Tuesday, April 24, 2007


When he was just a little kid Manny McElroy probably fell off his bike and a parent probably made him get right back on. Manny is now 6-6 and 220 before lunch but his baseball dad Mike Weathers watched him tumble over the weekend and said, with a steely resolve Sunday afternoon, “we are sending him right back out.” Now please keep this a secret from Manny but if he thought that a four run, two homer inning versus UC Davis was tough, he might not want to read the press clips from San Diego State’s last game. The Aztecs batted around in four different innings en route to a 31-0 win over Air Force. Ouch. Blindfold please.

The more reasonable numbers are these. LBSU is in the mid twenties in the polls at 23-14 and 4-2 Big West, coming up against a team coached by one of the all time greats, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Tony only hits fungo’s now but his team (27-17) has a plus .300 batting average and is a likely competitor of BWC teams seeking post season invites. As is the case for most mid weekers, pitching may end up being Johnny Whole-staff, particularly if Aztec righty Charles Nolte (0-0, 9.00) follows recent form. Fire up the propane and see for yourself.

DUSTING TO FIT—for SDSU Nick Romero enters at .359 average and the closing star is Stephen Strasburg (1-1 record, 2.36, seven saves)…the Aztecs' 31 runs represented the most ever in a home game and the final score was the team's largest margin of victory against a collegiate opponent…Right fielder Frank Lo Nigro had five hits in the game including two home runs and scored six times…in the MWC SDSU is second to TCU and on a five game win streak with 10 Ws in their last 13…lots of chat about ex Dirtbag players going on but how about bat boys…Danny DiBennedetti (or similar) has signed with St. John's who had the national pitcher of the week last week in sophomore lefty Scott Barnes…he had a no-no and now will get some offense to go with his arm…more where are theys—doing just fine in the high minors are Jason Vargas, on the Mets farm, has a solid 3.42 ERA facing the tough AAA hitters and Evan Longoria, who’s pop is still a Blair regular, went 2-5 recently to up his average to .310…Mike Gallo, working for Colorado’s AAA Sky Sox has six appearances and has been half good, three of the outings resulted on no earned runs including Sunday’s clean one inning effort against Portland… Kasey Olenberger is another AAA Bag toiling for the Angels' Salt Lake City Bees, 2-1 and a 2.60 ERA plus a 19/6 K's/BB's ratio…and what about Donnie Hume and Brandon Decker…last year in conference play, Hume was a perfect 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA and as a freshman in 2005, was one of the team's midweek starters…Donnie pitched a scoreless inning against San Diego State on February 27 last year and this year, oh that’s right, he’s in the other dugout where he has the best ERA of any Aztec starter, 3.07 and a 4-2 record and Decker is a regular in the outfield…the folks that use the expression, “usually reliable defense” might have LBSU in mind…both the hitting numbers (batting average up to .281 from .278 in ‘06) and pitching, top notch at 3.38 team ERA (down from 3.64 in ’06) are improved but the team fielding is .966 (.967 in 2006 but a nation’s best .980 in 2003) or off…last year the Beach missed the post-season for the first time in six prior seasons and for just the third time since 1989…that was after playing the second-toughest schedule with 21 games against ranked opponents including three of the top-eight national seeds and actually beat two teams which were ranked No. 1 in the nation (Rice and Texas)

Stockton, California is not the end of the earth but I think you can see it from there…this weekend both the baseball and softball bunch head there but alas the games times overlap...now these big and little numbers from recent LBSU golf Alum John Mallinger…with his tie for third last weekend John upped his 2007 winnings to $778,751 good for 40th on the US list and 173rd on the world list…he is hitting the little white thing at 71.6 strokes per PGA round…more golf—today Beach golfers Kay Hoey and Brett Lederer each won individual BWC titles…now that’s a neat double play…back on campus, the marketing interns are beating the bushes for folks to help support “THE premier event in collegiate women’s water polo: the 2007 NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championships, to be staged at the Joint Forces Training Base pool in Los Alamitos, CA from May 11-13, 2007.”…there I did my part…and if you are more of an arm chair fan write a check for the kids from the Bluffton University baseball team who were in that awful bus wreck in Atlanta…Contributions can be made by check payable to Bluffton University and mailed to Citizens National Bank, 102 S. Main Street, Bluffton, Ohio 45817….and now we close with the only two tools you need in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape…if it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40…if it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape….happy trails all you all—DR. DAN


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