Friday Fodder: Nevada pitchers on course for record season
Special to the Tribune
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Carson High graduates Colby Blueberg and Adam Whitt have a chance to do something no other Wolf Pack pitcher has ever done. Blueberg, who has appeared in 19 games and Whitt, who has made 17 appearances, could become the first Wolf Pack pitchers to pitch in 30 games in a season. The school record is 28 by Rico Lagattuta in 1994. The Pack, now 16-14, has 25 regular season games remaining and at least two in the Mountain West tournament, so Blueberg and Whitt should get to 30 games fairly easily. Blueberg, with his 1.30 earned run average, and Whitt, with his six saves, are the Pack’s MVPs so far this season along with first baseman Austin Byler.
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Wolf Pack basketball, which is coming off its third losing season in the last four years, is once again in a state of transition. But things might be even more chaotic at the south end of the state. UNLV is losing two of its best players in juniors Roscoe Smith and Bryce Dejean-Jones. Smith believes he’s a NBA player and Dejean-Jones just wants to get away from the Rebels. Rebel coach Dave Rice, like Carter at Nevada, can’t seem to hang onto his players. Underclassmen Mike Moser and Katin Reinhardt transferred from UNLV away after the 2012-13 season. Carter can only keep his fingers crossed and hope his players stay. Rice, though, does have options. He’s tried to build his program by stealing players off other Division I rosters. But that doesn’t seem to be working. It might be time for Rice to go the Kentucky route and just shuffle in new freshmen every year.
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It’s time we all stop picking on Yasiel Puig. Yes, the young Los Angeles Dodger outfielder is immature and does things his own way. But he really doesn’t deserve all the harsh criticism he gets. So he shows up late for pre-game batting practice once in a while and gets the occasional speeding ticket? So what? If you could throw like Puig wouldn’t you want to show off your arm? If you could run like Puig wouldn’t you want to take an extra base now and then? And if you could swing the bat like Puig wouldn’t you want to try and hit every pitch out of the park? Puig is a breath of fresh air. Yes, he makes a ton of mistakes. But he’s exactly what baseball needs. He plays the sport with a childlike passion and love of the game. Every minute he’s on the field you can’t take your eyes off him. Baseball needs about three dozen more just like him.
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Former Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to the Miami police department, is involved in an incident that involves two other NFL players and a woman with which Kaepernick supposedly had a previous relationship. No charges have been filed so far. Kaepernick, who apparently is more fun-loving Johnny Manziel than straight-laced Tim Tebow, just can’t seem to avoid being attached to one or two off-the field “incidents” every off-season. It might be time for him to study a bit more game film until, at least, he signs his long-term contract extension. Rule Number One: Nothing good happens to professional athletes in Miami in the off-season.
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The Nevada Wolf Pack men’s basketball team handed out its awards this week and, well, Cole Huff didn’t get an award. Huff was the team’s second best player behind Deonte Burton but the talented sophomore left the program after the season. So he gets no award. Lucas Stivrins got an award for cheering on the bench. Marqueze Coleman got an award for simply being the first player off the bench. Freshman D.J. Fenner, who scored all of 2.5 points a game, got an award for supposedly being the most improved player. Jerry Evans got an award for being the best defender on a team where nobody else defended anyone. But Huff got nothing. Coaches can leave programs immediately after a season and the school they abandoned will eventually vote them to their Hall of Fame. Players leave and they are treated like they never existed.