Monday, June 13, 2005

The Weekend in Review

Wait, did I actually do anything this weekend?

Miscellaneous Ramblings

    First of all, I'd like to welcome a familiar face to the ever-growing list of links in the right sidebar. Dominic Yonto (Ellen loves him) has started a blog chronicling his ACE experiences.

  • Chris Thomas reportedly has been doing well in pre-draft workouts. He's auditioned for 13 teams so far, including the Cavs - who haven't had a great point guard since the Mark Price/Terrell Brandon days. No word on Torin Francis, who has until June 21 to withdraw from the draft.

  • Notre Dame has fallen to 16th in the (Sears) Director's Cup standings. Wish I could find a source, but I'm lazy.

  • Three Irish are currently playing in the WNBA. Jacqueline Batteast has played two games for the Minnesota Lynx, totaling 2 rebounds in 11 minutes. She's missed both of the shots she's attempted. Detroit is the home of the other two WNBA-ers. Ruth Riley has started all 7 of her team's game, averaging 7.1 points, 4.86 rebounds, and 1.29 blocks per game. Niele Ivey has come off hte bench in all 7 games, averaging 1 point, 1 assist, and a rebound and a half in 11 minutes of work per night.

  • Finally, is running a contest where you can pick the greatest game ever played in Notre Dame Stadium. You're invited to pick 15 games from a list of 45. The ballot includes four recent classics: Gary Godsey Beats Purdue! I, the Glenn Earl Hand of God Game, and Ty's two wins over Michigan. Click here to enter.

Transaction Wire

  • Bears release Nick Setta. The move virtually coincided with the end of the NFL Europe season. Ellen, get on the phone right now. If you help the Giants land Setta, it would look great in your post-sports school career.

  • Speaking of Ellen's post-sports school career, Georgetown names Bernard Muir Athletic Director. There's now an opening for Deputy Director of Athletics at Notre Dame. Has Jessi turned in her resume yet?

  • Reds draft Notre Dame pitcher John Axford in the 42nd round. Speaking of 42, Axford is the 42nd player selected during manager Paul Manieri's 11-year reign at Notre Dame. Also speaking of 42, I'll bet Mike has made a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference by now. Axford had a 14-5 career record before a 2003 injurey required Tommy John surgery.

  • In more ND baseball news, second baseman-turned-third baseman Brett Lilley was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Thirty-four walks and 30 times hit-by-pitch led to a .502 on-base percentage. Shoot, Paris Hilton doesn't even let her boyfriend get on base that much.

  • Megan Duffy has been named a finalist for the USA U-21 team that will play in the World University games. There are a total of 16 finalists, and that number will be cut to 12 after a training camp. The WUG will take place from August 10-19.

  • Brewers trade Junior Spivey to the Nationals for Tomo Ohka. A great trade for everyone. The Brewers free up space for the second of their Big Three infield prospects, Ricky Weeks. Weeks, selected behind only Delmon Young in the 2003 draft, will play second between JJ Hardy, who started the season in the majors but has struggled, and Price Fielder, who was called up Monday to play DH as the Brewers tour the AL. Spivey gives the Nationals a solid replacement for the injured Jose Vidro as they are in the midst of a division race that's closer than Ellen and me at a busy night at The Backer. And Ohka will get his wish to be a full-time starter, after making a few bullpen appearances while with Washington.

  • Devil Rays designate Alex Sanchez for assignment. A day after Manager Lou Piniella complained that Tampa Bay's ownership doesn't care about winning, the Rays... released a guy hitting .342. This comes months after he was released by Detroit after hitting .322 in 2004. How much of a clubhouse cancer was this guy? I mean, I've seen Manny Ramirez and Carlos Lee. Was Sanchez's defense really that bad? What's the story?

  • The other day, Steve Phillips was on Baseball Tonight hypothesizing about several moves that would make contending teams better. Whether a guy who currently has a GM job should listen to a guy who's on TV because he can't get a GM job is a story for another day. But, he did mention one deal that concerned the Indians. Apparently, he thinks they're out of it (well, 10.5 games back in mid-June), because he felt that Bob Wickman would be a great, affordable pickup for Atlanta's bullpen. So, I got to thinking, who would Cleveland get for Wickman? They would need a closer, but certainly they'd go to one of their current guys - all who have been doing wonderfully this year - before asking for Danny Kolb. What they need is infield help. Ron Belliard is doing well, but since mid-2004, everyone's been waiting for the day he leaves the Tribe to seek more money elsewhere. Aaron Boone is great defensively, and his hitting is finally coming around, but Cleveland doesn't have a long-term answer at third base anywhere in its organization. A few "experts" think current shortstop Jhonny Peralta will outgrow (a polite word for "outeat," perhaps) short and eventually be moved to third. At age 23 and with 6 homers so far this year, he's shown that he should have just enough pop to play third for this team. Then who do you put at short? Brandon Phillips was supposed to be the shortstop of the future, and he can already field like it. However, he's struggled at the plate in the majors, and his subsequent pouting about his performance has led to poor hitting at AAA as well. So, Well, the Braves have a great infield, don't they? Surely, Wickman for Chipper Jones, Rafael Furcal, or Marcus Giles doesn't quite stack up, though. But, Atlanta does have a trio of young infielders on the roster right now. Twenty-six year old Pete Orr has played second, third, and the outfield, and is hitting .286 in 70 at-bats this season. Twenty-one year old Andy Marte has been slick with the glove filling in for Jones at third, but he's only hit .143 so far. Wilson Betemit, who made his Major League debut in 2001 at age 21, has played the three "regular" infield positions this year, and is hitting .309 in 44 games. If the Indians have to make this deal, I'd go with Betemit.

Well, there you have it. I'm off to find the name of the book I'm reading, so I can finally update the link over to the right.