landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
It's only 48 days until the baseball season kicks off. I have about 10 posts about Michigan baseball alumni or events of various importance that I've had stored away for a while, and thought that I would share this off season. I previously released one of these on my own site, A Tragedy: Steve Howe. I'll start the mgoblog series with perhaps the greatest Wolverine, George Sisler.
Probably the most successful professional player ever to hail from Michigan, George Sisler was a do it all kind of player. The hard throwing lefty pitched plenty for the Wolverines, but also kept up a batting average around .445. Sisler chose Michigan almost on a whim; his parents had demanded he put off his big league aspirations for a while and get a college education. Bypassing the two primary teams recruiting him (Western Reserve and Penn), George came to Michigan following his high school catcher Russ Baer.
While at Michigan, Sisler played for the first-year engineering school team as a freshman in the intramural league. At the time, freshmen couldn't play for the varsity squad. His MVP performance over the juniors of the law school in the championship was enough to catch the eye of Professional&College Hall of Fame coach Branch Rickey. Sisler became an immediate starter in his sophomore season of 1913. The 1913 season was a big break through for the Wolverines who posted a 21-4-1 record, their first 20 win season in history. Sisler was a big part of that, both pitching and playing the field. While overall stats aren't easily available (yet), the one game that stood out in Sisler's career at Michigan was the 1915 start against the Michigan Agricultural College Aggies (now MSU Spartans). Sisler threw a complete game 2 hitter. He struck out 10 batters that day, but also went 4 for 5 with a pair of triples, 2 steals, 3 runs, and 5 fielding assists (one started a double play). How's that for domination? Sisler would finish the year with a .445 batting average and win All-American honors for his pitching and outfield play.
In 1914, Sisler battled some arm trouble but still managed a batting average around .500. After seeing a doctor about the arm in the off season, Sisler returned for the 1915 season and was an All-American again. By this time, he had earned his degree and was ready for the big leagues. After some battles in court over an illegal contract he signed as a minor, former Michigan coach Branch Rickey helped Sisler put the lawsuit to rest and sign Sisler as a free agent. Rickey was then with the St. Louis Browns (now the Cardinals) baseball club of the American League. Sisler left Ann Arbor and was pitching for St. Louis that summer, throwing 6 complete games in 8 starts. Sisler also started playing first base and the outfield during his days off from pitching, hitting a modest .285 for the season, a career low for a full season.
As the years went by, Sisler pitched less and less due to his value at the plate. He became the full time first baseman for the Browns in 1916 and became know as "the next Ty Cobb." He didn't disappoint either. In 1920, he won the batting title with a .407 average with a record setting 257 hits in a season. That record stood until 2004 when Ichiro finally broke it (they only played 154 games in Sisler's time, but Ichiro had 162 games to break the record). Sisler also had a career high 122 RBIs that season. Sisler won the first ever AL MVP award for his 1922 season, batting .420 with 105 RBIs. His hitting streak of 41 games was a record (not broken until Joe DiMaggio overtook him in 1941), and his 51 stolen bases were a career high.
Sisler would miss the 1923 season in its entirety due to a massive sinus infection that plagued him with severe headaches and double vision. Upon his return in 1924, Sisler never had that same edge he had before the infection. Before, he could place a hit anywhere he wanted. Afterward, he still hit for a good average (.290-.340), but never at the near .400 levels he was accustomed to. Sisler also took over managerial duties for the Browns. That job didn't last too long, ending in 1926. Sisler admitted he never felt that he was ready to take over as a manager.
Sisler was traded to the Washington Senators (who would become the Minnesota Twins) in 1928, but would only be there a few weeks before being traded to the Boston Braves (to become the Milwaukee then Atlanta Braves). Sisler did well with his first year with the Braves, but tailed off the following two seasons before being demoted to the minors. He played a season with Rochester in the International League and one with Shreveport-Tyler in the Texas League. He would retire from the game in 1932.
After retiring, Sisler opened a sporting good store and started the American Softball Association (the biggest name in softball today). Sisler engineered the first lighted softball field, leading to an explosion in the sport in the 1930s. In 1939, George was also inducted into the first ever class to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1942, he was reunited with Branch Rickey and offered a position in the Cardinals' organization as a scout. He would later work for the Brooklyn Dodgers as a scout and player developer. Sisler was one of Jackie Robinson's coaches, teaching how to play first base to ease his transition into the major leagues. Sisler would follow Rickey one more time to Pittsburgh where he continued as a scout and player developer where he coached Roberto Clemente on hitting. He would stick with the Pirates for the remainder of his career as a hitting coach at various levels.
George Sisler died on March 26, 1973.
George Sisler, The Baseball Biography Project
Another bowl season, who will make the cut?
BigTen? SEC? XII? who knows?
Maybe some undefeated team from Boise, Idaho?
The fans from afar in cold weather bluster,
Pray for their team, a winning effort to muster.
But sadly not I, for my team has no bowl.
My wolverines have failed in achieving their goals.
The winged helmet it seems has lost some of its luster,
And so in lieu, I watch some non-automatic qualifying BCS buster.
And lament for shame what could have been
But alas, a second rebuilding season for poor Michigan
Rich Rodriguez, I know your job ain't easy,
And I doubt the media who tries to paint you as sleazy.
But I know your spread option, I know your receiver splits.
I know your defensive alignment, and I know your zone blitz.
And I know that winning isn't just about X's and O's.
It's also about Jimmies and Joes.
It's about guys named Tate and Denard
It's about desire, and playing hard.
But 1 and 7 in conference just isn't good enough!
It's time to get angry! It's time to get tough!
It's time to put the best players on the field
Regardless of whether all egos are healed.
It's time to be creative again.
Time to make their coach's head spin!
Put Shoelace and Sunshine out together,
Their combined skill will overcome any kind of weather.
It's time to let the Freep know who's boss.
It's time to eliminate the upset loss.
It's time to regain our position we've earned
And time to show us the lessons you've learned.
Stop hedging and hawing for a day that may never come
Because if you don't win now, there will be anger from some
And hatred from others, and a pink slip too
Our patience has worn thin, we of the maize and blue.
So now is the time for do or die.
And these words, I promise you, are not a lie,
If you don't deliver a winning season,
You will be fired for just reason.
A new AD comes next year,
And his stamp, he'll want to have appear
So just win, and everything will take care of itself,
And we'll drink to you, and your health.
We'll sing for the colors that float through the night
And bring in the new decade in the right
Six wins, a bowl, and some hope, no less,
Will win you the praise of the 'leaders and best'.
4 - Upvoting and Downvoting are enabled. First recorded negbangs happen shortly after.
6 - HTTV 2009 was released.
9 - You can follow Tate's mother's twitter, and we discovered a Forcier - Roundtree connection. Go back and posbang him. Also, the first forum topic about points.
12 - It's the offseason. Bad Movies that looked good.
13 - Still the off season when we're talking about fictional Michigan Alumni. Also, consensus 7-5?
14 - Tim Hardaway Jr. is scouted. Boundless optimism about the season
15 Still the offseason. Underrated Movies
16- Kurt Wemers transfers, trashes program
21, 22 - New Rivals 100 and 250 are released. We are very concerned.
22- Rick Reilly writes a Tiger Woods article that portrays him in a negative light. Even though he's mainly right, Reilly is still a tool.
24- Mgoblog and Varsity Blue combine.
25- Justin Feagin is dismissed from the team.
27- A thread on showering.
29- Rich Rod likes him some RAWK MUSIK. Let's talk about the band.
30- UCONN is announced as the 2010 opener. Reactions.
31- Offseason is almost over, but here's a 130 response thread on fast food.
3- Coner isn't the only rapper on the team.
4- Donovan Warren likes GERG. Mgoboard talks about Chicks, man.
7. Bouje complains about losing 7 mgopoints. The future will not be good to him. Also, if we go into E. Lansing 4-0. I don't think anybody made a correct prediction from that thread.
9- Feagin situation is revealed. Freep starts Jihad. Team learns..
11- Reaction. Michael Rosenberg hit job.
12- Brodie resurrects his own thread from January. The title is the most entertaining part.
13- Mustaches for Michigan
14- Reaction to Rosenberg. Denard is fast. You can find out which posters are shut in alcoholics.
15- Talk about yourself
17- Wondering about lunch in Ann Arbor?
21- Sommy hates Fernando Rodney. (Dude... he produced)
23- You should learn about swimming.
24- OH MY GOD 3 QUARTERBACKS PLAY AGAINST WESTERN?
26- Another alcohol related thread. This will be useful as the season progresses. Also, Shredder starts his MS Paint masterpieces.
28- Jay passes Brian in Mgopoints. Everything goes on as normal. MLIA.
30- The week before the opener, the Freep goes nuts.
SEPTEMBER (FOOTBALL IS BACK!)
1- Somebody comes to the defense of Rosenberg? Herbie's got our back. Or just read this entire page. (Link will only work for... a day?). In this recap here's Brian recapping himself.
3- College football is back. Hey, come back and check to see how wrong you were on your predictions and cry yourself to sleep!
3- Brian has been doing a section season preview. The only part that was egrigriously wrong was The Linebackers. Every other position grouping was pretty accurate.
5- More alcohol. Why? Because I just read Brian's season prediction.
6- Hey, we beat Western!
7- Mgoblog was sponsered by the M-Den for awhile. This is why you should never judge a team after week 1 unless its Illinois.
8- Free Jihad still on. Panic?
10- Shoutout to Box. Rosenberg Punches Dolphins.
13- We Beat ND. It was glorious. This, however, scarred me.
15- Jonas Mouton punched a guy
16- I blame this guy for the ensuing season.
20- We beat Eastern. There's a lot of contentious talk over standing up. This thread is an example.
24- I'm not a fan, but Helmet Stickers?
25- We fall off the wagon. Also, the first rule of Mgopoints is to NEVER TALK ABOUT MGOPOINTS.
27- We beat Indiana. However, people really aren't happy. Bill Lynch throws gum, makes my day.
As September draws to a close, we are 4-0. The rest of the year will be a long, drawn out trail of tears, full of frustration, anger, and sadness. There are 80 full pages of MgoBoard threads left, and 40 pages of content. I fear I won't make it through.
1- Denard will sign your forehead.
3- Let's all blame GERG
4- We lose to MSU. The people are restless
6- Tigers choke away division. I die a little inside.
7- "Superfan" is kind of a dick. Aside: the "superfan" during my senior year couldn't keep a f***** beat with a cowbell.
8- You should watch the E:60 Elliott Mealer story.
9- Mgoblog suffers a schitzophrenic break. I blame Fernando Rodney.
11- There are rumors we will wear White pants at Iowa, and they refuse to die.
12- We lose to Iowa. Requisite monthly long Mgopoint thread. Denard was in, Tate was concussed.
14- Look over here! its baseball!
15- Rich Leach goes off on Lloyd.
16- Tom VH interviews defensive recruits. This thread is titled "I hate you all"
17- We beat down Delaware State.
21- Bill Martin is retiring. Blogfight vs. Deadspin.
22- I have no idea why this thread has 151 responses.
24- People are now angry at Rich Rod.
24- We lose to PSU.
25- Somebody suggests Sheridan start.
27- Cissoko dismissed from the team. More
28- "Negbangs are out of control"
31- It's Halloween. And the Illinois game. Dong Punch.
We are still above .500 thanks to Baby Seal U. We can still make a bowl game...
1- Let's look towards next year
2- Brian turns emo (but not em0)
3- Carvin Johnson commits. People start grumbling about 3*s again.
5- TKoB, people want him banned.
6- Baskeball starts
7- This is an ugly thread. This one isn't much better. This one is the worst.
7- I've been avoiding hockey. This is part of the reason. We also lost to Purdue. Sigh.
9- This is a poorly reasoned argument.
11- Mgoblog was down. I was lost in the wilderness.
14- Henri, otter of ennui. Or a Wisconsin loss.
16- Michael Wilbon spreads dumb rumors
18- Linked only for the sweet picture. Mike Valenti has sources, man.
19- Senior Haikus. Henri strikes many down. k06em01 wonders where he should unload his speculative rumor. Incredibly, he has -666 points at the time of this posting.
21- A game happened.
22- em0 starts to deteriorate.
23- Let's just go to the fetal postion. OMG A GIRL!
29- Basketball falls twice in Old Spice classic.
30- ND loves Bob Stoops
1- Let's poke at the dead body of the Freep. We talk about hot chicks, man, in the avatar thread and the only reason I mention it is because I got in a Rick Roll.
2- Basketball vs. BC... Discussion
4- People are douchebags when Ray Vinopal commits. But seriously, stop hating.
12- Happy Trails, random guy I've never seen post.
15- Big Ten Expansion? GRID OF JUDGEMENT
This was this month. Hopefully you didn't forget what happened here last week.
Finally, I didn't get through the diaries. There are many great ones, but no good way to page through all of them that I've found. The back half of the year had lots more content, not all of it good. There were quite a few meltdowns that I didn't document, and much uglyness that has been deleted.
Here's to wildly optimistic projections for the future:
5 - Will Campbell re-committed to Michigan, and there was much (slightly creepy) rejoicing. Also, first mention I can find of the "Rich Rod recruits 3*s meme") Slightly ironic that it comes on the day a 5* commits.
7 - Tom VH interviews Tate
9 - Everybody hates Fox broadcasting the MNC game. (seriously, there are more topics than I want to link to)
12 - Brian is compared to Drew Sharp. Hilarity ensues.
16- GERG! floated as a name, then commits on the 20th
19 - 7 people decided to comment on Tom VH's Cullen Christian interview
22 - I missed the lovefest, and am sad that I'm not Enjoy Life's friend
25 - Conboy and Tropp commit a crime
29 - It's been an up and down month for basketball, but we lose to OSU and are 4-5 in conference. Tourney aspirations are dimming.
30 - Possibly the first mention of BLACK UNIFORMS!!!, but certainly not the last.
2 - Refs screw us over twice in the same day. My hatred of Jim Burr grows
4- Signing day. We lose 2 DTs, gain Q-wash and Jeron Stokes, Adrian Witty and Denard Robinson
5- WLA takes over Mgoblog
6- Tim and Paul are guest posting. Baby Seal U is announced as a game, the people are unimpressed
12- Dex helpfully UFRs the Ohio State game from November for those who were misinformed
13- Who's your favorite obscure player?
16- Threet transfers
23- We, uh, lose to Iowa in OT
25- Somehow, there are 299 comments in the Maker's Mark boycott post.
27- We proceed to beat Purdue.
Liveblog is a curse meme lives on strong throughout this month.
2- Seriously guys? 70% of Mgoblog votes against having a liveblog for the last game of the basketball season, against Minnesota
3- Brian realizes he is a harbinger of bad luck
4- Remember Craven Morehead? He's banned. Oh, the simple days.
8- There is a counter petition to the petition to get night games. In other news, people believe that online petitions are noticed. Also, MAIZE JERSEYS!!! And people think that MSU is fraudulent and won't do well in the tourney
12- DG commits
16- Basketball makes the tourney
19- And we beat Clemson!
23- then lose to man-child Blake Griffin and OU. People discover Poole1dan and make fun of him.
25- Spring practice has begun, Hockey bracket is posted,
27- We lose to the zoomies.
28- Speculation on Denard starting starts
29- Oh hey, I found the a classic McFarlin thread.
30- Just so you know, Diclemeg with -1635 points as of posting, thinks Denard will start at QB, and stakes his reputation to it.
31- To help you cope, Coner drops some mad rhymes
7 - I didn't attend the inaugural Mgotailgate at the spring game as I was far too drunk, but here's the plan
9 - Hello: Evan Metrics
13- Tate drops bombs in the spring game
15- Greg Paulus is seriously considering playing quarterback in college. Hey, another McFarlin thread! Also, people seriously hate the thought of Greg Paulus.
19- Somebody mentions USC's lack of institutional control. Way to be 8 months early, and use U$C.
20- Barkavious Mingo vs. Iris Macadangdang in the name of the year.
24- Backlash against new posters commences
30- Drew Dileo commits, people are not happy.
5 - McFarlin is banned. This thread is entertaining.
11- Brian addresses the bitching and overall creepyness. Anton Scalia bashes Ohio State
18 - "Douchey Mgoblog Users" reminded us to stop talking on our cell phones when ordering sandwiches.
21- People haven't gotten word that online polls won't get us a night game.
25- Mgopoints are halfheartedly introduced. I start planning my mgopoint retirement fund.
May was kind of a slow month. I didn't link to the variety of small fights about oversigning, stars, etc.
1- Kelvin and Kevin Grady come back into the fold
3- I include this link only because of Brian's throwaway line at the end: "Daily continues murdering Detroit papers, this time landing an extensive interview with Toney Clemons" Sadly, the Freep just sat on their interview...
10- WLA vs. GBMW blogfight escalates. Topic had GOOD MOTOR but FAILS to resolve CONFLICT PEECEFULY. Also, every month must have the requisite 3* recruit post.
29 - Tim Hardaway Jr. commits to michigan
30 - Mgoblog's secondary USA soccer craze comes to an end with a loss in the Confed Cup to Brazil
Another slow month. Hopefully I'll get the 2nd half of the year up sometime tomorrow.
More happy fun news for the basketball program today! Press release:
Associate Head Coach Dunn to Take Indefinite Leave of Absence
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 29) Associate Head Coach Jerry Dunn will take an indefinite leave of absence from the
Wolverine program due to personal family matters.
"Presently, I have family matters that need my immediate attention," said Dunn. "Coach Beilein and the University have been gracious enough to allow me the time needed to do so."
"I fully support Jerry as he continues to focus on his family at this time," said Beilein. "We will be there and ready to assist as needed now and when he is ready to return."
Administrative Specialist Jeff Meyer will assume Dunn's duties during his absence from the program.
No word on what the "family matters" are, and I think it's probably best that we don't worry about speculating here. Best wishes to Coach Dunn, and hopefully he can get his family issues squared away ASAP and get back on the hardwood. In tandem with the bad news on Cronin earlier today, it's been a rough stretch for men's basketball.
Hopefully, a couple wins to start the Big Ten season will make us forget about any distractions, and the team can go on a run in the conference. A win against Indiana would go a long way towards restoring good vibes around the program.
Ohio St. Defense vs. BCS Teams outside of the Big 10, dating back to 2006.
Texas 2006 326 YDS UT started redshirt frosh Colt McCoy
FLA. 2006 370 YDS
WASH. 2007 346 YDS Washington was 4-8
LSU 2007 353 YDS
USC 2008 348 YDS
Texas 2008 468 YDS
USC 2009 313 YDS USC started a true freshman QB
AVG. 360.5 YDS A GAME
State won 2 of those games Texas in ’06 and the 4-8 Washington team from ’07. OSU is 2-5 vs. their
last 7 BCS conference opponents from outside the Big 10. They are giving up an
average of 360.5 yds and over 25 pts a game.
EDIT: I also found it interesting that, for a team with such a great rush defense, OSU did not have a single player in the top 70 in sacks, tackles or tackles for loss.
What do you guys think? Is this due to bad offenses? OSU keeping the defense off the field?