Bearcats Breakfast 5.31.11

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I promise not to turn this blog into As Tony Campana Turns, but I can't help but point out the way he's busting onto the scene with the Chicago Cubs. (Who, by the way, return to GABP June 6-8 and you can buy $14 field box seats thanks to the Reds promotional deal --- just sayin)

Yesterday, Campana started in CF. He went 1 for 3 and stole second and third base -- twice. That's four stolen bases in a game. Plus, he made No. 6 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays. On his birthday.

Not a bad day. Though, there's been plenty of them for UC product.  

In 11 games, he's already tied for the club lead in stolen bases (5) with Starlin Castro. The shortstop has played in 51 games, in case you were wondering. Campana's hitting .286 with six hits in 21 at-bats.

The fan base in Chicago is beginning to take notice. They gave several ovations to him during Thursday's game when he went 3-for-4 in his first start, while being called out sliding into first on his only out.

Talk from this Cubs blog compares him to Sam Fuld, the beloved, Mighty Mouse-type outfielder they dealt to Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza trade. For anybody whose seen Fuld play, that's an encouraging comparison for Campana's camp.

Much like UC teammate Josh Harrison, called up by the Pirates this weekend (Harrison didn't play in his first game available), he's a story people can't help but root for.

Let's eat...

--- Harrison got the big league call on Sunday and joined the team Monday in New York. It's easy to point out what served as the final straw to force the Pirates to make a move. Harrison went 5 for 5 in a dramatic win for his Indianapolis team in what would be his last game there for now. He found out the news after the game.

Harrison, a utility infielder, was hitting .321 in Indy and providing the similar speed, spark and defense of Campana. Great to see.

In case you are wondering Bearcats fans, Cubs @ Pirates, July 8-10. 

--- Some stats thanks
to Tommy G: Harrison becomes the 19th Bearcat to make Major League Baseball. This is the first time since the 60s UC has had three products in the bigs at the same time.

--- Brian Cleary will be on with Lance McAlister during his show in ESPN1530 this afternoon (3-6 p.m.)

--- Incoming freshman Jeremiah
Davis played alongside soon-to-be teammate Jermaine Sanders recently. In his first game at the iS8 tourney in NYC, he scored 18 points while Sanders had 30. Chad Brendel caught up with Davis and talked to him about his arrival on the UC campus in a few weeks.

--- Was sad to see blog favorite Brian Bennett retire his Big East blog. He's moving to the Big Ten to add support to ESPN's beefed up coverage there.

Anybody who reads this blog regularly is well aware of the thorough, fair work Bennett did during his three years covering the Big East for the WWL. Good guy.

Andrea Adelson will replace him. She covered the nation and non-AQ schools prior.

--- The football coaches have been out recruiting and returned to campus today. This tweet came out from Butch Jones this morning:

"Coaches are back from recruiting... Recruiting meetings all day trying to find the best fit for our football family! #RTC"

The life of a football coach -- particularly an assistant -- goes underappreciated by fans for the most part. People don't realize the incredible amount of time on the road and away from family they sacrifice.

--- Of the same recruiting ilk, very interesting Outside the Lines piece on 7-on-7 football. Is it the AAU of football?  

--- An old Conference-USA rivalry is flaring back up. Louisville added a home-and-home with Memphis beginning next season at the KFC Yum! Center. The battles between UC, U of L, Memphis and Marquette back in those days were enjoyable. Most Bearcats fans will admit, they were mainly fun because UC usually ended up on top.

--- Villanova By the Numbers compiled a list of all the Big East roster moves since the NBA deadline. Transfers are a part of the game now, but I have to admit it's probably not a coincidence Mick Cronin hasn't seen many players transfer out during his tenure.

In fact, of Cronin's full recruiting classes -- the first year with Deonta Vaughn was a patchwork group thrown together at the last second following Cronin's hire -- only one of 15 scholarship athletes to play for him transferred to another school. (Alvin Mitchell, Mountain State)

That shows loyalty, strong decision-making in recruiting and an ability to connect with his players. Sounds easy enough, but in this day and age of "play me or I'll leave," one of the most difficult tasks to pull off.

--- The news of Jim Tressel's
resignation spread rapidly across the country yesterday and as it did, I couldn't help but be much more fascinated with the reaction than the actual news. The tendency of many to blame the media for discovering the cheating and lying was laughable. Even more, I saw many defensive OSU fans taking shots at UC folks.

Why there is so much bitterness between the two fan bases is beyond me. The "whose better?" debate from 2009 obviously sparked some of it, but as a whole this seems to come up much more often than would seem appropriate. UC had nothing to do with the Ohio State situation in any shape or form, but there was the backlash in the social media taking shots at the Bearcats ability to compete.

Luckily, this can be decided on the field in a few years.

Coincidence Tressel resigned just before this Sports Illustrated expose' hit the interwebs? Probably not.

--- Some randomness...

--- Heat-Mavs starts tonight. My prediction: Heat in 5.

--- An insane ending to the Indy 500 this weekend. I imagine JR Hildebrand's crash feels like when I put together and incredible blog entry and the site freezes and I lose everything. Except he would have eventually earned millions from the win. I was forced into a late lunch.

In case you didn't see, here's the recap:

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OSU fans haven't forgotten what happened fifty years ago when we beat them two straight years in the national chanpionship game. They have treated UC like a step brother ever since and this includes state money that comes out of Columbus. Also includes not scheduling us in either sport. What a joke when the only time they took us on in BB was when they were num 1 and Mick had just taken over. Since we have improved in FB they continue to duck us. They don't want a rivalry with us so they can recruit from our furtile HS FB teams. I use to not mind their FB but they got so high and mighty after they won in 02 they became ridiculous. Guess their former coach got so high and mighty he thought he didn't have to follow the rules. Pretty typical in this day and age.