Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday links: they need all our help now

With yet another tornado ripping through another area this weekend, suddenly it's more imperative than ever that we all donate whatever we can to the Red Cross. Here are a few links to keep us distracted while we pray for ... well, everybody.

— Our softball team is on about the task of resolving last year's unfinished business with a whipping of Chattanooga for the regional title. That means our girls are off to Stanford for a shot at the Women's College World Series, where hopefully illegal bats won't be an issue.
— Alabama baseball did just enough to make it into the SEC Tournament over the weekend, even though it dropped 2 out of 3 to defending national champ South Carolina. Eternal optimist Cecil Hurt thinks this team might just be built for the postseason. The pitching staff — particularly the starting three — has been excellent, but our predilection to leaving runners on base is maddening beyond belief.
(Note: Beyond talent issues, it sometimes seems as though our baseball team isn't terribly smart. In Saturday's rubber game vs. Carolina, the Gamecocks brought a reliever into a bases-loaded, 2-out situation — the reliever promptly walked in a run on 5 pitches, making the score 2-1. The succeeding batter — and to be honest, I can't even remember who it was — having seen all this, took a pitch out of the strike zone, then chased the next pitch for a weak bounce-out to first base. End of threat. And this happens all the time.)
— Throughout our entire run last basketball season, I was continually amazed at how Anthony Grant coaxed 20 wins and a deep run in March (yes, it was the NIT, but so what?) out of a squad that didn't have one reliable scorer. Grant, apparently, realized that as well — last week's signing period ended with Alabama's Mr. Basketball, Trevor Lacey, and some dude from Belgium on the roster in Tuscaloosa. Assuming the 7-footer, Engstrom, develops at all this offseason, that allows him to be 10-deep on the roster, with enough flexibility to go big or small, and a variety of different defensive options as well. I don't want to jinx it, but this could be a top-3 team in the conference this spring.
— ESPN the Magazine dubbed this "The Year of the Scandal," which is fun, right? In celebration, here's Cam Newton singing a Justin Bieber song.

Also, Jon Solomon discusses the SEC's impending oversigning debate. Let's pause just for a moment so Peter von Herrmann can say something mean about Georgia.
Done? OK.

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