The corner of Michigan and Trumbull will look far different a year from now than it does today. Earlier this week the Detroit Police Athletic League announced it reached its primary "Kids at the Corner" fund-raising goal of $12 million and will break ground in April on its new sports complex at the corner of Michigan and Cochrane at the old Tiger Stadium site.
The facility will include both PAL's 10,000 square-foot HQ and a multisport 2,500-seat stadium, giving some of PAL's more than 12,000 kids the opportunity to play at the historic site. The original playing field will remain, but will now be reconfigured to allow for multiple sports to be played. Larson Realty will develop the opposite corner across Trumbull into a mixed retail-residential area to be known as "The Corner." More contentious for many, PAL also announced that it will use synthetic turf rather than the grass currently growing on the site.
"I'm confident the project will honor the history of the site and provide a unique opportunity for PAL to grow service to all Detroit kids while becoming a destination for sports enthusiasts throughout the region," PAL CEO Tim Richey, during the announcement. (Via Crain's Detroit Business)
The Navin Field Grounds Crew, a group of volunteers who have kept up the field as a publicly open green space since the last remnants of the old stadium were torn down and removed in 2010, has vocally opposed the use of turf, saying that while it is excited kids of the city will get to play sports at the iconic corner, the plan "retains very little authenticity of the site." NFGC questions whether the redevelopment really will draw fans, and just how open the new site will be to fans. It also noted that natural grass is safer for children to play on than any form of turf, although PAL counters that claim with studies of its own.
Meanwhile as we are just days away from the Super Bowl, it's important to remember that the Tigers weren't the only team to play at "The Corner." The Lions used to call it home, too, from 1938-74.
Sparky Anderson was ahead of his time
Craig Calcaterra, readily admitting the offseason is stretching a bit too long, wrote Wednesday that former Tigers manager Sparky Anderson was "the first Millennial manager." Why? Because he went grey in his 20s, which apparently is a thing that is cool in New York City. The good news is, I'm getting cooler by the day.
Former Tiger Drew Smyly picks up arbitration victory; no ruling yet for J.D. Martinez
Pitcher wins don't matter. Unless it's an arbitration hearing. Former Tigers starter Drew Smyly will earn $3.75 million in 2016 after the arbitration panel ruled in his favor. The Rays hoped to pay $3.2 million. No word yet on J.D. Martinez's hearing with the Tigers. The two are $2 million apart. Chris McCosky of the News writes that there will likely be no losers in whatever deal Martinez and the Tigers reach.
Don't be a Slytherin
Pottermore revived the always popular Sorting Ceremony recently, and we all got a chance to once again prove we are worthy to be in the Gryffindor house. Or at least Hufflepuff, for some of us. Lookout Landing sorted themselves and the team's players into the different houses. Meanwhile D Rays Bay sorted its whole dang team. Which house do you fit with?
Other links to check out
- It's time to play ... THE FAMILY FEUD. We asked 1,947 people which Avila they prefer. Oh hey, it's Al!
- Lookout Landing explains how to talk to your children about the Mariners
- The return of spring training sounds great when you're in early February. And then you slowly descend into madness as soon as pitchers and catchers arrive.
- Cleveland's Cody Allen is one of the best relievers in baseball.
- Johnny Gomes is headed to Japan and is doing it for America.
- And finally: Marlins Twitter did a bad, bad thing.