Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Dust has a new home

Come read us at http://www.lbpost.com/

Its lively, very up to date, and has room for archives and comments!

Best wishes

Dr. Dan

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Notes and quotes have been piling up in the Dust Bin so sit back, don’t complain about quantity versus quality, and enjoy, in no certain order, these updates on some of our favorite people and places.

First of the “where are theys” is CIF associate commissioner Rob Wigod who worked the Century Club dais Tuesday night with a bunch of gems…his slide show featured a lot of former CIF southern stars including of course C Club member Misty May….quip, “I guess we have added Misty and took out Tiger!”…Misty is actually one of his student’s in that sports management masters program at Concordia…”I would have thought that she would be constantly asking for favors or to miss class but she is one of the most dependable students I have”…most of his chat was about winning with ethics and the proper mix of athletics and academics…he said that athletics is just a different way to learn, a “platform” that just can’t happen in a history class…

Another drop-in icon was hall of Famer Skip Rowland who had a huge grin seeing his old student Wigod who himself had a 14 year run as a coach at Lakewood…anyhow it was a night for Wilson who had just won the state title and are on to the American Legion Western Regional, after beating defending champs San Bernardino in the State Final last night by an 11-5 score…insiders say the win is even more impressive since the Legion rules allow teams to use recent high school grads and college kids…Wilson played with all high schoolers…Regional winners will play in the World Series Aug. 13-17 in Spokane, Wash.

Present and past Dirtbags Dept….Cape Cod in the summer is the home for college wood bat baseball and the Brewster Whitecaps are enjoying Andrew Gagnon of Long Beach State who has five wins and a impressive 1.69 ERA got the start in the leagues all-star game…the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League is home for Devin Lohman where his skipper with the Mustangs is Delino DeShields, who played 13 seasons in the big leagues

Insiders say the next Karina Figueroa for the Beach ladies could be Sendy Valles a three player that can play minutes at the four with an “unbelievable scorer's mentality. She never takes any play off. When it comes to a hustle player and someone who can make an impact on both ends of the floor…”
Ex Dirtbag Jeff Baumback, beat out 30 candidates for the vacant head baseball coaching position for the Redondo High Seahawks…Jeff lived in the shadow of Jered Weaver but was a very solid pitcher.

As you know Long Beach State led the way with three former players on MLB All-Star rosters, while Arizona State was close behind with two representatives. Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Jered Weaver (LA Angels) and Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado) were the Dirtbags, and Dustin Pedroia (Boston) and Andre Either (Los Angeles Dodgers) lead the way for the Sun Devils.

That fund raiser for wheel chair racer Jim Knaub at Tatalum did very well, something like $20,000 for the local man with the international rep…
Newest LBSU baseball face is Jesse Zepeda, who played under Larry Lee at
Cuesta College before seven years at Cal Poly…he and the Buckley bunch are busy sifting the unsigned guys to complete their year one squad…his other stops were at Righetti High School, Fresno State (1993), Cuesta College
(1994) the University of Oklahoma (1995-96), 23rd rounder with
the Detroit Tigers then the Toronto Blue and finally the Solano Steelheads who played in the same league as the late and great Armada…

Where is Kelly Field, the popular LB SAR ticket manager…gone from LB along with a bunch of other staffers who have turned in keys since the end of last semester Kelly, a hit with the big buck boosters is now in Irvine with the Paciolan ticketing system…but the twist is that LBSU will go into the fall with new software, this from, cough, cough, the Titan ticketing system which is a product of Jump TV…

Back inside look for the basketball contest in the Wooden tourney between LB and St. Mary's game to be in front of a large crowd by the 2nd half as UCLA and BYU fans arrive for the night cap…popular Niner administrator has moved up the food chain when Arkansas named Brian Pracht as its associate athletic director for marketing earlier this week….Pracht joins the Razorbacks after a seven-year stint at Wichita State and previous stops at Long Beach State and the Southland Conference….Pracht will have oversight of marketing, promotions, ticket sales, licensing and working as the staff liaison for International Sports Properties/Razorback Sports Properties…These are very similar to Pracht's duties as senior associate athletic director for external operations at Wichita State. He also oversaw media relations and ticket sales in addition to marketing duties and worked with the Shockers' broadcast rights holder…while at WSU, marketing programs helped the Shockers sell out 47 consecutive men's basketball games in a 10,502-seat facility, helped the men's basketball team record a streak of 90 consecutive regular season home games with an attendance of 10,000 or more, increased the average attendance of baseball to more than 4,000 per game and increased the average attendance of volleyball to more than 3,000 per match…He helped direct a $4.7 million fundraising campaign for an indoor baseball practice facility, increased corporate sponsorship revenue by 90 percent since 2003 and negotiated television contracts with cable partners.

If your worry about hypocrisy of the MLB kind think about young Wes Mugarian who said his life has been pointed toward playing pro baseball but signed to play college baseball at Alabama…after the HS star signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds (fifth-round selection, No. 157 overall) in the June amateur entry draft he got a $198,000 bonus with several interesting perks…if he does go to college he gets $20,000 per semester from Cincinnati through the College Scholarship program. The Reds also agreed to fly Mugarian and his parents, John and Caroline, to Cincinnati on Sept. 10 during the Reds’ series against Pittsburgh at Great American Ballpark and later to the team’s spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz., next year.
And from the Golf Channel, Paul Goydos gave the quote of his lifetime in his self effacing way after his second place finish last month, helped by a record 59…"Most people try to 'shoot their age'.... I shot my height."…checks or cash will be welcomed by Ryan Ressa (ex-UCLA) who was named the new LB men's golf coach Served as an assistant last year for the Bruins and spent time at Duke, San Diego and Washington…

Another home town item was that Long Beach State has appointed Sei Furutani as Assistant Director of Marketing, joining Long Beach State after spending the previous two years at UCLA in the Bruins' marketing department….Furutani will be responsible for overseeing the primary marketing of the baseball, women's volleyball, women's basketball, and cross country/track and field programs. He will also manage the Junior 49er Kids Club and all efforts associated with online social mediums…Furutani also has prior experience with Long Beach State, receiving his M.A. in sport management …oh yes his dad is the longtime political figure Warren F…

The Tampa Tribune did a nice feature on Downey the town where Evan Longoria was raised, and who is now one of the most recognizable and marketable players in the game…”he has made so much money and is so famous, but he hasn't changed," longtime friend Adam Lands said. "There's not a day goes by when I don't either speak to him on the phone or share text messages.”…Longoria's father, Mike, a regular still at Blair, has worked in the Long Beach Unified School System maintenance department for 17 years. His mother, Ellie, keeps him grounded - at least that's what Mike says.
"Even now she's like, 'Why do people get so excited?'" he said. "I tell her, 'Well, he's a star.' But when I say that, it still amazes me. He's still my son. And when he comes home he's not Evan Longoria, the baseball superstar." The Trib picked up proof, You want proof? When Mike said, "OK, boys, its trash night," Evan and his two younger brothers knew the drill and lugged the cans to the curb.

Jeff McNeil, who originally signed with Cal State Northridge before the Matadors purged their old coaching staff (including former Niner pitching coach Steve Rousey), is coming to work in the wide open, pitcher-friendly, spaces of Blair…Jeff got his release from CSUN and has verbally committed to play for the 49ers. “They’re a great baseball school,” said McNeil, a first-team all-county shortstop who hit .446 with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBI last year. “I definitely feel like I upgraded. They’ve made the College World Series a few times, and some great players have come out of there.” He is part of a large Dirtbag class of 21 recruits…

The don’t call it the Buckley rule but slow work by college pitching staffs came to the attention of a NCAA committee who ruled to speed up the game. Now, there will be a 20-second limit between pitches when no runners are on and a 90-second limit between innings during non-televised games. On of my readers likes the idea because it might save on the butane that heats their night time baseball seats…

Closing our theme column on where are theys is Paul Goydos, the 1988 LBSU finance major, who has over a million in PGA winnings this year for the fourth straight season… still figuring the game out is 2002 marketing major John Mallinger who had three big years and 1.7 mill, struggling with a mere $318,000 this year.

A close friend of his had this comment on how he went from the lead at Reno to a final round of five bogeys, one of them a quad, that is a nine, on number nine…”John tried to win it on #9; IMO that was a huge mistake, as I think you plod along until the last 2-3-4 holes and then make your gambling decisions. I really think he should have tried to hook a 5 or 6 iron down the right side on #9 and if he gets up and down for par, great, if not, he is 1 back and playing well. But he brought potential disaster into play with the wood over the trees shot, and he was then done. Oh, he made a mini charge on 10 thru 12, but a hole like that 9 is just going to catch up to you, and it did for him on 14-15-16-17 and that stretch cost him well over $100K.”

Last of the links notes is our where is former LBSU women golf all Big Wester Lee Lopez who was stolen by UCLA last year. Still not forgiven by the home town folks, Lee is cuddling the second place trophy from the prestigious 89th annual L.A. City Women's Championship. The winner, oh yes, is LBSU junior Monica Villarreal…sweet revenge

My closing quote is from a school reunion date…"I don't want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school."—DR. DAN

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Moving these messages into my blog but happy to send them along to the Dust Direct readers who have shared their email with me. Of course you can do that RSS feed deal on BlogSpot and they will send you new postings as they arrive, however; I ain’t smart enough to tell you how that works.

Item one is the Saturday celebration of life (which usually means of course that a dear friend has died) for Bob Seymour. They called him coach for his 30 plus years as a teacher and coach in the Long Beach--Stanford, Franklin and Rogers middle schools. The post-funeral reception will fittingly be held inside the Bob Seymour Gymnasium on the Stanford Middle School campus (5871 E. Los Arcos) around noon on Saturday. His former students, family and friends will reminisce and miss Bob but my reason has to do his performance court-side more than on the court. Bob and his late wife Joan were generous to many causes including LBSU and the Cal Heights Methodist Church where the 11 a.m. funeral will be held. They had two platinum row seats in the Pyramid and although my press pass would get me in the building I wasn’t supposed to crash those prime seats, but, the wit and wisdom of Bob was just too tempting. So after scanning the sidelines for athletics brass I would try—the word is try—to look small and sit down and get his thoughts on the proceedings, coaches, tactics and kids. An added bonus was that two seats down was the late Dr. John Kashiwabara so a seat between those two brilliant guys was pure bliss. Ultimately I would get so immersed in following the analytical offerings of Bob that I would get busted by the Gucci Row patrol and banished to another location but every time I got caught I was willing to do my time because of I really enjoyed the crime. RIP Bob.

Back to the future the web boarders, as opposed to the water boarders, report that all eight of the Dirtbag draftees including juniors Jordan Casas and Jonathan Jones has signed. Money ball you asked, the board guys say that “Jake Thompson ($555K), Devin Lohman ($363K) and Joey Terdoslavich ($125K) all signed for about "slot money" and are the only ones with their bonuses listed in Baseball America’s database because they were drafted in the first ten rounds. “ The other three likely got a portion of a pick up truck, translated less than $50,000.

Our MLB.com pal Mike McCall has a nice piece on former Dirtbag now Mariners left-hander Jason Vargas who clearly is” having his best year of his career, and he's doing it with the same even-keeled demeanor and team-first mentality that has always made him a manager's dream. He's confident, even-tempered, and positive. Those are the three things that come to mind," Mariners skipper Don Wakamatsu said. "He's a very level-headed kid. Even when you see him on a golf course, he's very consistent emotionally. He's mature for his age, and his work ethic is outstanding." Mike then tells this interesting story that compliments the new Dirtbag boss, Troy Buckley. “… as a junior at Long Beach State in 2004, Vargas entered his team's dugout during a game against Miami and walked into a major chewing-out from then-pitching coach Troy Buckley.

The Dirtbags had dropped the first two games to the Hurricanes in the South Florida heat, and in the third, Vargas had allowed four runs in two innings.
He gave up a home run, hit a batter, and walked three -- a sloppy start that provoked Buckley to try a bit of dark humor. He told head coach Mike Weathers he was going to fake a tirade at Vargas and see what happened next.
He pulled it off without breaking character, even telling Vargas he was finished calling pitches. "I said, 'I'm done, I'm not doing it. It doesn't matter what I call, because you can't put it where I want you to put it,'" Buckley said. "He just looked at me. It was the first time I'd ever gotten on [him]. ... He thought I was dead serious, and the whole dugout did, too. I had to fake it well to see how he would respond, and he totally did." Vargas threw four scoreless frames after the exchange -- even adding a two-run homer -- and though LBSU wound up losing by a run, Buckley had seen exactly what he was hoping for. And he never told Vargas he was kidding. Last add, I am not a souvenir collector but I still Jason’s home ruin ball from Cal even he has a nice swap in mind.

It is really old news but I enjoyed the quip that USC football got “Death Penalty Lite” for their loss of “Institutional Control.” That was on my mind at the recent Gooch Invitational golf fund raiser where I saw Dennis Dummit who was busy winning the tourney at Big Rec on Saturday and was willing to answer my question about what advice he would give to folks connected with the current USC football scene. Dennis I should note was an all star QB for UCLA in 1970 when the Bruins smacked SC 45-20 but is active all over town. “I think that the problems won’t be evident this fall but the loss of scholarships the years after that will really have a profound impact.” The e NCAA sanctions imposed scholarship reduction in the amount of limiting the program to 75 total scholarship players and no more than 15 players signed to a new scholarship for each of the next 3 seasons. Oh yes, and the 2 year post-season ban for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Back on the Jake and shortstop U stuff---The Rays have high expectations for Thompson with executive vice president Andrew Friedman telling the St. Petersburg Times, “We feel like he’s got a chance to move through the system pretty quickly.” Thompson joins Evan Longoria (1st round, 2006) and Jason Corder (7th round, 2008) as recent Dirtbags drafted high by Tampa Bay….the D 49er noted, “Lohman, second-team All-Big West, was selected 94th overall by the Cincinnati Reds. Lohman hit .404 in 2010, becoming the first Dirtbag to hit over .400 for a season since 1998. “Shortstop U” added another name to the list with Lohman getting drafted early. He joins Danny Espinosa (3rd round, 2008), Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki (1st round, 2005), Bobby Crosby (1st round, 2001) and Chris Gomez (3rd round, 1992) as other Dirtbag shortstops taken in the first two days of the draft. And Joey T said, “I enjoyed Long Beach very much and loved everything about it,” Terdoslavich said. “The coaches, my teammates, the school and the weather, I loved my experience here. I just wish it translated onto the field. I learned a lot here.” Atlanta looks like a good fit for Terdoslavich with current Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, a future Hall of Famer, approaching the end of his career. “It really is the perfect fit for me,” Terdoslavich said. “They want to keep me at third base. With Chipper Jones getting older and no third baseman in the farm system, I might be able to make it up pretty fast.”

The other Bags packing their bags were left-handed pitcher Jason Markovitz and outfielder Jonathan Jones were the last two Dirtbags selected on day two of the draft. Markovitz went to the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round and Jones was picked in the 29th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Senior Steve Tinoco was the first of three Dirtbags selected on day three. The Rays took the LBSU first baseman in the 34th round after Tinoco put together a solid senior year. He finished the 2010 season hitting .348 with 45 RBIs and ended his career as a Dirtbag with 116 RBIs, 11th most in program history. Junior Jordan Casas was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 40th round and, according to The Californian; he will forgo his final year of eligibility at Long Beach State and sign with the Indians. Senior TJ Mittelstaedt, the last Dirtbag taken, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 44th round. Mittelstaedt leaves Long Beach State as the school’s career triples leader and ranks in the top-5 in walks with 105 over his four-year career.” Last add on the upbeat, the list of iincoming arms will include Pacifica High pitcher Jordan Deitrich, a 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds power thrower who was 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 65 strikeouts as a senior last spring.

Our closing quote comes from Molly who has tickets near the Seattle Mariners bull pen. That is where non-star Jason Phillips works and explains why was perusing the Safeco stands just over a year ago looking over some of Seattle’s finest talent. The catcher, who spends more than half of his gameday in the bullpen finally met eyes with a business woman entertaining clients. ….”If we go extra innings, I’m gonna make a move, that’s gotta be a sign.” The game with the Oakland A’s went into extra innings. Phillips grabbed a baseball, scribbled his number on it, got the woman’s attention and tossed it to her. And for the rest of the game, he was left to wonder how she’d respond. Molly said yes to the first date and now, a year later, to the wedding date.—DR. DAN

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Last weekend a gentleman you probably don’t know worked 12 innings in a loss by his beloved Irvine Anteaters and I don’t use the word "gentleman" lightly. Mark Roberts is the sports voice of UCI, and this time of the year he broadcasts the games of what some call “the new sheriff in the Big West.” Unlike many in his profession he is uncommonly fair to opponents, so much so that one of his signature sayings (when analyzing an opponent) is, ”Make no mistake…” as he reminds his rabid partisans of the other team’s talent.

Back to last Saturday. Mark was the last broadcaster on America’s college baseball airwaves (it was 10:45 p.m.) announcing a 12 inning 15-12 Big West Conference baseball loss to UC Riverside. Roberts very likely was ready to sooth the tonsils with an adult beverage when a surprise party with about 150 attendees saluted his birthday (actual year undisclosed, but his hair-dresser does a great job.) That "make no mistake" line resonated with me thinking about this weekend - Long Beach can win if they make no mistakes. The team has made 67 scorebook errors and a countless number of mental errors. The pitchers have had a tendency to dig moderate-to-deep holes early on, forcing a lot of late inning prayers in the direction of the scoreboard. It happened on Tuesday in the 9-8 survival moment over Pepperdine when the Bags fell behind 5-0 after two and a half innings, then rallied behind Hoime, Jones and TJ. Mike Gillespie’s lovable marsupials from UCI lost contact with son-in-law Chad Kreuter’s hapless Trojans early and USC won that Tuesday tilt 8-1. The weekend pitching plan for the Eaters does not include injured Golden Spikes nominee Daniel Bibona and his 9-2 record …the other three guys are pretty good though, Bergman, Brock and Pettis…LB will use Drew Gagnon Friday and Thompson Sunday and “we’ll just see” on Saturday.

GRAD WEEK DUSTING—…one of the Tuesday stars was little-used Tre Dennis, who had a two-run double and scored a run before he took his walk Wednesday as an LBSU graduate…which reminds me, please decline any handshakes with President Alexander, he will have squeezed 9200 sweaty-palmed new alumni by game time…on Tuesday, Weathers had Devin Lohman swinging a bat in the Blair Field tunnel (“he’s ready to do his Kirk Gibson thing”)…Anteaters are hungry for a post-season position, but make no mistake the Niners believe that if you've got lemons - it’s time to start selling Mike’s hard lemonade…back to the Niner names in the news, but absent in recent box scores, pro scouts will select both Lohman and Thompson some time after their draft show begins on June 7th… Fullerton has already won the Big West and Irvine will get the second conference invite and be sent somewhere the Titans won’t. Possibilities are at UCLA, if the Bruins decide to ante up the dollars needed to host, but the Anteaters would probably prefer to go where nobody knows their name (or has a scouting report)…Other than sending a handful of his freshmen and sophomores to play in summer leagues, new Head Coach Troy Buckley is ready to pack this year away…off-topic word is that former ladies hoop assistant Jason Flowers will be the new head coach at Northridge…. Fox College Sports has the national title game for Long Beach State. Oh yes, vs. Drexel. Oh yes, on June 4th. The Sport—what kind of fan are you?—it is PAINTBALL!!.. Sunday marks the final game for five seniors, including three who have spent four years with the program: reliever Markovitz, hitter Tinoco (.329 career) and iron-man Mittelstaedt, 189 games as a Dirtbag, seventh-most in program history…Houston Bob made a sixty-minute visit Tuesday and then took the BP corporate jet back to some kind of oil spill in the Gulf…the other BWC cellar dweller possibility is UCSB, who travels to Pacific this weekend. Neither team will finish first, but one or both could finish, well, you know where…The puzzling part of the Beach baseball story is that all of this is happening when the Dirtbag alums are so successful in major league baseball…Cesar Ramos and Jeremy Reed recently went to the show and worth repeating, the combination of Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki combined for five RBIs in Colorado’s 11-7 win Sunday at Kansas City and last night the old Bags totaled three RBIs in an 8-2 win over Arizona—DR. DAN

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It is hard to put a handle on what’s happening with Long Beach State baseball. Is it redemption week? After all tonight’s starter Branden Pinder will be on the mound trying to rid his taste buds of Saturday’s nasty Northridge outing (knocked out in the second inning). Is it the battle of the Beaches? I mean there is a Malibu sea view at Pepperdine and with the series tied at one game a piece and both squads have identical 29 loss seasons to date. Or is it welcome back Houston Bob night in honor of the all star Dirtbag booster who has been taking his BP, as in British Petroleum, hacks down on that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? You figure it out.

The last time Houston Bob worked on an underwater cement job he planted a mouthy Fullerton fan in a drainage ditch. Not sure that they have a fix for that deepwater drill rig but I do know that Weathers-Buckley, or is it Buckley-Weathers, need somebody to eat some innings after a number of his Tuesday children were used up on the weekend. Ironically Pinder is also set to work on Senior Sunday but the judge and jury on the return of Jake Thompson is still out, hence the front end of the weekend rotation is on hold. Normally a model baseball citizen, Jake did open his last start with a “purpose pitch” against Fullerton and broke a “team rule” but bad guys on the Mean Streets and Wall Street have done less penalty time than Thompson. For the Waves it will be lefty Aaron Gates who will get the start and both teams will be breaking out some lightly used reserves to get a snap shot of what will send them back to NCAA heaven in twenty eleven.

REST OF THE DUST—The Bags finish their season hosting UC Irvine…and right now Ditka is excited that the Beach has a 20-18 lead over the marsupials in the Black and Blue rivalry series for the 2009-2010 season…four points are on the line this weekend so the sur4fboard ain’t exactly safe…Sunday marks the final game for five seniors, including three who have spent four years with the program, Jason Markovitz has worked out of the bullpen for four years, compiling a 3.11 ERA and a 5-3 record over 68 appearances, while Tinoco has hit .329 over his career and Mittelstaedt has played in 189 games as a Dirtbag, seventh-most in program history…Pepperdine enters their final week of play with nearly an identical record as Long Beach State, sitting at 21-29. Zach Vinzej leads the team with a .313 batting average, and the team overall is only hitting .278, but is balanced somewhat by a 4.87 season ERA. Last weekend, the Waves took one out of three games from San Diego, winning on Friday behind their latest all star Matt Bywater…looking ahead next year’s turn around will depend on those returnees but also some talented recruits, Austin Boyle (El Modena High School), Jeff Yamaguchi of Lakewood, Matt Balliet of Mission Viejo, Jonathan Maciel out of Esperanza and Tony Amezcua from Bellflower…of course the MLB draft may interfere as it did last year when super prospect Jon Singleton from Millikan took the cash call…Other than sending a handful of his freshmen and sophomores to play in summer leagues (expect Drew Gagnon to go to the prestigious Cape Cod wood bat league) new Head Coach Troy Buckley is ready to pack this year away. Nothing can stop the end-of-season slide that has the Dirtbags with a losing record and quite possibly their first last place finish since Coach John Gonsalves pre-Dirtbag teams of 1986, 1987 and 1988. The other cellar dweller possibility is UCSB who travels to Pacific this weekend. Neither team will finish first but one or both could finish, well, you know where…The puzzling part of the Beach baseball story is that all of this is happening when the Dirtbag alums are so successful in major league baseball. On Sunday the combination of Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki combined for five RBIs in Colorado’s 11-7 win at Kansas City. A pretty nice Niner connection and certainly pleasing to Rockies scout and LBSU Hall of Fame Coach Dave Snow—DR. DAN

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The seasons may have gone sour but at Long Beach State the parties are almost always sweet. This weekend the featured 49ers are the men of volleyball who are hosting the USA Men's Volleyball Teams in the Pyramid Friday for two intra-squad exhibition matches in preparation for the upcoming World League and the Pan American Cup. Juniors take the court at 5:30 p.m., the London-bound US Olympians follow at around 7:30 p.m. and then the post match social.

On Saturday the hard core 49er faithful move downtown to the Law Offices of Keesal, Young and Logan for the third-annual Black and Gold Gala which salutes the 2010 LBSU team with a 6 p.m. reception then dinner, and program. You can expect many of the national team participants to be around, old timers Tom Hoff, David Lee, Scott Touzinsky, Tyler Hildebrand, Paul Lotman, Robert Tarr, Dustin Watten and new guys Antwain Aguillard and Dean Bittner.

Last weekend the giant gala called Jewels of the Night raised thousands for needed athletic funding but up against a horrific budget deficit the times have never been more difficult. The only light in this sporting tunnel, insiders say, is that President Alexander may impose a new student fee in June (effective in 2011) with proceeds spread across the campus, not just for sports.

Back to the present, the twin cash cows of men’s basketball and baseball struggled this year both on the playing surface and in the box office. A very modest crowd count this past weekend for the Fullerton series hurt almost as much as the series sweep by the Titans. With a week off for final exams, the Dirtbags resume baseball at Northridge Friday to Sunday in their next to the last weekend of the season.

At least softball finished with a pleasant taste in their mouth sweeping UC Riverside to finish the 2010 campaign dead even at 23-23. Senior Sunday sent off six good players but the cast and crew remaining likely will be picked on top next season. Big West pitcher of the year in her freshman season Brooke Turner did win 13 games in her junior season and crafty off-speed specialist Taylor Petty picked up 10 in her sophomore campaign. Returning offense should be led by Bree Stephan (.321) and Casey Burba (.333) with Caitlin DeBaun (20 RBIs) and Nalani St. Germain (8 home runs) mixing with a great incoming recruiting class.

Track and field is finished until a couple of 49ers compete in the NCAA regionals May 27th in Austin, Texas. During last weekend’s Big West championships the Niner men finished second behind Northridge and the women were seventh. Both squads came in ahead of UC Irvine, helpful in deciding the winner of their Black and Blue Trophy rivalry. In a neck and neck point race, the winner will come down to the baseball series in two weeks.

Bonus Bag bull--all day games this weekend because the Matadors don't have lights...the Dirtbags return home for four games over the final week of the season, hosting Pepperdine for a third game with the Waves before closing out the season with the Black and Blue rivalry series against UC Irvine May 28-30...the Sunday deal will be the final game for five Long Beach State seniors, with transfers Tre Dennis and David Brown joining three four-year members of the Dirtbag program in Jason Markovitz, Steve Tinoco and TJ Mittelstaedt and the last hurrah for head coach Mike Weathers, who is retiring following that game after 18 years with the program, the last nine as the skipper for the Dirtbags...finals are over this week and it works...Brennan Metzger, Long Beach State's sophomore outfielder earned first-team Academic All-District honors, recognizing his success on the field as well as his 3.79 GPA, becoming the first Dirtbag to receive the honor since Shane Peterson in 2008. The team as a whole was also recognized by the NCAA, earning a Public Recognition award with an APR in the Top 10 percent for all of college baseball, the only team in the Big West so honored...Back to the recent times Coach in waiting Troy Buckley kept his team waiting for almost 30 minutes post-game on Sunday giving his first “State of the Dirtbag” address. It is likely injured shortstop Devin Lohman will be cleared for the CSUN weekend but fastball pitcher Jake Thompson may be suspended for throwing behind a CSUF hitter with his first pitch Saturday...he was not listed as a starter this weekend...Jake has indicated that he will sign and go pro anyhow but it would be an odd ending to a season on the sink. –DR. DAN

Thursday, May 13, 2010


As the 49er faithful roll toward this baseball weekend with Fullerton State, everybody has a mixture of anxiety, uncertainty and optimism. The anxiety has been earned by a season of sputtering, no win streak longer than three games and perplexing losses. Last Friday and Saturday the Beach twice got late inning sand kicked in their faces before a 10-5 Mother’s Day present on Sunday. The win streak improved to two on Wednesday when the Niner youth moment (22-23) stopped the Trojans early and late with a 9-1 spanking using freshmen battery mates Nate Underwood and catcher Joel Thys…Nate for the W and Thys threw out a base stealer in the third…meanwhile the mid-weeker for Fullerton (31-14) produced a 10-7 W over woeful Pepperdine It was Tuffy’s 12th come-from-behind win of the season and their 13th in their last 14.

With the surprise retirement decision by Coach Weathers, and their post-season chances all but erased, this weekend with the Titans and in two weeks with Irvine, the Dirtbags can play spoiler at least in terms of where their neighbors are ranked and who hosts a regional. And the new secret victory plan--on Sunday Mike said it is the proper combination of your hits, their walks and their errors. Sunday ten LB hits, seven Stanford walks and an error led to the W. Ditto on Wednesday when SC gave up 4 walks, committed 4 errors and the Beach won with 11 hits. Let the games begin.

NOTES ON MY NAPKIN--Away from baseball places and back to people, the Pyramid will host their 16th Annual 49er Jewels of the Night Saturday in support of the over 300 student athletes at the Beach. With hundreds of auction items, food from top local restaurants and live entertainment, your C note goes a long way…On the softball side, Kim Sowder’s Sweethearts of Swat will not get an NCAA invite but they did their own spoiler thing last weekend winning a series at Fullerton. Unlike baseball where most of the top talent takes a hike to the minor leagues in June, softball will keep the nucleus of a team that has pitching depth and promising offensive players. The Dirtbags meanwhile will likely lose junior shortstop Devin Lohman, third baseman Joey Terdoslavich, pitcher Jake Thompson and OF Jonathan Jones…softball paced last weekend by frosh Bree Stephan (5-for-11 and a home run) closes the season hosting UCR… CSUF baseball had four important series and went 4-7 against TCU, Arizona, ASU and UCI…more reasons why the F hat fans are properly jealous of their rich cousins at LBSU…corporate sponsor Tim Richmond Plastering threw a mega party last weekend where nobody got plastered but everybody attending could plaster…except those three gals from accounting…in the Principality of Park Estates Marcia and Bill Scharfen raised a ton of cash at their annual pool-side fund raiser…more LB good deeds this weekend a leukemia awareness event Saturday and salute to services Sunday…Tennis’s Jacki Alawi's named the Big West Freshman of the Year--LB has had four of the last six awardees...in that Sparks exhibition the referee was former LBSU player Tamara Inoue, a high schools and college teammate of VB all world--Tayyiba Haneef…another ex Niner, Reta Sula is the new basketball head coach at Wilson HS…schedule chatter now has LB BB men playing at Michigan State…the Dust recently got a difficult question on baseball scoring so we passed it on to our retired Virginia squire, and ex PT genius, Gordie Verrell…”how little can a starting pitcher work and still get a loss? Gordie says, “Say our ace right-hander throws his first pitch and the guy hits it into the seats. While watching the guy circle the bases our ace develops a stomach ache -- like he knows he's headed back to the bush leagues -- and, if the trainer doesn’t have any PeptoBismal 'cause the writers drank it all, he has to come out of the game, losing, 1-0. His team might end up losing 10-0 or even 10-9 -- but if his team never ties the score (to get him off the hook) it's a big ol' L and, tomorrow, it's off to Peoria.” Closing quote, over and out.—DR. DAN