this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
The #5 seed Michigan Wolverines take on the #1 seed Indiana Hoosies tonight in the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana beat #8 Iowa 5-2 yesterday while Michigan beat #4 Minnesota 3-2 with a 3-run Home Run by Travis Maezes being Michigan's only source of income. Michigan has lost to Indiana twice but beaten them once. Indiana is good but Michigan can win if we play well. Brett Adcock will be on the mound for Michigan.
Most here probably missed it, but the LA Dodgers took the NL West divisional lead overnight by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1, Clayton Kershaw getting the "W" in a game played 'down under' in Australia.
The two teams play again tonight, this one at a more normal time for us to watch west coast teams play, at 10pm EDT. It'll again be broadcast on MLB Network, in case anyone needs a break from wall-to-wall NCAA Tournament action.
(edited @ 3:38pm to fix thread title)
So the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs have mastered marketing to an extent I could not even believe. They've started a new uniform design marketing campaign called "Smell the Change."
The new Saturday jersey is amazing. It's bacon themed. We're talking a red shirt with Pigs spelled out and bacon underlining it. We're talking white pants with bacon piping down the legs. We're talking a gray hat with a slice of bacon as the logo. Bacon. Bacon bacon.
And we're not stopping there. They have a gray shirt with the bacon logo on it for $18. For just $4 more, we're talking $22, they'll sell you the same shirt that smells like bacon! For up to 10-15 washes! CAN I GET A DOZEN NOW?
With the general mood around here today being just "slightly" down, due to the bad news involving things like Jake Butt's ACL injury and the latest bad winter weather, let me spread a bit of cheer, a veritable "light at the end of the tunnel", if you will:
Doesn't matter, either, if you're a fan of some team other than the Tigers (gasp), as most other clubs likewise have or will have their pitchers and catchers report by the end of this week and full squads in Florida or Arizona next week. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have already been at work for several days now, getting ready for an early start to the regular season with a trip down under for a pair of games on March 22nd and 23rd:
while most of the rest of MLB starts playing games that count (and no, NOT the All Star Game)on or around March 31st.
Go Get 'Em, Tigers!
(edited title @ 9:57 pm)
You are looking live at a post by some guy that used to be here all the time, but since has disappeared into the wilderness and thus returned only to probably disappear again!
Anyway, UM's baseball season is nigh upon us! In just one week, Coach Bakich continues his crusade "to catch that softball program" and return Michigan to the NCAA tournament. This year's edition of the team is very similar to that of last year's, but now with more experience!
Eric Sorenson, my former idol and still current holder of my most coveted job I will never try to get, has posted his "Top 302 Teams of 2014" post for this year, and yes, he does rank and blurb each of the 302 teams in Division 1, and he has Michigan at #71:
71- MICHIGAN (29-27, 14-10)
2013 ISR: 138
Starters Returning: 7
Weekend Starters: 3
Mid-Week Starters: 1
Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4
Coach Erik Bakich was right, “a bunch of pissed-off Wolverines” turned the program around last year. Could be even more this year as 55 of the 56 starts on the mound come back, as does two-way talent Jacob Cronenworth (.320, 12SBs & 0-3, 1.93, 7svs). Plus, the future is sparkling for the Maize & Blue as the 20th-ranked recruiting class comes to campus.
For those interested, his B1G teams are ranked as such:
48. Nebraska (*fixed after comment)
75. Michigan State
105. Ohio State
226. Penn State
Indiana is the clear favorite after making it all the way to the College World Series Last year. They return plenty and their coach is fantastic. After that, it gets all B1G Baseball-y with any team from Illinois to probably Ohio State having a decent shot at being pretty good, but no one is really sure because this is 1) college baseball and 2) mid-major college baseball.
As for this year's schedule, it looks to have quite a few solid names on the docket. The team starts with a Texas tour starting with a tournament in San Marcos with games against 2 of Sorenson's top 100 in Texas State and Washington. Then it's a 3 game set at my current graduate school, the University of Houston. Needless to say I will be attending at least one game in my Michigan jersey. Not that I'll be in UH jerseys for the other three, but my mother and wife have the audacity to both have birthdays that weekend, so I won't have much time to enjoy the old ball field.
From there is't a tournament hosted by Notre Dame in Cary, N.C. Which... yeah, sure. But top 5 North Carolina State and top 20 UCLA will both be there, along with a double header with Appalachian State and Notre Dame sandwiched between the big two. After that its a swing through Florida for our nearly annual FGCU match up, a game at UCF, and a 4 game set against a probably hapless Princeton.
We finish the southern tour in Charleston to take on Appalachain State again, followed by two against College of Charleston ad Kent State.
That's a pretty solid opening stanza. Of those teams, only Air Force and Princeton are terrible. The rest are at least top 120-ish teams.
As for the B1G season, we start it in the hardest way possible, a 3 game set at Indiana. Then its home against Iowa and Minnestoa, away to Illinois and Purdue, home against Nebraska, away to Northwestern, and then finish the season home against Ohio State. Lastly, we have a bye week with a pair of games against Kansas, who projects to be a meh Big12 team.
B1G tournament is in Omaha this year, probably as a favor to Indiana. Give them an extra couple practice games on their CWS warm up tour.
I have no particular idea myself on how the season will go down. I somewhat gave up following the team 3-4 years ago with school and work and wife and globe-trotting recently, so that's probably all I'll have on the team for a while. I may post a summary of the game from Houston if I do make it out there. Maybe I'll even catch you out there.
Mike is a Michigan Baseball Alum and has had a long career in the minor leagues. This Grantland article really touches on some interesting aspects of a minor league career that began 15 seasons ago. He went to Michigan and it is a good story about professionalism and hope...
Love Miggy, but used him to get this Michigan guy some love...