Knocking on the door

Fat Guy’s Corner

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Opening day at Comerica Park in Detroit, The Masters Golf Championship, Michigan in the Frozen Four Hockey Tournament and Red Wings hockey; how about that for a weekend of sports? Tremendous, I say.

The Red Wings tried hard to knock the Chicago Blackhawks out of the NHL playoffs with a 4-3 win on Sunday. The problem was the Minnesota Wild defeated the Dallas Stars and Chi-Town back doored into the playoffs. Oh well! Let’s get back to the Red Wings later.

Saturday night, the Michigan Wolverines were looking for their 10th NCAA Hockey Championship against Minnesota Duluth. Minnesota Duluth was looking for championship number one. I thought Michigan was outplayed the entire hockey game and was lucky the game even went into overtime. The goalie for Michigan stood on his head to keep his team in it. Michigan’s season ended when UMD scored in the first overtime giving them a 3-2 decision. It was a fabulous run by the Wolverines and they will look back when the pain of the loss leaves and realize it was a great run.

Opening day in Detroit did not disappoint me, once again. I went down to the game with friends and the root beers tasted great, as always. The day began with rain, but turned to sunshine around game time. I actually stayed inside the ball park for the entire nine innings! A first for me in a long, long time.

The Tigers pulled off a 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals and the party in Motown was rocking. Anyone who has not attended an Opening Day baseball game really should; it is quite the event. The Tigers’ season as a whole has been sub par so far here in 2011. Kansas City took the next two games to win the series. The Tigs sit at 3-7 and have numerous question marks already one week into the season. My biggest concern is the lead off spot where Austin Jackson looks horrible at the plate. He whiffs at the plate like I whiff at a Weight Watchers menu. Sixteen-ounce steak and a loaded baked potato, please! Jackson needs to get out of the lead-off spot

and move down in the lineup. He needs some confidence, not to mention your lead-off hitter can’t whiff 150 to 200 times a season. Another problem I see, is Brad Penny hasn’t looked very good on the mound. He is going to give up the Big Fly (home runs) in bunches. I can see that already. The Fat Guy is trying not to let panic set in just yet. Let’s just stay I am on alert with eyes wide open!

The Masters was one exciting stretch run on the front and back nine last Sunday. Rory Mcllroy shoots 80 and implodes like no one has in numerous years. I felt sorry for the 21- year-old kid, actually. He played so brilliantly for 54 holes. Tiger made a run at a fifth Masters win. The back nine had eight potential winners in this 20011 Masters. Charl Schwartzel birdied the last four holes and the green jacket was his. Who is he? I ask. I don’t know, but he is in the Masters’ list of winners.

Jason Day and Adam Scott finished tied for second two shots back. I enjoyed watching this Masters, as drama was unfolded on every single hole all day long. I believe it will go down as one of the best Masters of all time! It was that good.

The Red Wings’ and Phoenix Coyotes’ playoff series begins on Wednesday night at the “Joe”. These two teams squared off in last year’s playoffs in round one. Detroit won that one in seven games with game seven in Phoenix. I hope this one does not go seven. Five games sounds better to me.

Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov can be real tough between the pipes. He can steal a series for sure. Phoenix plays a solid, consistent hockey game. They won’t beat themselves, in other words. Detroit has been inconsistent of late on the ice. Will Henrik Zetterberg be out long with his knee injury? Will Jimmy Howard respond better now that he is a second-year pro rather than a rookie playoff goalie? We shall see, because it’s octopus time and Hockeytown is ready for a Stanley Cup run! I am seeing Red Wings in six over Phoenix.

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