LEYLAND SUBJECT TO CRITICISM

     Detroit Tigers fans have been frustrated much of this season, mainly because the team has a 32-38 record when expectations were high coming out of spring training.  There were several high profile off season deals which led to heavy advance ticket sales, but of course, the year has been a struggle.  Injuries to key pitchers have been a problem, but Fernando Rodney returned in relief last night in San Francisco.  He was part of a five run eighth inning in which the Giants cemented an 8-6 win that ended the Tigers' six game winning streak.  Rodney was thrown to the fire with the game on the line-- I heard fans moaning today that Leyland pulls pitchers at the wrong times, doesn't use righties vs. lefty hitters the right way, etc., and that Rodney needed some work in games where the outcome was not on the line before being put in the line of fire.  Look for the Tigers to make a deal prior to the July 31st trade deadline and clearly they need more starting pitching help.

     Suzy Merchant has landed a prominent recruit who will sign with the Spartans in November-- 6-4 Kelsey Smith from North High School in St. Charles, Illinois.   Smith will be a senior in the fall.  Her team went 23-6 last season while she averaged 16 points and nine rebounds per game.  She had Wisconsin and Marquette on her possibility list but liked her visit to East Lansing recently and decided to end her recruiting routine.  She is currently in France playing in a tournament for a Philadelphia based all star team.

     Beginning with the 2010 season, each Big Ten football team will automatically get a bye week.  That means the regular season will end the Saturday following Thanksgiving.  That means Michigan State will play Penn State one week later in their traditional season ending game after the holiday beginning in 2010.

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