Monday, July 31, 2006


When you mix one part summer hiatus with two parts rumor control and nine parts of “where are they” you get today’s tasty treat edition of Diamond Dust.

On top of being my birthday month, August is a fascinating tableau of something old, something new, something borrowed and something like football.

Now as you know the 49er gridders haven’t lost a game in years but the guy that San Francisco football brass call O-Knee E-beck-way is hopeful this month. You may recall that in January he was booted from the 49er basketball team and then in early April he crashed an NFL workout for Jeremy Bloom in Southern California. Bloom, the Olympic skier who became a fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, was an invited guest. Ibekwe was not. SF Coach Dick Nolan is hopeful but says, ``some people don't like playing after getting hit,''. Onye says, ``I'm bracing myself for it,' it's probably going to take me a couple hits to get used to it but I'm very physical. I think I can go up with these guys.”

The above takes care of the old (me) and the football so let’s jump into rumor control. Two July farewell bashes were for retiring softball coach Pete “GQ” Manarino who warmly saluted his top assistant and former player Kim Sowder who should be near the top of the list for GQ’s post and the good bye party for LB alum Jim McCormack from the Press Telegram sports slot. Count on his replacement to be former Angel beat writer Joe Haakenson.

Now that leaves us with the always popular “where are they”. Close to home a bunch of ex Niners are summering in the California League, and as expected the rich pitching tradition of the Beach was on display in the all-star game, notably Padres prospects Cesar Ramos and Neil Jamison plus Giants prospect Brian Anderson. Miss that action, and the cost of gas keeping you at home, then get out and by EA's MVP Baseball 2006, the college ball version. I play it and so far Long Beach and Miami have tied 49 times. All the big teams in all the college leagues are in the game.

The next note comes from a Dirtbag fan that checked out her collection of baseball cards at a convention last weekend and discovered that the “rare modern rookie cards” such as a gold Tulowitzki refractor was going for $300 and a Jered Weaver for upwards to $1200.

Back on campus with a gold medal but no cash is junior LBSU decathlon star Chris Richardson who piled up with 7,243 points in the recent North America, Central America, Caribbean Athletic Association championships in Santo Domingo, Dominion Republic.

Back to memorabilia, former LB Assistant Athletic Director Dan Radakovich, a Pittsburgh native and now the new AD at Georgia Tech says his Bill Mazeroski signed ball will go in his new office in Atlanta. What no Dirtbag memorabilia?

Meanwhile my poster collection has a signed Todd Dillon football poster but the market for a Lodi High coach isn’t what it should be. As a Niner in1982 Dillon led the nation in total offense before starting for seven seasons in the Canadian Football League.

The closing quote for our mid-summer’s feast comes from the Houston Astros cookbook and Mike Gallo’s best dish, (except for Mrs. Gallo.) Mike is now a set-up guy for AAA Round Rock but sets the breakfast table with his “Italian Egg Bake”. Have ready a pound of Italian sausage, butter, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, a dozen ages and a cup of milk. Stir ‘em all up, bake and wait for the big club to call you back up.—DR. DAN