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Sunday, June 24, 2007

baseball misc.

First of all, an interesting quote from Cubs manager Lou Piniella about the Cubs getting on a hot streak this season:

"It should've started a month ago," Piniella said. "We're in the middle of the summer almost. I think we all need to go to church and put more in the box."

Here's the article:

Here's a quote from Oregon State shortstop and Cubs 4th round draft pick Darwin Barney. The Beavers are playing in the championship round of the College World Series (posted on

...Oregon State has reached the College World Series every year since Barney, a native of Beaverton, Ore., joined the team in 2004.

The success is not a coincidence. After the Beavers won the championship last summer, Barney went on to win a gold medal at the world university championships as a member of Team USA.

"I've been very blessed," Barney said modestly.

Here's the article:

Next, a couple of articles about charity golf tournaments involving MLB players on Thursday. The first was for the Braves Foundation, with players Jeff Francoeur (a Christian), Kyle Davies, Tyler Yates, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, former Braves, and members of the front office taking part:

The other charity golf tournament was for the Pujols Family Foundation, which involved Cardinals players Pujols (of course--a Christian), Tony La Russa, Adam Wainwright (a Christian), Chris Duncan, Mark Mulder, Randy Flores, and Adam Kennedy. Also, the Phillies were in town for the series this weekend so there players Jimmy Rollins (a Christian), Shane Victorino, Abraham Nunez, and Antonio Alfonseca were there also, along with Texas Tech head basketball coach Bobby Knight and Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis. Here's the article:

Lastly, a couple of interesting articles about the trials of trying to make it to the Majors and stay there. The first is about players' headaches of being sent back and forth from the Minors and the Majors and what it does for their and their families living situations from some of the Braves point of view:

The other article is about former Major Leaguers who are playing for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. They all think that they deserve another chance in the Majors, and are trying to prove it. One of the players is former Met and Giant Edgardo Alphonso (a Christian), probably the most accomplished player and most ready to return to the Majors. Here's a quote about him:

A similar sentiment is routinely echoed by Alfonzo, the unofficial team guru and unfortunate leader among fans in the category of suddened He's-playing-where?s. A 12-year major league veteran with 1,532 lifetime hits, Alfonzo came to fame as the cornerstone of a mid-to-late 1990s New York Mets infield that Sports Illustrated once called "the best ever." He combined power, bat control and flawless defense into one of the game's most complete packages. Then, with San Francisco two seasons ago, it vanished.

One day, Alfonzo was among the game's elite second basemen. The next, he was Rick Schu. "There are a lot of factors," he says, speaking quietly in a clubhouse corner. Inches away is the fly, swarming above Alfonzo's head. He eyes it away. Eyes it again. Then continues. "Last year, I had trouble with playing time and began developing some bad habits. I still need to get my timing and confidence back. But I think it's coming around."

Later in the evening, Alfonzo's grand slam will lift Long Island (28-17 record) to a come-from-behind 9-8 triumph over Somerset before a capacity crowd of 6,011. Both LaPoint and Harrelson believe Alfonzo will be signed by a major league club sooner than later. "He's just too good," says LaPoint. "He can help a lot of teams."

Here's the article:

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