Sunday, November 28, 2004

Couples Wins Skins

Silly season Hall of Famer Fred Couples won the Skins Game today. Why am I not the least bit surprised?

Beltre: Better Value?

Here, courtesy of Jon at Dodger Thoughts, is a comparison of Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran. Maybe I want Beltre to be a Tiger more than I originally thought.

Lions Diary

Fourteenth. I remember saying in a previous post that I should check to see where the Lions would draft next year. In the old "If the season were to end today" scenario, the answer is at "worst" 14th overall. At "best", the Leos would grab the sixth overall choice.

I have no idea how the NFL decides on tiebreakers for draft slots, so that's why the answers are so diverse. That and Oakland hasn't finished playing this evening. Right now, San Francisco seems destined to go first (1 win), followed by Miami (2 wins after beating S.F. today). After the first two teams, things get really tight. Cleveland, Kansas City and Washington (what was Joe Gibbs thinking?) all have three wins. As do the Raiders, who are currently in action versus Denver.

If Oakland wins, that bumps the Black and Silver into the pile-up of teams with four wins. Tennessee, Dallas (what was Bill Parcells thinking?), Chicago, Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Arizona all have the same number of wins as the Lions do currently.

Yeah, knowing the tie breaker would be helpful, but it's still premature. There are five weeks left and the Lions can still lose plenty. It's time to scoreboard watch and see how the other thirteen teams on this list close out the year. Sure, a couple of the five win squads could make a rapid descent costing the Lions valuable draft positioning, but let's stay moderately optimistic.

Assuming, of course, that optimistic is the right term for a fan waiting on the 2005 draft with over a month left in the regular season.

Tigers For Sale?

Here is something I haven't thought about in a while. Lynn Henning of the Detroit News suggests that Ilitch Holdings may be positioning themselves to sell the Detroit Tigers.

Rating The Top 200

Over at, Seth Stohs has posted Justin Ahern's rankings of the top 200 baseball players of all-time. It's always an interesting endeavor to see how others rank the greatest players of all-time. Well, it's interesting to me, anyway.

Justin used a formula based on Bill James' Win Shares. For the specifics of how each player's performance was evaluated, click here. Lists for the top 100 everyday players at each position is also provided.

The two names that immediately jumped out at me were Dick Allen and Will Clark. Allen came in at twenty-third. Clark joined in list at number 25. I never would have imagined any statistical breakdown where either man would covet a spot so high on an all-time list. As Clark is a favorite around here, his ranking both surprises and pleases the B.B. staff.

For Tigers fans, Ahern's rankings provide more Hall of Fame support for Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. Both are in the top 200 players of all-time. So are Darrell Evans and Bill Freehan. Freehan finished 11th all-time at his position. Which, surprisingly, was one spot ahead of current Tiger catcher, Ivan Rodriguez. Lance Parrish also gets a HOF boost as he ranks 19th amongst catchers all-time. That's pretty good no matter how you analyze it.

It's nice work by Justin and Seth. I encourage all baseball fans to read their work.

Bayless Offers Different Perspective

Skip Bayless of tries to provide us with some perspective on the fight at The Palace. I'm not sure if we want to rely on Bayless as a voice of reason on a regular basis, but I give him credit for trying to tone down the rhetoric.

B.B. Baker's Dozen

It was a quiet week in college football. Yeah, the diehards would probably disagree with Boston College getting bounced out of the BCS picture, VA. Tech dropping UVA and other battles altering the bowl landscape, but I still think it was a pretty quiet Saturday. You know the college football season is all but done when ESPN starts showing poker in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.

About the only thing of note was that USC's Matt Leinart finally had a Heisman caliber game. While I know the media (hello, Lee Corso) will instantly elevate the Trojans' quarterback to the top two on their ballot (not that Corso ever had Leinart below his top spot), I still find that wrong. Regardless, here is my top 13 for this week.

1. Southern Cal- Irish awake Leinart.
2. Oklahoma- Colorado is Big XII Championship Game opposition.
3. Utah- Smith should get invite to Heisman Award Show.
4. Auburn- Nation's best D get Tennessee Saturday.
5. Texas- 'Horns are hoping for an upset or two.
6. California- Should Arrington be going to NYC, too?
7. Louisville- Nation's best offense rolls, again.
8. Boise State- Destined for second tier bowl at best.
9. Miami- Beat Va. Tech, go to BCS game.
10. Iowa- Capital One Bowl Bound. Doesn't Citrus Bowl sound better?
11. , 12. & 13. The Field- No one emerged from this group.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Lions Diary

Another Thanksgiving, another turkey courtesy of the Detroit Lions. This time Indianapolis crushed the Honolulu Blue and Silver, 41-9. Here are some links to game coverage: Lions official site, Free Press, Detroit News.

Here is some more good news from the always positive, much-loved Drew Sharp of the Free Press. A word of caution: If you are already depressed about another dismal Lions season or just can't handle Sharp's optimism, you might want to skip this one. It's almost enough to take your appetite away.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Pistons Reeling

The big brawl has hid the fact the Detroit Pistons are playing lousy basketball. Last night, the World Champs got their lunch money taken from them, again. This time it was LeBron James and the Cavaliers making the Pistons look bad. Here's the Fox Sports story.

Seeing King James drop 43 on the Pistons isn't disturbing, losing the way they are is. Since the day Rick Carlisle arrived, which seems like an eternity ago, the Pistons played with an intensity that no other NBA squad did. Night in, night out. Regular season or post-season, the Pistons, as the marketing campaign suggested, were "Going To Work". Right now, Detroit plays like they are looking for another line of employment.

The tenacity that brought them the NBA title is long gone and it's not just because of the fight or Ben Wallace's suspension. They've not exhibited the type of defense that has defined this team since, well, Game Five of the NBA Finals. I'm not sure if having the target on their back has been too much to carry? Maybe they have a championship hangover? Maybe all the new faces coming off the bench just have fit in? Whatever the reason, the Pistons are not playing Piston Basketball this year.

This could all change quickly. Clearly, they are a much better unit with Wallace in the lineup. However, you can officially label me as concerned.

Michigan Misses Opportunity

The University of Michigan isn't going to pull of the post-season, pre-season NIT sweep. The Wolverines lost to Arizona 61-60 in overtime. Here is the Free Press story. Here is the review at

Overall, it was a good performance, especially without Lester Abram. However, the Wolverines had plenty of chances to win this game, including a great opportunity to close-out regulation time, but failed to produce a victory.

Amaker's squad gets the consolation game versus Providence tomorrow. A rebound triumph would be a good sign.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More Tigers News

Ken Rosenthal, baseball columnist, guru, maven, at The Sporting News provides me with these links (here and here) to recent columns at Fox The first is a Tigers only piece. The second has some hot stove league notes that include the Tigers in several places.

Update: Here Peter Gammons discusses the off-season in general. Gammons suggests the Tigers may overpay to acquire Troy Glaus and Carl Pavano. I have doubts the Dave Dombrowski is going to go broke on either, but what is better than Hot Stove League news on Thanksgiving?

QB Rankings

This list is courtesy of Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. Schatz, in a contribution to's Page 2, ranks NFL quarterbacks. A word of caution, football fans. Schatz and friends look at football with sabermetric glasses. In plain English, the gang at F.O. are stat geeks. If you love stats, you'll enjoy this analysis.

Lions fans, be prepared to scroll way, way down to find your local signal-caller.

Comerica Park Adding Seats

It appears the long rumored moved of the bullpens is going to happen at Comerica Park. According to this story from Gene Guidi, Free Press beat writer, the Tigers are going to move the pens from right to leftfield and fill the rightfield void with seats.

It's a good move all the way around. The empty space created in left when the Tigers moved in the fence looked silly. It was especially silly in a new ballpark. The new rightfield seats will get fans a bit closer to the field, as well.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Adding Adrian?

This from Dayn Perry, Fox

The Tigers, who are poised to spend quite a bit of money this off-season, have serious interest in 3B Adrian Beltre and SP Carl Pavano. 3B Troy Glaus is also a possibility, but at this point the Tigers seem to favor Beltre.

Take a deep breath, citizens of Tigertown. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Ok, feel better? Let's review this again. The Tigers are thinking of pursuing Adrian Beltre and, if that doesn't work out, may settle for Troy Glaus? Breathe in. Breathe out. Poor Buddy Bell must be even more amazed than I am.

The ex-Tiger skipper was canned, as the rumor has it, because he pushed the Tigers to bolster the team via free agency and trades. The front office and Tigers' owner Mike Ilitch balked and Bell ended up out of work for his trouble.

In the last two off-seasons, the Tigers have added Pudge Rodriguez, Rondell White, Carlos Guillen, Troy Percival and are choosing between pursuing Beltre and Glaus? Or Beltre and Carl Pavano? Oh, how the times have changed.

Yes, wanting Beltre or Glaus is much different than getting them. Convincing either of them that Detroit should be their new baseball home won't be easy. In addition, both will command fairly large deals and Beltre, in particular, will be looking for a big money, long term contract. Having Scott Boras as your agent pretty much assures that.

Both players have question marks, as well. Prior to 2004 Beltre was more of a bust than anything else. The Dodgers had waited years for the type of season Beltre posted in his contract year. That has to have some concerned. (Note: my hand is raised.)

Glaus' problems are injuries. The big guy gets dinged up quite a bit. He's a bit older than Beltre, but has played solid baseball for a number of years when not hurt. That's something Beltre can't counter. Of course, Glaus is also an erratic fielder. That's doesn't give me the warm fuzzies, either.

However, you are going to have to forgive the fan in me. I know there are risks in signing free agents. I know the Tigers won't have a $100 million payroll. I know that adding a number of free agents won't guarantee on-field success. And, right now, I don't care.

Think about it for a minute. Pudge, Dmitri Young, Beltre, Guillen in the middle of the order? Are you kidding me? Deep breath in. Deep breath out. What if they can land a decent outfielder, too?

Now, I think that Pavano is going to the Red Sox (just a hunch), but what if the Tigers can get a Matt Clement, too? Clement, Beltre, Percival and a CF to be named later? I might have to buy season tickets, again.

For just this second, I'm going to leave caution and responsibility on Dave Dombrowski's doorstep. I'm too excited about the possibility of watching a much better than average team in 2005. Yeah, yeah, the Tigers could end up with little more than Percival, don't be so darn pessimistic. Save that for tomorrow.

Right now, just enjoy that the Tigers appear to me amongst the players in Major League Baseball, again. As little as three years ago, that was just plain folly. Ask Bell, or even Phil Garner, if you don't believe me.

Let's live with the hope that if Dombrowski and company can land Pudge, they might be able to do even more. Hey, it's almost the holiday season. Share a little hope with your friendly, neighborhood blogger. (Besides, there will be plenty of time to be critical later.)

Update: Albert Chen of said the Tigers "could even be considered a front-runner to land Adrian Beltre. " Here is his entire piece. The paragraph on the Tigers is very interesting.

Link Love

What do you know? There are actually people reading this. Ok, that might be an overstatement. Technically, there are people out there putting links to Beyond Boxscores on their websites.

I want thank all of those who have been so kind to include a link to my site. I appreciate the courtesy. A special word of thanks to Dan at the Detroit Sports Blog who not only included B.B. in his links, but recently said some very nice things about my efforts here while reviewing other Detroit based blogs.

My sincere thanks to all the bloggers and webmasters who include Beyond Boxscores in their links.

Percival Perspective

Daniel Habib, at, reviews the Tigers acquisition of Troy Percival here. Once there, you'll have to scroll down a bit before reaching the Percival commentary. Although, I would not discourage you from reading the entire thing. After all, I did.

Thoughts In The Aftermath

We are all probably getting tired of analysis of the Pistons/Pacers brawl. It's been three days of non-stop coverage with little new information. However, since I chose to avoid commenting on the T.O./Nicollette Monday Night Football open, and this incident occurred in my "backyard", forgive me if I rattle off some more observations in the aftermath of this mess.

* I can't take the stand, that in the same situation, I would not have acted as Ron Artest did. Maybe I would have done the same thing. The difference arises as I also realize that if I head into the stands, I've basically made this a bar fight. Which means, if I clock somebody, I may get arrested. I may get jail time. I may get sued.

I completely support the Oakland County prosecutor's attempt at pressing charges against all the fans involved. Again, if you are in a fight, remember this ain't kindergarten. You are not five years old. It doesn't, or shouldn't, matter whether you are a fan or player. Slug a fellow citizen on the street, in a bar, or at a basketball game and you subject yourself to the course of our criminal justice system.

Had Artest (or his pals Steven Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal) started trading blows with the Pistons their punishment would be totally in the hands of David Stern. However, once they headed off into the public, they opened Pandora's Litigation Box. Artest, Jackson and O'Neal better get good lawyers. The lawsuits could go on for quite a while.

* I thought David Stern had his finest moment as commissioner in dispensing the suspensions, regardless of whether you agreed with the length of the sentences. He came down hard, in part, because of the players behavior. The other part was because he knew this nightmare for the league will continue on long after Artest and company return.

* If I had any complaints about the suspensions, it was that Jackson got off light. Unlike Artest, who had something thrown at him, Jackson headed into the stands without provocation. He just wanted to beat someone up. He started throwing punches at everyone in sight. He encouraged fans to take him on. Jackson landed far more punches than anyone else. Had he opted to restrain or remove his teammate, instead of going Mike Tyson on everyone in sight, the fight ends sooner. I would have given Jackson much of the year off, as well.

* If this was cleared up in the Pacers' press conference today, I apologize in advance, but are any other Pistons' fans disappointed that ex-Detroit coach Rick Carlisle really hasn't said anything in defense of the tens of thousands of Pistons fans that didn't have anything to do with the brawl? This guy was supported by a majority of the community here and his firing went over like a lead balloon with Pistons fans. I'm amazed he hasn't said one thing positive about the fans here.

* Equally amazing, Steven A. Smith's apology of sorts. Smith, who spent a large portion of Friday night reminding viewers that this incident didn't happen in Philadelphia, immediately sided with Artest and the Pacers players. He blasted Detroit and the fans.

I wasn't at all surprised that Smith took the players' side. Outside the athletes, Smith probably gets yelled at more than anyone in sports. He's a lighting rod for controversy, which he enjoys. So, to find him snuggling up to the players' perspective isn't too shocking. However, upon further review, Smith has backed up a step or two.

Seems Smith was surprised to learn that an elderly fan was run over in the melee, that a child was upset by this riot and that Artest didn't actually tackle the guy who threw the beer at him originally.

I'm surprised Smith couldn't realize that innocent people would get runover, that children aren't really happy about being in the middle of a violent outburst, and that he didn't hear ESPN's Mike Breen's play-by-play of the fight, as Breen stated Artest didn't get the right guy as the fight was happening.

What it sounds like is Smith jumped to conclusions, never got the facts and got caught up in the emotion of the moment. All forgivable sins in my book. In fact, maybe he should take over this space of the blogsphere. Sounds like a perfect replacement.

* I was equally disappointed with Smith's ESPN studio cohorts. Tim Legler, Greg Anthony and John Saunders all went with the pro-player, anti-fan, anti-Detroit perspective. In fact, I would call their combined performance piling on. Balanced reporting went out the window. It was not their best night's work.

* I'm tired of Tom Wilson's "It's all Artest's fault" line. The Palace CEO needs to take a look in the mirror. In a post 9/11 world, I would have hoped men like Wilson would have taken stronger security measures. I don't doubt that The Palace security were as stunned as everyone else at what happened, slowing their reaction, but that doesn't excuse the Pistons front office from a degree of responsibility.

No, you can't hire 30,000 guards to control a riot. However, when something does break out, you better have trained people ready to take action. If they can't stop Artest from attacking a fan, how on Earth can they be prepared to take on more? The security in Auburn Hills is responsible for the safety of the fans and players. It's hard to give them a passing grade after Friday no matter what Wilson says.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Frick Award Nominees

Jim Caple of asks for support for Seattle's Dave Niehaus for the Ford Frick Award. The award is, basically, enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasters. Caple makes a strong pitch for Niehaus, a worthy candidate. I would encourage all of you to vote as well.

For the locals, a number of Tigers' broadcasters appear on the list of would-be nominees. Al Kaline, George Kell, Jim Northrup, Jim Price, Ty Tyson, Larry Osterman, Harry Heilmann and, yes, even Rick Rizzs made the list. However, one of my three votes went to Paul Carey.

Unfortunately, Carey will be remembered by many as Ernie Harwell's partner, not for his outstanding work. Carey's distinctive voice was as much a part of summer in Michigan, and much of the country thanks to WJR's 50,000 watts, as Harwell. I remember those post-game shows when Carey did the updates from around the leagues like it was yesterday.

I truly believe Carey was a Hall of Fame caliber talent behind the mike. It was a no-brainer to select him even though the list is littered with quality broadcasters.

For the record, my other two votes went to Tom Cheek and Tony Kubek. Cheek is Blue Jays baseball. Prior to this past season, Cheek broadcast every Jays game played. Every single one.

Kubek, for me, will always be one-half of the NBC Game of the Week coverage. Along with Joe Garagiola, Kubek was the voice of NBC baseball for a generation. What Harwell and Carey were to Tigers' radio, Garagiola and Kubek were to national television broadcasts.

Others on the ballot clearly merit the Frick Award. It's an enviable list. However, I wouldn't change my three selections. I encourage you to vote for your favorites.

Lions Diary

I admit it. I got suckered in again today. I ended up watching the game, although we all knew what the result would be. It took a bit longer than normal, but the Lions fell to the Minnesota Vikings 22-19. Coughing up a twelve point lead in the fourth quarter was typical Lions.

The Leos actually played a solid half of football. Their first half was a very nice performance, one that suckered me into watching the inevitable collapse. Kevin Jones ran like a first round draft choice in the first two quarters. Eddie Drummond did his usual fine job. This time E.D. returned the opening kick for a Lions TD. Joey Harrington was effective as well. Then came the second half.

It was all Vikings as Dante Culepepper made life generally miserable for Detroit in the second half. The Lions D couldn't get off the field and the strong running game of the first half disappeared after halftime. You just knew that 12 point lead wasn't going to be enough. Sure enough, it wasn't.

I have very little hope for the Thanksgiving Day game against the Colts. Indy ran over the Bears today and there is no reason to think the Lions will do much better. Of course, I'll watching hoping to be wrong.

B.B. Baker's Dozen

As usual, we appear headed for another wacky finish to the college football season. There were a couple of upsets yesterday tossing the bottom portion of the top 13 all around. Here's my rankings for this week.

1. Southern Cal- Can the Irish really stop 'SC?
2. Oklahoma- Peterson looked like a Heisman winner.
3. Utah- BCS spoilers.
4. Auburn- Tigers get Tennessee in SEC title game.
5. Texas- Utes may force 'Horns out of BCS.
6. California- Rose Bowl bound.
7. Louisville- Should get a good bowl game.
8. Boise State- Won't get a good bowl game.
9. Miami- 'Canes playing better.
10. Iowa- Maybe the hottest team in country.
11, 12 & 13. The Field- Your choice, as they all look about the same to me:
Michigan, Florida State, Va. Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, B.C.

Tigers' Shelton Nabs Hardware

Chris Shelton, who the Tigers acquired in the Rule V draft, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League. Here is the story from

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Thomas Takes Some Heat

Here's a story about ex-Piston star Isiah Thomas. Charley Rosen of Fox Sports doesn't like old Zeke very much.

Top College Helmets

Sit down, Michigan fans. The U of M's helmet didn't make this top ten from

Grizzlies Drop Opener

Oakland University's mens basketball squad dropped it's opener to Xavier last night, 69-58. The Golden Grizzlies come home next Saturday to face Marquette. Of course, there's the matter of taking on Illinois in Champaign Wednesday night before opening the home schedule.

Fans Off The Deep End, Euro Version

Seems some Spanish soccer fans aren't behaving very well, either. It just makes you shake your head.

Suspensions, Reactions

The NBA has started it's disciplinary action in wake of the fight at The Palace. Here is the Detroit News story. Commissioner Stern issued a statement, as well.

Here is a Detroit Free Press story regarding the criminal investigation underway in Oakland County.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star-Tribune offers the Pacers' perspective on the fight. In the opposite corner, Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press gives you a Detroit angle.

Update: This piece from Chris Mannix of Mannix suggests that Artest be thrown out of the league.

Fight Night At The Palace

By now, most of you have seen the video of the fight involving the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and the fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills. I am disappointed and disturbed by last night's mess, but I am far from shocked. I've been to far too many games to be shocked.

Boorish behavior is now the norm at most sporting events. In fact, it is cool amongst far too many fans to make an obnoxious spectacle of themselves. We have all seen the profane outbursts, fights, taunts, hurling of objects onto the field and occasional fires (yes, actual fires) in the stands. It's nothing new. Last night's fight was just the next logical step in that continuing process.

While not shocking, I'm still disheartened to see the community I live in get run-over, again, by bad publicity. Detroit has regained the reputation it's been trying to shake since the 1984 World Series riots. The morons impersonating fans at The Palace last night have one-upped the '84 disaster by escalating the violence to a new level.

I'm also saddened to see fans in this country make a slow, steady descent into the same class as European soccer hooligans. In light of the numerous post-championship riots from coast-to-coast, to the attack on a Kansas City Royals coach by a father and son duo, to Friday night's rumble in Auburn Hills, how can anyone deny we aren't heading down the same road?

While I'm sure I will be offering more on this subject as the days pass, I would refer you to Ray Ratto's piece at It's the best work I've seen done on the matter to this point.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Tiger Fumes

Tiger Woods is mad at the PGA. Again. Woods thought, felt, wanted his friend, Mark O'Meara named Ryder Cup captain. Woods suggested that it would have been appropriate that O'Meara be named as he is of Irish descent and the Ryder Cup will be in Ireland. The third ranked player in the world feels O'Meara may be too old (51) by the time the next Ryder Cup comes around in four years.

I'm sure O'Meara is disappointed. As is Woods. However, Tom Lehman, the man who had the audacity to be named Ryder Cup captain, is probably disappointed to hear Woods' left-handed jab at him, too. Two full years before the event and Woods is already not happy about the Ryder Cup. So much for team chemistry the next time out.

If Woods doesn't like the PGA, the Ryder Cup captains, the travel, the lack of pay for participating or his teammates, maybe it's time for Tiger to just stay home. I'm sure Lehman could find someone else willing to take Woods' spot.

Somebody Agrees With Me

Much to my surprise, another blogger actually agrees with my feelings about the Orlando Magic. Here's the link.

Is Finley Next?

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News, Steve Finley may be on the Detroit Tigers' radar. Look, I really like Steve Finley. He had a fine year in 2004, but he's about 100 years old. He's actually 39, but he's still dirt old in baseball terms.

If Finley were the more prototypical leadoff hitter, I might see chasing him down. However, Finley is more of a slugger and I think his power numbers would be diminished at Comerica Park. Anything more than a one year deal would seem crazy to me. In the end, I trust Dave Dombrowski to make the right decision. Besides, it's only a rumor, right?

Percival Arrives, Urbina Should Stay

I know many pundits expect Ugueth Urbina to be dealt now that Troy Percival has signed with the Detroit Tigers. However, this Tigers fan isn't in too big a hurry to see Urbina leave. There are two reasons I prefer that U.U. staying with Detroit.

First, I really like the idea of having Urbina as a set-up man. Having Urbina pitch the eighth and Percival in the ninth is a huge upgrade over last year. It also makes it a seven inning game for whatever starter the Tigers run out on the hill. Faced with the prospect of pitching only seven innings should make all their starters a bit better. If the Tigers can land one more bullpen arm, or find one internally, starters might have to only go six innings. How is that not better?

The second reason I want Ugie to stay: Injuries. Percival's had more than a few lately. Even healthy, some question just how many innings the Tigers' new closer can provide. Having Urbina around is insurance. If Urbina is dealt, the Tigers are left hoping a thirty-five year old with a number of ailments can go an entire season. If Percival were to get hurt there wouldn't be another viable closer option. Which is precisely what happened when Urbina had to leave this year. That wasn't pretty.

It's great to add Percival to the staff, but keeping Urbina could make the bullpen a strength. Who would have imagined that in September?

As for Percival's acquistion itself, on a scale of 1-10, I give it a seven. His age and injury history make me a bit leery. I also have to wait to see what other moves result from this deal. If Percival's pal, Troy Glaus signs with the Tigers, then my rating would have to go up. Worst case scenario is that Percival does nothing, but only gets paid for two years. It's a risk, but not a long-term one.

For other opinions on the Tigers' newest addition check out these links:

Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press

Tom Gage, Detroit News

David Pinto, Baseball Musings

Dayn Perry, Fox Sports

Monday, November 15, 2004

Early Madness's first Bracketology is out. Both Michigan (an eighth seed) and Michigan State (a three seed) are in the estimated 64 team field. It doesn't amount to a hill of beans, but it's nice to see both Big Ten schools get some respect. (Not that the MSU hoops program lacks in that category.)

B.B. Baker's Dozen

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Florida State and Miami return to the top 13. They seem to be alternating the bottom spots with West Virginia and Virginia, both of whom got bounced out again this week. If the pattern holds up, that should mean the Seminoles and Hurricanes lose and WVA and UVA win this week. I'm not placing any bets, though.

The bottom spots move quite a bit, but the top four remain the same. USC, Oklahoma, Utah and Auburn appear solid, but I'm only really confident about USC's position.

1. Southern Cal- Appear destined for top spot after bowl season, too.
2. Oklahoma- Defense scares me.
3. Utah- Utes are back in BCS mix.
4. Auburn- Rival game vs. Alabama this week.
5. Texas- They go as Vincent Young goes. A&M this week.
6. California- Stanford better have the band play D.
7. Michigan- It's Ohio State week.
8. Louisville- If they could only play that Miami game, again.
9. Boise State- SJSU game was way too close.
10. Wisconsin- Badgers must avoid hangover vs. Iowa.
11. Georgia- Darn disappointing Dawgs.
12. Florida State- Gators come calling.
13. (tie) Miami- 'Canes are improving.
Iowa- I like the way the Hawkeyes are playing.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

See, I Told You So

Luke Winn of SI. com provides me with this on Oklahoma's Jason White:

Healthy White and hurt White were simultaneously on the satellite, reminding us at once why he's worthy of another Heisman -- and why his drop-off at the end of last season came not from the real White but his injured alter ego. I wrote last week that maybe he was "fooling us again" -- and that was the wrong word. But the disappointment in White last January was real; no voter wanted to see his Heisman choice, after a 40-touchdown regular season, go out like that.

What have I been saying for months? The Heisman voters felt betrayed by White's last two games of 2003, so they had no intention of voting for him this year. I have argued that many felt duped by White, precisely what Winn suggests, in spite of being the best player in the country last year. So much for giving the kid a fair shot at repeating.

In Winn's defense, he does come clean and puts White atop his Heisman ballot. Here's a look at the whole article. Winn also merits credit for giving J.J. Arrington and Alex Smith serious consideration. Both would be in my top six. I disagree with dropping Adrian Peterson has far as Winn has, but I can disagree and be respectful of his opinion. Wrong as he is.

Hey, what do I know anyway? I thought Braylon Edwards would be number two on my own list again this week. Here's my ballot for others to criticize.

1. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma. Everyone has had at least one poor week.
2. Jason White, Oklahoma. Some have suggested my last name is White. It isn't.
3. Alex Smith, Utah. He's finally gaining momentum nationally.
4. Cedric Benson, Texas. Steady performer.
5. J.J. Arrington, Cal. Has done as well as Benson.
6. Reggie Bush, USC. All-purpose dynamo.
7. Braylon Edwards, Michigan. Needed to build on MSU game. He didn't.
8. Matt Leinart, USC. Just not as dynamic as those above.
9. Aaron Rodgers, Cal. Maybe he deserves better.

DC Wins!

DC United, my favorite team in MLS, won the MLS Cup this afternoon. While I am thrilled to hear they captured their fourth MLS championship, I am annoyed at myself for forgetting when it was on television. I was busy with other things, and lamenting the stinking Lions loss, and forgot to flip over to watch the game. Stupid, stupid thing to do. These darn Lions have a way of really ruining a day.

Anyway, United won and that's all that matters. Alecko Eskandarain had two goals, one a dandy piece of work, and was named MVP. After several uninspiring campaigns, it was nice to see United peak at the right time and return to the top of the league.

Lions Diary

Well, it's time to start focusing on Draft Day. The Lions continue their steady descent into a high draft choice in 2005. Today's lackluster loss has me ready to face an unfortunate fact. Although I hope I am wrong, it appears Joey Harrington is never going to become the quarterback the Lions (and I) hoped for. I believe he is done in Detroit. It's just a matter of when the parting of ways occurs.

I know Harrington has spent much of his three years tossing the ball to guys who are no longer in pro football. I realize he has had to play this season without Charles Rogers and with Roy Williams operating at less than 100% for several weeks. Still, that doesn't explain throws that range from high and wide, to tosses way behind receivers, to balls bouncing before reaching their target. That's not poor receiving. That's terrible passing. It's year three and Joey is actually worse than he was his rookie season.

Some will argue for another season. Look what an extra year has done for Drew Brees. Point taken. However, Harrington was the third pick in the entire draft. You just can't hang around being ordinary forever. Honestly, the Lions could find someone else to be mediocre. They, and the fans, expect a star when you are drafted that high. I can no longer convince myself that day is just around the corner. Again, I hope Harrington proves me wrong and does have a Brees-like year in 2005, but I no longer believe.

Of course, being (more than) a bit of an Oklahoma football fan, I really wanted safety Roy Williams the year the Lions took Harrington. However, all the fans, media and scouts screamed that you can't take a safety with the third overall pick. That's just a waste. I thought Williams was a special DB, a sentiment I still believe, and felt the Lions needed help everywhere, so why not take the best player?

Not being as much of a football geek as when I was young, and also of the notion that great quarterback play can make your franchise a consistent power, I felt if the Lions' brass thought Harrington would be a Pro Bowl talent, I could be happy with Harrington over Williams. Every other football talking head seemed to agree, at least in not taking a safety third overall, so I deferred my own common sense. Bad idea.

Who, with half a brain in their head, wouldn't take Roy Williams over Joey Harrington right now? Anybody? So much for the geeks knowing what is best.

So the big question for the draft is: what do the Lions need more? A new quarterback or an offensive lineman? There are clearly other positions in need of assistance, but the only position more disgusting than Harrington's quarterback play is the O-line. This is an underachieving unit if there ever was one. Again, I'm no football snob, but everyone in town admits this group can't block. In particular, they don't run block worth a hoot.

This off-season the Lions must add two starting offensive lineman, minimum. I would draft one and sign a free agent to fill the other spot. Much like the Tigers improvement, I could care less how the job gets done, but Matt Millen had best find two capable offensive lineman before the start of the '05 campaign. The current group just can't get the job done. Period.

Onto a bright spot, kudos to the Lions best offensive player, Eddie Drummond. If Drummond wasn't returning punts and kicks, the Lions would never get good field position or score. He's one of the three Lions with Pro Bowl aspirations. Shaun Rogers and James Hall being the other two. Although, Hall needs to learn to stay onsides. J, don't move until after the ball is snapped. Please.

The Leos head to Minnesota to disappoint me next Sunday. Between now and then, I think I'll check to see how many teams will pick ahead of the Lions on Draft Day.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Percival To Visit Detroit

Ken Rosenthal, of The Sporting News, reports closer Troy Percival plans to talk with the Detroit Tigers. Clearly, Percival has some negatives, but I think most Tiger fans would feel better with a bullpen featuring both Ugueth Urbina and Percival. Ok, maybe that's just me.

Of course, the possibility of trading Urbina increases should the ex-Anaheim closer arrive in Tigertown. I wouldn't object, if the Tigers truly upgrade by unloading Urbina, but the thought of one as a set-up guy, the other as closer really sounds good. Maybe I just got way too tired of the Tigers bullpen woes this year.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thanks, Vets

A sincere thank you to all the veterans of the United States armed services and to those who currently serve. A special salute to the Doughboys who fought until the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Most of them have passed on, but this citizen has not forgotten.

Shopping With The Tigers

Free agent season begins in baseball tomorrow and the Detroit Tigers need to fill several holes. Of course, with the general managers' meetings continuing in Florida a trade is possible before Christmas, as well. Regardless, of how the new guys arrive, the Tigers could use a couple of arms in the bullpen, a thirdbaseman, a starter or two, one starting outfielder and maybe, just maybe, a closer. (Some around town have argued they could stand a new firstbaseman, as well. If they can find a way to trade for Todd Helton, then I would put firstbase very high on the list, too.)

Here is what Detroit News' beat writer Tom Gage thinks of the Tigers would-be free agent shopping list. I still can't help but cringe when the word "affordable" is mentioned in discussion about the Tigers and free agency. Force of habit, I guess. I realize the Tigs probably cannot afford Carlos Beltran. While that does disappoint me just a tad, I do get a bit more squirrely when the affordable options are named Corey Koskie. Not that Koskie is a bad player. He's not. He's also not Magglio Ordonez.

Koskie would bring a decent bat and good glove to the Tigers' thirdbase problem. (It appears the Tigers prefer Brandon Inge continuing his Tony Phillips-like super-utility role.) If Koskie is only a piece of the Tigers off-season re-tooling, then I would probably embrace the move more warmly. However, if they trot Koskie out as the big addition this winter, that ain't going to sell many seats in 2005. Nor will I be overly enthused about the likelihood of getting over .500.

Dave Dombrowski needs to repeat, to an extent, what he did last year. The Tigers do need a fairly big name arrival plus a couple of other notable additions to give this team a legitimate shot at finishing above .500 next season. (They could also sell more tickets with another inspiring off-season.) There are countless options I would be thrilled with, but I fear the Tigers may retreat to their pre-2003 shell.

Only the horror of the worst baseball season in American League history forced the Tigers into free agency a year ago. Only luck and a dash of courage yielded Ivan Rodriguez. Now, we get to find out if last winter was an anomaly or if the Tigers are going to be players in free agency. We also get to see if Pudge Rodriguez can lure any other quality players to Comerica Park, which was part of the rationale for obtaining the All-Star backstop.

The Tigers, in theory, should have some long-term money available, as well. Bobby Higginson, Rondell White, Fernando Vina (remember him?), Jason Johnson and Ugueth Urbina are all free agents when 2005 concludes. Even a significant increase in payroll (Helton, Carl Pavano, Ordonez) would only be for one season with the other deals falling off the books this time next year.

Honestly, if the Tigers feel uncomfortable about this free agent class, that's fine with me. As I said at the start, I don't care how the newcomers arrive. Trades, free agency, whatever. I do think, however, with as many needs as the Tigers have, including building on this past season's revival and selling tickets, the Tigers had best be very active this winter.

I readily admit making good decisions on player acquisition will be hard. Doing nothing this winter, or making poor decisions, could be disasterous for a team that still lacks high level quality prospects. Some things around Tigertown never seem to change.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Parity Problems

Drew Sharp of the Free Press offers this piece on NFL parity. It's a sentiment I tend to agree with.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Early NBA Thoughts

A week of free NBA League Pass has given me a chance to watch a bit more pro hoops this week. Here are some of my thoughts after a week of NBA play.

If everyone stays healthy, my surprise team in the Eastern Conference is Orlando. The trade with Houston gave the Magic 3/5 of a starting lineup. Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato all start and will upgrade the Magic at three spots. Francis is a legit star, Mobley can score and Cato only needs to rebound and block an occasional shot. Three starters for one disgruntled superstar? I think the Magic may have made a good trade.

First rounder Dwight Howard might not score consistently, but he will probably rebound most nights. I don't think averaging a double-double is entirely out of the question, either. Grant Hill's return provides some scoring, some passing and the always popular veteran leadership. In Hedo Turkoglu and Pat Garrity, the Magic have some three point shooters coming off the bench. They also have some inside help on the pine with veteran Tony Battie.

Orlando won't win the East, but they look much better than a year ago. Out west, it's hard not to notice Phoenix. The Suns made two big additions. Quentin Richardson and Steve Nash. Richardson gives the Suns yet another scorer, but it's Nash that's the difference.

Sure, Nash can rain three pointers, too, but it's his point guard skills that may elevate the Suns. Nash can dribble, penetrate and, most importantly, pass. Nash's ability to control the flow of a game, direct traffic and hit the Suns athletic, slashing scorers in the open floor (or even in a half court set) may make the Suns the new Dallas Mavericks of the Western Conference. A team that can score at will, but play questionable D.

If all stay healthy, I would expect career years from Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion. Nash will be steady and Richardson will get his shots, too, courtesy of the Suns new point guard. I've never been much of a Nash fan, but it's clear what his presence brings the Suns. Phoenix should be much improved and lots more fun to watch.

Other random observations:

Atlanta is very, very bad. This team could mail it in before Christmas. Poor, Mike Woodson.

New Orleans' yellow alternate jersey can go bye-bye.

The Pistons are still trying to get into the groove of playing again. A combination of post-championship hangover and several new faces are giving the champs some early problems.

I'm probably crazy, but the Lakers aren't as bad as most think. Of course, they would be contenders with Shaq, but I like Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. They look like a playoff team to me. Again, I could just be nuts.

Speaking of the big guy, Shaq has made the Miami better as everyone thought he would. Dwayne Wade is awesome on his own, though.

NBA League Pass is very cool, but I can't bring myself to cough up the cash. (Now, MLB Extra Innings is another story.)

Not that you care, but I've got two (yes, two) Yahoo! fantasy NBA teams. Both are playing reasonably well, thank you.

Edmonds A Hall of Famer?

Just before the playoffs began, I was chatting with a friend about Jim Edmonds' chances at the Hall of Fame. It's not something I had given much thought too, but I read someone else assert that Edmonds had a legitimate chance at 500 homers and that got me thinking about it. Even with slightly less than 500 dingers, Edmonds has been posting some strong numbers besides being one of the best defensive centerfielders ever. That would certainly make him HOF material, in my opinion, anyway.

Rich Lederer, at Rich's Weekend Baseball Beat, provides us with more evidence that Edmonds is indeed in rare company. Rich believes Edmonds may be the eighth best centerfielder of the 20th century. Looking at his numbers, that's difficult to argue.

Lions Diary

It's midterm report card time in the NFL. Here is how the Honolulu Blue and Silver grades out according to the beat writers.

Here is the Freep's Curt Sylvester's version after eight games.

The News' Mike O'Hara rates the Leos this way.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Where's Braylon? is tracking the Heisman vote and it appears some voters aren't watching enough football. In their latest poll, Michigan's Braylon Edwards isn't even amongst the top nine candidates. The Michigan wide receiver couldn't even garner a single fifth place nod. That's ridiculous.

Edwards is the best wideout in the land, yet can't get one fifth place vote? I'm sorry, but Edwards is more Heisman worthy than Stefan LeFors, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell and probably Matt Leinart. A week ago, Edwards finally cracked's weekly Heisman survey. Then, Michigan doesn't play this week and he falls completely out of contention? Again, that's ridiculous.

As I said in my latest top 13 poll, I would have Edwards second (or no worse than third) on my Heisman ballot. Of course, there is still plenty of football left, so Edwards can still make himself a factor in the Heisman race. Apparently, Edwards is going to have to play extremely well, as he is off just about everyone else's radar screen. Which, as you know, is ridiculous.

Lions Diary

Yesterday's Lions' game was brought to you by the letter P. P as in pitiful. Yeah, P as in pathetic and putrid, too. I could rant on about just how awful a loss it was, how terrible the offense performed (although even using the word perform implies more activity than the Lions were capable of), or just how annoyed I am by this stinking exhibition. Instead, I'll let the local scribes have it.

Here's Steve Pate, of The Daily Oakland Press, game's story.

Keith Langlois, of the same Oakland Press, offers this review.

The Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski provides this column.

Here's the Free Press Notebook feature.

Finally, the Freep's Curt Sylvester's game story is here.

If these are, indeed, the same old Lions, the Leos will find a way to win one (or both) of their next two games. They are both road contests, so why wouldn't the Lions win? It would be typical. Losing both, we can safely return to our annual question. When is draft day?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

In-State Thriller, Part II

A week after Michigan and Michigan State played a classic three overtime tilt, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan managed to go one extra frame. The Eagles and Chippewas went 4 O.T.'s Saturday, with EMU grabbing a 61-58 triumph.

Yes, that score is right, 61-58. No, it wasn't a basketball game, it was a MAC football contest at Ford Field in Detroit. Here is the Detroit News story.

Shopping List

Looking to get your favorite baseball team a gift this holiday season? Here is the list of free agents, courtesy of AP and Fox, for your review.

Pre-Season Rankings

Ken Rosenthal, of The Sporting News, offers his baseball power rankings for 2005. Yes, that's next season. It's never too early to think spring.

Pistons Get Some Love

Phil Taylor of thinks Detroit's NBA franchise deserves the magazine's Sportsmen of the Year Award. Who am I to disagree?

B.B. Baker's Dozen

The big boys sure did get a scare Saturday. However, they managed to win and there is very little movement in my top 13. One change I predicted a week ago, as Boise State has managed to make my poll. Sure, if they played Miami or Florida State they would probably lose, but I just couldn't bring myself to rank either the 'Canes or 'Noles again.

1. Southern Cal- No rain, no snow, no fog stops the Trojans.
2. Oklahoma- A&M almost got the revenge they seeked. Almost.
3. Utah- Smith put this game away early.
4. Auburn- Georgia is next on the schedule.
5. Georgia- Tuned up for Auburn with UK drubbing.
6. Texas- Another scare, but UT rallied to smush Oklahoma State.
7. California- Bears had their hands full, but won.
8. Wisconsin- Still look Rose Bowl bound.
9. Michigan- Bye week before Northwestern.
10. Louisville- Memphis couldn't do it, again.
11. West Virginia- Temple? Well, it still counts.
12. Viriginia- The return of the Cavs.
13. Boise State- Why not?

As an aside- My Heisman ballot would look like this today: 1) Peterson, Oklahoma. 2) Edwards, Michigan. 3) White, Oklahoma. 4) Smith, Utah. 5) TBD. Probably Leinart, USC.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Lions Diary

You've got to admire Kelvin Pritchett. He takes voting very seriously.

Urbina Update

Here is the latest about Ugueth Urbina's mother. The kidnapping story remains clear as mud.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Pistons Jump Tonight

The defending NBA Champion Detroit Pistons open up the 2004-05 campaign this evening. Here are some links (first, second, third) to get you warmed up for another year of Pistons' hoops.

Pudge Grabs Gold, Again

Seems our resident All-Star catcher, Ivan Rodriguez, won his record 11th Gold Glove. Here is the Yahoo! story.

B.B. Baker's Dozen

Only one new name in the poll this week. West Virginia returns as Florida State departs. I was more than half tempted to make Boise State the last team, but just couldn't do it. Maybe next week. Here's is this week's carb-filled top 13.

1. Southern Cal- Just waiting for the national championship game.
2. Oklahoma- A&M could be an interesting game for Sooners.
3. Utah- Smith remains a viable Heisman candidate.
4. Auburn- UGA is one week away.
5. Georgia- Dawgs tune up vs. Kentucky.
6. Texas- Oklahoma State comes calling.
7. California- Should be playing January 1.
8. Wisconsin- Can Gophers derial Badgers?
9. Michigan- Edwards now in Heisman hunt.
10. Miami- They always looked ready to lose and finally did.
11. Tennessee- In middle of BCS picture.
12. Louisville- Cards keep winning.
13. West Viriginia- Mountaineers return. Can they stay?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Those Casinos Seem To Be Paying Off

It seems a local amatuer baseball sponsor has done a Cecil Fielder impression and run amuck at one of Detroit's local casinos. Problem is, he used the league's funds to support his gambling habit.

Lions Diary

See, when I don't have any feeling for a game, it usually goes badly. The Lions had plenty of chances to beat Dallas, but just couldn't complete the task. This is what is so frustrating, not only about the Leos, but about the whole league in general. It just seems like a league of mediocre football teams.

Yes, there are a few (less than a handful of teams) each season that emerge as top tier, and an equal amount at the bottom, but the vast majority are these up-and-down, 8-8 caliber squads. The Lions, and the Cowboys, too, find themselves in this mix. That beats being a cellar dwellar, but it's difficult to watch week in and week out. You just never know which version of your team is going to arrive.

I'm sure some would argue, rightly so, that the Lions have always been that way. Point taken. It doesn't make it any less frustrating to watch.

I'd also like to take a moment to complain about the offense. This version of the west coast offense is pretty darn tepid. I understand it's a low risk system, built on the premise of yards after catch and avoiding turnovers. It's also like a paint by numbers book. That's fine for a while, but eventually somebody may want to be creative. Espeically, the quarterback.

As usual, I could be horribly wrong. I'm not a coach, scout or even a rabid student of the game, but eight yard patterns just aren't very daring. Would mixing it up really hurt? Throw a bomb. A real bomb, not a twelve yard pattern. Think back to the old AFL days. Let Joey air one.

Here is something else I don't understand about the Lions and football in general. Coaches want to establish the run. They say so all the time. Then on gameday, they run the ball eighteen times or less. Eighteen? That's making a committment to run the ball?

When quizzed about this coaches nod their heads and agree the team needs to get more carries and make a more of an effort in the ground game. Coach, wouldn't you be the guy in charge of that? How come you wanted to run on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but on Sunday you don't? If you want to run, run the stinking ball. You are already half way through the season, why haven't you figured out how to get more than eighteen carries in a game yet?

If coaches ran it half as much as they claim they want to, the NFL would be like the Bo and Woody Big Ten. Instead, Mooch just tells me each Monday how much the Lions need to run more in the weeks to come. Look, I'm a pass happy sort of guy. I love the Don Coryell Chargers, but if you tell me you want to run the ball and then don't, I get the impression you are doing something wrong. Especially when this pattern happens each week.

That's enough complaining for now. The Lions return home to face the Redskins Sunday. Right now, I have a good feel for this game. Why wouldn't I? The Lions have played lousy at home and are coming off a loss, it's a perfect time to win.

Finally, a fond farewell to Robert Porcher. Porcher retired today after thirteen years in Honolulu Blue and Silver. Porcher recorded ninety-five sacks in his career. However, he spent the entire year on the inactive list as the Lions ninth defensive lineman. Instead of looking for another team, Porcher retired.

The last home date of the season we be Robert Porcher Day at Ford Field. The three time Pro Bowl selection was not only a good player, but was involved in numerous Metro Detroit activities. He was the face of the Lions, especially in the post-Barry years.

Porcher has a number of off-field interests, so his transition should be smooth. Although, I suspect we will see and hear much more from Porcher. I could easily see him landing a local media job quickly. If not, a front office Lions job could be in the offing, as well.

Rumor has it no one will ever wear Porcher's number 91 again. That would be a nice tribute to a true professional.

Good luck, Robert.

A Little Public Service Announcement

Warning: This is not a sports related post. Sorry, but I had to digress for a moment.

Last night while distributing candy, I noticed a disturbing pattern. The "kids" seem mighty big to me. I don't mean big for their age, either. I mean these Trick-Or-Treaters were in a hurry to get back to their dorm room before somebody else finished off their keg.

This leads me to believe that some people, mostly parents, are having a difficult time in determining at what age to tell little Johnny it's time to skip mooching chocolate off the neighbors. As a public service, I'd like to suggest some rules of thumb.

* If your darling is over six foot tall, it's probably time to retire from the door-to-door version of Halloween.

* If your child and I (or you and me, if you are the begger in question) go to the nearest bar and ask for a shot of Jack Daniels and your "kid" doesn't get carded, but I do, he/she is too old.

* If your child is out for Halloween with his/her own child in hand, it's time to sort out priorities.

* As an aside, if your kid is oh-I-don't-know, let's say one year old and you are lugging your flesh and blood up and down the sidewalk beyond two doors, your kid ain't the one looking for candy and we all know it. You are a parent, now. Go home and pass out candy to someone else's nineteen year old.

* If your child's "costume" is a four hundred dollar leather jacket, they probably don't need the candy.

* If your little wonder drove himself/herself to my neighborhood to trick-or-treat, they are too old.

* If that same child drove a car that cost more a month than my vehicle does, they should be bringing me candy.

* If your child can vote tomorrow, maybe it's time for them to get on the giving end of the Halloween process.

I realize this whole business of knowing when to stop cruising the streets on the last day of October can be confusing. I hope these little pointers help. By no means are these are the rules, but it gives you some idea of when to say when.

I now return you to sports blog already in progress.