Mr. Hockey’s recovery ‘just mind-boggling’ (via The Windsor Star)

CPT133225371_highWhen the calendar turned to December, the last thing the Howe family expected was that they’d ever see their dad – Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe – with a hockey stick in his hand again, scoring goals.

When Dr. Murray Howe was first contacted by the San Diego-based Stemedica Cell Technologies, he was like most people, suspicious of what they insisted their stem-cell treatments could do for his 86-year-old father, bed-ridden by a stroke, his mind addled by the onset of dementia.

“He pretty much had one foot in the grave at that point,” Murray Howe said. “He wasn’t really eating. He couldn’t stand under his own power. He wasn’t really talking.

“We just hated to see him in the condition he was in. We were thinking he maybe had two or three weeks to live.

“We just didn’t want him to be lying in a bed for the last three weeks of his life.”

After consulting with brothers Mark and Marty and sister Cathy, the Howes figured what did they have to lose? So they took Gordie from Lubbock, Texas, where he lives with Cathy, to Mexico for the treatments, which have not been approved in North America, and are astonished by the dramatic turnaround in their father’s condition.

“We were just completely blown away by his response (to the treatments),” Murray Howe said. “I’m still astonished.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in medicine.” … Read More

(via The Windsor Star)

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Flying Tigers: Detroit finds relief, but at what price?

Last night, the Tigers traded two of their top pitching prospects, Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson, to the Texas Rangers in exchange for reliever Joakim Soria. My immediate reaction was that Knebel and Thompson were a steep price to pay for Soria (or virtually any single relief pitcher), but two realities likely drove up the price: 1) in general, it’s a sellers’ market, because league-wide parity (some might say mediocrity) at this point in the season means there are more buyers than sellers as we approach the main trade deadline, and 2) everyone knows the Tigers need bullpen help and therefore have Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski a little bit over a barrel when it comes to negotiation leverage. However you weigh the trade pieces here, Detroit had to make a move like this if it wanted to contend this October, and the equities certainly are not as imbalanced as they were in some of the Tigers’ preseason moves.

Soria is a thirty-year-old relief pitcher who was born in Mexico and spent the first five years (2007-2011) of his career in Kansas City. After sitting out all of 2012 while undergoing Tommy John surgery, he joined on with the Texas Rangers in 2013. While a glance at his numbers suggests that he picked up in 2013 where he left off in 2011 (in a hitter-friendly park in Arlington), he has been absolutely excellent so far in 2014.

I’ve had my eye on Soria since he popped up in serious trade rumors in the past week or so, and I haven’t found much to dislike about him. Continue reading

ALDLAND Podcast

It’s World Cup time, and ALDLAND is here to bring you coverage of the big event down in Brazil (although not live coverage, because our request for travel funds was denied). We talk surprises, not surprises, the United States of America, and how the United States of America is the most awesome country in the world. We also discuss at length how you should be ashamed of yourself if you were born in the US and root for another country over your nation of birth.

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Download the ALDLAND podcast at our Podcasts Page or stream it right here:

ALDLAND Podcast

Marcus and I are back to discuss the games we previewed last week, as well as talk about some of the exciting games on this weekend’s slate. Coaches on the hot seat and how hot those seats might be is another topic of discussion, as is our new favorite musical artist, “Mathers.”

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Download the ALDLAND podcast at our Podcasts Page or stream it right here:

Finally, something Americans have a difficult time extracting from Mexico

Unlike manufactured goods under NAFTA and drugs under a freer, if merely implicit, trade agreement, Americans seem to have the darnedest time extracting soccer “points” out of Mexico. As this story breathlessly explains, such points are “precious” and “rare,” and some wily north-of-the-boarderers finally managed to smuggle one out of the Valley of Mexico:

MEXICO CITY — The Americans were clinging to a scoreless tie, seconds away from earning a rare point in Mexico …

… and that’s all I can handle. I do think it would be cool to go to Mexico City and Estadio Azteca, but if I went all the way there for a game that ended in a 0-0 tie, I’d be trying to put some great spin on that too just to legitimate the expense and effort to myself, and when even NPR is repeatedly reporting on the abuse the home fans dish out on their American counterparts, I think I’ll wait until I can watch some local teams play the Aztec ball game as an impartial observer.