Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Big Weekend For M Sports

Michigan Baseball Captures Big Ten Title

With 1-0 and 4-1 doubleheader sweep of Iowa, the Michigan Baseball Team clinched its first outright Big Ten Title since 1997. The baseball team finished up the weekend with a 3-1 win over Iowa on Senior Day. Michigan is the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Baseball tournament and will play its first game on May 25 at the Fish.

The Big Ten Tournament seedings are 1) Michigan; 2) Northwestern; 3) Ohio State; 4) Minnesota; 5) Purdue; and 6) Illinois. Michigan and Northwestern have byes. Michigan will play the lowest seeded team remaining in the tournament after the first round. You can find the tournament release and bracket here. Its a strange way to run a tournament, but what the hell.

Making things even more exciting for the baseball team is the fact that the Regents approved 9 million dollars in funding for improvements to Ray Fisher Stadium. The improvements will include a new press box (a lot of that seems to be going around) and the addition of new conession stands, bathrooms, and a "blue" monster. Congrats all around to the baseball team.

The New Fisher Stadium

Michigan Softball Captures Regional Crown

Michigan's softball team required a little more nailbiting, but captured the NCAA Regional Championship in an eight inning win over Oklahoma, 5-2. The Wolverines move on to the Super Regional to face Tennessee in a best of three matchup over Memorial Day weekend. In the same announcement that marked the renovations of Fisher Stadium, it was declared that the women's Alumni Stadium will also undergo a major overhaul and expansion. The softball field will be expanded from its current 1,300 seat base to a whopping 3,100 seats. Its well deserved. Champions deserve a first class facility and its good to see the regents recognized that. The new design looks wonderful.

The New Alumni Stadium

Scottie Reynolds to Make Announcement Today

And out of the blue, Michigan is one of two schools left in the Scottie Reynolds sweepstakes. According to the Diag, who sites the Virginia Based "The Connection" newspaper, Reynolds is down to Michigan and Villanova. He is scheduled to make a 2:15 EST announcement on his decision.

The Diag also indicates Reynolds visit to Ann Arbor was a good one. After overhyping the Patrick Beverly decision, I'm trying not to do the same thing twice. Reynolds would be an outstanding addition to the Maize and Blue. Realistically, its just going to depend on where he felt most comfortable.

Should he commit to Michigan I've brought some steak sauce with which to eat my words.

Michigan Stadium Renovations

I'm sending the boys and girls at the Detroit News a box of cookies and a fruit cup. Not only did they have some great coverage of the Regent's decision, they even put up a graphic on the stadium.

I know its a crappy image, but looking at this I think the renovations should be fine. The architectural firm HNTB will be in charge of the renovations. According to the News, they handled the renovations for the LA Coliseum, Spartan Stadium, and Ross-Ade Stadium.

The Regents voted 5-3 to approve the changes. Resident evil deuchbag John Pollack is pissed. One of the stranger comments came from Regent Larry Deitch.

Deitch said the more prudent approach would have been to make stadium enhancements with funds from a small surcharge on tickets.

Um. Like seat licenses? Yeah. We've already covered that. Deitch went on to say that plopping down $226 Million on a stadium seems a bit out of line given the state's current economic status. I agree somewhat with him in spirit, but the realities of the financial investment that such a substantial construction project represent go beyond his current vision. In terms of labor, materials, and contracting, this project will pump in quite a bit of money. In addition, since the renovations are all funded through the athletic department, its not as though state funds are at stake. As long as costs a reasonably contained and the stadium's character is respected, I think its worth it.

You can find the official University Action Request and Mgoblue.com presser here and here.

Analysis and stuff after I'm caught up.


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