The first day of super regional action of the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament has begun, and the Louisville and College Station supers promise to provide some outstanding baseball drama over the weekend.
It’s nigh impossible to tell whether the ball strikes the yellow — which it clearly does — further to the left or right of the left edge of the stripe. Whatever the case, this hit should probably have been ruled a fair ball — good for, let’s say, a double. It was ruled foul on the field.
College baseball fairly recently installed rules of video replay assist, and fair and foul calls are absolutely reviewable plays. On a too-close-to-call play without any real conclusive proof in real time, this play should have been reviewed immediately. Furthermore, either the umpires or coaches can initiate a video review, which does not take place on-site. So if the umping crew didn’t call for a review, why didn’t Oregon State skipper Pat Casey? According to NOLA.com’s Ron Higgins, Casey said afterward:
Uh, yeah. Why Casey didn’t ask to stop for a review in such a high-stakes moment — Kwan’s is a big bat and he had runners at first and second — is inexplicable. Perhaps he didn’t see the ball’s flight path clear enough to raise a stink about it. Whatever the case, he most certainly should have asked for play to stop right there.
The controversy spun out onto the internet — above the fray of the field of play — so that the NCAA issued a statement regarding the policies in question in such an event as this.
Kennesaw State, led by head coach Brian Bohannon, has only been around for two seasons in the FCS’ Big South conference. In 2015, the Owls went 6-5 in their inaugural season, and they went 8-3 last season and was just one win shy of a Big South Conference title. Jacksonville State, under John Grass, has gone 33-6 over the last three seasons and has successfully reached the FCS Playoffs each year.
College football being played in Major League Baseball stadiums is a more recent trend we’ve been seeing over the years. Three bowl games are played in them, including the Arizona’s Cactus, New York’s Pinstripe, and the St. Petersburg bowls. In 2010, Illinois and Northwestern played in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the dimensions of which caused both teams to use just one end zone, which was a bit awkward.
Wednesday’s game gives us Rick Porcello and CC Sabathia, the former mostly recovered from his rough start and Sabathia once again looking like he’s still a capable arm even at 36. Finally, Thursday gives us David Price vs. Michael Pineda, which should be a significant test for both given Price’s elbow and Pineda’s consistency issues.
Like it or not, you probably have to get used to both of these teams playing important games again, especially given how young and productive the lineups for both clubs are. The Baby Boomers are rightfully getting a whole lot of attention, especially with Aaron Judge’s monster season, but don’t forget that Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Andrew Benintendi are all younger than he is: All this youth might be what reignites this rivalry, as neither team are seemingly going away anytime soon.
Judge has done his part for the Yankees in the same regard, as his on-base and slugging percentages both lead the AL, and New York finds itself a half game up on the Red Sox. Judge might even be having the top season in the AL, given Mike Trout’s inherent head start on everyone else in the game has been interrupted by his extended stint on the disabled list.
It would be fascinating and worthy of our attention if these two were on the dirt worst teams in MLB and putting up these kinds of numbers. But having them on teams that look like they should be competitive throughout the year, on classic franchises that seem to just be adding to their history of successful, homegrown stars? That adds another few layers, even if fans of Yankees and Dodgers rivals aren’t necessarily going to appreciate them the same way.
Fair enough. It’s probably the fault of the other teams with affiliates in the FSL for not thinking of this first, really.
With the promotion, you’ll get more articles like the one from the AP. There will be some positives. Glimmers will be shown. Seeds of hope will be planted. Mistakes will be made, but mistakes will not make the headlines.
And there might be some 2-for-13 stretches with strikeouts mixed in, but that’s just a technical quibble.
How brilliant: Wouldn’t you love to be sponsored by something you love? Syndergaard, who adores Cholula, gets as much free Cholula as he wants! The guy has it made in the hot sauce department, and the hot sauce department is clearly a place he enjoys spending time.
LSU and Oregon State went in for one of the more intriguing Omaha matchups of the College World Series’ opening weekend, and the Beavers have blasted out of the gates to stonewall the notoriously big bad Tigers. Things began slowly enough, with Oregon State crossing a single run in the top of the first to pull out a tenuous 1-0 lead, but the Beavs have pounced on LSU in the middle innings.
In the top of the fifth, LSU completely forgot how to play baseball, committing two heinous errors in the frame to plate three Oregon State runners, and in the process granting every ounce of momentum to the Beavs. Things are not going well for the Tigers, to say the least.
The Rockies slipped in the standings, sure, but they still possess a postseason spot, and the Cubs only managed to gain one game in the process, one that will likely end up as their best chance to gain ground.
The gap has closed a little bit for the non-Cubs teams the Pirates were previously the next-closest after Chicago at 11 games back, but now it’s the Braves at eight games back. Do you think the Braves are going to end up winning a wild card spot in a rebuilding year when they’re already eight back? Probably not! Cheer up, Rockies fans: your team is still in a great place.
It also helps that Colorado won six games in a row before dropping eight, so over their last 14, they’ve been pretty close to .500, and are 14-11 overall in the month of June. It’s disappointing that the Rockies weren’t able to build on their 14-3 start to June, sure, but they’re still in a great place as the month nears its close, and taking their next series will turn that narrative right around again.
Major League Baseball umpires have one of the toughest jobs in the sport. They never have a home game, and no fans come to the stadium to cheer them on. Maybe that should change, thanks an umpire like John Tumpane.
Tumpane was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays. He spotted a woman climbing over the railing on the Roberto Clemente Bridge near PNC Park.
Zack Hess spelled Lange in the eighth, and he needed just 23 pitches to work his way out of the last five outs. The big boy pitcher currently sports the Wild Thing haircut shave from the Major League franchise on the back of his head, and he dealt absolute heat to strike out the day’s final batter.
That’s a big time celebration for the hurler, and synecdoche for LSU on a grander scale, insofar as they were crushed by 12 runs just days previous. Skipper Paul Mainieri was asked about Hess’ personality after the big win, and, well:
The Tigers and Beavers will meet to decide one of the College World Series’ final two teams on Saturday, time to be announced.
Zack Hess has kindly agreed via tweet not to strangle his day’s starter after such a masterful performance despite Lange calling him gross on Twitter what with Lange holding the Beavs down to just one run in the victory. Thank you, Zack Wild Thing Hess, you’re the best.
Dear Lange, Great job today on the 30th Win. And thank you for the compliment. Now I won’t strangle you in your sleep. With love, Hess ??
The second day of super regional play in the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament featured eight games at all eight tournament sites, and Louisville and Texas A&M were the first two teams this year to punch their tickets to the College World Series proper in Omaha, Neb.
The Cardinals downed the Wildcats, 5-2, on Friday then again, 6-2, on Saturday, and Drew Ellis and company are in business in the round of eight. Ellis, in fact, scorched off three home runs in the Louisville super, and his is the hot bat of the tournament currently.
The guy they want to draft (whoever that might be) should still be there at No. 3, where they traded down to. Moving off the top spot helped their payroll out, helped shed light on directions they hope to take with players they already have, and made it clear that there are likely more trades coming. They got in this situation to begin with due to trading established stars (Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) to the Nets in exchange for draft picks well down the road, one of which netted them the top spot in this season’s draft.
Now, fans around the NBA are invested in what Boston does next, if trading the pick that could net a potential superstar to a rival will backfire, or if it’ll turn out that Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge has made a prescient move. Imagine if MLB could add these levels of intrigue to its own draft and transactions each season? The Twins passed on consensus No. 1 Hunter Greene just last week: How could they have helped their own rebuild and current path to contention out if they had been able to deal out of that spot instead of just passing on him?