Hondo S. Carpenter

Hello folks!

Thanks again for taking the time to read Spartan Nation.

  • I had the privilege of hosting a pre-game Cottage Inn Pizza party for some of the Izzone today. I want to tell you that we are very fortunate to have such great kids that support the green and are part of the Izzone. The privilege was mine as my kids got to meet the young folks and see these great young Spartans. To all of you in the Izzone that came, thank you. You are a truly important part of Spartan basketball!
  • I am really concerned about the game today. I obviously think that MSU has the better team; the question is whether or not that team shows up? O.K. here is my prediction: MSU comes out hot and takes it to the pesky Wolverines; make it MSU 68 UM 55!
  • The San Diego Chargers have decided not to place the franchise or transition player status in Drew Brees. That means that if the Chargers do not sign the QB from Purdue to a deal by March 3, that he will be a free agent. A source close to the Chargers told me today that Brees is recovering well, and is confident that he will be ready to play for the 2006 season. Who knows what the Lions would do, but Brees name circled in D-town often when San Diego said they wanted to keep him.
  • As pitchers and catchers gather in Florida for the Tigers spring training, one thing one observer told me late last night rings true, that this spring training has the Tigers being a lot more fundamental. He told me that the Tigers are spending a good deal of time fielding and practical things that may have been lost in the past. I am also told the new manager Jim Leyland has wasted no time setting a new course. We have some power on this team but he will look to last years World Series champs, the Chicago White Sox and play some of his national league small ball.
  • MSU hockey last night took on the Miami of Ohio Red Hawks and won 3-2. A tie or a win tonight will make this a hugely successful weekend for MSU hockey and also make a big statement to Rick Comley’s critics!
  • The Olympic break came at a good time for the NHL’s best Detroit Red Wings. Yes, the have a lot of players in the Olympics but they also have some key guys getting a lot of rest. I talked to one Red Wing source today that told me that they couldn’t be happier with Coach Babcock and the direction of this team.
  • As the Lions coaches begin the tedious chore of breaking down tape and literally analyzing each and every position, one thing is for sure. This coaching staff isn’t trying to be anyone’s buddy, and this staff isn’t taking any crap. Marinelli has hired two men with his no nonsense style. Both me will expect game performance in every mini-camp and practice. One Lions player told me that “I love the way this thing is shaping up, I love Mooch but we needed what I think we got!”
  • Make no mistake, the Magic will not being very good this season, and if the conditional #1 draft pick that they gave the Pistons is a lottery they will keep it. The good news is that they will be terrible next season also and that pick won’t be protected. That said, this move was more then this pick, it was really an opening of salary cap commitment that will allow them the room they need to keep Big Ben and ChaBill in D-Town long term!
  • It’s only 7 months and 17 days until the MSU UM football game!
  • Former Tigers pitcher Jeff Weaver has agreed to terms with the Anaheim Angels. He had to talk to his brother Jered, who may thought would get the 5th spot I the rotation until his brother Jeff signed. After Jered told his brother Jeff to go for it, he did.
  • I am not a big aficionado of NASCAR, but it is growing on me. That said, I think that having met so many of the drivers, and been around it now, that Jeff Gordon will win the cup this season.
  • The bachelor, Jesse Palmer has signed on with the San Francisco 49ers. That makes a crowded group but Palmer, is considered by the organization to have a good chance to make it as a #3.
  • It looks like according to a NFL source from a different team then the Bucs, that Griese and the Bucs may be headed to a parting of the ways. With the impressive play of Chris Simms, that makes the Bucs wanting some cap relief and Griese and his agent not wanting to play.

Thanks everyone, hug your loved ones and remind them that you love them!

H

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