Baseball, lest we forget in this age of rave, is a pastime.
A pastoral series of moments to be savored, then won, lost, survived.
Instances of engagement to be built upon, or having succumbed, to rue.
On a sultry Saturday at the Jim, two Top 20 outfits — Louisville, Virginia — both attempting to close out their regular campaigns with victory in a series then split, there was such a moment.
It evoked tension thick as the humidity.
The finale against Virginia started early in hopes of avoiding impending inclemency.
So too the Cardinals in a reversal of their early and fatal travails on Friday in a way-behind-from-the-get-go setback.
In the bottom of the first, Levi Usher knocked in a couple of Card baserunners with a two-out single. An inning later, Ben Bianco batted in Isaac Humphrey. Ben Metzinger went yard. Jack Payton also cleared the fence with a solo shot.
Thanks to that assault, and rookie starter Carson Liggett’s back to back scoreless frames, Louisville led 6-0.
As happens, the Cardinal bats quieted. The Cavalier’s stayed silent, thanks to the steadiness of reliever Tate Kuehner. For a bit anyway. Continue reading Cards Seize Moment in Regular Season Finale
Obviously not in a rush, the muckety mucks at the University of Louisville finally hired a search firm to help choose a new Athletic Director.
I understand there are other administrative priorities.
Like, ya know, a university president.
But still, it’s been like five months since that Tyra guy decided to take his talents to Florida State, or somewhere which was somewhere else besides his office at U of L.
That the school wants to be thorough makes sense. But still.
Given familiarity, Josh Heird’s name is the most resonant.
He’s intelligent. He’s competent. He obviously wants the job.
But, as I’ve previously opined, the quiet nature of his personality is different from most fellows who fill such positions. Which are filled with men and a few women, who are Intelligent and competent, as well as being able to work the room.
Is hiring a Johnny or Janie Handshake an imperative? Continue reading Monday Morning PG: AD Search, Card 9 & Those Wacky Playoffs
So by now, anybody within the sound of my voice is aware that former Cardinal ace Reid Detmers hurled a no-hitter for the Angels the other night, in a blowout W against Tampa Bay. 12-0.
Yet another exclamation point to the incredible job Dan McDonnell has done turning U of L baseball into a national power.
Lots of interesting sidenotes to the 108 pitch performance. Some of which, I gleaned on my own. Like how it was old old school. Only two Ks along the way. Only one other guy has pitched a no-hitter with so few strikeouts since 1980. Francisco Liriano.
But much of which info I pass along I hereby acknowledge came from my favorite baseball writer Joe Posnanski at his JoeBlogs, to which I subscribe. Like the second half of the above paragraph. Credit and acknowledgement to Joe.
Turns out this was the first nine inning complete game Detmers has ever pitched.
At any level. Pros. (Never tossed more than six.) College. HS. (One perfecto. 7 innings.) As in ever.
How about a huzzah for Joe Maddon for leaving the rookie in. Continue reading Reid Hurls No-No, Nick says “No No” & the 3-5-5
How about my main man?
My most favoritist Louisville Cardinal hoopster . . . ever? Well, almost.
Anyway, add this to Jordan Nwora’s resumé: NBA Champion.
Good for him.
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Speaking of former U of L Cards who hit the jackpot.
How about Henry Davis?
The #1 pick in the MLB Draft signed on to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a cool $6.5 million.
Brother, can you loan me a dime? Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: Nwora, Davis, Vax & Layla
Yeah it’s Thursday, not Hump Day as we have traditionally come to know it.
Hey, I just got my full rant on. So, deal with it. Blame it on the NIL if you like. Borrow somebody’s new iPhone and call someone who cares.
Now, getting to it.
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A is for Aspect.
As in mine. My point of view. My perspective.
Specifically to give context to my opinonating about the Butch Beard stuff. Which, obviously, comes next, under, you guessed it, the B section.
As with all matters that deal with racial issues — which this does, Beard’s denials to Bob Valvano notwithstanding — I need to explain my viewpoint.
I am an elderly Caucasian, with enough sense to understand, I cannot for a nanosecond pretend to know what it’s like to grow up with black skin. Or, know how that would affect my world view. Such is obviously alien to my life experience.
I can listen. I can attempt to understand, but I cannot truly empathize.
So, that’s where my soapbox is situated.
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B is for Butch Beard. Continue reading Hump Day Hustle: The A B C Ds of U of Ldom
Going full PTI on you, let’s play, “What’s the Word?”
The first category from our producer?
“Fans of University of Louisville Men’s Athletics are _______?”
OK, then let’s not beat around the bush, and get immediately to the toughie.
“Gnarly?” (OK, that was just one surfer wannabe I saw wandering through the park with a U of L shirt on.)
Let’s just settle on this. Anecdotally from conversations with many longtime faithful I’ve chatted up in the last little while, the word that comes to mind, in addition to all the above, is “Unhappy!”
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I’ve had a couple of very recent conversations in which I’ve heard not very flattering reflections about U of L’s sports administration. Continue reading Cardinal Fan Base on the Brink?
Dan McDonnell was shaken:
I’d be lying if I said I was handling it well. It’s hard, it’s really hard. What it does it, it just reminds you how blessed we’ve been.
There he was doing the post mortem on his Cardinal 9’s season weeks before he was expecting to. Not from Omaha, as in Nebraska, site of CWS, but from the Omaha Room in the Louisville baseball complex off the 1st base side of The Jim.
The season began with significant, well deserved promise, started slow, hit its stride, then faltered precipitously after a pause when Pitt came up COVID, and the schools were forced to cancel a weekend series.
A midweek W over vaunted Vandy notwithstanding, the Cards never got it going again. Inconsistent pitching continued. Big knocks in critical situations never materialized. Base running gaffes preyed like a pandemic. Inexplicable errors.
Truth: U of L spit out the bit.
It happens. Continue reading Last Thoughts before Putting Cardinals’ Year to Bed
I remember the screed, the fuel-fired gist of which, subtle as an Oliver Stone movie, was there was no such thing as 12:00 AM or 12:00 PM.
That there was only 12:00 Noon or 12:00 midnight.
The former of which came midday when the sun was high in the sky; the latter in the dark of night, when the date flips and Cinderella’s carriage turns back into a pumpkin.
Except for this Memorial Day. The Louisville Cardinals’ baseball season expired at High Noon, when their name was not among those designated for a regional in the NCAA tournament.
It was a sad but justified end to this seriously disappointing campaign for the U of L 9.
It was a most appropriate finish to this academic year for the three major men’s sports programs. Continue reading Fate of Card 9 Caps Year to Forget
At the point when I had to turn off the telly and head off to meet some pals for a long scheduled lunch, it seemed like that necessity might save me considerable anxiety.
Surprise starter Kaleb Corbett gave up two to Clemson in the top of the 1st. Caden Grice who knocked four homers in the Purple and Orange’s recent weekend sweep of U of L, had yet another long ball.
“Here we go again” was my immediate fear.
U of L got ’em back in the bottom. A Henry Davis fielder’s choice moved Card runners to 2d and 3d. A Lucas Brown sac fly brought one home; an Alex Binelas two-bagger the other.
Then the Tigers got three more in their half of the 2d.
So, it wasn’t all that frustrating to turn off the radio in the Captain’s Quarters parking lot with Louisville down 2-5. Continue reading Cards Win Tourney Opener, Work Left to Do
Thank heavens for Elle’s 5th birthday parade.
Elle is my granddaughter Claire’s bestie.
Elle is a bright but not Cardinal red Teddy Bear.
The proceedings were set for mid Saturday afternoon. My presence was commanded. A joyous order, to be sure.
Except that it coincided with Louisville Cardinals’ regular season closer against the ‘Canes.
Then again, this time around, it came as a blessing. An escape from the escape that is my fealty to Louisville sports.
So, instead of yelling at my TV screen, instead of screaming over Sean Moth’s call on the way to the Saint Matthews Parade Grounds, I was hanging with Claire. Reading a book of hers that resonated for her and me.
And Elle, of course. And Claire’s giggly pals, Gracie and the inquisitive Mattie. Who, as she and her sister ran up, pointed at me, and asked, “Are you the grandfather?”
Then she asked about the scars on my leg. Curiosity is going to take that charming lass a long way.
Oh, the beauty of hangin’ with adolescents to cure the ills of the world. Continue reading Destined for Another Season of Discontent?