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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wall to Kentucky: Remember the empty feeling when Frodo drops the ring?

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 2:07 PM

It's finally over. Several news organizations are reporting the 2009 top point guard recruit John Wall will commit to Kentucky after a crazy recruitment period, ending a tale worthy of J. R. R. Tolkien. Just when it seemed likely that John Wall could end up at Miami or  Duke, the reigning champion Tar Heels avoided competing against the likely 2010 No. 1 NBA Draft pick ... for an ACC crown at least....

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John Wall commits to Calipari, er, Kentucky

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Just across the wire services: multiple sources report that John Wall has informed Coach John Calipari that he will sign with the Kentucky Wildcats. Click this link for the full story on espn.com...

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The Bulls thank Mr. Potter

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 9:30 AM

In a surely much-appreciated gesture, the Durham Bulls released a farewell letter of thanks to Mike Potter, the longtime Bulls beat writer who was laid off last week by the Durham Herald-Sun. Matt DeMargel, publicity head for the Durham Bulls, solicited testimonials from the men and women who work in the press box—and the front office—during games....

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Bulls Blank Wings: Wade Davis's Command Performance

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 2:34 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---The Bulls beat Rochester 1-0 last night in just 1:56; the difference was Chris Nowak's solo home run leading off the fifth inning. The days of the regular We owe the brevity of the affair to the starters, Durham's Wade Davis (pictured, left) and Rochester's Brian Duensing. The two allowed a total of only eight hits and one walk over their combined 13 2/3 innings tonight. By comparison, Mitch Talbot and Anthony Swarzak surrendered 11 hits in just four innings on Saturday. Both pitchers performed really well, reminding me that sometimes the extraordinarily complex art (science, craft, vocation, hippopotamus,...

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Monday, May 18, 2009

'Canes drop Game 1. (Is there an echo in here?)

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 11:13 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> FS-CR/TV - Well. Um. At least it wasn’t 4-1 for a change? The Hurricanes managed to hold league poster boy Sidney Crosby without a shot on goal through two periods for the first time in the postseason and allowed him only two in the third. Aside from Marc-Andre Fleury, who outplayed Cam Ward tonight (didn’t expect that one, as Fleury has been shaky in the playoffs thus far,) Carolina caught the Penguins on an off night but couldn’t complete a comeback after falling into another early hole and dropped Game 1, 3-2....

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Cold temps and Frazier's hot bat: Mudcats win 3-2

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 7:58 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ ZEBULON—Nary a soul was in line at the ice cream stand at Five County Stadium this evening, as cold temperatures had fans bundled in blankets and big coats for a doubleheader. I arrived at the first Mudcats game late—a 5:30 start for the  make up game from yesterday's rainout—but caught the last three innings. The 'Cats defense looked shaky: a ground ball eluded 3B Juan Francisco, who apparently thought taking one step to his left and flailing his glove would suffice. D for Effort, Francisco. Nonetheless, the 'Cats reliever, Derrik Lutz got out of a bases-loaded jam...

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Bulls On The Move: Isringhausen To Tampa (and Award to Richard)

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 11:57 AM

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="Jason Isringhausen was promoted to Tampa."][/caption]With outfielder/DH Pat Burrell placed on the disabled list, Jason Isringhausen was called up to Tampa yesterday. The move was as much one of scheduling as anything else: Minor-league rehab assignments for pitchers expire after 30 days, so Izzy would have to have been moved by tomorrow anyway. It isn't clear what the Rays will do when Burrell returns (he was DL'd retroactive to May 11, so he could be back in just over a week), but with any luck someone else will pull a muscle the Rays will make another...

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Price As Advertised

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 1:42 AM

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="261" caption="David Price threw five hitless innings"][/caption]DBAP/ DURHAM---On a chilly, clammy night at the DBAP last night, we saw the David Price we expected in 2009, and then some: In his five innings of work -- 82 pitches, 50 strikes -- Price (pictured, left) threw a no-hitter (!). Picking up where Mitch Talbot left off the night before, Price used his slider to great effect. The pitch had superb down-sweeping action, and he mixed it cannily with a low-90s fastball and a fading changeup to stymie the Rochester Red Wings. (Rochester, by the way, won the game,...

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bulls Clip Red Wings: Mitch's Mischief

Posted By on Sun, May 17, 2009 at 12:57 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---Durham starter Mitch Talbot recovered from a shaky first two innings and proceeded to toss the best four innings I've seen from a Bulls starter this season, setting the table for a 4-3 comeback win, the Bulls' fourth in a row. After getting whacked around with establishing his fastball and changeup early on, Talbot (pictured, left) began throwing his slider more frequently, with superb results: The pitch had a sharp, late, down-knifing break, and as his catcher, John Jaso, told me afterwards, it was "the biggest game for his slider all year." Once he had that working, Jaso said,...

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

From Cats to Bats: Carolina's Griffin promoted to Louisville

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Carolina Mudcats' Mike Griffin is probably glad he's been promoted to Triple-A Louisville Bats—and even happier it happened after the come-back thumping the Bats' received at the horns of the Durham Bulls last night. Griffin, who divided his time between second base and right field, gets the bump-up in the Reds' organization after batting .271 over 30 games this season. He hit 29 homers and had 36 RBIs. He joins the Bats as they meet the Norfolk Tides in Virginia tonight. Meanwhile, 'Cats catcher Korey Feiner has been activated from the disabled list and will be on the active roster for...

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The Hurricanes' homecoming parties are something to behold.

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 3:09 AM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 RDU AIRPORT/RALEIGH—Love or hate the move from Hartford, it’s hard to argue against the fact that North Carolina has added several fascinating contributions to the sport of hockey. Tailgating, for one – the rest of the league has no idea what they’re missing. Ric Flair, whether the sport wanted him or not. Cowbells are a recent addition. And now, there’s the motley assemblage of hard-core Caniacs that gather along the street at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport after an away game and wait patiently for the team’s plane to land so they can...

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Fireworks! (History Made at DBAP; I Remain Psychic), or The Evolution of a Headline

Posted By on Sat, May 16, 2009 at 2:19 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---For most of tonight's wild game, which Durham won 13-9 in 11 innings, I couldn't think where I'd begin my report later. The game took 3:45 to play but didn't seem all that long because it was thoroughly packed with action, so much as to bewilder a journalist who is only in his fifth week as a daily baseball writer. Fortunately, Chris Richard (pictured, left) solved my problem: He hit TWO GRAND SLAMS IN ONE GAME. Just to emphasize how rare this is, it has happened 12 times in the history of the major leagues (no information was readily...

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Walker scores in OT, Carolina is going to the Eastern Conference Finals

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> FS-CR/TV—David ultimately trumped Goliath, yet again, except this time the story took an unexpected turn. Goliath woke up, saw the rock embedded in his forehead, realized what was happening and pounded David into dust before David could finish him off. Dazed and discouraged, David turned to his friend, Scotty Walker, who was hated by the village people (not those Village People…) Walker took his stone and sling and flung it into the net in the eleventh hour, and the spectators at the arena slunk out in horror while Walker, David and...

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’Canes to begin Eastern Conference finals in Pittsburgh Monday

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 9:52 AM

That was a game, wasn't it? We'll await Kate Shefte's thoughts on last night's gripping 3-2 OT victory over the Boston Bruins—and, we hope, her first-hand account of the Hurricanes' arrival at Raleigh-Durham airport early this morning. In the meantime, the playoff schedule has been announced. The ’Canes are again playing without the home advantage, of course, and the series begins Monday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m., in the Steel City. The ’Canes play Games 3 and 4 at the RBC Center Saturday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 26....

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Bulls Beat Bats Again: Practice Makes Imperfect

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 1:35 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM---After the Bulls came back from a 5-0 deficit to thump Louisville last night, 11-6, I asked catcher John Jaso (pictured, left) about the pitching performances of Carlos Hernandez (who evened his record at 2-2) and Dale Thayer. Hernandez had been knocked around a little in the first three innings. He really only made three bad pitches, but one was smoked for a leadoff double by Luis Bolivar, who came around to score on a stolen base and a groundout, and the other two were hit for home runs (by a pair of ex-Bulls, Jonny Gomes and Wes Bankston)....

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paulus to Syracuse

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Like many college graduates this year Greg Paulus is headed back home, but it's doubtful he'll be living in his parents' basement in Syracuse, N.Y. After playing point guard in the ACC for four years, Paulus announced today in a teleconference that he will suit up for Syracuse and study either business or communications. "Syracuse has a lot of great things about it," Paulus said. "My gut and my heart told me Syracuse was the best place for me."...

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Bulls Beat Bats: The Hermanesque

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 1:39 AM

DBAP/ DURHAM—The fifth inning is a little too early to start getting excited about a perfect game, but you can't be faulted for noticing it, like a fetus in a sonogram; still, it's a long way from that blob on the screen to President of the United States. Louisville Bats starter Homer Bailey retired the first 11 Bulls he faced tonight with ease, needing just 40 pitches to take them all down. The 12th, Justin Ruggiano, launched a rocket to center field that turned into another out when the Bats' Drew Stubbs caught up to it on the warning...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Paulus to announce plans Thursday

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Former senior Duke point guard Greg Paulus will announce his plans for football next season Thursday at 10 a.m. in a teleconference. Paulus briefly flirted with several football teams, including both the professional and college levels, after wrapping up the basketball season in a loss to Villanova. A standout quarterback at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y., Paulus led his team to a 42-3 record and set several state passing records and was recruited by Notre Dame and other top football program but turned down football for an opportunity to play for Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. After starting for...

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Price sizzles, Thayer fizzles as Bulls blow four-run lead in ninth

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 5:35 PM

DBAP/ DURHAM—I've been avoiding this post all day, partly because I'm so damn busy but mostly because of the praise lavished on Adam Sobsey, our principal Bulls correspondent, by the redoubtable Bull City Rising. Here it is: A gold star for Adam Sobsey, who's covering the Bulls for the Independent Weekly's Triangle Offense blog -- for now. I say "for now" since Sobsey's writing is stunningly good, and I mean he's-going-to-get-snapped-up-somewhere-national-someday good. So, for those of you tuning in because of this endorsement: No, I'm not Adam Sobsey. I covered last night’s game for Adam Sobsey, and I hasten to...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

'Canes blow it again at home; get ready for Game 7

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 10:43 PM

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 --> RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—When Eric Staal warningly told the press that the “fourth win was the hardest” after Game 4, he wasn’t screwing around. The oddly prophetic statement now has more than a twinge of desperation in it, as his ‘Canes are suddenly on the brink after failing to close Boston out twice in a row. The Hurricanes dug a two-goal hole for themselves just five minutes in and never crawled out of it, ultimately losing 4-2 in Raleigh. After leading the series 3-1, the team is headed back to Boston for...

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Bulls Split Another Series: The Kafkaesque

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 8:36 AM

The Bulls were shut out at Gwinnett yesterday, 4-0, and split their four-game series with the Braves. Before that, they split a two-game series at Charlotte; before that, they split a two-game series at home against Charlotte; before that, they split a four-game home series against Columbus; before that, they split a two-game home series -- against Charlotte. The Bulls are 7-7 over their last 14 games. Since opening the season with a 6-1 homestand, they're 12-12. So far this season, they have played 31 games, 27 of them against the same three teams, all in their own division. It's...

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Walker gets slapped with a fine, not a suspension

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 6:12 PM

This afternoon, NHL officials announced that Scott Walker will be fined $2,500 for his involvement in a scrum in the final minutes of Game 5, in which he punched Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward in the face with his bare fist. Ward didn’t try to defend himself and could be out for the rest of his team’s playoff run, however short or long it may be, with what is suspected to be a broken orbital bone. Tests are still underway. According to ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford, the automatic suspension given to Walker was rescinded during a hearing with league disciplinarian Colin...

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Bulls Down Braves; Another Roodge HR

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 12:50 PM

On Sunday, Justin "The Roodge" Ruggiano picked up where he left off the game before, when he hit three home runs to lead the Bulls' 7-0 drubbing of the Gwinnett Braves. He hit a solo homer in the first inning of a game Durham went on to win, 4-3. Ray Olmedo's ninth-inning single scored Matt Joyce with the go-ahead run, making a winner of reliever Randy Choate (2-0), and Dale Thayer pitched around a one-out walk to pick up his fifth save of the year. Matt Joyce and Ray Sadler also homered for the Bulls; all three homers came off...

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Walker makes a dumb move, 'Canes go down like a rock in Game 5

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 12:12 AM

TV/FSN-CR—The Boston Bruins, as anticipated, did not roll over and allow Carolina to shake their hands on the way out the door. They’re going to make the ‘Canes work for this series win, and after a 4-0 demolition in Boston, the Hurricanes are on their way home to try for "Second Round Takedown: Take 2 (only this time, with feeling!)" The ‘Canes looked tentative right off the bat, as though someone told them they did not deserve to win this game. The team was slow and allowed the Bruins to do whatever they wanted with the puck. Carolina was caught...

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's A Good Thing The Bulls Read This Blog

Posted By on Sun, May 10, 2009 at 3:32 AM

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="60" caption="Justin "The Roodge" Ruggiano"][/caption]Because if they didn't, Justin Ruggiano and Carlos Hernandez wouldn't have seen my last post, in which I encouraged both of them to start performing or risk falling off of the Tampa radar of viable major-leaguers. Fortunately, they read my post, as they surely do all of my posts, and took my words as nothing less than a call to action. Hernandez threw six scoreless innings, and the Roodge (as I will call Ruggiano whenever he rakes), the Roodge hit three home runs. Three! In consecutive at-bats. And the Bulls won 7-0 at...

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