Saturday, May 31, 2008

CBB Recap of Stony Brook vs. ASU

(Lisa Olson, East Valley Tribune)


While I'm covering the Cal State Fullerton regional for The College Baseball Blog, Brian Young of CBB has a full recap of yesterday's action:

Brian Young - (Tempe, AZ) -

Brett Wallace was huge for Arizona State, but Stony Brook would not give up
in a thrilling game that bounced back and forth all night Friday.

3,425 baseball fans enjoyed a great game on a marvelous night that featured
five lead changes before a thrilling end to a Stony Brook rally wrapped up the
game for Arizona State in the ninth.

Freshman Matt Newman started the game and looked good for ASU, but after
putting down the first five Stony Brook batters in order, the Seawolves put
together a two out rally in the second to tie the game. In the third
Stony Brook kept at it took the lead and made ASU go to the bullpen
first.


To read the rest of this entry, click here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ESPN CWS Preview

ESPN does a quick preview of the top 8 seeds in Division I Baseball Tournament.



Kyle Peterson is selecting Rice to take home the title this year. Last year, he picked Arizona State to win the title, and we all know how that turned out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Annual Trek to Central Nebraska Begins Now

In 2005, the Sun Devils finally got over the hump in Fullerton and gutted out a thrilling run at the College World Series, eliminating off heavily favored Nebraska and coming within one game of the championship series.

Last season, the Devils headed to Omaha as the experts pick to win the whole thing, but a scrappy bunches of Anteaters and Beavers ended the dream far too early.

And after one of the best regular seasons in school history, 2008 is the time for the Sun Devils to bring home another national championship.

The 2008 Road to Omaha begins in Tempe once again for Arizona State. It was just announced that Packard Stadium will once again be host to a four-team first round regional. Last season, ASU romped over Monmouth, UC Riverside and Nebraska on their way to sweeping Mississippi in the Super Regional in Tempe.

The rest of the 2008 NCAA Tournament field will be announced tomorrow morning on ESPN.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Roundup: Wrestling is Back

ASU Wrestling is officially saved. (CSTV)

Phil Mickelson hanging out with Vinnie Chase (Dallas News)


The ladies love Andre Ethier (West Coast Bias)


Dustin Pedroia's wife battled melanoma (Providence Journal)


Ike Davis is on the Seattle Mariners wish list. (MLB)


College Gameday Predictions (Georgia Sports Blog)


A starting Georgia guard got a DUI (Athens Banner-Herald)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

ASU Clobbers U of A, wins Pac-10 Championship

Considering I am nowhere near Tucson right now, thank god, here's the Devils Digest recap of the game. This team is on fire going into the tournament, especially Josh Satow who now has had three straight solid performances after struggling all season. The pitching still isn't where it has to be, but with Brett Wallace and Ike Davis having the two best single seasons in recent ASU history, it may not even matter.

Ranking Brett Wallace, Sabermetrically

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune had a comprehensive piece on Brett Wallace's career in today's paper, chronicling his early success, failure last year in Omaha, and what he learned from that experience to to make him one of the best ASU has ever seen. Wallace has had a monster year, but I wanted to see where this season ranks statistically along side former Sun Devils over the last decade. Since the statistics on the official site of the Sun Devils only go back to 1997, I compared him against players since that season. I used Bill James' basic Runs Created Formula [(H+BB)*TB]/(AB+BB), and divided that by games played to find Runs Created Per Game:


Ike Davis '08 - 1.53
Brett Wallace '08 - 1.49
Mitch Jones '00 - 1.47
Don McKinley '97 - 1.46
Casey Myers '00 - 1.41
Brett Wallace '07 - 1.38
Andrew Binebrink '99 - 1.36
Willie Bloomquist '99 - 1.35
Dustin Pedroia '04 - 1.22

So, according to theory, Ike Davis and Brett Wallace are having the two best single season performances in recent Sun Devil history. How do they compare to some of the top names in college baseball this season in terms of runs created per game?

Buster Posey (Florida State) - 1.85
Jeremie Tice (College of Charleston) - 1.69
Gordon Beckham (Georgia) 1.56
Ike Davis - 1.53
Brett Wallace - 1.49
Yonder Alonso (Miami) - 1.44
Justin Smoak (South Carolina) - 1.43

You can't argue much with Bordow's claim of Wallace being one of the best ASU has ever seen. You could say the same though about Ike Davis, who has been just as productive over the past three seasons as Wallace. Either way, its obvious this team has the offensive production to make a statement in Omaha this year, as long as the pitching staff can be solid. Runs created and other sabermetric stats are used more and more by teams to evaluate talent. Both Davis and Wallace are slated to be taken in the first round of the MLB draft in a couple weeks, and Brett has even been blogging about the road leading up to the draft on MLB.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20: where does coach Murphy's team stand?

-----------------------------------------
The pre-season high ranking of this years baseball team created a lot of room for doubters to notice some early hick ups in PAC 10 play early this year. But, it looks as though our Devils may come through with at least a share of the PAC10 title depending on what happens this weekend.
-----------------------------------------

"These kids have done a really nice job,"
 ASU coach Pat Murphy said. 
"They deserve the credit. We've had a ton of unsung heroes."

"When Arizona State was 7-5 after the first half of the Pac-10 baseball season, repeating as conference champion was anything but a given." [AZcentral] But a recent sweep of the Huskies after two great trips to CAL and UCLA brings our conference record to 15-6.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kiel Rolling was named PAC10 player of the week today as well. This is his second pac10 POW award this year, and 5th overall for ASU. [pac10.org
going 9-13 with a .692 BA 
He knocked in eight runs, slugged 1.385 and scored five runs helping Arizona State beat LMU on Monday and sweep Washington. He also played solid defense at first base, a spot he was playing due to the injury to Ike Davis.

----------------------------
Many Devils are still in the running for national and conference awards.
you can find the list of all pac10 players up for awards here [awards]
----------------------------
MAY 22         MAY23       MAY24
@ UA             @UA            @UA
7:00 PM        6:00 PM      12:00 PM
_________________________________
BRING ON REGIONALS!

Regardless of what you may have have heard...

...I'm not dead.

Which is a good thing. But having a full time job really takes away from having time to blog and stuff. Maybe I should just make this my full time job.

Anyway, hope you've been enjoying what has been a tremendous baseball season in Tempe. It's obviously not over, so keep cheering on our Devils.

I'm back here, though, because we're only 102 days away from ASU's opening night of football, and it's never too early to start talking pigskin.

I'll be starting my 2008 season preview soon. First will come previews of all of ASU's 2008 opponents including podcast interviews with people who cover each team. Over the summer, we'll have our 2nd year of in-depth position-by-position previews of this years Sun Devils.

Thanks for making PFN your source of ASU news and analysis!

-Justin

The Roundup: U of A Schadenfreude Edition

Emmanuel Negedu on wanting out of his commitment to U of A: "There have been so many changes that I feel they've lied to me all along about the situation," Negedu said. "Everything has changed a lot since I've signed down there. I can't take it no more." (Tucson Citizen)

The Wildcats top defensive end has been indicted on sexual assault charges. (Arizona Republic)

Sammie Stroughter is back for Oregon State this year. (Sports Illustrated)

Get your season tickets now, or else it will be a sea of red on September 20th (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

It looks like Georgia has the hardest schedule in the nation in terms of 2007 opponents win percentage. (Phil Steele)

Which Pac-10 players look to be sure fire 2009 draft picks? (Mercury News)

Is Mike Leake being overexposed? (Blogging With The Devils)

Look for Dustin Pedroia to receive a contract extension soon (Boston Herald)

For the latest on the ASU Wrestling situation. (Save ASU Wrestling)

Men's swimming doesn't look to go down without a fight either. (College Swimming)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Do they teach students to use condoms at U of A?

Because if they do, Lance Briggs obviously missed that class. According to The Chicago Sun-Times, the 27-year old Bears linebacker and former Wildcat reportedly has three kids with three different women, although he is denying that he even knows one of the mothers. This is the same guy who reported his lamborgini stolen after crashing it and leaving the scene, after all:

Tribbett's attorney, Enrico Mirabelli, argued that in a sworn deposition, Briggs denied knowing Yesenaya Toledo, a 20-year-old Chicago woman due to deliver a baby this summer.

But, Mirabelli charged, Briggs is providing Toledo with cash, and Mirabelli said he wants perjury charges to be considered against Briggs for denying he knows Toledo. Mirabelli said he mispronounced Toledo's first name during the deposition, leading Briggs to say he didn't know that person.

The new blog Athletes Making Babies took more issues with the baby mommas than with Lance Briggs:
There is so much bullshit coming from both sides, it's ridiculous ... but I have more a beef with the baby mothers ...

Where's the self-respect? Where's the self-worth? Where's the idea of protecting yourself? So what if you don't produce a baby... you could possibly produce the clap. This ain't the 50s people. Pregnancy is not the only casualty of the raw. There are too many sexually transmitted infections out here for anyone to be dropping their seed in people like this.

3 AM on Thursday Links

Mary Tillman will be conducting a discussion/book signing in Tempe on Friday. (Changing Hands Bookstore)

Years of pandering to Barry Bonds is probably going to cost Giants managing partner Peter Magowan his job. (Mercury News)

Tranell Morant is an Oakland Raider. He's a good guy, hopefully he can stay healthy. (SF Gate)

Kaitlin Cochran wins her second straight Pac-10 Softball MVP award, rest of team's stars take home hardware as well. (Pac-10)

Zach Catanese is weighing his options. (Redding.com)

Sunday Morning Quarterback previews the 2008 Georgia Bulldogs (SMQ)

Demar DeRozan could opt out of his USC commitment if the program is punished (LA Times)

Terrell Suggs is getting paid (Washington Post)

Brett Wallace could be drafted by the White Sox at the 8th overall pick. (MLB)

Petey Paramore is a Johnny Bench award semifinalist (CSTV)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Baseball Commentary: Two Weekends Left Til Regionals

After attending most of this weekend's sweep against Loyola Marymount, I have some thoughts on the state of our team.

First off, Greg Bordes should have gotten the start at shortstop last night in place of Mike Leake. Defensively, Leake (3 errors in two games, plus a botched double play opportunity last night) hasn't been much better than Marcel Champagnie and also could have used the day off. Bordes came into the game late and immediately made a play on a ball up the middle that was executed like he's an everyday shortstop. On the basepaths, Leake was indecisive, getting thrown out by about 5 feet on a steal attempt. I heard one lady behind me utter, "Why is Murphy having Leake steal a base? He's our best pitcher. If he gets jams an ankle, we're screwed." Growing up with an overprotective mom, this comment sort of made me cringe, but I still think that Leake could have used the day off against a weak Loyola Marymount team to get Bordes in for a full game. With that being said, Leake will be pitching and playing the field quite a bit this summer when he plays for Team USA.

Josh Satow got a great boost in confidence Sunday with a dominant performance over LMU. After being dominant last year, Satow has been less than stellar in his last few starts, getting shelled by UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State and Stanford. Seth Blair and Stephen Sauer are shaky at best out there right now, combining to give up 12 hits over 6 innings to this Loyola Marymount squad, somehow only surrendering three runs. Mike Leake is our only dominant start right now, even though Matt Newman had a great performance against Wichita State and could see some more time on the mound if our staff continues to struggle as Pac-10 play comes to a close.

Tommy Rafferty continues to be consistent in relief, notching his 11th win of the season last night. He came in to the game in the 7th inning, pitching two perfect innings, striking out four. Then with one out in the ninth LMU pinch hitter Brent Mendoza hit a bloop single into left, Kyle Brule came into the game and subsequently let Mendoza and what seemed like the entire Lions roster cross home plate, giving up six runs in a third of an inning on two three-run homeruns by Sean Dovel and Angelo Sonco. I give Pat Murphy credit for getting Brule into the game to see some action before the Washington and Arizona weekends, but with a WHIP hovering around 2.0, you've got to think that he was due to have a bad outing.

Jason Kipnis is getting his second wind. He had six hits this weekend last and had a great catch crashing into the wall in center on Sunday. His hustle is giving this team its spark right now. Last night in the seventh inning while on 2nd base, Kipnis advanced to third base after the third baseman fielded a Petey Paramore ground ball and threw to first. Both runners were safe on the play, and then subsequently perfected the double steal during Greg Bordes' at bat. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Kipnis tripled. The offense is clicking after a 16 hit performance, but at the same time, our pitching staff gave up 18 hits to a weak Loyola Marymount team. Kiel Roling and Ryan Sontag are proving to be very reliable bats to supplement Wallace, Davis, Kipnis and Paramore, which is something that Buck, Larish and Curtis didn't have in 2005.

Ike Davis should be back this weekend to face some tough Washington pitchers. The only question is how to best utilize Kiel Roling, who had a superb weekend offensively and defensively. Roling will be splitting time between DH and first with Davis coming back. With Ike back in the lineup and Brett Wallace continuing his success at the plate (16th and 17th homeruns this weekend), the Sun Devils should take at least two of three from Washington, no matter who is starting on the mound for the Sun Devils in our last home series of the season (before regionals, of course). We're ranked #3 by most polls right now behind Miami and North Carolina right now, but the fact that we're 12-3 against top 25 teams gives us an edge heading into the tournament. The Sun Devils are a game up on the Cardinal in the Pac-10 standings, who have to play the same competition as ASU, with the only exception being that all six of their remaining games are on the road. That being said, if ASU takes care of business as usual they should be on their way to clinching another Pac-10 title while playing the Wildcats.

Photo credit: Ralph Freso, East Valley Tribune

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rick Neuheisel's New Recruiting Tool

USC assistant coach Brennan Carroll (yes, son of Pete) plays rush chairman to some walk-on pledges. Rick Neuheisel has reportedly been using this video as a tool on recruiting visits.



H/T: Gutty Little Bruins

For Your Weekend Enjoyment

Here's a picture of Justin Tryon at minicamp. It looks like the Redskins drafted him to be the nickelback, even though it seems that Tryon wants to cover more big named receivers.

In case you haven't heard by now, we're playing against Notre Dame at the Cowboys new facility, in 2013. The good news is, Brock Osweiler could be our starting quarterback at the time. I just hope Dennis Erickson isn't on the Notre Dame sidelines by that time.

Get to know the recruiting class of '08.

Every Day Should Be Saturday takes a look back at the '96 shutout victory over Nebraska, and the incredible performance of Derrick Rodgers.

In baseball news, it's more of the same for the Sun Devils (39-9). Mike Leake earns his eighth win of the year while Brett Wallace hits his 16th homerun while driving in 4 in a 9-5 win in the series opener against Loyola Marymount. The Cal Bears are doing the Sun Devils work for them, beating Stanford in consecutive games. The Sun Devils could use a sweep by the Bears, which would give them a commanding 2-game lead in the Pac-10 standings. The guys over at The College Baseball Blog have a wrap up on all of last night's Pac-10 action.

Baseball America has tabbed Brett Wallace, Ike Davis, and Class of '08 signee Eric Hosmer as first round talent in the upcoming MLB draft.

Stanford plays Arizona next weekend, who at 8-10 in Pac-10 play need to take at least 2 from Stanford to stay in contention to make the NCAA tournament. Arizona has been beating up on the mighty Utah Valley State this weekend, highlighted by C.J. Zeigler's 3 homerun performance last night. Remember, Arizona was regarded by some pollsters as being the top team in the country to start the season, and to make the tournament they have to not only win 4 out of 6 against Stanford and ASU (all at home), but Oregon State has to lose next week's series against a terrible USC team. In short, the Wildcats need a miracle to make it to a regional.

On the farm: Zech Zinicola got his first win for AA Harrisburg. Colin Curtis continues to impress in the Yankees organization with AA Trenton, hitting .308. Eric Sogard was named as one of the San Diego Padres organization's players of the month, hitting 15 doubles driving in 20.

Off Topic: It looks like Reggie Bush isn't the only one who had someone else paying the bills during college (allegedly). I guess this really never would have happened if the NBA hadn't changed it's policy on early entry, but O.J. Mayo is still (allegedly) a dick in my book for being this selfish. At least he wasn't putting all these purchases on his teammate's dead girlfriend's credit card.

That win over Cal was one of the greatest moments for me as a Sun Devil fan...but Bears Necessity wonders if Nate Longshore tanked on purpose.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Midweek Roundup

Mary Tillman, author of Boots on the Ground By Dusk, opens up to NPR about her own investigation into Pat's death. (audio clip: 7 min, 19 sec.)

Baseball dropped a game on the road to a mediocre Kansas State team last night. They try to rebound against a very formidable Wichita State team, who is looking for a big win to secure a spot hosting a regional.

Adam Archuleta was released by the Bears yesterday. (Chicago Sun Times)

A profile inside the life of ASU football recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick (Post Magazine)

Baseball assistant coach Tim Esmay talks academics with Kevin McCabe (Audio: The Fan AM 1060)

USC was docked two basketball scholarships due to the APR report. I'm sure Lil Romeo can pay his own tuition. (LA Times)

If you think that is bad, Wazzou is losing 8 football scholarships (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Byron Scott accepts his NBA Coach of the Year Award and does a Q and A (NBA.com)

Miles Simon finds out that Lute Olson is really good at this whole divorce thing. (Tucson Citizen)

Al Michaels could be replacing Bryant Gumbel at the NFL Network (Newsday)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sun Devils outperform Wildcats in the classroom, too.

Mike Stoops had some choice words for ASU's academic record, mainly because he was pissed off about key verbal commitments jumping ship due to poor on field performance and signing with the Devils (Barbour, Robinson)
"Each school has to recruit to that school and what type of academic requirements there are. Obviously, Arizona State has turned into a J.C. and we are a four-year college. According to all the players, they say it is easier to go to school there, easier to get in. I thought we had the same requirements. It is news to me." - Mike Stoops
These comments were obviously a knee jerk reaction, which he later apologized for. Nonetheless it just adds to his legend. The NCAA 2006-2007 APR (Academic Performance Rankings) which were officially released on May 2nd, tell a much different story (full reports: ASU, U of A). By my calculation, out of the 20 sports that each school shares in common, ASU had a higher APR in 16 of them. Arizona possessed a higher APR in Men's Basketball (at least they beat us off the court) and swimming, and Women's gymnastics and soccer. To top it all off, here's how the football teams of the Pac-10 stacked up against one another (you can guess where this is going).


Stanford 986
California 967
Washington 948
USC 948
UCLA 941
Arizona State 933
Oregon State 926
Oregon 921
Washington State 916
Arizona 902
Not bad for a junior college. To get up to speed on the issue, Dan Zeiger from the East Valley Tribune explains what these numbers all mean.

There's still no word on if the Scholar Baller program will expand to Tucson anytime soon.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Baseball Roundup

Andrew Pentis has a wrap up of the UCLA series. (The Sun Devil Sweet Spot)

Joe Persichina is making the most of his experience in Double-A Birmingham (The Birmingham News)

Zech Zinicola's 0.00 ERA in 8 appearances were enough to get him promoted to AA Harrisburg (Our Sports Central)

Jeff Larish is a big part of the Toledo Mud Hens' red hot start. (Toledo Blade)

Pedroia doesn't slump for long (Boston Herald)

A Dodgers reporter gushes over Andre Ethier (MLB)

Bleacher Report talks about the 10 teams that could really use Barry Bonds (Bleacher Report)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mike Pollak moves to Guard for Colts

Colts.com profiles their first round draft pick, ASU's Mike Pollak.

Also, a report from mini-camp, complete with input from Pollak.

Football Opponents Roundup

USC's Everson Griffen of Peoria is looking to make life hell on QB's this season by taking a "free shot to heaven." Keegan Herring's cousin had 6 tackles, including 1 sack, against ASU last season. (Trojan Wire)

Pete Carroll may be a witness in the Reggie Bush case. (LA Times)

Jake Locker reassessed his priorities this offseason. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Oregon State is dealing with some injury problems. (The Oregonian)

Oregon vs. USC will be on ABC/ESPN October 4th (The Oregonian)

Georgia gets many of their prized recruits (Stafford, Moreno) from far out of state (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

ESPN's Ted Miller has his Pac-10 Roundup (ESPN)

For your weekend enjoyment

All the talk has been about the cheerleading program being "cut." At least its something to talk about during the slow offseason, but honestly, who cares. Think about it, most cheerleaders who were any good in high school were pipelined directly into the Greek system anyways.

On to stuff that actually matters...

The time of the Georgia game has officially been set to 5:00 PM, on ABC.

Start your tailgates at 2:30. No word on if Georgia QB Matthew Stafford (left) will partake.

If you want to get up to date on the state of Georgia football, check out this video from Dawgpost.com. Be warned, accents are very similar to the KKK meeting from Harold and Kumar 2.




Recruiting news this week has been all about the verbal commitment from Montana QB Brock Osweiler. Osweiler had already given a verbal to Gonzaga for basketball, but felt so strongly about joining the Arizona State program that he was literally losing sleep over it. If you're wondering if he could rescind his commitment a second time, read what he told the Billings Gazette about talking to other football programs:
"Florida State was scheduled to come, (as were) Alabama, UCLA, Washington State, and Stanford and none of that bothers me anymore. I'm going to call those guys and let them know where I'm at and let them know they can move on. That's how solid I feel about this."
Pretty confident we've got another "quarterback of the future."

Josh Barrett talks to Sporting News Radio about his college career and transition to the Broncos. Also, Barrett's former partner at safety Zach Catanese was signed by the Jets.

Baseball takes a half game lead over Stanford in the Pac-10 with a 10-5 win over UCLA. Kipnis (2 HR), Champagnie, Sontag, Wallace and Paramore had 3 hits a piece. Devils Digest has a great comprehensive report on the performance. Dan Zeiger of the Trib had a piece Friday on the road Ryan Sontag has taken to get to this point. The Sun Devils are 11-5 in conference with 8 games left to play. ASU radio announcer Tim Healey talked ASU baseball today with Calling All Sports.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Alumni News

McDaniel and Cooper members of College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008.

From the Pac-10 Website -

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Former Arizona State University head football coach John Cooper and former football student-athlete Randall McDaniel have been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame as members of the Hall's Class of 2008, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced Thursday.

Selected from a ballot of 75 All-America players and eight elite coaches, Cooper and McDaniel now join former Sun Devil coaches Dan Devine and Frank Kush and student-athletes defensive back Mike Haynes, wide receiver John Jefferson, linebacker Ron Pritchard and quarterback Danny White as representatives of Arizona State University in the College Football Hall of Fame.

In addition to Hall of Fame enshrinement, Cooper and McDaniel's names will be added to the fa├žade of ASU's Sun Devil Stadium, joining the aforementioned Hall of Famers as well as Sun Devil legends Bobby Mulgado, Pat Tillman and Wilford "Whizzer" White. They will be honored at a football game this fall.

Read the rest of the entry here.

Paul Lo Duca and Travis Buck are both trying to make it back from injury

Scout.com -
--C Paul Lo Duca played his second game of a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac (Woodbridge, Va.) on Wednesday night, and the Nationals may decide to activate the veteran catcher off the disabled list. Lo Duca, out since April 13 with a bruised right hand, is a combined 0-for-5 with two walks for Potomac. "We'll ... just keep evaluating until he's ready," GM Jim Bowden said. "But certainly his bat's missed. He's a .280 to .300 hitter who would help our offense."
SFGate.com -
Travis Buck (shin splints) said he did "everything" before Wednesday's game and felt fine. "Everything" included running, hitting, throwing and fielding grounders. He is likely to go on a rehab assignment in the next few days and is likely to spend at least five or six days at Triple-A Sacramento.