Eighty-one of the 82 games the Pistons play this season are scheduled to be televised on FSD or ESPN. The game tonight between the Pistons and Bulls in Chicago is the one that will not be televised.
The website for the Chicago Bulls lists CSN-Chicago as the only network broadcasting the game.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
McDonald stayed with the Browns until he was released in the final cut in training camp this season.
McDonald has 27 career starts, including 10 last season with the Browns and 15 starts in the previous season. He has eight career interceptions, including a career-high five in the 2008 season.
McDonald has appeared in just two games with the Cardinals this season. The Lions needed to bulk up their depth because they only had four cornerbacks on the roster - Chris Houston, Alphonso Smith, Jonathan Wade and Nathan Vasher. Following Detroit's last game - against the New York Giants before the bye week - the Lions released two cornerbacks: Dante Wesley and Paul Pratt (who was re-signed to the practice squad).
McDonald drew the ire of Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini in training camp this season when he tweeted a derogatory remark about Cincinnati Bengals receiver Terrell Owens. McDonald said he was only trying to have some fun and apologized for the incident.
Owens had a little fun himself in responding to McDonald's tweet. "Who?'' Owens asked. "I don't even know who he is. Is he Ronald McDonald?''
Owens faced the Browns earlier this season and rang up 10 catches for 222 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown - but McDonald was already gone to the Cardinals.
It should be noted - for the sake of the rest of the Detroit defensive backs -- that the Lions don't play the Bengals this year.
by Tom Kowalski from Mlive.com
The Tigers are reportedly "deeply interested" in Crawford as a free agent, major-league sources told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Crawford, Tampa Bay's No. 1 draft pick in 1999, isn't expected to sign an extension with the Rays and will officially hit this year's free-agent market five days after the World Series.
The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals are also expected to pursue Crawford, who could garner a multi-year deal worth more than $100 million. The New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves could be possible suitors for the left-handed hitting speedster, too.
As Rosenthal suggests, Crawford would likely play left field for Detroit and complement center fielder Austin Jackson in Comerica Park's spacious outfield confines.
Crawford, 29, is arguably the most prized free agent this offseason after hitting .307 this year with a career-high 19 homer runs.
by James Schmehl from MLive.com
There wasn’t an official meeting, but the message was clear. Manny Harris, you made the team.
“It felt good but, at the same time, I know it’s one step in what I’m trying to do,” Harris said. “I would never get complacent or settle for just making it. It feels good, but I still know that there’s a lot more I want to do here to be a better player.”
After calling his mother, Merrick Harris-Carter, he went right back to doing what he did to make the NBA team in the first place. He worked.
Harris wasn't selected in June’s two-round NBA Draft, a scenario he was prepared for. Harris said his agent, Henry Thomas, discussed that possibility with him. Part of the reason was he hadn’t been able to show what he could do.
He injured his ankle and couldn’t participate in the NBA’s pre-draft camp in Chicago. Then, after the draft, he couldn’t play on Cleveland’s summer league roster, but earned a training camp invite.
The theme goes back further.
Harris said Monday that his hamstring, which he injured before the start of Michigan’s 2009-10 season, was never fully healthy throughout last year. He still led the Wolverines in scoring at 18.1 points a game, but the injury consistently nagged him.
He said he continued to play out of loyalty to his teammates.
“Last year, I knew how I was feeling and I was doing it more for our team,” Harris said. “There were times I knew I should probably just have sat down for a game or two. It would have helped me more to just sit down and not play a few games, but for the team, I felt it was better to be out there looking to win. I stayed on the floor.
“But the way my hamstring felt last year, especially in the beginning part of it, was awful.”
Once healthy and in the Cavaliers' camp, Harris' game -- the same one that impressed NBA coaches and scouts at the LeBron James and Paul Pierce camps before his junior year at Michigan -- began to re-emerge.
His goal during camp was to be first in everything in order to make an impression and to stick in the NBA.
“Even if it was just a running drill, I wanted to be first in the running drills,” Harris said. “I really focused on defending and not letting my man score. I took pride in that a lot.
“There were so many different things. Just tried to show a little bit of everything in my game, rebounding, getting assists, showing them I can score.”
Harris averaged 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and a steal during Cleveland’s preseason, including shooting 57.1 percent from the 3-point line. Then, when Cleveland waived Danny Green, Harris looked like he might make the opening day roster.
So when the Cavaliers open their season on Wednesday, he isn’t sure what is going to happen. All he knows is one thing: he’ll be in Quicken Loans Arena as a member of an NBA team playing the Boston Celtics.
“First game of my NBA career,” Harris said. “I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if I’ll dress, I don’t know if I’ll be in a suit, I don’t know anything at all.
“So all I can do is control every day, just getting better.”
It’s the attitude that landed Harris on the roster in the first place.
By Michael Rothstein from AnnArbor.com
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The junior slot receiver on the Michigan football team needed to do something he does often - when he walks to class, before he goes to bed, before he eats - he Tweets.
And his Twitter fascination also landed him an interview with "College GameDay" on ESPN.
“That’s an amazing experience,” Grady said after being interviewed by ESPN on Monday. “It was fun. You know how you watch the interviews and like you see the lights are dim, and I could see the ESPN background and stuff.”
Grady said he was interviewed for an upcoming story on Twitter and other social networking tools.
Twitter, with its 140-character, rapid-fire updates, is a way for college football players to communicate with fans and friends. Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (@TPeezy2) does it and Kentucky do-everything star Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) called out fans after the Wildcats’ upset of South Carolina on the social networking tool. Boise State coach Chris Petersen banned his players from Tweeting in-season and Miami quarterback Jacory Harris deleted his account after receiving a racist message following a loss to Ohio State this year.
There can be fake accounts, too, as someone tried to pretend to be Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, but the school’s sports information department said the account didn’t belong to the sophomore.
Grady (@Mr_KelGrady19) is among a number of Michigan football and basketball players who frequently Tweet, including injured cornerback Troy Woolfolk (@TWoolf29), offensive lineman Elliott Mealer (@el_mealer), wide receiver Darryl Stonum (@CornellStone22) and freshman basketball player Evan Smotrycz (@EvanMSmotrycz).
And it landed the slot receiver, who converted from basketball to football a season ago, on the premier college football show in the country.
“It’s just all in fun,” Grady said. “It’s an opportunity to be on 'College GameDay.' ”
by Michael Rothstein from AnnArbor.com
Weiner said there is "sentiment among a substantial segment of the players to consider expanding the playoffs," possibly by adding another wild card and/or making the Division Series a best-of-seven, instead of the current best-of-five format.
The collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players expires after the 2011 World Series, and any changes in the playoff setup would have to be part of the new CBA. Weiner acknowledged that shortening the regular season to allow for expanded playoffs would have "revenue implications for the industry."
My guess is, if the playoffs are expanded and the regular season is shortened, owners would push for some kind of central revenue fund from the extra playoff games or the TV rights to offset the loss of home dates in the schedule. If the schedule was cut back to 154 games, for example, each team would lose four home games.
Weiner also said there's a chance players will propose changes to the Super Two system, which has led numerous teams to leave prospects in the minors for the first two months of the season so the players wouldn't hit arbitration a year early. Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg made his major league debut on June 8 this season, though general manager Mike Rizzo said in June that arbitration was not a consideration in the decision about when to bring Strasburg up.
By Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
There isn't much known about them now as they enter the 2010-11 season. There are more questions than answers, and the issues go far beyond the playing court.
A labor battle is pending and a league-wide lockout could be on the horizon. The team has been in flux since the death of patriarch William Davidson in 2009, and visions of the 2004 title recede more to the background, especially after a 27-win, injury-riddled showing last season.
Now, as the season tips off Wednesday in New Jersey, Detroit begins an 82-game journey during which it hopes to not only re-establish its true identity, but find some long-term stability — in more ways than one.
'Starting from scratch'
The Pistons are a collection of players no one can truly figure out, and the prognostications have not been kind — most are picking the Pistons to finish worse than last year.
For the players, it's a lot of intrigue, but a little bit of doubt, too.
"It's definitely different than in the past; I'd be lying if I said it wasn't," said guard Richard Hamilton, who along with Tayshaun Prince is the longest-tenured Pistons player (ninth season). "We all knew how we'd react to certain situations. Teams knew what play we were going to run but you couldn't stop it."
Hamilton is coming off his worst season in Detroit, and most fans assumed they had seen the last of him in red, white and blue. But he's still in Motown, at least for the foreseeable future.
"I never got caught up in it, never," Hamilton said of the trade rumors. "My first two or three years in the league, as a young kid, you worry about it. You wonder, 'How does that happen?' My last few years, I haven't worried about it at all."
He should be properly motivated. For six straight seasons, he helped lead the team deep into the postseason. Now, his team is back to square one. Miami, Boston and Orlando have replaced Detroit as the beast in the East.
"It's like starting from scratch, learning each other's positions, what guys like and dislike," he said. "You have so many guys in different places. I was hurt all last year and you know what? We're working on our chemistry every day. It's a learning situation."
Ben Wallace cautions against those ready to get rid of Prince and Hamilton, just for the sake of change.
"It doesn't work like that — just trade one or two guys and you're back to championship contenders," Wallace said. "We have to go out and get guys that fit this team and this system."
It's on second-year coach John Kuester to mesh talent, handle minutes and massage egos. And, he has to do all this while putting his team in the best spot to make a run for the playoffs.
"You have to manage the players, you've got to be able to communicate what you want done, but you have to be consistent," Kuester said. "They understand that if you aren't consistent, they won't buy in."
As for the roster, it's unbalanced, to say the least, but there's talent. The Pistons will be fighting, individually and collectively, to prove Detroit is not the land of misfit toys. Dispelling common beliefs will be the theme: Rodney Stuckey can't lead a team.
Ben Gordon is one-dimensional.
Charlie Villanueva doesn't care.
Tracy McGrady has nothing left.
Ben Wallace can't duplicate last year.
Richard Hamilton is too old.
Austin Daye's not ready yet.
They don't have a true big man.
"We know the difference between all of that (talk)," Wallace said. "We can't let the outside dictate what we're trying to do here."
'Nature of the business'
There are distractions in-house, too, though.
After Davidson's death in March 2009, his widow, Karen, put the team up for sale and Mike Ilitch announced his desire to purchase the franchise. There's been talk of moving the Pistons downtown.
One issue that hasn't been posed about the potential change is what happens to the team and resources devoted to putting a competitive product on the court. And what's longtime Palace Sports and Entertainment president Tom Wilson's role in this now that he works for Ilitch?
Until now, Ilitch, who owns the Red Wings and Tigers, has shown little interest in the NBA. Where would the Pistons rank on his totem pole now?
"Who's going to be the new owner? We can't control that," Wallace said. "Whether there's going to be a lockout (in 2011-12), it's out of our hands. What we have to do is come in and do our jobs, and that's to play basketball."
And, what does the future hold for Pistons president Joe Dumars?
He's been a part of the organization for 25 years, as a player and executive. He's played on or built teams that have gone to 11 conference finals and five NBA Finals, and won three titles.
Only Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince and Jason Maxiell remain from the team that last played in the Eastern finals in 2008, the last of six consecutive for the Pistons. Some believe Dumars' decision to hold onto Hamilton and Prince has halted this franchise's progress.
"That's the nature of the business. People always think it's something better," Wallace said. "People think you can replace a couple guys and things will be smooth sailing."
Seven teams have won titles the last quarter century, and the Pistons are in that class. Of all the contenders the past decade (Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, etc.), all went over the luxury tax to field a contender — except the Pistons.
People might not agree with the signings of Gordon and Villanueva, but one thing is certain: Detroit was not going be a major player in last summer's free-agent bonanza that included Chris Bosh and LeBron James in Miami with Dwyane Wade.
"We're looking at the bigger picture," Wallace said. "We're not where we need to be right now, but we're making strides."
Dumars has put the onus on Stuckey to be better than good, to mature into a leader. And, he's relying on Gordon to display the moxie that made him the most coveted big-shot maker free agent two summers ago.
After being counted out, he's looking for a bounce-back season.
But will it happen?
'You hear the rumors'
As uncertain as everything is for the Pistons on the court, there are long-term off-court issues brewing in the background. Will the 2011-12 season start on time?
"I think the one thing that we do here, we're basketball players," Hamilton said. "We're here to entertain, so we can't worry about the unknown."
Hamilton is an 11-year veteran, but even he doesn't know how to approach the external factors — like the labor issues threatening a lockout before next season. He was asked if he knew what to say to the younger players about the uncertainty.
"Not really, because I've never been through a lockout or never been around an ownership change," Hamilton said. "So you can't judge until you're a part of that."
The last lockout, in 1998, nearly devastated the league. Of those on the current Pistons roster, only Wallace and McGrady were in the league, and neither was an established player.
There's too much immediate terrain to be explored, Hamilton believes, for players to look beyond this season.
"You don't know how serious a lockout is, you hear the rumors," Hamilton said. "You take one season at a time and at the end, you really think about it more.
"You have so many games ahead of you right now."
Starting Wednesday in New Jersey.
by Vincent Goodwill from The Detroit News
He essentially completed an intra-squad trade during the off week.
A need for defensive tackles arose after Rodriguez moved Will Campbell to the offensive line last week. Now, offensive lineman Quinton Washington heads from offense to defense.
Rodriguez made the switches during off-week practices. Although he cautioned they’re not yet permanent, he anticipated the two players would stick with the changes for the foreseeable future.
At 6-foot-5, 333 pounds, Campbell immediately became the team’s biggest offensive lineman.
“He actually approached us about trying it over there,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a pretty smart football player. His head will be spinning for a while, but I think he’ll be a natural at guard.”
Stephen Schilling, the Wolverines’ most experienced guard and an Outland Trophy candidate, is excited about welcoming Campbell to the position.
“I always thought he liked to finish us in practice instead of making tackles,” Schilling said. “It was exciting to see him play. He could be a really good offensive lineman.”
Craig Roh had a similar instinct about Washington, a 6-4, 315-pound redshirt freshman.
“I thought that Quinton should be playing defense about a month ago,” Roh said. “He’s got that aggressive manner that’s really good for defense. To a certain extent, he’s learning from scratch, and it’s going to take him a while to really become comfortable there.”
By Pete Bigelow from AnnArbor.com
Sunday, October 24, 2010
“We had to get them to take the cheese,” he explained.
It’s official now: Michigan State has something special going. You can’t make that claim with week after week of a home-cooked schedule, but you can when you exit the state, spot a good opponent a 17-point lead, then snap back and steal a 35-27 win, as the Spartans did Saturday against Northwestern.
They are 8-0 and increasingly reminiscent of a Big Ten predecessor, the 2002 Ohio State team, which Dantonio said he often recalls when contemplating these Spartans. Those Buckeyes were doubted for 14 consecutive games, and 14 consecutive wins, many of them downright astounding, and right through a disputed overtime victory against Miami for the national championship, with Dantonio as defensive coordinator.
Teams have to win games like these.
Some teams have to win a lot of them.
Champions win all of them.
When it was 17-0, all of that was in serious doubt. Even when the Spartans finally drew within 10 just before the break, halftime presented some ominous moments, which Dantonio addressed with his team thusly: “If you want to win big, if you want to win championships, if you want to go 8-0, we’ve got to do it the hard way at some point.”
Michigan State has. It did so against Notre Dame, in overtime, with that huge fake field goal for a game-winning touchdown, the play called “Little Giants.” It did so when confronted with Michigan star Denard Robinson, and after trailing at halftime against Illinois.
But nothing was quite like the daylong series of events that led to “Mouse Trap” and its aftermath.
From the start, it didn’t look good. Michigan State blew its first two drives when it couldn’t convert third-and-1. Dan Conroy, sitting on 13-of-13 field goals for the season, got unlucky and missed one. Aaron Bates, one of the finest punters in college football, got yippy and shanked one. Keshawn Martin, a valued return specialist and receiver, was injured early. The running game bogged down.
But there also were just enough season-salvaging plays interspersed: Tyler Hoover jarring a goal-line fumble which Johnny Adams recovered, two quick defensive three-and-outs in the third quarter, Joel Foreman’s offensive fumble recovery.
Then, there was “Mouse Trap.”
You probably know it well by now. The Spartans faced fourth-and-6 at the Northwestern 31, moving into a stiff wind, early fourth quarter. A field goal was out of the question. A punt was self-defeating, with favorable field position and a 24-14 deficit.
First, Dantonio left his offense on the field.
Then, seemingly reconsidering, he called timeout.
Then, he accepted a delay of game to get some extra space, and sent his punt team out.
Press-box analysts wondered where his head was, why he would waste a timeout to punt, and why he would punt at all.
Turns out we all took the cheese.
“We had to get it set up,” Dantonio said of the salesmanship.
Northwestern, knowing Bates could throw, had prepared for a fake.
“We talked all week that there was going to be a fake punt where they’re probably going to throw it, but did we expect that fake punt? No. We’d never seen them do it before, so kudos to them,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.
Bates’ pass to Bennie Fowler covered 21 yards, setting up a touchdown one play later, and the Spartans closed the show from there, holding the Wildcats to a field goal, then scoring two late touchdowns.
To be sure, this is not the healthiest way to win. The Spartans scored 23 of their 26 points against Illinois in the second half. They scored 35 points in the final 33 minutes against Northwestern. They are a second-half team. If they were a four-quarter team, their lives would be easier.
But they have a coach who believes in his team and is “going to take calculated risks.”
“There’s a ripple effect, from the top down, throughout our program, that people believe in what’s going on,” he said.
by David Mayo from The Grand Rapids Press
Friday, October 22, 2010
Kirk Gibson has the memories.
So you can have the memorabilia.
The popular former Tigers legend announced Tuesday plans to auction off several prized possessions from his memorable 1988 season with the Dodgers — including, most notably, the pine tar-laced bat with which he hit one of the most famous home runs in history.
And, no, he doesn't anticipate having any regrets.
"No, I don't. I mean, the moment and everything, all that, it's still there," Gibson told reporters on a conference call. "The accomplishment by the organization, the city, the team, I'll never forget that.
"I'm really at peace with what I'm doing with it."
Starting Oct. 27, up for sale will be the bat which made a hero out of a limping Gibson and a goat out of Dennis Eckersley in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 of the World Series; the helmet he wore rounding the bases, still coated with pine tar; the white jersey he wore (and hasn't washed since!); as well as his World Series trophy and regular-season MVP plaque.
Proceeds from the MVP plaque and World Series trophy will benefit his foundation, which supports the athletic department at Michigan State, his alma mater, as well as scholarships at Clarkston and Waterford Kettering high schools, in honor of his mother and late father, who both were teachers.
"My goal is when I pass on, to have that foundation kicking," Gibson said. "I'm trying to grow it to a substantial level so hopefully I can give a full scholarship a year to both of those schools."
When asked Tuesday why proceeds from the bat, which figures to generate, by far, the most cash, weren't going toward the foundation, Gibson said, simply: "I have other things to do."
He got testy when asked if he has specific financial needs, calling it an "inappropriate question." He then said, "No, I don't."
Rather, Gibson, 53, who recently signed a two-year contract to manage the Diamondbacks, said, "I've never considered myself a collector," and labels the sale as housecleaning, of sorts.
Only the trophy and plaque have been displayed much; the others have been stored in a warehouse or, in the bat's case, a safe.
"The bat, I have actually kind of developed a phobia about keeping it," he said, "worried about protecting it, about it burning up in a fire."
So, instead, that bat — which the Hall of Fame, years back, requested, to no avail — will burn up someone's bank account. And while there's no telling just how much it will go for, SCP, the California auction house handling his lot, has a darn good track record. It once got $1.265 million for the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium.
And, frankly, few fans remember that like they remember Gibson's magical swing 22 years ago.
"There's only one of those," Doug Haase, manager of Detroit Athletic Co., a sports memorabilia shop on Michigan Avenue, said of Gibson's historic bat. "I'm sure there's somebody on the West Coast that will need to have that for their collection."
The only artifact more sought-after from that Oct. 15, 1988, game is the baseball, which Gibson doesn't own. He's never seen it, and nobody knows where it is.
"A lady sent me a picture of her leg. It hit her in the inner thigh, kind of high on her skirt, so to say," he said. "She was all black and blue. But I've never, ever seen the ball."
A few moments later, unprompted, Gibson said, "Wish I had that ball."
Gibson, once the auction ends Nov. 13, still will own plenty of memorabilia from his 17-year playing career, including a whole lot with Tigers ties — meaning everything associated with the clinching Game 5 of the 1984 World Series when he hit two home runs, including a memorable one off Goose Gossage that sent Detroit into a frenzy.
He has no plans to sell his Tigers collection yet, though he wouldn't say why.
"This is kind of a first step. We'll see how this goes," said Gibson, who was drafted by, and played 12 seasons for, the Tigers. "I just have my reasons. We'll leave it at that."
But this much is clear: The sale of prized possessions, plus his new busy life in Arizona, doesn't mean Gibson is abandoning his home state.
"We'll always keep a place in Michigan. It's home," he said. "It's still home."
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by Tony Paul from The Detroit News
The olive-colored bar front blends into an area of boarded-up structures, but its interior is clean and well-maintained. The bar still manages to attract an eclectic clientele. Across the street, though, the former American Hotel closed more than a decade ago. The former drugstore next door went out of business maybe two decades ago.
The neighborhood is so sketchy the front door of the bar is always locked — patrons have to be electronically buzzed in by the bartender.
The Temple Bar appears to be one of the last holdouts in a mysterious real estate buying frenzy, surrounded by 22 mostly empty or blighted parcels that have been bought or optioned since September 2008 by various entities.
While scant public information is available, the investors have paid as much as $670,000 for two derelict properties in an area where the median annual household income is $8,317.
Owner George Boukas seems willing to sell the property that his family has owned off and on since the 1930s and relocate if he gets the right offer. He was courted with a secretive offer, too, but now he's not sure where it stands.
"Of course, everyone assumes this is where the new arena will be built, but now I'm hearing (developer Al Taubman) wants to build a mall next to the arena. And last week, I heard someone got $2 million" for a nearby property, Boukas said. "I know all that sounds crazy, but look at all that unbelievable stuff that's gone on already. Someone is thinking big."
Metro Detroit real estate experts agree, saying the amount of land being accumulated in the area and the high sales prices mean someone is trying to get enough property to build something big — like a sports venue or even a light-rail line.
That includes the most recent sale of the former American Hotel, along with the weedy lot next to it, and the former drugstore. The blighted properties were bought by the same entity that paid $650,000 for another empty building in January 2009 on Temple Street, just around the corner from the bar, and made the seller sign a confidentiality agreement about the deal.
The hot spot is several blocks north of the Fox Theatre, headquarters of Ilitch Holdings Inc., and the Comerica Park and Ford Field stadiums. Next to the area being purchased or optioned is four empty blocks of Woodward owned by the city.
Mike Ilitch, billionaire founder of a pizza, sports and entertainment empire, has indicated he wants to build a new arena downtown for his Detroit Red Wings. And now Ilitch is the leading bidder to buy the Detroit Pistons, which could share a new arena with the Wings if Ilitch succeeds in buying the team.
The Ilitches control the Masonic Temple, which is a half-block away from the Temple Bar. The MotorCity Casino, owned by Marian Ilitch, is farther west of the bar on Grand River.
City of Detroit and Ilitch Holdings officials say they are bound by confidentiality agreements not to talk about the details of a possible new arena. There are no public plans for the swath of land around the Temple Bar.
Boukas' experience with negotiating with a real estate broker adds to the mystery of the surrounding property purchases. The offer was unsolicited and "aggressive," he said.
Earlier this year, a broker named George Mellish walked into the bar and asked Boukas what it would take for him to sell. Boukas had bought the bar back from a non-family member in 1988. The broker wouldn't say who he represented, Boukas said.
The offer was not just to buy the bar, but included finding a Midtown site for the bar to relocate and payment for the move, he said. The two sides were at odds about the relocation costs, and Boukas said he initially refused the offer, thinking he would get a counter offer.
Then Mellish died.
Since Boukas never knew whom Mellish represented, he doesn't know whom to contact. Now he is left wondering where he stands.
"I'm ecstatic of what's happening," said Boukas, referring to the acquisitions in the neighborhood. "I'm nervous as hell about what it means for me. But you can't be a world-class city if you can't attract new people or business."
Boukas has reason to sell. Many customers have moved away from the area, he said.
"There's not that much of an immediate neighborhood now" to draw from, Boukas said.
There aren't many details about the most recent sales near the bar. The former American Hotel and the former drugstore were sold by local developer Dennis Kefallinos, who said he worked through a broker. Kefallinos said he felt uncomfortable publicly identifying the broker.
The official buyer is listed as a Coldwater firm called Temple Commons LLC, according to Wayne County records. A purchase price wasn't disclosed. That LLC is traced back to CSC-Lawyers Incorporated Services Co., which has an East Lansing address.
by Louis Aguilar from The Detroit News
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Third baseman Brandon Inge has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Tigers, which includes a club option for the 2013 season.
Exact terms of the contract have not been disclosed.
Inge, who recently established his year-round family home near Ann Arbor in Saline, has been with the Tigers since being drafted in 1998.
"The Tigers' organization is pleased to announce the signing of Brandon today," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Brandon is one of the top defensive third basemen in the game and a quality individual we are proud to have as a representative of the organization."
Inge, who hit .247 with 13 home runs and 70 RBIs, led all third baseman in the American League with a .977 fielding percentage during the season.
Inge, 33, has hit .237 with 201 doubles, 36 triples, 136 home runs and 564 RBI in 1,297games during his major league career with the Tigers since making his debut in 2001.
"I am absolutely ecstatic about it," Inge told MLive.com a few weeks ago. "This is where I want to play as long as they let me. ... I'm never looking to break the bank. I just want what's fair. And I don't foresee them not being fair. I'm a person who is big on loyalty."
by James Schmehl from Mlive.com
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
5-0, Heisman Trophy front running QB… It seemed like Michigan was ready to get back into the Big Ten title hunt. Alas, it is not going to happen. Michigan’s defense is ranked in the bottom 10 in the country, last in the Big Ten. They can’t stop ANYONE! Two losses to teams that we have OWNED in our storied history have left us exposed as vulnerable. Michigan is 5-2 currently. We need 6 but probably 7 wins to get to a bowl game. If we don't, consider it judgment day. People are already clamoring for Harbaugh to bring us back to the glory days of “Michigan Men” running the team. Losing records and NCAA sanctions have seemingly gotten the alumni off the already shaky bandwagon. Rich Rod just doesn’t seem to get it. He doesn’t seem to realize the 3-3-5 Defense doesn’t work in a run heavy conference. Our offense has come along nicely. But untimely turnovers and not being able to get a first down when we need it most have PLAGUED this team. Then there are the NCAA sanctions. This, to me, will most likely be the one thing that may push him over the edge. Michigan has always been a clean program. We continued to win while other teams such as USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, and many others have had programs plagued by NCAA sanctions and violations. While UM hasn’t paid players, the practice problem we’ve had is also very disturbing because it is done at the coaching level. They need to keep track of it. If someone takes money from an agent, a coach may not know, but they should always know how many hours they are practicing compared to what the NCAA says they need to. It’s just haphazard. So here’s to you Big Blue! I hope you win all of your games, but if you don’t win 7, then it may be time for a change.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
It's extremely unlikely Stafford will play in Sunday's game against the New York Giants. It's likely, though, that Stafford will start in Detroit's game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 31 (the Lions have their bye next week).
Stafford should be able to get in two weeks of practice before he undergoes the 12th start of his NFL career.
Receiver Calvin Johnson (right shoulder) continues to improve, but is still limited in practice. He's expected to be a game-time decision. Middle linebacker Landon Johnson (concussion) also return to practice and if he's cleared to play, he would likely start for DeAndre Levy, who is out with an ankle injury.
by Tom Kowalski from Mlive.com
Thursday, October 14, 2010
150; 3,325; 4,788,000; 287,280,000.
Not bad for an offensive lineman.
But those numbers aren't statistics he's compiled. They're the consecutive games he will have played come Sunday (150), which translate into the days (3,325), minutes (4,788,000) and seconds (287,280,000) since he started his first game, Sept. 9, 2001, as a rookie against the Packers.
"I've been fortunate to avoid any major injuries," said Backus, the starting tackle for the Lions. "I've played a long time. I'm not sitting here patting myself on the back about it. Obviously, it's a cool thing, but more than anything I've been very fortunate to stay as healthy as I have and, hopefully, it continues."
Backus' 149 consecutive starts are the most among active linemen in the NFL, and are tied for fifth overall. Only Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau (171) has started more consecutive games in Lions history.
"He's not flashy; he doesn't get a lot of attention," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who'll oppose Backus on Sunday. "But he's a guy that just gets the job done. He's kind of like one of those lunch-pail guys that go to work everyday regardless of fame or fortune. He goes and does his work and that's definitely what you want."
Backus has been consistent. Spectacular, probably not. There aren't any Pro Bowl selections on Backus' resume.
But he's consistent, and reliable. And, he's playing some of his better football this season.
"I think it says a lot about not only the player's physical ability and talent, but it says a lot about his perseverance and his ability to deal," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said of Backus, the only player drafted in 2001 who has started every game as a pro.
"Everybody is going to have things they have to deal with.
"One-hundred fifty straight starts at any position is significant. ... This is a tough, physical league, and to be able to make it through that long, there's no coincidence the guy's able to do that. They are serious about what they do and they have bodies that can handle it."
But there's more to Backus' streak that make it impressive.
Backus, 33, has been dealing with a lot of things this season — on and off the field.
First, his wife, Regan, was overdue with their second child.
For a while, Backus was worried it might drag into the regular season. Thankfully, it didn't. He missed the last exhibition.
Then came the opener in Chicago, where Backus was facing one of the league's elite rushers in Julius Peppers.
Peppers, who has 83 career sacks, put a move on Backus toward the end of the first half that allowed him an easy avenue to quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Peppers crushed Stafford, injuring his right shoulder. Stafford hasn't played since, and Backus has taken a beating from fans and the media for the play.
"Bad week," he said.
Then came his father's heart transplant before the game in Minnesota.
"My dad called me at 2:30 in the morning and said, 'It's time to go, I'm getting a new heart.'" Backus said.
Backus still played that game after hearing the surgery went well. The elder Backus has been unable to travel since February.
"It's really bugging him that he can't come up here," Backus said of his father.
But Backus said his father is feeling better, and thinks he will be well enough to travel and see his first game of the season around Thanksgiving.
Originally, the date was closer to Christmas.
"The last month was a crazy month," Backus said.
Still, through it all, Backus continued to play football.
"He's a tough guy and a durable guy," Stafford said.
By Tim Twentyman from The Detroit News
|The days of the easy schedule before the Big Ten schedule starts is going to be over in 2012 and we can partly thank Nebraska for that. With the expansion of the Big Ten things will drastically change for the Maize and Blue and with the program on the raise we should be ready for it. With both Alabama and Michigan expected to be ranked in the top 25 going into the 2012 season that should be a huge game for both teams if they want to start on the right track to be National Champions. Denard will be playing in his Senior Season that year so with a schedule like this if Michigan can run the table they should be in the hunt to play in the Nation Championship game in 2012.|
|-Michigan Sports Guy|
Monday, October 11, 2010
New deal keeps coach behind bench through 2014-15
Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland today announced that the club has reached a four-year contract extension with Head Coach Mike Babcock. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Babcock, 47, is currently in his sixth season with the Red Wings. He first stepped behind the bench in Detroit at the start of the 2005-06 season and has since compiled a 259-101-52 regular-season record with the Red Wings. He is the first coach in NHL history to guide his team to four consecutive 50-win seasons in his first four seasons with a team, leading the Red Wings to 58 victories in 2005-06, 50 in 2006-07, 54 in 2007-08 and 51 in 2008-09. Under his watch, the Red Wings have twice captured the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s regular-season champion (2006, 2008). He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in 2008 and was named the NHL’s coach of the decade by both the Sporting News and SportsIllustrated.com (2000-09). Last season, he guided the Red Wings to their 10th consecutive 100-point season, an NHL record, and their fifth consecutive 100-point season under his watch. His overall record through seven seasons as an NHL head coach is 326-163-85.
Babcock’s NHL postseason success is equally impressive. He holds a 48-33 playoff record through five postseasons with Detroit. After a first round loss in 2006, the Red Wings advanced to the conference finals in 2007, back-to-back Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009, and the conference semifinals in 2010. Through his first seven seasons as an NHL head coach, Babcock’s teams have advanced to the Stanley Cup finals three times and the conference finals four times. He led Detroit to the 11th Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 2008. His overall postseason record through seven NHL seasons is 63-39. Since his first year as an NHL head coach with Anaheim in 2002-03, he has coached in more postseason games (102) and has more postseason wins (63) than any other NHL head coach. He also holds the second-highest winning percentage (.618) during that span.
Babcock has also represented his native Canada at several international competitions. He helped Team Canada secure gold at the 1997 World Junior Championships, the 2004 World Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver last February. He became first coach to win all three components of the Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympics and World Championships).
By Todd Beam - Media Relations Manager
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Jimmy Howard said Datsyuk is deceptively strong. Johan Franzen said seeing Datsyuk throw punches was "unbelievable.''
Coach Mike Babcock was just relieved his star center didn't break his hand during the Red Wings' dominant 4-0 season-opening victory against the Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.
They were all impressed by the way Datsyuk handled himself against the bigger Perry, who picked a fight at 7:41 of the third period and ended up getting dropped along the boards.
Datsyuk also was impressive with the puck, picking up a goal and an assist to record a rare "Gordie Howe hat trick.''
Datsyuk was in a jovial mood after the game. His only previous fight was against Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer in the 2009 playoffs.
"I'm happy to have Gordie Howe hat trick, but it's not my best dream,'' Datsyuk said. "We win, that's more important for us.
"Now, every time (people) are going to ask me after the game, 'Are you going to fight?' "
Mike Modano scored on his first shot in his Red Wings debut. Dan Cleary had one goal and one assist and Franzen also scored for Detroit. Howard stopped 21 shots for his fourth career shutout.
But most of the talk after the spirited, chippy game was about Datsyuk's bout, which brought the sellout crowd to its feet.
"It doesn't surprise me,'' Howard said. "He's a special player, he's really good. He's really strong. I think Perry thought it was probably going to be a walk in the park. You can just tell how strong Pav is when he's got the puck on his stick and nobody can knock it off him. He's a tough guy.''
Franzen said the whole bench was cheering.
"It was great to see,'' Franzen said. "He's a strong guy, he can defend himself. There were no linesmen next to them (to break it up), so he had to do his best.''
Said Zetterberg: "He is feisty. He had good balance. It was good to see.''
Datsyuk is a four-time Lady Byng winner for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. If that was his last career fight, Babcock will be delighted.
"He's a real good player and really strong, but I don't need to see Pav fight anymore,'' Babcock said. "It was one of those situations where they got frustrated and things happened.''
Before that, the loudest cheers were for Modano, a Westland native who signed a one-year deal in August after the Dallas Stars declined to offer him a contract. He gave Detroit a 2-0 lead at 5:35 of the first period by taking a pass from Cleary and firing a wrist shot past Jonas Hiller.
"You kind of dream about those opportunities and chances, but they never quite turn out the way you dream about it,'' Modano said. "To get that out of the way gets me a little relief for the next couple of weeks.''
Franzen opened the scoring on his team's previous shot, at 5:11. He fired in a wrist shot after a give-and-go with Valtteri Filppula, while Todd Bertuzzi was parked in front of the net.
Detroit added to its lead in the second period when Datsyuk redirected a pass from Zetterberg past Hiller at 5:29 and Cleary scored at 16:55.
Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson left the game after the first period due to back spasms. Babcock said he'll be replaced by rookie Jakub Kindl for Saturday's game at Chicago.
It was a tremendous start for Howard in his second season. But he'll watch Chris Osgood start Saturday.
"I felt really good out there, I was seeing the puck,'' Howard said. "The guys did an absolute tremendous job in front of me.''
The Red Wings executed their game plan.
"We talked about getting to their (defense) as quick as possible, not give them any time to give the puck to their forwards,'' Franzen said.
Babcock said, all in all, there was a lot to like about this game.
"We had four lines with good tempo and had the puck a lot,'' he said. "I thought we controlled most of the game.
"It appears to me we're going to have a deep team.''
by Ansar Khan from Mlive.com
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Meyer tried to recruit Robinson, a Deerfield Beach,, Fla., product, and liked him more as an athlete and not necessarily as an every-down quarterback. Still, Meyer thought Robinson had what it took to play that position.
"I thought he was fantastic," Meyer said. "He's a good young man. We wanted him that badly, because we thought he could be our curveball. I thought he could be a quarterback because he has a nice throwing motion, and he's a ridiculous athlete."
By Chris Low from ESPN.com
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The report cited a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a confidentiality agreement.
Ilitch, who already owns the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Little Caesars Pizza, could work out the deal with Pistons ownership in the next 30 days, the report indicated.
The purchase price and other terms were not mentioned in the report and the principals in the deal declined comment. Forbes Magazine listed the Pistons’ value at $479 million, though indications were that a sale would not net that amount.
Karen Davidson, the widow of Bill Davidson, inherited the team when her husband died in March 2009. She said in September that the progress of selling the team was moving forward and that she expected the sale to be completed by the end of October, when the Pistons tip off the regular season.
In August, Ilitch announced his interest in purchasing the team and was among several potential buyers, including billionaire financier Tom Gores, former Houston Rockets executive George Postolos and a group of investors from Dubai.
Detroit officials say they’re hopeful the Detroit Pistons will relocate to downtown following the sale of the franchise to pizza and sports mogul Mike Ilitch.
“We continue to be excited about the possibility of the Detroit Pistons returning to Detroit, which is nationally recognized as a destination for professional sports,” Karen Dumas, a spokeswoman for Mayor Dave Bing, said in a released statement. “The deal is not done, but we remain optimistic.”
Ilitch's plans for the Pistons presumably involve a new downtown arena to be shared by the Pistons and Red Wings — a concept endorsed in March by Bing.
Speculation about a new downtown facility has mounted since Ilitch’s Olympia Entertainment this year informed the city of Detroit it didn't want a long-term lease for Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Center. The lease between the Red Wings and Joe Louis Arena expired in June, but the hockey team has said it would play games there until it finds a new home.
The Foxtown district has been mentioned for years as a potential site for a new arena.
Council President Charles Pugh informed his colleagues of the impending sale during today’s session. Later, his Facebook fan page post acknowledged his excitement, saying “almost did a backflip when (I) read that the Ilitch family is the group the Davidson's have chosen to sell the Pistons to TO BRING THEM BACK TO DETROIT!! Downtown where they belong!!! AMEN!!!!”
Bing, who starred for the Pistons when the team played downtown, has expressed interest in returning the team to the city, but hasn't been involved in any negotiations to make it happen, city officials have said.
The team left the city in 1978, playing at the Pontiac Silverdome before settling at The Palace in 1988.
“This is more than about a sale from one family to another,” City Council President Charles Pugh said. “This is about the revitalization of Detroit. This is the tipping point for our city. We need jobs, hope (and) to get rid of the frustration of some people calling them the Auburn Hills Pistons. The Detroit Pistons need to be here. The Ilitches are the only family in the country that should have bought the Pistons.”
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said he's ecstatic about the potential economic boost down. Coupled with several commitments to bring companies to downtown Detroit, it marks a sign that investors are becoming more confident in Detroit.
“That's the best news I've heard in a long time,” Brown said. “You don't have this kind of investment from business people if you don't have confidence in the city. Now we've just got to make sure this economic development spurs to outside the downtown area so we can give the neighborhoods business.”
by Chris Iott from The Detroit News
Sunday, October 3, 2010
|AP Top 25|
|2||Ohio State (1)||5-0||1401||2|
|4||Boise State (1)||4-0||1341||3|
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
"We're all aware that our [tail] is on the line next year," Leyland said on Friday, "and that's fine. I'll put my [tail] on the line with those guys."
Leyland was asked about the coaching staff, but his answer was about the entire group, himself included. All of them are under contract only through next year.
If it sounds familiar, it should. Leyland went into the 2009 season with only one year left on his contract. He was not offered an extension before that season, in the aftermath of Detroit's last-place finish in 2008. Once the Tigers got off to a good start in 2009, Leyland eventually received a two-year extension that June, which carried him through 2011.
The situation is slightly different this time around, in that 2010 hasn't been quite the same disappointment. The Tigers need to win two games in Baltimore this weekend to finish with their fourth winning record in five seasons under Leyland. But injuries took a giant chunk out of their chances to contend.
Still, the message from Leyland indicated the pressure is on to win next year.
"I would think so," Leyland said. "Otherwise, we'd be extended already."
Part of that could also coincide with team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski's contract. When the Tigers went to the World Series in 2006, Dombrowski signed an extension that carried him through the 2011 season.
Leyland said his contract situation won't change the way he and his coaches operate.
"Obviously, we're going into the last year of our contract next year," Leyland said. "We've got a one-year contract, all of us. We know what that means, but that doesn't bother me one bit. That's the way it is. I've said that all along. I'll believe that until the day I die. If you've got somebody better, get him. That's what you should do.
"That's not going to affect how I do anything, because I'm not going to work any harder next year than I did this year, or work any less hard. I work the same every year. I give them whatever I've got, and that's the way it is."
By Jason Beck from Detroittigers.com