With the Lakers title wrapped up, I can’t wait for Mannywood and the Dodgers to do the same

The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke thinks Manny Ramirez’s suspension should keep him out of his minor league assignment with Albuquerque. TJ Simers admits that he can’t stay mad at him. What’s all the fuss, it’s like serving a sentence then finishing the rest of your time at a halfway house before your official release. It’s not the bigs so it’s not a big deal. People like Plaschke think the Dodgers should trade him away, but the people who pay money to go to Dodgers games and sit in front of their television and cheer the Dodgers want him to stay, and can’t wait to welcome him back. Plaschke even pleaded with the Lakers to trade Kobe two years ago. That’s why you don’t listen to sportswriters, you listen to the beating heart of loyal fans, like the one I saw wearing a shirt that read, “Stand by your Manny.”

(Photo by Craig Fritz/The Associated Press)

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All-Area Baseball: San Dimas’ Leyland earns player of the year; South Hills’ Smith coach of the year

Here it is, more prestigious than All-League, tougher to crack than All-CIF, it’s the infamous, non-political Tribune All-Area baseball team, which represents the top 23-players in the East San Gabriel Valley for the 2009 season.

To purchase a reprint of the all-area cover page, click here.

Player of the year: Josh Leyland (San Dimas, Sr.)
Coach of the year: Kevin Smith (South Hills)

First team
Pitcher: Erik Salcido, San Dimas, Sr.
Pitcher: Derek Klena, South Hills, Sr.
Catcher: Jerry McClanahan, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Infielder: Richy Pedroza, Northview, Sr.
Infielder: Jiovanni Mier, Bonita, Sr.
Infielder: Thomas Jenson, San Dimas, Sr.
Infielder: Erik Lewis, Damien, Jr.
Outfielder: Kevin Ponzo, San Dimas, Sr.
Outfielder: Jacob Smigelski, Glendora, Jr.
Outfielder: Mark Garcia, Damien, Sr.
Utility: Andrew Melchor, Nogales, Sr.

Second team
Pitcher: Nico Calderaro, Bonita, Sr.
Pitcher: Brady Zuniga, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Catcher: Jake Bailey, Charter Oak, Sr.
Infielder: Christian Ibarra, South Hills, Jr..
Infielder: Jason Plowman, Bonita, Sr.
Infielder: Ryan Arnold, Northview, Sr.
Infielder: Nick Bergara, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Outfielder: Chris Allen, Charter Oak, Sr.
Outfielder: Chester Pak, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Outfielder: Jon Hernandez, West Covina, Jr.
Utility: Christian Huerta, Sierra Vista, Jr

To read stories, click thread

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Daniel Limon and Rauley Zaragoza ready to prove the doubters wrong in the Hall of Fame game

30th Hall of Fame Game, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Bassett High School, $8 admission
East leads series, 17-10-2

Above: Azusa’s Rauley Zaragoza returning an interception for a touchdown in the Aztecs’ playoff win over Covina.

This is a sneak preview for Wednesday’s newspaper.
By Fred J. Robledo ..
When Sierra Vista High School’s Daniel Limon told Mt. San Antonio College coaches he would like to try out at slot receiver this fall, they told the generously listed 5-foot-10, 173-pounder they were more interested in him as a kicker. After all, he did make 12 field goals for the Dons.
“They laughed to be honest with you,” Limon said. “But that’s alright. You come from Sierra Vista, you’re going to have doubters. It’s nothing new to me.” To continue reading with more from Miguel Melendez on the West practice, click thread. West coach Matt Koffler calls RB Tra Sumler the best player in the SGV

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San Dimas’ Ariel Shore and South El Monte’s Manny Acosta named Athletes of the Year

South El Monte High School’s Manny Acosta and San Dimas’ Ariel Shore bucked the trend of specialization in high school sports and once again showed the multiple-sport athlete is alive and well. After earning several accolades during their senior years in multiple sports, Acosta and Shore can add the 2008-09 San Gabriel Valley Tribune Athlete of the Year award to their collection as well. To continue reading, click thread

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Star-Newbie Melendez talking up the East-West Hall of Fame game … No way the East loses again

WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Bassett High
WHO: East (coached by Northview’s Jim Arellanes) vs. West (coached by Rosemead’s Matt Koffler)
LAST YEAR: The West snapped the East’s six-game winning streak last year, winning 34-14 behind South El Monte wide receiver Tommy Cogburn, who stole the show with three touchdowns.
SERIES: East leads, 17-10-2

Practice: The Beasts from the East are practicing Monday-Thursday at 3:30 p.m., at Northview. Drop by to check it out.

Miguel Melendez says: Alright guys, you’ve asked for it so here it is. The 30th Hall of Fame game is Friday night and as the game approaches we’ll be bringing you reports from the East and West practices. Both teams already have been practicing in preparation for the 30th anniversary of the senior game, and once again, the East appears to have a star-studded roster for Arellanes. Charter Oak quarterback Chris Allen, the Tribune player of the year and Southeast Division MVP, will be joined by Chargers teammates Tyler Perri (DT), Evan Williams (DE), and Kiely Rycraw (WR) – all of whom won a section title the last time they played. “Those Charter Oak kids are the real deal,” Arellanes said. “They’re as good as advertised. They obviously have been coached well. Their knowledge of the game is unbelievable, and they have been flying to the football with a passion.” The East is loaded in the backfield with Bishop Amat’s Deshawn Gaisie, Rowland’s Brandon Stansell and San Dimas’ Daniel Joseph, who has transitioned well from the Winged T to an I formation.

Miguel continues … Call it a dis or call it motivation, but If memory serves me right, it was the folks over on the East (cough cough, Robledo) who predicted San Dimas would handily beat Rosemead in the quarterfinals. Uh, no. Rosemead came out burning on all cylinders and took care of business and reached the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division finals. Koffler said he’s looking forward to Friday’s game and the West has practiced like it’s a championship game. “I know on our side we’re approaching this game like it’s going to be very physical,” he said. “I’m not sure what’s going on on the other side, but our practices are very physical; that’s the way we coach and that’s the only way we coach. We’re not slowing down just because it’s an all-star game. We’re picking up the pace and showing the rest of the San Gabriel Valley how we do things at Rosemead.”

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All-Area coming soon …

We begin with the Tribune postseason-awards on Tuesday, beginning with the Boys/Girls athlete of the year award. Baseball is on Wednesday and Softball on Thursday. The rest is as follows.

Boy/Girls athlete of the year, June 23
Baseball, June 24
Softball, June 25
Boys Tennis, June 26
Boys Track, June 30
Girls Track, July 1
Boys Swimming, July 2
Girls Swimming, July 3

Last chance: It’s a chore getting everyone in for pictures after school is out. We have almost everyone, but we’re missing Charter Oak’s Uchechi Anunkor, Bonita’s Amber Pezzolla, Bonita’s Paul Bakahit and David Scheibe and Walnut’s Josen Corpuz. If anyone can contact these athletes, ask them to get in touch with me at fred.robledo@sgvn.com. I will do what I can to set up a last-minute pictures.

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Football, Football, Football …. I’m trying to pump myself up for 2009 … If you have summer passing league schedules, send them in .. Bonita tourney this weekend, will post schedule this afternoon

Someone asked if Bishop Breakdown will be back in the fall … Absolutely.

More Amat highlight video’s….Don’t hate, if you have a school highlight video, send it here and I will post it too. By the way, this is long, but it’s fantastic

Amat HighLights from Chris M on Vimeo.

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