St. Joe’s-Villanova LIVE BLOG

8:00: It’s a Friday night, no class in the morning…

While that may be true, J Smith, this Friday also happens to be another occurrence of the Holy War, the annual meeting of St. Joe’s and Villanova.

This year, the Hawks (3-3) come stumbling into this meeting after a 12-point loss to Drexel, and face by far the toughest opponent of the season to this point in Villanova.

The Wildcats (5-1) suffered their first loss of the season last week against a tough Tennessee squad and will be looking to rebound tonight against their main Big 5 rival. Jay Wright’s team is led by Corey Fisher, who has done a solid job to this point replacing the production and leadership of graduated senior Scottie Reynolds. Continue reading

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LIVE BLOG: Women’s and Men’s Doubleheader

Greeting folks!

It’s been awhile, but the blog is back!

Tonight features two games: the St. Joe’s women’s basketball team vs. the Providence Lady Friars and the St. Joe’s men’s basketball team against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

In the first round, the (women) Hawks will be up against the Providence Lady Friars. The Friars went 19-15 last season, playing in a conference with some of giants of the game on the UConn women’s team. Statistically, the Lady Friars come into this game as a perfect match for the Hawks, with most stats differing by tenths of a point. The Friars lead the overall series 3-1, including a victory last season by the score of 88-57. Something tells me this game may be a bit closer, as this is the season opener for the Hawks. Another fun fact, the last time the two basketball teams played a doubleheader they took both games, albeit against Fordham at the beginning of this calendar year. Continue reading

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A Message to Umpires: Stop the Warnings

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Umpires this year have taken warnings too far.

Last week when Yankee Left-fielder Brett Gardner went hard into second base injuring Carlos Guillen, I was expecting some retaliation from Detroit. Two games later Gardner was hit leading off the game, rising suspicions that it was intentional. Honestly if it was on purpose then hats off to Detroit pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. He was protecting his teammate. The only thing that peeved me about it was he hit Brett in the leg. Hit the man in the back. Never aim to low or too high. That is what baseball is about. I know people hate to hear that, but I’m sorry that’s baseball. The players police themselves. Gardner hurts Guillen, he gets hit, end of discussion and we go on to playing baseball. But the umpires, by issuing all these warnings, take that aspect of the players policing themselves out of the game. I have no problem with umpires warning both benches to prevent a bean-ball war. But all I and fans ask is use common sense when issuing them. Surprisingly in that Yankee game Yankee pitcher Chad Gaudin hit Miguel Cabrera who had homered twice and a warning already issued, but Gaudin was not ejected.

As I write this, a warning in the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles game was issued after Alex Rios got hit with two outs and a runner on second. With the O’s still in the game, there is no intention of hitting Rios in that spot. But a warning was issued anyway. All umpires have to do is use common sense. They have been in baseball long enough to know when it is just a pitcher pitching inside or not. People get hit, that is baseball. Pitchers have to throw inside to command the plate. I have seen it too many times this year, umpires issuing warnings when they are not warranted. Once a warning is issued it cannot be rescinded and it makes the umpires job harder. If a batter gets hit or a pitch is inside they have to play mind-reader. Was it intentional or was it just a pitch that got away? So umpires, lets not always jump the gun and slow down with the warnings and lets just play baseball.

Now for some news around the Bigs:

I have one question for the Seattle Mariners: What were you thinking? They gave up Brendan Morrow for Brandon League and a pick. Now, League is having a pretty good year (63 IP, 2.84 ERA). But League is a reliever who doesn’t have the potential Morrow has nor does he have the stuff Morrow has. How do you give up on someone who has the stuff Morrow has. I watched him make professional, all-star quality players look horrible. In his last fifteen innings against the two best teams in baseball, the Yankees and the Rays, Morrow has given up two runs, five hits, and has a whopping twenty-nine strikeouts. His stuff is top quality and should factor into the Jay’s future for their rotation. I bet Seattle wants a do-over on that one.

This week two big name players, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, were rumored to go on waivers. Damon has already hit waivers, while Manny is still waiting.  These two former all-stars can play a huge role in the pennant race. Damon can still hit and can be a productive player in the two hole in a lineup. He was claimed by his former team, the Red Sox on Tuesday, but he rejected the claim to stay in Detroit. Manny is the wildcard in this pennant race. If he is claimed by the White Sox or Rays for example, who knows what he can do. If he gets out of LA and into a race we could see a similar Manny that we saw when he went to LA after leaving the Red Sox. Just to jog your memory, Manny in 53 games in 2008 with LA hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Inject anything like that into a lineup like the Rays, White Sox, or Yankees and the whole pennant race is changed.

Quick notes on those Yankees. Without A-Rod this year the Yankees are 13-1. Now that is just a statistic , there really is nothing behind that. But what is not just a stat is Robby Cano is really stepping up in A-Rod’s absence. He is closing in on his first career 30 home run campaign. Someone is going to get a nice pay day in the off-season. In other news, Javy Vaszquez’s struggles have now led him to the bullpen. Rookie Ivan Nova will take his spot in the rotation. This is a scary thought for Yankee fans because after CC Sabathia, the Yankees have Phil Hughes who is on a inning limit, a struggling A.J Burnett, journeyman Dustin Mosely, and Nova in their rotation. Now with Andy Pettite’s return pushed back even further, it seems Mosely and Nova will pitch big innings in the Bronx this fall.

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Captain’s Call: News and Notes Around Baseball

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The loss of Dan Haren could create problems for the D-Backs in future seasons.

This is the first edition of the Captain’s call. The baseball season has now reached the dog days of August. The trade deadline has come and gone and now we are into the final two month stretch of the regular season. Since I missed the trade deadline, I want to talk about the winners and losers of the trade deadline and the biggest surprises and disappointments of the season thus far, along with some news and notes for the Yankees.

First, we begin with the trade deadline. I ask, is there anything more exciting than the July 31 trade deadline, waiting for each move by the teams trying to improve this year for a pennant race, or teams trying to get better for the future? As with every deadline, there are winners and losers. Teams who acquire exactly what they needed to strengthen their team, or the teams who gave up too much or got too little. This year’s deadline was no different. There were clear winners and losers this year. Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: Minor League Travels Round Two

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Reading’s FirstEnergy Stadium provides cheap eats and entertainment for the whole famiy. Photos by Tom Hagan, ’11

In the continuing travels of a father and son exploring the minor and independent league  stadiums  within an hour of Philadelphia,  this weekend’s decision brought me to Reading, PA, home of the Reading Phillies, the AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: Say Goodbye to the Beard?

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Jayson Werth could soon find himself on another team if the Phillies get the right deal

When you’re a defending NL Champion seven games out of first place, it’s time to make a trade.

Right now, Ruben Amaro, Jr. and the Phillies’ front office are looking to get some pitching, preferably someone who will be more than a rental player. As of today, the only two people who fit those guidelines are the Astros’ Roy Oswalt and the Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren. Both of these players are top of the line pitchers, which means the Phillies will once again have to sacrifice some of their top prospects in order add rotation strength.

What this means for fans, however, is that one of the Phils’ prominent players will be saying goodbye in the near future. The man I’m speaking of is outfielder Jayson Werth. Continue reading

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Left Field Lite: An Alternative to the Big Ballpark (Part 1)

A view of one side of the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks

Well folks, being a college student I must admit that as much as I love the Phillies, going to the ballpark can be downright expensive. For those who lack their own automobile, an R5 trip and subway ride can cost over $10, parking (for those who have cars) is up to $15, tickets in the cheapest seats can cost up to $19 (with processing fees), hot dogs are $3.50 a piece, and for those of us over 21, beer comes in at $7.25 a bottle. As much fun as major league baseball is to watch in person, for those of us in school it can be a serious strain on the wallet.

That is where this post comes in. This week, I was inspired to find every minor league and independent league ballpark within an hour (or so) of Philadelphia when my dad and I were looking for something to do this weekend. After a successful trip tonight to Delaware, I now begin the first of what I hope will be many posts presenting you, the readers, with some alternatives to the big ballpark that still provide major league entertainment. Continue reading

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