Where is Ernie Banks? When Ernie played for the Cubs, they would ask him if he liked playing a double-header on the 4th; and his answer always was “it is such a nice day, let’s play 3.” Today you not only will not see a double-header, but you may not see every team even playing during the daylight. For a game that likes to sell itself as the Grand Old Game, they have sure given in to the players’ association and have gone away from almost every old tradition there was. You can’t make a team play day games after night games unless there is a special circumstance, and double-headers are usually only emergency makeups for rain outs. They then are played as day/night affairs so the team can collect two gate receipts. A couple of teams had Memorial Day off this year because it was their normal Monday “off day” on the schedule. When a pitcher today throws at a batter, the benches erupt and the League hands out fines and everyone gets worried the game may be getting too violent. In days gone by, the opposing pitcher retaliated, the umpire nodded, and the problem was solved. Those were the old days. Did you notice that no ball is used today after it hits the dirt? Heaven forbid if a pitcher found a way to make a pitch break funny by using such a ball. Some pitchers use a dozen balls an inning because they are so wild. How about worrying about pitchers getting killed from balls hit by steroid goons? This I know didn’t happen in the “good old days”.
Taking responsibility · Head coach Steve Sarkisian aplogized for his inappropriate behavior in front of a bundle of media members at his press conference before the team’s practice on Tuesday. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanThree days after reportedly speaking while intoxicated at USC’s annual Salute to Troy event, head football coach Steve Sarkisian publicly apologized before the media on Tuesday morning before practice in a press conference at Howard Jones Field.“I’d like to apologize for my behavior Saturday night,” Sarkisian said. “It was inappropriate. I feel bad for the University of Southern California, [President] Max Nikias, [Athletic Director] Pat Haden, our players and my own kids. The way I acted was irresponsible. It is something I obviously don’t condone.”Sarkisian reportedly used foul language and called out other programs at the on-campus event Saturday night in front of donors and alumni before being taken off stage by Haden and Associate Athletic Director J.K. McKay.The 41-year-old head coach admitted he mixed unspecified medication with alcohol and indicated that he will seek treatment, though he does not believe he needs to attend rehab.“I truly believe in myself as a coach to lead this team and to be the best coach for this team to win a championship,” Sarkisian said. “I’m thankful that I’m surrounded by wonderful people, and that this university can offer no better support than any other university in the country, but I was not right.”Sarkisian admitted that there was alcohol in the coaches’ locker room “after great wins,” but maintained that there was never alcohol in the team’s players’ locker room.” Alcohol has been banned from the facility entirely, according to Sarkisian.“I don’t believe so,” Sarkisian said when asked if he had a drinking problem. “Through Pat and the University, I’m going to find that out. I’m going to go to treatment and deal with it.”The second-year head coach said he met with the team and disclosed everything. He also reached out to Nikias and had talks at great length with Haden.“At the end of the day, you play the hand you’re dealt,” Sarkisian said. “I’m going to play my hand. I’m not proud of the things that have occurred for me, but I know I’m a good football coach, and I know we’re a good football team.”Two of the team’s leaders in quarterback Cody Kessler and linebacker Su’a Cravens also showed support for their coach following his press conference.“He came to us as a man and looked us in the face and apologized, and I think this brought us closer together,” Kessler said.Kessler recalled that he knew something wasn’t right when Sarkisian took the stage, but appreciated how his coach apologized immediately to the team.“Bottom line for us is that’s our head coach,” Kessler said. “We’re going to support him no matter what. Mistakes happen.”Cravens noted that nothing on the field has changed.“We’re the same team before and after,” Cravens said. “Nothing has changed. We’re a tight locker room, and we have a great coaching staff.”Kessler affirmed the team’s support for their head coach.“There’s no one else in the country we’d want as a head coach,” Kessler said.Sarkisian’s acts didn’t go unpunished, though, as Kessler said the team made him do up-downs on Monday.“He came back drenched in sweat,” Kessler said.Following the press conference, the team got back on the field for its first practice of the week and will now try to shift the attention back to the field.“Everybody couldn’t wait to get to practice,” Kessler said. “We couldn’t wait to get to an environment where we felt safe and comfortable with him as our head coach.”