June 29, 2007

Friday Last Takes- Turn out the lights on '07

RosenblattEmpty.jpg
(the grand lady goes dark for the next 50 weeks)

I feel like John Winger in the movie "Stripes." At the point where he already lost his job, his car, his apartment and then watched as his girlfriend walked out on him, preserving the fact that the tiny acorn will NOT become the mighty oak tree. He slumps to the floor, saying, "... and then, depression set in."

That's how I feel now. This is the part of the calendar year that I hate more than any other. College football is still two full months away. And - gulp! - the next pitch for college baseball is... (I'm doing the math here, bear with me)... seven... no, eight months away. (Damn later start date).

So as my last thoughts of 2007 slip out of my brain and onto my laptop screen, here are 10 quick hits I have been thinking about since the season ended five days ago.

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June 25, 2007

CWS: The Best of Omaha

After a week in this midwest baseball paradise, it's always fun to look back and see what was good and bad about the College World Series, the atmosphere and the city of Omaha itself. So as I like to do at the end of every CWS, here are a few observations I made while there.

So until the next 355 days pass as quickly as possible...

Enjoy.

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June 22, 2007

CWS: My Interview With An Umpire

It seems like every reporter or media honk wants to get a one-on-one with one of the head coaches, or one of the hottest players, or even the guy behind the grill in Dingerville. Not me.

One thing I've always wanted to do was talk to one of the more unheralded people involved in the College World Series, an umpire.

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CWS: Day seven wrap... What, these two again? Oy vey!

Okay, I've got a game for ya'. Go ahead and raise your hands if back on June 27th of 2006, you predicted a repeat of North Carolina and Oregon State in the 2007 College World Series Finals again?

If you did, you're a freak. Or a lyin' sack-a-jeh-wea.

'Coz guess what?... That's what we've got this year again in the CWS finals. Last time around it was the unheralded Beavers rising up and taking down the arms-rich staff of Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard, and that unpredictable defense that eventually melted down when it counted to account for a stunning national title for the Rainbelters.

AckleyHR.jpg
(Dustin Ackley rounds third after hitting his monstrous dinger to open the 2nd inning)

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June 21, 2007

CWS: Day six wrap: Casey brings joy to the Mudville Nine

DAM! Beavers again!

This is weird. This is Rod Serling weird man. Okay, lemme put it this way, raise your hand if, at the beginning of the season, you thought Oregon Freakin' State would be in the national championship series? Go ahead, let me see 'em...

That's what I thought. Not a damn soul thought this would happen.

How do you lose a Dallas Buck, a Kevin Gunderson, a Jonah Nickerson, a Chris Kunda, a Bill Rowe and a Tyler Graham and still make a run at the big brass ring the next season?

Here's how... I've got two words for you: Pat Casey.

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(Media director Lenli Corbett and OSU coach Pat Casey in post-game)

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June 20, 2007

CWS: Day five wrap- UCI will send us all to the ICU

Let's start with this, elimination games are hell. And today were two hell-of-a-game kind of games. In vastly different styles.

UNC (and the wind) smothered the potent Louisville offense and advanced to play Rice by relying on wicked pitching and solid defense.

UCI left all our nerves looking like 150-year old rope by making one of the most-exciting comebacks in years as they overcame a vastly talented Arizona State team.

Someone give me some oxygen as we roll toward Wednesday with more team's seasons on the line.

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June 19, 2007

CWS: Day four wrap... the Razing of Rosenblatt. Done deal?

Okay, for starters. Here's the deal... the latest I had heard tonight was that Rosenblatt is DEFINITELY going to be razed and the Henry Doorly Zoo peeps are going to build a panda exhibit where the the skeleton of Rosenblatt will soon haunt. So that new stadium downtown is (apparently) a done deal. Get your last looks at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium while you're here this week. It's not long for this world.

That's the word I got late tonight while sharing beers with friends after this marathon day of college baseball. (Thank you 13th street beer garden).

And I suppose the loudest applause I'm hearing is coming from Creighton University, who will get a beauty of a brand new stadium to be the cornerstone for their program. Coach Servais, don't go taking another job anywhere. You're about to get a major boost to your program.

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June 18, 2007

CWS: Monday morning obs

Quickly here. My top five quick-hits before I head out to Rosenblatt---

1- Richard Justice is now my freakin' hero.
Go to the following link and pan down a bit to his live blogging he's doing from the College World Series:

http://blogs.chron.com/sportsjustice/

Yes, he's blogging live anyway. Damn the torpedoes. Damn the NCAA. That's SOOOOO punk rock man. I dig it.

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CWS: Day three wrap. Zzzzzzzz!

Okay, I have to admit, today's games were a bummer. I almost fell asleep on two occasions. I had to run across the street to get a couple of RedBulls from the DJ's Dugout (the only beer garden with air conditioning and free peanuts). Louisville and Rice made this day a snoozer from just about the first inning of each game on.

I've gotta say, the highlight of the day had to be Glenn Tanner's tailgate where I pilfered a free beer or two. Or maybe the highlight was doing the post-game wrap-up show for CSTV.com with Carter Blackburn on our nightly post for the dot-com site. He's totally awesome in front of the camera. I just wish I could say the same thing about myself. But I gave it a good effort.

Here's what happened today... just in case you missed it yourself.

Wind.jpg
(Check out that wicked South wind. Now you see why Louisville went all Gorilla Ball this weekend.)

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June 17, 2007

CWS: Sunday morning notes

Various other notes and stuff I wanted to include somewhere:

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CWS: Day two wrap... Damn, I'm still on West Coast temps.

Today's pair of one-run games was just the type of white-knucklers that we expected from our West coast ball teams that went at each other in the blaring white heat of Rosenblatt Stadium today.

It was the Pac 10 going 2-0 vs. the Big West in today's two games. But both came down to one-run decisions that could've very nearly gone the other way. Does that stupid over-used "game of inches" comment go here? Yes, it actually does.


IkeDavisHR.jpg
(ASU's Ike Davis gets fist pounds for his game-winning home run)


If we discovered one thing about today's games, it's that this West coast bracket will be an exciting, down-to-the-wire affair that probably won't be decided until the second elimination game finale on Friday.

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June 16, 2007

CWS: Various notes I didn't know where else to put

Hey Stitch-heads

Here's the deal. I started writing some various notes and crud about the College World Series on Friday morning. But I didn't quite know how to post it or where to post it. So it's now Saturday morning and I'm just going to go ahead and add a few more things and then put this up on the Extra Innings site.

It's just a few notes about the time here in Omaha so far and some of the things about the College World Series. Feel free to add to it in the comment section if you want.

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CWS: Day one wrap... damn, I'm still on West coast time

Well in the end, things went about as expected today in the first day of College World Series games in Rosenblatt. Both favorites - Rice and North Carolina - won, and won going away too. But it was the manner in which they did it that was witches-wart odd.

Rice fell behind quickly to a hot Louisville team, 5-0 after two and a half innings and 10-4 after four and a half. Later, UNC fell behind 4-0 to Mississippi State and, with a simple shrug of the shoulders, worked its way back with a pair of big innings. No fuss. No muss. These guys know how to play at this time of year. And it showed.


WhitingCatch.jpg
(UofL's Boomer Whiting had the catch of the day in game one)

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June 14, 2007

Thursday Thoughts - Diverted by The Police version

First off, before I get to my Police story, let me start with this...

Dear NCAA,

I just wanted to tell you that Eric Sorenson (don't you hate it when blow-hards refer to themselves in the third person?) of CSTV will NOT be doing any live blogging during the games of the College World Series. I don't want to end up like this guy:

http://www.courier-journal.com/blogs/bennett/blog.html

However, I have heard about a guy in the college baseball community who has no need for a credential and will be in Rosenblatt Stadium doing live blogging from his laptop for a website you've never heard of. It's rumored that he'll blog about everything he sees on and off the field during the CWS, including live score updates just like Gametracker. Now, this is just what I've heard. I don't know where he'll be sitting, and sure, it's unfair that he gets to blog while nobody in the press box can. So go ahead and search the stadium and the internet, he's out there. But where?...

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert