Blogs > Extra Points

Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Realignment good for baseball?

John McCormack brings up a great topic for conversation in his article "Let's Go Back to Eight Team Leagues" featured in the 1987 book "The National Pastime".

McCormack felt at the time of the writing that baseball should both expand and contract in order to bring back the popularity the sport had when it shared the name with the book in which the article finds itself.

This was 1987, and the Marlins, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Rays did not exist yet. The Nationals were still in Montreal and inter-league play and the wild card had not yet been dreamed up. It was simply the American Leagu and National League and each had an East and West division.

The average team had to travel too far just to play within the division McCormack felt. Everything was too spread apart. Rivalries fell apart because fans could not keep track of distant clubs. (Reminder: 1987 -- no internet) He felt that We should blow up the whole AL and NL and start from scratch, making four regions (Northeast, Midwest, Southern and Western) with eight clubs each. Teams would play each other within the region 22 times each, 11 home and 11 away for 154 games, so that rivalries could develope naturally against nearby cities.

The McCormack breakdown:
Northeast: Toronto, (Montreal now Washington)Boston, N.Y. Yankees, N.Y. Mets, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and what he said would be a new team in either Buffalo, New Jersey or Washington D.C.

Midwest: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee and Minnesota

Southern: Atlanta, Houston, Texas, Kansas City, St. Louis, and three new teams from either Tampa Bay (already exists) New Orleans, Miami (already exists, Memphis or Birmingham

Western: San Diego, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and two new teams from Denver(already exixts) Vancouver, Phoenix (already exists) or Portland

He felt the average fan would care more for his team if the game was regional like it was in it's heyday and they would care more to beat an opposing team if they saw them more regularly and grew the rivalry. He noted that it would save on team travel expenses and that the money saved (he hoped) could be used to drive down ticket costs.

What do you think, would baseball be better serving to the average fan if MLB switched to 4 regional leagues?


Friday, September 24, 2010

The interview of Marty McHale

If nothing else, I hope this post opens the door for you as a sports fan to actively seek out more used book stores and thrift shops. For $2 I stumbled upon "The National Pastime", edited by John Thorn, published in 1987, and it is from there that my next few posts will be rooted.

The first article in the book is a long-forgotten interview of the late Marty McHale, who pitched for the Red Sox and the Yankees from 1910-1916, and finished off 1916 with Cleveland. Here is a link to his baseball-reference page.

Like many ballplayers of his era, McHale found other work in the offseason, and his offseason job, which he claimed he loved just as much as baseball, was as a vaudeville performer. He even had a stage act with Hall of Famer "Turkey" Mike Donlin.

While this link is to a different collection of writings, it is the same article that can be found in "The National Pastime." Baseball fans who want to know what the game was like at the turn of the century will find this a must read, and I can say it is the finest interview I have read in quite some time. The article begins on page 253.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saratoga ranked 8th in Class AA girls soccer

Saratoga and Shenendehowa headline the Section II representatives in the latest girls soccer poll released by the New York State Sports Writers Association.

The Blue Streaks checks in at No. 8 with a 4-2-0 record on the season. Shenendehowa was second in the AA rankings off to a perfect 5-0-0 start.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake led Saratoga County teams in the Class A rankings, at No. 2, with a 5-0-0 record and a win over Saratoga on the season. South Glens Falls, also 5-0, is No. 20 in the rankings.

Mechanicville is off to a great start this season with three wins and one loss, and ranked second in Class B. Schuylerville is 15th.
In Class C, the Galway Eagles lead Section II, ranked 11th.

Full rankings, below.

Class AA
1: 2-0-0 West Islip-11
2: 5-0-0 Shenendehowa-2
3: 3-0-0 North Rockland-1
4: 5-0-0 Baldwinsville-3
5: 3-0-1 Vestal-4
6: 4-0-1 Union-Endicott-4
7: 3-1-0 Webster Thomas-5
8: 4-2-0 Saratoga-2
9: 0-0-1 Massapequa-8
10: 5-1-0 Kenmore West-6
11: 0-0-1 Northport-11
12: 2-1-0 John Jay East Fishkill-1
13: 4-1-0 Bethlehem-2
14: 3-0-1 Washingtonville-9
15: 1-0-1 MacArthur-8
16: 1-0-1 East Islip-11
17: 1-0-1 Connetquot-11
18: 3-1-1 Brockport-5
19: 3-2-0 Williamsville North-6
20: 2-1-2 Warwick-9

Class A
1: 0-0-0 Rockville Center South Side-8
2: 5-0-0 Burnt Hills-2
3: 6-0-0 Mercy-5
4: 2-0-0 Rye-1
5: 0-1-0 Islip-11
6: 6-0-0 Grand Island-6
7: 5-0-0 Owego-4
8: 1-0-0 Garden City-11
9: 1-0-0 Shoreham-Wading River-11
10: 6-1-0 Williamsville East-6
11: 4-0-0 Schalmont-2
12: 6-1-0 Jamesville-DeWitt-3
13: 2-1-0 Cornwall-9
14: 1-0-1 Byram Hills-1
15: 1-0-0 New Hyde Park-8
16: 4-0-0 Pearl River-1
17: 5-0-0 Whitesboro-3
18: 5-0-0 Scotia-Glenville-2
19: 4-0-0 Homer-3
20: 5-0-0 South Glens Falls-2

Class B
1: 3-0-0 Briarcliff-1
2: 3-1-0 Mechanicville-2
3: 7-0-0 Greece Odyssey-5
4: 5-1-0 Oneonta-4
5: 4-0-0 Lansing-4
6: 0-0-0 Center Moriches-11
7: 6-0-0 Potsdam-10
8: 0-0-0 Mattituck-11
9: 2-0-0 Bronxville-1
10: 0-0-0 Cold Spring Harbor-8
11: 6-1-0 Marcellus-3
12: 6-0-0 Watertown Immaculate Heart-3
13: 6-1-0 Nichols-AIS
14: 5-1-0 Chenango Forks-4
15: 4-0-0 Schuylerville-2
16: 6-0-0 Midlakes-5
17: 6-0-0 Allegany-Limestone-2
18: 3-0-0 Highland-9
19: 6-0-0 Seneca Falls Mynderse-5
20: 4-0-0 Burke Catholic-9

Class C
1: 0-0-0 Stony Brook-11
2: 5-1-0 Elmira Notre Dame-4
3: 3-0-0 Sauquoit Valley-3
4: 7-0-0 Maple Grove-6
5: 1-1-1 North Salem-1
6: 5-0-1 Addison-5
7: 4-0-0 Albany Academy-2
8: 4-0-0 Ausable Valley-7
9: 3-0-0 Florida-9
10: 2-0-1 Marathon-4
11: 5-0-0 Galway-2
12: 5-0-1 Alexander-5
13: 7-0-0 Marion-5
14: 3-0-1 Voorheesville-2
15: 6-0-0 Tully-4
16: 5-0-0 Randolph-6
17: 6-0-0 Bishop Ludden-3
18: 5-1-1 Walton-4
19: 2-1-0 Tri-Valley-9
20: 0-0-0 Friends-8

Class D
1: 5-0-0 Chazy-7
2: 5-1-0 Wheatland-Chili-5
3: 7-0-0 Belfast-5
4: 5-1-0 Davenport-4
5: 7-0-0 Remsen-3
6: 5-0-1 Heuvelton-10
7: 3-1-0 McGraw-3
8: 4-1-0 Genesee Valley-5
9: 3-0-0 Livingston Manor-9
10: 3-2-1 Chateaugay-10
11: 6-0-0 Edwards-Knox-10
12: 4-1-0 Poland-3
13: 4-1-2 Morris-4
14: 5-2-0 Gilboa-Conesville-4
15: 0-0-0 Smithtown Christian-11
15: 3-1-1 Northville-2

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BSpa grad Casey Wright MVP at UAlbany tourney

BEAUMONT, TEXAS — Ballston Spa graduate Casey Wright was named the most valuable player of the Lamar Volleyball Tournament after leading the University at Albany to two wins on the final day of play at McDonald Gym on Saturday. The Great Danes defeated McNeese State, 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 24-26, 25-16), before sweeping the host Cardinals, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 29-27).

Against McNeese State, Wright recorded a career-high 25 kills on a .449 hitting percentage to go along with nine digs and eight total blocks.

Teresa Coppiellie finished with a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs, while Laurie Gonzalez totaled a match-high 26 digs. Traci Vandegrift, who was also named to the all-tournament team, started off the day with 12 digs to go along with seven kills, seven block assists and two service aces. Setter Kaley Jacobson handed out 40 assists and six digs, while Abbey Wexel added 11 digs defensively for UAlbany.
McNeese State finished with just three total team blocks, while UAlbany had 17 total blocks, and the Great Danes held the Cowgirls to a .082 hitting percentage.

In the tournament finale, Coppiellie led UAlbany with 17 kills, while Dunja Prgomet added 11 kills. Coppiellie completed a double-double with 12 digs, while all-tournament team selection Laurie Gonzalez paced the team defensively with 15 digs. Coppiellie and Gonzalez also combined for five of the team’s seven aces, as Coppiellie served up three, with Gonzalez adding two. Jacobson tallied 40 assists, nine digs and four block assists, while Wright wrapped up the tournament with a seven-kill, four-block performance, along with four digs.

UAlbany (8-4) will return to action on Friday, Sept. 24, visiting Yale in non-conference action, before hosting the Bulldogs in a return match to open the home season at University Gym on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Labels: ,

Skeeter Cup Jr. golf tournament Oct. 3

A golf tournament for junior golfers will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at McGregor Links Country Club in Saratoga Springs. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the American Lung Association of New York in memory of Glens Falls native, and golf enthusiast, Ralph “Skeets” Woodbury.

The tournament is being organized by 16 and 14-year-old brothers, Matthew and Calvin Beckwith, who raised $1400 last year and hope to surpass that amount this year. The boys were family friends of the late Ralph “Skeets” Woodbury, of Lake George, who passed away from lung disease. This is the second annual event and the area’s only charity junior golf tournament open to the public. There will be two age divisions this year, 14 years and under and 15-18 year olds.

Prizes include a complimentary round of golf for two donated from Saratoga National Golf Club. Prizes will also be awarded for closest to the pin, longest drive and hole-in-one.

Registration for junior golfers is $30.00. Hole sponsorships, are also available for $30.00. Registration for golfers is on a first come basis so register early! For more information, please call 581-6617 or email

Labels: ,