Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions Television Network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college football and baseball.
Here, he answers a few of your burning questions.
Hometown? Farmington Hills, MI
Marital Status? Married, Lisa, with four children (3-boys 1-girl)
What High School did you attend? North Farmington HS
What is your Favorite sport to watch on TV and your favorite sport to attend in person?
Football on TV...hockey to attend
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Clint Eastwood/Mel Gibson.....Ashley Judd
Who is your favorite sports celebrity of all time? Wayne Gretzky
Bases loaded, two outs in the bottom of the ninth of the Game Seven of the World Series and your team is down one run...Which active baseball player do you want at the plate? Derek Jeter
Who is your favorite cartoon character? Bugs Bunny
What is your favorite national sports moment? Miracle on Ice
What is your favorite Detroit sports moment?
1984 World Series & 1997 Red Wings Stanley Cup
If you could change a rule in sports, what would it be?
I'd just like to see the strike zone called appropriately
What Detroiter do you admire most? Joe Dumars
College or Pro Sports? College
If you could invite three people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be? Jesus....my father (deceased)....my father-in-law (deceased) to see 'em one more time
What was your most interesting interview? Paul Newman at the Detroit Grand Prix
Favorite broadcaster of all time? Dick Enberg....but I really respect Joe Buck
Most embarrassing moment on the air? Stuttering during a line in a sportscast
What is your favorite Sports Team? Detroit Tigers
Shep's Daily Poll Question is brought to you by Art Moran Buick GMC
Last year when Miguel Cabrera was en route to the first Triple Crown since 1967, and vying for the MVP of the American League, there were national writers making a case on why Cabrera should NOT be the front-runner. Tiger fans were up in arms, and rightfully so. I still believe Detroit fans could appreciate what Mike Trout did (and still does) and how he affects a game. I just think fans here were insulted by the lack of respect Cabrera was receiving, and had to hold it against someone, so they held it against Trout.
It does make me wonder why Detroiters don't have the same feeling this season toward Max Scherzer, and his bid for the American League Cy Young Award. Scherzer is 18-1, and has done something only one other player has done since 1919, and that's win 18 of his first 19 decisions (Roger Clemens in 2001 the other). Yet, the names most frequently mentioned with the Cy Young this year are Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish and even Chris Sale. All are worthy of consideration, like Trout a year ago, but some are holding it against Scherzer that he gets the most run support. That's like holding it against Joe Montana that he threw to Jerry Rice or like holding it against Joe Flacco because the Ravens had a good defense last season.
I thought a pitchers job was to win. Scherzer has allowed two runs or fewers 17 times this season...which tells me whether his team scored it's average of six per game or not, he's giving his club a really good shot at winning. Historically, Cy Young Award winners have ranked outside the top ten in run support. But there have been plenty of examples where the run support stat hasn't been held against the winner: Roger Clemens was third in run support in 2001, Roy Halladay in 2003 had the fourth most runs per game; Cliff Lee ranked sixth in 2008. Ironic isn't it that Clemens in 2001 started 18-1 (20-3), but I can't recall many writers making a case for the other sabermetric stats. Mark Mulder had one more win, a better WHIP and better ERA, yet finished a distant second in the voting.
There are different ways to perceive the importance or dominance of a player. I just think Scherzer is being overlooked nationally, and even locally.