Archive | SPECTATOR SPORTS RSS feed for this section

Westmont Warriors Walk off Winning

Michael Rishwain

Ahh, baseball. America’s favorite pastime, and no wonder. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon than watching a live game and cheering on the home team? Under sparkling sun, and breeze just strong enough to float a few butterflies? Even the weather was perfect this Saturday as the Westmont Warriors faced off in a non-conference double-header against the Bethesda Flames at Russ Carr Field. The 33rd game of a 50 game season set to wrap at the end of April, the Warriors were favored to win after spanking the Flames 6 to 1 Friday, but Westmont was in for a surprise.

After a rousing chorus of the National Anthem, the Flames blazed a fiery comeback. Scoring a whopping 4 runs in their first at bat, the Warriors made error after error.  While the home team rallied to tally a respectable 2 points in the bottom of the 6th inning—runs made by Conrad Turner and Alex Bush–the final score of the first game was a disappointing: 4:2.

It’s hard to say if the absence of Friday’s starting pitcher Daniel Butler played a role in the upset, since at least one of the three relief pitchers filling the gap was being observed by a major league scout. Pitching at speeds ranging from 91-93 mph, Michael Rishwain could have been the poster boy for the right way to play ball, and it isn’t the first time this well-seeded team was so scrutinized. Last February’s competition against British Columbia’s Thunderbirds saw a record 26 scouts in attendance, a number due in no small part to the team’s standing, currently ranked 7th out of the 275 schools in the NAIA–National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

It bears mention that the Warrior’s inclusion in the opening round of the post-season NAIA tournament these past 2 years has happened under the guidance of head coach Robert Ruiz, who came on board in 2010, and turned the floundering team around, begging the question: can they do it a third time? Winning the second game would certainly help, and this is precisely what they did.  In the bottom of the 7th and final inning, Michael Valentin Jr. ran in the only point scored by either team all game, allowing the Warriors to walk off with the victory, splitting the doubleheader.

Did I say walk-off? More like whoop, run, and jump off, as the understandably exuberant Warriors celebrated the end of a hard day on the diamond. Not overly long, while the conscientious team hurried to maintain the facets of the field—raking the baselines, and tidying the plate with the pride of ownership—Michael Rishwain took a moment to answer a few questions before doing the same.

A Lodi native and kinesiology major, Michael spoke of a desire to ultimately influence younger people in a positive way with as much enthusiasm as he exhibited when talking of aspirations to major league ball. The camaraderie and competitive nature of baseball are what Michael enjoys most about the game, a sport in which he’s participated all his life. Influenced by former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, and grateful to Westmont’s pitching coach Coach Cougoule, the rising star credits his athletic prowess to his family, friends, and mentors as much as himself.

The cheering of the home crowd helps, too. While the bleachers boasted a respectable number of fans, some 60 people or so, there was still room for more. Remember to check the schedule at Westmont Athletics website when you’re making your weekend plans, and come out to support the Warriors. You never know, you might just catch that lucky fly ball, and you’re sure to catch fan fever, as the team that embodies what baseball is all about: good wholesome fun, take the field.






Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara

The start of Stage 5 in video & jpeg! Interviews, Race Start & More!

amgen_use as lead

The start line for stage 5 at Santa Barbara’s West Beach

Chief Marshall_Xavier Cortez

Chief Marshall: Xavier Cortez in lead vehicle (of race) and command incident vehicles


Andy Raymond Schleck, Winner* Tour de France 2010, and runner up years: 09 & 11.


Let’s get a closer look at that cutie pie!

Video Clip of Interviews below

Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara. Pre-Race interviews with world class racers


Not sure who, but he looks serious!

silly puppies

While these furry pedalers look seriously cute…


What it’s all about…


Great group shot, minutes before the cap gun…

Video Clip of race start below

Amgen Tour of California–Stage 5 at Santa Barbara: the race begins!


Four on the Floor


A Brag Blog on US Women’s 4x100m Relay

Did you see the Olympics last night? I know, I know. After nearly 3 weeks of nightly, non-stop coverage & looping, daily recaps broadcast over every media outlet there is, I suspect even the athletes have tired of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Games.  Or at the very least tired of all that exercise, but as the saying goes, it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

No more reps!!

Although “fit lady” would be the more apt metaphor in this instance.You’d never guess the incredibly fit American women that raced last night were at the tail end of a physically and psychologically grueling competition.Not even for a hundredth of a second, and as an amateur runner myself, I know what to look for—I like to think I do, anyway—and while I’ve been following the track and field events from this quasi-informed stance, the athletes have done nothing but impress. Continue reading

Dara Gets it Done! Torres advances to 50 Meter Freestyle Finals

I’ve backed off writing about the Olympic trials lately for a couple of reasons. One, there’s just so darn many of them. So many elite athletes, so many heartfelt backstories, so many interesting and exciting events with so many associated stats, but the second reason I backed off is more legal than lackadaisical. Copyright.

That’s (copy) right. The picture included here is a stock photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, God bless ’em, anyway, but the pictures and videos of the current Olympic trials are locked up in ESPN and NBC sports coverage vaults everywhere, and I’m frankly not writing the caliber of sports coverage that merits the money shot. Or the legal trouble.

But I’m wading back in today to cover the highlights of the two 50 meter races in which Dara Torres swam last night. (2 of 3 needed to move on to the Olympics) How could I not? The woman might be uncomfortably close to my own age at 45, but she’s as likeable as they come, brimming with youthful vitality and optimism that defies the calendar affecting the rest of us. Maybe that’s her charm, though. She makes it okay to be in your forties . More than okay, she makes it cool.

Dara isn’t just the oldest athlete to ever compete in the Olympic trials or Games. She’s medaled in every one of the five Olympiads in which she’s taken part, and earned an even dozen medals: 4 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze over the course of 24 years.

Dara credits her love of the sport for her longevity, narrowing her field of focus to just one event, as well as her rigorous training and recovery regimen. She’s even had a  $5000.- replica of the start block from which swimmers push-off into the pool at such competitions installed at her training facility, but no amount of practice can replicate the stadium packed with fans and TV cameras, the alarming honk of the start buzzer, and “this is it” nerves. Continue reading

Phelps Wins on Wednesday!

Mens’ 200 Meter Freestyle Final

Good morning, chickens! Good news. I’ve figured out why NBC flashed Dwyer’s times’ at the wall flips in Tuesday night’s 200 meter freestyle instead of Phelps. Not because they favored the vaguely reptilian swimmer, but because he reached the turnaround point first! Can you imagine?

And that smaller “AR” stat listed in the lower left? That refers to the time established for the “American Record” rather than “action required”. Go figure! Next I suppose I’ll find out the “WR” acronym stands for: world record, and not: waiver requests, wash room or even water-resistant.

Oh well. It’s all part of the fun of following a mostly fabricated blog, I expect. A blog that promotes the fictitious and its writer. You never know what kind of reading inaccuracies you’re gonn’ get! (said à laTom Hanks dba as Forrest, Forrest Gump)

But enough tiresome chitter-chat about fudged facts and far more interesting Spielberg movies. It’s time to interpret the highlights of the Wednesday night rematch between Lochte and Phelps, and this time, I guarantee they’ll be made up of 90% natural ingredients and only a  >smidge<  of filler.

All-righty. We’ve set the scene already: an Olympic-sized pool lanes number 4 & 5, and we know the players well enough: Lochte, Phelps & 6 other guys, though the surname of the repeat offender in lane number 7 bears mention, I think, as it’s as unlikely a moniker for a swimmer as any.

I don’t know about you, but the handle: Davis Tarwater conjures up images of slurries rather than hurry to me, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Overnight, if I know anything about asphalt. Continue reading

Lochte & Phelps square off for the 200 meter freestyle

I missed Monday night’s Olympic Swim Trials, and I’ll probably miss more—I am a sporadic TV watcher at best, and a bad sit-com viewer at worst–mostly because there are flat-out better things to do, but I’m glad I caught the mens’ 200 meter semi-final freestyles Tuesday night. With a medaled line-up that featured rivals and teammates Lochte and Phelps from the Beijing games, and training schedules much ballyhooed in the news, the qualifying event was as interesting to watch as the Olympiad itself promises to be. The events I catch, anyway.

According to our TV commentator, the men weren’t just ready to compete again: they were raring! Prepared and then some; Lochte by engaging in so-called Strong man training techniques on a bi-weekly basis, and Phelps by hitting it extra-hard in the high altitudes of Colorado Springs. (click Colorado Springs to read more about Phelps right here at: CHARRON’s CHATTER)

For the layabout there at home, let me elaborate: Strong man training usually involves lifting something unnecessarily heavy, dragging it some distance unnecessarily, to ultimately hurl it over something for no fathomable reason. A fallback skill to be honed, no doubt, in the event the swimming thing doesn’t work out.

As the 2 men entered Century Link Center, the Omaha arena hosting the event, they looked sleek as seals. The hi-tech swim wear lent to that effect, of course: both athletes sporting knee-length swim trunks and skull-hugging swim caps, though only Phelps appeared to be getting his iTunes on pre-dip, and God only knows what the other 6 competitors were doing. Sure, Conor Dwyer had already qualified for the Olympics in the 400 last night, and that third Mike guy in the race, Michael Klueh, was a swimmer to watch out for, too, but to me the only guys who mattered were the ones heading toward lanes 4 and 5. Continue reading

A Swim Fan’s look at Michael Phelps

The 30th Olympiad will be kicking off in London on July 27th, and since I’m still carrying a torch for the last Olympic Games, I’m already counting down. Pumped, and then some, to witness the pomp and circumstance of the international athletic competition. I’m not as pumped as the participating athletes are of course, but I’m figuratively aflutter, excited as any spectator sport fan would be about an impending favorite event. (so, breaking a slight sweat as I break into my Cheetos bag…)

Sure, I know the Games are categorized by sport, and those sports are further broken down into nationality, time trials, equipment choice, qualification and group or individual, but in my mind the whole shooting match IS the event, and I’m hard put to target a favorite. Metaphor or no metaphor, it isn’t archery, I’ll tell you that much.


Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: