Baseball Looks to Win Title, Completes Its Turnaround

The baseball team lost two games to Dartmouth in early April and dropped to 2-6 in Ivy League action. Thanks to the Red’s 9-0 victory over Princeton on Wednesday, however, the teams will play a best-of-three series over the weekend to determine the Ivy League champion.
The winner will get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Green (23-14, 16-4 Ivy), winner of seven of its last 10 games, features a potent lineup that scored almost eight runs per contest this season. Freshman shortstop Joe Scalfani hit two home runs and drove in five when the teams first met. The switch-hitter got on base at a .450 clip and slugged .517 out of the leadoff spot this year. Neither Scalfani nor No. 2 hitter Jeff Onstott run much because of the power that follows.

Red to Face Princeton In One-Game Playoff

The baseball team will host Princeton tomorrow for the right to face Dartmouth for the Ivy League Championship. The Red (15-21, 10-10 Ivy) split a doubleheader with the Tigers (18-18, 10-10) on Friday and dropped the first game of Monday’s twin bill. Needing a win in Game 2, freshman infielder Frank Hager blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to put Cornell in front for good. The fact that the Red is even in this position is remarkable considering its 2-11 start.

Red Tries to Earn Third Road Victory

The Cornell baseball team will hit the road on Tuesday to take on LeMoyne College. The Red (8-17, 5-7), which is rounding into form after a rough start to the season, took three of four from the University of Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Political Apathy in Sports

When asked why he supported conservative and notorious racist Jesse Helms over Democrat Harvey Gantt in the 1996 North Carolina Senatorial race, Michael Jordan replied, “Republicans buy Nikes too.” And thus began the athlete’s 21st century business model: Dominate sport. Get endorsement contract. Obey the law … and stay out of politics.
Tiger Woods and LeBron James have followed this paradigm to perfection in becoming the wealthiest and most recognizable athletes of our generation. They and others like them all have an opportunity to influence the society by breaking down racial and gender barriers and by expressing their political views. Yet, they continually shy away from this responsibility for the sake of their reputation and their bank accounts.

Track Heads to Quaker Invite

The Cornell track and field teams will see action tomorrow in the Quaker Invitational at the University of Pennsylvania. The meet comes on the heels of a weeklong training trip to Irvine, Calif., which concluded with the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational.
The Red’s intense practice schedule will help the team perform at its peak later in the season, but it has left many sore and fatigued.
“At Irvine, it’s usually just a long week of training,” said junior thrower Scott Jaffee. “We have two-a-days there and we train pretty hard, so we’re pretty tired by the end.”

Wounded Pony

The Denver Broncos traded Jay Cutler and a third round draft choice to the Chicago Bears in exchange for two first round picks and quarterback Kyle Orton. The most striking aspect of this deal is that it never had to happen. Cutler’s actions were reprehensible to the umpteenth degree, but he still had three years left on a 6-year $48 million contract. Cutler forfeited $100,000 when he skipped an off-season workout, but he wouldn’t have walked out on millions no matter how much he despised coach Josh McDaniels. When Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced that his team would put Cutler on the trade block, Cutler expressed disappointment.

The Evolution of the Closer and why Saves are Meaningless

In 1959, reliever Elroy Face went 18-1 in 94 innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. A year later, Hall-of-Fame Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman observed that 10 of Face’s victories had come after he had blown a lead and the Pirates offense rallied to win the game. Holtzman also noticed that Cubs relievers Bill Henry and Don Elston had preserved far more leads than their Pittsburgh counterpart, yet carried pedestrian win-loss records to show for their efforts. Thus, the save was born. Nine years after Holtzman introduced the term, it became an official statistic. Since then, the save has given notoriety to relievers and changed the entire landscape of late-inning baseball.

Baseball Looks to Snap 10-Game Skid

The men’s baseball team, losers of 10 straight games, limps into Ivy League play to take on Brown and Yale this weekend. The teams are practically mirror images of each other — each struggling to find consistent pitching to match their potent bats. If these characteristics hold true, prepare for some slugfests.
“Brown’s a really good hitting team,” said junior outfielder Nate David. “They’ve got a few guys in their lineup, some older guys, who can swing it.”
Brown’s senior shortstop Matt Nuzzo and his double play partner sophomore Ryan Zrenda have done the heavy lifting thus far, racking up 50 total bases between them. The combo has also provided airtight defense up the middle for Brown’s bevy of ground ball pitchers.

Men’s and Women’s Track Travel to Harvard for Heps

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will travel to Harvard over the weekend for the Heptagonal Championships — “Definitely the biggest meet of the year from a team standpoint,” according to senior co-captain Andrew Miller. “Everything that we’ve done so far has been working towards this meet and the next two weeks.”
On the men’s side, the Red has won four of the last six Ivy League titles and enters this year’s competition fresh off a historic performance in 2008. A year ago, Cornell outpaced second place Princeton en route to a meet-record 205 points.