Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Night Beer: Longball Without the Wind

It was kind of a weird day in Lincoln today for the opener of the NCAA baseball regional. Even though the wind pretty was non-existent today, the ball was flying out of Haymarket Park as if there was a gale blowing out at Wrigley Field. The only possible explanation was the humidity; after all of the rain yesterday and overnight, it was rather muggy today.

In any event, Nebraska's gamble with holding Johnny Dorn for the Saturday night matchup against the Eater Nation from Cal-Irvine looks like a success, though you've got to wonder about pitching Thad Weber for three innings today in relief. He would have been a Sunday starter, but now you really hope that the Huskers can win tomorrow night so you don't need him in a potential doubleheader on Sunday.

The whole Roburt Sallie soap opera finally ends at Nebraska after two bizarre marathon attempts for him to become eligible. Let's go back to August 2006... Doc Sadler is just hired, and Nebraska is still trying to get Sallie eligibile, as the NCAA is questioning Sallie's prep school record. The semester starts and Sallie still didn't have an answer. So Sallie started attending classes, though he withdrew once the NCAA rejected his appeal. Which was a huge problem, since the act of enrolling at Nebraska without being cleared by the NCAA made him ineligible to ever play under Big XII rules. So Sallie goes to a JuCo, and Nebraska, unaware that Sallie is now ineligible to play anywhere in the conference, recruits him again... Then once they realized the problem earlier this month, they appealed to the conference, who of course, turned down Nebraska's request.

So we're left with a bunch of unanswered questions:
How did Sallie get enrolled at Nebraska in the first place? It raises a lot of questions about how things are being done, especially now that in this day of electronic transactions, it's possible to do a lot of things without a paper trail with signatures.
Why does Roburt Sallie have an attorney?
Who's supposed to be monitoring these situations? Could Nebraska have other situations where eligibility is an issue, even in other sports?

Going back to Wrigley Field, the rumor mill is hot that the NHL is going to play another outdoor hockey game this next season. Based on the success of last year's New Years Day game in Buffalo, they're going to repeat it... This time, it's the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field. Wrigley could be an awesome experience for hockey in theory. First factor in the history of the park, especially the history of the stadium hosting Bears games in the past. Set the field up like it was for football, with bleachers in right field and add a few extra bleachers in left so fans are nearer the field, and you might just have an unbelievable experience for about 40,000 fans.

There's also talk that they might also use the ice at Wrigley to play a CCHA game on January 2nd with Notre Dame. USA Today reports that Michigan would be the opponent, while WLS-TV mentions Michigan State. Doesn't look like UNO would be a candidate, as their schedule appears to be pretty much set at this point, with a game on January 3rd against the Purple Cows of Minnesota State. (Though I'd reschedule that game in a heartbeat if UNO had a chance to play at Wrigley...)

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