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Come on MHSAA, make a decision …

Sweet(s) Talk . …

As the whole country feels the effects of the coronavirus, it hits home locally, in regards to the MHSAA “pausing” the completion of the boys and girls basketball tournaments. The Iron Mountain boys basketball team was set to host Calumet in the district finals and then the rug was pulled out from underneath everyone as the MHSAA postponed all games indefinitely.

The North Central boys basketball team was set to host arch-rival Carney-Nadeau on the same night in a district final. Same scenario, game postponed, putting round No. 3 of one of the fiercest high school boys basketball rivalries in Michigan on hold. There are other MHSAA events around the U.P and below the Mackinac Bridge that are in the same boat.

With so much unknown, “waiting it out” has been forced upon everyone in this situation — the student athletes that check social media as often as possible throughout the day, or pick up their cell phone every time it makes a noise or vibration, hoping with all they have that it’ll be a text or call from their coach, informing them the season could resume.

Tom Petty released a song, “The Waiting” (is the hardest part) for a reason I guess. Make a decision MHSAA, end the agony of the waiting game. …

Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci on Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell: “What he does with his roster, is what a juicer does with an orange. He will wring out whatever’s there, no matter the mess.”

Milwaukee is the smallest market in all of Major League Baseball, in a sport where there’s no profit/revenue sharing. General Manager David Stearns “plays with the hand he’s dealt” financially, yet the Counsell-ed Brewers have made back- to-back playoff appearances, a franchise who hasn’t done so since the Reagan administration.

Under Counsell and Stearns, the Brew Crew have expertly leveraged the expanded September rosters, with a MLB best 56-26 record since 2017, while playing in an ultra- competitive division, with fellow playoff team St. Louis, who’s always a formidable opposition.

The Brewers in the latter months of the last two seasons haven’t been afraid to shuttle pitchers back and forth from the club to the Minor League affiliates. If a reliever needed rest, he’d get sent to the minors and a fresh arm would be brought up. Last season, the Brewers sent Jake Faria, Taylor Williams, Jacob Barnes, Corbin Burnes, Ray Black, Jay Jackson and Freddie Peralta down or up 45 times combined. Faria, was sent down or brought back up 11 times alone.

On top of the musical chairs act he played with his bullpen, Counsell used many different lineup combinations throughout the season. Doing what has to be done to compete as the little fish in the big pond makes Counsell and Stearns seem like mad scientists at times. Baseball traditionalists might say they seem like Bunson and Beaker from the Muppet Show with the “out of the norm” decisions they collectively make. Until the playoff appearances stop happening, let the nay sayers scoff, they show their baseball knowledge, or lack thereof, by doing so. …

Two long-time sporting events that haven’t been canceled since the second World War, have been postponed due to public health concerns over the coronavirus. Nationally, The Masters, the world renowned golf tournament held each April in Augusta, Ga., is postponed indefinitely. Locally, the Gold Medal Classic in Hermansville has been postponed until April 16. When “Amen Corner” at Augusta National isn’t filled with fans — and the balcony at the Meyer Township Community Club isn’t filled with kids playing as the 80 plus-year old basketball tournament is going on –things are definitely amiss. …

The 2019 Detroit Tigers joined the Pirates, the original Senators franchise, the Orioles and the Mets as the only franchises with multiple 100-loss seasons. They also became the first team in the 2000’s to lose 110 games, on multiple occasions, dropping 119 games in 2003. With the remaining players from the team’s last contending squad in 2016 all gone, 2019 was probably the low point of the next few seasons for the Tigers.

General Manager Al Avila brought in short-term upgrades in the offseason in journeyman second basemen Jonathan Schoop and first baseman C.J Coron from the Minnesota Twins. With some young, up and coming prospects in their minor league system potentially ready to make their MLB debuts, things could be looking up in the near future. …

Along with high school sports ceasing, every professional and college sport has either postponed, canceled or pushed back the start their season. I’ve been frequently asked something: “What’s a sportswriter do with no sports to write about?” or “What are you going to do at work everyday Sweets, with nothing to write about?” My answer: I have been taking a mental break at some levels, regrouping for the high school spring sports season — that may or may not ever happen. Despite the fact that this situation has given me a much needed mental break, I wouldn’t have it any other way … for life to get back to normal, and the fast-paced and information-filled days I endure to return to normal. This, too, shall pass. …

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