Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Welcome to tonight’s episode of Dirtbag Mystery Theatre. Although this newsletter (and any attachment) is believed to be free of any virus or other defect that might affect the mood and disposition of any person who receives and opens, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they have the inner strength and mental health to follow the 2008 baseball team as it goes down dark cellar steps, on long and winding roads, and into alleys loaded with tough guys and unspeakable danger.

If you thought that folks wonder about where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, where Ameilia Earhart landed, or if there is a Loch Ness Monster--that’s nothing like the puzzled faces of 49er players, coaches and fans. Almost everything has been tried. No jerseys are buried under home plate. Tried clubhouse open, clubhouse closed, coaches fussing, and coaches hugging. Import old heroes from previous CWS teams, double the gummy bear stash that parents sneak to players pre-game. Nothing has worked and a season on fire has turned to a season on the brink. Will the next installment of “As the Dirtbags Turns” be happy or sad, hopeful or bad? Well, we will find out shortly. Tonight Pepperdine, 8-5 winners up there on game one of that dreadful losing streak, sends the same villain, Robert Dickman (3-3, 5.54 ERA) against our big Brett Lorin (1-2, 4.40 ERA). The Dirtbags won all three meetings last season, including a 6-3 win over the Waves in the NCAA Regionals but these Waves are hot again, 4-3 vs. Top 25 teams this season and as high as #6 (Rivals poll) with Nick Gaudi 4th in the nation in saves (9) and Eric Thames tied for third in the nation with six triples. Oh yeah, Pepperdine leads the WCC with a .972 fielding percentage and has turned a WCC-best 44 double plays. The Beach report is a bit cloudier. Expect the son to shine at least during pre-game where the fiftieth anniversary of Blair is celebrated commemorating the April 15, 1958 contest between Long Beach State and Long Beach City. The Niners first coach, John McConnell, and his all-conference third baseman Jack Brick will participate along with the family of then LBCC coach Joe Hicks.

On Sunday the story was bloop (all those dying duck singles by Irvine) to bleep (mutterings by the LB fans as they realized that the one time darlings of 2008 had lost 11 of their last 13 after that 17-3 start.) Need more worries; LBSU is 3-6 this year in mid-week games, losing the last four. The positive, well right fielder Jason Corder leads the Big West in homers (9) and slugging percentage (.705), is batting .347 and he has seven of those homers in the last ten games! Your regularly scheduled program will return after this break.

CURSE BUSTING DUST—If misery loves company say hello to Texas 31-12 losers to Missouri…more hope while Pepperdine is 17-3 at home they are just 4-8 on the road this season…and while some foes dig at the Niners for just producing pros and not trips to Omaha, the alums are impressing again…the most recent three are Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Carlos Muniz (Mets) and John Bowker (San Francisco)…that brings the LBSU MLB head count to 31 players, ten at the current time….who have played in the Majors, including 10 this season…Bowker became the first Giant ever to homer in his first two MLB games…and how about SDSU’s Stephen Strasburg, a one-hit, complete-game shutout in San Diego State’s 1-0 win over Utah last Friday with 23 strikeouts…unverified and just filling space, these musings from a web poster named Beach Backer…”softball improvements desired are lighting so that night games may be played; new score board; and sinking the dugouts and making the top of the dugout flat so that spectators can see better…plan to construct an Athletes Center between the present Athletic Admin Bldg and the softball complex to house lockers rooms, etc for all (outdoor) sports”…back to bases, Pepperdine is averaging a WCC-best 7.76 runs per game, leads the WCC with 31 stolen bases, and is hitting .326 with two outs… IN the BWC the (surprise!) leader is UC Davis is 5-1, followed by UCSB and Fullerton at 6-3 and Irvine at 5-4…the Dirtbags are 2-4 but have bottom feeders CSUN and Pacific the next two weekends

My web and arm gem for the weekend was by catcher Travis Howell throwing out the nation’s top base stealer, Anteater Ollie Linton...now our Perry Moore basketball moment…two hoop helpers with LB roots are moving on… Fullerton assistant Jason Levy (one of Seth Greenberg’s boys) has accepted a similar job at Loyola Marymount, where his pal Billy Bayno took over as coach…Scott Coopman (basketball operations guy for Dan Monson) heads to Pepperdine in the same post…Aaron Fitt of BA sees “UC Davis is the dark horse…I do think Davis is in good shape to make a regional”…the rest of the BWC today… Westmont at UC Santa Barbara; Sacramento State at UC Davis; UC Irvine at San Diego; Cal State Northridge at UCLA; California at Pacific; Fresno State at Cal Poly; San Diego State at UC Riverside and USC at the F word…conflicted fan tonight, David John Pylman who met his bride Joan in the CSULB dorms at Brooks College, got his degree from LBSU, worked in LB academic affairs for years and now is the official scorer for inside contests at Pepperdine…he also has and does officiate all sorts of sporting activities from bands and flags to volleyball, softball and the like...hope he doesn’t steal our hit and run signal—DR. DAN


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