giving up 7 earned runs in 2.1 innings to defend the player on his team that is basically the only reason why he is even pitching in October at all. Good grief.
Luckily for the Dodgers, Manny did his own retaliating by hitting a three run home run off Myers later in the game, but he still didn't let Billingsley off the hook. In his postgame comments, Manny showed his displeasure with Billingsley's lack of effort by saying that he'd want a guy like Myers, the pitcher who threw behind Manny in the game, on his team because "he's going to go out there and battle." Manny was clearly taking a shot at Billingsley who not only blew the game with his terrible effort on the mound but also showed a lack of respect for the team's best player.
Ok, fine... Billingsley is a young player who might be a little bit star struck pitching in the NLCS and all. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on him. I could cut him some slack and say that he just needs to learn how to conduct himself as a top pitcher for a contending team. Unfortunately, his lack of testosterone continued after the game.
Clearly, he didn't pitch well in the game and certainly let his team down. I wouldn't expect him to be happy and chipper in his post game comments, but I would expect him to take some responsibility for failing so hard.
Instead, Billingsley somehow decided that his poor outing wasn't his fault at all. It didn't matter that the Phillies hit all of his pitches like they were hitting off a tee in a batting cage. The real reason why Billingsley got hit so hard was the pitch selection, dictated by his catcher, Russell Martin. Billingsley placed the blame squarely on Martin's shoulders and took absolutely no responsibility for being horrendous in the team's biggest game of the year even though he could have always shook off the catcher whenever he wanted to throw something else.
So, here's a recap of Chad Billingsley's night: First, he loses his unwritten rule book. Then, he offends the Dodgers' best player by showing absolutely no respect for his teammate. He goes on to lose decisive game 2 of the NLCS, putting the Dodges in an 0-2 hole in the series. Finally, he blames his catcher for the poor outing and decides that he played no role in the loss even though he was the starting pitcher.
All in all, it was a pretty successful night for him, I'd say.
He showed he is ill prepared to be a starting pitcher on a contending team; he showed he has no perspective on why his team is in the playoffs; he showed he buckles under the pressure of big games; and he showed that he has no respect for his teammates.
I'm rooting for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series so that I can see Manny poke holes in the Green Monster, but I'm not so sure that the Dodgers can make it there with pitchers like Billingsley starting important games for them.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
This was the "pass interference" called on Lions CB Leigh Bodden on Sunday. It cost the Lions 45 yards and arguably the game. The Vikings would utilize this call to get into field goal range and run time off the clock before kicking a game winning field goal with 11 seconds left. The Lions were left with one last play with 4 seconds, but Dan Orlovsky stepped up into a sack as time expired.
Unless grazing a guys thigh is now a penalty, this call was absolutely wrong. I'd like to think that the ref has a pretty good view of the play here. That, or he's lost in Bodden's beautiful brown eyes. What do you think? Pass interference? I don't think so. The Lions have enough trouble winning, the last thing they need is the refs to start teaming up against them too.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
The Lions lost 12-10 today to fall to 0-5. If it weren't for this play and some untimely terrible calls from the refs, the Lions would have probably won this game.
This play is hilarious because Dan Orlovsky boot legs right out of bounds and has no idea where he is. The funniest thing about this is that the FOX announcer calls Orlovsky a 'poor guy' as if he's mentally incompetent and just didn't know what he was doing.
Lions radio announcer, Dan Miller, didn't have nearly as much sympathy for Orlovsky. He said having an awareness for the field is something you're supposed to learn in Pop Warner. All I know is that after Matt Stone and Trey Parker swallowed their beer and watched this play, they let out a bowel filled DERP!
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
Lions have announced that Jon Kitna will not start on Sunday and will not even be active. Drew Henson has been signed to serve as the third, emergency quarterback. Drew Stanton will serve as the backup. Take a gander at, Cue the Jeopardy Music, to read briefly why I think Drew Stanton should be starting. At any rate, I hope Danny O does a good job and leads the Lions to victory one of twelve....or one of one. Whatever it may be. Go Lions.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Tampa Bay Rays
I like Joe Maddon. He plays it so cool, no matter the situation. B.J. Upton hit a 400 foot home run to tie the game in the first inning tonight and all Joe Maddon did was pucker his lips like he was Derek Zoolander. When Longoria doubled in the 5th to put the Rays up a run, he repeated the blue steel and added in a little golf clap. He also probably touched their respective butts when they came into the dugout like it was no big deal. I've noticed that he's been like that all playoffs, even if his team is losing. He's playing it Joe cool and I like that in a man and a manager. Go Rays.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
The category is Any Given Sunday. Alex Trebek reads the answer: Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, or Jon Kitna. No one really knows right now.
Detroit4lyfe responds in perfect cursive-- "Who is going to start for the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Minnesota?" Alex says, in a French accent, "that is correct-a-mundo." Our wager--the three Dan Orlovsky signed rookie cards seen above. According to a Becket Magazine that would be only approximately two and a half cents.
Seriously, though. Who is going to start for the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Jon Kitna has missed practice all week, and all indications are pointing to Dan Orlovsky making his first NFL start. Rod Marinelli however, says he won't make his decision until Sunday morning. Ah, the suspense is killing me! I'll never be able to sleep tonight. Here's what I think:
Dan Orlovsky???? Is he Russian or Polish? No one has ever really cared to find out. People care so much about him actually, that his 3 'different' rookie cards were pictures obviously taken on the same day of practice, during the same play. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were pictures sent in by his mother. How many loose leaf papers did Dan sign during biology class lectures to prepare for these three autographs? Probably a lot. I practice my signature all the time.
But why the hell would we start Dan Orlovsky? I guess logically it's what a team is supposed to do when their starter goes down. Start the backup. I understand he's been on the team for four years as the backup, but he's a free agent at the end of the season and we drafted Drew Stanton to be our future QB, didn't we?
I know the majority of fans would rather see Stanton because he's a hometown guy with a much brighter upside. He can move around the pocket and has a really solid arm. I've seen him throw first hand actually, in high school when he was a pitcher for Farmington Hills Harrison. I stood 60 feet 6 inches away from him up in the batter's box, spitting my chew on homeplate daring him to come into my wheel house. He threw four pitches to me, all high and outside. He walked me. I dropped my bat for the batboy to pick up, stuck my chest out, and strutted slowly to first as I stared him down like he was Fausto Carmona and I was Gary Sheffield. Drew Stanton was embarrassed and never missed a target again after that. We lost, I'm blogging, and he's now in the NFL.
That was almost 7 years ago and now Stanton is arguably the future Detroit Lions quarterback. Why not start him? Let's see what he can do. We've seen what Orlovsky can do. He's thrown an INT on each of his first passes in both games in relief of Kitna this year (although one was reversed). He's flat out not that good and he was never expected to be our starting QB anyway. In addition to all that, he's probably not going to be back with the Lions next year. Therefore, starting him would be absolutely worthless. Let's give Stanton a shot and see if he's the hometown hero that can save us from the bottom of the NFL water well we continuously find ourselves stuck in.
Posted by Chip Stevenson
There's been a ton of debate in the last few years about whether a baseball player can be "clutch." The stats seem to go against the idea while people's selective memories and sense of nostalgia seem to support it. I'm not going to go there because I could probably write a million words on it, but I do think that people often wrongly define clutch.
In a chat on ESPN.com this week, Keith Law, an analyst who I would characterize as a stats guy and also an analyst who I enjoy reading, answered this question and, in the process, completely embarrassed himself by admitting to the world that he might not know what he is talking about.
ajd (chicago): Is that really the argument re: clutch? Or is it that the "clutch" player doesn't let the assorted jitters, nerves, etc. affect him when he's in a particularly pressure-laden situation? (I don't buy into "clutch" for what it's worth.) In any event, it's interesting that, in Manny's case (cf. Bill Simmons) when people say "clutch" they really mean "too stupid to know what's going on." Wonder if they'd say that about an articulate white guy!
Keith Law: "Clutch" is supposed to be "better when the pressure's on." That means worse when the pressure's off, to me, at least. And that's a good point about Manny - I wonder if they'd say that if he was a non-Latino American who only spoke English. "Less comfortable in English" does not equal "stupid."
"Clutch" does NOT mean playing better when the pressure is on, as Keith Law puts it. Rather, clutch simply means playing well when the pressure is on. It's a small difference, but also a very important one.
If a player hits .330 during the season and goes on to hit .320 during the playoffs, games where the pressure is always on, I think that it would be perfectly acceptable to call him clutch if you believe in it. That player certainly didn't perform better like Keith Law thinks is required, and he even performed a little worse, but he would still be clutch in my book.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings lost last night against the Maple Leafs to open their title defense. Surprisingly, that wasn't even the most embarrassing part of the night. Something that was absolutely unconscionable occurred during the post game segment. Thanks to Puck Daddy, it was pointed out that Versus, who did a wonderful job with the entire banner night "Drop the Puck" event in Detroit, showed lead singer of Def Leppard, Joe Elliot, take the Lord Stanley Cup from Darren McCarty and do the unimaginable: He took the cup, held it over his head, walked it over to its rightful pedestal and placed it... upside down. Little side down, big side up.
What!?!?!?! The entire Detroit Fox Theatre went silent minus the random few newly 21 year old drunk morons who were left screaming because their virginity was about to be taken by some old creepy hockey buff later that night. On the whole, it was very similar to a black person walking into a barn party in the mid-50s. The party went dead and everyone who had any current affairs IQ stood there staring at eachother in disbelief. I think that's exactly when special guests Matt Stone and Trey Parker let out a bowel filled DERP!
Honestly, hasn't an English person ever seen a wedding cake or anything that could possibly be stacked methodoligically? How could you possible believe that this trophy was meant for the little cup to be placed down? This isn't a bowl you put in your cupboards after you wash it so that it doesn't get dust in it. It's the STANLEY CUP! You'd also think that before you do a show for the NHL you'd Google the sport at least. Seriously, all it takes is typing in 'NHL champions' into Google, a simple click on the Images link, and whammy! 4 of the first 5 pictures show how the Stanley Cup looks right side up.
I truly hope Elliot has been blushing ever since and that Versus feels kind of lame for allowing 'soccer guys' to do their show without filling them in on some useful knowledge: The Stanley Cup is named the Cup for a reason... the cup side is meant for you to C it UP.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Red Wings
Chalk up another banner to the Joe Louis Arena rafters in Hockeytown, Detroit. Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings will be raising their 11th Stanley Cup Championship banner to the rafters, before they embark on a journey toward a 12th, as they start the season against the Toronto Seaholm Maple Leafs. This will be 50 banners in total. This is an exciting time for all die-hard Detroit sports fans because the start of the NHL season will give us a much needed break from the dreadful Detroit Lions, disappointing Detroit Tigers season, and tough times surrounding the city of Detroit involving the economy and former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The city's black eye will slowly subside with the banner rising remembering last season's championship and the start of the Red Wings defense.
The Red Wings are by far and away the favorites to win the NHL Stanley Cup again this year as they boast almost the exact same lineup as last year with a key addition in league-star, Marian Hossa. Shakespeare, if he were alive today, wouldn't be able to describe the beauty and romance of this lineup. I have to admit though, the Detroit Free Press did a pretty good job when they referred to it as downright swoon-worthy. Personally, I can't even begin to explain how good it actually is. I really can't. That's tough for me to say because I've been around great Red Wings lineups before. Literally. I dated Hall of Famer, Igor Larionov's daughter when I was seventeen years old. Of course, since then his daughter has moved on to bigger and uglier things, but that's besides the point. I've been around some great Detroit teams before and I take a lot of pride in all of them.
At first, I thought Kwame's Wed Wings were going to have a bit of a hang over from partying with the Stanley Cup and Kid Rock all summer long, but this preseason they showed everything but that by going a convincing 7-2. In the past few days, Head Coach Mike Babcock sent down what he called the three best players he's ever sent back to the minors. Leino, Helm, and Ericsson would for sure be in lineups elsewhere in the NHL. I wouldn't be surprised to see these three back up with the big team at some point this season. They're all going to be good NHL players one day. In fact, the lineup is so deep, the Red Wings are saying they'll have tough decisions to make with veterans, Chelios and McCarty, when they return from their stints on the IR.
I guess the cliche goes something like this: I'll believe it when I see it. Well, I've seen preseason highlights and this team is not only "downright swoon-worthy," but downright nasty. There are going to be some lopsided games this season, no doubt. I don't think I've had enough afternoon shots of Jack Daniels to make the claim that they will win more than they did in the 95-96 season, but I think they will definitely flirt with 60 wins. This is a very good hockey team and I think everyone else in the NHL world knows that. I'm happy the season is back and I can't wait to watch tonight's game at 7 pm.
Other items of note:
- Nick Lidstrom will wear a visor for the remainder of the season after nearly losing his vision and nose from a puck. He will play tonight despite having some blood drainage still in his eye. I hope it looks like Stevie's did because if it does he should have no problem scaring potential scorers away, as if he had much problem with that anyway.
- Hossa, Datsyuk, and Holmstrom will be on the same line together tonight for just the 2nd time. This line will quickly become one of the best and most feared lines in the NHL. Duh.
- The game tonight can be seen on VERSUS, and probably on some other obscure network like Hallmark or something. I can't wait for the NHL to be back on ESPN.
- "God Bless and Go Wed Wings"
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
Posted by Chip Stevenson in Detroit Lions
I've been thinking a lot lately about the sorry state of the Lions. I always try to look at things in a "glass half full" way, but it's becoming harder and harder to do that with the lowly Lions as I see double digit losses week after week. I really don't have any answers as to what needs to be done to fix the team because there are so many holes, but I do have some insight as to why they are as bad as they are this season.
When I was playing Little League baseball, there were always a couple players in the league who were simply a level above everyone else. I was a pretty good player, and my team was pretty solid, but there were always a few games during the season where we knew we were going to lose. Some kid whose voice had already changed and already had a little bit of peach fuzz above his lip would step on the mound and throw fastballs by us that were faster than anything we had ever seen on a baseball field. We had no chance.
On the other hand, I played on one team in my life, my senior year varsity high school baseball team, where I honestly felt like we were going to win every single game before it started. We had all caught up physically to all of the kids who dominated Little League, and Pacman even had his own intimidating peach fuzz over his lip at that point that he wore proudly. Instead of thinking that we had no chance, we all absolutely thought we could win the game whenever we stepped on the field. I remember thinking to myself at the time that the infectious feeling of being able to win every single game must be what professional athletes feel before their games.
Professional athletes dedicate their lives to mastering their craft. Whether it is pitching, hitting, running, catching, or tackling, professional athletes put so much time and effort into their job that they have to think that their hard work will pay off with victories every time they step on the field. They could never justify putting in all of their sweat and tears into a profession in which they did not believe they could win.
Unfortunately, the Lions do not feel this way. They are a group of professional athletes who I am sure put in the same hard work that the rest of the players in the NFL put in, but they do not believe that they can win the game when they step on the field. Instead of feeling like I felt on my senior year baseball team, they feel like I felt as a youngster in Little League facing a 12 year old flame thrower with a mustache.
The Lions are a bad team; that's for sure. Still, some bad teams honestly believe that they can win every single game. Those teams are the ones who show progress and improve year after year. Bad teams like the Lions remain at the bottom of the league wallowing in their top draft pick busts and blowout losses until something clicks where they start believing they can win.
Until there is that attitude shift, I'm sad to say that we can expect more 3-13 seasons and opposing linebackers with funny mustaches in the future.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Detroit Lions
In honor of the woeful 0-5 Lions, the following is a compilation of the greatest jokes ever created at their expense, starting with my all-time personal favorite courtesy of one, C.J. Karchon. Enjoy!
Little David was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers came up-fireman, policeman, salesman, etc., but David was being uncharacteristically quiet in his seat. Naturally, the teacher asked him about his father.
David slowly raised from his slumped posture and reluctantly responded. "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay bar and takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if the offer's really good, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and make love with him for money."
The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some coloring, and took Little David out in the hallway to ask him, 'Is that really true about your father?'
'No,' said David. "He plays for the Detroit Lions, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."
Where's the safest place in a tornado?
The Lions end zone at Ford Field: there are never any touchdown there!
Why did the NFL award Super Bowl XL to the city of Detroit?
Because they felt bad for the Lions, figuring it was the closest the team would ever come to a Super Bowl.
What do you call the Detroit Lions at the Super Bowl?
What is the first thing that Detroit fans will hear after the Lions win the Super Bowl?
Their alarm clocks
What do you call a turkey that gets sacked, stuffed, battered, and devoured every year on Thanksgiving day?
What is the smallest room at Ford Field?
The trophy room
Team Name Change
The Detroit Lions name should be changed to the "Detroit Tampons" as they are only good for one period and have no second string.
Detroit Lions News Flash
Lions football practice was delayed on Monday for nearly two hours.
One of the players, while on his way to the locker room happened to look down and noticed a suspicious looking, unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Rod Marinelli immediately suspended practice while the FBI was called in to investigate.
After a complete field analysis, the FBI determined that the white substance, unknown to the players, was the goal line. Practice was resumed when FBI Special Agents decided that the team would not be likely to encounter the substance again.
There is a mama lion, a daddy lion & a baby lion. The mama lion & the daddy lion were having a lot of fights so they decided to get a divorce. The lion family goes in front of a judge to decide custody of the baby lion.
The judge asks the baby lion "Do you wanna live with mama lion?" The baby lion answers, "No mama lion beats me."
The judge said, "All right, do you wanna live with daddy lion?"
The baby lion answers, "No daddy lion beats me worse."
The judge asks, "Who do you wanna live with then?"
The baby answers, "The Detroit Lions, they don't beat anybody."
A man inherited a little over $1 billion dollars. He had three sons. He told his sons that since he now had all this money, he would like to know, what each of them would like to have. He stressed that MONEY was no object.
His first son said that he had always wanted a Jaguar. The father went out, and since money was no object, bought him 7 Jaguars in different colors, so that he would have a different one to drive every day of the week.
His second son said that he always wanted a motorcycle. So the father went out, and again since money was no object, bought him 30 new motorcycles,10 dirt bikes, 10 hogs, and 10 touring bikes, so he would have a different bike to ride every day of the month.
His third and youngest son was only 8 years old. So the little guy said that he simply had wanted a Mickey Mouse outfit. So, money being no object, his father went out and bought his son the Detroit Lions.
These riddles mostly came from that spectacular 2001 season (2-14), which was a whopping one game worse than the 2002 season (3-13). Here's to 2003!
Q. What's the difference between the Detroit Lions the Taliban?
A. The Taliban have a running game.
Q. How do the Detroit Lions count to 12?
A. 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, 0-7, 0-8, 0-9, 0-10, 0-11, 0-12.
Q. What do the Detroit Lions & Billy Graham have in common?
A. They both can make 80,000 people stand up & yell "Jesus Christ"!
Q. How do you keep a Detroit Lion out of your yard?
A. Put up goal posts.
Q. What do you call a Detroit Lion with a Super Bowl ring?
A. A thief.
Q. Why doesn't Flint have a professional football team?
A. Because then Detroit would want one.
Q. Why was Rod Marinelli upset when the Detroit Lions playbook was stolen?
A. Because he hadn't finished coloring it.
Q. What's the difference between the Detroit Lions and a dollar bill?
A. You can still get four quarters out of a dollar.
Q. How many Detroit Lions does it take to win a Super Bowl?
A. Nobody knows and we may never find out!
Q. What do you call 47 people sitting around a TV watching the Super Bowl?
A. The Detroit Lions.
Q. What do the Detroit Lions and opossums have in common?
A. Both play dead at home and get killed on the road.
Q. How can you tell when the Detroit Lions are going to run the football?
A. The back leaves the huddle with tears in his eyes.
Q. Knock knock
A. Oh an five
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
After one round of the 2008 MLB Playoffs my world famous "Nostradamus Predictions" reign perfect. My only mistakes were that I thought the Brewers would get swept (they won a game) and the Cubs would win at least one game (they got swept). Whatever, at least I picked all the series outcomes correctly. That's more than I can say for my good friend, Dick Vitale. His bracket, seen above, was DESTROYED. Dick, why don't you take the next few months off and I'll meet back up with you in March. Thanks.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano
I just can't seem to get Chip's masterful "Must Be That Time of the Month" article off my mind. The article, in case you ignorantly didn't read, picked apart the brains of avid sports fans who choose to pick on announcers during their favorite sporting events, which in turn pries them away from the event itself. I have since read the "Awful Announcing," blog and since then, I have scrutinized announcing more than ever. Admittedly, I have my fair share of times where I catch myself investing way too much time bashing announcers rather than worrying about the game itself. I felt like I made a compromise with myself though, and made a conclusion on poor announcers and announcing in general: Do as Chip says, worry about the sports game, and give respect when respect is due. (This could also be a fine model for success in life).
Tonight, I have been counting the number of days until Tigers' Opening Day on my abacus, platinum edition. Gotta respect the abacus! I've learned that in 182 short days, the 2009 Tigers will be taking the field and I will be a lot happier man. After counting, I became nostalgic and watched the above video exactly 182 times. Each time, the hairs on my naked body rising higher. The 182th and final time I watched it, I realized some things that differ from my original train of thoughts concerning announcers.
1) It's their job. I'd say if we are allowed to criticize the players we watch, we should be able to criticize the one's announcing those players--as long as we are fair in doing so. Although I agree 100% with Chip in that it takes too much away from the game itself if we focus on bashing the announcers, the poor announcing or stupid little sayings can also take away from the enjoyment of the games. Meanwhile, these little quips announcers tend to have every now and then, often provide some comical relief.
2) Announcers also need to be fair in their calling of games. I hate the obsessive homers more than anything. I understand there are team broadcasters, but they need to be fair to their viewers in that there might be some tourists tuning in as well. I think Mario and Rod on FSN Detroit are the epitome of fair homers.
3) Have you ever tried to commentate a game? Could you do it? If you can, then apply for the job so the 'bad' ones are weeded out. I think most of you haven't and are just cynics. However, it is a very hard thing to do. Especially, during a game's 'climax.' As Chip said, shut up and enjoy these moments.
Repsect. Aretha spelled it for us. Adam Sandler told us we gotta have it. Now I'm giving respect, when it is due. There are a ton of announcers who deserve respect. Keeping with my original thought process tonight and with the Detroit Tigers, I'm going to give my respects to Thom Brennaman. A guy like Thom, deserves a ton of respect for the way he announces big situations in big games. In case you don't know Thom, he has called the games in which Magglio hit the walk off home run in the 2006 ALCS, App State's stupid upset over Michigan, and the famous Derek Jeter flip to home plate to get Jason Giambi out. In my opinion, he has done all of these calls exceptionally well. He was fully energized, created a somewhat original call, and regathered his thoughts afterward before making any grunting noises like a lot of announcers love to do in climatic situations. Thom Brennaman deserves respect as an announcer.
Speaking of Thom Brennaman raises another issue: Should there be an intermixing of announcers amongst sports? There are certainly arguments for that. Al Michael's for instance. Michaels is most known for his callings of Monday Night Football and now, Sunday Night Football. However, he arguably has one of the most famous calls in all of sports history in his "Do you believe in miracles!?" call during the 'Miracle on Ice' USA hockey win over Russia. Obviously, as I stated above, Thom Brennaman, is famous for a variety of calls in multiple sports.
I guess I'm okay with it as long as you have your best guys doing the multiple sports on a consistent basis. Dick Stockton for example, by all means a top announcer, should not be doing the MLB playoffs on TBS right now. I realize he was in the booth when Carlton Fisk hit his famous home run in the 70s, and that he has a history of doing MLB games. The viewing nation has gotten accustomed to him doing NFL games. Putting him back on the highly watched MLB playoff games just confuses the viewers and diverts attention from the game even more. All I think of when I hear Dick Stockton on TBS this post season is how bad the Lions are because he announced more than half of their games on FOX in the late 90s-early 2000s. It makes me sad. Plus, I think he lost the PUNCH he used to have in his voice when calling big plays. For example, Manny hit a home run against the Cubs and Stockton made it sound like a dog was just run over by a car. I was not too thrilled.
I would agree that an overall ban on mixing announcers into different sports would be unreasonable. But maybe we should reconsider Dick Stockton's position on TBS for the baseball games. What do you think?
in summation, I think the 'announcing' topic is rather large and controversial. Perhaps that's why there is a blog specifically devoted to it. In the end though, I agree with Chip: The game is bigger than the announcing. Joe Buck won't agree, but everyone needs to know that. In fact, I'm probably being hypocritical by writing this article and ignoring the bigger issues that deal with the games themselves. Then again so are you by having just finished intently reading this article. Let's all go watch a muted game or something.
Posted by Bob Biscigliano in Tampa Bay Rays
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- another reason why the tigers will win it all in 09
- Antonio McDyess
- Atlanta Hawks
- back injuries just a part of a greater conspiracy theory?
- Big Aristotle
- Big Baby
- Bill Simmons
- blogs with balls
- blowout loss
- Bob McKillop
- Bob's ill
- Boston Bruins girl struggling to go up the down escalator
- Brandon Inge
- Brandon Lyon
- Broken Ankles
- buddy C.J.
- bullpen help wanted
- Calvin Johnson
- can't pronounce GW scorer's name
- Capt. Jack Ross
- case of the Mondays
- celebrities r us
- centerfield advertisement
- Charles Barkley thinks with his johnson and has an awful golf swing
- Chauncey Billups
- chewing tobacco
- Chicago Bears give up too much?
- Chris Chelios
- Chris Cooley
- cigarettes and chocolate milk
- Claude Lemwho?
- college basketball
- convenient back injury
- Cookie Dough
- Could the Lions be interested in Terrell Owens?
- countdown to Opening Day
- Craig Sager thinks its 1964
- crime prevention
- Curtis Granderson
- Dan Orlovsky
- Dancing With Stars
- Daunte Culpepper
- Dave Coulier
- David Labraccio
- David Price
- Davidson Basketball
- Detroit Link Poop
- Detroit Lions
- Detroit Pistons
- Detroit Red Wings
- Detroit Red Wings get married to Henrik Zetterberg
- Detroit Rocks
- Detroit Tigers
- Detroit4lyfe sports update
- Detroit4lyfe takes PEDs so what
- Detroit4lyfe's first live blogcast will tell you if Davidson assistant coach Matt McKillop picks his nose during timeouts: It'll be that detailed oriented just like this tag
- Devin Who?
- did Clemens actually take it in the butt
- Dirk Flirts with Jason Kidd
- Does Jim Leyland sing lullabies to his players
- don't drink and drive
- Dontrelle Willis
- double d titles
- Drew Stanton
- drugs shrink genitalia
- drunken idiot
- Dwayne Wade Still Cried When He hurt his shoulder
- Edwin Jackson
- ER isn't the same without George Clooney
- escalator rides are fun
- Evan Mintz
- fake mustache
- fantasy baseball tips
- fantasy football championsip
- fantasy football greatness
- Fernando Rodney wrestles alligator for Chubs
- Fernando Vina
- Fighting in the NHL has to stay
- Final Four
- first place
- Fitzgerald punks Cooley and gets punked
- from a-rod to a-aroid or was it always a-roid
- Fu-Te Ni
- Gary Sheffield he gone
- George Foster doesn't deserve a label
- Gerald Laird
- get some ice for Miner's tits
- GM of the Lions
- good games on tv to help ease us into the nfl off-season
- Goonther is a bad ass name
- Grey Poupon
- guys from places like "moose jaw" and "cow's tit"
- hanging bones are not a good sign for pitchers
- Henrik Zetterberg
- Henry Pearson
- hockey pucks
- Home opener
- homecoming is awkward and emotional
- honor code
- hot steamy link dump
- I 'm tired of having Sunday Night Depression
- I got punked
- I hate BJs
- I hate Nick Folk tonight
- I hate the Celtics
- I just realized Matt Millen has his own tag and I'm utterly ashamed of that
- I named the Blue Jackets because I've never seen a blue jacket before
- I was going to list a lot of other players but blogger wont let me
- I'll take the cream of some young guy
- i'm a master of karate and friendship for everyone
- if Clemens did indeed take it in the butt it may not be the last time
- if you tape your ankles before every game and practice you don't stand a chance without the insurance
- Infinite Losers
- it's okay if your team sucks
- it's the effing Final Four at Ford Field
- Jason Williams
- Jay Cutler
- Jim Leyland
- Jim Rome interview
- Jim Schwartz
- Jimmy Fatsos
- Jimmy Valvano
- Joe Dumars
- Joel Zumaya
- Johan Franzen
- John Mapplethorpe introduction
- John Stockton
- Jon Kitna
- Jordan Staal
- Josh Anderson
- Josh Smith planters nuts on Nash's forehead
- Julie the Cat
- jumbo dogs
- Justin Verlander
- Kenny Mayne
- Kevin Garnett
- Kevin Smith
- Kevin Weekes
- Kid Rock
- Kobe Bryant
- Kobe Bryant didn't really jump over a car
- Kris Benson's wife is hot and willing to be slutty
- Kyle Korver really rocks the shit out of that snowboarding hat huh
- Law school sucks
- Lawson faking a toe injury for sympathy from the liz-adies?
- Lebron James
- Leo Mazzone
- lethal bullpen in 2009 is a distinct possibility
- lil wayne flashes them pearly golds
- lil wayne wins around the horn showdown
- Lions are not smart
- Lions have good manners
- Lions new logo
- loaded on outfielders
- look alikes
- LSD tunnel
- lucky things come in fours at Detroit4lyfe
- Magglio Ordonez
- make his head bleed
- Manny being Manny
- Manny Harris
- Manny Ramirez
- Marian Hossa
- Masters boob grab
- Matt Cassel
- Matt Millen
- Mayhew might sign you if you expressed enough interest and are willing to play o-line or corner
- Michael Curry
- Michael Phelps gets high
- Michigan basketball
- Michigan Football
- Michigan State Spartans
- Miguel Cabrera
- Mike Illitch is good
- Mike Shanahan fake tans
- Minka Kelly
- misleading headline from ESPN
- missing teeth
- monster dunks
- motions to dismiss
- moving to bloguin.com
- Nate Robertson
- National Signing Day hoopla
- NBA on TNT
- NCAA Basketball National Championship
- neifi perez fantasy baseball
- neither does Shaun McDonald
- Never complain your fingers hurt because then your back's gonna hurt from pulling landscaping duty
- never trust a whale who hasn't had dinner yet
- New York Giants
- New York Yankees
- Nick Adenhart
- Nicklas Lidstrom
- No depression tonight just inspired
- no Jake Taylor
- no more keg stands and guitar hero
- now you're hurtin' feelings
- O.J. did it? Judge Judy
- one game losing streak ends tonight
- Pam Anderson
- Patriots cheerleader not so nice
- Paul Pierce tweets and is soft
- Pavel Datsyuk
- people search for the darndest things
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Pistons are dating the pepperidge farm guy right now but at least they have a five year plan
- Pistons have no heart and seek advice from Tin Woodsman
- Pistons have no heart and seek advice Tin Woodsman
- Pistons shock the world
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Plaxico Burress
- Prime Time Player
- Quit bullying the bullpen
- Random beef
- random post about nothing really
- Rasheed Wallace
- resign Jason Hanson
- restore the roar
- Richard Hamilton
- Rick Knapp
- Rick Porcello
- RIP Bill Davidson
- Rodney Stuckey
- Roy Williams
- Ryan Perry
- San Diego Chargers
- Sarah Varone
- Sean Casey retires
- Sean Nokes
- Search engine optimization
- Shaq tweets and I like him more because of it
- Shaquille O'Neal
- Shaun Cody
- shoveling snow
- sickening lead-in
- Six degrees of separation
- Slump Buster
- some dick leads to Cardinals demise
- Spear me some Sharks
- spring training bra talk
- St. Patrick's Day
- Stanley Cup Playoffs
- Stanley Cup Rematch
- Step Brothers
- Stephen Curry
- steroids are bad for baseball
- Steve Nash drinks tea
- Steve Phillips is drunk on the air
- stupid coaching
- stuttering stanley
- Sunday Night Anti-DeBreastsants
- Super Bowl XLIII
- super fan 99 over here
- Sweet Child of Mine
- Swiss Cheese
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Terrell Owens
- terrible offense
- testicle tuesday
- the answer is gone but the Pistons find the answer
- The Big Three
- the rain game
- the SAT is not a prerequisite for admission to Ohio State
- the Vince Young disorder
- think; cry
- this post has nothing to do with anything
- Those glasses detect weakness and Goonther will have no tolerance for weaknesses
- Tia Carrere
- Tiger Woods
- Tigers make me feel happy in pants
- Tim Tebow
- Tom Brady
- Tom Izzo
- Tom Selleck previews the 2009 Detroit Tigers season
- Tony Parker's French
- Tony Romo
- Tool Academy
- turning men into school boy bitches
- Unsung Player Day
- USA v. Canada 2 PM EST
- Vegas distractions
- Visanthe Shiancoe
- Walter Hermann has the hands of Tony Robbins
- Walter Herrmann has the hands of Tony Robbins
- Warren Sapp
- we're moving and these have to stay
- West Virginia
- what's an a-hole
- whirly ball
- winter meetings
- World Baseball Classic
- World Series
- worse than Lions?
- worst uniforms of all time
- Zac Efron is soft
- Zach Miner