When Las Vegas 51s pitching coach Frank Viola talked about pitching prospects during the New York Mets’ spring training at Port St. Lucie, Florida, he couldn’t remember them all.
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There’s a common perception that it’s not about winning in the minor leagues, that it’s about developing players, or why else would the big league teams call up a bunch of guys in September right when the Triple-A playoffs are starting?
I know there were three ballgames Sunday, but today is the real Opening Day as far as I am concerned — because today is the first day your mom could write a note and sign your doctor’s name to excuse your absence from school.
It is the second day of March Madness, and the television in the New York Mets clubhouse in Port St. Lucie, Florida, is tuned to one of the regional sites. Though the clubhouse is full — or almost full — none among the Mets seems very interested in the college basketball games.
It wouldn’t be Opening Day without making a late-night sojourn to Baseball-Reference.com to find an interesting morsel or two or three about the grand ol’ game.
Paul Sewald of the New York Mets said he was looking forward to pitching in Las Vegas, in front of mom (Judi) and dad (Mark) and his girlfriend (Molly). He just didn’t think it would be Thursday against the Cubs.
Musiette McKinney from The Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach heard that Chris Beard, the Arkansas-Little Rock basketball coach, was in town to interview for the UNLV job that Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin didn’t want and she was so excited.
It’s only a few hundred feet from the big league compound to the minor league practice diamonds at New York Mets spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It seems a much longer distance when you are there.
I’ve often said that if you look long and or enough, you’ll find a Las Vegan angle to most major sports stories. It’s hyperbole, of course. But only slight hyperbole.
One of the first reports out of Cincinnati said little Sammi, the 9-year-old daughter of Mick Cronin, weighed heavily in his decision to stay at the school. Of course she did, and you would think UNLV would have realized this before putting all eggs in Cronin’s basket.
If you squinted from concourse level at Holman Stadium in Vero Beach, Florida, and let your mind wander, you could see the baseball ghosts playing pepper on the field below: Robinson, Campanella, Snider, Koufax, Pee Wee Reese.
You’ve probably seen a hundred interviews during which a ballplayer chats about his faith and family and sport, and talks about them in that order. Maybe you thought it was a cliche; maybe you thought that is how it should be.
Clint Bowyer grew up in Emporia, Kansas, about an hour’s drive from Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, where Bowyer’s beloved Jayhawks hoop it up. He remains a big fan and is predicting a victorious KU burnout.
The Mountain West was granted an automatic tournament bid in 2001. That meant to keep a tidy 64-team bracket, one of the small-fry conferences had to lose their automatic in, or one of the at-large bids would have to be sacrificed, which would mean that somebody such as Michigan or Syracuse might have to play in the NIT.
If those who would crack wise at the Vegas 16’s expense will do the math, they will discover Las Vegas’ inaugural postseason college basketball tournament for teams with directions and ampersands in their name has the highest average power rating of the three non-NCAA supported tournaments.
Now, San Diego State will be relegated to watching on TV when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced Sunday. Steve Fisher, the venerable Aztecs coach, didn’t sound too optimistic the Selection Show would end well for his guys. The team definitely is on the bubble.
When Peyton Manning officially retired last week, a lot of people were telling stories about him on the Internet, and telling shorter stories on Twitter. About having met him somewhere by happenstance, and having had a pleasant interaction with the most affable of pro quarterbacks.
Chicago State’s record fell to 4 wins, 28 losses, which sounds dire, until you learn Chicago State has declared “a university-wide state of financial exigency.” What this essentially means: Chicago State is broke.
And though young Chase Elliott has shown great speed, and great promise, he’s only 28th in points heading into this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix.
The Vegas 16 is the latest edition to the roster of college basketball postseason tournaments. You have the Big Dance, which is the NCAA Tournament. You have the NIT, the CBI, the CIT, the Vegas 16. These are Little Dances, lovely parting gifts, the home game of “Concentration.”
As predicted, it started to blow like crazy just before the green flag fell Sunday for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, delaying the start by 40 minutes. Suddenly, the new low downforce package everybody had been talking about became a footnote.
It’s the wind that has everybody fretting. The forecast is for stiff 30 mph breezes under partly cloudy skies with cooler temperatures. Friday’s high was 80 degrees; it’s supposed to be 64 Sunday.
The Las Vegas native, the only local driver in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, talks about turning 40 and the racing goals he would still like to accomplish.
Only 39 cars and drivers have entered Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A full field is now 40 cars. Last year it was 43. Participation numbers are down. They were down last year, too. Should NASCAR’s fireproof coveralls be all in a bunch? Yes. And no.
Sprint Cup cars and drivers will be on the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday to test the low downforce package in advance of Sunday’s Kobalt 400.