Full credit for several of these must be given to mgo.licio.us, just as valuable to the Michigan fan as MGoBlog is.
Softball bows out. We would've seen more of the three-game series against Baylor if the CSTV app didn't collapse into buffering every 15 seconds, but maybe we're glad we didn't. Lorilyn Wilson and Nikki Nemitz got rocked 9-0 in the opening game, Wilson taking the start and the loss. The Wolverines clawed out a 3-0 win Saturday to stay alive, but went down 4-0 in the rubber match. Baylor's top pitcher is a beast, not allowing an earned run for the series, and 1B Ashley Monceaux had 5 RBI, more than Michigan as a team.
Michigan gets at-large bid to NCAA baseball tourney. A season that began with a great deal of promise (and a Big Ten regular season title) fell apart down the stretch and into the Big Ten tournament. Getting swept out of the tournament when you're the #1 and hosting, well, it's a little embarrassing. That left the boys just shy of the magic number of 40 wins, but they still managed to get a #2 seed. But not all #2 seeds are created equal. Truth is that they're essentially the #32 seed nationally, playing in Nashville against the #33 seed in Memphis (which, you know, wouldn't have a small home crowd advantage), and even if they win, they then face national #1 seed Vanderbilt. We guess we're saying that if you're a Michigan baseball fan, don't build your weekend around breathless updates from Vandy. All of that said, Michigan is building something nice here, and with the facilities upgrades on schedule to be completed for next season thanks to the generosity of the Wilpon family, this could be, hopefully, the beginning of a return to baseball glory for Michigan.
Kelly Baraka is gainfully employed with the Kalamazoo Xplosion of the Continental Indoor Football League (Mascot: Xplodey the Coyote. No, seriously). We're glad for Baraka that he's no longer literally working at McDonald's, like he was last year. The Xplosion play their last home game of the regular season this Saturday, 7:00PM at Wings Stadium. Fear not if you can't make it; the Xplosion's 8-1 record guarantees them at least one home playoff game (HT: MSC).
Brian's Big Ten Network fisking is a must-read about something that, in the abstract, isn't a bad idea, but is lurching into existence in as disastrous a manner as possible, fueled by the hubris Jim Delaney's been dripping everywhere.
Crisler could get minor updates for 2007-08 season. We could not be more excited. The reality is that Michigan was not going to quickly get a new basketball arena built quickly, or is there even, necessarily, the money or desire to do so. However, there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with Crisler Arena that could not be seriously improved with some TLC. The lighting thing is huge. Crisler Arena has always looked poorly lit on television and it's a dark and shadowy place when you go there to watch a game. We're not saying it has to be Florida bright in there, but bringing in some experts to make the changes needed to make Crisler look better on television could be a small but important step to improving recruiting. The sound system upgrades are just an additional need. We just hope it doesn't mean that additional speakers mean additional calls for NOISE! NOISE! LOUD NOISES! The band is there for a reason.
Braylon Edwards pledging $1 million to fund scholarships. We realize that this is kind of old news, but we just wanted to take a moment to salute Braylon Edwards, one of our favorite Michigan players ever, for making a major financial commitment to improving the educational opportunities for deserving students. We realize that many athletes do good work like this and stories of them are put out there, but in an era where so many NFL players are being help up in the media as exemplars of bad behavior, it's nice to see stories like this. We're hopeful that this kind of thing can make a real difference in the lives of these young people.