Sunday Night Sportsball

Sunday Night Sportsball

Submitted by Gobgoblue on October 16th, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Can I do this?  I figured I'd create a thread for those of us relaxing after a full day by watching baseball and Sunday Night Football.   October sports are my favorite time of year.

 

I don't care about your random facts regarding Michigan State, but thanks for the info. 

 

I love you all, Marta. 

Forgotten Blue - Jim Abbott

Forgotten Blue - Jim Abbott

Submitted by mGrowOld on October 12th, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Recently my new BFF It's Harambe took on the thankless task of asking his fellow MgoBloggers to rank the top 25 Michigan athletes of all time.  As the list was revealed it was clear to this reader that some of the most notable players who competed during the athletic stone age (pre-internet) had been forgotten about.  This weekly diary will take a look at the more notable players from our past to remind everyone of what they did and why they deserve to be honored and remembered.

JIM ABBOTT

Image result for jim abbott michigan

"I take a lot of pride in having played at Michigan," Abbott said. "Pretty much everywhere I go, people know I went there.  I wear it on my sleeve."

Abbott was born in Flint, Michigan.  He was picked up by the Ypsilanti, Michigan American Legion team and went on to win the championship. He graduated from Flint Central High School in Michigan where he was a stand-out pitcher and quarterback.  He played for the Grossi Baseball Club during the summer in the Connie Mack leagues of Michigan. He was drafted in the 36th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1985 Major League Baseball draft but did not sign, instead moving on to the University of Michigan.

The remarkable and inspirational part of the Jim Abbott story is that he was born without a right hand. When preparing to pitch the ball, Abbott would rest his mitt on the end of his right forearm. After releasing the ball, he would quickly slip his hand into the mitt, usually in time to field any balls that a two-handed pitcher would be able to field. Then he would secure the mitt between his right forearm and torso, slip his hand out of the mitt, and remove the ball from the mitt, usually in time to throw out the runner at first or sometimes even start a double play. At all levels, teams tried to exploit his fielding disadvantage by repeatedly bunting to him; this tactic was never effective.

He played for Michigan three years under coach Bud Middaugh, from 1985 to 1988, leading them to two Big Ten championships. In 1987, he won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States, becoming the first baseball player to win the award  

After taking home his first All-America honor in 1987, Jim was on the short list for numerous major postseason honors, the biggest of which took him to New York, N.Y., winning the coveted Golden Spikes Award. 1987 was a special season for Jim. He earned All-America status, became the first baseball player to win the AAU's Sullivan Award and, also that season, he was recognized as the top amateur baseball player in the nation by winning the Golden Spikes Award.

The Golden Spikes is like the Heisman Trophy of College Baseball. It was presented in the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City and presenting the award that season was former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.

 

 

Image result for jim abbott flagbearer panama games

Abbott was the flag-bearer for the United States at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, helping lead the USA to a second-place finish.  Baseball was a demonstration sport in the 1988 Summer Olympics; Abbott pitched the final game, winning an unofficial gold medal for the United States. Abbott was voted the Big Ten Athlete of the Year in 1988. He would be selected 8th overall by the California Angels in the 1988 draft. Abbott's University of Michigan #31 jersey was retired at the Wolverines' April 18, 2009 home game against Michigan State University

In 2007, Abbott was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame for his career at Michigan.Abb ott, who pitched for U-M from 1986 to 1988 before embarking on a 10-year professional career, was the fifth person in program history to have his number retired. Maloney said Abbott's addition to the group was a "no brainer."

"You have to be very selective and it's a difficult decision, but to me, this one was not very hard," Maloney said. "Not only with the success he had at Michigan, but more importantly on top of all that, his humility and how he's represented the university."

Image result for jim abbott michigan

Abbott retired from baseball in 1999. He currently lives in Orange County, Calif., and does motivational speaking around the country. He also recently worked on a disability awareness project for the federal government.

He counts his years at Michigan as one of his most cherished achievements.

A look at some of the key statistics Jim Abbott compiled while pitching for Michigan from 1986 to 1988:

Stat Rank
26 career wins (Fourth)
13 complete games (Eighth)
3.04 career ERA (Sixth)

1987 Golden Spikes winner, given to college baseball's top player.
1987 Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Abbott
http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/other/index.ssf/2009/02/jim_abbott_thri…
http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/041509aaa.html

Tribute to Jose Fernandez

Tribute to Jose Fernandez

Submitted by Michifornia on September 26th, 2016 at 8:54 PM

Can't imagine what the players and fans were going through.  I'm a Tigers fan and didn't know much about Jose Fernandez other than he was a great young pitcher with an amazing future.  The tribute with the trumpet playing Take Me Out to the Ball Game with a slide show of Jose's life was very sad but very moving.  Another reminder that sports is sports and life is fragile.

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=17647039

OT: Tigers Playoff Chances with 10 games to Play

OT: Tigers Playoff Chances with 10 games to Play

Submitted by LS And Play on September 22nd, 2016 at 11:23 PM

The Tigers (82-70) are 0.5 games up on Baltimore (82-71) for the wild card with 10 games to play. They have 3 at home against the Royals, then 4 more at home against Cleveland, and 3 at Atlanta to end the year. How is everyone feeling about the Tigers in the last week of the season? 

OT: Tigers - and many other teams - will scout Tebow next week

OT: Tigers - and many other teams - will scout Tebow next week

Submitted by PopeLando on August 24th, 2016 at 1:25 PM

From a forum post last week, we know that Tim Tebow is attempting to take his talents to baseball. I wasn't aware that baseball was taking this seriously.

About 20 teams are expected to be on hand for his private workout next week, our beloved Tigers among them. Doesn't appear to be serious interest, just a "was athlete; am willing to look" diligence.

For what it's worth, FTW Sports doesn't have Detroit on their "top 6 teams where he could land" list, which I'm convinced are both Florida teams and then 4 random teams they picked out of a hat.

Freep link: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2016/08/24/tim-tebow-baseball-detroit-tigers/89256382/

FTW link: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/08/tim-tebow-mlb-teams-workout-signing-minor-leagues

OT: Running through First Base vs Head First Kamakazi Lunge

OT: Running through First Base vs Head First Kamakazi Lunge

Submitted by Muttley on August 16th, 2016 at 6:58 PM

Back in the day, I used to lunge head first into first base on close plays.  I've always held that a head first kamikaze lunge was faster than running through.

Note that I didn't say "sliding".  Genuine (head first) sliding into first base to gain an advantage is for sissies, and I'm more than willing to admit is slower than running through the bag.

ESPN Sports Science did a careful high motion study of running through versus diving and overlaid an instance of each technique for a comparison.

https://youtu.be/5JQMqoPR6lM?t=1m10s

ESPN's conclusion? Running through is faster than head first sliding.

But for all their effort, ESPN missed the obvious.  The head first slide instance initially pulls ahead of the run-through instance.  So...this isn't rocket science...the head first "slider" should arrive at first base while the technique is ahead.runner (at 1:19) in the video.

Now this shouldn't really be called "sliding" into first base because no sliding takes place until after the runner has reached first base.  There is an injury risk downside in that the kamikaze lunge landing is going to be more violent than the slide, as the runner will be using some angular momentum to throw his top half downward while keeping his feet on the ground driving forward.

Dogmatic proponents of the run-through technique often counter with the argument "You never see sprinters dive, do you?"  So much for that one.  Last night, Shaunae Miller stole* the gold from Allyson Felix by diving.

http://www.vox.com/2016/8/15/12495316/allyson-felix-shaunae-miller-400-…

Did this change anyone's opinion about diving into first base?

I think critics of Harold Reynold's opinion such as this sarcastic writer owe Reynolds an apology.

http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2014/04/11/harold-reynolds-diving-head-first-i…

*stole in the non-pejorative sense

OT: Kentucky vs Michigan to get to LLWS(game postponed)

OT: Kentucky vs Michigan to get to LLWS(game postponed)

Submitted by BeatOSU52 on August 13th, 2016 at 5:00 PM
Edit: game postponed due to rain. Will be made up tomorrow at 10am

Winner goes to Williamsport.    5pm Eastern on ESPN 2. (Edit: scoreless after 1 but in a rain delay)

 

Who ya got?  Kentucky's pitching is probably much more rested up, but this Michigan team can hit bombs.