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A Home Run and A Home Win

Great turnout on Saturday night for the FIU Baseball Diamond Dinner where first-year coach Turtle Tt_2 Thomas and the 2008 Golden Panthers baseball team were introduced.

A little baseball here on the blog before the latest football stadium tour. Don't panic the first of two parts of the stadium tour will be on here either Monday or Tuesday.

Heard the baseball dinner raised more than $30,000 for what will likely be put toward improving the FIU baseball stadium. The stadium has already undergone a makeover along the outfield wall where a padded wall was installed to replace the tarp covering the outfield fence.

As for the dinner, besides the savory filet mignon and shrimp, the other highlights of the night were that suddenly the FIU baseball out-of-conference schedule got a lot tougher the next three years.

Counting USC, Arizona State, Cal-Irvine this season, FIU will take a trip to Tallahassee next season to play.....NO not 6 games with FAMU....., but rather Florida State. Tennessee and Oklahoma State also are on FIU's schedule in 2009.

FIU plays current No. 3-ranked San Diego, San Diego State and Missouri in 2010. And host San Diego and play at Georgia in 2011. In addition, FIU will also play every team in the state of Florida in the next two years, except Florida.

These types of schedules can only make the Golden Panthers much better and when they go into Sun Belt play -- which as TT said last night, the SBC is ranked No. 6 out of 31 NCAA baseball conferences as far as strength goes.

Countdown to Opening Day at home against USC: 11 days.

On a side note: there are a couple of brothers on my Sunday morning softball team who brought up some interesting comparisons to the past week's Hurricanes Karim_2 baseball coach Jim Morris's "Turtle who?" comment.

The brothers said what JM said was no different than other "(Name here) who?" in sports in years past. Such as when the Red Sox and Yankees had that tough 2003 American League Championship Series where former BoSox pitcher Pedro Martinez and former Yanks outfielder Karim Garcia got into a shouting match after Pedro threw a pitch near Garcia's head. Afterwards, when asked about the incident, Pedro said: "Karim Garcia, who are you?"

Former FIU and current Suns guard Raja Bell got into a similar incident with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant Raja after a little tussle in the 2006 playoffs. Afterwards, Kobe said: "Who is Raja Bell?"

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his former assistant and current Jets head coach Eric Mangini also had an issue after the first time their teams played each other. At midfield after the game, Belichick, instead of doing the Belmang_2 traditional coaches handshake, walked right past Mangini.

So what does it all mean? Well, the "Who's" (Garcia, Bell and Mangini) have 2 wins versus 1 loss against their adversaries -- only Belichick won. We'll see April 2.

Hey, how about that FIU basketball team. Finally after 23 games, the Golden Panthers were able to break the full court press and get a win against Middle Tennessee on Saturday night.

Don't want to rain on the win, but MT only pressed four times. SR made a nice adjustment using forwards Chris Fuller and Alex Galindo to help with the press break on Saturday. I would like to see FIU beat the press all game long. Arkansas-Little Rock will likely try that on Wednesday at Pharmed Arena. If the Golden Panthers are to even get past the first round of the Sun Belt tournament they will need to solve the riddle of the press on a consistent basis.


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