The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2011 all-star game today. Four Tigers made the team: Alex Avila (starting at catcher), Verlander, Cabrera, and Valverde (wut?).
The most ridiculous inclusion is the desiccated corpse of Derek Jeter (he of the hilarious .260/.324/.324 line), who is starting despite being maybe the 10th best shortstop in the AL this year. The most ridiculous omission is Andrew McCutchen, who isn't even on the fan-vote list for the last spot despite putting up a .289/.390/.493 line as a fricking center fielder. He's easily one of the 3 or 4 best position players in the National League, and he's not even eligible for the pity spot. Well done, MLB. Well done.
Any other selections/omissions that strike anyone as noteworthy?
Just a quick congrats to Rockford's baseball team on a state title, and a big congrats to some friends of ours who've been through the ringer lately. A good read from the Freep...
Andy Oliver put up a quality start in just his second MLB start and against the best lineup in baseball. Tigers were able to claw back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the first game up, which is where it's at after 7.5.
Also, it seems ESPN and/or MLB is lifting the exclusivity ban and will let FSD show the nightcap featuring Verlander v. Beckett. I guess some big wig finally decided the little bump in ratings the ESPN game would otherwise get is not worth having a premier pitching matchup go un-televised. Good for them, I can't wait to watch!
I thought this article in the Wall Street Journal was an interesting exploration of the problems facing the MLB as they try to stay relevant in the sports landscape. A lot of kids these days don't have the attention span for baseball and as the article suggests, kids who don't play the game are much less likely to become fans/customers when they grow up. The author cites a 25% drop in Little League participation over the last decade. I don't think there's any question that is a problem for the MLB. I thought it was surprising that despite the growing concern over concussions, football and hockey participation is up. I thought this quote from former National League president Len Coleman was very. . .um. . .telling:
"The days of kids being born with a glove next to their ear in the crib and boys playing catch in the backyard by age three, those are over,"
He's not exactly a casual observer. Anyway, I think the article is an interesting read and it's pretty short:
Happy Opening Day, everyone. The Tigers take on the Yankees at 1:05 in New York, and Justin Verlander will be on the mound. So, as the late great Ernie Harwell would say:
EDIT: struggling to embed. Will try in comments.
With Spring Training in full swing, and the regular season in the on-deck circle I thought this handy-dandy flow chart would help any of those folks out there unsure as to who to root for once the season starts:
For the record, I will punch you in the face if you look at me funny.
Edit: Sorry for the size. For whatever reason, the image doesn't want to respond to the size limits I put on it.
Edit edit: See Misopogon's post if you didn't get to the link in time.