Monthly Archives: June 2017
Card forever and current Milwaukee Brewer, Corey Ray, was named to the 2017 U.S. team for the futures game to be played as part of the MLB All-Star weekend. Per mlb.com “The 2017 All-Star Game festivities, like they have every year since 1999, get rolling with the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The prospect-laden exhibition takes place on Sunday, July 9 at Marlins Park in Miami at 4 p.m. ET.”
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
Ray passed on an opportunity to turn pro as the Mariners’ 33rd-round pick in 2013 and instead honored his commitment to Louisville, where he enjoyed a breakout campaign as a sophomore and then continued to star during the summer for the U.S. collegiate national team. As a result, Ray ranked as the Dr aft’s top position prospect entering 2016 based on his combination of hitting and athletic ability, and he backed up that title by hitting 15 homers with 44 steals as a junior. The Brewers made him the fifth-overall pick in June, gave him $4,125,000 — the largest bonus in club history — and then an aggressive assignment to the Florida State League for his pro debut.
With a quick left-handed bat and a knack for making hard contact, Ray projects to hit for both power and average from the left side of the plate. There’s 20-homer potential in his bat, perhaps even more if he can become more comfortable driving the ball the other way. Ray did a better job of managing the strike zone last spring and then during his pro debut, but he still struggles at times to recognize spin, resulting in some swing-and-miss tendencies. Ray’s plus speed makes him a consistent threat on the basepaths and also serves him well in center field, where he spent his entire pro debut after manning right field exclusively at Louisville.
Ray suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee during instructional league and underwent subsequent surgery in October. After recovering, Ray’s combination of power and speed could help him to jump on the fast track to the big leagues in his first full season.
Full future team rosters here – http://m.mlb.com/news/article/239464456/2017-mlb-futures-game-features-top-prospects/
Brendan McKay has won just about every baseball award he possibly could , including the Dick Howser trophy, ACC player of the year, John Olerud 2-way player of the year, Baseball America player of the year and he was the 4th pick in the MLB draft. Well, you can add Golden Spikes awards to his list. The Golden Spikes award is given annually to the best amateur baseball player in the United States based on their athletic ability, sportsmanship, character and overall contribution to the sport.
LJ tha Fiasco recently sat down with Coach Kenny Johnson for a brief update on the UofL basketball program. From recruiting, to training, to the NCAA ruling we touched on a few things. Listen here.
This time of year is often referred to as the “Dead Period.” We are approximately 65 days away from college football and there is not much else going on. For me, it’s the time of year where I start watching games from the previous season on Youtube and start searching the internet to see what other conference rivals are saying about their expectations for the upcoming season. I always go on vacation the first week of July and it’s my yearly tradition to pick up a college and NFL football magazine at the airport to read on the plane. It’s my time to start preparing for my preseason predictions and brush up on transactions and projections for fantasy football. Read the rest of this entry
Although U of L came up short being eliminated by TCU last Thursday, the Cardinals finished with a 53-12 record. The team set a school-record for wins, while also earning their fourth College World Series trip. Here are some pictures from my trip to Omaha. I hope you enjoy!
(Click more for gallery)
This morning, the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets negotiated a blockbuster trade that sent super star point guard Chris Paul to the Rockets. Originally reported, in return the Clippers received the Rockets’ 2018 1st round pick, Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams. But it is also apparent that power forward, and former Louisville Cardinal Montrezl Harrell was also included in the trade package.
Depending on the status of whether or not Blake Griffin decides to resign with LA, this could potentially mean an increase in minutes for Harrell, as he rarely saw the floor in Houston’s 2017 postseason. Harrell became a fan favorite while at Louisville due the frequency of his ferocious and high flying dunks, and was also a part of the 2013 National Championship team.
Late last night, former Louisville guard Chris Jones was shot in the leg following an altercation on a basketball court in his hometown of Memphis, TN. Fortunately, his injury was non-life threatening, and his condition is listed as “non-critical”. We here at Cardinal Sports Zone wish him a speedy recovery.
The 2017 ACC Football Kickoff, or as most like to call it – ACC Media Day, will be held on July 13-14 at the Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. No surprise to anybody, Louisville has chosen to send Lamar Jackson and Jaire Alexander as their two representatives.
Per ACC.com – The football student-athletes who will be attending the 2017 ACC Football Kickoff are: Read the rest of this entry
Following the historic 2017 season for the Cardinal Nine, the program announced today the summer assignments for the remaining players who either did not graduate or did not sign major league deals.
The team ended with a mark of 53-12, as well as earned a berth to its fourth College World Series, and third in five years. The team was also ACC Atlantic Division champs for the third straight year in a row, and also saw Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year honors with Brendan McKay, Dan McDonnell and Devin Hairston respectively.
Louisville Cardinals Summer 2017 Assignments:
The rims at Ballard High School are still there – Barely – No thanks to Montrezl Harrell. Saturday evening, the Russ Smith Foundation and TBM hosted an event at Ballard High School to benefit the family of Officer Nick Rodman who died in the line of duty. The charity basketball event was headlined by former UofL players like Montrezl Harrell, Terrance Farley, Luke Whitehead & Perrin Johnson, who were on the Metro City Stars team. They faced off against a team of officers from the LMPD. The Metro Starts were coached by Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and 2013 National champion, Peyton Siva. Paul Rogers was the announcer and CSZ’s own Jeremy Wahman was the celebrity time-keeper. Other people of interest on the Metro Stars team were Russ Smith Sr, Steven Rummage (93.9 The Ville radio personality), Phil Morrison (Asbury), Matt Brown (Program director -93.1 the beat), Charles Franklin (Community Outreach director), Chris Pointer (UL/CSU) and organizer Tim Barnett (Nevada). The game was very friendly for a half. The LMPD officers took a 39-37 lead into halftime. In the second half things started heating up. There was a lot of trash talking as the game stayed very competitive. Highlighted by a few monster slams from Harrell and a few key free throws down the stretch, the Metro Stars pulled our a 81-75 victory. Read the rest of this entry
Another year, another brutal way for the Cardinal Nine’s season to end. After trailing 4-0 early, the Cardinals rally ended one run short, as TCU eliminated the Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday night in Omaha.
The loss eliminates Louisville (53-12) from the College World Series, matching their highest finish in the College World Series (5th/6th, 2007). TCU (49-17) will advance to face Florida tomorrow night, needing two wins against the Gators to advance to the Finals next week.
It was a game marred with a lot of controversy, with Louisville losing nearly every 50/50 call at the plate. The first came in a four-run second inning, where Stowers’ throw to home was not on time, allowing TCU to stay-alive with two outs and ultimately deliver the deciding runs.
The second thwarted U of L’s rally in the eighth inning. When Colby Fitch delivered a lead-off single in the inning, Ryan Summers came on to pinch-run. He was ruled out attempting to steal second base, but the replay almost seemingly confirmed he was safe. The call resulted in Brendan McKay striking out and ending the inning.
Head coach Dan McDonnell took exception to the call and was ejected for the first time since 2010. Despite the heated exchange, McDonnell was adamant that he won’t blame the umpires for the disputed calls.
“I fought for my guy,” McDonnell said. “Knowing the point in the game and how valuable that base was. But I’m never gonna stand behind the camera and blame an umpire. That’s not the reason we lost. I don’t know if I should have been thrown out, but that’s not my call to make … A lot of times you just read the body language of your guys, and you want to stick up for them.”
McDonnell’s sentiments were echoed through the players, as well. “Yeah, it’s obviously tough,” Brendan McKay said. “It’s the competitor in every athlete, you see a play that’s bang-bang and you obviously want it in your favor. I mean, there’s no robotic strike zone or sensors for the baseball and the glove and foot for touching the base or anything like that … you can’t fault anybody for that.”
Controversy aside, TCU rode a four-run second inning to victory. Nick Bennett, who earned his first start since the Regional round, had a perfect first inning and then got the first two batters out in the second.
After that, Bennett fell behind the count with two outs and never recovered. An RBI double from Connor Wanhanen gave TCU an early run, followed by a Ryan Merrill two-RBI double to push the lead to 3-0. Wanhanen narrowly made it home to beat the tag, but the subsequent review was unable to overturn the call. Austen Wade added an RBI single, but was tagged out trying to reach second to end the inning.
Wanhanen was the only TCU batter with multiple hits, while Ryan Merrill had the two-RBI that provided the deciding runs for the Horned Frogs. Austen Wade, Zach Humphreys, Cam Warner, Elliott Barzilli and Merrill were the only other TCU batters with hits.
Nick Lodolo, who made an appearance as a reliever in Sunday’s loss to Florida, got the nod as their starter. Lodolo finished with three earned runs on five hits, two of which came on lead-off home runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Sean Wymer was credited with the win, only allowing two hits while striking out five in the final 4.1 innings.
On Louisville’s end, Bennett’s day was over before the second inning ended. His loss marked the first in his brief career, allowing all four of TCU’s runs on three hits and two strikeouts. Despite the early deficit, Wolf, Sam Bordner and Lincoln Henzman combined for 6.1 shutout innings and only allowed four hits with two walks.
“I thought they (Wolf, Bordner, Henzman) were outstanding,” pitching coach Roger Williams said. “Those guys probably don’t get enough credit at times. And I guess we as coaches really appreciate that group’s probably been the backbone of a lot of success we’ve had this year.”
Louisville’s usually stout bullpen was one of the main reasons for their success. The bullpen finished 23-1 on the season, and closer Lincoln Henzman never blew a save in 2017.
McDonnell made dramatic changes in the batting lineup, moving Taylor from the 1-hole all the way to the eight spot and Mann from third to seventh. Josh Stowers, who started as the leadoff hitter for the first time since April 23rd, made the most of his opportunity. He landed a soft RBI single to left field in the third to get the Cardinals on the board.
Louisville’s next two innings would feature back-to-back leadoff home runs. McKay would lead off the fourth with his 18th home run of the season to right-center, while Logan Taylor blasted one to left field in the fifth. U of L was fired up after seeing the speedy senior launch his first home run of the season, but cooled off after Sean Wymer entered the game.
Wymer shut out the Cardinals in the final 4.1 innings, but U of L had opportunities to get the runs they desperately needed. Summers was ruled out in the eighth inning attempting to steal second, with the momentum parlaying into McKay’s strikeout that ended the inning. Devin Mann scored a two-out single in the ninth, but was for naught when Taylor grounded out to end the game.
Stowers lead all Cardinals with two hits, including a one-out double in the fifth. Devin Mann also had two hits on the day, while McKay and Taylor had U of L’s only two home runs.
For Louisville, it was a third straight season with an agonizing end to it. 2015 saw the Cardinals lose the series on a controversial home-run against Cal State Fullerton, while 2016 saw U of L lose the series on a walk-off grand slam.
“You try not to evaluate every pitch or play that happens, and you wanna recollect on the season and all the success and the joy these guys brought us,” McDonnell said. “I’ve had so much fun with this group, and I’m really proud of them.”
2017 may have been the latest brutal end to a successful season. But Dan McDonnell believes it was still a great season. After all, Louisville made their fourth trip to Omaha, earned their first number one ranking and won more games than any team in school history.
“We lost a few years (ago) on a controversial home run, and I never lost sleep blaming an umpire for that,” McDonnell said. “I still remember opportunities we missed that night like it was last night. So tonight, you just live with a couple of things you could have done better … I’m big on being accountable, and it starts with me. And if anything, it just motivates me to want to be a better coach, to work harder, and get ready for next year.”
With the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets select Donovan Mitchell from LOUISVILLE. Mitchell, a lottery pick, was then traded to Utah for the 24th pick and Trey Lyles. Mitchell played just 2 seasons at Louisville where he averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his final collegiate season. He shot 35.4% from 3 and 45.6% from 2. The 6’3″ sophomore came into the draft projected as a late first-rounder, but through workouts he managed to climb his way into the lottery.
He also sported some great socks…
2017 NBA draft Green Room invitees
As you probably know by now, the NCAA came down hard on the Louisville Cardinals basketball program in the wake of the Andre McGee/Katina Powell sex scandal. The program faces the potential of getting 100+ wins vacated, as well as the 2012 Final Four and 2013 National Championship. Lost in the sanctions though, was the forfeiture of all conference revenue sharing gained from the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 NCAA postseasons. Also, “future revenue distributions that are scheduled to be provided to the university from those tournaments also must be withheld by the conference and forfeited to the NCAA“.
So essentially, UofL has to give up all the TV money they earned, and they have to give it up to the NCAA. They also have to give up any potential money they would earn in royalties from those 4 postseasons, and also give it up to the NCAA. Because, you know, the NCAA says those wins and title don’t exist anymore. So how can you make money off them? Well, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for them.
Huh, fancy that? The official locker room 2013 National Championship (which doesn’t exist, mind you) shirt has had a drastic price reduction from an official NCAA licensee. In fact, both Fanatics and CBS Sports have the same shirt listed with the same exact price reduction.
Purely coincidence, right?
This is just an addition to the long list of hypocrisies that the NCAA has committed over the years. Trying to figure out a way to still make money off a 4 year old event, that you ruled doesn’t even exist anymore? This is so shady that it’s almost brilliant.
Maybe I’ll go take a class at UNC about how to be as sleazy as them.
The following is a candid update letter, regarding the NCAA’s ruling, from Rick Pitino to members of “Friends of the Ville”, a philanthropy group managed by the university.
“June 21, 2017
Dear Friends of the Ville
I am writing to you as close supporters and Friends of the Ville members. You are special to me and I realize you have endured a lot over the last two years. When the news first came out in 2015, it sunk my emotions to the lowest point anyone could possibly imagine. I write this letter to tell you and encourage you to keep your spirits high.
What started as a pitcher’s duel ended up with Louisville blinking first. Singer delivered seven quality innings while striking out nine, as the Gators defeated Louisville 5-1.
Singer, who is listed as the top sophomore prospect on Perfect Game and Baseball America’s listings, showed his worth at the mound. The 6’5″ standout delivered a gem with seven innings, striking out nine and allowing one run on six hits. Louisville batters faced problems with Singer’s command all game long.
“Really, he’s got a tough angle,” Brendan McKay said. “And combined with the early shadows that we had … what I saw in the second inning was right when he released the ball that’s when the ball disappeared.”
“When you don’t have much to go off of, it’s tough no matter what,” McKay said.” “But he’s (Singer) got a funky little angle to him. He can spot up — obviously when you combine that with velocity and good offspeed pitches, as you see in any level, it’s tough to hit.”
The Russ Smith Foundation, TBM and Sullivan’s Tap House have teamed up to form a charity basketball event in honor of Officer Nick Rodman, who was killed in the line of duty this past March. The event will feature the Metro City Stars, a team comprised of former Louisville players and prominent local figures up against a team of members of the LMPD, and will be hosted by Ballard High School this upcoming Saturday, June 24th at 6:30.
Metro City Stars Roster:
Russ Smith, Sr.
Peyton Siva, Jr.