Mark Whicker

21 May 19
Santa Cruz Sentinel
* The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published each Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the college sports season (and twice-a-week in the summer). This edition, from May 21, has been made available in archived form. Smart policy out of HQ The Pac-12 is on a roll, folks — the good kind of roll, the shrewd kind of roll, the boost-your-competitive-level and benefit-the-athletes kind of roll. So let’s credit the conference for getting it right on one-two-three-four-FIVE counts here in the first half of 2019: Sibson Consulting: Without credibility in football officiating, you might as well shut everything down. Hiring an outside consultant to assess the scandal-marred process was an essential step toward restoring integrity before the 2019 openers. (Sure, the athletic directors pushed for it. At least the conference office listened.) Changing the basketball schedule: Moving to a 20-game conference rotation will improve each team’s strength-of-schedule, which creates a ripple effect. And placing the two additional games in November and early December should increase interest in the sport (ticket sales, media interest, etc.) when it’s usually on the back-burner. Non-conference schedule standards: Too many teams were playing too many low-level opponents, and it was undermining the collective effort to maximize NCAA bids. That the head coaches were on board with the decision speaks to an encouraging level of alignment for the conference. Continuing the SAHWBI: That’s the Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative, and it’s arguably the conference’s most commendable endeavor. The funding for future research projects has been approved (at $3.6 million per year), with an emphasis on mental health. Intra-conference transfer policy: The Pac-12 has loosened restrictions, ensuring that athletes won’t lose the year of eligibility for moving within the conference: They’ll transfer, sit out one year, then get that year back. Makes so much sense. (Watch for other conferences to adopt similar rules.) Now, a reminder: Smart policy and sound execution at the conference level don’t ensure competitive success. Winning starts on campus. And yes, we’re looking at you, Los Angeles. — Jon Wilner. *** Sign-up here for a free subscription to the Hotline newsletter. Thanks for your support. Hot off the Hotline • The conference released its financial data on Monday, with a twist: In addition to the federal tax filings, it made public revenue/expense breakdowns for conference operations and the Pac-12 Networks, thereby illuminating to a greater degree its complicated business model. The Hotline has a full analysis, which includes an explanation of the methodology behind commissioner Larry Scott’s controversial travel style, his salary (over $5 million), the school payouts and much more. • As referenced in the introduction above, the presidents and chancellors approved a loosening of the transfer rule, schedule standards for basketball and extended funding for the SAHWBI. Why we need your support: Like so many other providers of local journalism across the country, the Hotline’s parent website, mercurynews.com, recently moved to a subscription model. A few Hotline stories will remain free each month (as will this newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe at a rate of just 12 cents per day for 12 months. And thanks for your loyalty. Money Matters The Hotline was hardly the only media outlet to cover the Pac-12’s financial reveal on Monday: • USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz, who covers financial and legal affairs across college sports, examined the numbers and concluded: “The Pac-12’s financial position among the Power Five conferences has been slipping in recent years as newer television agreements have taken hold and the Pac-12 Networks have fallen short of revenue expectations amid distribution challenges. The conference did not help itself during its 2018 fiscal year …” • Commissioner Larry Scott received a $500,000 raise in total compensation, prompting the Oregonian’s John Canzano to weigh in: “The Pac-12 is looking for a private-equity bailout. Among the inventory in the debate warehouse: Flat revenue. Higher expenses. Smaller footprint. Less success in the revenue-generating sports. The guy in charge of it all got a raise. I’m not anti-raise, mind you. I’d be in favor of a bump to $10 million annually if Scott could fix the conference’s problems, boost revenue, get the network larger distribution and help the programs win more games. You know, merit based stuff. Maybe put the commish on commission.” In the News • From late last week but must-reading if you missed it: Former Oregon receiver Keanon Lowe made national headlines for the very best of reasons: He disarmed a student who brought a shotgun into Parkrose High School. Lowe is the school’s football and track coach and, fortunately, also works as a security guard. He was honored by the Blazers on Monday during Game 4. And here’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr, an outspoken proponent of tighter gun control, on Lowe and the state of gun violence. • USC is one of three programs, along with UCLA and Notre Dame, that has not played an FCS opponent, ever. That could change, according to associate athletic director Steve Lopes, who oversees the Trojans’ scheduling. “What’s the best way to get to the CFP?” he asks. (The reality: Probably not with two A-level non-conference games.) • Colorado’s most experience cornerback, Dante Wigley, won’t return to the program, per Buffzone. He’s the fifth scholarship player to move on (for various reasons) since the conclusion of spring practice. • Meanwhile, the Buffaloes have secured what they’re calling the largest endowment in the football program’s history, a seven-figure commitment from non-alum Kelli Brooks. The estate gift will go to scholarships. • Isaac Slade-Matautia is projected to start at inside linebacker for Oregon, alongside Troy Dye. • Athlon’s unveiled its preseason all-Pac-12 team and went four-deep at each position (impressive). • The Pac-12 coaches, ranked. (I’m not sure how Mel Tucker can be included in any fashion, but every outlet does it differently.) • The current state of the transfer portal, which includes a load of Pac-12 players who have yet to make decisions. Dirty Play Content on the college basketball scandal … • CBS Sports columnist Matt Norlander addresses a question many have asked: How are head coaches implicated in the FBI scandal still recruiting at a high level. LSU’s Will Wade is the focus of this column, but Sean Miller makes an appearance: “Within the coaching fraternity, many behind the scenes have questioned just how guys like Wade and Arizona’s Sean Miller have gotten along this far without losing their jobs.” • Speaking of the Wildcats: Could former assistant Book Richardson, who entered a guilty plea on charges of federal bribery, get a probation-only sentence? His attorney has made the request. On the Hardwood • Had the new basketball schedule standards been in place last season, four teams would have failed to meet the bar, according to this examination into the data by the Oregonian’s James Crepea. And if you followed the schedules closely, it wouldn’t be difficult to guess which four: Oregon State, Washington State, Colorado and Utah. • Oregon big man Kenny Wooten, one of the conference’s dominant defensive players, won’t return for next season: He’s all in with the NBA Draft. • Good perspective on new UCLA coach Mick Cronin, courtesy of the Daily News’ Mark Whicker: Difficult as the situation might be in Westwood (on and off the court), Cronin has dealt with worse. • Washington State has signed small forward D.J. Rodman, the son of Dennis, for next season’s roster. (Any chance we could get his old man and Mike Leach together, talking about anything?) • Luguentz Dort: NBA point guard? The former Arizona State wing believes that’s his future position. • Cal continues to reshape its roster for next season. The latest addition is Dimitrios Klonaras, a wing from Greece. The Bears wouldn’t mind if his 2-star rating proves a bit low. • Lastly: Washington is headed to Firenze for a four-game exhibition tour. Not sure about the competition, but the Hotline can vouch for the food. Medal Stand Content on Pac-12 Olympic sports … • Arizona’s softball team is peaking at the right time, with the super regionals about to start. • Ranking the 16 teams still standing. (The group includes UCLA, Washington, plus the Wildcats.) • Stanford is the NCAA women’s tennis champion for the second year in a row and 20th time overall. • Washington’s crew teams are pretty good, it seems. Looking Ahead What’s coming on the Pac-12 Hotline: [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”6063198,6059557″] • The Pac-12 spent several years establishing the foundation for the non-conference schedule standards. We’ll take a deep dive into its deep dive on Wednesday. • Expenditures by the conference office have been a source of controversy for several years. How does the Pac-12 compare to its peers on that front? The Hotline’s crack research staff is on the case. The next newsletter is scheduled for Friday. Enjoy the newsletter? Please forward this email to friends (sign up here). If you don’t, or have other feedback, let me know: pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com. *** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline *** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.
21 May 19
East Bay Times
* The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published each Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the college sports season (and twice-a-week in the summer). This edition, from May 21, has been made available in archived form. Smart policy out of HQ The Pac-12 is on a roll, folks — the good kind of roll, the shrewd kind of roll, the boost-your-competitive-level and benefit-the-athletes kind of roll. So let’s credit the conference for getting it right on one-two-three-four-FIVE counts here in the first half of 2019: Sibson Consulting: Without credibility in football officiating, you might as well shut everything down. Hiring an outside consultant to assess the scandal-marred process was an essential step toward restoring integrity before the 2019 openers. (Sure, the athletic directors pushed for it. At least the conference office listened.) Changing the basketball schedule: Moving to a 20-game conference rotation will improve each team’s strength-of-schedule, which creates a ripple effect. And placing the two additional games in November and early December should increase interest in the sport (ticket sales, media interest, etc.) when it’s usually on the back-burner. Non-conference schedule standards: Too many teams were playing too many low-level opponents, and it was undermining the collective effort to maximize NCAA bids. That the head coaches were on board with the decision speaks to an encouraging level of alignment for the conference. Continuing the SAHWBI: That’s the Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative, and it’s arguably the conference’s most commendable endeavor. The funding for future research projects has been approved (at $3.6 million per year), with an emphasis on mental health. Intra-conference transfer policy: The Pac-12 has loosened restrictions, ensuring that athletes won’t lose the year of eligibility for moving within the conference: They’ll transfer, sit out one year, then get that year back. Makes so much sense. (Watch for other conferences to adopt similar rules.) Now, a reminder: Smart policy and sound execution at the conference level don’t ensure competitive success. Winning starts on campus. And yes, we’re looking at you, Los Angeles. — Jon Wilner. *** Sign-up here for a free subscription to the Hotline newsletter. Thanks for your support. Hot off the Hotline • The conference released its financial data on Monday, with a twist: In addition to the federal tax filings, it made public revenue/expense breakdowns for conference operations and the Pac-12 Networks, thereby illuminating to a greater degree its complicated business model. The Hotline has a full analysis, which includes an explanation of the methodology behind commissioner Larry Scott’s controversial travel style, his salary (over $5 million), the school payouts and much more. • As referenced in the introduction above, the presidents and chancellors approved a loosening of the transfer rule, schedule standards for basketball and extended funding for the SAHWBI. Why we need your support: Like so many other providers of local journalism across the country, the Hotline’s parent website, mercurynews.com, recently moved to a subscription model. A few Hotline stories will remain free each month (as will this newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe at a rate of just 12 cents per day for 12 months. And thanks for your loyalty. Money Matters The Hotline was hardly the only media outlet to cover the Pac-12’s financial reveal on Monday: • USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz, who covers financial and legal affairs across college sports, examined the numbers and concluded: “The Pac-12’s financial position among the Power Five conferences has been slipping in recent years as newer television agreements have taken hold and the Pac-12 Networks have fallen short of revenue expectations amid distribution challenges. The conference did not help itself during its 2018 fiscal year …” • Commissioner Larry Scott received a $500,000 raise in total compensation, prompting the Oregonian’s John Canzano to weigh in: “The Pac-12 is looking for a private-equity bailout. Among the inventory in the debate warehouse: Flat revenue. Higher expenses. Smaller footprint. Less success in the revenue-generating sports. The guy in charge of it all got a raise. I’m not anti-raise, mind you. I’d be in favor of a bump to $10 million annually if Scott could fix the conference’s problems, boost revenue, get the network larger distribution and help the programs win more games. You know, merit based stuff. Maybe put the commish on commission.” In the News • From late last week but must-reading if you missed it: Former Oregon receiver Keanon Lowe made national headlines for the very best of reasons: He disarmed a student who brought a shotgun into Parkrose High School. Lowe is the school’s football and track coach and, fortunately, also works as a security guard. He was honored by the Blazers on Monday during Game 4. And here’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr, an outspoken proponent of tighter gun control, on Lowe and the state of gun violence. • USC is one of three programs, along with UCLA and Notre Dame, that has not played an FCS opponent, ever. That could change, according to associate athletic director Steve Lopes, who oversees the Trojans’ scheduling. “What’s the best way to get to the CFP?” he asks. (The reality: Probably not with two A-level non-conference games.) • Colorado’s most experience cornerback, Dante Wigley, won’t return to the program, per Buffzone. He’s the fifth scholarship player to move on (for various reasons) since the conclusion of spring practice. • Meanwhile, the Buffaloes have secured what they’re calling the largest endowment in the football program’s history, a seven-figure commitment from non-alum Kelli Brooks. The estate gift will go to scholarships. • Isaac Slade-Matautia is projected to start at inside linebacker for Oregon, alongside Troy Dye. • Athlon’s unveiled its preseason all-Pac-12 team and went four-deep at each position (impressive). • The Pac-12 coaches, ranked. (I’m not sure how Mel Tucker can be included in any fashion, but every outlet does it differently.) • The current state of the transfer portal, which includes a load of Pac-12 players who have yet to make decisions. Dirty Play Content on the college basketball scandal … • CBS Sports columnist Matt Norlander addresses a question many have asked: How are head coaches implicated in the FBI scandal still recruiting at a high level. LSU’s Will Wade is the focus of this column, but Sean Miller makes an appearance: “Within the coaching fraternity, many behind the scenes have questioned just how guys like Wade and Arizona’s Sean Miller have gotten along this far without losing their jobs.” • Speaking of the Wildcats: Could former assistant Book Richardson, who entered a guilty plea on charges of federal bribery, get a probation-only sentence? His attorney has made the request. On the Hardwood • Had the new basketball schedule standards been in place last season, four teams would have failed to meet the bar, according to this examination into the data by the Oregonian’s James Crepea. And if you followed the schedules closely, it wouldn’t be difficult to guess which four: Oregon State, Washington State, Colorado and Utah. • Oregon big man Kenny Wooten, one of the conference’s dominant defensive players, won’t return for next season: He’s all in with the NBA Draft. • Good perspective on new UCLA coach Mick Cronin, courtesy of the Daily News’ Mark Whicker: Difficult as the situation might be in Westwood (on and off the court), Cronin has dealt with worse. • Washington State has signed small forward D.J. Rodman, the son of Dennis, for next season’s roster. (Any chance we could get his old man and Mike Leach together, talking about anything?) • Luguentz Dort: NBA point guard? The former Arizona State wing believes that’s his future position. • Cal continues to reshape its roster for next season. The latest addition is Dimitrios Klonaras, a wing from Greece. The Bears wouldn’t mind if his 2-star rating proves a bit low. • Lastly: Washington is headed to Firenze for a four-game exhibition tour. Not sure about the competition, but the Hotline can vouch for the food. Medal Stand Content on Pac-12 Olympic sports … • Arizona’s softball team is peaking at the right time, with the super regionals about to start. • Ranking the 16 teams still standing. (The group includes UCLA, Washington, plus the Wildcats.) • Stanford is the NCAA women’s tennis champion for the second year in a row and 20th time overall. • Washington’s crew teams are pretty good, it seems. Looking Ahead What’s coming on the Pac-12 Hotline: [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”6063198,6059557″] • The Pac-12 spent several years establishing the foundation for the non-conference schedule standards. We’ll take a deep dive into its deep dive on Wednesday. • Expenditures by the conference office have been a source of controversy for several years. How does the Pac-12 compare to its peers on that front? The Hotline’s crack research staff is on the case. The next newsletter is scheduled for Friday. Enjoy the newsletter? Please forward this email to friends (sign up here). If you don’t, or have other feedback, let me know: pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com. *** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline *** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.
21 May 19
The Mercury News
* The Pac-12 Hotline newsletter is published each Monday-Wednesday-Friday during the college sports season (and twice-a-week in the summer). This edition, from May 21, has been made available in archived form. Smart policy out of HQ The Pac-12 is on a roll, folks — the good kind of roll, the shrewd kind of roll, the boost-your-competitive-level and benefit-the-athletes kind of roll. So let’s credit the conference for getting it right on one-two-three-four-FIVE counts here in the first half of 2019: Sibson Consulting: Without credibility in football officiating, you might as well shut everything down. Hiring an outside consultant to assess the scandal-marred process was an essential step toward restoring integrity before the 2019 openers. (Sure, the athletic directors pushed for it. At least the conference office listened.) Changing the basketball schedule: Moving to a 20-game conference rotation will improve each team’s strength-of-schedule, which creates a ripple effect. And placing the two additional games in November and early December should increase interest in the sport (ticket sales, media interest, etc.) when it’s usually on the back-burner. Non-conference schedule standards: Too many teams were playing too many low-level opponents, and it was undermining the collective effort to maximize NCAA bids. That the head coaches were on board with the decision speaks to an encouraging level of alignment for the conference. Continuing the SAHWBI: That’s the Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative, and it’s arguably the conference’s most commendable endeavor. The funding for future research projects has been approved (at $3.6 million per year), with an emphasis on mental health. Intra-conference transfer policy: The Pac-12 has loosened restrictions, ensuring that athletes won’t lose the year of eligibility for moving within the conference: They’ll transfer, sit out one year, then get that year back. Makes so much sense. (Watch for other conferences to adopt similar rules.) Now, a reminder: Smart policy and sound execution at the conference level don’t ensure competitive success. Winning starts on campus. And yes, we’re looking at you, Los Angeles. — Jon Wilner. *** Sign-up here for a free subscription to the Hotline newsletter. Thanks for your support. Hot off the Hotline • The conference released its financial data on Monday, with a twist: In addition to the federal tax filings, it made public revenue/expense breakdowns for conference operations and the Pac-12 Networks, thereby illuminating to a greater degree its complicated business model. The Hotline has a full analysis, which includes an explanation of the methodology behind commissioner Larry Scott’s controversial travel style, his salary (over $5 million), the school payouts and much more. • As referenced in the introduction above, the presidents and chancellors approved a loosening of the transfer rule, schedule standards for basketball and extended funding for the SAHWBI. Why we need your support: Like so many other providers of local journalism across the country, the Hotline’s parent website, mercurynews.com, recently moved to a subscription model. A few Hotline stories will remain free each month (as will this newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe at a rate of just 12 cents per day for 12 months. And thanks for your loyalty. Money Matters The Hotline was hardly the only media outlet to cover the Pac-12’s financial reveal on Monday: • USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz, who covers financial and legal affairs across college sports, examined the numbers and concluded: “The Pac-12’s financial position among the Power Five conferences has been slipping in recent years as newer television agreements have taken hold and the Pac-12 Networks have fallen short of revenue expectations amid distribution challenges. The conference did not help itself during its 2018 fiscal year …” • Commissioner Larry Scott received a $500,000 raise in total compensation, prompting the Oregonian’s John Canzano to weigh in: “The Pac-12 is looking for a private-equity bailout. Among the inventory in the debate warehouse: Flat revenue. Higher expenses. Smaller footprint. Less success in the revenue-generating sports. The guy in charge of it all got a raise. I’m not anti-raise, mind you. I’d be in favor of a bump to $10 million annually if Scott could fix the conference’s problems, boost revenue, get the network larger distribution and help the programs win more games. You know, merit based stuff. Maybe put the commish on commission.” In the News • From late last week but must-reading if you missed it: Former Oregon receiver Keanon Lowe made national headlines for the very best of reasons: He disarmed a student who brought a shotgun into Parkrose High School. Lowe is the school’s football and track coach and, fortunately, also works as a security guard. He was honored by the Blazers on Monday during Game 4. And here’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr, an outspoken proponent of tighter gun control, on Lowe and the state of gun violence. • USC is one of three programs, along with UCLA and Notre Dame, that has not played an FCS opponent, ever. That could change, according to associate athletic director Steve Lopes, who oversees the Trojans’ scheduling. “What’s the best way to get to the CFP?” he asks. (The reality: Probably not with two A-level non-conference games.) • Colorado’s most experience cornerback, Dante Wigley, won’t return to the program, per Buffzone. He’s the fifth scholarship player to move on (for various reasons) since the conclusion of spring practice. • Meanwhile, the Buffaloes have secured what they’re calling the largest endowment in the football program’s history, a seven-figure commitment from non-alum Kelli Brooks. The estate gift will go to scholarships. • Isaac Slade-Matautia is projected to start at inside linebacker for Oregon, alongside Troy Dye. • Athlon’s unveiled its preseason all-Pac-12 team and went four-deep at each position (impressive). • The Pac-12 coaches, ranked. (I’m not sure how Mel Tucker can be included in any fashion, but every outlet does it differently.) • The current state of the transfer portal, which includes a load of Pac-12 players who have yet to make decisions. Dirty Play Content on the college basketball scandal … • CBS Sports columnist Matt Norlander addresses a question many have asked: How are head coaches implicated in the FBI scandal still recruiting at a high level. LSU’s Will Wade is the focus of this column, but Sean Miller makes an appearance: “Within the coaching fraternity, many behind the scenes have questioned just how guys like Wade and Arizona’s Sean Miller have gotten along this far without losing their jobs.” • Speaking of the Wildcats: Could former assistant Book Richardson, who entered a guilty plea on charges of federal bribery, get a probation-only sentence? His attorney has made the request. On the Hardwood • Had the new basketball schedule standards been in place last season, four teams would have failed to meet the bar, according to this examination into the data by the Oregonian’s James Crepea. And if you followed the schedules closely, it wouldn’t be difficult to guess which four: Oregon State, Washington State, Colorado and Utah. • Oregon big man Kenny Wooten, one of the conference’s dominant defensive players, won’t return for next season: He’s all in with the NBA Draft. • Good perspective on new UCLA coach Mick Cronin, courtesy of the Daily News’ Mark Whicker: Difficult as the situation might be in Westwood (on and off the court), Cronin has dealt with worse. • Washington State has signed small forward D.J. Rodman, the son of Dennis, for next season’s roster. (Any chance we could get his old man and Mike Leach together, talking about anything?) • Luguentz Dort: NBA point guard? The former Arizona State wing believes that’s his future position. • Cal continues to reshape its roster for next season. The latest addition is Dimitrios Klonaras, a wing from Greece. The Bears wouldn’t mind if his 2-star rating proves a bit low. • Lastly: Washington is headed to Firenze for a four-game exhibition tour. Not sure about the competition, but the Hotline can vouch for the food. Medal Stand Content on Pac-12 Olympic sports … • Arizona’s softball team is peaking at the right time, with the super regionals about to start. • Ranking the 16 teams still standing. (The group includes UCLA, Washington, plus the Wildcats.) • Stanford is the NCAA women’s tennis champion for the second year in a row and 20th time overall. • Washington’s crew teams are pretty good, it seems. Looking Ahead What’s coming on the Pac-12 Hotline: [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”curated” curated_ids=”6063198,6059557″] • The Pac-12 spent several years establishing the foundation for the non-conference schedule standards. We’ll take a deep dive into its deep dive on Wednesday. • Expenditures by the conference office have been a source of controversy for several years. How does the Pac-12 compare to its peers on that front? The Hotline’s crack research staff is on the case. The next newsletter is scheduled for Friday. Enjoy the newsletter? Please forward this email to friends (sign up here). If you don’t, or have other feedback, let me know: pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com. *** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline *** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.
20 May 19
Daily Republic

May 19– May 19–LOS ANGELES — He jokes about needing a ballcap to protect his scalp from the L.A. sun, which he assumes is constant. He claims he has been here for a month-and-a-half without partaking of the freeways. He says the risks of coaching a basketball team in the off-season are “injuries, academics and […]

20 May 19
Daily Republic

May 19– May 19–LOS ANGELES — He jokes about needing a ballcap to protect his scalp from the L.A. sun, which he assumes is constant. He claims he has been here for a month-and-a-half without partaking of the freeways. He says the risks of coaching a basketball team in the off-season are “injuries, academics and […]

17 May 19
Become Love

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” – Churchill

16 May 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Daily News
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Press Telegram
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Orange County Register
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Pasadena Star News
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Daily Breeze
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Press Enterprise
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Whittier Daily News
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Redlands Daily Facts
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
16 May 19
Daily Bulletin
Those who scribble on sports for a living have a complicated relationship with … well, life in general, but athletes in particular. Mark Kreidler covered the San Diego Padres on a day-by-day, usually loss-by-loss, basis. He became a columnist in Sacramento and had a press box seat for everything important in the Bay Area. Now he is the host of a radio talk show and has written three books. That’s a lot of opinions that are either validated or withdrawn, a lot of post-midnight drives home, a lot of business encounters with people who live in totally different realms. What happens when your son becomes one of them? UCLA has the nation’s top-ranked college baseball team. Ryan Kreidler is their 6-foot-4 shortstop. Until this season, his glove was golden and his bat was occasional. Now he hits .307 with six home runs and 34 runs batted in. His sixth homer, on Tuesday, was a mammoth shot off UC Irvine’s Taylor Rashi, who had not allowed one in 2019, but Kreidler also parked two longballs that landed just wide of the left-field pole. His life, and Mark’s, will accelerate soon. The Bruins will host an NCAA regional and, with luck, a super regional and, with more luck, earn a trip to the College World Series. The MLB draft will begin June 3, in the midst. “I’ve seen guys come off the field during playoff games and they’ll get a message on their phone, saying they’re drafted,” Mark said. But Ryan shouldn’t have to wait long. “He’s been a major league shortstop for a while, in my opinion,” UCLA coach John Savage said. “Now the bat is coming along. He’s a natural leader, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and a team captain on both. He’s a communicator. Players get better when they’re around him.” Ryan played baseball and basketball at Davis High. The Cubs picked him in the 35th round. Nobody bothered with a higher pick because the Kreidlers told everyone school was the priority. Ryan had chosen UCLA over Stanford. “You just want him to have a great experience,” Mark said. “He’s playing college baseball with all his friends. They’ll be his friends for the rest of his life. We’ve been to every home series. So far it has all worked out.” Parental nervousness is a common experience, a uniting force. Mark suffers it, too, but it’s different. “It drives my wife (Colleen) crazy sometimes,” he said. “When you cover a baseball team, you need to be objective. I still look at Ryan that way most of the time. But there’s obviously more to it.” Occasionally Ryan would join Mark at a Sacramento Kings practice. Mark took him to a Giants game and introduced him to Manager Bruce Bochy as a Padres player, then told Ryan he had covered Bochy as a Padres catcher, much to Ryan’s disbelief. “The biggest thing was watching ballgames with him when we were at home,” Ryan said. “He could break things down like not a lot of parents can. I’ve been around this my whole life, but they didn’t push it on me.” Indeed, the Kriedlers were adamant Ryan play more than one high school sport if he wished, and Mark will be a help in contract negotiations, since Ryan could very well return to UCLA as a senior. Ryan needed to be punchier offensively, just to be one of the guys. He is one of six Bruins slugging .500 or better (.503). He was a .222 and .241 hitter his first two years. He needed to become the enemy of people who were pitchers. “It helped to just be around the guys and exchanging ideas about hitting, watching how they went about it,” Kreidler said. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] It was more than that. Kreidler went to the Cape Cod League last summer, against other prominent collegians, and won a title with Wareham, along with three other Bruins. He hit .229 there, but he transplanted those seeds back home. “It’s something I really respect about Ryan,” Mark said. “He totally changed his swing and his approach on the Cape. Normally you’re there as the finished product, to perform for the scouts. Ryan was there to try something new and get better. It was a risk and it has paid off. “That’s another thing I’ve learned from this, although I was aware of it on another level. Scouts don’t watch this game the same way we do. They’re projecting what the player will become. There’s a skill in that.” Now the dad sits and watches the son write his story for him. Occasionally he reminds himself to believe what he reads.
13 May 19
Daily News
IRVINE — The whole thing was about pitching. John Savage returned baseball to UC Irvine in 2002. He had been the pitching coach for Barry Zito and Mark Prior at USC. Anteater Ballpark is cool, meteorologically and esthetically, and its fences are high and deep, and there’s a mocking “438” sign on the parking garage behind right field. UCI wouldn’t win because of big bats, although it found some, like Keston Hiura, now with the Brewers organization. Those guys wind up in the Pac-12 or sign with the pros. It would win because it would recruit and train high school and junior college pitchers to throw precise strikes at differing speeds. Few have fit that profile as well as Andre Pallante. He is a thoughtful right-hander from San Clemente who, depending on where he is drafted next month, might be finishing up a landmark career. Over the past two seasons Pallante is 17-5 with a 2.15 ERA. He is the Friday night guy, the pitcher who delivers the opening statement. “With the guys pitching behind me this year, I feel like I’m always pitching for the sweep,” Pallante said Friday night, after he beat Cal Poly. It didn’t quite happen, since the Anteaters beat the Mustangs Saturday and lost Sunday. Now they are three games behind UC Santa Barbara in the Big West with two series remaining. Trenton Denholm has been the premier dealer, with a 1.74 ERA, a .170 batting-average against, and 82 ⅔ innings with one home run. Tanner Brubaker gave up five in Sunday’s first inning to Cal Poly, but is 5-3 with a 2.99 ERA. Taylor Rashi, the closer, had given up one earned run before Friday night. The Anteaters are 31-15 overall and need every sharp slider they can get, from anyone and everyone. In a Tuesday night game of rare import, they play top-ranked UCLA, coached by Savage, at Anteater Ballpark. UCI has an RPI of No. 51, uncomfortably close to the NCAA tournament selection committee’s chopping block. Its final three opponents, over the course of seven games, don’t provide much resume-buffing: USC (No. 86), UC Davis (237) and UC Riverside (220). Pallante is 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA this season. As a sophomore he burst into the Big West and went 10-1 with a 1.60 ERA, sixth-best in Division I. On Friday, Pallante endured some deep counts, and some long offensive innings, as the Anteaters beat Cal Poly, 7–3. He also threw six shutout innings with eight strikeouts, although he needed 114 pitches. “He has set a high standard,” said pitching coach Daniel Bibona, who thrived on that mound in 2011-12. “This was probably the best he’s thrown this year. He’s been really good, but he’s had those one or two mistakes per game that have gotten hit. It can be a tough year, with the draft coming up.” Five years ago Pallante was just trying to avoid being a junior on San Clemente’s junior varsity. Then Kolby Allard hurt his back. Allard would become the 14th player picked in the 2015 draft, by Atlanta, but now Pallante made the big club, got into the rotation, started getting noticed. As a senior he threw a 14-strikeout no-hitter against Kennedy. He also matched up with Dana Hills’ Hans Crouse, now the top arm in the Rangers’ minor leagues. Pallante gave up two hits in seven innings, Crouse three. San Clemente won in the 10th. “He’s never had arm problems and he never wants to come out,” said Mike Gillespie, who retired from UCI last spring. “He’s like most of the good ones UCI has had. They all developed in college.” Pallante vs. Crouse was a foreshadowing of Friday night fights to come. “I knew Hans when he was 12 and he was throwing 87,” Pallante said, laughing. “He threw gas, that’s who he was. But I always wanted to pitch against the very best. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section”]“In high school I felt bad Kolby got hurt. But when I got my chance, i said, well, I’ll never be as good as him but I can win like him. What happened was that my stuff caught up to my competitiveness.” Savage has been gone 15 years. When he walks in from right field, he still remembers the bricks, the mortars, the dreams. “We jumped right into Division I, we competed for the Big West right away,” he said. “We built the ballpark and the program with pitching and defense in mind. Dave Serrano and Mike Gillespie won there and I know (first-year coach) Ben Orloff has some trips to Omaha in his future, too. It’s a special place for me.” He never had to hit there.