Friday, April 29, 2005


Paris has The Louvre, New York has the Guggenheim and Long Beach has Blair Field. Connection--all world class pitcher’s galleries and in this the next to the last home weekend of 2005, Dirtbag curator Troy Buckley will put his Fab five on display for you, me and our agriculturally-expert guests from Davis, California.

The most recent reviews of the Beach mound artists show an overall record of 29-14, in the Big West: 10-2, and a high national rank of 11. The visitors will see the finest pitching staff in the USA if you use team ERA as a barometer. The feature works of art are National Pitcher of the Year candidate and crafty lefty Cesar Ramos (8-3, 1.71), undefeated righthander Marco Estrada (6-0, 1.90) suddenly sensational Jared Hughes (6-2, 2.43) and the other two masterpieces, closer supreme Neil Jamison (10 saves and a 0.0) and holder supreme Brian Anderson (0.57 in 22 appearances). This weekend’s games don’t count in the Big West standings but UCD carries an RPI of 90 into the weekend, a stat that the LBSU brass notes is higher than seven 49er opponents. Besides Fullerton swept them so we should too. Davis is 21-18, has some good wins, and could have whipped Cal on Tuesday except for a late inning melted-down 6-5 loss after an early 5-1 lead. They are coached by one of Mike Weather’s former Chapman assistants Rex Peters.

NOTHING BUT DUST—Bobby Crosby is back in town resting that rib but pretty flush…no longer a rookie, he just signed a 5 year, 12.75 million dollar contract…now the scouts tell me that taking a smaller bonus and getting your time in more quickly, is more lucrative than the Boras/Weaver approach of haggling over the bonus but delaying that first big contract…last weekend it took a while but LB did score in eight straight innings over Saturday and Sunday…Tulo looked tighter than a tick on Friday with a horde of family and friends in the stands but then put on a show…too late for Cesar Ramos who took his first loss in six decisions…Sean Boatright ran his hit streak to 20 games and Tulowitzki homered to left and right…oh yes, Brandon Godfrey replacement Scott Bradley had three more hits and leads the Bags in BWC games hitting at .533…expect Godfrey to get reinstated on Monday in time for the stretch drive contests with UCSB, SLO and Cal State who…this week’s nation’s best ERA is 2.19 ERA…as individuals Ramos is 23rd, Estrada 29th, Hughes 81st…Jamison boasts the fifth-most saves in the nation and nobody keeps my favorite stat of “holds…don’t overlook Evan Longoria who is batting .331 with 20 runs and 19 RBIs games…but of course the Beach offense is er, ah inconsistent so a fan asked Weather’s if any of his pitchers might be able to hit for him…Mike told us that after a good weekend the pitchers are allowed to “take batting practice, but from what I have seen other than Andrade I won’t want to send any of them up there…”…back to last week’s Black Friday…only one run off Luke Massetti who as a JUCO had a combined 18-3 record and gave CSUF a giving up a mere 3 earned runs…going inside great road win for the Niner volleyball machine at Pepperdine and now face the hosts Saturday night…so pray for a fast game from Marco and no traffic up to Malibu….insiders say the best setter in LB’s women’s v-ball practices is not eligible…that would be Debbie Green…hey get her a little Botox and a haircut…left over from ladies tennis, the harassing UCR men’s team got two warnings and when the UCR coach did nothing, the ref skipped the point penalty and just defaulted the match to Fullerton...with her third BWC crown in four years Head Coach Jenny Hilt-Costello was named the Big West Coach of the Year…Web Whiz Jeff chased some nice numbers from the NCAA…noted above LB remains #1 in team earned run average at 2.19. The next lowest team ERA is Nebraska, 2.52…and while the D has been not been flawless of the 283 teams ranked, the Beach is 33rd in team fielding percentage…Chuck Sindlinger is 32nd in sacrifice hits at 32 (Bill Rankin at UMass is tops at 43)…and Elvis Joe is second to P Diddy for between innings entertainment…and we close with a congrats to Prez Maxson for agreeing on a two year contract to coach new CSU presidents after he retires December 1st.--DR. DAN


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