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.

Go Wings

Posted in DETROIT, SPORTS by urbanmi on April 13, 2011

Redwings over Coyotes in 6.

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Detroit Tigers Need Yu Darvish

Posted in DETROIT, SPORTS by urbanmi on September 29, 2010

For the sake of the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit Mike Illitch and the Detroit Tigers need to acquire Yu Darvish this offseason.  Darvish is the next major Japanese player who will join the Major Leagues; the Tigers should utilize their new financial flexibility to gamble on a Japanese ballplayer lottery ticket.

What’s heartbreaking for me, is now that he appears ready to join the Major Leagues, Illitch may not be in a position to pursue him, since he is trying to cut payroll, purchase the Detroit Pistons, and build a new home for the Detroit Redwings.  Illitch has shown great philanthropy towards Detroit, and acquiring Darvish could have significant returns in improving Detroit’s image abroad and making Detroit more attractive for Japanese investment.

The Japanese are enormous baseball fans and their interest in baseball can be utilized to attract business and investment from one of our most significant international partners.  Darvish would be an asset for Detroit giving Japanese businessman a reason to be attached to the city.

Already, Detroit has a significant Japanese population in Novi, this is something to build upon.  Ichiro Suzuki, Hideo Nomo, and Hideki Matsui demonstrate the seriousness Japanese fans have in their countrymen playing in the United States; these players have press corps assigned to them.  Even the tumultuous transitions of Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston and Kosuke Fukudome in Chicago show significant short term excitement that would increase and alter Detroit’s profile abroad.   The recent struggles of Fukudome and particularly Matsuzaka should make it more affordable to take a chance on a player like Darvish.

If Darvish succeeds, the result is Detroit games being played in Japan regularly portraying a positive image of Detroit. Looking at the cities who go after Japanese players: Seattle, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Boston. Displays a pattern of cities that position themselves as international cities, Detroit needs to make moves to transform itself.  Darvish is it.

Detroit has previously flirted with Japanese players

  • Hideo Nomo 2000
  • Masao Kida 1999-2000

The Los Angeles Dodgers have two Japanese players currently in Midland for the Single A Great Lake Loons

  • Fumimasa Ishibashi
  • Robert Boothe

This offseason Tiger’s no longer liable for $78 million

Further Information

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Go Blue!

Posted in SPORTS by urbanmi on September 5, 2010

Ecstatic after Michigan’s victory yesterday; I felt like this early last season as well.  Michigan prevailed over Notre Dame, and we appeared to be back, and then we learned both Michigan and Notre Dame were bad.  The offense was exhilarating to watch, no mistakes were made and the Wolverines played with heart and confidence that we haven’t seen for two seasons.

We need to temper the enthusiasm.

We should remember last season Michigan started 4-0 before it became clear the offense was still unresolved with no clear weapons and the defense was porous.  Yesterday the defense, particularly the secondary, was lucky Connecticut QB, Zach Frazer, struggled to connect with his targets.  Better offenses in the big ten pose a significant threat, they will exploit those weaknesses.  Denard Robinson is small, and was looking rattled later in the game after some hard hits, larger stronger bodies during the conference schedule will do more damage.

Michigan is improved and has a promising season ahead of them but we are not there yet.

(For the record: I still want RichRod fired.)

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Detroit Pistons

Posted in DETROIT, SPORTS by urbanmi on August 19, 2010

Detroit Bad Boys has been doing great coverage on the forthcoming sale of the Detroit Pistons.

I, and most everyone else, is hoping for Mike Illitch, owner of the Redwings and Tigers, successful acquistion of the franchise.  Illitch has proven his desire to build competitive teams and has been aggressive in investing in Detroit.  It is a best case scenario for the continued success of the team and for the development of Detroit.

Speculation suggests the Pistons would eventually move from the Palace of Auburn Hills to downtown into a new shared arena with the Redwings.  The addition of a new arena will ensure year round sporting events downtown increasing the quality of life amenities and providing more reasons to visit and move to Detroit’s urban center.

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