New Podcast: OSU’s Urban-Renewal, Harbaugh & the Tigers (with MMD Writers Kale Davidoff & Steve Mitzel)

On the two-year anniversary of MyMediaDiary.com, featured writers Kale Davidoff (a MSU Spartan) and Steve Mitzel (a UofM Wolverine) cover the following sports topics with host Kevin Walsh: Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes national title The new NCAA playoff system Jim Harbaugh’s arrival in Ann Arbor–and likelihood to stay? The Big Ten’s return to power Is the SEC hurt by the new system? Different venues, different fans Being a stranger in a hostile stadium The Tigers and Justin Verlander (and will they ever win the Series) Read Kale’s posts on MMD Read Steve’s posts on MMD

Defining the 2014 Detroit Tigers’ Regular Season

Perspective Somewhere amid Derek Jeter’s fourth or fifth finale on Sunday afternoon, John Farrell spent most of his time faking a smile, trying to be a part of all the pomp and circumstance as another baseball season came to a close. In many ways, the season for Farrell and his Red Sox ended months ago. No doubt the sting hurt more on Sunday, as mathematical elimination and inevitable closure became a physical reality as the sun finally set on Fenway Park, its home players and Beantown’s most faithful. I imagine John Farrell muttering about in his mind of what went wrong; surveying the field on the last day of the season, questioning and second guessing every decision and asking himself how the Red Sox went from the top of the world to the bottom of the barrel. He’s been there before, looking up from the basement as the manager of Blue Jays…. Read More…

Old Passions in New Hands: The Ausmus-Abrams Effect on the Tigers and Star Wars

Opening Day has always been much more than the start of a new baseball season. For the players and teams, it marks a new opportunity. For some, it is a chance to put physical or statistical shortcomings behind them. For others, it’s finding someway to harness past success and release it in time for a brand new campaign. And for many, it’s the first taste of playing in front of the tall buildings. From the fan perspective, Opening Day is a celebration of the past, and a time to party and look towards the possibilities of the future. Who will surprise? Who will disappoint? Is our team destined for play in October? Here in Detroit, I don’t think there’s been a more intriguing Opening Day than this year’s in 2014. Considering what Jim Leyland did here in his eight seasons of managing and considering what he didn’t accomplish, Brad Ausmus… Read More…

Post-Season Tigers: Ethical Crossroad for Detroit Fans (Moral-less)

Tonight the Tigers give it another try.  Under Jim Leland, they’ve been to the post-season many times and twice been to the World Series–crushed by the Cardinals in ’06 and crushed by the Giants last year.  It’s a battle of the big-dough, Little Caesar’s fortune against Billy Bean’s rummage-sale sabremetrics (although he’s never publicly endorsed the scheme). Poor Mike Ilitch (a phrase not heard often), born just four months before the stock market crash, has had to endure plenty of Great Depressions.  He transformed the 1970’s Red Wings from a group outdrawn at Joe Louis Arena by the Ice Capades into the Yankees of hockey, not missing the post-season in over twenty years, to the point, when the team doesn’t win another Stanley Cup, it’s a disappointing season. As the Tigers were moved from one pizza czar to another in 1992, Ilitch patiently tooled, re-tooled, then re-re-tooled his team (and… Read More…

“Fabberglasted” – Local Legend of Baseball and Fertilizer, Rod Allen

I blame Justin Timberlake. Without the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson, there wouldn’t be such a long delay of live television broadcasts–and I could just turn down the set and have the radio playing. Anyone unfortunate enough to watch a Tiger game beside me knows that I’ve got a collection on my phone’s note-pad.  It’s a three year-old assembly that was created as a little therapy. The title of the list: “Rod-isms.” Rod Allen is a former Tiger who batted .333 for the club–for his 15 games.  At an ’84 reunion of the last World Series champions in the Motor City, I was very happy to look down on the field and see some of my favorites:  Gibson, Trammell, Whitaker, Parrish, Petry, Morris…”and Rod Allen.” I don’t do double-takes too often, but I did that day at the ballpark.  I had to check my “Bless You Boys” book,… Read More…

Opening Day: A Benchmark or 1/162 of a Season?

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…” –T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” I always liked that mileage marker that Eliot used.  For many of us in education, we measure our lives in years teaching–or perhaps by an unforgettable group of students (good or bad!).  My sister Katie, a managing editor of weekly magazines for over 20 years observed that teachers at least had closure, that there is time to take a step back and assess what’s been done.  When Katie was finishing one magazine for print, the following two weeks’ magazines were well under-way. And for twenty-five years, I was able to observe in the bittersweet holiday of Labor Day the balance between school beginning–with all the extra work “breaking in” new students–with the beginning of the football season.  And as a lifelong Lions fan, the two greatest days of the season were… Read More…