Besides sweeping conference regular-season and playoff titles in both sports, St. Thomas posted Division III's best combined baseball/softball winning percentage in 2010.
Coach John Tschida's softball team went 40-8, after a 2-4 start. Chris Olean's baseball guys finished 35-9, with seven one-run defeats. That combined 75-17 record included 10 one-run losses.
The Tommies' .8152 win % was a hair better than Cortland State's .8131 clip. Among all 996 NCAA institutions, only Division II's North Georgia and Hawaii Pacific had better records than UST.
Since 1999, Tommie softball and baseball teams have won more than 80 percent of their games; won four NCAA championships; had three national runner-up finishes; have won 14 of a possible 17 MIAC playoff titles; and won 18 of a possible 24 MIAC regular-season crowns.
2010 NCAA Best Combined W-L Records, Baseball and Softball
Win% School Affil. W-L SB Base
.8173 North Georgia D-II 85-19 51-2 34-17
.8165 Hawaii Pacific D-II 89-20 50-8 39-12
.8152 St. Thomas D-III 75-17 40-8 35-9
.8131 Cortland (N.Y.) St. D-III 80-18-1 40-8 40-10-1
.8082 Birmingham South. D-III 59-14 34-5 25-9
.7979 Linfield (Ore.) D-III 79-20 42-7 37-13
.7952 Salisbury (Md.) D-III 66-17 36-14 30-13
.7805 Arizona State D-I 96-27 44-17 52-10
The numbers are in: America’s most popular diversion this week is “Despicable Me.”
Not the animated film starring the voice of Steve Carell… instead we refer to LeBron James’ just-released autobiography.
It’s tough to be a Cleveland sports fan. Of cities that host at least three teams in the four major pro sports (football, basketball, baseball and hockey), Cleveland (1964) has the longest championship drought. Seattle last won in 1979 (Sonics); the Twin Cities in 1991 (Twins); the Bay Area in 1995 (49ers).
On a sweltering July day when the mercury hit 93 in Cleveland, its fans learned that in fact it’s not the humidity. It’s the Heat.
The 2010 year sure has been a disaster for Cleveland sports fans and their guys named Lebron. The Indians’ have a minor leaguer, Steven Lebron, who was hit with a 50-game suspension last spring for steroids. Then the NBA Cavs lost both the Celtics’ playoff series and the LBJ lottery.
Perhaps it was July 4 holiday and a burst of patriotism that prompted LeBron’s decision. His new home base is Miami's American Airlines Center. As he says goodbye to the Cavs’ Quicken Loans Arena, he leaves behind a 42-29 postseason record, all in the last five seasons.
Conspiracy theorists might blame St. Paul’s own Seantrel Henderson. Recall his Feb. 4 announcement on national TV of his plans to sign a football letter of intent with USC. Five months later, things have changed and suddenly Henderson is headed for Miami. Hmm…
James’ 60-minute ESPN show dubbed “The Decision” was brought to you by a company called “Bing.com,” yet you get the feeling it should have been sponsored by “Bling.com.” Another case of style over substance.
LeBron needn’t apologize for signing with Miami. It’s a fresh start and a new challenge in a new environment. He’s even taking less money to make the contracts fit under the salary cap. Winning a ring appears to be his top priority.
But the unnecessary hype surrounding James’ announcement seemed quite insensitive to his hometown fans and his Cavaliers teammates and management. At the least, the 25-year-old James showed immaturity. At worst, he looked selfish and classless.
This seems like another case where an athlete/celebrity/corporation either doesn’t listen to his public relations experts, or he surrounds himself with folks who tell him what he wants to hear instead of what he needs to hear.
Worse yet, ESPN has set (continued?) a bad precedent in celebrity interviews/coverage.
Local TV stations, start your helicopters. Get ready for these lame, overhyped Thursday night theme shows coming to an ESPN platform near you:
--Brett Favre will plan a 61-minute TV show to announce that he's unsure when he will announce whether he will return to the Vikings or retire.
--Angry Cleveland Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert will go on the air and announce that his new power forward wearing jersey No. 23 will be… Betty White. She’s already in town for the sitcom “Hot in Cleveland.” Besides, she showed plenty of grit in the Doritos’ Super Bowl commercial, and drew higher ratings that LeBron in her Saturday Night Live hosting gig.
--John Gagliardi will go on national TV, and for the 19th year in a row, he’ll announce that he won’t be retiring anytime soon as the Johnnies’ football coach.
--David Kahn will announce that at last a talented young Spaniard will join the Wolves to play point guard. Ricky Rubio? Nah, he’s old news. Spain’s man of the hour is soccer’s Andres "Gooooooooooaaaaallllll" Iniesta.
--The Big Ten Conference will tell the nation it will pass on Notre Dame and invite the University of Tokyo to join the league. (Tokyo’s 28 million residents has the Big Ten Network drooling).
--The actors who play high school students in the TV show “Glee” will announce their actual ages (none are under 30).
--The shy Donald Trump will have to be convinced to appear on national TV (sarcasm). The bad news, he’ll bring his son and daughter. The good news, he’ll fire Jim Grey.
--Paul the Octopus will announce that his cousin, St. Paul the Octopus, will start his own prediction service in Minnesota at Como Zoo. St. Paul will be hired as a TV meteorologist. (In the first month he’ll be right more often than the locals have been all year.)
--Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens will drop a bombshell. They’ll take to the ESPN airwaves and neither will say or do anything outrageous.
--David Stern will announce that Miami will play at Cleveland on opening night. The Cavs' fan will serve up more boos than a Delta House toga party.
--LeBron James, Jr., age 5, will announce the school where he’ll attend kindergarten this year. (Psst… ESPN’s Chris Broussard is already working his sources).
Last week’s LBJ circus produced one interesting development -- the NBA found a way to be relevant in a month other than May and June.
It also clarified three other points:
1) The “E” in ESPN stands for “Entertainment,” but with this story it could stand for “Embarrassing.”
2) Fifteen years ago Art Modell became the town villain when he moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Thanks to LeBron, Cleveland fans learned once again that life imitates Art.
3) Does anyone else think NCAA Division III sports look more appealing every day?