Posted on: May 4, 2010 8:40 pm
Ernie Harwell passed away today after a year long battle with cancer. Ernie was the voice of Tigers baseball. He was the commentator to my summer and a nighttime companion to my youth.
When I was in 4th grade, I was given an AM radio. I never listened to much music on it, but I did listen to Tigers games at night. Huddled under the covers of my bed I would tune the radio to ear the familiar twang of Harwell's voice.
Ernie got as excited for a good play as the fans did. Conversely, don't recall him ever saying anything bad about the home team. In life, he was the same way. Always a kind word; never speaking ill of anyone.
Ernie was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor early last summer. He made a point of attending a Tigers game and speaking to the fans while he was still able. Ernie thanked the fans for the kindness they had showed him over the years. The ovation that Harwell received was long and genuine. I think it even made him a bit uncomfortable.
I was lucky enough to meet Ernie in the 90s. I babbled something incoherently about my AM radio and listening to him. I'm certain it was story told by hundreds of other kids, now grown men, over a lifetime.
Thank you, Ernie. Thank you for a childhood of memories. Rest in peace.
Posted on: February 2, 2010 1:06 pm
I love the insanity that is America’s unofficial holiday – Super Bowl Sunday. The parties, the ads, the hype, and even the game all add up to a great day celebrating a uniquely American tradition.
America has co-opted a fabulous tradition from the British. The proposition bet. For those not familiar with the idea of a prop bet, it’s a bet that falls outside the standard confines of winner and/or score. A prop bet can be on most anything. In the UK, their bookies are famous for taking bets on nearly anything.
For the Super Bowl, Las Vegas gets in on the act to try and lure more of your dollars. I love the weirdness and odd social commentary that they generate. Here are just a few for Super Bowl XLIV.
Will Drew Brees throw for more yards than John Elway did in Super Bowl XXI (304 yards)? Yes or No is even money.
Reggie Bush: Rushing Yards: Over/Under = 30. This one might seem straight forward, but it has Admiral Akhbar written all over it.
Largest lead of game? Over/Under = 16.5
How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the National Anthem? Over/Under is 1 minute and 42 seconds.
What color will the Gatorade dumped on the winning head coach be?
Yellow: even money
Clear or water: +150
How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV: over/under = 4.5
How many times will Kim Kardasian be shown on TV: over/under = 2.5
How many times will Hurricane Katrina be mentioned: over/under = 3
Will The Who smash a guitar on stage during the halftime show? No = -180 (meaning the chance is 35%)
How many times will Pete Townshend do his famous windmill move? Over/Under = 6
My money is on the Kardashian and yellow Gatorade. Good luck on all your bets this weekend!
Posted on: February 1, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2010 4:37 pm
Ball One: Pitchers and catchers report in 17 days. Hot damn!
Strike One: It was announced that Jon Miller of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN and voice of the San Francisco Giants would be inducted into Cooperstown today. I hear a lot of people on sports talk radio and these interblags rail on Miller. Those in the Bay area seem to have a different take. Most people I know there seem to like and admire Miller. I count myself in the latter category as well. I think he's an outstanding baseball voice with a wealth of stories. I think it's a well-deserved selection to the Hall.
Strike Two: Good god, Dave Dombrowski, PUT DOWN THE CRACKPIPE! I know things are bad in Detroit, but there is no reason to sign Johnny Damon. You obstensibly got rid of a first-class outfielder to the Yankees for the purposes of trimming payroll. Now you're going to overpay someone who the Yankees didn't want? Save the money. Build from within or sign a kid who can run in the wide open spaces of Comerica Park's centerfield. A 37 year old Damon is not your answer.
Strike Three: Joe Mauer just signed a gizillion dollar, 10 year contract with his hometown Twins. I never thought Mauer would leave Minnesota. Born and raised there, he's a homegrown boy done good. In staying put, he's made himself a legend. I'm happy for the kid. He deserves it.
Posted on: December 9, 2009 10:49 am
Edited on: December 9, 2009 10:57 am
Curtis Granderson was more than a rising star in centerfield. Granderson was one of the good guys. Major League Baseball recognized him as the Man of the Year for his work with the GrandKids Foundation. The foundation’s mission is “to enforce educational initiatives to youth and to help bring the sport of baseball back to the nation's inner cities.”
In a year where his batting average dropped 20 points, his power increased dramatically. In the process, Granderson went from being a lead off threat to a solid hitter in the 3rd spot. Granderson was not without his faults. His strikeouts increased and he flailed against left-handed pitching.
Still, he provided Detroit fans with a stunning glove and command of the spacious Comerica Park center field.
Detroit did not have much choice but to deal Granderson. Granderson was scheduled to make over $5 million this year and over $8 million the next. Attendance in a season where the Tigers were contenders until the very end was down significantly. No one blames the fans. Unemployment in the state of Michigan exceeds 15%. Household discretionary spending was at a premium so spending a couple hundred dollars on a trip to Comerica Park was not realistic for many families.
As a Tigers fan, I’m hopeful about the trade. There seems to be equal amounts of outrage on all sides of this three-way swap. Yankee fan and D-back fan are thinking they got screwed out of prospects as much as the average Tiger fan is thinking they lost the two of the best players in the franchise.
I have to give Tigers Head Honcho Dave Dombrowski some credit. He traded for Edwin Jackson who had a career year in Detroit. Dombrowski has had the magic touch most of the time. This fan will give him the benefit of the doubt while I hope these prospects pan out sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, I’ll be rooting for Curtis Granderson’s continued success on and off the field. Thanks for six great years in MoTown, Curits.
Posted on: April 29, 2009 2:45 pm
Funniest comment from an in-game chat. Courtesy of my friend, Klatz...
"I would just like the White Sox to swing like blind monkeys with Parkinsons."
Posted on: April 21, 2009 6:40 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2009 11:49 am
A light Monday to begin Week 3. I guess the rain didn't help much either. Here's hoping things look up for the rest of the week.
Posted on: April 21, 2009 9:36 am
As Week 2 draws to a close, you should be getting an idea of your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Before you trade Jimmy Rollins or Tim Lincecum, remember there is a reason you took these guys early. Keep your studs. Play them.
Posted on: April 19, 2009 3:40 pm
I thought this unemployment thing would allow me more time to blog. Actually, I find myself busier with things that need to be done than I did when I had a job. None of this makes any sense to me either. I do the game notes for me more than anyone else (as is evident by the staggering number of hits this blog gets. ). Here's what I found most important from the last week.
"Reds OF Laynce Nix was a late replacement for OF Jay Bruce, who sat out with a sore right hand. Bruce, who hurt the hand Monday at Milwaukee when he was hit by a pitch, is day-to-day. X rays and MRIs on Bruce's hands were negative." Its been nearly a week since Bruce was hit. He should be good to go for Week 3. Double check his status on Monday morning before setting your lineup.