Monday, April 21, 2008


So many Notes on My Napkin that I get ink on my face every time I wipe off that excess ranch dressing. If you are patient we should land on something to interest almost everyone, if not, well, it’s free!

The diamond affairs went very well last weekend with softball beating UCSB two of three to take sole possession of first place in the Big West and Dirtbag baseball swept Northridge to still hang around in the top 25 and make up ground in the BWC pennant chase.

Both clubs are back in town this weekend sandwiching games in and around the MPSF volleyball championships. The inside stuffing, digging and killing begins tonight (Thursday) when the regular season co-champion Niners play the giant killers from Pepperdine at 5:30 pm. The Waves beat UCLA in Westwood while the other co-champ, BYU, took down the Final Four hosts, UC Irvine. The Cougars play Northridge in game two Thursday with the two winners meeting in Saturday's night’s championship match. Saturday also starts the Big West Tennis Tournament in Indian Wells where the Beach ladies are top seed again.

Back on the bases, Pacific is next on the Dirtbag map for three this weekend at Blair Field. Friday night will feature the amazing Andrew Liebel and his 2.04 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. Liebel and his mound mates are among the national leaders in the various pitching categories (number one in walks allowed) but everyone, especially coach Mike Weathers, is finally excited by the offense. Tired of critiques and comments by couch coaches, a visit to Northridge was the tonic the hitters seemed to need.

On campus diamond mining comes up on Kaleidoscope Saturday with the campus rolling with townies and hopefully checking out the LB-Riverside double header beginning at noon. Sunday is a single game. At Blair the weekend has a number of worthy side shows called Beach Heroes Weekend. Saturday all military, public safety and service organization members get in free with Strikeout for Services giving fans prizes and the Soldiers’ Angels relief organization collecting items for care packages to be sent to our troops overseas.

Now if that seems a bit somber we have a brief infomercial from a real pro that would be big game Danorama, Dan Smith. An almost-millionaire auto industry exec, (his employer markets Ford, Volvo and NASCAR) Smitty was the Beach’s secret weapon in that slump busting win over Pepperdine last Tuesday. Dan spent his formative years pronouncing behind the bar at Joe Jost’s saying, “okay, who had the Special and who had the Diet Pepsi?” I made that diet Pepsi stuff up, but he did work at Joe’s long before his SID gig at LBSU followed by school teaching, Pyramid public addressing and then the real world.

This weekend he checks in to promote a Joe Jost’s bartender reunion Saturday ahead of, during, and after the 2 p.m. Big West game with Pacific. Smitty says, “We got 20 or more old bartenders coming back, some from the 1960’s. Ken Buck has decided to make Saturday a fundraiser for LBSU Athletics, and is donating all proceeds from food and drink sales.” Joe’s is located at 2803 E. Anaheim Street, and the festivities continue post game. On Sunday the worthy baseball partner is the SPCA LA who will run the 50/50 raffle and give prizes (not four legged) to selected fans.

Next up for the Niners is another ranked team, 3 p.m. Tuesday at the University of San Diego. USD reentered the top-10 this week in the latest Collegiate Baseball top-30 poll, jumping three spots to No. 9. The Beach has an acceptable number in the latest Baseball America top-25 poll, number 25, which is fine considering the stumble of early April. Both teams have winning streaks, the Toreros are on a season-high 12 gamer as they posted a 4-0 record this past week. LBSU had a 4-0 week as well. The Toreros then won their games by a combined score of 20-3 and LB won their four by a combined score of 39-5.

Our closing number comes from newly minted (real) millionaires. As you know by now, former Dirtbag Evan Longoria spent six whole games as an underpaid MLB rookie before negotiating a 6-9 year, 18 to 44 million dollar deal. The devil is in the details but, like Troy Tulowitzki last year (same agent); both lads have opted for long term paycheck security. In January Tulowitzki, with one year of MLB experience, signed a six-year $31 million contract. Are Danny Espinosa or Shane Peterson next? Hum, tell them both I’ll trade either guy my 2010 paycheck for theirs!—DR. DAN


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