Sunday, June 29, 2008

Opponent's Notebook: 6/29/08

It's back....your more-than-weekly whip around what people are saying about who ASU is playing this season.

Palo Alto? Titletown USA? I already hate the idea of the 4-letter network trying to dole this title out, but if it goes to The Farm, I'm done with sports. (

Uga VI's death is front page news...with a photo gallery of Georgia fans' best memories. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution)

Knowshon Moreno...can he handle being Mr. Athens? Fleeing to Jersey always helps. (Athens Banner-Herald)

The newest happy member of the Nike family of goofy uniforms...the California Golden Bears. (

USC is still a 3-1 odds-on favorite to win the 2009 BCS National Title. UCLA...not so much. (Los Angeles Times)

Oregon's voluntary program opened up last week. No word on whether or not Dennis Dixon's ACL was present. (The Register-Guard)

I love the recent Hollywood trend of rehashing our favorite comic book heroes, but I don't think there's going to be a Jonathan Stewart flick. (

Oregon State's next new Sammie Stroughter? The third catch Jordan Bishop makes is just sick. (The Oregonian)

Super-recruit JR Hasty: unofficially officially cut by Washington. (Seattle Times)

UCLA's already decimated O-Line is now taking shots from ATV's. (LA Daily News)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The new NAU quarterback LOVES Friends.

This would be NAU's new stud D-1A (GASP!) transfer quarterback, Michael Herrick. Good chance we'll be seeing him on August 30 when the Jacks come down to open the season against Arizona State.

He's also VERY deep. I mean...deep. As deep as a kiddie pool.

He'll be competing with Lance Kriesen (who took one snap against ASU back in 2006 and was sacked) and Corey Slater for time under center up in Flagstaff...and the NAU Athletics website decided to catch up with him.

Something tells me that the ASU band should quickly learn The Rembrandts classic hit "I'll Be There For You" in case this Rachel-loving Friends guru hits the field.

This One's For The Dawgs

As the circle of dog life gives and takes, a key member of the Georgia Bulldogs will not be making the trip to Tempe this year.

ESPN is reporting that Uga VI, the sixth bulldog mascot at the University of Georgia, died last night due to congestive heart failure. Frank Seiler, the owner of Uga VI, said that his dog, the "most winning of all Uga's" by win percentage, began breathing heavily and then passed away.

Georgia AD Damon Evans says "it's a sad day for the entire Bulldog nation."

You know, until they find an Uga VII. I have to say, I do appreciate how they use roman numerals to name their mascots, almost (but not quite) as cool as Super Bowls.

It's T-84 days and counting until the Georgia/ASU match-up, and here's to hoping Uga VII will be prowling on Frank Kush Field and doesn't treat Rudy Carpenter like this poor Auburn soul:

Monday, June 23, 2008

John Ruettiger, Starting CF?

I'm pretty sure Jason Kipnis might have something to say about this if he comes back for his junior season. Ruettiger was quoted in the Suburban Chicago News as saying about Arizona State:
"Their plan is that I will be the center fielder and leadoff man as a freshman, as long as I show I can handle it," Ruettiger said. "I'm facing kids this summer who are going Division I. Hopefully that will help me get ready."
Jason Kipnis, another Sun Devil from the Chicago suburbs, could be coming back to lead the 2009 Sun Devils if he decides not to sign with the San Diego Padres, who took him in the 4th round of this month's draft. If Kipnis does come back, Ruettiger could fill in the void left by Ryan Sontag in left field. Ruettiger, like Matt Newman, is also a quality pitcher, going 9-2 with 2 saves this season. And if all of THAT doesn't work out, Coach Erickson could use the lefty as a 6th string QB:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Carpenter Trains w/Steve Clarkson...Plus Links

The "Worst Shortstop in Division-I Baseball", Greg Bordes, just signed with the Diamondbacks. (Blogging With the Devils)

Fresno State keeps rolling. (Fresno Bee)

Paul Coro talks all things Eddie House. (Arizona Republic)

Former U of A Wildcat Chris Jennings jumps the border. (Herald Dispatch)

Pac-10 Expansion? Since when is Utah on the Pacific Coast? Or Arizona for that matter? (Sporting News)

A look at Lisa Love's roots in Arlington, Texas. (Morning News)

Derek Hagan looks ready to have a big 2008. (Sun-Sentinel)

Justin Tryon signs his contract and now he goes all Hollywood, goes by name of J.T. (Washington Times)

Ryan Torain is #4 on the depth chart after minicamp. (Denver Post)

The Pac-10 releases the 2008 Football TV Schedule. (Pac-10)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Carpenter on Bleacher Report's "QB's that Teams Can't Afford to Lose" List

Ah yes. I guess I have to address football this week since I don't want to beat the dead horse about the epic ASU baseball meltdown anymore (for today at least). The Bleacher Report has compiled a list of QB's teams can't afford to lose. Rudy Carpenter is a name on that list.

One of the surprise teams of 2007 was the Arizona State Sun Devils. It was
a big joke around the college football world when former coach Dirk Koetter
listened to his players and named Rudy Carpenter the quarterback in 2006.
Koetter got fired after the season, but Carpenter continued to shine. In
2007, Rudy threw for 3,200 yards and 25 touchdowns for an Arizona State team
that went 10-3.
Look, Rudy is a great college QB, but I think we have enough veteran weapons at wide receiver and running back that Danny Sullivan or Samson Szakacsy could step in and produce. Rudy is a very valuable piece of the puzzle, but Danny Sullivan at 100% is just as good as a Rudy Carpenter at 70% as we saw in the Holiday Bowl (even though I'm pretty sure Sullivan was going against the 3rd string D). At the same time, if Rudy goes down and we're back to playing in a bowl game in Hawaii, it'll be a case of "be careful what you wish for."
Now Matt Stafford, that is a QB a team can't afford to lose.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Legacies Are Overrated Anyways

And don't call me unoriginal. Murphy used the same pregame fight trick twice.

Midweek Roundup

Jake Plummer finally settled with the Bucaneeers for a cool $3.5 Million. (St. Petersburg Times)

Ryan Torain is very confident of his chances of playing time. (Denver Post)

Albert Pujols is hurt. Maybe there is hope for Brett Wallace to play first after all. (Chicago Tribune)

Adam Archuleta visited the Titans last week. (Music City Miracles)

Karl Dorrell thinks Derek Hagan is a starter. (Miami Herald)

Next year's baseball lineup will be loaded with freshmen. (East Valley Tribune)

Jason Kipnis could be back next year (AZ Central)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What a Team Going to Omaha Looks Like

Disappointment Rant

(Photo Credit: Ralph Freso, EVT)

I guess it's good to see some real emotion out of our players after Murphy orchestrated a fake fight. Now let's see if other teams fall for him being a real baseball coach when he's on the job search, because it's just an act. Honestly, if Lopez down at U of A orchestrated something like this we would all be on Cactus Ranch, Sparky's Bullpen and the newspaper comment boards letting U of A have it. Arizona isn't a team that can give out much criticism right now, considering Jon Gaston just pulled off one of the dumbest moves ever by shushing the Miami crowd. Point being, the fake fight is the type of antic that you would want to see done down in Tucson so we can all laugh at it, and now, there's just major disappointment amongst our fans that Murphy would make a mockery of his own team.

This is far and away Pat Murphy's most talented team offensively, and he couldn't put it together enough to win 2 games against a regional 4 seed. This series wasn't even close. Fresno State whooped ASU, and they deserve all the credit for not folding after Mike Leake had one of his best outings of the season on Friday. Coach Mike Batesole led his group of 8 seniors and convinced these guys that they are among the best, while Murphy tells his players how much they suck.

Murphy threw his own players under the bus multiple times, like telling ESPN that Greg Bordes was "the worst shortstop in Division-I baseball." How about actually praising Greg for doing a great job at short this season since Marcel Champagnie and Mike Leake couldn't do a damn thing defensively for you, leaving Greg to have to come in and do mop up duty at the position all season. Oh yeah, and how about developing something that resembles an actual bullpen so you don't have to rely on Mike Leake to throw two days after tossing 118 pitches. Come to think of it, you do have a bullpen, and his name is Tommy Rafferty. You rode the 5th year senior all year and you leave Mike Leake in to give up that bomb to Susdorf when his arm is jello. Way to possibly ruin a kids arm and his chances to play for Team USA this summer. Good call.

Murph doesn't deserve all of the blame. Brett Wallace and Ike Davis choked in the final two games, combining to go 3 for 17 and 9 LOB. These guys aren't amateurs anymore, so I can rail on them a bit. They we're just as much a part of that stupid fight as Murphy was. Supposedly its part of tradition, as Jeff Larish and Travis Buck did the same thing a few years back to get the team fired up. The problem Jeff Larish and Travis Buck actually performed in the clutch with help from their teammates. The rest of this year's edition of the Sun Devils didn't need any firing up, they were getting on base more than enough times to get left on by Davis and Wallace, who we're having the two best offensive seasons witnessed under Murphy's tenure.

ASU had 15 players drafted, and our top five commitments got drafted by pick #42. Maybe its time for someone else to come in for the rebuidling effort so Murphy can go to a cushy SEC job, like Auburn. My first pick is Virginia's Brian O'Connor. He's taken Virginia to the tournament every season since he moved to UVA after being an assistant at Notre Dame. He's a very intelligent baseball coach who can develop a pitching staff, and his players seem to want to play for him, which is more than I can say for the man we got in the dugout right now.
It all makes you almost want to root for an SEC team.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

CBB Review: Baseball 1 Win Away From Omaha

The Arizona State Sun Devils dispatched the Fresno State Bulldogs 12-4 in the first game of the Tempe Super Regional at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the first inning but Arizona State answered that run in the bottom of the inning. Ryan Sontag hit a two run homer in the bottom of the third inning to put the Sun Devils up 3-1.

Read more on this from The College Baseball Blog

Friday, June 6, 2008

Report: 3 Players Leave Football Program

Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune reported today that 3 backups, Rodney Glass, Antone Saulsberry and Zach Niusulu, have left the program.

Good luck to those guys, hopefully they can be successful somewhere else.

Also in the report is some news on jersey number changes, so check it out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2008 MLB Draft: Omaha or Bust

In the first 4 rounds we saw 9 players get taken from the baseball program:
3. Royals take incoming freshman 1B Eric Hosmer
6. Marlins take incoming freshman C Kyle Skipworth
13. Cardinals take 3B/1B Brett Wallace
16. Brewers take incoming freshman C Brett Lawrie
18. Mets take UTL/P Ike Davis
40. A's take C Petey Paramore
42. Padres take incoming freshman LF Jaff Decker
52. Marlins take incoming freshman LHP Brad Hand
135. Padres take OF Jason Kipnis
So this leaves us with Raoul Torrez, Greg Bordes, Mike Leake, Matt Newman, and for the moment, Kiel Roling, as players with consistent playing time coming back for next season, plus we'll be relying on Andrew Pollak or Coby Cress behind the dish. So are we going to be rebuilding or reloading after we take Omaha? Please comment.

Update, Kiel Roling #197 to the Rockies.

NMSU Head Coach Rocky Ward talks with CBB about Tempe Super Regional

As a part of their Super Regional Preview, The College Baseball Blog interviewed NMSU Coach Rocky Ward and got his thoughts on Fresno State's ability to pull the upset this weekend in Tempe:

Sam Wasson: What are Fresno State’s chances against the #3 national seed
Arizona State?
Rocky Ward: I think it’s good for them because they haven’t
played them. Arizona State has a lot of tradition but they have as much year to
year tradition against Fresno. They won’t know Fresno very well. I think that
Fresno will have a pretty decent advantage from that standpoint. Sometimes when
the teams don’t know each other very well the lower ranked team on paper has a
little bit of an advantage because sometimes they have a little bit more
motivation, they’re a little hungrier. It’s going to be the same type of things.
When you’ve got a lower ranked opponent playing at a host’s facility game one is
absolutely imperative. They have to win game one. If they win game one I think
it makes it a 50/50 shot for them.

Click here for the rest of the entry.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Josh Barrett a 73 on Madden

Is the rating too low? Too high? Comments?

Depth charts and screen shots courtesy of

Midweek Roundup: Championship Edition

ASU Women's Softball, the next softball superpower? (ESPN)

An ASU Alum talks about the softball championship, and about U of A fans. Good read. (Big League Jerk)

Brett Wallace to the Oakland A's? (The Sun Devil Sweet Spot)

In this case, it's okay for Phil Mickelson to come in second to Tiger Woods. (Bloomberg)

Seth isn't the only Blair brother playing some meaningful baseball this weekend. (SaukValley)

Georgia starting Defensive End Jeremy Lomax should have kept the gun in the glove compartment. (Online Athens)

Tommy Rafferty is one of 3 Sun Devils still in contention for the Brooks Wallace Award. (College Baseball Foundation)

Looks like some Cactus Rancher's were heated over our Bison Witches/Georgia Fans Post (Cactus Ranch)

Washington's leading tackler will miss the start of the season (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The Red Sox could look at Petey Paramore early on in this week's draft. (Sox Prospects)

Demar DeRozan, still a Trojan. (TrojanWire)

Sam Keller, LA Avenger. (ESPN)

Even though the cornerback was severely injured on the play, Derek Hagan STILL DROPPED THE PASS (Miami Herald)

Eddie House comments on growing up a Laker fan. (Wicked Local)

High Praise (or a curse?) from TSN

Could Matt Stafford, the man playing big spoon in the picture above, be cruising for an upset in Tempe? According to Matt Hayes at The Sporting News, it could happen.

In the June 9 issue of TSN, Hayes publishes a list of the top five non-conference matchups of the 2008 season, and the #1 game on that list is the September 20 game between Georgia and Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium.

"What in the world makes anyone think this Arizona State team, with a revamped offensive line, can bang heads with Georgia, which has one of the best defensive lines in the nation? Here's a reason: ubertalented Dawgs quarterback Matthew Stafford strugges in true road games and still must embrace the concept of incompletions instead of interceptions."

Some interesting notes about that "road game" comment thanks to Hayes: Georgia will travel over 1,800 miles to Tempe. They have traveled a combined 358 miles to NC road games since 1998, making this trip five times longer than their combined road trips in the last decade. The Dawgs also have not played west of the Central time zone in the regular season since 1960.

To the comment about Stafford's interceptions, he did reduce his INT total from '06 to '07 from 13 to 10 and his completion percentage improved three points over that span, but still to only a smidge over 55%.

Not counting the rivalry game at Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs played "true" road games at Alabama, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida. In those games, Georgia went 3-1 with the loss coming in Knoxville and Stafford threw for 816 yards, 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, completing his passes at a rate of 53%. Looks OK? Maybe?

However, upon closer examination, the Bulldogs blew a halftime lead and needed OT to get by Alabama. Against Vandy, the Dawgs needed a last-second field goal from Brandon Coutu and 157 rushing yards from Knowshon Moreno to put down the lowly Commodores. And in a wild 42-30 win over Florida, Stafford only threw 18 passes while Moreno ran wild...33 carries for 188 yards and three touchdowns.

All of this could be for naught, obviously, as Stafford DID lead the Dawgs to a Sugar Bowl victory and has had the Spring and all of the off-season to improve, and most reports say that he has. One only needs to cite the fact that The Sporting News will name Georgia their preseason #1 in their Season Preview and many other polls are expected to follow suit to show this team's improvement over last year's tremendous season in Athens.

For the record, here are the other four top non-conference games: 2) Ohio State at USC (9/13), 3) Auburn at West Virginia (10/23), 4) Illinois at Missouri (8/30) and 5) Alabama at Clemson (8/30).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Your 2008 Division I National Champions

Quick Hits: What to know about Fresno State

The Tempe Super Regional between Fresno State and Arizona State begins at Winkles-Packard-Brock on Saturday at 6:00 PM with game 2 scheduled for Sunday night at 7. Both games will be on the ESPN family of networks. If a game 3 is necessary, and god willing it wont be, it'll be at 4 on Monday.

Despite being a four-seed, there's quite a bit of fight in the Bulldogs yet:

-After beating #6 San Diego twice and #11 Long Beach State this past weekend to win the Long Beach Regional, the Bulldogs are back in the top 25 of the Baseball America poll, clocking in at #17.

-With their 5-1 win over San Diego in the regional championship yesterday, the Bulldogs became only the second regional #4 seed to advance to a Super Regional.

-FSU started the season as the preseason #18 team in the nation but stumbled to an 8-11 start. They then stormed through conference play and and beat Sacramento State, San Jose State, Hawai'i and Nevada to bring home their 3rd straight WAC title.

-Holden Sprague and Justin Wilson anchor the Bulldogs pitching staff. Miller struck out 11 in Fresno's surprise win over Long Beach State while Sprague got the win to eliminate San Diego.

-P Clayton Allison, 3B Tommy Mendonica and OF Steve Susdorf all made the all-regional team in Long Beach.

-Fresno's top five everyday hitters all hit over .300 (Alan Ahmady .382, Erik Wetzel .361, Susdorf .342, Danny Muno .329 and Gavin Hedstrom .311) and have 36 home runs between them. However, none of them lead the team in dingers; that honor belongs to Mendonica and his 14.

So as you can see, this team can bop and can pitch. It should be an entertaining series in Tempe.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bulldog Fans Setting up Shop at Bison Witches

Word from Georgia Sports Blog is that Bison Witches has been secured as being a headquarters for Bulldog fans:
In preparation for the big event in September, I have secured a "home base" for us in Tempe. The owners of Bison Witches Bar* (21 E. 6th St, Tempe) have graciously offered to host the UGA fans for the weekend of GA vs ASU.

They are located in downtown Tempe within 5 blocks of Sundevil Stadium. They are going to be decked out in GA gear and will be serving fabulous food and drinks all weekend long. Please tell your friends and family to make Bison Witches the "Georgia Bar" of choice!!!

Thanks for your support and as always, GO DAWGS!
With the intense heat we've seen in late September even towards the evening, it's not a real surprise that Georgia fans would find a bar for refuge. Originating in Tucson, Bison Witches is considered a U of A bar right in the heart of Sun Devil country, so this gives ASU fans another reason to either avoid this place or show up post game to do even more heckling than usual. With how dominant ASU athletics has been over the Wildcats, maybe this choice of bars will prove to be bad luck for Georgia. But now I'm just getting superstitious.

CBB Tempe Regional Thoughts on Day 2

From The College Baseball Blog

Bryan Young - (Tempe, AZ) – Who Is Mike Jones? The Arizona State version of Mike Jones is now the answer to a trivia question. A three run home run over the right field wall in the sixth inning complimented a couple of great catches in center field on Saturday night. But the question is, name several Arizona State athletes who have hit both a home run and caught a touchdown pass for the Sun Devils? [Thanks for the question TerryLee]

Aaron Baker looked great for Oklahoma with two home runs on the night. However the entire rest of the Sooners roster were only half as effective as Baker, with just the one other run between them all.

Unfortunately Carl Spackler has no “Cinderella story” left here in Tempe. After an inspirational performance on Friday night the Stony Brook Seawolves were eliminated during the day game. Head coach Matt Senk was quoted stating “Arizona State and Vanderbilt are tremendous teams and it was an honor to compete against them.” Well coach Senk, it was an honor to watch your team play. Your players and fans represented the America East conference well. Not Masters champions this year, but maybe you can pull off the miracle next year. [Caddyshack 1980].

For the rest of this entry, click here.