Thursday, June 24, 2010


Moving these messages into my blog but happy to send them along to the Dust Direct readers who have shared their email with me. Of course you can do that RSS feed deal on BlogSpot and they will send you new postings as they arrive, however; I ain’t smart enough to tell you how that works.

Item one is the Saturday celebration of life (which usually means of course that a dear friend has died) for Bob Seymour. They called him coach for his 30 plus years as a teacher and coach in the Long Beach--Stanford, Franklin and Rogers middle schools. The post-funeral reception will fittingly be held inside the Bob Seymour Gymnasium on the Stanford Middle School campus (5871 E. Los Arcos) around noon on Saturday. His former students, family and friends will reminisce and miss Bob but my reason has to do his performance court-side more than on the court. Bob and his late wife Joan were generous to many causes including LBSU and the Cal Heights Methodist Church where the 11 a.m. funeral will be held. They had two platinum row seats in the Pyramid and although my press pass would get me in the building I wasn’t supposed to crash those prime seats, but, the wit and wisdom of Bob was just too tempting. So after scanning the sidelines for athletics brass I would try—the word is try—to look small and sit down and get his thoughts on the proceedings, coaches, tactics and kids. An added bonus was that two seats down was the late Dr. John Kashiwabara so a seat between those two brilliant guys was pure bliss. Ultimately I would get so immersed in following the analytical offerings of Bob that I would get busted by the Gucci Row patrol and banished to another location but every time I got caught I was willing to do my time because of I really enjoyed the crime. RIP Bob.

Back to the future the web boarders, as opposed to the water boarders, report that all eight of the Dirtbag draftees including juniors Jordan Casas and Jonathan Jones has signed. Money ball you asked, the board guys say that “Jake Thompson ($555K), Devin Lohman ($363K) and Joey Terdoslavich ($125K) all signed for about "slot money" and are the only ones with their bonuses listed in Baseball America’s database because they were drafted in the first ten rounds. “ The other three likely got a portion of a pick up truck, translated less than $50,000.

Our pal Mike McCall has a nice piece on former Dirtbag now Mariners left-hander Jason Vargas who clearly is” having his best year of his career, and he's doing it with the same even-keeled demeanor and team-first mentality that has always made him a manager's dream. He's confident, even-tempered, and positive. Those are the three things that come to mind," Mariners skipper Don Wakamatsu said. "He's a very level-headed kid. Even when you see him on a golf course, he's very consistent emotionally. He's mature for his age, and his work ethic is outstanding." Mike then tells this interesting story that compliments the new Dirtbag boss, Troy Buckley. “… as a junior at Long Beach State in 2004, Vargas entered his team's dugout during a game against Miami and walked into a major chewing-out from then-pitching coach Troy Buckley.

The Dirtbags had dropped the first two games to the Hurricanes in the South Florida heat, and in the third, Vargas had allowed four runs in two innings.
He gave up a home run, hit a batter, and walked three -- a sloppy start that provoked Buckley to try a bit of dark humor. He told head coach Mike Weathers he was going to fake a tirade at Vargas and see what happened next.
He pulled it off without breaking character, even telling Vargas he was finished calling pitches. "I said, 'I'm done, I'm not doing it. It doesn't matter what I call, because you can't put it where I want you to put it,'" Buckley said. "He just looked at me. It was the first time I'd ever gotten on [him]. ... He thought I was dead serious, and the whole dugout did, too. I had to fake it well to see how he would respond, and he totally did." Vargas threw four scoreless frames after the exchange -- even adding a two-run homer -- and though LBSU wound up losing by a run, Buckley had seen exactly what he was hoping for. And he never told Vargas he was kidding. Last add, I am not a souvenir collector but I still Jason’s home ruin ball from Cal even he has a nice swap in mind.

It is really old news but I enjoyed the quip that USC football got “Death Penalty Lite” for their loss of “Institutional Control.” That was on my mind at the recent Gooch Invitational golf fund raiser where I saw Dennis Dummit who was busy winning the tourney at Big Rec on Saturday and was willing to answer my question about what advice he would give to folks connected with the current USC football scene. Dennis I should note was an all star QB for UCLA in 1970 when the Bruins smacked SC 45-20 but is active all over town. “I think that the problems won’t be evident this fall but the loss of scholarships the years after that will really have a profound impact.” The e NCAA sanctions imposed scholarship reduction in the amount of limiting the program to 75 total scholarship players and no more than 15 players signed to a new scholarship for each of the next 3 seasons. Oh yes, and the 2 year post-season ban for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Back on the Jake and shortstop U stuff---The Rays have high expectations for Thompson with executive vice president Andrew Friedman telling the St. Petersburg Times, “We feel like he’s got a chance to move through the system pretty quickly.” Thompson joins Evan Longoria (1st round, 2006) and Jason Corder (7th round, 2008) as recent Dirtbags drafted high by Tampa Bay….the D 49er noted, “Lohman, second-team All-Big West, was selected 94th overall by the Cincinnati Reds. Lohman hit .404 in 2010, becoming the first Dirtbag to hit over .400 for a season since 1998. “Shortstop U” added another name to the list with Lohman getting drafted early. He joins Danny Espinosa (3rd round, 2008), Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki (1st round, 2005), Bobby Crosby (1st round, 2001) and Chris Gomez (3rd round, 1992) as other Dirtbag shortstops taken in the first two days of the draft. And Joey T said, “I enjoyed Long Beach very much and loved everything about it,” Terdoslavich said. “The coaches, my teammates, the school and the weather, I loved my experience here. I just wish it translated onto the field. I learned a lot here.” Atlanta looks like a good fit for Terdoslavich with current Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, a future Hall of Famer, approaching the end of his career. “It really is the perfect fit for me,” Terdoslavich said. “They want to keep me at third base. With Chipper Jones getting older and no third baseman in the farm system, I might be able to make it up pretty fast.”

The other Bags packing their bags were left-handed pitcher Jason Markovitz and outfielder Jonathan Jones were the last two Dirtbags selected on day two of the draft. Markovitz went to the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round and Jones was picked in the 29th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Senior Steve Tinoco was the first of three Dirtbags selected on day three. The Rays took the LBSU first baseman in the 34th round after Tinoco put together a solid senior year. He finished the 2010 season hitting .348 with 45 RBIs and ended his career as a Dirtbag with 116 RBIs, 11th most in program history. Junior Jordan Casas was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 40th round and, according to The Californian; he will forgo his final year of eligibility at Long Beach State and sign with the Indians. Senior TJ Mittelstaedt, the last Dirtbag taken, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 44th round. Mittelstaedt leaves Long Beach State as the school’s career triples leader and ranks in the top-5 in walks with 105 over his four-year career.” Last add on the upbeat, the list of iincoming arms will include Pacifica High pitcher Jordan Deitrich, a 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds power thrower who was 8-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 65 strikeouts as a senior last spring.

Our closing quote comes from Molly who has tickets near the Seattle Mariners bull pen. That is where non-star Jason Phillips works and explains why was perusing the Safeco stands just over a year ago looking over some of Seattle’s finest talent. The catcher, who spends more than half of his gameday in the bullpen finally met eyes with a business woman entertaining clients. ….”If we go extra innings, I’m gonna make a move, that’s gotta be a sign.” The game with the Oakland A’s went into extra innings. Phillips grabbed a baseball, scribbled his number on it, got the woman’s attention and tossed it to her. And for the rest of the game, he was left to wonder how she’d respond. Molly said yes to the first date and now, a year later, to the wedding date.—DR. DAN