Results tagged ‘ Michigan ’

Magnum Returns

fallingwater.jpgSeveral years ago I went through a Frank Lloyd Wright phase.  I think it was a combination of reading Ayn Rand and Wright’s embrace of a design style that was completely different from the humdrum ordinariness of the Midwest to which I had grown accustomed.  And it also had a lot to do with his masterpiece, Fallingwater.  The thing that really set it apart was the waterfall.  Who wouldn’t want to have a house built on a waterfall?

Today I still think the house looks amazing and I still love the idea of a house built on a waterfall. 

But then I discovered the true definition of amazing:

selleck_pastrami.jpgThat’s right.  Tom Selleck+Sandwiches+Waterfalls.  What does it equal?  Nothing short of life-changing.  Add in the fact that this particular picture features one of Michigan’s finest wearing the old English “D” alongside a sandwich made of pastrami, god’s gift to the deli counter, and I think we can all agree that we may have discovered the answer to that age-old question, What is the meaning of life?

I know this is all a bit heavy for a Friday afternoon but I hope you can still enjoy your weekend even while contemplating the awe-inspiring brilliance of Selleck, Waterfall, Sandwich.

-A

-Thanks to L for the Selleck/Waterfall/Sandwich link

Another Battle in the Gulf

Islamic_Games_medals.jpgIn a further sign that international diplomacy involves about as much maturity as A-Rod running the bases, the upcoming Islamic Games were canceled in a row over the correct name of the Persian….I mean the Arabian……I mean the Gulf.  Sure, they may say that it was about health concerns, mainly Swine Flu, but make no mistake.  This was all about the name of that infamous body of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula.

You want context?  Think about what would happen if the delightful residents of Chicago decided to start referring to Lake Michigan as Lake Illinois.  Yeah, that just wouldn’t fly.  Besides, everyone knows that Illinois is just a third-rate state that only pretends to be American.  It only makes sense that the lake is named after the the obviously superior State of Michigan.  In fact, that’s the reason why Lake Superior is so aptly named; it’s in the superior state of Michigan.

Now, if you think the preceding paragraph presents a clear and coherent viewpoint, congratulations! You just might have what it takes to be a diplomat!  However, if you think it sounds absolutely ridiculous then I’ll present you with one more possible solution. We send Jose Offerman into the next meeting of the Islamic Games’ governing council and let him settle things the way that only he can.

-A

Et Tu, SI?

At this very moment, as I sit here writing this blog a long, long way from Comerica Park, the Tigers are attempting to sew up the AL Central title. But I’m worried. Very worried. I mean, there are the usual reasons as I explained the other day but this time there’s a much more relevant reason. Comerica Park is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

SI_comerica.jpgNow, I don’t know that the SI cover jinx applies to ballparks or cities but why would SI even risk it? It’s not as though the Detroit (or the state of Michigan for that matter) has anything else going for it. Yeah, the Lions may have finally won and the University of Michigan has eked out some close victories. But that’s no reason to be going around messing with curses. That’s some potent stuff.

I’m not really a superstitious man. I mean, it’s not my fault that my teams do better when I don’t watch them. That’s just how it is. But the SI cover? That’s fact. Just like the Madden cover is fact for the NFL. I don’t buy all this “regression from the mean,” scientific mumbo-jumbo. I believe what I see and what I see is that Sports Illustrated jinxes people by placing them on the cover.

And when you take all of this to its (il)logical extreme, does this mean that all the people sitting in the stands when the picture of the park was taken are jinxed, too? Thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. Just what Detroit needs: more bad luck.

I have an idea, though. I’m inviting you, SI, to come visit Detroit with me. I have a beautiful old building with a very special elevator shaft I’d love to show you. Make sure you dress warm.

-A

detroit_frozen.jpg

“Fila-boy” Makes Good


jeter_draft.jpgSometimes when I get really worked up, you probably forget that I am not just a simple, hateful man. There are many things I appreciate. This is not true about Notre Dame since there is absolutely nothing redeeming about that school and I consider Rudy to be nothing more than Catholic propaganda. But, despite a dogmatic insistence on my hatred of the Yankees, let us consider them for a second.

Growing up in a small town outside of Kalamazoo, MI, I admired Derek Jeter. This wasn’t true of my whole family. My brothers routinely referred to him as “Fila-boy” because for some reason he had an endorsement deal with that shoe company and always wore them. I think their dislike of him has something to do with the leftover animosity those of us who come from German descent have for the Italians totally screwing the pooch in WWII. Seriously guys, you couldn’t even hold on to North Africa? But, even though he was the golden boy and could seem to do no wrong and even though my brothers hated him, I always had a special place in my heart for Jeter.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but he always seemed to hustle a little more than the other guys, to work a little harder to prove that he belonged there. Even though he was a Yankee, he didn’t have that same air of entitlement that guys like A-Rod seemed to possess. And maybe that’s just me projecting but when you’re coming from the same area in the middle of nowhere in Michigan, it’s nice to see someone who made it out.

So, I still stand by my guns and there is no way I will ever cheer for the Yankees (unless one of those guns happens to be pressed up against the side of my head). But Derek Jeter? The guy’s a class act. Kalamazoo Central class of 1992, in fact. See, I’m not all bad.

-A

Incarnations, Reclamations and Exhortations

george_steinbrenner.jpgJane Heller had an interesting question regarding yesterday’s filibuster post. She asked:

Does this mean, Al, that you would have taken Steve Howe back 6 times like Steinbrenner did? He picked up Strawberry and Gooden too. He loved reclamation projects.

Now, first of all, I have to say that it’s a pretty low blow to compare me to satan incarnate. Am I older than god and incontinent? No. But the question itself is interesting. Baseball, like life, seems to be all about reclaiming, recycling and otherwise reusing. Honestly, is there any other reason that Kyle Farnsworth still has a job?

The first part of the question is easy. The only Howe that I would take multiple times is Gordie and any true Michigander would be right there with me. But if you look at baseball right now, how many players are in their newest incarnation as the result of some sort of experiment, some sort of reclamation? Rick Ankiel. Josh Hamilton. The existence of the designated hitter shows the natural (or unnatural, depending on who you ask) evolution of this philosophy.

But I guess here’s what I’ll say. If you can pick up a guy who’s iffy and he’s not going to be a cancer in the clubhouse, why not give it a try? And if you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work but you have a new approach this time, I say go for it. In the end, that’s what sets your run of the mill GM or owner apart from the greats. The great ones recognize who can still contribute and in what way while the other guys just fish around and hope for the best.

Here’s a good rule of thumb, though. Kyle Farnsworth is beyond reclamation. Can we just agree on this once and for all?

-A

The Birds and the Bees (and the Bears)

Japan_South_Korea_World_Baseball_Classic.sff.embedded.prod_affiliate.138.jpgOnce again, all is right with the world. Well, at least half a world away it is. Japan proved again last night that the only way to win consistently is the small-ball way. And they have some pretty good credentials to back it up now. Two for two in the World Baseball Classic? Yep, I’d say that tells us all we need to know.

But to go back a little, the game between the US and Japanese teams the other night felt kind of familiar. A scrappy team with only a couple household names beats the longball launching representatives of the American heartland. Is this 2006 all over again? And with Adam Dunn manning first base as if he took fielding instructions from tape of the Tigers’ 2006 World Series pitchers, it hit a little too close to home. Why is it that the teams I support field like Nadya Suleyman’s doctor?

The thing is, this should be a happy time. Baseball is back and after a couple week hiatus the regular season officially begins. We no longer have to worry about a potentially disturbing summer at the Jersey Shore and even my beloved and much maligned home state is slowly coming to grips with reality. As if that wasn’t enough, dreams come true next year when for only $194k, you can have your own flying car!

But it just doesn’t feel quite right when the country that invented baseball can’t win at baseball. It’s a good thing there are pole-dancing bears out there or I’d have no reason to ever get out of bed again.

-A

Counting Down to Christmas, Michigan Style

tram and whit.jpgChristmas is a time for giving. And that’s why I want to thank Jane Heller over at Confessions of a She-Fan for giving me one of the greatest gifts ever. It doesn’t seem like much, just a little article from the NY Times but it provided the one thing we can’t live without: Hope. Now, I still don’t think that Mr. Trammell is going to make it into the Hall but if the Times says he belongs there, who am I to argue? I mean, I can’t think of a single thing they’ve been wrong about. Well, maybe just one thing but really, it’s so minor as to be insignificant.

But, maybe if Jane and the Times can give me hope here, someone can come forward and give me hope in a couple other places. For instance, since we all know that the night is darkest right before the dawn, does that mean that the Lions are about to turn the corner? At the very least, Millen is finally gone. And is it possible that the Tigers will be competitive in the AL Central this year despite their complete failure to make any significant moves so far this offseason? At least Farnsworth is gone.

I don’t know, though. It’s hard to base your hopes for the future on subtraction instead of addition. But as a native Michigander, I can only go with what I know. I mean, this is a state that has single-handedly destroyed its signature industry (granted, with a lot of help from the industry itself) and now sports an impressively gaudy 9.6% unemployment rate. The Lions, industrial contraction and negative job creation? Well, at least we still have the Red Wings.

-A

Dramatic and Devastating

Did I forget to say “Happy Autumn” last week? If I did, I truly apologize. I guess I figured that most RSBS readers had already figured out the change of season. It’s usually pretty evident from the bite in the air, the start of the football season and the Mets’ annual late-season choke.

And it’s even better this year with the Yankees relegated to the sidelines. In fact, except for some minor concerns (the credit crisis and imminent depression, Michigan’s loss to Notre Dame), things couldn’t be much better right now.

But I can’t just leave it at that. That’s not how I roll. No, just like my buddy John McCain, I need to make a “dramatic and devastating” statement.
http://www.comedycentral.com/sitewide/video_player/view/default/swf.jhtml
And here it is: I will not write any more mean things about either the Republican Presidential nominee or the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. Like my mother always told me, if you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say anything at all.

Instead, it’s only going to be important, sports-based commentary as we shift our focus towards the ongoing playoff races. For instance, have you been watching those Mets, Phillies  and Brewers as they battle for the NL wild card? Or how about the dogfight between the White Sox and Twins in the AL Central? And what about that USC-Oregon State shocker Thursday night? And…uh, well, and…

….I’m sorry. I just can’t do it. I mean, have you seen this:

This is Bill Buckner-esque. I have very low expectations when it comes to our elected officials but at this point I think I’d rather have Harry Caray as VP. I’d rather have Joe Buck. Hell, I’d rather have Erin Andrews and you all know my views on her.

You know what’s beautiful, though? Even though we have no control over the playoff races and what happens to our teams, we do have a say in who gets elected in November. And that’s why I want to take this opportunity to urge any RSBS readers out there who aren’t already registered to make sure they do it soon. If you aren’t or you just aren’t sure, here’s a great site that will help you either figure out where you are registered or take you through the process for the first time. It doesn’t matter if you “Rock the vote” or “Vote or die.” What matters is that you vote.

-A

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