Results tagged ‘ March Madness ’
It’s been a busy week for Dash alums, players and fans on Twitter. Let’s see what everyone is talking about.
March Madness for Sale: In the same month that he signed a shiny new extension and was named the White Sox Opening Day starter, Chris Sale’s alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast, is making noise in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset Georgetown and San Diego State during the tournament’s first weekend, becoming the first 15-seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen in tournament history. With the two upsets, Sale believes Florida Gulf Coast will now be more respected in all sports, telling White Sox insider Dan Hayes:
“It’s awesome. I had nothing to do with it, obviously, but it just feels good. You come from a small school like that and everyone just kind of looks at us like a midweek prep game. ‘All right, we’ll get our win midweek and then we’ll get ready for conference play.’ I don’t think that’s the way it’s going to be from here on out.”
Making the victory extra sweet for Sale? Bragging rights over teammate Addison Reed and Hayes, both San Diego State alums. Hayes seems to be holding the loss against Sale a bit:
Will be tough to write nice things about Chris Sale after his school (FGCU) crushed mine. Ex: “Sale throws ugliest no-hitter in history.”
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) March 25, 2013
Next up for Sale’s Eagles are the Florida Gators in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday night in Arlington, Tex.
Courtney Hawkins autograph error: A few days ago a funny picture made the rounds on Twitter depicting a Courtney Hawkins card that the young outfielder signed…backwards:
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) March 25, 2013
Surely the White Sox top prospect will get several chances to correct his mistake in the near future.
Tweets of the week: With the home opener against the Carolina Mudcats just 15 days away, Dash fans are getting excited for the season to being! Check out these Tweets from some fans!
— Kristin (@SheaMusing) March 27, 2013
Playing at the Winston Salem Dash field! 👌 #NotBad
— Spencer Odell (@spencer_tootall) March 20, 2013
There’s no Winston Salem Dash home game on my birthday this year :,( #21stBirthdayFantasyShatteted
— John Childers (@johngchilders) March 20, 2013
It’s great to see that the fans are as excited as we are for the 2013 campaign to get underway!
- Rob and Erika
It was discussed as a David-Goliath matchup. We even asked for a “March Madness” miracle. Our good buddy Bolt had to go up against Wilbur from the University of Arizona in a voting contest created by a Tucson-based radio station.
It certainly seemed like Bolt was in for a challenge, and the results were very much convincing.
But Bolt, the perceived “David” to Wilbur’s “Goliath,” dominated. More importantly, Dash fans dominated.
While the final tally is unavailable, Bolt was consistently around 80-90 percent of the vote. It was a convincing victory, and another one will be needed next Tuesday. Bolt must unseat the defending champion, the Gorlok from Webster University.
I don’t know what a Gorlok is (you can see it on the right), and I don’t know much about Webster University. But their fan base brought it last year, and the matchup will once again be a difficult one for Bolt.
Thanks, Dash fans. Bolt is very grateful. As a result, he is out delivering season tickets to some Dash fans. We will follow along with him and post some pictures here, so stay tuned!
Now, onto some Wednesday Dots.
- More signs that baseball is (almost) back: we received the head shots for all White Sox minor leaguers yesterday. Also, I spoke with new Dash manager Tommy Thompson today, and he is excited that the Dash have started playing spring training games.
- While big league spring training games are played in front of thousands of fans in Arizona or Florida, the minor league exhibitions are a little less glamorous. My good friend Aaron Goldsmith, the play-by-play voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox, is down in Ft. Myers, and he took some pictures of the minor league fields. It isn’t all glamour for the MiLB group, that’s for sure.
- A 2010 Dash alum is making a statement this spring. Eduardo Escobar has made quite an impression on White Sox brass, that according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Escobar has many things working for him, including his solid defense, his ability to play three positions (second, short and third) and his switch-hitting.
- Escobar played in Triple-A Charlotte last season and hit .266 in 137 games. He doesn’t have a lot of power (.351 slugging percentage in 579 minor league games), but the Venezuela native is a career .270 hitter in the minors. Escobar did get a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues, and he went 2-for-7 in nine games last year.
- One of my favorite players of all time, former White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel, is the focus of this brief piece on 40+ year olds in MLB. Vizquel, along with Jamie Moyer, are the only two men who are in the big leagues who played in the 1980s. Omar, who in my opinion is definitely a future Hall of Famer, has had an incredible career. See for yourself in his career stats.
We’ll have some pictures from Bolt’s season ticket delivery later today. Thanks for reading!
March Madness is finally here, with 16 games today and tomorrow. By now, I’m sure you have made all your picks. Here in the Dash front office, we are having a pool, with the winner earning a free date with Bolt.
Here are some of my favorite predictions from fellow Dash front office team members:
- Gerri Brommer, our VP of Sponsor Services and a strong supporter of the Dash Board, is quite daring. She is one of two people with Indiana in the Final Four out of the South, and she has 6th seeded UNLV and 5th seeded Temple in the Elite Eight.
- The most popular significant upset is Long Beach State over New Mexico in a 12-5 game. Six people (out of 13) have “The Beach” advancing to the weekend, and two have LBSU heading to the Sweet 16.
- Sales superstar Jay Andrews and stadium ops czar Corey Bugno have Harvard in the Sweet 16 even though their first-round opponent (Vanderbilt) is a popular Elite Eight/Final Four pick nationwide. I happen to think the Crimson will beat Vandy, but Jay and Corey take it to another level.
- Nikki Caldwell, my new best friend, is the only one other than me to advance my alma mater, Ohio, past Michigan, the program that calls Ohio State “Ohio.” I have the Bobcats in the Sweet 16. Maybe that is a bit biased.
So here is how the Final Four shapes out in our 13-person pool:
South: 11-Kentucky; 2-Indiana
West: 6-Michigan State; 5-Missouri; 1-Marquette; 1-Louisville
East: 7-Ohio State; 4-Florida State; 1-Vanderbilt; 1-Cincinnati
Midwest: 7-North Carolina; 6-Kansas
Good luck in your brackets! Here are a few Dots on this gorgeous Thursday.
- It was a tough and early end to Spring Training for 2010 Dash alum Brandon Short. Short, a non-roster invitee to Camelback Ranch, crashed into the center-field wall in the White Sox’s March 8 game against Texas. He dislocated his left shoulder and tore his left labrum. Short will likely miss the 2012 season after playing all of 2011 with Double-A Birmingham.
- Things are going much better for a Dash infielder from a year ago. Tyler Saladino was moved into big league camp yesterday. A seventh-round selection in ’10, Saladino hit .270 in 102 games in Winston-Salem last summer. Good for him.
- Also yesterday, three Dash alums moved around the White Sox’s system. Right-hander Gregory Infante was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte, and Brian Omogrosso and Jake Petricka were reassigned to minor league camp. Still, this trio gained some invaluable experience and learned some fantastic lessons while with the big leaguers.
- I am actually heading back home to Ohio to complete my official move to the Winston-Salem area, so the blog will be a little quiet over the weekend. I will be back in town late Monday, so I’ll rejoin you then. Mike will step in for a post or two in my absence.
I keep my bracket in my back pocket until it is no longer relevant. Here’s hoping I still have it when I talk to you again next week. Enjoy the games.
Don Norcross of the San Diego Union-Tribune earned a few points in my book today by coming up with a great article: “Bizarre Baseball Injuries.” Here are some of my favorites (these examples are taken from Norcross’ piece, which you can read here):
- Former Rangers great Nolan Ryan missed a start after being bitten by a coyote.
- Utility infielder Bret Barberie missed a game because he mistakenly rubbed chili juice in his eyes.
- Ageless pitcher Terry Mulholland scratched his eye on a feather that stuck out of a pillow.
- Hall of Famer George Brett broke a toe on a chair when he was running from the kitchen to the living room to see baseball on TV.
- New Reds hurler Mat Latos held back a sneeze, causing a pain in his side that led to the 15-day disabled list.
- Outfielder Chris Coghlan tore the meniscus in his knee as he attempted to shove a shaving cream pie in a teammate’s face.
- Injury-plagued reliever Joel Zumaya strained his arm playing “Guitar Hero” and had to sit out three games.
I urge you to check out the rest of Norcross’ awesome story. There are plenty of other incredibly unique injuries, many of which are unfathomable.
Time for a few Dots on this Monday.
- The countdown to Opening Day can truly begin now. The Dash’s season begins in 25 days at Carolina, and, more importantly, the Home Opener is one week later against those same Mudcats. We are only 32 days away from baseball at BB&T Ballpark. Yesterday was a landmark day in the All-Star Game countdown because we reached the 100-day mark. In 99 days, some of the best minor league players will be in Winston-Salem. I’m already looking forward to that awesome event.
- White Sox hurler John Danks is going bald for a great cause. Danks is shaving off his hair for the St. Baldricks Fox Chicago Schools Challenge, which will help fund research on children’s cancer. Danks’ five-year-old son Cooper survived a cancer battle.
- Be sure to check out a new blog from the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate. Media relations czar Tommy Viola has updated “Knight Fever” frequently, and it keeps tabs on the Sox in spring training. I encourage you to take a look.
- Congrats to former Dash broadcaster Andrew Africk. Andrew will be on the air this season with the Dayton Dragons, Cincinnati’s Midwest League affiliate. The Dragons have sold out more than 800 straight games. I had a chance to get to know Andrew a little bit, and he is a great guy. He also had a chance to call the catch of the year by Nick Ciolli.
- Correction to an earlier post: Bolt’s matchup with Wilbur in the first round of the “Mascot Madness” tournament is set for next Tuesday (March 19), not this Tuesday. You can still scout the competition here. We will be sending out reminders to vote for Bolt when the showdown gets closer.
- Speaking of “Madness,” the company’s bracket pool is on the horizon. I’m looking forward to correctly predicting the final, which is currently Ohio over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on my bracket. This is subject to change.
Hope you have a great Monday. Keep counting down until the season! Baseball is (almost) back.
It’s Selection Sunday in college basketball. I hope your team will make it into the field of 68 in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Before offering up a few Dash notes, I have to puff my chest a little bit. My Ohio University Bobcats are headed to the Big Dance for the second time in three years after beating Akron in the MAC Championship Game. They will probably be a 13 seed, but they won’t exactly sneak up on anyone. In 2010, the 14th-seeded ‘Cats crushed Georgetown 97-83 in the first round.
Famous Bobcats include Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, World Series manager Bob Brenly, NBC’s Matt Lauer (who is doing quite well for himself), Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and even the voice of Bart Simpson Nancy Cartwright.
Enough of that. Here are a few Sunday Dots.
- Former Dash hurler Terry Doyle had a difficult outing for the Twins yesterday in Grapefruit League action. Doyle gave up two runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings against the Pirates. Minnesota selected Doyle in the Rule 5 Draft during the offseason. As a result, the right-hander must be on the team’s 25-man roster, or the Twins will have to offer him back to the Sox.
- Obviously, you don’t want to root against a player, but a tough spring could mean a return to the White Sox for Doyle. He was a starter during his minor league career, but according to this story from Tyler Mason on FOX Sports North, the Twins are, in essence, set with their rotation. A bullpen spot may be Doyle’s only chance to open in the big leagues. While the Twins had an awful 2012 season, they aren’t exactly in a rebuilding mode. With a very new ballpark and a huge amount of money locked up in Joe Mauer, Minnesota will still try to compete in a wild A.L. Central. This means that the Twins may not want to hold onto a player simply because of the Rule 5 Draft scenario. This is something to monitor.
- Here is a cool story from the Washington Post about White Sox catchers A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers bonding through video games. I tried to bond through video games with my friends in high school when we had projects to do. For some reason, my parents didn’t buy that.
- High school baseball continued over the weekend at BB&T Ballpark. Friday night, Asheville edged Forsyth Home Educators 6-5, and Mt. Tabor earned the first shutout of the amateur slate with a 4-0 triumph over West Davidson. So far this spring, the community’s response to these games has been great. There are still plenty of games left on the schedule, which you can see here.
- Don’t forget that Tuesday is round 1 of “Mascot Madness” for Bolt against Wilbur, the University of Arizona’s mascot. Fortunately, Arizona lost in the Pac-12 final yesterday, so the area won’t be booming with Wildcat pride. Be sure to help Bolt pull off the first round win by voting Tuesday!
Have a great rest of your weekend! I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Dash fans, you have a chance to make a difference in this year’s March Madness. Well, not really “March” Madness. More like Mascot Madness.
Everyone’s favorite mascot Bolt is in a 16-team tournament created by 1290 AM Radio in Arizona. However, Bolt received a very challenging draw.
His opponent is Wilbur, the mascot of the University of Arizona. This complicates Bolt’s championship hopes for a number of reasons. This website represents a radio station in Arizona. If you take a look at the site’s banner, it says “Home of the Wildcats,” so they air ‘Zona games.
And, of course, Arizona fans are feeling good because their team is a win away from punching a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats play Colorado in the Pac-12 final this evening.
Each matchup features a 24-hour voting window, and Bolt’s clash with Wilbur comes up this Tuesday. We will remind you about the vote as we get closer so that Bolt can pull off another March miracle, most of which have come on the basketball floor.
One of the most recognizable upsets was the 1983 National Championship, when NC State stunned Houston 54-52. The coach of that team was the legendary Jim Valvano, who would have turned 66 today. Valvano passed away from cancer in 1993, a few months after his “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” speech at the ’93 ESPYs.
Virginia Commonwealth University made some magic in 2007 against Duke. Nikki Caldwell, one of the Dash’s marketing stars, went to VCU for grad school. This clip has some meaning for me, too. A very good friend of mine was so happy about the Rams’ upset of Duke that he instantly became a VCU fan. He cheered on last year as Shaka Smart and the Rams made it to the Final Four, and our group of friends supported him all the way. Maybe the same can happen for Bolt over the next few weeks.
There have been other memorable upsets with late baskets. Northwestern State, a 14 seed, stunned Iowa in 2006. By the way, the best part of this clip is the two Northwestern State players hugging at midcourt, which sets up Iowa for a very good look to try to win the game. That would have been the mistake of the year in sports had the Hawkeyes made the last shot.
Even last year, a 13-over-4 upset happened when Morehead State took down Louisville (even though the last play was the definition of a foul).
These upsets are great, and we hope that Bolt can add another one to the list. Once again, you can check out the matchups here. Bolt’s day of reckoning is Tuesday.
Stay tuned for the Dash Board tomorrow for another post, including news on a former Dash hurler who is trying to make it to the big leagues after being taken in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason.
For now, I need to put on some green and gear up for my Ohio Bobcats’ chance to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. MACtion is on tonight at 8 on ESPN2 for Ohio and Akron. Go ‘Cats! Have a good one.