Random weekend notes

Celebration- Russell Martin's tenth-inning, party-launching walk-off homer on ESPN's Sunday night game gave the Dodgers a weekend sweep of the Giants. Martin's shot into the left-field pavilion broke a scoreless tie. Greg Maddux wowed the home folks by giving up just two hits through eight innings. Sunday's dramas got to Bill Shaikin, who ledes in the Times: "You might want to frame that ticket stub, or at least stash it in your wallet, to prove you were here on Sunday. October is not yet on the Dodgers' schedule, but something magical is happening around Dodger Stadium, and this evening might be remembered as the most magical in a memorable summer."

- The stats keepers at Elias say it was the first extra-inning 1-0 walk-off homerun since 2002 (and Martin's first career game-ender.) The last three players to hit decisive homers in 1-0 extra-inning games were all Dodgers catchers: Paul LoDuca in 2002 [not 1992, my mistake] and Rick Dempsey in 1989.

- Elias also raves about Jered Weaver's eighth win for the Angels, beating the Yankees in New York. Whitey Ford and Livan Hernandez are the only other starters in a century to begin their careers 8-0 in eleven starts. Chone Figgins led off the game with a home run. Things got dicey in the 9th when Scot Shields gave up consecutive homers to Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi, but Francisco Rodriguez finished for the save.

- Want to be wowed yet again by what blogs bring to baseball reportage? At The Baseball Analysts, check out visiting writer Jeff Albert's side-by-side video analysis of subtle changes in the swings of A-Rod and Andruw Jones.

- Barry Bonds played all three games at Dodger Stadium this weekend and was booed every time he batted or caught a ball in left field. He went 2 for 8, with a double and four walks, and drove in just one run. Pitchers challenged him Saturday and Joe Beimel even struck out Bonds with runners on, but on Sunday they walked him intentionally with no one on in the 10th inning. That's right, after the count went to 2-0, Grady Little ordered the tying run put on base.

- The Sparks ride into the WNBA playoffs as the top team in the Western Conference. Lisa Leslie finished the regular season averaging twenty points a game for the first time in her career.

- USC football broadcaster Pete Arbogast is blogging from Trojan practices and proudly admits he's not there to serve you the reader: "My hope is not to be a blunt reporter, trying like some others to uncover truths and half-truths in hopes of making a name for oneself. God knows (as do YOU) that I am an unabashed 'homer,' and will only write things that benefit my University and the team that we love so much." Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth razzes him about it: "That's an admirable trait if you're wearing a cardinal and gold sweater and hoisting young ladies over your head on the sidelines. But as a professional broadcaster, you'd think that approach would severely typecast you for any employment opportunities." He goes on to list some jobs Arbogast tried for but lost out on.

- Former Trojan Junior Seau is expected to retire from the NFL today after sixteen years with the Chargers and Dolphins.

Photo: AP/Jeff Lewis

August 14, 2006 4:56 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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