Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Just like all but 16 college baseball teams I wish I still had games the rest of this month. But, well you know the “but”, this will be the last of the weekly Diamond Dust columns in the Gazette until we hear the ping of Dirtbag aluminum next February. After today I will write the first Thursday of each month (except August) and thank each of you for picking me off your driveway this spring.

With that scheduling reminder, it is time to wrap up the sporting season for the Beach. While it is hardly a coveted trophy, LBSU, thanks to championships in four women sports, did win the 2009 Big West Conference Commissioner's Cup followed in order by Cal Poly, Irvine; Santa Barbara; Davis; Riverside; Pacific; Northridge and last, and clearly overall the least, CS Fullerton. The Titans are great in baseball but athletically a one trick pony.

The 49er sporting family will be challenged to keep the above hardware next year. Women’s volleyball has massive losses, via defection, (freshman Cat Highmark), via graduation (Quincy Verdun, Iris Murray, and setter Nicole Vargas) and via retirement, Nicole’s mom, Debbie Green. Debbie’s loss represents 22 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, eight Final Fours and three national championships. Tennis and soccer also had titles last year but have enough returnees and recruits to keep the beat alive but golf, absent senior Kay Hoey and transferring Lee Lopez, is buried in the bunker.

Wrapping up baseball, it may be time to find that toy toilet that Dave Snow had to “flush” away bad at bats, etc. This time the plumbing will have to send a bunch of Dirtbag disappointments to the sea--a losing record, only two all conference picks, and that scholarship shrinking budget crisis. Summer leagues will help, there are interesting recruits, but as Robert Frost once said, “we have miles to go before we sleep” or make the post season.

Back in town, Blair field will soon get their summer renters, the Long Beach Armada. The local pros finished their Canadian visit where they drew some big crowds, 2,176 fans at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park. Meanwhile, off the field, the city and the university are still trying to craft an operating agreement and after concessions, beer and bathrooms--one hot stove league topic is --bringing in the fences. That note raises the question, how big is Blair?

The answer is 348 down the lines? Well one of my insiders (VLL Inc.)mapped the lines of two the new $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium (318 LF, 314 RF) and the $800 million Met’s Citi Field (335 LF, 330 RF) and each would fit inside of our old blue. Concessions and bathrooms, well that is another issue with the edge to the Big Apple unless you like paying $18 bucks for a 49er frozen pizza.

On that note let me excuse myself and start cracking a tasty Florida Lobster and giving this keyboard a rest. Do keep up on your favorites and wish the CSULB coaches wisdom and patience on how to do more with less. See you back in this space in July and hit the light on your way out.—DR. DAN