UrbanMI

ON SPORTS

Posted in SPORTS by urbanmi on November 28, 2012

Kyle Singler’s Trick Shot Video with Detroit as subject and setting.

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Andre Drummond needs more playing time.*

Lawrence “Vagina” Frank is giving minutes to Charlie Villanueva. I understand the necessity in carefully developing Drummond through rationed minutes. However, the playing time he receives is absurd. Charlie Villanueva should not be receiving any playing time give Villanueva’s minutes to Drummond. The team is struggling, but I believe that the core of Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Tayshaun Prince, Kyle Singler and Andre Drummond is close to being competitive.

His averages and per minute statistics are exciting. With a more consistent offensive game
and a reduction in fouls he could be a monster alongside Monroe.
All he needs is experience and confidence.

The only Argument for continuing to give Drummond reduced minutes is to maintain the status quo of atrociousness and avoid mediocrity in order to maintain favorable draft position. Which I reluctantly endorse.

[*My fantasy team would greatly appreciate this]

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Being away from home, the annual Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game
allows me to maintain a connection with tradition and have a holiday that resembles the ones I grew up around. The only disorienting element being the hour I must watch the game. Last year I spent the game in the only business open at 9 am PST, a Mexican restaurant, surrounded by Packers fans attempting to reclaim the same nostalgic experience.I realize the game is an unpopular experience for many with no ties to Michigan and Detroit.

I don’t care.

Thanksgiving is ours.

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This NHL season was going to be special for Michigan,
with the annual Winter Classic being held at Michigan Stadium with events held in downtown Detroit. Just as the World Series, All-Star Baseball game, and Super Bowl XXX were great for Detroit, I was expecting and exciting a similar affect for Detroit with the Winter Classic.

Every event that turns and shows Detroit as an exciting setting helps change the narrative of the city.
The events showcase the good.

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Many thoughts on the Detroit Tigers. Most are a jumble of disappointed feelings and frustration from the World Series. I am frustrated with the front office’s and Jim Leyland’s distaste for sabermetrics. Advanced statistics work. Smart teams in all sports win games. Smart teams with money win championships.
Old baseball is dead bring in the new.

Despite my position on Sabermetrics I was ecstatic for Miguel Cabrera. Yes his WAR was not as good as Mike Trout, and Yes his season was not as dominant as seasons in the past, and yes RBI’s are a ridiculous and flawed statistic, and yes the Angels won more games than the Tigers. This however does not matter. The MVP award is a semantic argument not a statistical argument. Valuable as a concept and as a label is left up to the voters to determine. I do not mean to argue for Cabrera, but to argue against the concept that advanced statistics can determine what is valuable. They do not measure value.

Despite my position on stats and Cabrera, I was rooting for Justin Verlander. Price had an amazing season. He did not have to carry a team like Verlander. Price did not have the horrendous bullpen of Verlander. Overall Verlander should have won the Cy Young and Trout probably should have won the MVP, yes Cabrera won the triple crown, but no one ever had a year like Mike Trout.

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Already, I am excited by the Torii Hunter signing.
For the rest of the off season here is my one concern, hope, and recommendation. Do not spend money on a closer. They are the most mercurial players in sports. One years performance has no bearing on the next [see Bell, Heath; Bailey, Andrew; Valverde, Jose; Rodney, Fernando]. Teams such as the Athletics and the Rays understand this. They do not spend money on closers. Smart teams use a closer’s standout performance one season as a means of tricking stupid teams into giving up money and prospects.

Any pitcher can be a closer.

Dombrowski and Leyland please find any pitcher to be the closer.

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SPOTLIGHT – BREATHE OWL BREATHE

Posted in SPOTLIGHT by urbanmi on November 8, 2012

This is probably the type of information I should be sharing on this site as I continue to tweek and figure out what exactly it is I’m trying to do here.

Michigan has some extremely underrated musicians and bands. From this point forward I will give shout outs for some of my favorites.

I First learned about Breathe Owl Breathe back in 2007 when my little brother went to a show of theirs at the Elite Restaurant in Grand Rapids and brought back a handmade CD. Very jealous of this possession. Myself, I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in the summer of 2011 in San Diego opening for Yann Tiersen. They were entertaining throughout the set complete with story time, costumes, and dog barking.

The trio, from East Jordan, Michigan is Micah Middaugh, Trevor Hobbs, and Andréa Moreno-Beals. They are a playful band. Their music, for me, engenders many good feelings and thoughts. With their array of sounds, instruments and fun shows complete with costumes, Breathe Owl Breathe is very much apart of the current indie zeitgeist. Their thoughtfulness both lyrically and musically speak to a longevity for the trio.

Partake in Michigan’s music scene and venues. They are an essential part of a rich urban fabric, and Michigan in general has some hidden treasures. Go see Kalamazoo and Detroit’s Jazz, Ann Arbor’s Folk, Grand Rapids Noise. We have great music cities.

Use our cities.

Live in our cities.

They are our most important assets. It’s time to stop speaking enviously of Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and make our cities destinations. Support them.

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AMBASSADOR BRIDGE and MATTY MOROUN

Posted in INFRASTRUCTURE by urbanmi on November 6, 2012

[This is an emotionally driven post.]

Go Vote.

Not for Obama or Romney; but vote on proposal 6. Vote No on proposal 6.

Proposal 6 is not about giving Michigan voters more choice and control. Proposal 6 is a subversive attempt to block the construction of a new international bridge between Detroit and Canada by billionaire Matty Moroun who owns and profits from the Ambassador Bridge.

Matty Moroun expects and understands he will be able to block any new bridge through a state vote by buying the airwaves.

The bridge is not an ideological issue, it is not conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. It is a Michigan Issue, an issue that every Michigander needs to understand. The new bridge must be built. 

Everyone in business, politics, and the media understands this. This is an infrastructure issue key to the progress and development of our state. This is an issue about a billionaire striving to keep his monopoly by any means necessary, his success up to this point is reprehensible and speaks to the worst in us and politics. An international border crossing and international trade should not be dictated by one man. The economy of Michigan should not be dictated by Matty Moroun.

The story of the bridge and its constant blocks is a tale of grotesque political corruption. Everyone who has blocked the bridge has accepted money from the Moroun family.

Jack Lessenberry’s coverage on the Ambassador bridge is essential listening and reading. He has covered the issue since the beginning.

Michigan Radio’s coverage, in general, on the bridge is truly informative. Inform yourselves on the issue and go vote if you haven’t yet, if you have tell your friends.

The Ambassador Bridge is an issue that directly affects the progress of Michigan.

LEBBEUS WOODS | 1940-2012

Posted in ARCHITECTURE by urbanmi on November 1, 2012

Lebbeus Woods passed away Tuesday after 72 years. He was born in Lansing, MI.

His work is a major influence and inspiration to any student and academic and to me personally.

As a thinker and as an Architect, we have lost someone who is not as heralded as his work deserves and who practiced in such a way that few imitate and no one replicates.

I encourage you to visit his blog and read his thoughts and words, it was one of the most revealing and engaging blogs produced by a seminal architect. I will miss the opportunity to read his words and gain a glimpse of his mind.

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