From the Spartan Sideline, Scarlet Knights Edition: Rutgers vs. Michigan State Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgThe Michigan State Spartans rebounded in strong fashion last week, throttling the Maryland Terrapins on the road from start to finish 37-15. As a result, the team has begun to crawl back around the top 10 in the rankings.

A strong finish is what they will need to ensure a top ten finish and an excellent bowl opportunity, and Saturday’s game would help them take another step in that direction. Rutgers is bowl eligible in their first year in the Big Ten, but certainly not an unbeatable final home foe in East Lansing.

What might the Scarlet Knights do to keep the game close or pull an upset? How can Michigan State send their seniors off on a positive note? Spartan Sideline previews the final home game of the year.  Continue reading

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Changes In Time, Basketball Have Helped Ensure No ‘Palace Malice’ Repeats

Ron Artest was all smiles in the days after the Palace Malice, an event that likely will never happen again due to changes in time. (Strange Botwin, Flickr).

Ron Artest was all smiles in the days after the Palace Malice, an event that likely will never happen again due to changes in basketball times. (Strange Botwin, Flickr).

If you’re from the state of Michigan, you likely remember what you were doing the night of Friday, November 19, 2004. It’s become one of sports’ few ‘where were you’ moments.

Perhaps you were going out to dinner, entertaining friends, catching a movie or even saying home to watch the Detroit Pistons take on the Indiana Pacers in a highly-anticipated match up. Maybe you had even ventured out to the Palace. Continue reading

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Spartan Jump Shots, Blue Devils Edition: Michigan State vs. Duke Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgAfter finding a mildly-successful start to the basketball season with a 64-59 win over Navy, the Michigan State Spartans prepare for their next challenge, which comes in the always difficult Champions Classic.

Lying in wait this year are the Duke Blue Devils, a team no stranger to success against Michigan State. Ranked within the early season top five, Duke looks tough again this season, and has plenty of high-flying scorers to give the Spartans fits.

How can Duke make it 9-1 against Michigan State? What do the Spartans need to do in order to pull the upset? Spartan Jump Shots returns to set the stage for another early season clash of the titans. Continue reading

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From the Spartan Sideline, Terrapin Edition: Michigan State vs. Maryland Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgFor the first time in their history, the Michigan State Spartans will tangle with the Maryland Terrapins in a battle of fellow Big Ten foes. The Spartans will be looking to bounce back in short order after falling flat against a motivated Ohio State team.

Maryland, meanwhile, will be looking to make a statement at home under the lights by upsetting the Spartans, who remained just on the outskirts of the top 10 despite the defeat. Considering that, it would be a program win for the Terrapins.

How can the Spartans avoid becoming turtle bait? Spartan Sideline is here for yet another week on the road to the Big Ten title. Continue reading

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Michigan State Spartans Can Bury “Same Old Spartans” Forever With Strong Finish in 2014

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgDefining the term “Same old Spartans” as it relates to Michigan State Spartans’ football can be a very complicated task.

Many hold that a Michigan State team acting as in an SOS fashion would lose big games on a national stage by making silly, frustrating errors that were avoidable.

In that sense, the SOS theme has already been long dead and gone. The flip side of that SOS coin, though, remains late season nosedives after painful losses on the national stage. Others hold that side of the term could still apply. Continue reading

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TDSS Roundtable: What’s Next With Victor Martinez Back in the Fold?

Detroit TigersThe Detroit Tigers made a critical move Wednesday, locking up DH Victor Martinez to a four-year deal, thereby keeping their cleanup hitter in the lineup. Where else should Dave Dombrowski be looking to upgrade as the offseason swings into full gear?

That’s part of our latest Roundtable discussion:

1. Victor’s back. Are you okay with the Tigers giving him a fourth-year and probably overpaying to keep him around?

Max DeMara: The Tigers had to keep Martinez around. Without him, the offense would look even worse and more inconsistent in 2015 than it did last season at times. Arguably, he was what carried Detroit through those critical months when Miguel Cabrera was not feeling well. With other 36 year-old players, you worry about a four-year deal, but Martinez seems like the type of person who could actually contribute value in the third and fourth year. He’s that special of a talent and competitor, and has shown no signs of slowing down. Plus, considering many felt Martinez would get nearly $80 million in a market void of an impact bat, $68 million might be a discount for Detroit.

Andrew Tomlinson: World Series Champions. Those are the only three words that will make this deal palatable. When I criticized the Mets’ deal with Michael Cuddyer to a friend he said, “the Mets have to win sometime this century.” This same friend criticized the V-Mart deal, but in reality they are both deals that came out of the same necessity: winning now. The Tigers only have a few years left to take a real run at a World Series. If Victor Martinez can help the team deliver that championship, then it is easy to deal with the fourth year on the deal.

Chris Burke: I have no issues with this deal at all. The Tigers are going to have to address their payroll at some point before 2018 anyhow, so may as well load up. And I mentioned this on Twitter (@DTownSportsSite), but I’m just as confident that Martinez will still be raking as a full-time DH come 2018 as that Miguel Cabrera will still be healthy and of MVP caliber. Detroit could not allow Martinez to leave.

2. What’s the next move that has to be made? Is it another look at the bullpen, someone in the outfield or something else altogether? Continue reading

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Victor Martinez Reportedly ‘Close to Re-Signing’ With Detroit Tigers

Victor Martinez will be back as the Detroit Tigers’ DH for 2015 … and much longer. According to FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers are “close to re-signing Martinez to [a] four-year deal”.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted shortly thereafter that the deal was in place:

The Tigers made it no secret that they wanted Martinez back as their DH and cleanup hitter, off a career season. However, earlier reports indicated that GM Dave Dombrowski was hesitant to give the 36-year-old Martinez a four-year deal — Miguel Cabrera’s back-to-back injury-plagued seasons playing a role there. Continue reading

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Detroit Tigers Free Agency: Joel Hanrahan in Talks to Retun on Minor-League Deal

The Detroit Tigers apparently are not ready to give up on Joel Hanrahan just yet.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Wednesday that Detroit may be on the verge of bringing the reliever back:

Continue reading

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