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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tiger Woods' image's comeback going better than his golf game

I sat down with Dave Phillips Wednesday to discuss Tiger Woods' new endorsement deal for a Japanese healing balm. Enjoy.

Sheen was hooked on 'Major League' like crack; admits to juicing during production

Charlie Sheen isn't likely the one you would suspect, but there's no reason to think he was lying when he told Sports Illustrated he was "juicing" while filming "Major League" in the late 1980s. Sheen played relief pitcher Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn in the classic film where a Cleveland Indians team is stacked with "has beens and never-will-bees" in order to play poorly enough to earn a relocation to Miami. Sheen's character fit that mold, coming off a stint in the California penal league (if you can make it in prison ball, you can make it anywhere) and unaccustomed to civilization.
Sheen said steroids took his fast ball up from 79 to 85 mph while taking the drugs for 6-8 weeks of production.

In addition, Sheen compared to the script to the cult classic to crack and couldn't put it down once it reached him.
"I was going to a premiere, and I had a meeting with David Ward in the morning, so I had the script in the limo, and I was late because I couldn't put it down. Then I sat in the driveway for an hour to finish it. It was probably as good a script as "Platoon," seriously. There are films you look at and say, That was a perfect movie because every element found itself."
Apparently it takes more than potentially seeing a disenfranchised female owner naked behind a jigsaw puzzle to get Sheen amped up.
Sheen goes on to call Vaughn's entrance in the final game one of the best of all-time, except it took place at 4 a.m. after most people had already gone home. He took a swing at real-life "Wild Thing," former Phillies closer Mitch Williams.
"Mitch Williams, that f---ing guy never gave me credit. Come on, dude; you're coming out to the Wild Thing song? You changed your number? Can I get a little nod?"
Motown Lowdown points out Sheen, an avid baseball fan, took note of Tigers outfielders current and former in Matt Joyce and Brennan Boesch.

SI: It seems like you're a guy who takes this sport seriously.

Sheen: I do, man. It's not just a hobby, it's a religion. All I watch is MLB. I don't care what's going on in the friggin' world. This is what's going on in the world. Baseball is all that matters. Matt Joyce destroyed a ball in Tampa! Who the f--- is Matt Joyce? There is an incoming wave of talent that is just unbelievable. This kid Brennan Boesch, he's f------ gnarly."

Read the full conversation here
JUST ADDED: What would admitted steroid user Jose Canseco say to Sheen about his habit? Also, more actors who could have juiced for their film roles.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cameras catching Miggy in curious positions

Miguel Cabrera has a reputation as a clown in the clubhouse, and it seems with productive numbers pushing his offseason indiscretion to the back of everyone's mind, he can get back to the business of making people laugh. Sports Illustrated turned up this gem in a recent slideshow:

There are a few other things this photo says:
"Wow, this hoop makes me look skinny"
"This is good exercise for burning off those lbs"
"Skip said this would keep me limber"
And then Wednesday, as the Tigers hit four home runs in beating the Dodgers in L.A., Miggy seemed to say "Feed me" as he neared home plate:

What do these photos say to you?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ain't no rep, like a Detroit reputation

It was interesting seeing others do what the outside world expects from Detroit carried out by Canadians, who are, for the most part, considered to be friendly and docile. One-hundred fifty people were arrested in Vancouver during Wednesday night's riot following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, not coincidentally a Canucks loss. Conversely, seven were arrested in Boston, the home city of the new champions.

Of course, we can't talk about a riot without mentioning Detroit, as actor Rainn Wilson from "The Office" did on Twitter, calling "Vancouver the Detroit of Canada." He got quite a bit of flack for that one, responding by saying he would turn over his Toyota Prius for penance.
While Vancouverans used social media to brag about their late-evening conquest, Detroiters shielded themselves from undeserved comparisons as the grandfather of riots. That may have been well-earned moniker once upon a time, but the Detroit area has hosted world class events with with little disturbance.
  • 2005 MLB All-Star Game
  • 2006 Super Bowl XL
  • 2004 Ryder Cup
  • 2009 Final Four
  • 1994 World Cup
  • 2006 World Series
  • Annual North American International Auto Show
  • Six Stanley Cup finals (four championships)
  • Five NBA Finals (three championships)
So what exactly is it going to take to repair Detroit's image? Is it beyond repair at this point. If a large riot in a place known to be a nice vacation spot with breathtaking views is capable of this violence and Detroit, which isn't necessarily either of those, keeps the peace, I don't know what will.
Newspapers suffered
an identity crisis, struggling with which images to use on the front page. The Vancouver Providence did well with its "Mayhem" cover.

UPDATE: Wilson said about his tweet the next day: "Man I have a new-found respect for Detroit after the angry shellacking I've taken for my crack this AM. U guys sure rally for yr city!"
Also, according to ESPN's Page2 blog, there apparently was a riot after the Pistons won their 1990 NBA championship. The melee was described as "worse, albeit less memorable" than the 1984 Tigers riot.

Monday, June 13, 2011

U-M fans have a new shirt to taunt Ohio State*

While it can't replace all the losses at the hands of Jim Tressel and The Ohio State, Michigan fans have a new shirt they can wear, pointing to the licit nature of the Buckeyes' success. Tom Leyden debuted the shirts on "Sports Update" Sunday night on WXYZ-7.

LeBron, Heat's loss in newsprint

You may have noticed our sports front didn't have a "Mavs win the title" headline because of our early Sunday deadline, but we did run one of my favorites from the Twitterverse in the Macomb Daily (which we produce on Sundays) "Big D, not Big 3."
I also liked:
  • "Dallas in Wonderland"
  • "The King is speechless"
  • "King without a ring"
Here are the fronts from the Miami Herald and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Dallas Morning News also went the easy route, from what I saw on TV Sunday night. Also, the NY Post took the gloves off, as it tends to do, with "Beach Bums" over top a photo of LeBron and Dwyane Wade.

Also, the Miami Herald, which seems to be common place in Finals series, ran a Macy's ad for Heat championship gear.

My question is, Sunday's Game 6 couldn't have been a clincher for the Heat. So why was that ad even in their system? Sometimes those things happen when dealing with two different entities running the show.
Welp, barring a "Decision Part II," that could be the last LeBron headline fun for the summer.

Friday, June 10, 2011

It was a good day for U-M publicity

You may have noticed Google has outfitted its homepage with a recordable tribute to legendary guitar maker Les Paul for his birthday. CNBC's Darren Rovell tweeted a link to early Friday to a rendition of "The Victors," though it wasn't clear if he created the song. I suppose it's fitting the computer giant would be capable of such a song, seeing how it has an office in Ann Arbor.
That wasn't Michigan's only interaction Friday with a legend, as the school unveiled its new throwback, or "Legends," jerseys it plans to wear against Notre Dame in this season's night game meeting Sept. 10 at the Big House.
Thanks to Rovell for the pics of the jerseys.
Quarterback Denard Robinson said people initially disliked the stripes over the shoulder, but he really likes them.
"These jerseys are crazy sick," he said in a video posted on the school's website. "To be part of something like this at the University of Michigan with throwbacks on, that's crazy."
The video goes on to say the adidas jerseys "are a compilation of years and eras recognizing the tradition and history of Michigan football."
The accompanying helmet appears to stay intact, with each player's number added to the side.
Watch video of the unveiling here. Order a jersey, which costs $80, here.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Tigers aren't the only ones letting nepotism reign

Much was made of the fact the Tigers had enough picks to draft Al Kaline's grandson, Alex Avila's brother and the sons of Fox Sports Detroit broadcast duo Mario Impemba (Brett, Oakland University) and Rod Allen in the latter rounds of the recent MLB Draft. They're not the only ones sticking with popular names.
Some other familiar last names who were drafted:
  • Shawn Dunston Jr. (Cubs)
  • Dante Bichette Jr. (Yankees)
  • Brandon Bonilla (Rockies)
  • Ryan Garvey (Phillies)
  • Trevor Gretzky (Cubs, and his namesake didn't even play baseball!)
Let's be honest. The MLB draft is the biggest crapshoot of any of the major drafts, and the NHL's draft goes pretty long, too. For a full rundown of familiar last names joining the Tigers' organization, click here

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Even Jim Leyland is a prankster

He doesn't seem like he has much of a sense of humor, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland tried to pull a fast one on hitting coach Lloyd McClendon Monday against Texas. It's pretty easy to joke around when your up-and-down, mostly sub-.500 team is beating up on the American League's best.

Thanks to SB Nation Detroit for paying attention.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Microwave's 0.07 shot gets further immortalized, in Legos

As it has been known to do, has produced a video of the top five moments in NBA Finals history - in Legos that is. Among them, Vinnie Johnson's shot in Game 5 of the 1990 NBA Finals that gave the Pistons their second consecutive championship.
The Pistons took the ball out of bounds with 20 seconds remaining and Isiah Thomas dribbled the clock down before passing to Johnson. "The Microwave" as he was known, got the ball with about three seconds remaining and drained a 14-footer with just 0.07 remaining to all but secure the Bad Boys' second title.

Also canonized are Gar Heard's turnaround jumper from 1976 and Michael Jordan's famous push-off from 1998.
Tauntr also recently Legoized Chris Webber's infamous timeout in the 1993 national championship game.

This beats the coolest trading card you ever got as a kid, guaranteed

You didn't expect trading cards to stick to cardboard forever, did you? Panini, the basketball card manufacturer not the sandwich has created a new series of cards with a built-in video player with a 2 GB flash drive. That has to top all the special series holograms, game-worn jersey swatches and mail-in redemption cards.
The Panini HRX sounds impressive, but apparently it's not that wild to Blake Griffin. The guy dunks over small foreign cars after all.

Not only is this card autographed, it comes with a video of highlights that include the player signing the card.
The cards will be available for particular players such as Griffin, Washington's John Wall and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant. They are reportedly going to debut this month, costing $20 for a pack of five, but of course, not every pack is going to have an HRX, so most buyers will still get the same feeling buying cards 20 years ago. But there's always a chance, right?

What was the coolest card you ever pulled? To this day, my best is a Kobe Bryant jersey swatch, which, ironically, I got in a pack during the 2004 NBA Finals when the Pistons beat the Lakers.

Galarraga, Joyce banned from seeing each other on their special anniversary

This was news to me when I read it, but "Motown Lowdown" on SB Nation is reporting via ESPN that MLB has banned umpire Jim Joyce, he of the infamous blown perfect game, from working on the umpire crew of any game pitched by former Tiger Armando Galarraga, said pitcher of blown perfecto. Why, after Joyce continued to work Tigers games following one of the worst calls in the history of baseball? Because apparently, the two are the co-authors of a new book set to release on the one-year anniversary (has it been a year already!?) of the dirty deed.

An MLB spokesperson said the move was made so as "to give the appearance of any impropriety." Really? Joyce already jobbed the guy out of a perfect game, I don't think he really plays favorites.
Rather than posting a clip of the blown call, I'll find one of Galarraga raging on reporters following a recent outing (with a special appearance from Detroit hero Kirk Gibson). The "Lowdown" report goes on to mention Galarraga is currently in Triple-A, so reuniting with Joyce might not be such a scheduling nightmare it sounds like.
If you really feel you need to read this book, click here.