Thursday, April 02, 2009

BIG FLYS AND BUS RIDES: THE BEACH BREAKS OUT OF MARCH SADNESS FOR APRIL GLADNESS

For the sporting citizens of Long Beach State it is officially Spring Break. Parking is not a mess but the budget still is. The diamond teams have gotten their groove back but volleyball and water polo and tennis haven’t. The white puffs of smoke expected to come out of the Pyramid when big decisions are ready to be handed down weren’t visible just yet. Being a 49er fan does build character.

Starting with the good news, the Dirtbag baseball team, working on a run of six games in eight days has their suspended manager Mike Weathers back on the job and against UNLV the team first rediscovered their patented picket fence offense, solid defense, and team speed. Softball got two of three from pitching rich UC Davis but faces hitting rich Northridge this weekend. Baseball then put on disguises and went on the road for single games at Santa Clara and Cal. In front of car loads of family and friends, the NorCal kids were especially smoking hot, Lohman, Jones, Metzger, Hoime, Casas, Sandoval, etc. On Tuesday TJ Mittelstaedt hit two home runs to lead the 49ers to a 14-4 spanking of Santa Clara and even got a W out of Jason Markovitz in his first start of the year and then crushed Cal 19-7 forcing Bear catcher Dylan Tonneson to say, "This was just a brutal game…every aspect of the game was brutal. It's embarrassing." The Dirtbag bus back was, er, ah, celebratory. Laundry on Thursday then LB will host UCR for three Friday through Sunday, get Monday off to rediscover their classes, and has San Diego State in town on Tuesday night.

Now switching from the locker room to the board room, AD Vic Cegles and President F. King Alexander are still sweating the state budget and likely will (or if they are not deadline friendly) have made some decision on implementing some customized portion of the Beach Legacy Referendum plan. Translated, impose an increase in student fees not withstanding the result of the advisory vote from the students. The increase in tuition, housing and scholarship costs plus some crumbling infra-structure has to be addressed.

While the women’s basketball coaching search (down to eight we are told) goes on, one of the favorite stats that all ADs truly love is salary savings. Former coach Mary Hegarty collects her checks until summer but all the assistants in the lady hoop budget line are now off the payroll and that saves over $16,000 a month.
Back to the present, LBSU women's soccer coach Mauricio Ingrassia hasn’t gotten his dream stadium but he has signed another large and class, nine freshmen and one transfer. A couple of the newcomers to watch are Alexandra Balcer, from Arizona, and Shannon Bullock sister of current Niner, Lindsay Bullock, and no relation to the shy starlet Miss Sandra Bullock.

Last Add. Just finished my service on the College Baseball Hall of Fame committee (seven categories by era) and not too many of my choices got in. I did not vote for Rafi Palmeiro's or his college coach, Ron Polk although I admired Coach Polk for being an outspoken critic of the NCAA. My choice of Branch Rickey (Pre 1947) got in but Dick Groat (47-63), Mark McGuire (78-87), Travis Lee (88-98) and Coach Wally Kincaid will have to wait another year.
Not sure how good or bad UNLV was, but the sweep of the Rebels was aided by a ton of errors forced by using the Beach’s outstanding team speed. This season LB has 54 stolen bases and their opponents just 22. Riverside has good arms but bad bats; they lost two of three to Fullerton, scored only five runs and allowed 23. Tennis stumbled to 15th ranked Fresno State but is still unbeaten in the Big West.

Our closing quote will appeal to fans that are furious about concession prices at Blair field. Fullerton of course plays on campus and hence no beer, not even the $10 big gulp cup that is charged at LB home games. On their recent trip to Arizona State, also a dry venue, this advice appeared on the CSUF web board. “For any of Titans (they needed a drink yesterday losing 3-1) coming out to see the games, you should be aware that no alcohol is served in Packard Stadium. They check bags but not cargo pockets.” Hum, I lost a ham sandwich once in my cargo pocket. DR. DAN

1 Comments:

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April 2, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

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