Wednesday, August 06, 2008


One of my faithful readers once reminded me that Dust is Mud with the Juice squeezed out. Now that you have the secret formula memorized, this issue is comes with one simple instruction--add water (or your favorite adult beverage) and enjoy.

First the numbers game: Andrew Liebel, a Scott Boras client, went to work August 1 for the Toronto farm team in the NY-Penn league banking a $340,000 bonus. No word yet on another of the Boras boys, unsigned not-quite-yet-ex-Bag Danny Espinosa.

For Niner ladies volleyball the number is two, as picked to finish second in the Big West Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Beach will miss four-time All-American Alexis Crimes but return 1st-team All-Big West outside hitter Quincy Verdin, reliable setter Nicole Vargas, All-Freshman team opposite hitter Ashley Lee and a handful of promising freshmen. Cal Poly, last season's champs, was picked first.
Beijing bound, of course, are lots of male and female fan favorites from LBSU. The men’s team will employ Tom Hoff (1995-96), David Lee and Scott Touzinsky (2001-04). The USA team won the FIVB World League title before a crowd of 5,700 in Rio de Janeiro and collected $1 million for the tournament victory. They begin their Olympic odyssey on Sunday.

For the ladies there are inside and outside stars. On top of most of the local TIVO lists is the beach volleyball venue where Misty May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh seek to continue unbeaten in this millennium. After China insiders say both ladies hope to hang gold in nurseries. Happily married, Misty and Kerri want to baby-up and then explore all their options. Misty’s option may well be back at Long Beach as successor to LB alum and 24 year assistant extraordinaire Debbie Green Vargas who has hinted about this being her final year. Daughter Nicole graduates LB in the spring but her sister Dana, a sophomore at UCSB, wouldn’t mind having a mom in the stands (instead of on the other bench) cheering her final two seasons.
For the indoor USA VB ladies, the Niners have sent two powerful players, Danielle Scott-Arruds and Tayyiba Haneef-Park, but the American’s road to a medal is really difficult.

Back on campus, the mid-summer shock is the impending departure of sports information director Steve Janisch. A smooth and steady face of the University for almost 25 years and, as Steve said himself, “that’s a lot of nights, weekends and 50-to-60 hour weeks.” Hard to replace but LBSU is a good job and expect a stellar line-up of outside applicants from some of the great NCAA programs around the West plus some award winning sports writers being down-sized by the newspaper crisis.

Still waiting for a diamond note? Okay here’s a bit: looks like the PAC-10 will soon have a post-season tourney. Kendall Rogers of expects a dual hosting model, like Arizona/Arizona State, Oregon/Oregon State, California/Stanford, USC/UCLA. If they go that route the Big West may be forced to follow.
Finances of course demand some corporate sponsorship, but every one is beating that same dog. At LBSU the cash cow 49er Camps had a deep cut in enrollees just as tuition, fees, and housing are going up. We weren’t always this broke but sometimes you are the bug and sometimes you are the windshield.

Now a nice story about the amazing Evan Longoria who is making the world forget Eva Longoria. Evan’s aunt Julie brought her nephew and his cap collection to her classroom. "I brought in the whole collection: Bosco, Rio Hondo, Long Beach State Dirtbags, Chatham A's, Hudson Valley Renegades, Visalia Oaks, Montgomery Biscuits, Durham Bulls and Tampa Bay," she said. "When they saw all the hats, I think they understood how hard Evan had to keep working."

Next up two more salutes. The first is to USA Baseball’s 24-0 overall on the 2008 summer with a riveting and well-reported world tour. The second salute goes to former floor-burner and 49er favorite Grant Stone. Stone recently was written up in his Jenks, Oklahoma home town paper. The locals there still remember December 1995 when Grant helped Jenks defeat the Kobe Bryant-led Lower Merion, Pennsylvania big out of state tourney. Stone defended Kobe, scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the last high school game Bryant ever lost. Oh yes, Kobe was held to a mere 31.–DR. DAN

Budget envy-dept. Long-time Bakersfield residents Tom and Barbara Hardt have given $1 million to CSU Bakersfield's just beginning baseball program. The money will be half of a two million buck on-campus baseball training and playing facility.

It is more good golly Miss Molly for UC Irvine. Molly Goodenbour's from Chico State has replaced Molly Tuter in women’s hoops. At Chico for Molly G. it was a short but lively tenure. Seven Wildcats from her first season left the team, with that popular reasoning of improving “team dynamics”. Heard that before.

Where Are They Dept. Former D-Bag Tito Cruz will try his hand a skippering. Out of pro baseball with a pulled hamstring, Tito was back at his high school alma mater Hoover High “just trying to stay in shape,” when he and the Hoover brass looked at each other and bingo the former Tornadoes baseball standout was named their new head coach. Tito was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the 2006 Draft.

Part Two W.A. T. Web board legend and LBSU alum Beach Attack (Dennis Wallace) writes he has moved from Houston to El Paso for work reasons where he will “check in on UTEP football and basketball this fall and even get up to Las Cruces once in a while to see NM ST play.” Maybe even get a family report from Syracuse where the Beach basketball boys play in December. He son just started a masters program (Public Administration/Affairs). Heard that before too.

Closing Prayers. Speaking of my favorite folk, bureaucrats, the NCAA believes that, in some cases, fields are not being lined properly before play begins. In particular, the batter's box is occasionally too close to home plate and the coaching box is too close to the foul line or home plate. (Translated: players step out too long to get signals). The NCAA plans to outline the proper procedures to follow when lining fields to ensure “compliance.” Umps will judge field markings before starting play. Oh, yes and speed up the game! Heard that before, three. See you in September.—DR. DAN


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