Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reading between the lines

We can only be so lucky. After a couple of days reprieve from our local columnists bloviating, they're back. In force. Lets see what's on their self important minds today.

I don't know what to say. I never would have thought it possible. Our favorite fiction writer, the Little Fella, opines bout sports, AGAIN? What's going on here? His radio show being cut to 2 hours daily must leave him with extra time on his hands. He decides to talk about the very obvious comparisons you'll find between two rust belt cities. Unfortunatly, it's the same column he's written since his 80's heyday. You know the one. Where he repeats the same slightly reworded phrase throughout the piece.

Same column, different decade.
Same shit, different day.

The Little Fella starts with the obvious...

We like Pittsburgh.
We are Pittsburgh.

I get it, we're all blue collar folk. He continues...

We like Jerome Bettis.
We are Jerome Bettis.

We are going to be soooo tired of the Bettis angle. Now it gets strange...

We like Ben's beard.
We are Ben's beard.

Beard? What the Hell? Then more weirdness...

It snows there.
It snows here.

Thanks for the weather report, Frodo. This is award winning writing? Need I go on? Cause I sure can't...

Next is Michael Rosenberg, who should be the lead Freep sports columnist. With all the extra curriculars going on locally, a pretty big rivalry game is flying under the radar. He writes of tonights MSU - U of M match-up. Actually, it's more of a "State of the Programs" address. Sparty fans will nod their heads in agreement, but as for Wolverine fans? The truth hurts.

So, do you think Michigan's basketball team can close the gap against Michigan State tonight?

Sure. As long as U-M beats MSU at least a half-dozen times -- by double digits, of course.

And then Michigan would have to clinch a couple of Final Four berths, restock the team and clinch another.

And then the Wolverines would need to sell out at least 60 straight games. Yes, it sounds like a lot. But MSU has sold out twice that many in a row.

And Tommy Amaker would have to adopt the "anybody, anytime, anywhere" scheduling attitude of Tom Izzo.

And maybe U-M could upgrade its facilities (arguably the worst in the Big Ten) to the same level as MSU's (arguably the best in the country).

But close the gap with one victory?

Are you kidding me?

Rosenberg hits the nail on the head. Hard. Pure and simple, MSU basketball is Michigan football, and vice vera. Tommy Amaker has made up little, if any, ground against the juggernaut that is Tom Izzo. Rosenberg then makes a very good point that the Michigan Mafia should take to heart.

But two years ago, when Michigan finally beat Michigan State (by two points in Ann Arbor), a lot of people said the Wolverines had "closed the gap." And if Michigan wins tonight, those same people will say it again.

I think it's insane.

Michael Rosenberg, voice of reason. The time is well past for a program of Michigan's stature to look for moral victories and deluding themselves about the gap between the two schools in hoop. But this piece leads me to ask one question. Does the Little Fella even know this game is being played?

There's a new face on the newspaper scene, and it's someone we all know. Art "Red Wings do no wrong" Regner looks to have a weekly spot in the Freep. It's imaginatively called "Art's Take of the Week." In a scathing opinion piece, Art...places a big, wet, sloppy french kiss on Chris Chelios.

Since joining the Red Wings in 1999, Chelios has been a no-nonsense, belligerent blue liner. His experience and passion for hockey makes him just as effective today as he was when he broke in with Montreal during the 1983-84 season.

Forty-four years ago today, Chris Chelios was born in Chicago. I never thought I ever would say this, but this kid from Detroit would like to wish that kid from Chicago happy birthday.

That's hard hitting journalism at it's best! Come on Art, the Wings lose two straight to the Predators and you write a puff piece on Chelios? It's pure Art Regner, Red Wing fluffer. It's comparable, at best, to a Wobb Parker-esque Joe Dumars suck up fest. Speaking of that...

Good Lord, more drivel from Wobb Parker. What's going on at the News? Wojo barely writes, but this guy keeps pounding out inanities almost daily. Today he blusters about his favorite sport, baseball. Why now? No one is thinking about baseball, and won't be for another month, save for the message board sabre wonks. The free agency push is over, the Tiger Caravan is a total non event if there ever was one, and there is some kind of big ass football thing-a-majig coming to town in a few days. Let alone there's a little basketball game going on about a half hour west, just ask Rosenberg. But Wobb feels the need to make something out of nothing, that nothing being an off hand comment from Todd Jones, of all people.

"I'd feel a whole lot better if we had one more guy that we knew we could get 200 innings out of," said Jones, who is one of many Tigers in the midst of touring the state to meet and greet fans. "I don't know who's out there in the free-agent market other than (Jeff) Weaver, but he's been here before. So I don't know how that's going to work.

"If we could have one more guy that would give us a chance to win every time he goes out, I think that would be important."

Jones answers his own question. All that's out there is Jeff Weaver. A career under .500 pitcher whom Scott Boras deems worthy of a 10 million a year contract. Weaver would NEVER want to come back to the Tigers voluntarily. Say what you want about Dave Dombrowski, but he's not that stupid.

Did this column even need to be written? One paragraph is basically Jones' quote and the next is a quote from Jim Leyland saying it sure would be nice to have a little more pitching.

"I'd like to have another pitcher. And I would like to have another guy in the bullpen, preferably a lefthander. We're better. I think we'll do OK. We're certainly not perfect yet, so we got a ways to go. But if we can come up with another starter and a left-handed reliever, I'd feel real good."

Jim Leyland just said a whole lot of nothing. And Wobb didn't add anything other than the obvious. In a nutshell, the baseball "Expert" Parker says...Jones once pitched for the Tigers, he left, he was really good last year but now he's old, and the Tigers hope he'll be really good this year. The End.

Columists. Can't get enough of 'em...

1 comment:

  1. I really wish the "Freep" would push Rosenberg more. But Sharp's "more controversial." And Albom's always going to coast on his past reputation and be more popular with the Tuesdays with Morrie crowd. Look at the support he received during "Mateen-gate." It was inexplicable.

    It's too bad the Free Press' sports editor doesn't value quality writing over fraudulently negative stances and a guy who can only be bothered to write about sports when the event warrants his attention.