The Red Scare is Back.
No, not the Soviets. I don’t care how many times Vladmir Putin is pictured shirtless on horseback, the Russians don’t scare me. And don’t give into the hype and have them scare you either. They are a bunch of insecure leaders in an otherwise beautiful country full of people that are actually sick of their government. But I digress.
What I’m referring to is the Four Corners-based Reds team who sewed up the Area Code Games title today with their 8-3 win over the Northeast-based Yankees on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Reds wrap up an ultra-rare unbeaten week here in Long Beach, at a perfect 5-0.
Way way way back when the Area Code Games first began, they were held in Lodi, California, which is up North in the San Joaquin Valley and the self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” The idea for a showcase of top-flite high school talents came from the brain of former scout Bob Williams. The first year of the ACG was in 1987 and teams actually were formed according to the players’ area codes.
Yep. First week of August. That means it’s Area Code Games week.
And as is my usual lead intro… In the lore of everyday, household-known baseball names, there are a number you recognize without hesitation: Barry Zito, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Bryce Harper, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Torii Hunter, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, etc. etc. Those are some of the talents who have dug their cleats into the Blair Field diamond in Long Beach, California while playing in the Area Code Games. Good enough of a pedigree for ya’?
THE JOURNEY TO OMAHA (vol 2)
July 21, 2014 by Mike Rooney
At the end of every season, college baseball coaches inventory their program. What are the areas where we need to improve? It is player acquisition, player development, facility upgrades, staff changes, or fundraising? The typical target list is quite large so it becomes critical to prioritize these items.
Let’s do the same for College Baseball. Where can we get better? What are the changes that are the most urgent?
Okay StitchHeads, this seems like a yearly occurrence for me… I come home from the College World Series and intend to write a wrap-up column of sorts. Then, lethargy sets in and I can’t seem to write a thing for a week.
So here you go – a week late at that – my CWS wrap-up and season commentary. But to kick off our Distillers’ Dozen, the “Inside” of our “high and Inside” baldcasts has decided to enter the written word in our college baseball world. Here are Mike Rooney’s Journey To Omaha notes:
Sorry for the slight delay here StitchHeads, had to wait until the Worldwide Leader posted this reaction piece to the Super Regionals. Here it is if you wanna check it out.
Here’s the one-eyed wonder croonin’ his tune…
A few innings into tonight’s epic UCI-Oregon State game I got an Email from my bosses at The MotherShip. “Hey Eric, can you write a wrap-up column on the Regionals and what you learned from this weekend? But we need it in the next two hours because we want to post it immediately…”
Shit. You guys know me, I usually take a few hours and finish columns in the middle of the night. Hell, they wanted the column done before the end of the Beaver-Eaters game. I’m not used to haulin’ ass like that.
But I wrote it. I wrote it without knowing how the end of the game would turn out. I sent it into the people in Bristol somewhere around the 7th inning or so. Sure enough, not too long after the Anteaters dogpiled, I saw that they had posted the column on the ESPN.com site already. So here you go, Click here, but don’t be too harsh on me about it.
And yes, I know I didn’t rail on the weak-ass RPI very much… and I should’ve, ‘coz that fupped-duck formula is what keeps force-feeding us overblown ratings of ACC teams and SEC teams and keeping the Utah Valleys and Campbells of the world from getting at-large bids. I also should’ve included my “Joe Lunardi Philosophy” of how teams with losing conference records don’t deserve at-large bids ‘coz they’ve had their chance to prove they belong in the Field of 64 and have failed. Oh well, next time I will.
Oh, one last thing, it’s pretty late now so I haven’t had time to read through this column to see if there were any screw-ups or mistakes, especially regarding the OSU-UCI game. I’m hoping they fixed everything before they posted it. I s’pose I trust them, since I’m not going to check through it myself until I wake up.
Tell you what. If you find anything twisted in the story, lemme know. I’ll get your message in the morning.