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Bacari Alexander's dream comes true, head coach at Detroit Mercy

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Posted at 10:40 AM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 10:41:10-05

In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

A dream comes true tonight at Calihan Hall in Detroit.

Bacari Alexander begins his first head coaching job at his alma mater, the University of Detroit Mercy. Alexander graduated with the Class of 1999.

The Titans open the 20-16-'17 men's basketball season against Adrian College at 7 p.m.

"It's almost the feeling like it's too good to be true," Alexander said Thursday. "To come back and become the head coach of Detroit Mercy, the way in which in occurred is so fairytale-like. It would be hard for people to believe it if you explained it to them."

Alexander, 40, was minding his business as an assistant coach at Michigan. When the job at Detroit Mercury opened up, Alexander - who helped lead his school to the NCAA tournament as a player - was first on the list.
"The excitement I have kicking off the heading coaching chapter of my career, I can't think of a better place to do it than at Detroit Mercy," he said.

Alexander said he caught the coaching bug when he worked camps and clinics in the summer as a player.

"Just to see the impact you can make in a young person's life for a short period of time, camps were just a week, it was sort of a epiphany, if you will," said Alexander, a Detroit native.

This will be Alexander's 17th season coaching. "It's been quite a blessing, upwards of 90 percent of the guys you had a chance to coach, earn degrees and go out and be productive people in the world," he added.

For the record, the Titans had almost always delivered on Opening night. In the school's recorded history, they are 80-29 all-time.

For Alexander, it would be another dream answer with a victory in his first game as coach. 

Miggy could be dealt
The idea that the Tigers could trade slugger Miguel Cabrera isn't a stretch at all. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Reports this week talked about the Houston Astros being interested in Miggy. And while it might not get the Astros that get the first baseman, it tells you that the Tigers will definitely listen to all suitors.

The Tigers are in serious cost-cutting measures. It might take three years of cutting for the Tigers to get back to a fiscally responsible level, according to GM Al Avila.

Dumping Cabrera's contract would make sense off the field for the Tigers. The game plan is to reduce that $200 million payroll that didn't produce a playoff spot for the second straight season.

Another team mentioned in the Cabrera sweepstakes is the Boston Red Sox. That makes sense. They need to replace the bat of David Ortiz, who retired.

Plus, it was Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski who traded for Cabrera when he was in Motown. Dombrowski got Miggy in a blockbuster deal from the Marlins.

Some will come for Justin Verlander as well.

But if you had to make a bet for the first big name moved this offseason, it's JD Martinez. He's set for a big payday after next season. The Tigers might try to head that off at the pass now.

JV wins award
There definitely a number of players who could have won, but it's hard to argue with the selection of Justin Verlander as Tiger of the Year.

The Detroit chapter of the BBWAA - of which I'm a proud member - announced his selection on Thursday.
Verlander received nine of a possible 22 first-place votes to capture the award for the third time in his career.

Ian Kinsler finished second (eight votes), Miguel Cabrera third (four votes) and Micheal Fulmer (one vote) fourth.
Verlander, 33, with the 2016 season with a 16-9 record, a 3.04 ERA and 254 strikeouts.
Verlander led the American League in strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. It was JV's lowest WHIP since 2011 when he posted an 0.92.

Verlander finished the season allowing three runs-or-fewer in 17 of his last 18 starts, dating back to July 1. Over the 18 game stretch, he was 9-3 with a 1.98 ERA.

In his 12 seasons with the Tigers, Verlander has compiled a 173-106 record with a 3.47 ERA.

J.D. Martinez earned Tiger of the Year honors in 2015. In 2014, the winner was Victor Martinez.