For West Michigan Whitecaps head coach Andrew Graham, transition is an inevitable piece to the puzzle. The former minor league catcher wrapped up a strong showing in his first year as the face of the Detroit Tigers single-A organization, including guiding his team to a first-half Midwest League Division championship, qualifying for a visit to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and finishing 82-58 on the year.
Take away an occasional strong wind and the eighth annual Yellow Jacket Challenge (YJC) was perfect. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, with temperatures in the 60s, nearly 500 people participated in the annual 5K, one-mile walk and youth fun runs, which benefits Greenville Public Schools.
Something is going right in the city of Detroit. Detroit, you say? The city where dreams of professional athletic grandeur have gone to die a slow and painful death for so many years?
The eighth annual Yellow Jacket Challenge will take place in just seven days. The Yellow Jacket Challenge consists of a 5K-run, a one-mile walk and the young Yellow Jacket fun runs. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Education Foundation of Greenville. Proceeds are used exclusively for wellness, exercise and nutrition programs throughout Greenville Public Schools.
As Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo ascended the ladder Sunday evening at the Carrier Dome, a genuine smile was spotted on the face of the veteran. With a pair of scissors, Izzo snipped the final piece of the remains of the net from the hoop, turned to face the crowd and exhibited not one, but a pair of fist pumps.
When the Detroit Red Wings made the decision to produce a fresh face for their American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids, they appear to have landed the golden ticket in the form of head coach Jeff Blashill. Since Blashill’s arrival in West Michigan, the Griffins franchise has seemingly discovered a way to win and do it with consistency. This season being no exception.
It’s here. Call it fortune, call it mystique, but at the end of the day, it discovers a way to routinely set the stage where some of the finest moments in collegiate basketball are stamped in history.
The winds of change are blowing once again in the Motor City. So, prepare those Taylor Swift ballads, kids, but remember, it’s not you, it’s him. Just as the Detroit Tigers have settled in to accepting the absence of Max Scherzer, they may now be in the perfect position of offering a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to their football neighbors — the Lions — across the street as they prepare to deal with a departure of their own.
Professional sports, in any walk of life, are a curious thing. Each embodies its own complexities, its own rituals and finds its own identity in the culture it creates.
Spring training is a time of optimism for Major League Baseball fans, players, management and even media. It’s a fresh start, with new hopes and new dreams. The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising — at least in Arizona and Florida — and optimism is bursting at the seems.