Trap: Stay In The Winner’s Bracket

Bobby Curran
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Friday - May 20, 2009
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This could become the answer to a trivia question: Who was the last school to host the WAC baseball tournament? It might well be UH because after this week’s play, the tournament will move to Mesa, Ariz., to satisfy the coaches’ desire for a neutral site. The winner of the six-team, double-elimination tournament gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.

I asked Hawaii Coach Mike Trapasso about strategy in the tournament format. “I try very hard to stay in the winner’s bracket,” Trapasso says. “I might use a pitcher I’d otherwise save to try to win and avoid the loser’s bracket, because its so much tougher there.”


 

As far as making changes to get match-ups: “Some guys will do that, but I’ll go with my No. 1 and the No. 2 like we usually do. Because if we’re going to win the tournament, everyone has to pitch well,” says Trapasso.

The tournament begins Thursday with three games and appears to be wide open. Pitching depth could provide the margin for the winner.

Hawaii plays in the feature game (7 p.m.) on opening day.

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You know you’ve arrived when you’re recognized worldwide by

just a first name, like Madonna, Cher or Tiger. Add LeBron to the list. His performances so far in the playoffs have been otherworldly.

It was only a decade ago when folks were hand-wringing about the future of the NBA after Michael Jordan. But LeBron, along with other young players like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, have made the future bright for the league.

If it ends up with Cleveland and Los Angeles in the finals, expect the television ratings to be off the hook. Forget about Cleveland being a small market. Having the two best players in the world on the floor at the same time will more than compensate.

 

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All this talk about Brett Favre coming out of retirement to play for the Vikings - I’ve got the perfect quarterback for Minnesota: Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer. The national player of the year as a high school QB, Mauer was heavily recruited to play Division I football. Considering he’s currently hitting .485, is there anything Mauer can’t do?

 

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Friends who are hockey fans tell me this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs have had an unusual number of fantastically exciting games. That reminds me of the story about the gambler who bets on several baseball games on Wednesday and Thursday and loses all of them. On Friday, he bets on three NBA games and loses all of them. Saturday he wagers on college football and is wrong on five games. He repeats that on Sunday with the NFL, and then tries to make a big bet on Monday Night football and again has no luck. When he calls his bookie on Tuesday, he’s told there is only hockey. “How am I gonna bet that?” the gambler cries. “I don’t know anything about hockey!”

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