May 7, 2006

(at UA 7, UNLV 6 - 11 inn.)
(UNLV 15, at UA 7)
(UNLV 16, at UA 12)

We begin with a friendly reminder to get your football season ticket renewals in the mail ASAP. Payment must be received by this Friday, May 12th, or someone else will be cheering on every Antoine Cason interception and TuiThomas touchdown from your seat. Defend your piece of aluminum.

I took in the Arizona baseball game on Saturday and things went downhill fast. It was like UA/UCLA, but in basketball. Ouch.

So how does one pass the time during a lopsided baseball game? Let me count the ways:

Marvel at the College World Series board in right field.
Did you realize that since 1970, Arizona has won the championship in every other CWS appearance? Made it in 1970, won it in 1967. Made it in 1979, won it in 1980. Made it in 1985, won it in 1986. Since we made it in 2004, all we have to do is get back and they'll hand us the trophy.

Marvel at the row of retired numbers in left field.
9 - Jerry Kindall, the thrice-champion coach and the man with his name on the field.
8 - Jim Wing played on the 1956 Wildcat team that made the College World Series and lost to Jerry Kindall's Minnesota team in the championship game before becoming the pitching coach on all three UA championship teams.
32 - Terry Francona, the 1980 Golden Spikes Award winner and College World Series MVP hit .401 with 84 RBI's that year.
41 - Kelsey Osburn was killed by a batted ball during a summer league practice in 2000.

Marvel at the historical plumbing.
If you're looking for a place where you can still pee in a trough, Sancet Stadium is for you.

Marvel at the Lone Heckler.
He's a member of the student Hot Corner with a gravelly voice so distinctive my wife once recognized him in the background of a radio broadcast. What sets Lone apart from his heckling counterparts is his ability to cleverly taunt without being crude. My favorite line was directed at a particularly short opposing player: "When they say to pick on someone your own size, who do you pick on?"

Marvel at the white bats.
I realize the economics of college baseball require metal bats, but I don't understand the white ones. It looks like they're hitting with florescent light bulbs.

Marvel at Brad Glenn's foul ball display.
It was Davis-Monthan night so there was a nice crowd of military families present. Brad made many friends among the kids by fouling off about a half dozen pitches in one at bat. With all the souvenirs to chase they didn't even mind that he popped out.

Marvel at Jon Bon Jovi's hair.
This child of the '80s never gets tired of videos from the "Slippery When Wet" era. Take my hand and we'll make it. I swear.

Marvel at strikeouts.
Anytime the UA pitching staff combines for 9 or more strikeouts in a game the fans get a coupon for a free Thirstbuster from Circle K. Even with the game out of reach our taste buds still had a horse in the race. The crowd's excitement grew with each Rebel whiff, but our soda dreams popped. In a fitting end to the night, the Cat pitchers finished with exactly 8 K's.

Marvel at the Super Bowl winner.
UA pitcher Daniel Schlereth's father was in attendance and Mark won three NFL championships with the Redskins and Broncos before working as a football analyst. This led to kids getting autographs from "some ESPN guy" and watching him through their video phones.

Marvel at my grasp of trivia.
So there I was, minding my own business, trying not to get hit by a Brad Glenn foul ball, when I heard the words that would change my life forever. If this sounds familiar it means you understand how attentive I get when there's a sandwich to be won. That's right, it was time for the Subway Trivia Question.

The question was: Who holds the UA single season record for stolen bases? Your choices were A) Brad Boyer, B) Terry Francona, C) Tommy Hinzo, and D) Trevor Crowe. Boyer's on this year's team and Crowe was here last year so I figured I would've heard about it if that kind of record had been broken. Francona, as we talked about, was a middle of the lineup guy. That left Hinzo so I marched up to the marketing table and put his name next to mine on the slip of paper that found its home in the big wooden box.

A couple innings later my hopes of free lunch came fulfilled. Letter C was the answer and my name was pulled from the fives, if not tens of entries. Thank you, Tommy Hinzo. At this rate I'm going to own a Subway franchise by the time bowl season rolls around.

And when you're done with all that and the game's still not over you start to think about things like this:

What's the difference between a quip and a quote? A quip is a witty remark, but once you quote a quip it becomes a quote. If you speak rapidly you quote a quick quip, but if you trade barbs, are your quoted quips quid pro quo? Quite.

Barring a stunning finish this year's team will have a losing record but there's still plenty to play for. Since I'm on a roll with the lists, here are some remaining goals:

Move up the Pac-9 standings. We're still only 2 and a half games out of second place in the league standings. Yeah, it would take jumping over 6 teams to get there, but the point is we can still move up a spot or two if we finish the year strong.

Beat ASU. We're 1-1 vs. the Devils this year with 3 games left in Tucson the weekend of May 19. Winning the season series for the second consecutive year would be a nice way to end a tough year.

Get better. The good news about a young team is almost everybody comes back and you suddenly have an experienced team. There are 81 remaining scheduled innings for hitters to get at bats, pitchers to throw strikes, and fielders to take grounders. Wasting them would make as much sense as throwing out a free sandwich.

Eat up.

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