Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tough Night For The Big Kid

Scott Bradley, for those who don't know him, is the biggest kid in the Princeton Department of Athletics.

Yes, he's a former Major League Baseball player and the overwhelmingly successful coach of the Tiger baseball team, and yes, he's sneaking up on 50 years old. Still, he's basically a big kid.

So you can imagine how the big kid was looking forward to Wednesday night. And why not? It couldn't have aligned better for Bradley in terms of viewing choices.

"Let's just say it ended up not being a great night of television watching," he said, chuckling.

Consider the lineup:

Former Princeton pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to face the Mets at 7.

Former teammate Randy Johnson, whose no-hitter Bradley caught when they were both with the Seattle Mariners, on the mound for the Giants against the Washington Nationals, going for his 300th career win, no less, also at 7.

Former Princeton pitcher Chris Young, on the mound against the Phils at 10. And oh, factor in Will Venable, just recalled from Triple-A and in the Padres' lineup as well.

And to top it all off, Bob and Michael Bradley, Scott's brother and nephew, were to go at 10 as well against Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying with the U.S. national team. Bob, the former Princeton player and coach, is the U.S. team coach; Michael is one of the best players on the team.

So what happened?

"Let's just say that having Ross get rained out was the highlight," Scott Bradley said.

The Mets-Pirates game was a no-go due to the weather. Johnson never got to pitch either, as his game was rained out as well.

As for the two that were played? Well, Young pitched well for six innings but took the loss, and Venable had an 0 for 4 night that included an error.

And that was nothing compared to soccer. The U.S. team gave up a goal in the first two minutes and the another one shortly thereafter to fall into a quick hole. The final was 3-1. Adding insult to injury, Michael Bradley picked up a yellow card and now has to sit out Saturday's home game against Honduras.

As an aside, TigerBlog is hardly a soccer expert, but he does remember that when the World Cup was in the U.S., games couldn't be played at several facilities unless they converted artificial turf to natural grass. The game last night was played on obviously rock-hard artificial turf, which TB dosn't understand.

"It wasn't good," Scott Bradley said.

Contrast that with the night of another big kid, Officer Paul Deppi of the Newtown (Pa.) police department. Deppi started Lower Bucks Lacrosse 16 years ago, and in all that time, he'd never, ever, ever been able to beat the rival neighboring power, Central Bucks. Until last night, that is, when LBL (TigerBlog Jr.'s team) beat Central Bucks 5-3 to advance to the Southeast Pennsylvania Youth Lacrosse Association 5/6 grade Final Four.

And there you have the ups and downs of being a kid, even one in his 40s.

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