Sunday, July 31, 2005


Objects in the rear view mirror may be closer than you think.

Thought we better get back together before your sunscreen covers your diamond dust. Last season’s key was D and LB displayed the nation’s best team 2.53 ERA a year after the 2004 bunch led the nation in fielding.

Expect more of the same great pitching and defense next year but the offense is still a question mark, one wag suggesting that LBSU change their nickname from the 49ers to the 2 to 1s. As in average final score. Once again the Beach has made a serious call to arms, anchored by returning diamond giant Jared Hughes along with a bumper crop of new mound talent--Vance Worley, Scott Turmail and Shane Peterson--plus a soon to be revealed stud originally headed to Oklahoma before OU flunked scholarship math. That condition was revealed when Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson said “later” to the Sooners and the fall-out included an OK bound ace now heading to LB.

Mr. Hughes, (6-0 record, 1.54 ERA, and 42 strikeouts with just nine walks) came on strong for the D-bags last season (8-3, 2.83) and has sizzled this summer in the Cape Cod league. He threw two perfect innings in last weekend’s all star game. Two other returning D-hurlers, Donnie Hume and Matt Fitts, are also summer stars as is Brett Andrade, a likely replacement for last year’s closer Neil Jamison.

As for the offense, the jury is still out. Journeyman coach Tim McDonnell moved up into batting coach’s Don Barbara’s pay line after his contract was not renewed. Don’s at Sac State now as the Hornets get ready to fly into the WAC. Timmy can recruit and coach infielders but will his charges hit better?

Returning offense includes Evan Longoria, a Cape Cod league all-star, Brandon Godfrey, solid as a frosh, and Sean Boatright, who passed on pro money for a senior season. They get help from four new guys of note. Bobby McMurray, OF-3B, has been injured for two years (rotator cuff) but “when healthy” hit JUCO pitching for average and power. Speedy Teddy Pattock (21 steals) brings a potent left-handed bat as a transfer from D-1 power Coastal Carolina.

The third incoming hit man is Robert Perry, recruited out of Northern Cal at the same time as 2005 star Troy Tulowitzki. He has been a two year starter at Santa Clara. The fourth guy is Edgar Sedano, a possible shortstop with some serious pop, 405, 40 runs scored, six homers and 19 RBI. That should throw a few more logs on your hot stove while you wait for fall ball.

CATCH UP DUST—That good bye Bob Maxson fundraiser went well, about 80 paying folks, but it took a couple of hours of free drinks to get the coaches to talk.

Volleyball’s Brian Gimmillaro, “Our key is Erika Chidester’s health; she mean’s so much for us in leadership.” Translated, she steadies the ship and will be the on-court coach while the “quarterback” aka setter controversy goes on. The battle is between Dyanne Lawlor, 6-2 and in the program since 2003 and assistant coach Debbie Green Vargas’s daughter, Nicole, 5-8 and last seen setting for St. Joseph’s high. Her dad, Joe Vargas was an Olympian for USA Water Polo anchoring the family ties but Gimmillaro is known to run a tight and tough ship. Film at 11, first match on August 26th.

The AD chatter is still on but don’t count on any inside candidate, Gimmillaro or Manarino, or even popular Steve Holton who just moved in to his new house in the Oakland Hills, 15 minutes from Cal’s Memorial Stadium. Back on the ranch, the new athletics building opens for coaches on August 8th but staff will move to the KPE hallway until October.

Closing quote came when I was down on the farm with ex D-bag Adam Heether who is the slugging third baseman (.313 and a .462 slugging %) for the Brevard Manatees (Brewers org) and a new bridegroom. "I don't think he can (cook)," Heether's new wife, Jennifer, said. "I wouldn't eat it if he did.” --DR. DAN