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SportsNet broadcaster Buck Martinez calls Blue Jays OF/1B Jose Bautista's 19th inning walk-off single against the Detroit Tigers on 8.10.2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tigers Talk: Sure as Scherzer

14 K for Max Scherzer yesterday! All is good for Detroit! We're going undefeated in the playoffs! (Thus concludes the overeaction.)
The Tigers are on a two game winning streak after losing 7 of 9 on the road trip, and I'm going to the Mariners game tonight!!

Tigers of the Week

Nick Castellanos is one of the Tigers of the Week by a wide margin. His wRC+ of 284 was 81 points higher than the next Tigers hitter. He hit .450 with 7 RBI and 2 home runs in the last week. Casty has slightly underperformed expectations this year and his -10.2 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) ranks third-worst among the 25 major league third basemen. That is still an improvement over Cabrera though...
Max Scherzer is the other TOTW. Scherzer had two starts, pitching 16 innings, giving up only one run, and striking out 25 batters. He ranks quite a bit behind Felix Hernandez and only .2 ahead of Corey Kluber for second in the Cy Young Predictor.

"Tiger"(s) of the Week

Joe "Papa Frita" Nathan and Phil Coke combined stats this year: 88 IP, 4.81 ERA, 25/31 SV, 5-5, 79 K

Looking Ahead

The Tigers battle the Mariners (65-55) at home for the second wild card before heading down to St. Petersberg, FL to take on the Devil Rays (60-61).
  • 8-15 vs. Mariners 7:08p (FSD, MLBN-alt) I'll be at the game!!!
  • 8-16 vs. Mariners 7:08p (FSD)
  • 8-17 vs. Mariners 1:08p (FSD, TBS)
    • TBS commentators: Ernie Johnson (PxP), Ron Darling (Analyst)
  • 8-19 at Devil Rays 7:10p (FSD)
  • 8-20 at Devil Rays 7:10p (FSD)
  • 8-21 at Devil Rays 1:10p (FSD, MLBN-alt)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why should Americans watch soccer?

Millions of American kids play organized soccer every year. But will Dad watch it? Will your Great Aunt Suzy watch it? People who grew watching their favorite baseball, football, or basketball team refuse to enjoy soccer because it will eat away their sports popularity. Well, we already have four big televised sports and NASCAR, and the population is only growing. I believe the following people and events are key to increasing soccer interest and recruiting other fans:
  • People age 34 and under
  • Hockey fans ~ It's kind of the same concept
  • The soccer players and teams themselves ~ Do more community work, partner with other sports teams in the same city, etc.
  • STOP FLOPPING SO MUCH! ~ Lots of people hate the NBA because of this, but in soccer it's even worse
  • Bring the top international club teams to the US
    • ICC
    • Friendlies
    • 2022 World Cup
  • Recruit more of the top international players into Major League Soccer
    • People don't want to get up for a 7am EPL game on a Saturday
    • People want to root for an American club team, but the quality of MLS play isn't on par with the English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Primera Division, etc.
So you want to become a soccer fan? Their are books like Soccer for Dummies that explain it well. You need to learn the different "tactical" formations (the starting lineup), the different leagues, why teams play a "friendly", other tournaments besides the World Cup. I still don't understand offsides and I started watching the English Premier League (EPL) last August.
Last August I started watching the EPL. I basically became an Arsenal fan from a quiz on I also pulled for Hull City (Tigers!) but they were the cellar dweller. Most of these international leagues don't have playoffs, but a champion in the top level and leagues below. In a future article I can explain the promotion/relegation system.
Interested in watching some games now? The World Cup runs through July 14, and you can watch the MLS this summer. Here is a rundown of game you should be able to watch on a basic cable or satellite package.
Rebecca Lowe
  • 2014 Men's FIFA World Cup on ESPN/2/ABC ~ This is obviously the most exciting time when the top countries in the world meet up every for years. The announcers are great (Ian Darke) and most are British (Ian Darke), and you can catch it in Spanish on Univision. Go Go USA! Thry July 14
  • Major League Soccer (USA + Toronto) on ESPN2/NBCSN/ABC ~ Most diehard soccer fans believe that the MLS is much lower on the pyramid than the top European leagues. Sadly, this is true. Most top American players play overseas and international players usually arrive at the twilight (David Beckham, David Villa) of their careers. Their are some exceptions, such as US stars Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley. Watch it if you please, but this on not the top level. The MLS All-Stars will probably be thumped by Bayern Munich in the MLS All Star Game. March to October
  • English (Barclays) Premier League on NBCSN/NBC ~ This one of the "premier" leagues in the world and the title sponsor is currently Barclays. This is where Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, and Jozy Altidore play. Jozy's team was bumped down a league. NBCSN generally airs games 7a and 10/11a Saturdays and Sundays, with NBC airing a Noon game one of those days. Their are often a couple 3p games on NBC during the week. This is pretty much the best you can get, in soccer, and in hosts (I  Rebecca Lowe). Go Arsenal! August to May
  • 2015 Women's, 2018 Men's, 2019 Women's, and 2022 Men's World Cup on Fox Sports 1/2/Fox ~ US women's team is still really good and will have a shot at winning 2015 (in Canada!). Who knows about the men's team. Qatar may not be ready for 2022 and the US could be hosting it. Fox is grooming Gus Johnson to be lead commentator. Gus is a great basketball and football announcer and he's from Detroit. His enthusiasm does not overshadow that his soccer commentary needs quite a bit of work. Most of Fox's other announcers are OK at best. This could be disaster.
  • International Champions Cup on FS1/Fox ~ Top European teams such as Arsenal and Real Madrid play games across the United States. Liverpool and Real Madrid have a match at The Big House on August 7th. This is not a recurring event. Mid July to Late August 2014
  • Other Stuff on Basic Cable: CONCACAF Gold Cup (top North/Central Am. nat'l teams), CONCACAF Champions League (top N./Cen. Am. club teams), World Cup Qualifying, Friendlies (Games played between national and national or club and club teams)
So what I want to be taken away from this article is:
  1. Watch a game, see if you have any interest
    1. Watch a non World Cup game
  2. Start watching the EPL with a team your rooting for
  3. Recruit other people
  4. Watch Spanish broadcasts on Univision, Telemundo, Mun2, UniMas, Galavision or ESPN Deportes. (you probably get Univision, and one to three others)
  5. If you wake of early on Saturday for a 7am game your hooked.
  6. Get the FIFA game for your Phone, Tablet, Xbox, or PlayStation.
  7. If you don't watch at all or only the World Cup, that's OK
  8. Check out my future articles for the new soccer fan which will be tagged "Soccer for the American Sports fan"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Luis Suarez is a Psycho and Other Excitement From Match Day 13 of the 2014 World Cup

Yesterday was an interesting day at the World Cup. To begin we had the final games in Group D:
Giorgio Cheillini shows his bite marks from Luis Suarez / Reuters
Uruguay and Italy came into the day at three points a piece and Costa Rica with six. Italy has the superior goal differential so Uruguay had to win to advance. It was a defensive battle in the first two-thirds of the game, leaving fans craving for some more excitement. But in the 79th minute, it was the bite heard round the world. The notorious Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit Italy defender Giorgio Cheillini in the shoulder. You could clearly see the bite mark!!! Even worse, he did it two times before, in a 2010 game with the Dutch side Ajax, and a 2013 game against Everton with Man U.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekend Viewing Pick 5-31 and 6-1

Friendly: Mexico vs. Ecuador at AT&T (Cowboys) Stadium, Dallas 3p Saturday Univision/ESPNEWS
Friendly: U.S. vs. Nigeria at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ 2p Sunday ESPN2/Univision
ECF: Pacers (2w) vs. Heat (3w)
Game 6 at MIA Friday 8:30p ESPN
Game 7 (If nec.) at IND Sunday 8:30p ESPN
WCF: Spurs (3) vs. Thunder (2)
~Ibaka is back!
Game 6 at OKC Saturday 8:30p TNT
Game 7 (If nec.) at SAS Monday 9p TNT
ECF: Rangers defeat Canadiens 3-2 to advance to Stanley Cup Finals
WCF: Kings lead Blackhawks 3-2
Game 6 at LAK Friday 9p NBCSN
Game 7 (if nec.) Sunday 8p NBCSN
Detroit Tigers (30-20) at Seattle Mariners (26-27) Fri. and Sat. 10p, Sun. 4p on FSN Detroit
~The struggling Tigers try to take a road series against the resurgent Mariners who are managed by former Detroit hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.
Atlanta Braves (28-25) at Miami Marlins (28-25) Sat. 4p FS1
~Former Tiger Jacob Turner is starting for Miami. He is winless in his last 17 starts.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (23-31) at Boston Red Sox (24-29) Sat 7p Fox
~Young pitcher Jake Odorizzi face the defending World Series champion Red Sox
French Open Saturday: 5am to Noon Tennis Channel, Noon to 3p NBC
Sunday: 5am to 1p Tennis Channel, 1-4p NBC
32-2 Carl Froch vs. 19-1 George Groves (IBF and WBA "Super World" Super Middleweight Title, LIVE) and 32-2 Nonito Donaire vs. 26-2 Simpiwe Vetyeka (WBA "Super World" Featherweight Title, Delayed) 4pm HBO

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Maryland's State Flag

(J.M. Cousteau) On the right is the the state flag of Maryland. It's slogan is Eres tan patético, que resultas entrañable.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weekend Viewing Picks for 5-17 and 5-18-14

It's the weekend. Relax! Only a few more weeks of school! 
NHL Playoffs:
Game 1: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadians 1p Sunday NBCSN
~Looking for intelligent hockey analysis, click here: or here: Canadians win in 6
NBA Playoffs:
Game 1 EC Semis: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers 3:30p Sunday ABC
~Still not sold on Roy Hibbert, Lebron > George, Wade > Stephenson, Bosh > Hibbert, Chalmers > Hill, and West > Lewis/Cole
Tigers at Boston Red Sox Saturday 7:10p FSD, Sunday 8:05p ESPN
~Two of the top AL teams in a ALCS rematch
KC Royals at Baltimore Orioles Saturday 7:10p MLB Network
~Danny Duffy (1.96 ERA, 1-3) is one of the good young pitchers in the Royals rotation, but he faces the Baltimore offense that features Manny Machado and Nelson Cruz. Bud Norris, Tiger plunker, pitches for the Orioles.  He was ejected in his last start after a hitting Torii Hunter.
Horse Racing:
The 139th Preakness Stakes 4:30p Saturday NBC
~It's the second leg of the Triple Crown! California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby, is the 3/5 favorite and Lorde is performing as part of InfieldFest from 4-5:15p.
College Softball:
Regional: Michigan at 9 Arizona State Sat. 6p ESPNU
~Michigan plays at 11p with loss, 5:30p Sun. if they beat ASU or win the late game.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hump Day Blurbs: Tigers, Playoffs, and a Perfect Game

Cat Meade is perfect against Traverse City Christian, Okemos wins 10-0

@OkemosSoftball ace starting pitcher Cat Meade threw a perfect game against the Sabres this past Friday.

The Detroit Tigers are on fire!

I wanna see ya, with KIA.
The Tigers have won six straight games and are 18-9 (through 5-5) which is the best record in the American League. Hunter, Kinsler and Martinez have led the way in the Tigers lineup. Hunter has been showing his pop and showing off his defensive prowess in right field. Phil Coke (9.39 ERA) needs to be banished to the KIA Tigers. The bullpen has been better, but I'm still pleased by the Joel Hanrahan signing. The former All-Star closer w/ Pittsburgh should pitch next month. He brings a power pitcher to the late innings and can jump in to the closer's role if Nathan struggles.UPDATE! SEVEN IN A ROW -- 11-4 Tigers beat the Astros Tuesday! Miggy 4-5, 4 RBI, HR ... Worth 2-3, 3 RBI ... Robbie Ray 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 5 K ... Al-Al 1-2-3 8th inning w/ 2 K

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