Tuesday, May 04, 2010


They called the finishing golf holes at Quail Hollow the green mile, a tribute to the closing challenge that PGA players face before they collect a trophy. After a struggling weekend on the Central Coast Dirtbag baseball coach Mike Weathers and his inconsistent Beach boys are coming up on a college baseball green gauntlet of their own: Stanford, Fullerton and UC Irvine.

Peeking first at this weekend, the visitors will be those silver spoon kids from Stanford. The Cardinal suffered themselves this weekend getting swept at Washington and now must play five more games in seven days. First are Monday and Tuesday tests against Santa Clara and San Jose State before rolling into Blair for the Friday to Sunday session.

The high water marks for LBSU against Stanford were the 1998 and 2004 regionals. The budget basement boys from Palo Verde Avenue were sent to posh Palo Alto and beat the hosts 5-1 enroute to the CWS in ’98 behind Most Outstanding Player Termell Sledge. In ‘04 the star for the homeboys was some guy named Troy Tulowitzki who sparkled when LBSU beat St. Johns in the first game, sent Stanford to the loser’s bracket in game two (7-4) and then knocked out the Cardinal 8-4 in the regional final.

If the baseball word of the day was struggle then the tennis word of the day was unprecedented as in it is really difficult to win an unprecedented seventh consecutive tourney title. The drama in the desert for the Big West Women’s tennis championship involved more shaking than James Bond’s martini maker. The villain was UCI coach Mike Edles a journeyman coach with stops at Hawaii, Boise State, Hayward, Chapman, and Bakersfield.

With his ace Stephanie Hammel coming off of a recent injury Edles played her at #3 to protect his numbers 4, 5, and 6 seeded players. It worked and although Hammel lost 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday, and did not finish on Sunday, this tactic allowed Edles to push stronger players down his ladder to face less experienced opponents. It worked over the protest of UCSB in the semi finals and again in the final winning at #5 and #6 and beating LBSU for the tourney title. .

Next year the Beach will go into the championship with their best recruit in years Klaudia Malenovska. She was NCAA ineligible this season but will join a team that has everyone (including seven freshmen and sophomores) back for the payback.

Beyond baseball this weekend includes softball, which was swept at UCSB, trying Fullerton in Titan-land this weekend, and track in their BWC championships at Northridge.

Last event important to the LB sporting crowd is the state budget mess. President F. King Alexander wrote the campus, “Our current financial situation is unchanged because the Governor and legislature have yet to take any action. However, the next milestone in the state's budgeting process is the Governor's May Revise Budget, which is due to be published no later than May 14.” Translated, no student athletic fee increase until at least then and possibly not until early fall.

Finally the “Where Are They” winner is Senator and former Dirtbag Danny Espinosa. Espy was drafted in the third round by the Washington Nationals in 2008 and is the Harrisburg (PA) Senators starting shortstop. Espy leads his team in average, on-base and slugging percentages and is rated by Baseball America as the fifth best shortstop in the Nationals organization. He also provided our Closing Quote. When asked what he misses the most moving to Pennsylvania from Long Beach? “Mexican food”. –DR. DAN


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May 5, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
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