Good morning quack addicts! Let's get straight to the friday fix:
- Oregon baseball kicks off another weekend series, this time a Pac-10 matchup against Stanford. The Oregonian has a very good piece on the team, and how they were originally going to play non-conference games only for the first season back, but George Horton would have none of it. And the difficulty of the schedule the first year back is a huge challenge. While the team hasn't been truly bad, they have lost 8 out of their last 11 games, and have scored 1 or fewer runs in 7 of those games. If this team can make it through this season without negative psychological repercussions, then they will come through stronger. For now, I hope to see the fundamental play continue, and to win at least one game in this series.
- The baseball team definitely does some things well, including pitching and defense, and that's due in large part to pitching coach Andrew Checketts. RG writer Adam Jude has a piece on him.
- Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune has a piece on LaMichael James, who is practicing with the team, but wearing a red jersey during the spring, after having offseason shoulder surgery. While James' size draws comparisons to Jacquizz Rodgers, James doesn't have the bulk or strength of Jacquizz. However, he has speed and shiftiness. He can catch the ball, and loves how the spread offenses isolates him on a defender. He says, “If I can’t beat one person, I don’t deserve to play." At this point, James is in competition with Alston and Crenshaw, though I expect him to end up the strong number two for most of next season.
- Moseley also adds a piece on new defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro. While the intensity of practice on day 2 seemed a bit waning from day 1, Azzinaro didn't let up. One of the things that Azzinaro is stressing is constant pursuit of the ball, and mirroring the energy of the Oregon offense in his defensive line. On top of that, he's really getting down to fundamentals and technique, teaching the inexperienced players how to get the most out of their body type. He's done a lot of work with Brandon Bair, who has been moved to tackle, and does not have prototypical size for that position. This piece definitely got me excited, because it seems like this hire was a real home run. Azzinaro is a great football mind, knows just about everything there is to know about his position, and has constant energy. What else could you ask for?
As always, leave any more comments or links below. GO DUCKS!