Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tigers, Twins Clinch

So it's crunch time in Major League Baseball these days. The American League is pretty much decided while the National League is just in shambles. Everyone but the Mets still needs to clinch a playoff spot. But I'm gonna stick to the AL in this post because I have a feeling I will be attending a bunch of AL playoff games (yeah Greg). With Liriano, the Twins had the best chance of getting to the World Series. The Yankees lineup is terrific, but with two nearly unhittable aces, the Twins would have been extremely tough to beat. That said, Liriano isn't going to pitch in the playoffs so they become a one pitcher team. And even though the Twins and Tigers have both clinched, there is still a lot to play for. Because whoever wins the AL central gets to face the A's (or maybe the Angels) rather than the Yankees. I've got my money on the A's pulling out the West (I've just got this hunch). And yes, the A's pitching staff is pretty formidable with Zito, Harden and Haren, I would much rather face them than the Yankees. That Yankee lineup is ridiculous. The Tigers NEED to win the central because there is zero chance they beat the Yankees in a series. Maybe they would take one game, but that's it. The Twins have been on such a tear that I really can't count them out aganist anyone, even if I think they don't have the pitching. The Tigers definitely have a shot against the A's considering Oakland always fizzles out come playoff time. But I just don't think the Tigers are going to be able to hold onto the division. As of today they were only up by one game, but they haven't played good baseball since the end of July. The Twins on the other hand have been by far the best team in baseball since the end of May. So, come October I think the matchups will look like this:

Twins v A's
Yanks vs Tigers

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Balco Investigation

I was greatly disturbed last night when I read on the internet that San Francisco Chronicle writers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams were sentenced to up to 18 months in prison pending an appeal. These are the guys who wrote the book Game of Shadows, which uncovered many details about the Balco steroid investigation, including outting numerous athletes who used steroids. The fact that these two reporters are being put in jail for being members of the press disgusts me. As an aspiring journalist myself, I find it unsettling to think that the government no longer wants the press to be watchdogs on society. Don't you think it's kind of ridiculous that guys like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi, who used steroids, got no jail time; Greg Anderson, who supplied steroids got 3 months in prison, while these writers are getting up to 18 months for doing their job. Without investigative journalism, crimes against the American people like Watergate would never be uncovered. All you would get is lame press releases from the government stating that everything is going okay. America's Constitution is about the checks and balances, and a free press is one of those checks and balances. These two journalists can't give up their sources because it would essentially end their journalism careers. Even the President of the United States commended these men when their book came out.

These two writers did a better job of uncovering the truth than the actual government and now they are being punished. Think about how much we've actually learned from this Balco grand jury bullshit. We know that Balco existed and that's it. Victor Conte, Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and the other numerous athletes who took steroids were outted by good journalism. Hopefully this decision will be reversed upon appeal, and the bill currently sitting in Congress that will put federal protection on journalists' sources will pass soon. It's the right thing for Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams and it's the right thing for this country of ours.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MIchigan Football

Well as everyone is probably pretty aware of right now, Michigan football got a huge win on Saturday over Notre Dame. It was the first time in a long time that a Lloyd Carr coached team beat a team of equal and maybe better talent. And although there was little chance Lloyd was going to get fired any time soon, this game pretty much cemented his status as a coach who can coach as long as he wants. And I have to eat some of my own words because I have been railing on Carr for almost a year now. He finally got the troops ready for an early season road test. The new coordinators seem to be working out, especialy Ron English, whose defense looks damn good. The running game is solid and Mike Hart is able to grind out good chunks of yardage.

But I am curious to see how the Wolverines come out on Saturday at the Big House against Wisco. Wisco is also undefeated, although their schedule has been weak so far. I think it's almost impossible for the team not to come out with a hangover feeling. If they storm out to an early lead and put the badgers away early, it will tell me that Lloyd is doing great things. A win against Ohio State this season is not a reasonable way to judge his performance this year. The Buckeyes are loaded and the game is at Ohio Stadium. But if the team comes out motivated on Saturday and gives the Badgers a good whoopin, then it will show me something.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Joe Dumars

I know this is gonna sound kind of redundant, considering I just posted about Chipper awhile back, and because Bill Simmons actually just wrote a column about this. But I am just so sick and tired of hearing all this pro-Joe Dumars in the Hall of Fame bullshit in the Metro Detroit area. To begin, no Joe Dumars does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. He wasn't even the best player on his team during any given season. Whether it be his prime, when Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Pistons, or the twilight when Grant Hill first came to pre-eminence, there is never a period of time in which Dumars was even the go to guy on his team. Not to mention that during those championship years there were times when he was sat in crunch time because he was an offensive liability. He made just one All NBA team during his career, which meant he was only one of the top players in the NBA for one season. I'm sorry, but the Hall of Fame is for great players, not good role players. Because in essence that is what Joe was.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's good to have football back

Had a little mixer at Touchdown's last night, but it took a lot for me to actually show up for it. My face was glued to the Steelers-Dolphins game which was the kickoff for the 2006 season. I think the NFL is the only league in which I could watch any regular season game and be interested, even if it isn't the Redskins. And at TDs I continued to keep an eye on the game. And I also looked at my good friend Dan watching the same game. He happens to be from Pittsburgh and is a legit Steelers fan. And as he watched the Pittsburgh defense bring the Steelers back and eventually take the lead for good, this kid was going nuts. Steeler Dan was yelling, fistpumping, jumping around, and just in general going insane. But that's what makes the NFL and college football what they are. The fans are so passionate, that it's unbelievable. I know my friends from home can talk about how insane I used to look at Battey's house just a few falls ago. You don't see this type of tenacity for, say the Pirates, or the Devil Rays, or the Tigers. I cannot wait for Monday night when the Skins take the field (w/o CPort and Springs) and try to annihilate the Vikes. I'll be sporting my Cooley jersey for opening night. We'll see how it goes because last year when the Skins went on their six-game win streak at the end of the year, I was rockin the Lavar jersey. But I just felt that was totally inappropriate considering he's been lambasting our organization lately. Let's hope the Cooley thing works out.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Welcome Week '06

Clearly I realize that it has been way too long since I've blogged...but I have a legitimate excuse. Those deuchebag alumni don't actually have the internet working here at SAE quite yet. Luckily, I'm stealing some wireless from some random GDIs nearby. I don't know if I'm being stereotypical or not but the wireless name is tsunami so I'm thinking I'm stealing from some Asians. Onto welcome week.

As expected, it has been pretty wild. I mean, what can you expect from a college student who is given a week and a half with nothing to do but get wasted. But it's just good to be back in the college atmosphere, especially during welcome week when even the most nerdy of GDIs go out almost every night. Myself and Peter's room has come along nicely. But, I think the higlight of this gloriousness was the pregame for football. It was the first time since I had been at Michigan that we did it at SAE, rather than at a senior house. And I must say, that it was something to behold. Beer pong tables littered throughout the Mudbowl, girls, beer, liquor, three story beer bong...the list could keep going. Today, I was at a Buddhist Temple's yard sale (which surprisingly had nothing remotely Buddhist for sale) and picked up a cheap slip n slide for next week. Next week is a special pregame, because it will be the last pregame where I will be able to think about Michigan having a shot at the national title. Those dreams will end come week 3 when we travel to South Bend. Tonight brings a rager of epic proportions, as my junior year welcome week comes to a close.

Why can't every week be welcome week?