Talking Basketball & Baseball
There is so much to talk about but let’s start with a couple of thoughts on the growing scandal at Rutgers University.
I saw scandal because Wednesday’s firing of basketball coach Mike Rice is not nearly enough for many and there will be plenty of pressure from lawmakers, alumni and others to seek more answers and maybe even jobs.
Many are calling for the firing of Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and university President Robert Barchi for their handling or mishandling of the entire affair and you can be sure the final chapter of this ugly story is a long way from being written.
From a basketball standpoint Rutgers now needs to find a coach who can somehow recruit, revitalize and restore respect to program that has not made it to the NCAA Tournament in 22 years and is set to join the Big Ten starting with the 2014 seasons.
Names being tossed around include Danny Hurley, Eddie Jordan, Fran Dunphy and Jay Wright and some locals have asked me about Joe Scott, the Toms River East grad who has turned around programs at both Air Force and the University of Denver. I think Joe is happy where he is and frankly the Rutgers job is not a very desirable one and wasn’t even before this mess.
The Lakewood BlueClaws are back as their 13th season gets underway tonight at First Energy Park with a 6:35 first pitch against the Kannapolis Intimidators.
Mickey Morandini returns for a second season as BlueClaws manager and has a team that is young and fast. Heading up that group is 19-year old shortstop Roman Quinn, who last year led the New York-Penn Short Season League with 11 triples and 30 stolen bases in just 66 games. Lakewood fans will also see the youngest player in team history as outfielder Carlos Tocci (Toach-ee) is just 17 years old.
The weather does not figure to be too bad tonight with a game-time temperature of about 50 degrees. That will be actually better than most-season openers which always seem to be cold, wet or a combination of both.
Also back for another season is the “Home Runs for Heroes” program which is a joint effort of the OceanFirst Foundation, BlueClaws and WOBM to support organizations that help military families in our area. Our Shore Sports Network is the radio home of the BlueClaws with all 140 games to be heard on 1160 and 1310AM.
For another day I get to say the Mets are having a perfect season.