The World Baseball Cup (WBC), the baseball alternative to the World Cup, only smaller, with less professionals, and without an Olympic counterpart began today with the initial pool play. One Michigan player made the roster of the 16 teams, catcher Chris Berset.
Berset is the starting catcher for the Great Britain national team, although I have yet to peg his connection to the isles. In day one against Japan, the team favored to win Group D, Berset went 2 for 4 with 2 runs, a walk, and a strikeout. Berset actually reached base in four of his five plate appearances, as one was a fielder's choice. Chris also was thrown out at one point trying to score.
The final score was Japan 9, Great Britain 7. This being the first game of pool play, GB will need to win one of their next two games to stay alive.
The Brits will take on Nicaragua next, tomorrow in Zagreb, Croatia at a listed time of 10:30 local (Central European Time), or around 4:30am ET (if my math is correct). There are stat tracking services mentioned at the schedule page for the WBC, but according to BaseballGB, a blog covering the Great Britain baseball team, they are absolutely unreliable.They play host Croatia the following day at 16:30 local, 10:30am ET (again, if math is correct).
A final note, all the names Chris has been listed under during the WBC:
- Christ Berset
- Chrisopher Berset
- Christopher D. Berset (forgot where I saw this, but it does exist)
- Chris Berset
All of this has made for fun times trying to track Chris with google precision. I'll try to keep up with him as the WBC goes on. I've been waiting on the minor league seasons to wrap up to get a solid update on the alumni as well. Look for that next weekend.
UPDATE: I also found the GB Baseball blog, which had some interesting pictures of the field/scoreboard.
I did a check of big names, and very few current Michigan players have pages While Zoltan Mesko, Kevin Grady, and Donovan Warren do have their own pages, Brandon Graham, Tate Forcier, and Brandon Minor (to name a few) do not. This is extremely disappointing. An article did previously exist on Tate Forcier, but it was deleted (via an A7 speedy deletion), as he was not deemed "notable".
Wikipedia's guidelines dictate that that Wikipedia articles should only be created for "notable" persons, and that the articles should require "no original research. From the section regarding what qualifies as "notable":
If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article.I would say a number of current Michigan players fit these requirements. Unfortunately, my article-creation skills are...well, amateur at best. I need your help.
Anyone who has any experience editing/creating Wikipedia articles, or just with basic HTML, please help represent Michigan players on the site, and create informative, well-sourced. I started a brief article on Tate Forcier, but it's really nothing more that a placeholder - please help expand it.
Certainly not every member of the team merits a page, but consider adding/editing an article for:
- Brandon Graham
- Brandon Minor
- Carlos Brown
- Greg Mathews
- Denard Robinson
- Nick Sheridan
- Boubacar Cissoko
- Obi Ezeh
- Junior Hemingway
I think all those players should have pages, and probably several others. Don't go overboard (eg., I'm not sure Freshman PK Seth Broekhuizen should have a page just yet), but any effort you would be willing to put in would be greatly appreciated by me, and probably many other members of this community.
Good sources include: MGoBlue, Scout, Rivals, any newspaper articles (lolz), and of course, good old-fashioned Google-stalking.
It is the fact that Coach doesn't understand the meaning of a kid's movie. You know the movie: the Lion King. And the scene Coach Rod refers to (quoted from imdb here):
Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You See? So what are you going to do?
Adult Simba: First, I'm gonna take your stick.
[Simba snatches Rafiki's stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]
Rafiki: No, not the stick! Hey, where you going?
Adult Simba: I'm going back!
Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here!
[Rafiki begins laughing and screeching loudly]
The whole point of this scene, of course, is that the past DOES matter. You should confront your past, which is the whole point of the movie in which young Simba tries to run away and lead the Hakuna Matata life but eventually figures out you shouldn't do that. Yet RichRod keeps referring to it as if the point is that you should forget about things because they are in the past. For example:
There's an old movie called The Lion King. There's a scene in the movie where a monkey hits the lion over the head, and the lion says, 'What'd you do that for?' and the monkey says, 'It doesn't matter, it's in the past.' "
- On his hiring from West Virginia at his introductory press conference (Dec. 17, 2007)
I think Coach really doesn't get it (ok, perhaps he's being ironic, but...). The humorous thing: you can be a great college football coach even though Disney movies are way above your head. If that isn't inspiring, what is?
Thus, I though this would be an opportune moment to extract some football appropriate lessons from Disney (and other) movies for Coach and the rest of the team. Warning: spoilers!
- Finding Nemo: Don't ever leave home or you will potentially be eaten. Useful for: RichRod, Justin Boren (we hope). Oddly, not for John Beilein.
- Mulan: Girls may be better than you think at a man's game. Useful for: Anyone in a sweatervest, and AJ Hawk, Vernon Gholsten, and anybody who got 'roided up to play at tOSU (i.e., think of the shrinkage).
- Beauty and the Beast: A beast may be just a man on the inside, a hidden beauty under all of that outer beastly self. Useful for: Mike Martin's future wife/wives.
- Cinderella: Your shoe may fall off but in the end that is a good thing. Useful for: Denard Robinson.
- Bambi: Hicks in the forest may shoot at you or worse, at your mom. Useful for: Anyone traveling in West Virginia, or Ohio.
- Fantasia: Sometimes something that is usually great (e.g., a Disney movie) really sucks and is boring and you wish you hadn't seen it. Useful for: Anyone who watched UM last year (zing! ouch, that one hurts me).
** Brian is the real judge, and will likely remove this from the diaries because it is kind of crappy. But who knows, maybe he is too busy to notice, or is sick of all the "analysis" that everyone else does.
After receiving a relatively favorable response, TMHGOTW is back, and with a vengeance. I am still up in the air as to whether this is a board subject or a Diary topic. Feedback on the matter is much appreciated.
WEEK ONE OUTCOME:
Most Hideous: W&M 26 - UVA 14
- How Al Grohl still has a job is beyond me. The guy has been on the hot seat every year for the past decade and he will need another miraculous turnaround to salvage his job. With how bad the ACC proved itself to be last week, he must be strangely confident still that his Wahoo's can win a few games.
WEEK 2 HEAVYWEIGHTS:
Colorado @ Toledo: Yikes. Colorado, fresh off any absolutely dismal effort against Colorado State, takes on a Toledo squad who was thoroughly curb stomped by the running game of Purdue. Coach Hawkins was pretty adamant that this would be the year the Buffs would circle the wagons, but once the THC wears off the AD might be telling Hawkins to "go coach intramurals brotha!" Side note, perhaps Toney Clemons will stop by Ann Arbor to grab some Mister Spots and catch up with his old pals....errrr not.
James Madison @ Maryland: Nothing gets me going like the atmosphere at Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium, especially with JMU in town. If Maryland plays like they did against Cal, JMU could easily pull this one off. I'm no psychic so I won't make a prediction on who will win, however, I do predict enough loose skin for all in attendence.
Illinois State @ Illinois: The fighting Pierre Rembert's march into hideous Champaign to take on Zook and his underachieving all-stars. The Zooker has long proven to be one of the worst in game coaches in all of college football so the outcome of their game vs. Mizzou last weekend shouldn't have come of that big of a surprise...but it did. If the Illini shit the bed against the 1-AA Redbirds the Zooker and Al Grohl may become fishing buddies.
Texas @ Wyoming: See Michigan @ UConn in 20??. (yes I am aware that a BCS school is far different than Wyoming, so please don't bring it up.)
Duke @ Army: Should be plenty of Coach K references to take the focus off the quality of football being played. I am slightly bitter about Army depriving Coach English of victory #1 as HC of EMU.
Iowa @ Iowa State: Iowa is now going to try blocking kickoffs to get better field position. Iowa State still has some of the ugliest uniforms I've ever seen. People may try and call this a rivalry game but no one really cares, and for good reason. The phrases "blue collar" and "hard nosed" are sure to be used in excess by analysts covering the game.
Troy @ Florida: Come on Florida, someone is going to get hurt here.
As always I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of week 2's most hideous games. The schedule for week 2 is posted below.
After last week's win over WMU, Michigan has garnered some early respect from various locations. 2 of the 4 "experts" for Yahoo! pick Michigan to beat ND this weekend. Pat Forde graded Michigan's effort by the two-headed monster of Forcier and Robinson an "A" saying, "They produced 197 passing yards (three TDs by Forcier) and 111 rushing yards (one TD run of 43 yards by Robinson), combining to create the statistical body of work Pat White used to turn in by himself." Which brings me to this; after a convincing win Michigan has created some expectations for themselves. I know that I have them, I know that some "experts" have them, and I know that some of you have them now that we have seen the product on the field. In 1969 Bo beat OSU in what would become his "Michigan Moment." ND is not OSU, but I know I hate them, and after all that has gone on the past two weeks this weekend could be Rich Rod's "Michgan Moment." With that being said, here is some "fan opposition research" to prepare you for this weekends game.
Notre Dame Vital Stats
- Coaches- HC- Charlie Weis, DC- Jon Tunuta and Corwin Brown (Tunuta calls the plays starting this year), OC- Weiss calls the play, his assistant offensive coach is Ron Ianello
- Record (Last 4 yrs. under Weis)
- 2005: 9-3 (4-2 H, 5-0 A) @ #3 Mich (ND ranked #20) won 17-10
- 2006: 10-3 (6-1 H, 3-1 A) vs. #11 Mich (ND ranked #2) lost 47-21
- 2007: 3-9 (1-6 H, 2-3 A) @ Mich (both not ranked) lost 38-0
- 2008: 7-6 (4-2 H, 2-4 A) vs Mich (both not ranked) won 35-17
- Total: 29-21 (15-11 H, 12-8 A) 2-2 vs Mich
- 14-2 vs. Army, Navy, Air Force, Stanford, Syracuse, Washington, Duke, San Diego St.
- ND vs. Michigan Facts
- There have been 5 up-sets in the last 7 games
- ND is 3-9 in road openers since 1997
- Home team is 8-2 in the last 10
- Last 3 have been decided by 27 ppg (Mich 2-1 in those games)
- 185 combined pts. scored since Weis took over as coach
We all know what happened in last year's game. Michigan turned the ball over 6 times, and trailed 21-0 just over 10 minutes into the game. This led to a final score of 35-17 on a nasty, rainy day that would only be rivaled by the Northwestern game as the worst playing conditions of last year. Now we all agree it was nasty, but lets break it down a little and look for some positives. After the first 10 mins., Michigan out scored ND 17-14 the rest of the way. Michigan out gained ND on the ground 159-113 (3.8 to 3.3 ypc), and in the air 229-147. The more telling stat though is the completion percentage, Michigan was 19 of 28 (68%) ND was 10 of 21 (48%). This was the second best passing day of the year for Michigan, and one of the best for the OL as ND did not register a sack against Michigan. Michigan also held the edge in first downs 21-14, which was the highest Michigan had all year as they only had at least 20 first downs only twice last year (the other time was Minnesota, which they won 29-6). So while we can all agree that the ND game was a complete nightmare to watch, it can be said that there are some positives to take from the game.
Notre Dame vs. Nevada
People all week have been talking about how great the Notre Dame win was against Nevada, because they shut down such a prolific offense, while scoring 35. First of all Nevada, playing out of the run and shoot WAC, are not known for shutting down the opposition. They have given up under 20 pts only 6 times in there last 26 games. Now I understand that they did drop 35 pts on them, but it may have been more lucky than good. Clausen connected on 4 TD passes, but the shortest was from 19 yds out. The others were 24, 70, and 88. All of these to Michael Floyd (which begs the question how do you not cover this guy.) These TDs combine for 201 of the 500 total yards of offense ND had. Also, lets look at the situations for these TDs. The first 19 yd TD came on a 3rd&16. The 24 yd TD came on 3rd&9. Then the other 2 of 70 and 88 were bombs from the beginning of the drive. What I am trying to illustrate here, is that ND had only one TD from in the Red Zone. I know you have to execute on the field, but if Nevada executes two 3rd and long stops, or decides to cover Floyd on the go route, then ND does not score a TD, or maybe any points, on 4 of their 5 scoring drives. Michigan's secondary is vulnerable, but I feel confident that they are better than Nevada's.
Now for the fact that ND shutout the prolific offense of Nevada. The mistake here is that Nevada moved the football against ND. First Nevada missed a 38 yd FG on their first drive after driving 52 yds on 8 plays. Then while trailing 21-0 in the 2nd quarter, Nevada failed to convert on a 4th and 1 from the ND 19. This was their 2nd to the Red Zone in 4 possession. On their next possession Nevada took the ball down the the ND 35, before the half ended. In the 3rd Q, Nevada moved the ball down to the ND 5 before fumbling and turning it over. The 4th Q was basically run out by 2 ND possessions. For the day Nevada was 0 for 3 in the Red Zone with a missed FG, TO on downs, and a fumble. Again, I know Nevada has a great offense, but this is crazy. If they make a FG, convert a 4th and 1, and don't fumble on the 5 then they put up some points.
I am in no way calling this victory tainted by these stats, but I think that if you were to look deeper, like we did here, it shows that there are some positives going into this weeks game.
I know that ND is ranked now, and I know that all Michigan did last week was beat WMU. However, finding the holes in the opponent that you are playing, and making yourself believe that your team can win is what "fan opposition research" is all about.
By the way after this research I do believe Michigan will win this week, and that it will be Rich Rod's "Michigan Moment."
I just spoke to Aramide Olaniyan, and he told me he will be taking an unofficial visit to Michigan this weekend, for the Notre Dame game. He sounded VERY excited about coming up, he told me, "I owe it to myself to come see Michigan now, and also in the winter."
He'll be using one of his official visits to Michigan as well in the second week of December. "I am definitely considering Michigan right now, it's a great school, and I'm just really excited to go up there," he said.
He's excited to see the atmosphere, and the crowd at the Big House. After speaking with him, I could sense some very real excitement from him. I will have a follow up with him after his visit, to see where he's at with his recruitment.
This weekend could potentially be a huge weekend for recruiting. If all goes well, this could turn the thought process of Olaniyan, and possibly push some other recruits to commit.
Among the other recruits coming are:
- Bobby Swigert
- Josh Furman
- Delante Hollowell
- DeAnthony Arnett - I also spoke to him tonight, and he is definitely excited to see the game. He told me that Michigan was his first offer, but he doesn't plan on making a decision any time soon.
- There will be a good amount of 2011 recruits, I'm just not sure of all of them yet.