Tagged: University of Michigan

Civility is Dead, Long Live Civility!

kanye_vma.jpgMuch has been made in the last few days about the death of civility in America. Serena’s tirade at the US Open only slightly overshadowed Representative Joe Wilson’s yell during President Obama’s health care speech. And of course, both of those events ended up being being blown away by Kanye West’s impromptu hijacking of the VMAs.

But I don’t think all of this is bad.

It’s good to see Serena fired up. God knows none of the other Americans in the main draw at the US Open came close to her fire with the possible exception of a seventeen year old. And when you’re used to stars making the same inane comments, it’s nice to see that there’s still room for the insane. As for Wilson, although it might have been nice for him to express his views in a slightly more constructive way and perhaps in a more appropriate forum, he expressed how strongly Americans feel about the issue of health care.

I’d love to see the Tigers this fired up about their season. They may be in the driver’s seat in the AL Central but they sure don’t look like they’re in control. The only reason they’re in first is because the other teams in the division are giving it away.

However, I’m hoping the Tigers can take heart in the exploits of the University of Michigan football team. I don’t think anyone expected much but they went out this past weekend and won one of the two games that count this season. Civility may be dead but so are the hopes and dreams of thousands of Fighting Irish fans and that’s good enough for me.

-A

Flexing the Omnipotent Pipes

devils_night_detroit.jpgGod hates Detroit. As if there were any doubts about this fact after watching last year’s Detroit Lions, Michigan Wolverines and Detroit Tigers, all you have to do is check the Detroit skyline every October 30 or read the newspapers today. Yes, god hates Detroit but it appears there is a good reason. Detroit hates god right back

And now it also appears that god has decided to flex those omnipotent muscles a little more in smiting Detroit. In the past five days, not only did Dontrelle Willis and Joel Zumaya land on the injured reserve, Gary Sheffield is also looking for a new home. Granted, Sheff has often been a cancer in the clubhouse and both Willis and Zumaya had less than impressive stuff last season. But these are not the kinds of things that Detroit and the state of Michigan need right now

However, I have a couple solutions. Perhaps we just need to butter the big guy up a little. How about a little of this to help out:

Or maybe we just have to really hope that Nietzsche had it right. What I do know is that things can always be worse. At least I’m not a homeless guy in Detroit.

detroit_frozen.jpg-A

Please Excuse My Colleague’s Blind Ignorance; He’s a Michigander and Therefore Knows Not the Error of His Ways

kathy bates misery.jpgIndeed, Misery, thy name is Detroit.

Equally so, Ignorance, thy name is Mr. Allen Krause.

“…the fact is, neither of them [Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia] deserved the MVP for this year.”
       — Allen Krause, Misery, Thy Name is Detroit

Ordinarily, I prefer to eschew my impetus to pass judgment and/or speculate the grounds of one’s idiocy, but in this case, Mr. Krause, I’m afraid there is no explanation for your blasphemy other than to say you must be smoking the same stuff as our dear leader; and it’s certainly beginning to show.

Next you’ll be saying things like:

Or…

Or even worse:

Look, I and our dear readers all know that even though you reside in Washington, D.C., you’re still a Michigander at the core of your being and with that comes a certain inherited blind ignorance in the way of assessing athletic achievement.  And we all realize that, aside from your Hockeytown Redwings, you don’t have much to cheer about these days.  U of M looks like a pop-warner team.  The Tigers are the baseball equivalent of our nation’s financial mess.  The Lions are an absolute abomination, better fit for cleaning toilets in an Amtrak restroom than trying to execute the fundamentals of football.

But when you say that both Pujols and Pedroia were not rewarded for their efforts this season but rather for feats of the past, I have no choice but to postulate: what the $#%& is wrong with you?!?!

Pujols’ numbers were hands down the best of anyone this season.  He is always an MVP candidate for the simple fact that he is always getting better and always carrying his team.  He won the MVP in 2005.  He should’ve won in 2004.  This year, 2008, above any else, was certainly cause for him to win again because without Pujols in that lineup, the Cardinals would’ve probably been the 20 games under .500 team everyone thought they’d be at the start. 
   
In the case of Pedroia, his 2008 achievements were far better than his 2007 achievements.  He proved himself an invaluable leader throughout the season both with his bat and his glove, not to mention his guts and brawn.

So where the hell do you find it reasonable to compare these two paragons of baseball accomplishment to Denzel Washington and his role in Training Day, which, by the way, was also very well acted no matter what you think, Mr. Krause.

I’d suggest that you take this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday to give thanks that despite your inability to successfully formulate sensible arguments with actual information to back yo ^ss up you still have a cushy intellectual job that turns a blind eye to your inaccuracies, as grave as they are.

Oh yes, Al, you can hate me.   That’s fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Misery, Thy Name is Detroit

First of all, Mr. Lung, to answer one of your questions, no, I did not score a “perfect 100” on my citizenship test. You know why? Because I was born here so I don’t have pass a citizenship test. What did you score on yours? Oh right. You didn’t have to take one either. Typical red state attempt to reframe a debate.

Now, I’d like to point out once again that I don’t wish to take anything away from Albert and Pedroia’s accomplishments. But, the fact is, neither of them deserved the MVP for this year. It’s like Denzel Washington winning the Oscar for Training Day. He’s a great actor but giving him the honor for inferior work doesn’t justify anything.

Honestly, it’s almost as bad as this ongoing sportsboy fascination with Erin Andrews. Sure, even I admit that she’s attractive when you place in her in the pantheon of female sideline reporters. But, when your competition is Suzy Kolber and Holly Rowe, how hard can it be?
Erin Andrews Phone.jpg
Thanks to Deadspin

However, despite our disagreement on all things EA and your obvious naivete when it comes to the postseason awards, there is one area where we agree and, although I hate to say it, where we also agree with Mitt Romney. Detroit is America’s Somalia, a failed-state. I mean, can you think of a more dysfunctional area? Not only is the auto industry teetering on the brink of total collapse, there’s really nothing else to cling onto. Well, maybe except guns and religion.

Look at the situation. The University of Michigan football team just succeeded in having the worst season in school history. The Lions have an excellent shot at ending 0-16 and making official what Lions fans have known for a long time: this really is one of the worst teams ever. And what more can I say about the Tigers that I haven’t already said. Farnsworth? No, Detroit and indeed the entire state of Michigan is just one big wasteland. But, I have an idea.

As more and more people start to realize that the Big 3 entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring their enormous liabilities isn’t such a bad idea, maybe it’s time for some of the area’s sports teams to do the same. Would it really be so bad if Detroit gave up their NFL franchise to a place like LA and then started over from scratch? You can’t tell me there’s anyone on that team who’s really worth keeping around. And maybe the Tigers don’t need to declare bankruptcy but they’re starting to look as top-heavy as GM. Any student in Accounting 101 can tell you that too many libailities when paired up with too few assets makes for a really bad situation. And although U of M brought in new management, it doesn’t really work so well when that manager can’t adjust their style to fit the personnel they have on hand.

So, it’s about time for Detroit to do with it’s sports what it did to it’s equally cack-handed former mayor. Indict ’em, convict ’em and then clean ’em up. That’s change I can believe in.

-A

Good Enough Just Ain’t Good Enough

unknown comic.jpgI am not a quitter.  Never have been.  In fact, I still smoke, I still stay up past midnight and I still believe the Cardinals have a shot at that last wild card spot.  Yes.  I believe.  I have faith (albeit very little).  This is why I was extremely disappointed to read Matthew Leach’s latest article, which basically says: our season is done, Cardinal fans… but hey, we weren’t supposed to be this good in the first place so everything’s cool. 

Not cool, Mr. Leach.  Definitely not cool.

And I am one of Mr. Leach’s biggest fans.  I read his blog; I read his news articles.  I actually read the guy’s book, so this is no blind sucker punch attack here.  To do in the Cardinals with two weeks remaining in a season already considered by many to be one of the most overachieving to date is not a great way to keep your fan base interested, or on your side.

Besides, baseball isn’t about just being good enough not to embarrass yourself.  Ask any Yankee fan how sick he/she feels right now knowing the team won’t make it to the post-season.  

Baseball is about grinding, going a hard nine 162 times a year in the cold, the rain, the sun and the heat and then the cold again. 

It’s about always giving your best by running out every ground ball, backing up the first baseman, meticulously spitting sunflower seed shells into a community bucket. 

Baseball is about never giving up no matter how far back, how far down, how far away.

Mr. Leach, we’re only four and half games out of the wild card and ahead of us are three teams that are each notorious for their streaky play.  We, as Cardinal fans, are not the despicable type who give up just because the future may look a tad dim.

In other words, we are not Allen Krause.  Mr. Krause gave up on his team a long time ago; he gave up on the University of Michigan football team before the season even started and after one game he gave up on his beloved Detroit Lions.

Again, Mr. Leach, let me reiterate: We are NOT Allen Krause and for taking on that ‘throw-in-the-towel’ attitude — despite the fact that I sincerely respect your work — I have no choice but to send you a great big RSBS Eat It! from all of us who care.

Following along the lines of ‘good enough just ain’t good enough’, let me also thank all our dear readers for putting RSBS higher up on the MLBlog totem pole.  Being ranked number two is certainly better than being ranked number five in total hits/popularity/readership; however, it would be irresponsible of me not to point out the simple fact that:

RSBS_Top10Fanblogs_9.12.08.jpgGo ahead.  You can hate me ‘cuz I’m pompous, you can hate me ‘cuz I’m beautiful, but please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeffy

Stellar and Interstellar Development

Oh man. Can I tell you how much I love that minor league tirade? This guy just understands that bigger is better. And the thing is, if they’re going to toss you, you might as well make it worth it. Why kick dirt when you can throw a base? Why toss your hat when you can toss the entire contents of the dugout? That is the reason why I love America.

And I also love America because of college sports. In general, NCAA football and basketball provide much more drama and interest than do their professional counterparts. Yeah, that’s a factless, baseless blanket statement but my name is on this blog so I can write that. However, most other major college sports pale in comparison to their older brothers. Nowhere is this more true than baseball. Quick, tell me who won the College World Series last year? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And who won tonight’s CWS finale? No one cares. And there’s a reason for that.

Unlike football and basketball, there’s a different route to the pros for baseball players. It’s a much more (dare I say?) European system of small feeder clubs nurturing talent at different levels in order to prepare them for the big leagues. Like the big European club soccer teams do in Africa and Brazil, MLB constantly scours the developing world, trying to get an edge by finding hot new talent in some Latin American backwater. Then, they throw them into the minor league crockpot, set it to simmer and see how it all turns out.

jeter_draft.jpgEven homegrown talent is developed in a similar fashion. Do people get excited for a Derek Jeter to head off to the University of Michigan for a year before turning pro? No. He signs with the Yankees and they develop him in their minor league affiliates before bringing him up to the parent organization. So, if no exciting players show up in college baseball, why should we care about the sport?

Simply put, we shouldn’t. At least in college basketball or football, we get to see guys play for one or two years before they head off. Syracuse doesn’t win the 2003 NCAA basketball championship without Carmelo but that was all they got from him. Similarly, Ohio State doesn’t beat Miami in 2002 Fiesta Bowl without Maurice Clarett but that didn’t stop him from heading straight to the NFL (although his life since has been somewhat less than stellar).

So, should we care about this inequity in the sporting system and does it really matter? It seems pretty obvious that the different sports need different systems. Football and, to a lesser extent, basketball are homegrown sports that rely on colleges to develop players and provide them with greater exposure before they begin their professional careers. Baseball, like soccer, is a more international game and so the collegiate development system just doesn’t work. It’s unfortunate for fans of the game but when there are already so many MLB teams playing 162 games a year, the allure of collegiate baseball just seems unimportant. In the end, these systems, kind of like the American primary election system, seem to have fundamental flaws. But, when you consider the alternatives, I guess we’re doing a pretty good job.

-A