Tidbits - June 16, 2016

TIDIBTS
BY RALPH SHEALY

COASTAL????


  Three teams from South Carolina made it to the 64-team NCAA baseball regionals - Clemson, Carolina and Coast Carolina.
  Who would have thought the only team of those there to make it to the College World Series was Coastal?
  Clemson and Carolina might have made it had Oklahoma State been sent to the Louisville Regional, or somewhere other than South Carolina.
  In four games against the Tigers and the Gamecocks, the Cowboys won by a combined score of 29-6.
  Clemson fell 12-2 and 9-2, while the Gamecocks were a little more respectable 5-1 and 3-1. The cold hard fact is you’re not going to win many games scoring one or two runs.
  The Cowboys had timely hitting and great pitching. Great pitching beats great hitting, unless you are Bobby Cox and have three Hall of Fame pitchers but can’t win in the play-offs (oh, I’ve said that before, haven’t I?).
  Clemson had a better hitting team than Carolina, but even the Tigers could not do anything with OK State’s pitching staff.
  Carolina and Clemson have nothing to be ashamed. The Tigers won the ACC tournament and were awarded a Top Eight seed. The Gamecocks won the SEC East, at earned the right to host a Super Regional when Clemson lost to the Cowboys.
  Both teams have lots of talent returning next year, although several players from both teams were drafted and may go pro.
  The Super Regionals proved to be the undoing of the SEC-ACC college baseball domination. The SEC earned five Super Regional host spots and the ACC two. Had Clemson won its regional the ACC would have had three, and the SEC four.
  As of Monday, four SEC teams have been eliminated and one ACC team. Miami has earned a spot for the ACC. The position was guaranteed because the Hurricane beat Boston College, another ACC team.
  The only hope the SEC has of earning one spot is if Florida defeats Florida State Monday night. If not the ACC will have two teams, and the SEC will be shut out of the tournament for the first time since who knows when? (Florida won)
  Perhaps, the SEC and ACC teams beat each other up during the season and ran out of gas. At one time the two leagues combined for 17 of the top 25 teams in the country.
  Louisville, the Number 2 seed, had a particularly heartbreaking loss, and it hit close to home to me.
  Louisville was leading  UC-Santa Barbara 3-0 with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of ninth. The Gauchos (don’t you love that nickname?) Sam Cohen hit a walk-off grand slam home run, giving UCSB a 4-3 win and a trip to the World Series.
  I’ve written before about the last pitch I ever threw as a pitcher in an organized baseball game. The late Cally Forrest (father of Cal Forrest who ran for House District 39) hit my last pitch for a walk-off grand slam in a Pony League game. I can still see that ball flying over the old canvas fence. Stuff like that stays with you a lifetime, or at least 51 years .... so far!
  UC Santa Barbara has a great nickname in the Gauchos, but everyone’s favorite nickname is the “Chanticleers” of Coastal Carolina.
  Want to know the history of the Chants’ nickname. This is from a CCU official site:
  “Now, for the story of how the Chanticleer came to be the mascot of Coastal Carolina University Athletics. In the early 1960s, a group of Coastal students and their English professor brought up the idea of a new mascot. At the time, Coastal's athletic teams were known as the Trojans. With Coastal Carolina serving as a two-year branch of the University of South Carolina at the time, many people began to push for a nickname that was more closely related to USC's Gamecock. Thus, Chanticleer was born as one of the most unique mascots in collegiate athletic history. Chanticleer gave Coastal a mascot which resembles the Gamecock, but still gives the University its own identity.
  On July 1, 1993, USC-Coastal Carolina College became Coastal Carolina University by splitting from the branch system of the University of South Carolina. Some people thought that was the time to send the Chanticleer packing and make a complete split from USC. But, as he had before Coastal Carolina gained its independence and as he has since that time, the Chanticleer continues to overcome battles and reigns supreme. Chanticleer has made a name for himself and Coastal Carolina University around the world and has captured a place in the hearts of CCU fans.”
  So, you see, the Gamecocks may not have made it to the World Series, but a derivative mascot did!
  You just don’t go to Baton Rouge and win a Super Regional over a 6-time National Champion LSU, but Coastal did just that.
  Let’s all get behind this team and pull for them in the College World Series. The Chants have already made this state proud!



HOW AND WHY?



  Don’t you wish someone had a logical answer to the senseless violence our country has seen in recent years.
  Donald Trump wants to build walls to keep Mexicans out, and to not allow Muslims to enter the country.
  Well, the “Mexican” judge he criticized recently was born in America, and the mass murderer in Orlando was also born in America, so how is his solution going to work?
  I haven’t heard any solution from Hillary either.
  The first thing that pops out of the mouths of many is “gun control.”
  Are these people so naive to think criminals can not get guns?
  These are not Sunday School teachers. These are evil, staring hell in the face individuals. They will find a way to get guns, whether they go the legal route are not.
  As, I’ve said many times Terry McVeigh killed 160 men, women and children in Oklahoma City with fertilizer.
  To solve the problem, we have to stop hating.
  Jesus told us to love one another. He didn’t get into specifics. It is all inclusive - every race, sex, religion, nationality. If we are to express our faith, we have to live it. You can not hate, nor can you teach someone to hate.
  These mass murderers were not born haters. They are taught haters. Someone or some organization shared their vitriol with impressionable people, and taught them to hate. Some are promised a great place and rewards in Heaven. I bet they were surprised!
  We need to bring people back to church, and I mean all churches, synagogues and mosques.
  Young people need to be taught about love and peace. We need to condemn hate.
  And don’t use the “God taken out of schools” excuse. Children aren’t in school 24-hours a day.  Schools don’t rear children. Parents do.
  Many people who complain about no prayer in school don’t go to church on Sunday.
  We have failed as a society when a young person walks into a church, school, movie theater or bar and starts taking lives.
  We need to be observant. When we hear something suspicious we need to tell law enforcement authorities immediately, and we need our law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant. The recent two mass murders were committed by people who had once been under observation by the FBI.
  Perhaps, we need more officers to keep these people under constant surveillance, which, of course, is nearly impossible.
  One of my favorite religious writings is the Prayer of St. Francis:
  “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
  O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
  Let’s all live this way.