Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, January 23, 2009

No More Talkin' Tigers on the Radio

I don't know how many of you had streamed or downloaded our appearances over the past two weeks on WTKQ's The Morning Ticket with Pat & Todd, but I'm not going to be talking on the radio again any time soon.

Unfortunately, the powers-that-be at FM Talk 100.5 decided to go in the proverbial different direction, and as of last Friday, pulled the plug on the show. Any disappointment I felt over that is a trifle compared to what two radio hosts who suddenly don't have a show must have experienced. Fans of WDFN in Detroit learned this week just how brutal the radio industry can be. (And though I'm late on it, that's something I'd like to write about in the next couple of days.)

I'm obviously biased, but Pat Johnston and Todd Guerne are two talented, nice guys who deserve better, and will hopefully get it. And if you follow the conversation over at Bless You Boys, you know Todd's suddenly become an active part of the BYB community, and it's great to have a new voice and more participation - especially at this time of year.

So I should probably leave it there, and thank Pat and Todd for a wholly unexpected opportunity, as short-lived as it turned out to be. It's incredibly flattering that they thought enough of what we do here to want to talk about the Tigers on the radio each week. And it was a lot of fun.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Water For Detroit's Football Desert?

I'm late to the party on reading Michael Lombardi's wonderfully insightful writing and reporting at National Football Post - probably because it took me a while to work my sports appetite back up after baseball season (mercifully) ended - but his stuff is a must-read for me these days.

And maybe I just need any little kernel of hope to make me feel good about the Detroit Lions now (thanks to the Arizona Cardinals) being one of five teams (three of which are newer, expansion franchises) never to make it to the Super Bowl, but I was encouraged to read this from Lombardi about the Lions' new head coach, Jim Schwartz:

I know the Lions hired a great young coach in Jim Schwartz, who is someone I believe will do a wonderful job. We hired him in Cleveland in 1992 to work with me in the personnel department. He is extremely smart (third in his class at Georgetown in economics) and hard working. He knows how to build a program, and he understands the Bill Belichick approach as well as anyone. Given enough time, he will restore the roar to the Lions.

So hopefully, The Schwartz is strong with this team. And for a guy who said the Lions were dead to him, I'm suddenly quite a bit more interested than I was at this time a year ago.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Talkin' Tigers on the Radio: Any Closer to a Closer?

Where will the Detroit Tigers turn to find a closer? The Quest For Relief (or lack thereof) was the main topic of discussion in my chat with WTKQ's The Morning Ticket with Pat & Todd.

Are we really looking at Fernando Rodney being the man in the ninth inning this summer? Is that a possibility that should terrify Tigers fans? Or is there still a chance a free agent reliever could come to the rescue? If so, are Jason Isringhausen or Brandon Lyon up to the task?

We also talk a little bit about signing Justin Verlander long-term to avoid arbitration, and whether or not trading Magglio Ordonez is really a good idea.

Thanks once again to Pat Johnston and Todd Guerne for having me on, especially before a big football weekend (and in lieu of the Detroit Lions hiring Jim Schwartz as their new head coach).

You can listen to an embedded audio clip below (I think I've installed a better audio player this time) or download the file from the accompanying link.


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May the Schwartz Be With Us!

This is just too easy, but in honor of the Detroit Lions hiring Jim Schwartz as their new coach (a moment of silence for the poor guy), I have to post the first thing that came to mind when I heard the news.

I think the Lions got the right guy. Someone with Schwartz's pedigree - working under Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, and previous background with Bill Belichick in Cleveland - and unconventional, stats-oriented approach to the game is intriguing. (I can't wait to see how the media and fans react when he says something like "Well, fumbles are a random occurrence; good teams fumble just as often as bad teams" after the Lions have five turnovers in a game.)

It's also encouraging that other teams were interested in hiring him. I'm just not sure about the executives that made the hire. Like Michael Rosenberg in this morning's Freep, I hope the Lions let Schwartz coach his way and bring in his players. (Just remind them who has the bigger Schwartz, Coach.)

Here's a profile of Schwartz that the New York Times wrote in November.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Tao of Rickey

In honor of Rickey Henderson's election into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, I'd like to rerun some clips from a post I wrote back in 2005 when Rickey signed with the San Diego Surf Dawgs. As we get closer to the HoF induction ceremony in July, I look forward to hearing more stories about Henderson's celebrated eccentricities. But I don't know if they'll be any better than these.

For a 12-year span through the 1980's and into the early 90's, Rickey owned the American League stolen base crown. The one year he didn't get it was 1987, when he played in only 95 games because of a hamstring injury. So Harold Reynolds was the final season leader with 60 steals. And after the season, H.R. got a phone call from someone (as told on MLB.com's "Fantasy 411"):


"Reynolds! This is Rickey."

"Oh, hey Rick."

"60 steals, huh?"

"Yeah, I can't believe it. It was amazing."

"60?! Rickey had 60 at the All-Star Break!"


Immediately after breaking Lou Brock's stolen base record, the Oakland Athletics held an on-field ceremony commemorating the occasion. Rickey ended a relatively gracious speech by saying, "Lou Brock was the symbol of great base stealing. But today, I'm the greatest of all time. Thank you."

Henderson often referred to himself in the third person. He once called the general manager of a baseball team, looking for a job, and said, "Rickey wants to play another year and he thinks he wants to play for you."

While playing for the San Diego Padres late in his career, Henderson got onto the team bus and was looking for a seat. A teammate, Steve Finley, said, "Sit anywhere you want, you got tenure."

Rickey's response? "Ten years? What are you talking about? Rickey got 16, 17 years."

This one apparently isn't true, but it's so funny that it should be: While playing for the Seattle Mariners, Rickey approached John Olerud, who wears a batting helmet on the field because of a brain aneurysm he suffered, and said "I used to play with a dude in New York who did the same thing."

Olerud's response? "That was me." Olerud and Rickey had previously played together with the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Talkin' Tigers on the Radio

I was invited onto The Morning Ticket with Pat & Todd on Saginaw's FM Talk 100.5 this morning to talk about the Detroit Tigers. We're hoping to make this a weekly thing during the baseball season.

After a tortured search during last night's Florida-Oklahoma national championship game, I found a program for Windows that would allow me to record streaming audio. And I got it synced up with my thingermajigger just in time to record my appearance.

For those of who have followed the Detroit Tigers' offseason closely, you'll already be familiar with what Pat, Todd, and I discussed. And if not, I really sound like I know what I'm talking about.

(Except when I got two pitchers mixed up, which was a little bit embarrassing. Can I say, "Hey, it was early - and I was a bit nervous and hyper"? Well, I just did.)

Anyway, I think it went pretty well for our first time out. But I should let you judge for yourself. As Tony Kornheiser would say, I'll try to do better the next time. And hopefully, the Tigers give us a little more to talk about in the weeks to come. Thanks to Pat Johnston and Todd Guerne for having me on. That's a fun show they have going.

You can listen to an embedded audio clip below or download the file from the accompanying link. (At least, I hope so. This is the first time I've tried this.)


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