Tuesday, June 28, 2011

House Cleaning

There was something different about the floor in the hallway of Jadwin Gym outside the ticket office and business office, and yet TigerBlog couldn't figure out what it was, despite the fact that he's walked on that hallway almost every day for more than 20 years.

Apparently, the floor had just been super-cleaned, or at least that's what the smell of the cleaner that was used suggested. And, apparently, it was just the fact that the floor was now super clean that had TigerBlog confused.

It was a better explanation than the one TB first had, which was that someone picked up the rug that had been on the floor there all these years, even if no such rug ever existed.

The cleaning project continues today, at least that's what TB surmises from the sounds coming from the lobby. Those sounds are intertwined with the sounds of bouncing basketballs, those coming from inside the gym, from girls' basketball camp.

Out his window, TB can see the non-stop activity of track-and-field camp, and he saw a group yesterday walking along that had to be rowing camp. There are also camps going on this week for soccer and tennis and maybe squash and possibly others.

It's what summer is like here at Princeton, when there are no intercollegiate athletic events, or, for that matter, very few college students around.

And yet, there is always news.

TigerBlog was struck by a few items that have come up of late:

* Will Venable, the basketball and baseball star from Princeton, is hitting .333 since being recalled from the minors by the Padres. His power numbers aren't great, with only one home run, but he continues down the path of establishing himself as an every day Major League player.

In the next few weeks, Venable will have his 1,000th career at-bat. In the meantime, his career numbers read: 959 at-bats, 240 hits, .250 average, 28 home runs, 110 RBIs, 29 stolen bases. He's struck out 279 times.

Venable got off to a brutal start this year, hitting well below .200 with no power. His average is up to .244, and he hit his first home run of the year - and his first career lead-off home run - at Fenway Park, of all places.

Unlike last year, when the Padres made a run to the final day of the year against the eventual World Series-champion Giants, the 2011 Padres are in last place in the NL West, 10 games back of the Giants.

As for the other two Princeton Major Leaguers, pitcher Chris Young is gone for the year after a really strong start for the Mets, while Ross Ohlendorf, who hasn't pitched since April for the Pirates, is just now getting ready to start his rehab assignments and should return in the next few weeks.

* Princeton will be hiring Cara Morey as an assistant women's hockey coach.

If the last name sounds familiar, it's because Cara is Mrs. Sean Morey, the wife of longtime NFL player - and Super Bowl champ with the Steelers. Sean Morey played football at Brown and holds a unique place in Princeton football history, something that will be revealed below.

As for Morey, TB has met him several times, and he's one of TB's all-time favorite non-Princeton Ivy League athletes. Like Sean, Cara Morey was an athlete at Brown.

It'll be good to have the Morey family as part of Princeton Athletics.

* Princeton alum Darroll Powe is traded to the Minnesota Wild.

Powe, according to the story on ESPN.com, led the Flyers with 196 hits last year, which would actually be a great number if he'd gotten them for the Phillies. TB has no idea what 196 hits really means, though leading an NHL team in anything is pretty good, right?

A defensive forward and top penalty killer, Powe had seven goals and 10 assists last year as well.

The Wild front office has its share of Princeton connections, as assistant GM Brent Flahr played here before graduating in 1996 and director of player personnel Blair Mackasey is the father of two Princeton athletes, hockey player B.J. '07 and current sophomore rower (and student-worker extraordinaire) Dave.

* Roger Hughes is named head football coach at Stetson.

When TB first heard this news, he wondered if Roger would go from calling everyone "Tiger" to "Hatter," which doesn't have the same flow.

Roger Hughes went 47-52 at Princeton in 10 years as head football coach, including a 16-4 run in ’05 and ’06 that included his only Ivy title. TigerBlog has heard from proponents of both perspectives of Hughes' tenure, the one that says that he was a very good man who had some success as a football coach and the other that says that he was 31-48 in games where Jeff Terrell was no the starting quarterback.

From TB's point of view, there have been few people to walk into Jadwin Gym who have ever been easier to get along with and ever been simply nicer than Roger Hughes. In the 10 years that Hughes was the coach here, TigerBlog can never remember one time when he had anything even remotely resembling an argument with him.

Stetson doesn't begin playing for two seasons, and when it does, it will be Division I-AA non-scholarship. TB wishes Hughes all the best as he heads to Florida.

* Trivia answer -

Sean Morey scored the first touchdown in Princeton Stadium history.

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