Spring break means sun and sports

Brady Fredericksen

Spring bugs me sometimes. It’s a great time for the average college student – you get to go on a week-long vacation consisting of relaxation, parties and more parties – but overall it kind of stinks.

Really, with us living in Michigan, the whole idea of “spring” is kind of a myth. Yeah, it gets warmer out and people start to go outside more, but instead of the stereotypical flowers blooming and sun shining we get muddier grass and an even windier campus.

Enough complaining, spring does have a good side, and that’s sports. Baseball is getting into its spring training groove, and I know you love that. I bet you didn’t know that you had the fourth-ranked baseball team in Division II sitting right under your nose.

That team ended last season this close to a chance at playing for a national championship, and will work out the early-season kinks in their annual spring training trip to Florida this upcoming week.

You’ve got softball too, which hits more home runs than a buzzed up Josh Hamilton in the Home Run Derby. The No. 21 team in the nation will be enjoying the sun, and the diamond, this next week when they travel to the Sunshine State.

But seriously, these girls define the famous ’90’s Nike slogan, “chicks dig the long ball.”

There’s also a newcomer on the spring sports stage in women’s lacrosse.

They may be in their first year of existence on the varsity level, but after a trip to North Carolina this week, they’ll christen the new South Complex with their first home game on March 16.

Of course, aside from your sunburnt hangovers, you’re also looking forward to the Detroit Tigers kicking off their 2012 campaign, right?

That makes sense; the team possesses the most dangerous – and heaviest – No. 3 and 4 hitters in baseball. The only thing standing between the Tigers and the playoffs is nightly food poisoning for third baseman Miguel Cabrera and first baseman Prince Fielder.

Fielder is an interesting story. It’s totally reasonable to think that one of the best lefty power hitters in the league would thrive with the short right field at Comerica Park.

Put down the Koolaid and think about this though. When Cabrera, then one of the best hitters in the weaker National League, came to Detroit, he saw his batting average drop from .320 to .292.

That’s not a coincidence, that’s the American League being the NL’s bigger, better brother.

When you look at Fielder’s numbers last year, they’re great for power, but that .299 batting average is going to drop. That’s just what happens when you aren’t facing off against the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs twice a month.

Since we’re speaking reasonably, wouldn’t it be sensible for Fielder’s average to take a Cabrera-like hit in his first year in the AL? Say, instead of last season’s stellar numbers, he brings 2010’s .261 average, with good power, to the table?

That’s a little more likely, and really not bad. It’s definitely an upgrade Brandon Inge and Don Kelly every other day, too.

That’s all water under the bridge when they also boast baseball’s best pitcher in Justin Verlander.

Have you seen his new cereal, “Fastball Flakes?” They’re so good, and the fact that his name is on them makes the stale, store-brand taste that much better.

So, enjoy this next week, friends. Enjoy the sand, the sun and the something and Cokes over this spring break.

Those of us stuck here in Michigan will be enjoying “Fastball Flakes” and baseball – oh, and I hope it rains on you all week.

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