The Boys of Summer Reunion

There's no bigger homer on the planet than our own Godfather.  He's a Wolverines fan on Saturday...a Bears fan on Sunday.  He's into hockey...once the Wolverines make the frozen four, or the Wings are in the finals.  He's a Cubs fan by day, and a Tigers fan under the lights.  So gas prices be damned, G-Daddy made his way across the state to see his favorite Tiger, Miguel Cabrera, don the old English 'D.'  Some of the family made the trip as well, and after a quick hiccup at the casino, we made our way to the ballpark for a pizza picnic in section 137 and to see (Justin's Tiger) Todd Jones blow his first save.  But as if he knew his biggest fan was in town, Cabrera came through in the bottom of the ninth with a walk off double.  Tigers win 6-5.  Nice...and...*ahem*..."fun."

Better late than never...here are the pics from the days events.

Everything Is Fine

Had a conversation with G-Daddy this afternoon...that's the Godfather to you at home. He told me he's actually hung a noose from the ceiling fan with all the depressing news about Michigan Basketball, Terelle Pryor, and RichRod lawsuits, and that he is prepared to use it if things don't start looking brighter on UMTailgate.com.

Fear not, Dennis. Here is your happy linkfest...

You are probably environmentally conscious. Most likely you are concerned about global warming. Well, guess what kids...that shit is OVER!!! Get out your aerosol cans and run those SUVs, because the Earth is getting colder. I'm talking to you, you hippy bitches! COLDER!

...all four major global temperature tracking outlets have released data showing that temperatures have dropped significantly over the last year. California meteorologist Anthony Watts says the amount of cooling ranges from 65-hundredths of a degree Centigrade to 75-hundreds of a degree.

That is said to be a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. It is reportedly the single fastest temperature change ever recorded...up or down.


So kiss my Bush-loving ass.

We are a mere 6-months away from Michigan vs. Utah, and themes aside, you will at some point this season see this at a tailgate. Call your cardiologist. What? You don't have a cardiologist? Well you will after this season, tubby.

Despite perceived problems with RichRod, you should be very thankful. Why? Because we didn't hire Kirk Ferentz who has had...

14 arrests involving 13 players in the past 10 months.

Dodged that bullet, didn't we Lloyd? Could've be worse, could've hired Willingham.

How about some prep action that isn't depressing? This dunk is one of the sweetest plays I have ever seen, and it basically involves children.

Hockey. Hockey. Hockey. Hockey team = good. We're looking to lock up the CCHA this weekend, and get that #1 seed heading into the tourney. Frozen Four has always been cooler than the Final Four.

The Tigers haven't lost a game yet this Spring.

Just in case you were thinking about sticking with Clark Kellogg for the postgame reports during the NCAA tournament, let me bend your ear. Bob Knight is doing NCAA hoops coverage for ESPN. This is going to be the best tv on tv.

It's a celebration! The Florida Gators are no longer a contender in the SEC. They have hired former Michigan secondary coach Vance Bedford, whose entire career is based on the talent of Charles Woodson.

So, ya, Terelle Pryor is the shit...

Pryor put up a triple-double..... 39 points...24 rebounds...10 blocked shots..... and just for fun he picked up 6 assists (leading his team to a state championship in basketball).

...but he also is wearing a year's tuition on his wrist. He is rapidly becoming a sanction liability.

Happy now Godfather? If not, see if one of these puts a smile on your face.

Captain Michigan Scores More Than Michigan State

The preseason Heisman candidate and his band of preseason Big Ten Champion darkhorses came into Ann Arbor on Saturday. They were bruised, battered, and coming off two of the most embarrassing back-to-back losses in their history. They had absolutely nothing to lose, and could begin to salvage a disastrous season by handing their "rival" their first loss. Winning fixes everything. Unfortunately for the Spartan faithful, the Green and White seem to only know how to disappoint

Unlike the past two years, it wouldn't take overtime. The loudest cheers came during announcements of the score from the  Detroit Tigers dismantling of the Yankee dynasty just 35 miles away in Comerica Park, and it was the only cheering the Michigan State faithful would feel compelled to participate in. In fact, this game was less in question by the end of the first half than Michigan's games against Vanderbilt and Central Michigan. Michigan dominated, broadcasting their weekly edition of "Establishing the Run", racking up 211 yards on 5 yards per carry. 122 yards of the ground attack came from Mike Hart, 51 from Kevin Grady, and 39 from true frosh Brandon Minor, who broke a 40-yard TD run to seal the game late in the 3rd quarter. Henne-to-Arrington showed up again with a spectacular leaping grab of 13 yards for the first touchdown of the game. Henne-to-Manningham, now a household name, came through again with 2 touchdowns of 41 and 27 yards. A late 2-yard touchdown by a scrambling Stanton somehow warranted his own personal celebration, but it would not be enough in his final chance to beat the Maize and Blue. Michigan wins 31-13...and it has never been less exciting. On it's way to being only termed a rivalry because of geography, Michigan-Michigan St. not only didn't warrant a Maize Out, it barely deserved your attention.

So we quickly move on to next week. Michigan has earned themselves half of a perfect season, the first since 1997, and that means that things are starting to get serious in Ann Arbor. They have two solid contests in the next two weeks before three weeks of patsies on the road to Columbus. First is what many are calling a "trap game" under the lights in Beaver Stadium, where the visiting Wolverines will come in ranked #4 for the first time since...you guessed it...1997.

The tailgate was completely ridiculous, full of first-timers, and overrun with a level of drunkenness and debauchery not previously observed. Exhaustion even had me down for the count. Perhaps the masses were not quite prepared for the longest home tailgate in UMTailgate.com history, as many stumbled in late to the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy, and some didn't make it at all. But in the end, it didn't matter. Get drunk, pass out...forget about it...with Michigan State, you can relax.

Game Two for Tupa

by Johnny Cleveland

I am sure these posts should come earlier in the day but I had to work. Anyway we are down 1-0 to the big bad Yanks, but we are definitely not out. Good News: I thought our overall performance was above average and we showed zero sign of intimidation. Our bats had life and little more timely hitting would have given us the lead and then who knows what would have happened. Bad News: We face Mike Mussina tonight and he is second all time in winning percentage against the Tigers. It is imperative to get some early runs and let Verlander relax. Hopefully Moose is not at 100%, he has been hurt (thumb).

Tonight's Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander 

Though he's just a rook, JV is low stress. For one he pitches to quickly to get your smoke lit in time for the next pitch, and also you know he is going to bring heat. Yes, it could be disastrous if his control is off and the Y's blast away with favorable counts, but I look for the youngster to be poised and have a nice outing.

Recap and Probables
Tonight is definitely a 3 to 4 pack game. I went with three since I have faith. As for last night, the "white boys" did about as expected, a combined 3 for 8. Spanish Main was solid, that is except for the captain. After praising his leadership, it turns out his missed hit and run could have been the turning point. All I am saying is that it was a good call but Pudge didn't get it done. And for all you that say Pudge should have bunted, you obviously haven't watched many games this year, cuz my man is a piss poor bunter and most likely would have popped out or led to a double play. Anyway we will not win with another 0'fer from Ivan, and unfortunately Mussina can K him just about every time. So prove me wrong again pudgy. Everyone in "Gangsta's Row" had a hit including Granderson who had 3. Keep it up fellas. Mags had a nice double but he's gotta have a multiple hit game tonight.

The Pitching and Coaching: Robertson did a nice job and again I would have like to see what would have happened had we scored, like we should have, in the second and third innings. I thought twice we should have brought righties in to face Jeter, first in the 6th with Nate still throwing, and then in the 8th with Walker on the mound. Other than that, Walker did a good job and as I predicted, if we saw Grilli and/or Walker, it probably wasn't going to be a good situation. Well at least all the big dogs in the pen are rested for tonight. We will definitely see Zumaya for some work and probably Rodney. If Jonsie is spotted, good news Tiger fans.

Goal #1: Get back here for Friday Night 1-1 and we will be the buzz of the sports nation! And what a nice Prequel to Saturday nights game it would be to see The Gambler put the pin striped pussies in a 2-1 hole. LETS GO TIGERS! and while I am thinking of it, EDEAN told me to tell ya all, "Fuck State".

TIGER PLAYOFF Preview

by Johnny Cleveland

Well, we sure pissed ourselves into a corner with our late season slump but everyone's record is the same starting today. And regardless of what anyone says, yes, we Tiger fans are just happy to be here. So here is the UMtailgate version of the preview of our series with the Bronx Bastards. Since Leyland got us here and has kept us smoking all the way until October, we rank each matchup/position with the amount of anxiety each causes us. The rankings are in packs of Marlboro Reds, the choice of our favorite manager. One pack = low stress. Four packs = high stress.

Corner Infielders (aka White Boyz) 

The corners are held down by our only position Caucasians. Our third basemen is one of the best athletes in all professional sports, B. Inge. On the other hand our first baseman, Sean Casey, is the worst athlete in all of sports. Together they are probably our most consistent everyday players as far as both fielding and hitting go. Neither will dazzle at the dish but I look for Casey to have a nice average in Oct. Inge will need to keep up his highlight reel defense for us to have a chance, and would someone please recognize this guy deserves a gold glove. I am confident they will have a great series for us.

Middle Infielders (aka Spanish Main)

I obviously include Guillen and Polanco in this but also add Pudge and backups Infante and Santiago. Spanish Main makes up the "main" production in the middle of our lineup, and our all Hispanic, hence the nickname. With Placido back we gain some much needed consistency in our lineup. I think Guillen will regain his defensive focus in October and hope he can swing a clutch bat. Pudge is the essence of a Detroit Captain; see Yzermen, Billups, Gibson, Isiah or Joe, and he also has the utmost desire to bring home a championship. We will go as far as he can push us, look for him to beat out an infield hit to give us a spark early in the series. Omar and Ramon should play minimal roles but if Thames is not 100% Infante may provide us an extra lead off hitter at the bottom of the lineup. I don't think this group will be intimidated by the Yanks, but they must produce at the plate.

Outfielders (aka Gangsta Row) 

Yes they have hit the dramatic blasts that have brought us back all season, but their free swinging at bats must be curtailed in the playoffs. Curtis absolutely must get on base regularly and also must be able to sacrifice/hit & run when necessary. Granderson is very young and has yet to be consistent in the aforementioned areas, maybe this will be his coming out party, lets hope so. Defensively Grandy and Monroe are fine, if we can keep the strikeouts and shallow pop ups to a minimum, we have more than a chance. Ditto for Thames if he is healthy enough to DH, hopefully he is feeling better cuz we need his pop in the lineup, especially if we want to keep pace with the run producing machine that is the Yankees.

Magglio (Hair Nation) 

He didn't really fit in to any other group so he gets his own. Mags is what he is and I suspect he will continue to be solid throughout the playoffs. Some timely big hits will be needed and he will be solid with the glove. He will not break his trot running the bases or running down fly balls, but like I said, Mags is what he is.

Pitchers (Evaluated Individually)

(I will save evaluation of the starters until it is their time to pitch. So I give you the pitchers that could appear tonight)

1. Nate Robertson (Game 1 Starter)

"Gum Boy" actually has had a tremendous season. Although only 13-13 he was plagued with absolutely shitty run support throughoutthe first half of the season and has had several quality no decisions and late losses as well. I am a little nervous throwing him to the dogs in game one at "the stadium" but if he can get through the early nerves, he should be solid.

2. Wilfredo Lodezma 

Probably pitching the best of all our staff at this point but looks to be destined for long-term relief in this series. Obviously long relief is a sign of an early deficit and one we hope not to face, however Wil is poised to stop the bleeding until our bats catch up and keep us in the game.

3. Grilli and Miner

Truthfully both are decent Righties out the pen, so the three pack stress level is not really for their ability, but if you see them coming out tonight we are probably in trouble. Unless we need one out in a situational at bat against a right handed hitter, they probably will stay in the bullpen for game 1.

4. Jamie Walker 

Basically the same as Grilli and Miner, except will be used to get out 1 or 2 lefties at the most.

4. Joel Zumaya 

Can have some control issues if he is too hyped up, but he gets us hyped up as well. If you see him tonight it should say we are still in the game late. I doubt skip will ask him to go a full two but a great four or five out outing tonight would be a great sign from our young fireballer.

5. Fernando Rodney 

Surely he will work slow in the eighth and walk a couple. This is when you go get the extra pack stashed away. A great sign if he's finishing the eighth but don't expect to be stress free, not the time to quit smoking.

6. Todd Jones

This is double stress time. First of all we are probably about to take the series lead if Jonesie is in there, second of all you know he's going make it interesting down right blood boiling nerve racking nuts. Chain smoke for Jimmy since he's gotta watch from the dugout, but lets hope his second half consistency brings home game one in the ninth.