baseballGood news for Cal athletes, coaches and fans: A group of ambitious parents and alumni refused to take no for an answer when Chancellor Robert Birgeneau first announced that five sports teams were being cut (because, of course, a pay cut simply wouldn’t do).

They formed the soon-to-be-officially-non-profit Cal Baseball Foundation and have been working hard to secure $25 million in pledges, the amount necessary to sustain all five sports programs for the next 10 years, according to rigorous scientific calculations by campus officials. read more »


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Baseball fever is at an all-time high in Berkeley these days, what with a certain San Francisco team named after mythical creatures (Giants, in case you missed it) doing prettay-prettay good in the World Series. But here’s some more baseball news we bet you didn’t know: UC Berkeley lecturer Sandy Alderson has just been named general manager of the New York Mets.

Alderson, who teaches classes on popular sports business at Haas, has been a manager before — he managed the Padres and the A’s, and the guy worked for the MLB itself. His resume isn’t lacking.

We’ll leave the sports talk to people who … well, know about sports. We don’t. The only reason we know anything about the Mets and their two-season losing streak is that it has upset Jon Stewart. And you know how that affects the Berkeley bleeding-hearts. To put it simply, we don’t care for it.

At any rate, Alderson is sure to shake things up for the Mets (if that’s a sports-appropriate saying) and we look forward to hearing how it goes. Anything to put a smile on Jon’s face.

Image source: IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION under Creative Commons
Haas Lecturer Sandy Alderson to Lead New York Mets [Haas School Newsroom]


It’s official, the San Francisco Giants are going to the World Series. Judging by our facebook newsfeeds, there are those who might be described as excited about this news. On that list would be Nate Houghteling and Kai Hasson, who saw fit to cover “Don’t Stop Believing” in their video anthem to the Giants’ season.

Berkeleyside describes the two producers as “Berkeley boys” although their website lists Nate’s hometown as Oakland. Close enough?

The video is good fun, but we’re a bit disappointed to learn that it was only made after the producers were “approached” by Giants officials. We were hoping it sprang from pure fanatical enthusiasm.

ASHKON: DON’T STOP BELIEVING – GIANTS 2010 ANTHEM [YouTube via Berkeleyside]


Let the frenzy begin on the blogosphere. On Sunday Brian Bennett, a reporter for Louisville’s Courier-Journal, was ejected from an NCAA baseball tournament game for live-blogging (which seems to be a crime in the eyes of the NCAA).

Bennett was sending live reports about the University of Louisville’s 20-2 victory over Oklahoma State when NCAA officials approached him, revoked his credentials and tossed him out of the stadium.

This has started a whole new media firestorm around the rights of reporters to blog live from a sporting event.

Pretty much, the argument from the side of the NCAA is that they’ve sold its exclusive rights to “broadcast” the game to entities such as ESPN, and that live-blogging from a game infringes on those rights.

Right, kick a guy out because he’s doing his job because the evil empire tells you to.

Let’s just say that that’s a bunch of (insert expletive here). Dan Shanoff agrees with us. If you go to his blog today, he has a nice little rant about how backwards and ignorant the NCAA has been about this whole situation.

bq. To not realize that live-blogging has become THE most effective and most efficient form of reporting and analysis of sports events exposes the NCAA’s ignorance.

Even the “official blog” of the NCAA, Double-A Zone, disagrees with the action taken by NCAA officials Sunday.

bq. I find all of this quite unnecessary. The world of media has changed and I think this policy makes my organization look arcane because journalists now publish their thoughts in real time on the Internet. I don’t know anybody in their right mind who would choose in-game commentary on a blog over a television broadcast, so I don’t see how there’s competition between our partners and independent bloggers who have received credentials.

So we have two different commentators saying that the NCAA is old, antiquated and needs to get out of the 19th century. We’ll jump on that bandwagon also.

The NCAA better backtrack on this. An apology is definitely needed, and maybe an epiphany.

In an era where information can be brought to you at the click of a button, where there are more media outlets available than seats in a ballpark, the NCAA can only benefit from allowing reporters to blog live from the press box during a game. It adds exposure. It adds insight—especially to a sport as bland, as boring and as “arcane” as NCAA baseball.

Ejected and dejected [Courier-Journal]
NCAA criticized for ejecting reporter who blogged at game [Courier-Journal]
Tuesday 06/12 A.M. Quickie: Bonds’ 747, Plus a Rant Against the NCAA [Dan Shanoff]
Blogger Booted From Championship [Double-A Zone]
Reporter tossed for blogging NCAA baseball tourney game in Louisville [ESPN]


This is it. This is probably going to be the last WWCS—well, until all the Cal sports start up again in the fall. Like we said last week, it wouldn’t be a problem if the baseball team was in the NCAA tourney (and the College World Series) or if football was a year-round sport. But it was fun. The WWCS will see you in August.

*Leading Off … Pure Dominance*
Let’s just put Alysia Johnson in the Cal Hall of Fame already. Add the NCAA Outdoor championship in the 800 meter to her list of accomplishments. Add to that the fact that Johnson ran the 800 under two minutes! No other Bears athlete has done that.

But Johnson wasn’t the only Cal athlete to take hardware away from Sacramento this weekend. Kelechi Anyanwu took the women’s discus title as well, propelling the Bears women’s team to an eighth place finish at the NCAAs.

The men? Well, they finished 65th.

*Cal Baseball Gets Stiffed*
Okay, so the baseball team got snubbed from the playoffs, which sucks. But now the four guys whom everyone thought would get drafted didn’t.

Four Bears baseball players—Josh Satin, Alex Rollin, Jordan Karnofsky and Brett Munster—all thought that they’d go somewhere in the 50 rounds that comprised the Major League Baseball draft. But they didn’t.

Sucks for them.

*Ben Braun Has Probably Lost His Mind*
Ben Braun has announced a tentative schedule for the 2007-08 men’s basketball team, and let’s just say nothing really jumps out at us, except a Dec. 1 meeting at home against Mizzou.

Now, why do we mention that game? First, it’s the inaugural match for the Bears in the new Pac-10/Big-12 Series. But that really isn’t the point. The point is that it’s also the same day as The Big Game.

Our question, other than the alums and students who love basketball and don’t like football, who’s going to be in Haas Pavilion to watch Braun’s Bears struggle against the Tigers?

*Golden Bears*
_1) Alysia Johnson – track & field_
National champ.

_2) Kelechi Anyanwu – track & field_
Another national champ.

_3) Jeff Kobernus – baseball_
Freshman All-American.


*Leading Off…No Postseason For Cal, Again*
The Cal baseball team was the ultimate bubble team for a berth to the NCAA tournament. Heading up to Seattle for the last series of the regular season, the Bears probably needed to win two of three games to possibly nab a postseason berth.

They didn’t. Instead Esquer’s Bears’ miracle run at the end of the season ended in dismay, with Cal losing two of three to Washington. Even worse is that our friends at UCLA were probably the last Pac-10 team selected to the tournament, with a 30-26 record.

What’s our Bears’ record you ask? 29-26. Ouch. Let’s make that six straight seasons that Cal hasn’t made the postseason.

*Slow Start Dooms Bears*
We’re going to try to explain to you why the women’s crew team failed to three-peat as NCAA champions this year.

1) There are three boats at the NCAA regatta.

2) The varsity eight boat is considered the best boat and its grand final race is given three-times as many points as any of the other grand finals.

3) Cal’s varsity eight boat failed to even reach the semifinals of the event.

4) The second varsity eight boat and the varsity four boat both did pretty well in their respective events.

5) No varsity eight boat in the final means you’re not going to win the NCAA title, no matter how well the other boats did.

*Tennis Players Fall at Individual NCAAs*
Susie Babos was the defending NCAA singles champ. Keyword in that sentence is WAS. Babos was ousted in the second-round in her bid as a repeat champion. The other Bears in the singles draw lost in the round of 16.

Babos’s second round troubles didn’t end there, losing in the second round of the doubles bracket with teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor.

Wow, for a team that made the NCAA semis last weekend, all that most of these ladies could muster was a berth to the round of 16? What happened? Maybe their lone male counterpart can do better?

Nope.

On the men’s side Pierre Mouillon was also given an early exit in the second round.

Well, at least we don’t have to talk about tennis for awhile.

*Golden Bears*
1) Alysia Johnson – Track and Field
This sounds like a broken record, but Johnson just broke another record at the NCAA West Regional. Cal -female- athlete of the year? We’d say so.

2) Ed Wright – Track and Field
Along with Johnson, won Cal’s only two individual titles at the NCAA West Regional.

3) The other 11 track and field athletes who qualified for the NCAAs over the weekend. At least one team fared well.


*Leading Off…Seriously, Who Is This Cal Baseball Team?*
We’ve been thoroughly amazed at what has transpired the last month or so for Esquer’s Bears. The last few years, Cal baseball has either started fast and finished terribly slow or just began terribly and finished terribly-er.

But this year seems different. After taking the first two games from USC on the weekend, putting the Bears in prime shape to sweep a perennial Pac-10 power today at Evans Diamond, Cal may be making a case for a postseason berth.

If that happens, then maybe the “team-bonding” was a good thing. Ehh, actually, we change our minds. Maybe Esquer just learned how to coach.

*Women’s Tennis Elite*
It’s not everyday when your best player doesn’t play well, gets beat and you still move on to the semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

That’s what the women’s tennis team did over the weekend, upsetting No. 2 Georgia –let’s repeat NO. 2 GEORGIA–on the road, in Georgia, to advance to the final four.

The semifinals against the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech is today. Wow, one step away from the finals and a potential match with No. 1 Stanfurd.

*Falling Flat on Their Faces*
We know our boy Michael Silver over at SI.com loves his alma mater. That’s why on his weekly column he showcases why “The University of California is the Center of the Universe.”

We love the guy. He’s great. But he’s also a softball homer. Which isn’t bad, except for the embarrassing 13-1 beat down the Bears received at the hands of Alabama, which eliminated Cal from the NCAA tournament.

Note to Mike: Don’t mention that this week.

*Golf is Still Hard to Understand*
Despite having one of the best team scores of the year, the men’s golf team still failed to advance out of the West Regional and into the NCAA championships.

Golf is probably the only sport in which this happens. No wonder no one likes it.

*Golden Bears*
_1) Cristina Visico – women’s tennis_
One quick overhand form Visico and the Bears were in the NCAA semis.

_2) Michael Brady – baseball_
Walk-off homer against the Trojans on Saturday and another big fly yesterday. Where’d al this Bears power come from?

_3) Michael Jensen – men’s golf_
Too bad the kid doesn’t get to go to the NCAAs.


*Leading Off…It’s a Four-Peat!*In the pantheon of Cal sports no one team has ever been as dominant as the rugby team, especially when you look at it in this era of Bears sports.Sure, the current teams consistently place in the top 25, save for a couple. Sure, the current teams make deep postseason runs. But not one team is as dominant as Jack Clark’s rugby team.Evidence? When you’ve just won your fourth national title in a row and defeated both opponents in the final four by a combined score of 100-38, we’re going to say that’s just pure dominance.By the way, it was also the 23rd championship for this rugby team. No other team on this campus has more than 15.*Who is this Cal baseball team? Part II*Last week, we pondered whether or not Esquer’s Bears were En Fuego.Well, they were, until they dropped yet another game to San Francisco (it’s the Dons guys, not the Giants. We’re sure you can beat USF eventually). To make matters worse, Cal dropped the first two games of its series against fUCLA.But then those Bears that were En Fuego returned Sunday, as Cal blasted the Small Dickless Bears 16-0. We have to ask, will the real Cal baseball team please standup?*Bears Finish MPSFs in Fourth*Not all teams saw success last weekend. The Cal lacrosse team (the women mind you, the men’s team is merely a club team, not too important), lost its semifinal and then its third-place game by one goal each.It seemed like the Bears couldn’t recovered from the midseason mini-collapse it had, going against some of the best teams in the country. But then again, we guess the best teams do recover from midseason collapses or just don’t have them.*Cal Second Place in Director’s Cup*Well, we knew this day was going to come. Last fall, the Cal Athletic Department found itself in first-place in the Director’s Cup.What’s the Director’s Cup? It’s a way to measure which school’s athletic program is the best in the country, and last fall, after a top 15 finish in football and a national championship in water polo, the Bears were in first place for the first time ever.But then Stanfurd, which has won the Director’s Cup every year for the last 12 years, reared it’s ugly head again and now sits atop the Director’s Cup standings after the winter season. But not to worry, the Bears are right there in second, over 200 points off the lead (which is a lot).*Warriors Mania*Golden State starts its second-round series with the Utah Jazz (we still don’t get why they’re called the Jazz) today in the SLC.Our big question: Will the Warriors be able to use it’s athleticism against the Jazz the same way they used it to beat the Mavs?*Golden Bears*_1) The Ruggers_For the seniors on the team, that’s an entire career with only being called National Champs._2) Jack Clark – Rugby_Best coach on this campus. Period._3) Chase Brogan – Rugby_The team captain led the way for this national championship, scoring to bust the game wide open.


There has been some awesomeness this weekend by Cal sports. So, we dedicate this edition of the Wide World of Cal Sports to our boy Dan Patrick as we steal his most well-known catch phrase, En Fuego.

*Leading Off…Who is this Cal Baseball team?*
Arizona State is the Pac-10’s best team this year. The Devils haven’t dropped a weekend series all year – until they came to Berkeley.

Esquer’s Bears somehow took two of three games from the Pac-10’s top team and they did it by smashing ASU’s guts in, especially on Sunday.

Oh, and Tyson Ross is amazing! Simply amazing!

But where did all this winning come from for Cal? It looks like a totally different team from the one that started the season.

Dare we say, En Fuego?

*Record Breakers*
Alysia Johnson’s been amazing ever since she got back from her injury. She’s broke record after record after record after record after record and won an NCAA Indoor title.

David Torrence also had an amazing weekend, as he broke a record over the weekend along with Alysia Johnson.

Dare we say, En Fuego?

*Not En Fuego*
There were a couple of sides that weren’t En Fuego over the weekend. Most notably the defending national championship men’s crew fell to No. 1 Washington. Slow starts and choppy waters will get to you.

The other not so En Fuego moment happen for the Cal women’s tennis team, or their singles players. Zsuzsanna Fodor, who was last year’s Pac-10 singles champion, was knocked out of the tournament this year in the second round.

Her doubles partner, Suzie Babos, made it to the finals of the singles bracket, but choked a chance away for the crown.

Not En Fuego.

*NFL Draft Recap*
Along with the other three guys that were drafted on the first day of the NFL Draft – Lynch, Mebane and Hughes – linebacker Desmond Bishop was picked up by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round on Sunday.

So that makes it four former Bears making the jump from college to pro, not to mention any guys who’ll be trying out for teams within the next couple of weeks.

And at least Aaron Rodgers will get to play with a former Cal player up in Green Bay, though he didn’t play with Bishop.

*Golden Bears*
_1) Alysia Johnson – track_
Broke another record.

_2) David Torrence – track_
Broke a school record.

_3) Michael Brady – baseball_
First two career home runs.

Dare we say, En Fuego?