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  • Golden Baseball Magazine
July 6, 2015

BACK FROM THE PHILIPPINES!

A rewarding experience but glad to be home.

  • My Sunday, July 5, 2015, lasted 39 HOURS!
  • This counts from midnight Saturday in Manila through the 13-hour flight across the International Date Line to Los Angeles, then the 13-hour layover in L.A., four hours longer than anticipated since mechanical problems forced our takeoff for New Orleans from 6 PM to 10 PM.
  • I counted two more hours as we flew across the Pacific and Mountain time zones before reaching midnight.
  • We landed in the Crescent City at 4 AM.

I'll get right to work on a new Golden Baseball Magazine.

Review of Past Three Weeks
Tigers Fall Short
Monday, July 6
The 2015 College World Series went as I expected as far as the Tigers were concerned.
  • I was able to follow the games from half a world away via the LSU website - either by listening to the broadcast or, when heavy Internet traffic kept knocking out the signal, from the play-by-play program.
  • I had predicted here that LSU would make Omaha but that they didn't have enough pitching depth to take the championship.
  • And that proved to be the case as only freshman sensation Alex Lange produced enough of a quality start to cop a victory.
  • Yet, I learned from updates that my friend Tommy sent me that some LSU fans were knocking Manieri for not winning the championship! Astounding but not surprising. Why do so many LSU fans think they must blame the coach for every loss?
  • LSU won more games than any team in the country without ever finding a reliable third starter.
  • I was very surprised and disappointed that Virginia upset Vanderbilt.
  • I also asked myself why should I bother with the regular season when Virginia finished seventh in the ACC and had to win their last weekend series to make the conference tournament. Yet they got hot at the right time and won the championship. I realize the Cavaliers had numerous injuries to both pitchers and position players.
  • That is both the charm and the frustration of baseball. Still, that never sits well with me.
Cardinals
Monday, July 6
When I left the country June 12, the Redbirds led the Central Divison by 6.5 games.
  • Today, they lead by six after surviving their first four-game losing streak of the season.
  • I was able to follow the games quite well on mlb.com. I watched the highlight clips of the St. Louis games as well as other contests.
  • They haven't been hitting - just 11 runs in the last six games. They need Matt Holliday back ASAP.
  • First base has been a problem. As expected, Mark Reynolds, replacing the injured Matt Adams, hasn't done the job. Yes, he provides spurts of power but doesn't hit for average and strikes out way too much. Xavier Scruggs supplied some pop for several games, then disappeared to the bench.
  • The Cards now take the road against their two closest pursuers in the Central: four against the Cubs, including a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, followed by four at Pittsburgh.
  • The only Redbird batter in the NL top ten is Matt Carpenter, who was 10th in OBP as of Sunday. But Matt is one of the main reasons the run production has been down After hitting over .300 for most of the season, he is down to .274.
  • Mike Matheny's crew has forged the best record in the majors because of the best pitching in either league.
NBA Finals
Monday, July 6
For once, I hit the nail on the head for the NBA Finals.

Golden State in six games.

  • My prognosis didn't look good when the Cavaliers took a 2-to-1 lead.
  • But one man can carry a team only so far against eight opponents.
  • I don't dislike Cleveland and LeBron but was rooting for the Warriors and Steve Kerr and Steph Curry.
Anthony Davis Extension
Monday, July 6

Just before leaving the Philippines, I saw the great news that Davis had agreed to a five-year extension.

  • Not only does that lock him up for the foreseeable future, but it provides an incentive for other top-notch players to come to New Orleans.
  • With a new coach of board, the Pelicans look to do better than barely making the #8 playoff spot in the West.

I have a story from the Philippines that relates to this topic.

  • The Archbishop of Digos came to Cor Jesu College the last Friday of June to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart at a schoolwide mass in the gym.
  • Afterwards, the brothers hosted a lunch for His Excellency, who loves hamburgers. (So guess what was served.)
  • I introduced myself to him as a brother from the U.S.
    Where in the U.S.? he asked.
    New Orleans.
    The Pelicans!
    Yes.
    Did they make the playoffs?
    Yes, but they lost in the first round to Golden State. The owner is a graduate of our school and a big benefactor.
  • Basketball is the second biggest sport over there (after soccer) although Manny Pacquiano is a national hero, hailing from a town about two hours drive from Digos.

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About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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