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Taking time to speak of Nick, sticks, picks & clicks

April 01, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Thoughts from a guy scrambling four hours before deadline ...

  • The difference between baseball in early May and baseball in late March is this: Had Wednesday's pitcher's duel between Williamsport's Nick Adenhart and North Hagerstown's T.J. Hose happened in early May, my thoughts would have been, "What a great game." Instead, my thoughts were, "Brrrrrrrrrrr."

    (This coming from a guy who once covered a football game in below-freezing temperatures in shorts and short sleeves. Ask Andy Mason for details. He seems to like telling the story.)

    Obviously, there's a lot still to be written about Adenhart this season, and so I don't want to say too much. But as those of us who have watched him pitch agree, Adenhart simply does not look like a high school kid on the mound. His delivery is so smooth and effortless, you wonder how the radar guns can clock his fastball at 95. And even that's a little misleading ... on Wednesday, Adenhart's curve and change were the real nasty pitches.

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If you're a baseball fan and you haven't seen Adenhart pitch, you owe it to yourself to see him at least once before his high school career comes to a close.

Not that Adenhart's the only talented pitcher in this area. Hose proved otherwise by beating Adenhart, and his stuff - especially his slider - was pretty nasty, too. Then there's Chambersburg's Irv Sleighter, the 2003 Herald-Mail Player of the Year and no slouch himself on the mound. And there's probably a dozen other guys who I could mention, too.

I said this last year and I'll say it again ... there's a lot of baseball talent in our neck of the woods.

  • Speaking of baseball, I have an idea on how to stem steroid use in the major leagues. I think any player caught using steroids should be arrested and charged with a crime, just like I would be were I caught using them. After all, I thought steroids were an illegal substance (unless prescribed) in this country. Why are the rules different for athletes than for the rest of us?

  • So, I have half of the Final Four right, and could still get my Duke-Oklahoma State championship game. As for Gonzaga and Stanford ... well, let's just say my bracket hit the trash the first Saturday. Which is actually a day later than usual. It's all about progress.

    Frankly, I think the title is Connecticut's to lose right now. I didn't take the Huskies because of concerns over Emeka Okafor's back, but he's supposedly 100 percent heading into the Final Four. That, plus a red-hot Ben Gordon, equals nightmares for the Blue Devils and whoever plays UConn in the final.

    However, ask Larry Bird if a back problem ever really goes away. One twinge in Okafor's back, and everything could change instantly.

  • Finally ... and I know this has nothing to do with sports, but if you ask me, "American Idol" is about the best sport going right now ... how on Earth did Amy Adams get voted off and LaToya London finish in the bottom three this week, while John Stevens was "safe?" Are you kidding me? Are you deaf, America? That's like having the first pick in a fantasy baseball draft and taking Buddy Groom.





  • Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at kauffman@herald-mail.com

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