Saturday, June 30, 2007

Random thoughts

Hey folks:
After a couple of days of much-needed R&R, here are a few thoughts about the recent happenings in sports.
-- I think it's become very clear that while the Mets MIGHT not have enough to beat the best teams in the American League (Red Sox, Tigers, etc.) they have proven time and time again that they are CLEARLY the best team in the National League. I know a lot of my Mets' friends will think I'm trying to put a jinx on the Mets here, but the Amazins not making it to a World Series COULD be almost as big a disappointment as the Yanks not making the playoffs.
-- And speaking of the Yanks, is it panic time for us pinstripe followers? Could they have had a more pitiful road trip? Coming off Friday night's win against the Orioles, the Yanks are going to need a big homestand heading into the All-Star break to stay afloat. Problem is, three of those games in this homestand are against the Angels and you all know how the Yanks do against them.
-- Is it just me, or did Isiah Thomas finally do something right for the Knicks on NBA draft day? Getting Zach Randolph should provide New York the toughness in the frontcourt Eddy Curry hasn't given. And getting rid of Steve Francis, who I always thought was overrated, was equally as big as getting a solid big man.
-- I'm pretty pleased with my Nets getting Sean Williams. One thing the Nets have lacked in the Jason Kidd era is that guy inside to get rebounds, block shots, do the dirty work. Nenad Krstic isn't bad in the middle, but he's more of a scorer, where as Williams -- provided he keeps his head on straight -- could give New Jersey that toughness.
-- The Nets will be just fine as long as they can get Vince Carter re-signed after he expectedly opts out of his contract. Having the trio of Kidd, Carter and Richard Jefferson, along with Krstic and Williams will give us Nets' fans a lot to be excited about.
-- Going back tot Mets for a second, are we in the media that desperate than to dig up non-stories (as far as I'm concerned) about Paul Lo Duca and his supposed racist comments. First of all, let me say, I'm not a Paul Lo Duca fan. Quite honestly, I think he's a hot-headed punk, but when he made the comments about other guys on the team who should be talking to the media and then saying they all speak English, I mean, come on, let's not blow things out of proportion for a story.
-- Finally, back to the Yanks, can we please, PLEASE get Kyle Farnsworth out of here? To show up Joe Torre the way he did Friday night after getting taken out of the game for Mariano Rivera goes far beyond unprofessional. Hey, Kyle, worry about getting a 1-2-3 inning before worrying about getting taken out in the middle of one.
That's it for now. Take care and God bless.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's going on here?

Hey gang:
Well I tried to put it off, give it a day, see if I could clear my mind.
But in the end, my frustration has only grown with time.
How can a team, playing as well as the Yankees had been playing, go so bad, so quickly?
Let me get this straight, they win nine straight games, take 2 of 3 from the Boston Red Sox (arguably the best team in baseball -- Yuk!), win nine straight, take 2 of 3 from the Mets (unquestionably the best team in the National League -- Double Yuk!! -- just kidding) and then they get swept ... in Colorado ... by the Rockies followed by losing 2 of 3 ... in San Francisco ... to the Giants?!?
What the heck is going on here?
The Yankee problems are too numerous to get into in detail, but if you ask me, save for Mariano Rivera and maybe 1 or 2 other guys, I'd flush that whole bullpen down the toilet -- starting with Kyle Farnsworth.
Just how could a guy with 99-mile-per-hour stuff throw pitches that a Little League could hit? And then open his big mouth when the Yankees signed Roger Clemens and allowed him to leave the team to be with his family.
News flash to Farnsworth -- the Rocket has yet to leave the team -- and I'd still have more faith in him pitching in relief on his throw day than you on any day.
I'm not sure how to fix what ails the Yanks these days, but I'm not ready to give up the ship just yet.
There's a good run left in them. They just have to get healthy, come together and make their run. But they better do it quickly.
That's all for now. Until next time, take care and God bless.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Healthy & Happy

Hi folks:
Over the last couple of years, one thing I have learned is there no better stress reliever than a good workout. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with my story, nearly three years ago I weighed a whopping 360 pounds. I was with a friend in Montreal to watch an Islanders-Canadiens game.
My friend, having been there before, wanted to show me the sights, so we walked around the city. I nearly collapsed from the exertion.
I decided then and there to get healthy. Since that time, I've lost about 135 pounds, putting me at about 225 pounds or so (depending if I had some pizza) and I've never felt better. When I joined a local gym almost two years ago, I wanted to take my fitness to the next level.
I knew it would help me with my health physically, what I didn't realize was how great a stress reliever it was as well.
During the toughest of times (and I've certainly bored you all with those stories) getting on a treadmill, putting on my MP3 player, there's just no substitute for that for my body and mind.
Look, those of you who know me know I'm the last person who should be preaching to anyone about physical fitness. I certainly am all for being happy for who you are as a person and if you're not accepted for who you are, that's someone else's problem.
I'm not talking about this from a vanity standpoint. But by working out, taking a walk, whatever you can do to be a little more active in your lives, the physical and mental benefits you receive will be immeasurable. You'll just feel better about yourselves.
Doing what I do for a living, I see athletes from the professional ranks to our area kids in peak condition. It's nice to know I'm on my way to finding my peak -- whatever that peak will be.
Take care and God bless.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No sanity when sports and TV combine

Hi guys:
When it comes to pro and college sports on television, I'm an avid a viewer as most fans.
But something that is increasingly bothersome to me is how television and "prime time" viewing drives start times to just about anything sports-related.
I bring this up thinking about Friday night's NHL draft. As proven by the ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL can't draw viewers to its biggest games of the year, yet Friday night -- in prime time -- there's the NHL draft on television.
Although I'm not all that old, I remember as a kid getting home from school as watching the Yankees playing the Kansas City Royals in an American League Championship Series game. Imagine that, an ALCS game in the afternoon!
It seems as though -- until recently -- even the NCAA baseball and softball championships were held in the afternoon. (The opening game of the NCAA World Series begins tonight, which reminds me, didn't classes end around a month ago?)
Now, whether it's baseball, football, basketball, hockey or anything college, you're lucky to get a game-time before 8 p.m. The Super Bowl does start at 6:30 p.m., but once you factor in commercials and the what-seems-to-be the two-hour long halftime show, it might just as well be an 8 p.m. start.
This week's NBA draft is scheduled for prime time, and although the NFL draft begins at noon, it takes so long for each pick, you don't even begin the second round before 6 p.m.
Whether it's college or the professional ranks, sports is always looking to draw the younger viewers. Maybe if parents or kids didn't have to worry about staying awake past midnight, more young viewers would take an interest in watching.
At least it's something to think about.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Children come first

Hey gang:
As we get waist-deep into our summer sports schedule, I have a message to all you parents out there -- remember these summer teams are supposed to for the kids.
I'll speak in general terms here, but as a former coach I can cite many examples, and all of you out there who have spent anytime around a summer team know what I'm talking about.
You might think your son or daughter is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but obviously we all must take these opinions with a grain of salt. Summer time is supposed to be fun for your kids, but far too often parents place too much of a premium on how well their child does, or whether their kids is starter, where he/she plays, etc.
I know a lot has to do with the sometimes ridiculous financial burdens that come with being on these travel teams -- which, at minimum, can run upwards of $1,000 or more. For those of you saying, $1,000, that's seriously low, remember I'm talking bare-bones minimum here.
For an example, as a coach who does not have any children, I remember one summer paying nearly $2,000 out of my own pocket on travel, hotels, food, etc. and our team didn't travel all that much. I know of some teams around here that seem to be playing down south every week.
It all adds up to big-time money.
But just because your son or daughter is hitting seventh in the lineup instead of fourth, or playing midfield instead of striker, or sitting the bench instead of starting, doesn't justify making your child miserable for the summer.
Be happy your child is on the team. Remember, they're there because they want to be there and they love the game. Share in your child's highs and lows because as a parent, that's the best way to support him or her.
Not every child is a superstar, or even a starter for that matter, but they're all important members of their team.
Take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Frustrated feeling

Hey gang:

Time to vent.
I'll make it short.
Lousy night.
Feeling VERY burned out right now.
Can't wait for my vacation in a couple of weeks.
Yankees score one run in Colorado against Josh Fogg! (Least of my concerns).
Hurt my back lifting weights yesterday. Still bothering me today. Couldn't work out. I feel VERY guilty when I can't work out.
Thanks for letting me rant.
Take care and God bless.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Subway Series recap

Hello everybody:
I decided to parody an old Mel Allen greeting (although I'm not old enough to have heard him) in honor of this past weekend's Mets-Yankees Subway Series.
With this latest edition over, here are just a few observations.
1) For what it's worth, Jose Reyes is the most dynamic player in the game. Alex Rodriguez is simply the best player in baseball.
But when it comes to the big game, I'll put my money on Derek Jeter any day of the week. Jeter simply continues to amaze with his play when it comes to the Yanks' games against Boston or the Mets.
2) Of all the New York starters in both the Bronx and Queens, Oliver Perez might have the best stuff around. Once again, for my money, I'll take Chien-Ming Wang anytime. While Wang might not be as flashy as Perez, he consistently pitches great games with great stuff.
I heard a New York beat writer saying the Yankees don't have an ace. He might want to re-think that because Wang is on the verge of becoming something special. And these days he certainly stands above future Hall of Famers Roger Clemens and Tom Glavine, as well as perennial big-time pitchers Andy Pettitte and Orlando Hernandez.
3) Speaking of Clemens and Glavine, is it just me or do you all get the feeling -- down the stretch -- the Rocket at 44, 45-years-old will give the Yankees more than Glavine at 40, 41 will give to the Mets. Maybe his last two starts against two of the toughest lineups in baseball -- the Yankees and Tigers -- are an aberration, but Glavine looks shot.
4) Speaking of looking shot, can anybody look worse at the plate right now than Carlos Delgado? When he was a Blue Jay, and even last year as a Met, Delgado struck fear in the hearts of many Yankee fans -- myself included. But he looks completely lost at the plate.
5) I get a kick out of over-the-top "expert" fans for both teams that call into talk radio. Just listening to the Mike & the Mad Dog today, you would think the Mets were as far out of first place as the Yankees were when they were going bad.
News flash to Mets' fans. Your team is still the class of a very weak National League. Does Mets GM Omar Minaya have some holes to fill? Absolutely. But before you guys talk about trading Delgado or Carlos Beltran or your entire minor league roster to get Mark Buehrle, take a step back.
You'll be playing October baseball.
News flash to Yankee fans. While we can feel a lot better about our team with this great run, we still have to keep in the back of our minds that all the Yankees have done is put themselves in position to where they don't have to worry about winning 9, 10, 11 straight games. Concentrate on winning series.
6) And speaking of trades, why is it that I keep hearing on television and radio that the Yanks need to go out and get a first baseman. Anybody notice this great run started after Jason Giambi got injured? I like Giambi, but Miguel Cairo and Josh Phelps can man the position just fine until Doug Mientkiewicz gets back. I'm not looking for home runs from that position, just catch the ball.
The Yanks don't need to give up their entire farm system to go after the Rangers' Mark Teixiera, who's not a tremendous upgrade over Giambi at first.
7) Finally, speaking of trades, I do have a Yankee-Met trade. If I'm Yankee GM Brain Cashman, I'd see if I could acquire SNY's Julie Donaldson as the Yanks' dugout reporter for Kim Jones. I like Jones, but Donaldson is very attractive.
Sorry, folks, I'm a guy. I tend to notice these things.
Take care and God bless.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Hello everyone:
You know, as sports fans, we all tend to live and die with our teams.
I know there are times when I might be having a crummy day and then the Yankees win, or the Cowboys, or Islanders, or Nets ... you get the picture ... and you start to feel better.
But, as I think about the the things that truly matter to me, my attention turns to my dad.
My dad, also named Ron, is the most influential person in my life. And even though he can be maddening at times as he gets older -- don't worry dad I won't give away your age -- I still could not have picked a better person as a father.
The lessons he taught me about life, love and respect -- just to name a few -- are lessons I'll cherish forever.
And he is -- without a doubt -- my biggest fan.
One of the stories I recall is talking with him one day after deciding to change my major in college from law to journalism. I was worried about the conversation because studying law was something I had been preparing for my entire scholastic life.
My dad always had an interest in that field because he was a police sergeant and the law was something he took very seriously.
Coming from a middle class family, I was also concerned from a financial aspect. You don't get into this business because you're looking for early retirement.
In talking with my dad, I was surprised with his reaction. Instead of trying to convince me otherwise, my father -- both my parents in fact -- were as supportive as I could have ever hoped.
Now, I didn't get my love of sports from dad -- that trait must have skipped a generation and been passed down to me by both my grandfathers -- but to this day if my dad sees one of my stories or columns, he will read it from start to finish, no matter how boring he finds the subject.
He's even my biggest supporter when it comes to this blog, so I'm dedicating this one to you dad.
On this day, we should all take some time to tell our dads how much they mean to us. Take some time to show your dad how much you care.
So, to my father, I give you all of my love and respect.
And to all dads everywhere, a special take care and God bless.

Staying awake

Ok, bloggers:
It's time to ask for your help.
With my assistant beginning his vacation, I'm about to embark upon a two-week stretch with no days off. Given my hours, it's a rather daunting task.
I don't drink coffee and I've basically given up any kind of caffeinated product for diet green tea. My sleep patterns are non-existent.
So, in my attempt to stay alert, I'm looking for tips -- no tip too off the wall -- to keep myself fresh over the next couple of weeks. Things I can do in the office, in my car, at home, whatever.
On those long days we all have from time to time, what keeps you all going strong?
Watching the early rounds of the U.S. Open hasn't helped. I understand the USGA has to make its Open course as difficult as possible, but when the top three players in the world -- Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk -- are a combined, I don't know 1,000,000,000 over par, there might be a problem.
I actually enjoy watching golf on television, but what I've seen over the first two rounds is anything but golf.
The Subway Series opener at the Stadium was enjoyable to follow -- even of my guys came out on the losing end. A couple of more tight games like that will help get me through the weekend.
Hopefully, your weekend will be less stressful.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We're all experts

Hey folks:
One of the things I get the biggest kick out of is the notion that those who work in sports (whether it's print/internet/broadcasting, etc.) have an expertise that other do not.
I couldn't tell you how often I'm asked who I thought would win this Major League Baseball game or that National Football League contest because people actually think my opinion is actually worth more.
As someone who does this for a living I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Referencing my last blog, what makes sports great is that there is no predetermined end. Oh sure, if the Yankees played the Royals on paper, or the Mets played the Nationals on paper, logic would dictate the New York teams would win.
But, as we all know, that's not always the case.
Which brings me to this baseball season. Now, before the season, just about every expert predicted both New York teams would make the postseason and possibly the World Series. When the Yankees got off to that putrid start, these same experts predicted they didn't have a chance to make the wildcard.
The Mets, meanwhile, got off to a flying start and the experts predicted them to be the best team in the National League. Now that they have hit a bit of a slide, these same experts say if the Mets don't fix their pitching woes, they might not make the playoffs.
Funny how the experts can flip-flop so easily.
Folks, it's the middle of June. Both the Yankees and Mets have approximately 100 games left to the regular season. There is so much more baseball to be played.
Am I predicting a Subway Series? Who knows.
But one thing I can tell you for sure, your guess is worth every bit as much as mine and my fellow experts.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keeping it fun

Hello everyone:
One of the most frequent questions I've received over the nearly 20 years I've been here at the Freeman is what do I like best about my job.
The answer is simple -- sports.
To me, sports are all about fun and games. We're not solving any world crisis or making any political statements. In sports, you can root for the Yankees (like I do) or loathe them like many people here at the Freeman.
But that's what makes it fun. One of my oldest friends, Dave Cowan, who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children, is a diehard Mets and New York Giants fan. I love the Yankees and Dallas Cowboys.
With our lives and schedules these days, it’s rare that we get a chance to touch base all that often, but we can always talk sports. He can needle me about the start the Yankees have had and I can needle him with the Yankees play of late and the recent Mets mini-slump.
In my department, the assistant sports editor, Dave Hines, is a Mets fan; Don Treat roots for the Red Sox; Mike Stribl follows the Blue Jays; and Eric Houghtaling is loyal to his Cardinals.
I can tweak the guys here on a daily basis and they can give it right back.
In the end, does it really matter? Not in the least. But, once again, it's just plain fun.
That's what, hopefully, I'm accomplishing in this space on a regular basis. Because in the end we are only talking about sports here. I try to keep things light.
Which brings me to my closing, take care and God Bless. My father recently asked how I came about choosing this closing. I'm not particularly a religious man, but I thought it was a kind of neat way to let you all know that in the end I'm just having fun here.
So, with that said, happy blogging to you all and as always, take care and God Bless.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The sounds of quiet

Hey folks:
What a week for us here at the Freeman.
With state track, state softball and the Herdegen -- not to mention what we call the unofficial start to the crush of the summer with American Legion and summer softball -- sometimes you don't know if you're coming and going.
For instance, one of my reporters -- Mike Stribl -- put nearly 1,000 miles on his car going from venue to venue for regional and state softball and baseball in ONE WEEK. He was literally out on his feet when he arrived back at the Freeman Saturday afternoon after covering Marlboro in the state softball semifinals.
That's what makes us all appreciate the few-and-far-between quiet times we have here. We've kind of reached that "lull" as we like to call it this week where we all get the chance to catch our collective breaths.
Unfortunately, for a small-town local sports department those quiet times don't last too long, especially with little league, softball and tennis tournaments right around the corner. It won't be too long before we even have to start thinking about this fall's local high school sports scene.
I need to enjoy the summer longer and I need more sunblock.
Take care and God bless.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Day in the sun

Hey everyone:
It's the morning blog. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, but it's been a very hectic time in the Freeman sports department over the last several days.
That said, I have a question.
How is it that someone who is folically challenged (just take a look at my picture) and pushing 38 years old still at times doesn't have enough common sense to either wear a hat or at least use sunblock when he knows he's spending an entire day in the hot sun covering the state track & field championships here at Dietz Stadium?
Right now my whole head is about as red as a lobster.
But covering the state meet was a blast. My kudos to those who were apart of it -- especially Leone Timing, which made getting the results so easy. Having easy and fast access to those results are vital in this business and Leone delivered big time as far as myself and reporter Eric Houghtaling are concerned.
The meet, in general, ran smoothly from where my perspective.
And congratulations to all those area athletes who got a chance to compete at states -- from our lone state champ (Avery Evans of Pine Plains) to the ones who didn't qualify for the final. You should be proud of your accomplishments to get to this level.
And, finally, a quick apology to Julien Hillyer and the coaches at Onteora for my mistake in Saturday's paper. You know, sometimes you have a brain fart and mistakes happen. Thanks to Mike Boms and Patrick Burkhardt for taking it easy on me with the ribbing at Dietz.
My apologies once again.
Well folks, that's it for the morning blog. It's time to get a little breakfast. Another question -- I wonder if I can actually cook scrambled eggs on my head? Just wondering.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Keeping track of stats

Hello all:
As I sat at home this morning, wondering what I would blog about today, I got a call from a good friend of mine, Joe Reardon.
Besides being one of my closest friends, Joe is the finest softball coach/teacher I've ever met. We talked about statistics, and more specifically how one coach could call something a hit and another one would call it an error.
When it comes to keeping stats, Joe and I are definitely old school, where a hit is a hit when it's a hit. A lot of coaches, however, don't necessarily see things that way, choosing to give his or her player the benefit of the doubt, so to speak.
The story that best describes that is many years ago getting a call from an area coach. In giving me the details about the game, the coach described a home run the coach's player was credited for. To paraphrase, the coach said it was a ground ball that went through the shortstop's legs, under the leftfielder's glove and past the centerfielder, who tried to barehand the ball as it was slowing down.
When I informed this coach that really it sounded like the person reached home on three errors than a home run, the coach's response was, "well, in our book it's a home run."
It's interesting that in the last several years since we've been taking complete boxscores at the Freeman, there have been times when both coaches will actually provide a boxscore. For our local teams, the home teams are required to call in league games, but when local teams go on the road to play an out-of-area team, really the local team is supposed to call as well.
On those occasions when we get boxscores from both teams, it's interesting to compare the two. As my friend Joe said, it's like getting two different games.
I bring this up because -- with the high school baseball and softball seasons winding down -- it won't be long before our All-Star teams appear. As mentioned in this space before, being a small newspaper with a lot of area teams, we don't get the opportunity to cover a lot of games.
We rely on stats from our area coaches when picking our teams, and inevitably, we'll get the call from a coach or a parent arguing the validity of the stats from this baseball player or that softball player.
If we question one coach's stats, than we have to question them all. And that's impossibility.
So, understand, the process is not perfect. You try to do the best with the information that's provided.
Have a great day everyone, and, as always, take care and God bless.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

That old feeling coming back

Hello all:
Maybe it's the weather or the time of year, but I'm getting the, itch to coach again.
For those of you who don't know, for the past 11 years I've been a "coach" for a summer softball program down in Orange County before retiring after last year. I've been very fortunate to be a part of some highly successful teams during my run.
I put coach in quotes because I kind of think of myself more as the comic relief than a coach, but given some great REAL coaches I've learned from over the years, I acquired some knowledge that I've been able to pass along to my teams over the years. I've had the privilege to meet some great people through softball -- including a gentleman by the name of Ralph Weekly, who is the head coach of the University of Tennessee squad that, as of this posting on Tuesday afternoon, is one win away from a national title.
For 11 years softball has been great to me. I've enjoyed the coaching end, no doubt, but the interaction with my friends on the coaching staff, as well as the girls on all those various teams, have made the experience all the more worthwhile. When my very good friend Jim Buyea decided to step down as coach, it made my decision to call it quits easy.
I was a little burned out. Hey, many years of coaching will do that, even on a summer team. I've had the opportunity to watch my three nephews play baseball this spring, something I have never had the opportunity to do with coaching and I find myself with a lot more free time.
I have to admit I've been finding myself the past couple of weeks thinking about softball and coaching and my kids.
I don't miss the time commitment -- working here at the Freeman until 1 a.m. on a Saturday, only to get up 4 to 5 hours later to head to a softball field to coach all day, then come back to work that night, leave 1 a.m. on Sunday and go through the whole routine again.
But the fun I had is something I will always cherish. Maybe someday I'll find myself coaching again.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

State expectations

Well folks:
What a hectic time of year to work in a local sports department.
With area teams in the thick of state high school tournaments, sometimes it's hard to tell if you're coming or going. One day in Kingston, another in New Paltz, the next maybe in Binghamton, or somewhere in Rockland County, or maybe even Long Island.
But as hectic as this time is, it's the most fun as well.
To see the utter joy on area athletes faces when they can overcome adversity to get to that next level, that's something that some times word can't describe.
So, to all you local athletes still competing for those state titles, be proud of your accomplishments, enjoy the ride, and keep dreaming big.
This is your time to shine.
Good luck, take care and God bless.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Long day into night

Well everyone:
This might be one of my shorter blogs.
It's midnight. I'm at the end of a nearly 15-hour day and I'm exhausted. But it's one of those good exhausteds (if that's even a word).
I got a chance to cover two Section 9 championship baseball games -- the first in the morning and the second came late afternoon. For the most part, this position does not afford me the opportunity to go out and cover these games, so when I get the opportunities, I truly cherish them.
It helped that I got a chance to see a pair of local teams advance to regionals. The first -- Pine Plains -- did so in dramatic fashion by blowing a 4-run lead late only to come back and tie the score in the sixth and win it with a two-out double in the seventh.
The second local team -- Kingston -- clearly showed why it's the class of the section. Although the Tigers did not win dramatic fashion, their 11-run third inning was pretty awe-inspiring.
All-in-all it was a great day to be the sports editor for a local newspaper. The weather was great and the baseball fun to watch.
Next time, maybe I'll try to catch a nap in between games. I'm not as young as I used to be.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Re-thinking the sectional schedule

Hey gang:
As I sit here trying to figure out assignments for this weekend’s tournament games, something crossed my mind.
Just how does Section 9 go about deciding where to play it championship games?
I ask this because (and now my MHAL/Ulster/Northern Dutchess County bias comes in to play) it seems as though our area teams get the short end of the stick when it comes to scheduling.
Case in point, in Class AA softball, had Roosevelt advanced to the final, it would be playing that championship game at Minisink Valley. Same goes for Saugerties and New Paltz in Class A, where both teams were just a win a way from the final.
In baseball, all championship games are played at SUNY New Paltz. I kind of think New Paltz is about as centrally-located a place, so putting all the games there makes as much sense to, say, Kingston, as it does to, say, Newburgh.
SUNY New Paltz was a great host to the Section 9 basketball tournament, and I’m assuming it would be an equally receptive host for baseball.
Splitting the games between nearby Burke Field and Minisink just doesn’t make sense from where I sit. It equally did not make sense years ago when the sectional softball finals were held at the Cantine Complex in Saugerties.
If there was one great facility – say West Point where the boys and girls basketball finals were once held, or a Dietz Stadium for track and field – in play, I could understand holding finals there, but in having spent countless hours at Minisink as a former summer softball coach, I can tell you Minisink is not such a location.
Nor is Burke Field for that manner.
All things being equal, SUNY New Paltz probably makes sense for softball in terms of location.
So, to all the local teams and athletes still playing this postseason, I wish you all good luck.
For the rest, as always, take care and God bless.