Some random musings, news and notes for a Monday morning:
n It sure has been thrilling to watch the Tampa Bay Rays rebound from their awful start to threaten the .500 mark, especially with all of Johnny Damon’s late-inning heroics.
Here’s a wet-blanket question, though: What in the name of Sam Fuld was star third baseman Evan Longoria doing jumping with his teammates in the celebratory pile-ons after Damon’s two walkoff hits?
I’m no doctor, but shouldn’t Longoria, who is serving a stint on the disabled list, be protecting his strained oblique, which he presumably injured twisting his torso too often or too violently.
Do the names Chris Coghlan, Kendrys Morales, Ted Ginn Jr. and Bill Gramatica mean anything? They all missed action after getting hurt in celebrations.
The Rays can’t afford to lose Longoria for any longer than the two to three more weeks he’s expected to miss.
If I were manager Joe Maddon, I would institute for Longoria the same policy the NBA uses to discourage reserve players from joining fights. You leave the bench, you pay a fine.
n Speaking of the NBA, didn’t Saturday’s Indiana-Chicago game serve as a perfect reminder that NBA playoff games don’t really start until the final three minutes?
The eighth-seeded Pacers were clearly the better team for 45 minutes, but it didn’t matter. The top-seeded Bulls hung around and got just enough Derrick Rose at the end to pull out the win at home.
I vow not to invest any emotion into underdogs until they have a double-digit lead late into the fourth quarter.
n Here are some Campus Connection notes that got lost to space constraints this week:
Former IMG Academies and The Pendleton School student Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State) has been named a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award, awarded annually to the top men’s collegiate golfer.
Uihlein, a junior who is the top-ranked player in the country, is one of 10 semifinalists announced Wednesday. Two of his teammates, Kevin Tway and Morgan Hoffmann, also are on the semifinalist list.
Three finalists will be announced May 4, and the winner will be announced May 16 during the Ben Hogan Award Banquet in Fort Worth, Texas.
Uihlein played in his first Masters as an amateur this past week, shooting an even-par 72 and 77. He missed the cut.
n It became official this past week, as reported by our Alan Dell in his Sounding Off blog, but Shedrick Haynes’ days with the University of South Florida basketball program ended recently when USF head coach Stan Heath made offers to two guards he coveted.
Heath had no scholarships available and with Haynes (Palmetto) wanting more playing time, he was the logical one to go along with teammate Mike Burwell.
James Haynes, former Palmetto head football coach, said his son is trying to hook on with a Division II team so he can play his final season.
n Freshman outfielder Corey Hanewich (Lakewood Ranch) is hitting .256 in 32 games for the Stanford University softball team. Her three-run double Tuesday handed the Cardinal a 3-1 victory over San Jose State.
Hanewich has started 29 games for 11th-ranked Stanford, which is 27-8, 12-5 in the Pac-10.
n Krista Wells (Braden River) is running wild for the Ave Maria University softball team. The junior infielder/outfielder, who was named the school’s female athlete of the week on April 11, has stolen 34 bases and is hitting .344 for the 15-18 Lady Gyrenes.
Wells was named the athlete of the week for the second time this season after going 7-for-10 in a doubleheader against Northwood University. She stole six bases in the doubleheader.
Timothy R. Wolfrum, Herald sports editor, can be reached at 745-7052.