Pool play judged to be a success | NevadaAppeal.com

Pool play judged to be a success

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

The first year of pool play in the District 1 all-star tournament is in the books, and judging by the comments from parents and coaches, it was a success.

“I liked the pool play,” Carson American 11-12 manager John Valley said. “We played five games. We got two extra games. Under normal rules, we would have been out in three games.”

I earlier admitted that pool play was positive in the sense that the kids would get more games, and it in a sense rewarded the hard work the leagues put in to prepare for the tournament.

However, I didn’t think the caliber of play would be real good because teams lacked the pitching to play up to seven games in 10 days, and I believe I was right. I saw a lot of sloppy, high-scoring games during my four or five visits to Swope Middle School.

The best game of the tournament was the Carson American-Washoe game. Washoe won 3-0, but the American squad gave Washoe, the favorite to advance to the state tournament, all it could handle.

The changes I would make is to make it true pool play where you play everybody in your pool and not miss teams. Even though it would mean more games, you could start two or three days earlier. That way there would be no complaining because some teams didn’t have to play some of the top teams.

Also, the umpiring just has to get better. Some of the strike zones were hideous, and its obvious some of the younger umpires don’t understand the rules and their intent.

I was pleased to see that Gene Love, the District 1 umpire-in-chief, worked the plate for the Washoe-Carson American game. It cut down on the grumbling immensely, and nobody should have had a complaint with the game he called.

Love is a high school umpire in Northern Nevada, and I would love to see him cajole some of the high school umps into donating some time for a good cause during all-star play.

— Nevada’s Brett Hayes was ticketed to play in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this summer, but those plans went out the window when he was selected to Team USA.

Hayes, a multi-position player for the Nevada Wolf Pack this year, played in eight of the team’s first 11 games. He was hitting .333 (7 for 21) after the series against Japan. He’s made three starts.

Team USA lost to Chinese Taipai on Thursday, and it was Team USA’s first loss on home soil in approximately 30 games. Hayes was hitless in a late-inning pinch-hit appearance.

It’s been a few weeks since the Reno Rodeo has ended, and some of the names that you became familiar with are high in the Wrangler Pro Rodeo standings that were recently released.

Jason Jeter, who fared so well in bareback riding, leads the division. Bo Casper and Will Lowe, both of whom were crowned favorites in Reno, are seventh and ninth, respectively.

J.D. Hoagland, who won the bull riding in Reno, is currently in ninth place. Paul Crimber and Fred Boettcher, who challenged him for the title, are second and fourth. Case Drake, who was mauled by his bull after an 85-point first ride, is currently 15th.

Dan Mortensen, who had a disappointing final saddle bronc ride, leads the division. In third is Billy J. Etbauer, who won the silver spurs in Reno. Battle Mountain’s Matt Marvel, who was the subject of a feature by colleague Teri Vance, is plugging along in 15th place.

— I find it amusing how everybody is gushing over Kobe Bryant. Heck, the guy has just some ugly games because he has such poor shot selection. He isn’t Michael Jordan, nor do I think he ever will be.

— The Kobe Bryant-Shaq feud was as idiotic as the Barry Bonds-Jeff Kent feud. In both cases, the parties need to be mature enough to admit that they prosper because of the other’s presence.

Kobe will never quite grasp the concept that inside out is the way to play basketball. Besides the Bulls, who had Scottie Pippen and Jordan, how many teams have won NBA titles without a really good center? Not many. Kobe got as many open shots as he did because people would worry about Shaq so much.

Grow up Kobe or you will never be the player everybody expects you to be.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214.