Baseball News: College World Series, Yankees Jeter, MLB Realignment

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2011 College World Series Field Set

With some outstanding pitching from Texas A&M and a walk-off from the University of Virginia, the 2011 College World Series is all set. This may not have the pomp and circumstance as the NCAA Basketball tournament, but rest assured the drama, intensity and quality of play is no less. If you’ve never see the tournament before, you are in for a pleasant treat. This is as good as amateur baseball gets.

For your baseball purists, you’ll be amazed at the noticeable obsession of properly executing the fundamentals of the game on display. The only thing that’s a drawback here is the “ping” when the ball is hit, but it’s been that way for quite a while, and they aren’t going to change it any time soon. Overall, there are enough positives to make this tournament worth watching.

The double-elimination tournament is scheduled to begin on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., where all CWS games are played. 

# 3 North Carolina Tar Heels (50-14) vs. #6 Vanderbilt Commodores (52-10) 2 p.m. ET Saturday

# 7 Texas Longhorns vs. # 2 Florida Gators 7 p.m. ET Saturday

Virginia Cavaliers (54-10) vs. California Golden Bears (37-21) 2 p.m. ET Sunday

Texas A&M Aggies (47-20) vs. #4 South Carolina GameCocks (50-14) at 7 p.m. ET Sunday

The final two teams remaining after double-elimination play will meet in a best-of-three series to determine the season’s champion, starting June 27 and running through June 29, if necessary.

Derek Jeter’s Pursuit of 3,000 on Hold

Yankee fans can forget watching Derek Jeter getting number 3,000 at Yankee Stadium for the moment. Just six hits shy of the magical number (I don’t see what the big deal is really. It’s a just a round number. If he never played another game, would he be any less of a player?), Jeter suffered a Grade 1 strain of the right calf getting out of the batter’s box on a fly ball to right in the fifth inning of last night’s 1-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Although a Grade 1 strain is the least severe of three levels of strains, that doesn’t mean it’s not serious.

Just 12 days from his 37th birthday, it’s hard to imagine that this doesn’t land the Yankee Captain on the DL as a reasonable time to recuperate will be in order. So, for all of you who have been so disappointed by Derek’s on-field production the past 18 months and have been wasting your time calling for the Yankees to move on (you know they aren’t going to), your temporary wish shall now be granted as you shall get a glimpse of the future, and a preview of what the Yankees will look like without their fearless leader. I would say this, next time be careful what you wish for. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you neophyte shortstop, Eduardo Nunez.

Sometimes you don’t realize what you are missing until you don’t have it anymore….

More on MLB Realignment

On Sunday we spoke about the possibility of MLB Realignment and the focus surrounding the Houston Astros. Responding to Monday’s USA Today report that suggested along with Houston, the Arizona Diamondbacks would be another likely candidate to switch to the American League if realignment happens, D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said his club would consider the move.

“If asked, we will look into it if it’s in the best interests of baseball,” Hall said. “However, we have to balance it against what is in the best interest of our fans.”

That’s about as close as you’re going to get to an MLB executive volunteering his team to switch leagues.

Different scenarios have been floated in recent days, including having two 15-team leagues rather than the current setup that has 16 teams in the NL and 14 in the AL. I don’t see how they would do it without playing an interleague game every day of the season and there are a lot of other problems associated with it too, but that’s never stopped MLB from making poor decisions in the past. On the flip side, having the AL West teams with a 25% chance of making the playoffs, the NL Central teams just an 18% chance and all the rest of the divisions in baseball 20% chance doesn’t seem fair and I can see why they want to do something.

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