Your IBL champion Los Angeles Lightning


Lakers, NBA.
Lightning, IBL.
Champs, both.
Now, play each other.
Lamond Murray scored 22 points and Fred Vinson added 20 tonight as the Lightning won the International Basketball League championship, 111-94, over Oregon at the Cal Lutheran campus gym.
Trayvon Lathan had 18 points and eight rebounds, Toby Bailey had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Darrick Martin contributed 10 points, six rebounds and eight assists for the Lightning (18-5), who won the first and last of the best-of-three series, all on their home court.
“This was the final game, we wanted to win so bad,” said Vinson, who shot 5-13 on 3-pointers. “We made some adjustments defensively and everybody came with a focus. We played a smart game.”
Murray scored eight points in the first eight minutes as L.A. built a 22-7 lead. The Lightning led 54-40 at the half and 82-64 after three quarters.
David Lucas, the son of former NBA great Maurice Lucas, led the Waves (16-9) with 30 points and nine rebounds. Robert Day, who scored a game-high 33 points in Oregon’s 108-107 Game 2 win, manage just four points and went 0-11 on 3-pointers.

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L.A. golf numbers, for those who like 9 holes better than 18 off the cliffs


We’re checking out the latest pictures of the newly opened Links at Terranea public-access 9-holer (linked here) adjacent to the new resort and spa on the Palos Verdes Peninsula that used to be on the site of Marineland, for those with some South Bay historical knowledge. We are also wondering aloud how soon this will become a destination course that sees more rounds of golf than nearby Los Verdes or Trump National.

It may be like comparing “real” golf to glorified miniature golf, since Terranea only offers up 9 holes, all par 3, adding up to 1,239 yards … and none longer than 173 (or, perhaps 180 if you go back a few steps). The other two, of course, are in the 6,500-plus yardage range.

Consider it your short-game tuneup to a much bigger gameplan.

And, considering that the Terranea rates are very reasonable — weekdays, its $30 for the first nine, $20 for the next nine and even $15 for a third nine — it should be at least competition for patrons who can’t get on Los Verdes, which only charges about $23 weekday (less if it’s after 2 p.m.) for its regulation run. A more feasible comparison for Terranea might be the Lakes at El Segundo (linked here), another 9-holer that goes for $11 weekdays but has only the view of the Chevron oilfield across the street as its point of interest.

Trump (linked here) isn’t even in the picture. The fees are more obscene than the Donald’s hairpiece — $275 for most times, or reduced to $215 at some other times — and the course has become so frustrating that even the picturesque holes aren’t enough of a distraction to the real problem — it’s just not that fun.

If exclusivity is what you want to pay for, Terranea provides the resort-like nectar. Even if the shortest hole is just 104, the vistas are said to be as incredible, if not better, than what you see either at Los Verdes or Trump.

Besides, according to the latest Los Angeles Business Journal information, Los Verdes in Rancho Palos Verdes has jumped past Rancho Park, Long Beach Rec and La Mirada to claim the title of busiest L.A. County-owned golf course during 2008 (fiscal year ending last June).

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Our Daily Dread: What a waste of a recruiting effort


This should have been one of those sports stories reported on years ago, but it wasn’t until Sports Illustrated senior writer George Dohrmann figured out the simple method of doing so that it finally came to light.

In this week’s SI, Dohrmann examines how wasteful it is for a college basketball program to recruit a player. Wasteful, in that — how many trees give up their lives for an antiquated process of sending letter after letter after letter to a recruit’s residence. And then, would a program feel all that time and money invested in a player is justified if he signs and maybe sticks around for a year or two, then leaves?

Roberto Nelson, a prospect (in both football and basketball) from Santa Barbara High, was askd by SI to save every piece of mail he received from recruiters. The total: 2,161 letters, from 56 programs. He only bothered to open 387 of them.

Gerard Gleason, an associate director for the San Francisco-based nonprofit Conservatree, then helped calculate the environmental impact of the paper being sent to all Division I hoops recruits in a given year, based on Nelson’s information.

Writes Dohrmann: “(Gleason’s) computation began with the average weight of paper each college sent to Nelson, which was 2.4 pounds. Most schools send mail to at least 100 players in each class (according to three recruiters who spoke to SI) and are targeting two classes (juniors and seniors) simultaneously.

“If each of the 347 Division I basketball programs sends 2.4 pounds of mail annually to 200 kids, the environmental impact each year of the production of that paper, according to Gleason’s analysis, would be:

== The consumption of 220 tons of wood, the equivalent of about 1,526 trees;

== Greenhouse gas emissions equal to what 39 cars produce in a year, and the use of enough energy to power 32 homes for a year;

== 167,034 pounds of solid waste, which would fill six garbage trucks,

== 1,423,939 gallons of wastewater, the equivalent of two swimming pools’ full.”

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We shall nail these to thy doors of Cooperstown, my good sir … and then say a little prayer


Howard Cole, the director of the new Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA), for which I am a member, posted this note on his site, Baseball Savvy, this afternoon (linked here):

On the morning of July 14, 2009, the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA ), in its infinite wisdom, voted against forming a committee to establish guidelines for Hall of Fame voting regarding players of the steroid era.

By 3:00 p.m. PST the same day, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA), of which I am the acting queso grande of, had formed a committee to develop guidelines on the matter for the association’s members. Results are as follows:

1. IBWAA steroid era Hall of Fame guidelines have been established for IBWAA voting purposes only. It is neither our intention to tell the BBWAA how to run its business, nor to criticize the Hall in any way, shape or form. We do, however, think the BBWAA’s decision not to form a committee was silly.

2. Our performance-enhancing drug ( PED ) guidelines are subject to addendum. It is the expressed intention of the IBWAA to change on the fly, to be inclusive, and to incorporate new members’ thoughts into existing policies and procedures.

3. Hall of Fame voting is to be, first and foremost, a democratic process. One person, one vote, with voting by secret ballot, and every vote counting equally.

4. Individual members are free to share his or her votes publicly, and in any form of media available, but are under no obligation to do so. Members choosing to discuss his or her votes publicly do not speak for the IBWAA as a group in so doing.

5. Voters may consider a player’s performance-enhancing drug use as part of the selection process. While there is to be no suggestion by the IBWAA to its members that a player’s name appearing in the Mitchell Report be considered with any particular degree of severity in the selection process, a member may consider such an appearance as part of his or her thinking.

6. Similarly, voters may consider a player’s suspension by Major League Baseball for having tested positive for a banned substance during his career, but are not required to do so.

7. The IBWAA strongly suggests that while qualities of sportsmanship and character be considered as part of the equation, members should endeavor not to be influenced by rumors, hearsay, unsubstantiated items found to be in publication, a player’s ethnic background or physical appearance as voting criteria.

How complicated was that?

The IBBWAA is 17 strong, with newest member Peter Golenbock, author of “George: The Poor Little Rich Boy who Built the Yankee Empire.”

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Greg Goossen, post script


Thanks for all the groovy response to the Greg Goossen story in Saturday’s paper (linked here), as well as all the blog sidebars posted with it.

Maybe it was coincidence that also on Saturday, it was West Ranch’s Cody Howard — Goossen’s grandson — who went 3-for-3 with three homers, five RBI and two walks during a 14-13 victory over St. Francis in the Valley Invitational Baseball League tournament (linked here).

West Ranch faces El Camino Real in today’s quarterfinals. The finals are at Birmingham High on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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