April 30, 2006

(at Washington 7, UA 5)
(UA 15, at Washington 0)
(at Washington 4, UA 3)
(UA 1, NBA Draft 0)

With the first pick of the 2006 Internet Writing Guy Draft….

It was another strange weekend for the Arizona baseball team. The Wildcats won a game by a score of 15-0. The Wildcats outscored Washington 23-11 over three games. The Wildcats lost the series.

That's right, it was the one blowout win and two more close losses. The Sunday game was our third one-run defeat in Pac-10 play. One thing's for sure, these young guys will have a lot of fun settling scores next year.

It's been an odd year overall for the 9-Pac. Last place Stanford just won a series from third place ASU and sixth place Washington State took 2 of 3 from second place USC. Since we're now in eighth place, that must mean we're going to win a bunch of games down the stretch.

If you're in the Phoenix area this week and are looking for some rivalry fun, the BatCats will be playing at ASU Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Bear Down, David Plante.

Right after I wrote my musical tribute to Jon Gaston he got injured and missed 6 games. As a result I am shelving my plans for a full-scale theatrical tribute to Willie Tuitama based on "The Lion King."

If you take in a game at Kindall Field, you'll notice the Wildcats are really good at one thing in particular: Standing around. This year's team has set a school record for getting hit by the pitch. In addition, Colt Sedbrook now owns the individual single-season record for getting beaned, and Jason Donald has been pelted more often in his career than anyone in Wildcat history. There may be no crying in baseball but there's plenty of bruising.

And speaking of going to a game, if you've been wanting to see the improvements to Kindall/Sancet you'd better hurry. The next three weekends are our final nine home games of the year: UNLV May 5-7, WSU May 13-15, and a certain devilish team May 19, 20, and 21.

A couple random thoughts from across the college sporting nation:

It came out during the past week that Steve Lavin turned down the North Carolina State head coaching job. A couple thoughts: 1) That's too bad. Since we couldn't get Lavs in Tempe, it would've been cool to have him living a parallel coaching life to Herb Sendek. 2) The Wolfpack sure got desperate fast, huh? They went from gunning for John Calipari and Rick Barnes to getting shot down by Steve Lavin and his stationary bike. What are they going to do now, make a run at Rob Evans?

Wait a second, USC has a guy named John David Booty and it's the other quarterback who gets arrested for sexual assault?

With spring ball now behind us, football fans have officially entered the cat days of summer. But cheer up, gridiron aficionados, Arizona fall camp starts August 3. When the sun rises on Monday we'll have a mere 94 days to go.


Spring means three things: Baseball is in full swing, football is scrimmaging, and Arizona basketball is draft dodging.

It's become an annual tradition of frustration. Who's going pro early? Who's going to trade their most productive years as a college player for a chance at big fat paychecks?

It appeared we were going to get a break this year. Mustafa Shakur was the only player with eligibility left to declare for the draft, but he didn't hire an agent so he can come back, and even if he does leave we'd only be losing out on one year from him, and the jury's still out on how good that year would have been.

But then the fickleness of youth reared its temperamental head. Rumors started swirling about freshman Marcus Williams making the leap. After filling the papers with quotes of wanting to become one of the all-time Wildcat greats, getting his jersey in the McKale rafters and winning a championship for Coach Olson, it sounded as if now, like so many before him, Williams was just interested in getting paid.

Wildcat fans everywhere panicked. We realized we were now one more Jawann McClellan injury away from serious depth issues. The questions were flying fast and furious: Can J.P. Prince improve enough over the summer to become a solid rotation player? Will Chase Budinger be ready to start from Day 1? Is Josh Pastner going to have to suit up again?

We immediately wrote off Williams. We called him all sorts of horrible things like "immature," and "greedy," and "Ndudi Ebi."

But then something peculiar happened: Nothing. Marcus Williams didn't go pro. He isn't going to make any money this year. He didn't Ebi us.

So in the end Williams held a press conference to tell us he wasn't doing anything. Where was Kirk Walters' presser? He's coming back next year, right? In fact, I'm calling a press conference right now.

Hello. Thank you for coming today. There have been a lot of rumors out there and I thought now would be a good time to set the record straight. I will not be taking over as the CEO of Microsoft, nor have I been appointed to the Supreme Court. And as far as the talk that I will be moving to Las Vegas to headline the Thunder From Down Under male revue…no comment.

But seriously, this is great news for Wildcatdom. Marcus Williams is poised to have a monster sophomore year and the team should be very, very good. Barring something crazy (i.e., anything that happened in '05-'06), all the standard Arizona basketball goals are now in place: Win back the Pac-10. Get the #1 seed in the West. Go to the Final Four. Win the whole dang thang.

Close the window on that draft. I'm getting chills.

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