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Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has won the American League Most Valuable Player award for the second straight year.

Cabrera led the majors in hitting this year, winning his third A-L batting title in a row.   That's despite the fact he had to play with a nagging injury during the final two months of the season.

Cabrera won by a comfortable margin Thursday, getting 23 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer easily won the American League Cy Young Award Wednesday.

The award honors the best pitcher in Major League Baseball this year. Scherzer led the major leagues with 21 victories this season.

Scherzer gave credit to his Detroit Tigers teammates.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

People planning to take part in Michigan’s historic wolf hunt this year are likely to come home empty-handed.

State wildlife officials say they designed the hunt expecting only around 4% of hunters to kill a wolf.

“If we had any other game species, or deer hunting, or rabbit hunting, or squirrel hunting where you’d have 4% success rates, the hunters would be quite upset with us,” said Brian Roell, a wildlife biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“So I think some folks are probably overestimating their ability to harvest a wolf.”

Michigan Football / Facebook

Moments before the Michigan Wolverines introduced Brady Hoke as their new head football coach in 2011, Michigan fans had lots of questions. Why not hire a national star like Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh, who both played at Michigan? Who was Brady Hoke? Was he up to the task?

Hoke answered these questions by nailing his first press conference. He won over more Michigan fans in just a few minutes than his predecessor, Rich Rodriguez, had been able to do in three years. When a reporter asked Hoke if the Wolverines would be rebuilding, he famously replied, “This is Michigan, for godsakes” – and a star was born.

It was hard to imagine a happier honeymoon than Hoke’s. In his rookie season, the Wolverines beat Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State – for the first time in eight years. They won their first BCS bowl game since Tom Brady did the job in 2000, en route to an 11-2 record. From the fans in the stands to the team in the trenches, the love for Coach Hoke was universal.

WSOP

Championship Poker is like a major sporting event - cheering fans adorned with big block letter T-shirts, and silly hats in the stands - play by play and color announcers - corporate sponsors - and broadcasts on ESPN.

Twenty-three year old Michigan native Ryan Riess won the the championship early this morning in Las Vegas.

His "World Series of Poker" title came with an $8,361,570 payout. A pretty good return after paying $10,000 to enter his first match.

You can watch the winning moment here (An Ace and King of hearts took the pot).

The Associated Press has more on how Riess got his start:

Riess' parents say that like many poker players, their son always had a head for numbers. As a 14-year-old, he became obsessed with poker after watching amateur Chris Moneymaker win the main event.

"In my basement, I had a $10 home game that I ran twice a week, just playing with my friends. I won all the time, which I thought was kind of weird, so I thought maybe I should do this more often," he said, sipping beer from a can moments after his win.

Riess grew up in Watertown, Michigan. He joins Michigan natives Tom "Grand Rapids Tom" McEvoy and Joe Cada as past poker champions.

user CedarBendDrive / Flickr

No doubt about it — heads are sure to collide on Saturday’s football game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

But when heads collide on the field at Spartan Stadium, two neurologists will be on the sidelines, making sure no concussed player gets back in the game.

Both Jeff Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at Michigan’s medical school, and David Kaufman, the chairman of the neurology department at Michigan State, will be working on the field for Saturday’s game.

According to the New York Times, while many Big Ten schools have medical consultants for their athletic teams, only Michigan and Michigan State keep them on the sidelines at all games.

YouTube screenshot

Some people were throwing their hands up while watching the end of the last Lions game.

They were playing the Dallas Cowboys and were down by six with just about a minute to go.

"Same old Lions," might have been uttered by a few disappointed fans.

Then Matthew Stafford looped a few perfect passes down the field and snuck the ball past the goal line.

NFL Films captured the frantic "clock it!" calls from Stafford. Watch it here:

 

Update: Well, that stinks. The NFL had the video taken down.

As a consolation, you can watch Stafford leading a comeback against the Browns here in his rookie season. He also yells "clock it" in this clip.

(H/T Jim Russ) 

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

This week, Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland announced his retirement. He was an ‘old school’ manager, relying more on his guts than a spreadsheet. His decisions irritated some fans, but not his results. 

When you’re 68, working in a young man’s game, announcing your retirement is not a surprise. But there are a few underappreciated qualities about this grizzled veteran that are worth remembering.

Jim Leyland was a baseball man to the core. Raised in Perrysburg, Ohio, the son of a glassworker, he grew up wanting to do one thing: Play baseball.

He was good, very good, so the Tigers signed him up to play catcher in their minor league system. But just to get to the majors, you need to be great – and after seven years battling to get to the big leagues, Leyland realized he wasn’t great. Not as a player, at least.  

Tiger manager Jim Leyland brought the Detroit Tigers to the American League Championship Series for the last three years.

But Saturday night's elimination in Boston was the "final out" for Jim Leyland. Today he announced he is stepping down as manager.

John Keating, who covers the Tigers for Fox Sports Detroit, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 2:00 p.m.

Here's the video from the press conference:

11:30 a.m.

It's official. Jason Beck writes for MLB.com:

Jim Leyland is stepping down as manager of the Tigers, and he will announce his decision today at a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET at Comerica Park ...

The decision ends Leyland's eight-year tenure leading the team he grew up with, first as a Minor League catcher and then as a manager in its farm system. This season was his 50th in professional baseball, 22 of them managing at the big league level, the last eight in Detroit.

10:36 a.m.

It's not official yet, but talk radio and Twitter are buzzing about the expected announcement that Tigers manager Jim Leyland will announce his retirement decision at an 11:30 press conference this morning.

This from ESPN.com:

Jim Leyland won't return as manager of the Detroit Tigers next season, a decision the team will announce in a Monday morning news conference, according to multiple reports.

Here's how the news broke on Twitter:

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek will be at the news conference this morning.

*The headline for this story changed when the information was confirmed by MLB.com. Early reports used the word "retirement." He says he's taking another position with the Tigers, hence the strikethrough above.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

"I hope you enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed you." - Jim Leyland in a statement to fans

Here are some of the significant numbers from Leyland's career as an MLB manager (numbers from the Detroit Tigers):

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons.

Shane Victorino launched a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Red Sox past the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Victorino's home run came on an 0-2 pitch and followed an error by shortstop Jose Iglesias to load the bases.

user Wystan / Flickr

 

Tomorrow morning, one of Michigan’s oldest traditions will be on display. No, not at the Big House, but at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house.

That’s where they’ve played something they call The Mudbowl every year since 1933, the same season Jerry Ford played center for the national champion Wolverines, and Columbia University won the Rose Bowl.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Detroit Tigers split the first two games of their American League Conference Series with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend.

It looked like the Tigers were going to win both games over the weekend.   Saturday, the Tigers defeated the Red Sox 1 to 0 in Game One.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Detroit Tigers are on their way to the American League Championship series.

The Tigers defeated the Oakland A’s last night to win their American League Division Series playoff.     

Tigers pitching ace Justin Verlander dominated last night’s game in Oakland.

Verlander struck out 10 Oakland batters on the way to a 3-0 Tigers win. 

The Tigers will now play the Boston Red Sox for the right to play in the World Series.   

Steve Carmody/Michigan

The Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland A’s last night to force a deciding Game 5 in their baseball playoff series.   The two teams will face off Thursday in Oakland.

Detroit baseball fans have been waiting for the Tigers offense to show itself during this playoff series against the Oakland A’s.   During first 3 games of the series, the Tigers scored a combined 6 runs.

Last night, it showed up.  The Tigers erupted for eight runs.    

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s horse racing industry is trying once again to convince state lawmakers to make a change that would generate more gambling revenue at the state’s four remaining race tracks.

But getting people in the industry to agree on the solution to save their dwindling sport may be a bigger hurdle to overcome.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Detroit Tigers take on the Oakland A’s in today's game three of their American League Division Series.

The teams are tied one-one in the best of five game series. The series has been marked by strong pitching and little scoring by both sides.

Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland says he would like to see his players produce more runs in this afternoon’s game at Comerica Park.

University of Michigan football game
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said last week that football and basketball might work better if they had minor leagues, so players who didn’t want to attend college had somewhere else to go.    

I came to the same conclusion several years ago, though for different reasons.  Most of the problems with college football and basketball can be traced back to their beginnings.  Unlike most sports, football and basketball developed on college campuses.  When the NFL and NBA opened decades later, they didn’t have to start their own minor leagues, they simply used the college teams to develop their players. 

metassus / Flickr

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's first wolf hunt is turning out to be a hot ticket.

Officials say more than 1,000 licenses were sold Saturday, leaving just 100 by evening. The hunt starts Nov. 15 and runs through the end of the year.

The Natural Resources Commission is allowing 43 wolves to be killed in seven Upper Peninsula counties. Opponents hoping to stop future hunts are gathering petition signatures for a statewide vote.

A wolf license costs $100 for a Michigan resident and $500 for a non-resident.

user: wfyurasko / Flickr

In November of 2011, Penn State’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on forty criminal counts, including the sexual assault of eight boys over a fifteen-year period, one of them in the showers of Penn State’s football building.

University of Michigan football game
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan football fans often wear funny pants and funny hats. They sing funny songs and tell funny stories.

But to Michigan fans, some things are not funny – and Appalachian State is about five of them. 

You might recall those guys, who opened the 2007 season against the fifth-ranked Wolverines. Everybody made fun of Appalachian State, because nobody knew where it was. It turns out it isn’t even a state. I looked it up. 

No ranked team in the game’s top division, like Michigan, had ever lost to a team from Appalachian State’s division. The point spread was 27. Not since 1891, when the Wolverines opened the season against Ann Arbor High School, did Michigan’s home opener seem like such a mismatch.   

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder has signed an overhaul to Michigan’s hunting and fishing fees. The new law raises many license fees starting next March, but greatly reduces the number of licenses available for sale.

Erin McDonough is with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. She says updating fees and streamlining the number and types of licenses was long overdue.

We're deep into the 2013-2013 college football season. Fans flock to the "hallowed ground" of their team's home stadium, be it The Big House for Wolverines, Spartan Stadium for MSU Fans or, maybe Kelly/Shorts Stadium for you Chips. Or, maybe, your pilgrimage takes you to other states. To Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley or Ohio Stadium or Notre Dame Stadium.

No one can argue the fact that, no matter which metric you use, whether attendance, TV ratings, revenue for the NCAA, money into the coffers of the college or university, college football is huge.

But, Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon is deeply worried about the future of college football. He fears it may be losing its soul and, with it, the support of fans and players.

His new book is a deep-dive into the Big Ten during the 2012 college football season. It's called "Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football." Bacon sat down with Stateside host Cynthia Canty and spoke about his new book.

user: Michael Knight /flickr

Students in Michigan's public schools are back at their desks.

 And for young football players, soccer players and other athletes around the state, practice has been happening in earnest for weeks. This will be the first school sports season under Michigan's new sports concussion law.  We wanted to find out what it will mean to student athletes, their coaches and their parents. Laura Rowen joined us today. She's an injury prevention consultant with the Michigan Department of Community Health. Listen to the audio above.

State of Michigan

State wildlife officials continue to prepare for this fall’s controversial wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

The hunt is set to begin in three zones in the U.P. in mid-November.

Hunters will try to kill 43 wolves during the hunt. There are fewer than 700 adult wolves in the Upper Peninsula.

Adam Bump is with the Department of Natural Resources. He says they are still working on the logistics for the hunt, including putting hunting licenses up for sale at the end of September.

Crim Festival of Races

Thousands of runners will take to the streets of Flint tonight and tomorrow. 

Started in the late 1970’s, the Crim has grown into the fifth largest 10-mile road race in the country.

Andrew Younger is the race director for the Crim Fitness Festival of Races. He says they’ve made some changes to the course this year to avoid conflicts with traffic flowing into and out of downtown Flint.

“The first two miles are different this year…and the reasons are we really want to improve the experience for all runners,” says Younger. 

Flickr user tinatruelove / flickr

What comes to mind when you think about women playing baseball?

You might think of Tom Hanks yelling “There’s no crying in baseball!” in the 1992 film "A League of their Own."

Well there is a women’s softball team in West Michigan that would be more than happy to show that they don’t cry and they can play. Some of them have been on the team together for more than 40 years.

Joining us now is Lynn Schweibert. She has been playing on the same team in West Michigan with three other women for the past four decades. Her daughter Leslie Reimink also plays on the team. They joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Julian Carvajal / Flickr

When I started in tee-ball, I was so short that if the catcher put the tee on the far corner of the plate, I couldn’t reach it.  Yes, I struck out – in tee ball.  


Our first year of live pitching wasn’t any better. One game we were beating the other team so badly, they were about to trigger the “Mercy Rule,” and end the game. Coach Van pulled me in from my post in right field – where I kept company with the dandelions – and told me to pitch. I wasn’t a pitcher – I wanted to be a catcher, like Bill Freehan -- but I’m thinking, “This is my chance.”  I walked three batters, but miraculously got three outs. We won – and I figured that was my stepping stone to greater things.

I was surprised my dad wasn’t as happy as I was. He knew better – but he didn’t tell me until years later: Coach Van was not putting me in to finish the game. He was putting me in to get shelled, so the game would keep going. He was putting me in to fail.  

Keith Allison / Flickr

Update 4:30 pm

Jhonny Peralta said the following about his suspension in a press release this afternoon:

“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension.

I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost.”

Additionally, the Detroit Tigers released the following statement on Peralta's suspension:

"We recognize the suspension of Jhonny Peralta for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program as a measure taken in the best interest of the game. The Detroit Tigers continue to fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers' organization will provide no further comment on Peralta’s suspension."

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