Monday, January 30, 2006


Welcome back to a football-free session of notes on our napkin where we
promise to not mention the NFL, chip or dip.

We start with baseball since that is what lured me back to LB from the
warm sands of Cocoa Beach, Florida. My first stop was the Leadoff
Dinner featuring Astro bull-penner Mike Gallo who told the 2006 Dirtbag
bunch the secret to winning big in the Big West. "Every time I pitched
in a big game, like when we won at Stanford, I just imaged all those
hitters were wearing Fullerton uniforms."

This weekend that message will be carried inside the white lines when
the Niners home open with Southern Cal (they hate that term so we use
it) at 6:30 Friday night at Blair Field. The series is at SC at 1 on
Saturday then back to Blair for the finale Sunday afternoon. Friday's
tilt features a pair of pre-season All Americans, Niner giant Jared
Hughes, 6-7 and a headhunter of batters leaning over the dish, and
Trojan matinee idol Ian Kennedy. Expect more radar guns in the stands
than the CHP on the 405.

As a tune-up last weekend, the Niners roughed up their pro alums behind
the bats of Desperate Dirtbag Evan Longoria who went 3-for-5 with two
RBIs and Santa Clara leadoff speedster Robert Perry, two hits and two
runs. Two sensational freshmen led the mound work, Vance Whorley, the
Saturday starter was nails for half the game and Scott Turmail pitched
three no-hit, shutout innings to mop up. Let the games begin.

CHOP DUSTERS-- Beach Tennis opens their 2006 home schedule vs. # 47 San
Diego State today (Thursday) . Jenny Hilt Costello has a bunch of
newcomers who will improve as the season bounces along.

Back to bases, January competition stops next year when team's won't be
able to practice until February and not play games until almost March.
The northern schools forced the NCAA on that one but the smart guys out
West will hold run informal captains' practices through January leading
up to the formal Feb. 1 start date.

On the foam front, the good news is that since LBSU rents the off-campus
Blair field beer can still legally flow, unlike the Pyramid. Same is
true at Cal Poly which contracted with the Cal Poly Foundation to sell
beer until 2007. After that, who knows?

Should be a great crowd Friday night but down south in tiny Oxford,
Mississippi the Rebels have set a new record selling out all their
reserved seating, 3,000 season packages.

EX-Rated news. The San Diego Padres of San Diego are happy with their
Dirtbag connection, first-round pick Cesar Ramos and sixth-round
selection, Neil Jamison. At Eugene, OR Neil was lights-out in 25
appearances and then took it up a notch at Fort Wayne, with 12
strikeouts and five walks in 10 innings. His blood lines include
father, Tom who played baseball at Santa Clara and mother, Kathy, a
softball player at San Diego State.

Shameless plugs Dept. If you are tied of those 10, 20, or 30 buck fund raising receptions maybe you will like this. The Men's volleyball boosters are throwing a $100 a head soiree on March 25th at the 14th floor penthouse of Keesal, Young and Logan in downtown Long Beach. Fancy foods, jazz by Eric Marienthal and some high value auction items. Last add plugging. The fabulous 50th Century Club Hall of Fame banquet still has a few seats at $50 per so call Sam Breuklander immediately at 562-596-0912 to join the stars of yesterday and tomorrow.--DR. DAN

Sunday, January 01, 2006


It’s time for the first dusting of 2006 and I'm not sure of whether it’s better to look back, look forward or just look around. So of course (in less than 700 words), I’ll try and do all three.

For the look ahead your local state college luminaries likely made some new year’s resolutions. For the gentlemen basketeers more wins than losses and even that may not be enough to impress the new campus royalty, President King Alexander. Coach Hegarty resolves to erase from her season palette the primary colors of blue and gold as worn by UC Santa Barbara. The Beach once dominated the little sisters of Goleta but not for the past hundred years or so. They get that chance Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Pyramid, the same hour that Larry Reynolds’s open the men’s side the Big West wars at UCSB in the mano-y-mano version. More hoops on Monday night as the twin Beach entries face Cal Poly, ladies hosting and men traveling.

Next resolution comes from the training room where maestro Dan Bailey hopes to get his spring teams to stay healthy on the court, diamond, in the pool, and the classroom. Whoops, classrooms belong to other folks around the campus but avoiding physical and academic casualties will have a lot to say about the Niners ambitious run to the BWC Commissioner's Cup. LB is in first after the fall with Santa Barbara in second and expecting to finish high in both hoops and get some points from baseball. Cal State Fullerton rests in third place and while their women hoops are woeful, they do play excellent baseball and good men’s basketball. The winning edge for the Beach may well come from tennis where the Niner star continues to rise.

Another resolve is comes out of the other end of the Mid where Alan Knipe will field a strong men’s v-ball entry, flushed with accolades for having the best incoming recruits in the nation. The Niners start 2006 on Friday in the UCSB Tournament, playing at 1 pm vs. USC and continuing against the field in the two day tourney. On Sunday the boosters get their own floor burns with the New Year’s Classic Indoor Volleyball Tournament. Games will go on Sunday all over campus with the entire tournament proceeds go to support the team.

Next in the “I will be better this year” report is this web quote from one of my insiders who really hates the inter-net chat rooms. “The First Amendment only guarantees you freedom of speech. You don’t get credibility and respect because you have a username and password.” Amen.

Back to the bases, a lot of locals hope that bonus baby Dirtbag Jered Weaver will pitch his way through the Big League camp and if Angel mainstays Jarrod Washburn and Paul Byrd have contract issues then the younger Weaver could be in the bigs in his second year.

Another local connection is Mr. Misty May, Marlin catcher Matt Treanor, who will get a serious look at the starting job. Ironically also in camp will be ex ‘Bag Brad Davis. Which reminds us to remind you to get your baseball season tickets and watch a couple of pre-season all-Americas in there along with 23 new players and the toughest schedule in the nation. The Weathermen start at No. 16 in Collegiate Baseball's pre-season poll, open with No. 21-ranked USC, and also play four teams in the top-15, including No. 1 Texas, No. 5 Rice, No. 9 CS Fullerton and No. 13 Pepperdine plus five other blue chippers, No. 23 Baylor, No. 26 Wichita State, No. 29 Oklahoma and No. 36 San Diego.

And our closing quote from Leadoff Dinner speaker and Houston Astro bullpen star Mike Gallo, “I’ve got a nice ride now but back then my car was a bunch of bolts and metal rolling in formation.” 654 words, resolution #1 in the books.--DR. DAN