Updated 6/16 at 2:44 pm. From some initial comments I have received regarding this column, some people, perhaps even most who take delivery of the C-J, received a sports section Sunday morning with stories, which did not not appear in the edition I received. I stand by what I wrote about what I received. There was no story about last night’s U of L vs. IU baseball game. Nor one about the second game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Is it fair to start today’s bit of pith by dancing on the pile of dirt by the grave that the Courier-Journal is digging for itself?
I dunno. But I’m going to do it.
There were a couple of significant sporting events that took place last night, one of major local interest.
The results and game stories from neither appeared in the the Sunday morning C-J Sports Section.
U of L and IU, which schools have the attention of the entirety of the formerly great newspaper’s readership, met in an opening game of the College World Series. The game took three hours and 21 minutes to play, meaning it was completed before 11:30, 6th & Broadway time.
It is impossible for me to conceive that, in this digital age, the Once Great Newspaper couldn’t have found the time to cover the game in print this morning. This is just one more piece of significant evidence that the sad, slow demise of our formerly beloved local newspaper is . . . inevitable. And gaining momentum.
It is U*N*A*C*C*E*P*T*A*B*L*E.
Oh, how I wish I could cut the umbilical, have the New York Times in print delivered to my door, and get my local news online from wdrb.com and other online sources that seem to have their finger on the pulse beat of our burg. Oh, if I could only say sayonara.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals was also contested last night. As with Game 1, it went to OT, though this time it took less than twenty extra minutes for Boston to tie the series at 1-1.
I know this isn’t a big hockey town. But I used to work with a fellow who played hockey as a kid. So he’s paying attention. I saw a fellow in Heine Bros once wearing a Sabres jersey. And the fellow behind the fish counter at Whole Foods once commented on my Red Wings t-shirt.
So, sure, there weren’t a lot of folks this morning who missed that the C-J didn’t report on last night’s Stanley Cup Final game. But, it’s still a major sports event. And, any Sports Section worth its salt should have had a mention.
But not you know who.
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Indiana started nailing the lid on U of L’s season last night with a 2-0 shutout, that relegated the punchless Cards to the losers’ bracket, and an elimination game Monday afternoon against #3 seed Oregon State. The Hoosier RBIs came off the bats of Scott Donley and, all together now, Michael Basil.
If that’s not enough deja vu for you, how about this? During one of the three regular season encounters between the schools, last night’s Hoosier starter Joey DeNato hurled four shutout innings against the Cards. Last night, he handcuffed the U of L batters for nine more scoreless frames, allowing but four scattered hits.
(I’d love to know how the winning hurler pronounces his last name? During the game last night, color announcer Orel Hersheiser called him De-Not-O, making a joke about the old tune, “You say tomateo, I say tomaatoo . . .” Mike Patrick dismissively responded, “How do you say North Atlantic Treaty Organization? Enough said.”)
Here’s how to pronounce it this morning: Dominating Winner.
The Cards appeared more nervous on the big stage than their nearby northern neighbors, who were playing in June in Omaha for the first time. More than a few times, potential Cardinal base runners swung at the ball four for outs. The game was certainly winnable. U of L simply could not git ‘er done.
The quirky outfield alignment the Cards employed was . . . too cute. Adam Engel was positioned in CF about twenty feet behind the second base bag. Twice it cost the Cards extra Hoosier bases, but, fortunately, neither of those late game situations came back to haunt Louisville. They were toast for other reasons.
Which CF mention gives me the opportunity to call on John Fogerty for a little musical interlude.
The Cards best opportunity to score came in the bottom of the 3d, but Sutton Whiting was inexplicably waved home on Cole Sturgeon’s single. IU’s catcher Kyle Schwarber had the ball long enough before Whiting arrival to clip his fingernails. Instead of runners on the corners with slugger Ty Young at the plate, the Cards ran themselves out of the inning.
Which is to say that the performance of the Cardinal coaching staff was as underwhelming as the players.
Louisville meets Oregon State Monday afternoon in a Texas Chainsaw Loser Goes Home elimination game. Given that first pitch is at 3:00 in the afternoon, you should be able to read the results in Tuesday’s C-J. The operative word is “should.”
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Phil Mickelson is the only player under par, which is par annually for the course in this major. (To skew a metaphor somewhat.) I’ll be rooting for Lefty, hoping he doesn’t really seal his fate in US Open history with yet another second place finish. What’s he got, five already?
Several familiar names are within two strokes. Mahan. Stricker. Schwartzel, Rose and Donald. And one not so familar one, Billy Horschel. The Zurich Open winner has only been fully on the PGA tour for a little while, but is playing with an eery confidence. There is a cocky cadence to his stride down the fairway.
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Eric Bledsoe is apparently the key piece to finish the proposed trade which would send coach Doc Rivers and aging star Kevin Garnett to the Clippers.
The coaching moves this off season in the NBA are dumbfounding. Lionel Hollins and George Karl, whose teams had seasons way beyond reasonable expectation, were both let go.
I don’t understand.
I do know that both coaches of the teams vying in the Finals for the title have been on the bench for awhile.
Remember just a couple of years ago when Eric Spoelstra “had to win” the title, or he’d be gone. His team didn’t win. Spoelstra wasn’t canned.
Now the Heat, playing in its third straight final, is primed for its second title in a row.
– Seedy K