Dave Brandon took over Michigan athletics during one of the most-tumultuous times in school history. More than four years later, the noise has abated a bit, but it never, ever stops.
Frankly, the Tigers could've traded all their prospects plus the Ty Cobb statue in Comerica Park to land Joakim Soria and you wouldn't complain.
It's unclear if Ilitch stuck around for the ninth inning, because a man who loves to build knows how hard it is to finish. The bullpen did it this time, with Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan pitching two scoreless innings as the Tigers averted a sweep and beat the Indians, 5-1.
If the Tigers keep this up, there won't be anything left to pick at, or pick on. Their starting pitching looks fearsome again, their lineup has patched some potholes and the bullpen hasn't done anything egregious lately.
It seemed like it would never end, all the fun, all the winning, game after game. It was the perfect season, about as perfect as it gets in baseball, and the images are frozen in time.
Some players fell, and picked up motivational chips along the way. Some rose, confirming their potential. And the harsh reality of the NBA draft revealed itself again — don't expect to get somewhere on name alone.
Not to ruin your NBA draft party Thursday night, but the focus of the Pistons under new leader Stan Van Gundy changed the moment they lost the No. 9 pick and were left with one faint hope at No. 38. That's why Van Gundy's first huge move must be to trade one of his big guys — Josh Smith (preferably) or Greg Monroe (realistically).
Clearly, we're getting the stomach for this. From an amazing gut check to a demoralizing gut punch, the U.S. men's national soccer team is taking a ride, and I have a feeling more and more Americans are about to hop aboard.
The Tigers dodged a complete disaster with a 2-1 victory Thursday over the Royals, averting a four-game sweep and reverting to their good-pitching ways, at least for a day. Anibal Sanchez unleashed another stellar effort and Nathan unearthed his form with a superb three-strikeout ninth inning.
The Tigers can't overreact to one ugly loss, but Verlander has to find a way to react better to his struggles.
At the risk of eliciting eye rolls, I'm anointing this four-game series starting tonight against the Royals as the first Big Showdown of the season.
Bob Wojnowski is a Michigan native who grew up in Ann Arbor, went to high school in Battle Creek and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983. He has been at The Detroit News since 1989, a columnist since 1992. He has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the Olympics to the World Series to the Final Four to the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals.
- Bob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Favorite sport: Football, especially college football.
- Favorite movies: "Silence of the Lambs," "Fargo," "Animal House"
- Favorite performer: David Letterman
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