Friday, April 27, 2012

Tigers off to typical start on bases

Long known for their power hitters, the Detroit Tigers have also been known over the years to place little emphasis on base stealing.
So it goes that the 2012 season has started in typical Tigers fashion.
Nineteen games into the season, as they started a weekend series at Yankee Stadium, the Tigers of manager Jim Leyland (above with Joe Torre) were tied for last place in the major leagues in stolen bases with four. The New York Mets also had four.
In 2011, the Tigers were last in the majors in steals with 49. (But the team that finished one spot ahead of them, the St. Louis Cardinals, did OK as they won the World Series.)
In 2010, the Tigers were 24th in the big leagues in steals.
In 2008 and 2009, the Tigers were last in the American League.
The Tigers' best year for steals in the last five was 2007. As Curtis Granderson stole 26 bags and Gary Sheffield 22, the Tigers were sixth in the A.L.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

White Sox show signs of being contenders

The Chicago White Sox show signs of being the team that will give the Detroit Tigers the fiercest competition in the race for the American League Central Division championship.
Buoyed by Philip Humber's perfect game against Seattle on April 21 (picture above), the White Sox are 9-6, one-half game behind the Tigers, with a staff earned run average of 3.16, the third-lowest ERA in the AL.
Detroit's team ERA of 3.51 is fourth-best in the league.
Minnesota, Kansas City and Cleveland, who make up the rest of the AL Central, are in the bottom five for team ERA in the AL.
Another encouraging sign for Chicago: Adam Dunn. The designated hitter who slumped in 2011 has 13 runs batted in. Dunn had 42 RBI last season.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thirty-four cars entered for Indianapolis 500

Thirty-four cars, including seven scheduled to be driven by rookies, are entered for the Indianapolis 500 that will be May 27 at the famed Brickyard.
Three former Indy 500 champions are entered: Dario Franchitti, Scott  Dixon and Helio Castroneves.
Alex Tagliani, the 2011 pole winner, also is among the drivers assigned to cars that have been entered.
Castroneves, Tagliani, Dixon and Tony Kanaan make up the list of former pole winners expected to drive in this year's race.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Detroit's McCallum named to All-Jesuit hoops team

Sophomore guard Ray McCallum was named to the 2011-2012 National All-Jesuit Men’s Basketball Team, as announced by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight.  McCallum is one of 10 honorees among 28 Jesuit schools nationwide across all levels (NCAA I, II, III and NAIA).

McCallum, the Horizon League Tournament Most Valuable Player, helped lead the Titans to the league crown and their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999.  The former Detroit Country Day player led the squad in scoring (15.4 ppg), assists (4.0 apg) and steals (1.6 spg) for the second straight season.  He was an All-Horizon League First Team selection in addition to a National Basketball Coaches Association All-District First Team choice, Bob Cousy Award Top 20 selection and Lou Henson All-America Team member after a superb season that saw him become the 37th Titan to surpass 1,000 career points and the first to do it as a sophomore.  

He's joined on the All-Jesuit Team by Consensus First-Team All-American Doug McDermott of Creighton.  McDermott, a Wooden Award finalist and the Missouri Valley Player of the Year, and Marquette's Darius  Johnson-Odom, a first-team All-Big East selection, earn All-Jesuit honors for the second straight year.

Fellow MU teammate Jae Crowder, the Big East Player of the Year made the squad while two other players-- Xavier's Tu Holloway and Gonzaga's Elias Harris, have previously earned All-Jesuit honors.  They are joined on the All-Jesuit team by Steve Catich, who led Wheeling Jesuit to the NCAA Division II Tournament; Jason Clark, Georgetown’s leader as it remained among the top teams in DI; Rakim Sanders who led Fairfield to the CIT Postseason Tourney semifinals and Corey Shontz, an NCAA Division III All-America honoree from John Carroll. All 10 players earned first-team all-conference honors.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Michigan State was Big Ten's last national basketball champion

Michigan State won the national college basketball championship in 2000. Since then, no Big Ten team has captured a title.
Ohio State got to the Final Four this year, but the Buckeyes, who haven't won a national championship since 1960, lost to Kansas in the semifinal round.
Since MSU beat Florida at Indianapolis for the 2000 championship, Atlantic Coast Conference teams have won five championships. The Big East and Southeastern conferences have won three apiece and the Big 12 one.
The Big Ten's six national championships since Ohio State's were won by three schools: Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State.
IU won in 1976, 1981 and 1987; Michigan in 1989 and MSU in 1979 and 2000.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who's best in the post-Wooden era?

Kentucky won its eighth national basketball championship when the Wildcats defeated Kansas on Monday.
Four of the Wildcats' titles have been won since 1978, or in the "post-Wooden" era of college basketball.
Coach John Wooden's UCLA teams won 10 championships in 12 seasons in a dynasty that ended with the Bruins' 1975 title.
In addition to Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina have won four championships apiece since the UCLA dynasty ended, creating a three-way tie for the top spot in our study.
Connecticut and Indiana have won three titles each, and Florida, Kansas, Louisville and Michigan State have captured two apiece.
Those schools are among the 20 that have won titles since 1976.
In the post-Wooden era, 23 schools have lost in the championship game, led by Duke, which has fallen five times.
Michigan and Kansas have three title-game losses apiece.
The Blue Devils, Wolverines and Jayhawks are among nine schools that have lost more than one championship game since 1976.

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