By Ken DeLaat
And the Tigers are in contention.
Of course in all fairness the season is just a little over a month old so it’s more like being in contention in May I would imagine.
And though just 3 games out of the expanded playoff picture (as of Monday evening) the teams in front of them probably possess more seasoned talent.
But with the kind of year we’ve all endured having the beloved Tig’s in some form of contention with but a couple of dozen or so of games remaining delivers a little good news to what has been a rather gloomy run since March.
I’ve watched them scrap and tussle with teams that in the past couple of years or so would have brushed them off easily taking advantage of a lack of clutch hitting, an absolute dearth of effective pitching especially from the ‘pen and frequent miscues in the field.
More Importantly there seemed a lack of any team personality or collective chutzpa.
Now it seems suddenly they’re fun to watch as they’ve developed a little swagger to their game.
Of course the pitching, while improved, is still suspect most games and the hitters strike out a whole lot but at a bit more than halfway through the season they have won nearly as many as they have lost and it’s been awhile since they’ve been able to say that.
Hey, they still could bomb another 9 in a row as they did earlier, but they are showing us their future and it looks pretty bright from where I sit.
Having been a Tiger fan since around the middle of the last century I recall the buildup to the champion caliber teams they fielded in the late 60’s, the mid 80’s, and the most recent 10 year span a bit back when we endured just 2 losing seasons.
This feels like those years. A prelude of what might bring a few playoff runs.
Particularly if MLB continues this year’s practice of allowing 16 of their 30 teams in like they do in hockey and basketball. You’d have to be pretty lousy to not make it to the dance...uh...as both the Pistons and Wings failed to do the past few seasons.
Dragon lovers rejoice!
Hiking and biking are booming what with all the folks getting outside and finding ways to grab a little exercise and have a little fun at the same time.
The Michigan Dragon Trail has moved beyond its infancy and has begun to gain ground toward becoming a destination site for pedalers and pedestrians alike.
Newaygo County Parks recently announced two new bridges and 2 more miles of trail have opened on Segment 9 of this appealing outdoor attraction . This means one can now ride or ramble 5.5 miles north from Sandy Beach County Park.
If you haven’t taken a ride (or walk) on this unparalleled pathway, do yourself a favor and take in a few miles.
Then think about ponying up a few bucks to help keep it growing.
You can keep abreast of the project by going to their fb page.
Last spring when the Newaygo girls hoopsters were making a magical tourney run there was nothing better than being at those games and the eventual disappointment came, not with a loss on the court but a pandemic connected pause in the action that morphed into an outright cancellation as well as slapping down spring sports for good measure.
Now after a chaotic late summer with coaches, players and parents waiting for news and beginning preparations, footballers resigning themselves to changing seasons and soccer and vball squads standing at the ready for competition the Gov lifted the ban on contact sports and as the word came down from MHSAA that soccer and volleyball could start...
Suddenly football was back on.
If there was ever any doubt as to the status of football in the high school sports landscape think about this.
After initially rejecting a proposed shift of fall sports to spring and facing the cancellation of football the MHSAA on August 14th voted to move football to spring.
Following the announcement from Lansing last Thursday it took less than an hour for a new vote to be taken to reinstate the fall season, albeit a shortened one, and tossing in an invite to the postseason for all teams regardless of record.
Yes, one could safely say football has a bit of clout.
And for your perusal we share two quotes we found in same day press releases following the Gov’s announcement.
Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun “We know of 30 reported outbreaks involving athletic teams and facilities in August. Based on current data, contact sports create a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and MDHHS strongly recommends against participating in them at this time.”
Mark Uyl MHSAA Executive Director “We share the Governor’s priorities of putting health and safety first, and the COVID-19 guidance and protocols designed by the MHSAA at her request have led to the safe starts in all sports across the state.”
It truly is all about perspective
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