Top surprises of the Tigers season (so far)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2013 by VanillaSports

5. Don Kelly- Will Jim Leyland’s son he never had make the All Star Game this year? No. Will he ever be a regular starter on this roster? Most likely not. But has he been improving this year? You betcha! While he is hitting a dismal .189, he started last week batting below .100, thus proving he is improving his hitting. Having a utility guy that can play all nine positions in the field is just what the Tigers need, and they have it in Kelly.

4. Torii Hunter- Of course we all knew Hunter was going to bring his veteran wisdom and a big name to Comerica Park, but did anyone expect his hitting? With Hunter ripping base hits at a .369 clip, this 37-year-old is showing flashes of his prime self.

3. Anibal Sanchez- After playing tug-o-war with the Cubs over Sanchez, it is great to see he is getting comfortable in the Tigers rotation in the form of 17 strikeout performances and a AL 5th best ERA of 1.82.

2. Matt Tuiasosopo- 12 months ago, no one ever heard this guy’s name, unless you are a diehard Tigers fan who goes deep into the prospects almanac. The cousin of the creator of Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend is giving the Tigers a wonderful option as an outfielder, using his decent speed and his impressive .324 batting average to give Leyland a great option to use in his left field rotation. He certainly is looking like Quentin Berry 2.0.

1. Jose Valverde- Papa Grande ended his stint with the Tigers in a fashion so bad, I don’t even want to write about it. But now, Valverde is looking like he is back to his old form. His splitter is looking effective again, and his fastball is dancing just as much as he does after a big out. I’ve never been more glad to be wrong, because I thought Papa Grande was gone and never to be seen again in a Detroit uniform.

Vanilla’s quick picks for the Lions season

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2013 by VanillaSports

Let’s get premature up in here.

 

The 2013 NFL schedule has recently been announced, and with those suffering from football withdrawals, it was something of an early Christmas gift. And with that, everyone and their brother has set out to predict how great their team is going to fare, and I am no exception to this absurd craze of prematurely guessing how the season will go.

 

So without further ado, here are my quick hits for the Detroit Lions this upcoming season.

 

Week 1- vs. Minnesota: The Lions will start this season on a high note, and only lose by a field goal. The offensive line will be an early season problem for the Lions, as they lose Jeff Backus, Gosdar Cherilus and another year of Dominic Raiola’s youth. Viking’s running back Adrian Peterson will also rush for 1,000 yards in the game.

 

Week 2- at Arizona: Last year’s game (if you could even call it that) against the Cards likely had alcohol sales at an all-time high during their 38-10 beating. Rest assured, I see the Lions winning this episode of Fitzgerald vs. Megatron.

 

Week 3- at Washington: Will phenom quarterback Robert Griffin III be playing by this game? Well, it doesn’t matter, because RGIII or Kirk Cousins are capable of beating the Lions. I think home field advantage and Alfred Morris’ dominant play will play a role here as well, as the ‘skins win by at least 10.

 

Week 4- vs. Chicago: Oh dear, are the Lions really going to start 1-3? Well, that is how I see it, as Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have themselves a field day against the Lions secondary*. *subject to change if the Lions draft Dee Milner

 

Week 5- at Green Bay: The Lions haven’t won in Green Bay since the Clinton administration, and I’ll be damned if they win one in Lambeau ever again. Green Bay wins by 17, and the callers on the radio start to lose their minds early in the season for the 50th year in Lions history.

 

Week 6- at Cleveland: Cleveland is always two years away, meaning fans always talk about how they are two years away from completing their rebuilding process. The Lions will be angry this game, and Megatron will have 10 touchdowns. And I might be lowballing that number.

 

Week 7- vs. Cincinnati: This will be a great game to watch, as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are one of the most thrilling duos to watch in football. It will be a shootout, but I see Detroit running away with this one with Reggie Bush as they win by a late touchdown.


Week 8- vs. Dallas: If this game is close, the Lions will win just based on the fact Tony Romo is the most unclutch quarterback in the NFL. I think the Lions start giving their fans false hope by winning by a field goal.

Cleveland Indians official: “It’s time to start trying”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12, 2013 by VanillaSports

The Cleveland Indians have had enough.

They’ve had enough of being at the bottom of the AL Central’s barrel. They’ve had enough of seeing fans stay away from their beautiful stadium like it’s a hideous beast. And, most importantly, they’ve had enough of their usual ineffective off-seasons.

Monday, the Indians drove the final nail in their off-season project as they reeled in outfielder Michael Bourn to a four year, $48 million contract. For those playing the “Free Agent Matching Game” at home, that is the same price the Detroit Tigers got Golden Glove outfielder Torii Hunter for, but in much younger fashion.

However, this is hardly the most notable signing coming out of Cleveland this winter. The Indians have also inked Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Brett Meyers, just to name a few. They didn’t just add to the diamond also, as they bring in former World Series winning manager and chicken and beer enthusiast Terry Francona to their organization.

Even before the calender read “November,” is appeared that the Detroit Tigers were going to be steamrolling teams on their way to the AL Central title. To go along with Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and this Miguel Cabrera guy, the Tigers tacked on Hunter in the offseason and get designtaed hitter Victor Martinez back from his ACL injury.

It looked like an AL Central race that had the Tigers well ahead of everyone else, but now the Indians are appearing to be getting bigger and bigger in the review mirror.

Ash Wednesday: A Start of a New Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 by VanillaSports

Hello everyone, and to all you Christians out there, I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of lent. Today, as most of us know, is Ash Wednesday; a day that could mean a multitude of things for Christians around the world.

It is a day to kick off a 40 day fast of sweets and treats, or even the start to a new beginning. This isn’t just a day where the dessert or fast food market dives because of people’s choice of what to give up. This is a day of remembering the suffering of Jesus.

Does giving up candy, late night TV, or Facebook amount to the suffering Jesus gave to his followers? Of course not, but it does mean remembrance of everything he went through.

In no way am I trying to downplay what everyone is giving up, because it is nearly impossible to reach the same magnitude of what He went through. What would be nice, however, is to find your place within your faith.

Ask yourself these questions: How is your relationship with God? Do you follow and carry out your faith’s word at all times? Can you call yourself a good example of your religion?

Now I’m not a priest, and I certainly don’t play one on TV, but these are the questions I have even asked myself recently. To me, besides giving up desserts and soda, I have decided to devote these forty days to find my footing again in my Catholic faith.

To be honest, I have found myself straying away from the faith I used to follow so close. At times I haven’t been the person the gospel would want me to be. So that is why I am concentrating on strengthening my faith that I used to hold so strong. Lent isn’t always about giving up something important, it can be about gaining something important as well.

Just like the priest said at mass today, “today is our New Year’s, and it is our time to make a resolution with our faith.”

So with that I invite everyone to find themselves in their own faith. You don’t have to be a Christian to strengthen your following, because every religion has the potential to make anybody a better person to themselves and others. It’s an extra step to take past giving up your favorite food or leisure activity, but it’s a step I know everyone could take in becoming a better person.

Hope you have a great day everyone, and God Bless.

The Seven People We Hate in the Weight Room

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 by VanillaSports

Howdy everyone, and welcome back to VanillaSports. I finally found some time in my schedule to write an article, and one of the reasons I haven’t been able to find time has inspired this article. Lately as a new year’s resolution, I have decided to hit up the gym and try to put some meat on these scrawny bones (I can understand if you are laughing by now by the way, because that thought even tickles me).

Anyway, today I am here to bring you the cold hard truth. There are some people that just irk us in life, and the weight room is the number one place to catch some of these people. These are the guys and gals that make us shake our heads and think ‘why?’ So without further ado, here it is everyone, the seven people you hate to see in the weight room. Enjoy.

Hat Wearers

I’m going to kick off this list of hate with a personal pet peeve of mine: people that have no idea how to dress. If there are two clothing styles that grind my gears its people who wear sunglasses indoors and people who wear hats in the weight room. Guess what people, the sun doesn’t shine through a drywall ceiling. I know, ground breaking.

If you think you have so much swag that you can’t afford to take off your snap-back Marlins hat, you are instantly going to be labeled a joke by half the building. These people are usually the same people flexing in front of the mirror for 75 percent of their time in the gym, proving their swag-overlord is much too douchey powerful for anyone to touch. Bottom line, if you want to wear a hat and not look like a jackass, step out of the weight room swagasaurus rex.

Treadmill Walkers

Now I’m not one for the treadmill unless I feel like passing out in five minutes flat, but I can only imagine this being worse than shin splints to all you runners out there. I’m positive about this because I’ve heard my runner friends bellyache about people who walk on the running machine.

Usually this is just a little upsetting, but since it’s close to spring break time it makes this offense more of a felony. Come on people, your fellow gym mates are trying to get their stomachs flatter than your laptop screen and their legs built like a statue. If you need to walk, walk around your dorm, apartment, or God forbid you walk outside. You don’t need a black conveyer belt to walk to do something you can do literally anywhere else.

The Machinist

This is the guy who takes at least a five minute break before starting his next reps. Yeah dude, there is no one else is in the gym but you, and definitely no one else is looking to use that machine either.

This guy also makes you want to throw the medicine ball through the wall if:

-They are not breathing heavily in the slightest bit, but instead just aimlessly staring into space

-They are looking at their iPod as if they have been playing solitaire for the past six minutes

-It is the only machine you are looking to use

-They get up after their mini-coffee break and walk away like they just got out of a barber shop chair.

Don’t get me wrong, catching your breathe during reps is fine. Heck, I do that all the time, but if you sit there long enough to where your shorts start binding to the machine, it’s probably time to give it up.

The Camper

This guy burns my soul. The camper is the guy who decides that the most convenient spot to do his free weight workout is no further than 12 inches away from the weight rack. In my head I can only think “yeah chief, the other 40 people in here definitely are not looking to use those 15 pairs of weights you are blocking off, keep on grinding.”

Could you slide in front of him to snag your weights? Possibly, but you run the risk of getting socked with a ten pound weight as he frantically flails his arms while doing bicep curls. When this cat strolls on over to the weight rack, go get your water bottle, because no one works out until he says so.

The Guy Who Thinks He Owns Every %&$# Machine

We all know this guy. Usually clad in a cut off and oversized shorts, this gym rat thinks he owns the damn place and has his name on every machine.

This actually happened the other day, and the sequence of events went like so:

I’m waiting to make my triceps harder than concrete on that triceps pull-down mechanism, so I wait for this guy to finish up his duty. Fair enough, and he even rolls on over to another machine to look like the tan Incredible Hulk. As I’m hammering out 20 reps on 180 pounds (and by that I mean 10 reps on 80) I notice he is doing considerable damage on yet another machine. Good deal, until he walks over and utters the words “uh, I was kind of using that, can you hurry up?”

Yep, go ahead your highness, I seemed to forget you rented out this side of the weight room for your liking. Let me guess, you’re going to go to the café right after this and claim the tray you used 6 hours ago during lunch, right? And after that you’re going to kick the kid off of the bus seat you were sitting on two days ago, correct? Looks like someone never watched the Barney episode on sharing.

The Public Address Announcer

Lo and behold, the greatest athlete to walk the face of the earth is gracing us with his appearance today!

This self-titled Greek god is a weight room staple, and he makes sure you cannot miss him. This is the guy who talks to his buddy about his wondrous athletic achievements in high school and the weight room, which is nothing out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is the kid’s notion to talk about these accolades at a volume level never reached before in normal man-to-man conversation. He makes sure you hear his story, he wants you to ask for an autograph before you leave, and his goal is to get you to throw yourself to your knees and bow before him.

Oh, and if you start to listen to this guy’s story (because it’s impossible not to listen to), I have a spoiler alert for you: The story ends with him saying the reason he doesn’t play anymore is because of a catastrophic ACL injury his senior year. If it wasn’t for that, he would already be in the Hall of Fame.

The Schwarzenegger

Ah yes, this guy. This man needs little to no explanation, but just for kicks and giggles let’s run through the résumé. The Schwarzenegger is the man who:

-Grunts loudly immediately after his first rep on the bench.

-Walks around with his arms at least eight inches away from his torso, as if he is allergic to his own body.

-Files under the category of at least three of the people already mentioned.

-Makes sure that you notice him going H.A.M. on the machine your puny being just got off.

Well there ya have it folks, the seven people we can’t stand in the pumpetorium. If you fit under any of these categories, don’t be mad, instead you can probably find pleasure in the fact that you can bench at least double what I can. Good luck in your weight lifting and treadmill running ventures everyone, and keep on grinding.

SOPA, PIPA, and why it’s killing America

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 by VanillaSports

Just a few weeks ago if someone said “SOPA” or “PIPA”, you would think they would be talking about hygiene essentials or the name of Kate Middleton’s smoking hot sister. Now that college students are furiously typing research papers without Wikipedia, the nation is quickly realizing what those two words really mean.

They mean, of course, stopping everything that is encouraged in America’s people.

With my quick and Wikipedia-less research I understand that the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are in place to threaten a huge part of everyday life. In a nutshell they are in place to stop the piracy of images, video’s, music, and pretty much anything that you enjoy on the world wide web.

Before diving in and giving the millionth testimony against these bills, let’s break down why this makes sense. SOPA and PIPA are the best bills in the world if you are a musician, filmmaker, or photographer, because now people can’t enjoy your product for free anymore. To the other hundreds of millions of people that aren’t in the hills of LA, the only good part of this bill is learning how to research SOPA and PIPA without the help of Wikipedia.

If the bill were to make a resurgence and pass in Congress, you can kiss what America encourages goodbye. Has America thrived before without internet resources? You bet they have, but no trip to the library back in the 90’s gives us what our laptops today has to offer.

It’s threatened sites like Wikipedia that gives us information literally at our fingertips 24/7. It puts sites like like Tumblr that inspire the new generation through images and words in danger. It could give Youtube viewers their last days at watching videos and listening to music that lets them get away from their thoughts and even showcase their talents.

But again, isn’t this prohibiting the average American from living the American dream? What happened to freedom and the privilege of learning, especially when websites make it faster, cheaper, and more convenient? Why is a bill that will takeaway inspiration and thought on the floor of congress?

Or better yet, why is it that so many people are educating themselves on these bills and unifying to fight them?

Because the freedom of using the internet allows us to, that’s why.

Now wouldn’t you hate to take knowledge, freedom, and the American dream away Uncle Sam?

To My Great Readers, Thanks

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 by VanillaSports

                As some of you already know, I have been given the opportunity to write for the amateur sports website bleacherreport.com. Even though it’s a thrill to move onto a bigger website then my blog, I am sorry to say I will not be updating VanillaSports as much. Granted I will write some posts here and there, but the primary website I will be displaying my work on will be bleacherreport.com.

                Another reason (the main reason) I am writing this is to thank all of you guys for the readership and support. I can’t begin to explain how much it means to me that I know I have people out there that are actually interested in what I have to say about what’s going on in the sports world. Whether you’re a great friend of mine, a family member, an old baseball coach, or even my great grandfather reading my work, I am very thankful for everything and the great remarks you have given me.

                With the bleacher report comes a way higher number of readers, but the numbers that will mean the most to me is the 40-50 of you who read my blog, no matter how boring they could be some days. Nothing motivated me more than the fact that you guys had my back and wanted to see where I could take this. If this is starting to sound cheesy, it may be because I’m a sports writer, and we’re all kind of like that, but bottom line is that I really mean all of this. Thanks again for supporting the beginning of my career that may go anywhere, I can’t show enough gratitude.

Some of my B/R articles: (if you click on my name below the titles, you can see all the articles I have wrote)

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/647890-top-ten-2011-ncaa-tournament-qas-that-are-running-through-your-head

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/648738-how-michigan-state-basketball-and-garrick-sherman-both-win-and-lose

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/649192-the-twenty-most-important-questions-looming-in-the-al-central

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