Thursday, May 04, 2006

So Much To Type, So Little Time

There is a great chance that I won't be checking in here again until Sunday, yet I have so much I want to address. There is simply no way I can get to everything I would like to. However, let's see how much I can review before other responsibilities call me away from my computer.

I guess I can begin with midweek games. I saw Michigan beat Western Michigan courtesy of Comcast Local, 10-5. The contest was pretty typical of midweek fare. The Wolverines jumped out to a big lead and held on to win. The television coverage, always a popular subject here, wasn't as good as the last CL game I watched, but it was acceptable.

Of course, the broadcast was hindered greatly by the fact the audio was running behind the video. The guy would be standing on first after a single when you heard the "ping" of his bat and the announcer make the call. Annoying. It was a problem on the channel after the game as well, so the production crew doesn't lose any points from me for the audio difficulities. I did learn something during the game, too.

Apparently, Ray Fisher Stadium is about to undergo a major renovation. I believe ex-coach Geoff Zahn mentioned a $9 million figure. I can't say I completely understood the specifics of the upgrades but it sounds like they are going to build an indoor hitting facility, rebuild the dugout and the pressbox. They also made mention of the seating changes. It sounded like they might be adding either box seats, a second deck or both.

This was the first thing I've heard about updating Michigan's baseball structure. There have been rumors about an entirely new ballpark, but I had not heard anything this concrete about pouring new concrete at the old yard. While I won't have time to Google this tonight, I have yet to see anything this definitive about Fisher Stadium from any other source. (More work I don't have time for right now.)

I have to admit that I am surprised that the university opted not to tear down the current diamond, thus creating space for either parking for football and hockey or building a practice facility for the basketball team. However, I am happy to hear that yet another baseball program is getting some revenue towards facilities.

On that note, Penn State announced the their new yard, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is nearly complete.

As for other midweek games, Lars Davis hit a walk-off homer powering Illinois over St. Xavier, 6-4. Iowa's game with Western Illinois got cancelled. (Rain? Nope. Snow?! Nope. Scheduling conflict? Yes. Does this happen in college football?) North Dakota State thumped Minnesota, 7-3. Apparently, John Anderson's side didn't exactly bring along the entire team. Northern Illinois beat Northwestern, 8-6. (That sound you hear is NU's and the conference's RPI falling.) Ohio State beat Eastern Michigan, 5-2.

This weekend's Big Ten action looks like this: Ohio State travels to Michigan State in a battle of the top two offensive teams in the conference. Purdue hosts Penn State. Iowa is at Indiana. Minnesota visits league leading Northwestern and co-conference leader Michigan is in Champaign to take on Illinois.

Michigan State's Ryan Basham got some ink from Green and White.com.

Ohio State got some love from CSTV. Here is a video look at the Buckeyes. (Assuming I did the video link correctly. My apologies, if I didn't.)

Speaking of CSTV, Kellen Kulbacki of James Madison is this week's leader in CSTV.com's Player of the Year balloting.

Iowa released information about pitcher Casey O'Rourke, his ongoing battle with cancer and his effect on his teammates. While it's clear the struggle continues, I was glad to hear that the Hawkeye pitcher is cancer free. The Hawkeyes season has been bumpy, to put it mildly. Here is Ryan Long, of the Daily Iowan, explaining all the difficulities Jack Dahm's squad has had to endure in 2006.

I think that's it for now. And probably tomorrow, as well. I might try to sneak back in here Saturday night, time permitting. Enjoy the weekend action.