Monday, April 16, 2007


One characteristic of the sports fans I know is that they have a secret desire to see the future. And the mode of transportation they take to the future is usually statistics. Ah, but the stat lady is a fickle goddess who frequently disappears just before she was supposed to sing.

It is early but such is the case with this crazy 2007 Big West baseball race. Based on all the names and numbers coming into this season, the pre-season polls had the big three in the Big West as Fullerton, Riverside and Irvine. When the dust settled last weekend the leader board was topped by Cal Poly with a three way tie for second between Santa Barbara, Fullerton and Long Beach. Riverside is way down in fifth and Irvine is sixth.

So what’s up coach? The first testimony came from Dave Serrano of UC Irvine whose club lost two of three to the team picked fifth in the conference pre-season poll. Afterwards he told the press, "Cal Poly impressed me as much, if not more, than Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. We put ourselves in a good position after [winning series] against Fullerton and Long Beach, but we kind of negated that this weekend." Those lying stats.

Meanwhile at Blair Field the Weather Report remains partly cloudy, interesting since the chief tenants, Dirtbag baseball, got five wins last week, a completed game and a regular win over #7 Pepperdine and a sweep of Northridge. In all the Beach boys are on a nice run raising their overall record from 13-11 March 31 to 21-12 after Sunday’s 7-2 beat down on Northridge. But is skipper Mike Weathers happy? “Let’s put it this way, we overcame ourselves”. Translated: improvement but not that silly perfection that coaches all want.

“Of course I want us to score every time we have a chance but I do see a lot of our guys getting better” the Beach boss said. Figuring he was in a good mood we asked about the upside down Big West race, a contest that might have as many as five teams trying to get one of the usual two or maybe three NCAA post-season invites. “It’s way too early to get into that stuff.” Right coach, check back with you later.
STATIC DUSTING-- Having just collected my first social security check I am willing to accept aging but I don’t like hearing that forever-young Misty May really isn’t (forever young). Misty and her Beach volleyball partner Kerri Walsh lost over the weekend in the semis of the Miami AVP tournament. The loss broke a seven-tournament winning streak for the dynamic duo that have been named AVP Team of the Year the last four seasons and won 13 of 15 AVP tournaments last season. The tour continues with the Dallas Open this weekend at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Back on campus another front running Big West team was Fullerton softball who came into town a perfect 6-0 in league and left as losers of their series to Kim Sowder’s 49er club who keeps battling injuries and ineligibilities. The Sweethearts of Swat head to Riverside this weekend while their baseball brothers host UC Davis in a non-conference series.

Back to the boy bases…the polls were not too kind, Rivals has LB at 23, ESPN/USA Today at 25 and the College Writers at 29…one of my faithful readers said, “I was shocked that Long Beach State wasn't back in all of the polls. What more does a team have to do, going 5-0 on the week with a two-game sweep of a top ten team? Only Michigan did better, going 6-0 with a sweep of Ohio State, and they are now in most of the top 25s/30s. I know the polls don't mean much beyond fan discussions and debates, but they do become important when it comes to making the post-season tournament muster…”…

Same super fan also noted as many others did that despite other sources saying that Manny McElroy (now 2-0) had made his first start since February he actually started an ORU game last weekend…the skipper looks for a third post-rehab start this weekend vs. Davis. Encouraging.

Last add on that perpetual motion machine Dan Monson. The new hoop coach hasn’t stopped promoting his new era men’s basketball program visiting gyms big and small and players, mostly big. Dan now has a car pool partner in his former Minnesota assistant Vic Couch who was a successful prep coach at John F. Kennedy High in Fremont and Servite High in Anaheim before college stops at Santa Clara then Minnesota.—DR. DAN


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