OMAHA–After three years of coming the College World Series, I finally got to check out the Henry Doorly Zoo yesterday afternoon, thanks to a rare off day without a baseball game on the schedule. It was an impressive zoo–I especially enjoyed the giant Desert Dome that you can see beyond the right-field fence at Rosenblatt Stadium. And the gorillas put on a nice show, banging their chests and then startling spectators by slamming their fists against the glass. But seeing all the exotic animals got me thinking: sports teams really don’t take advantage of all the opportunities for creative nicknames. They bombard us with Bulldogs and Wildcats, but why doesn’t anyone have the gumption to name themselves the Klipspringers, the Coatimundis, the Fossa, the Tawny Frogmouths or the Naked Mole Rats? Such a waste of good material . . .
Today I had lunch with Jerry Trupiano, who will be doing the Westwood One radio broadcast of the CWS finals. Trupiano spent the last 14 years as a radio broadcaster for the Red Sox, where he delivered many memorable calls over the years. I have always heard that Trupiano is one of the nicest, most genuine people in the business, and I was not disappointed. He’s a terrific broadcaster, and if you get the chance to listen to him work this weekend, enjoy it. On to the picks . . .
Game 14: North Carolina vs. Oregon State
We have arrived at the final showdown of the 2007 college baseball season, and it’s a good one. Not surprisingly, John is going to dance with the girl that brung him, sticking with North Carolina today. I have confidence that Alex White will pitch better today than he has during the rest of the NCAA tournament, but Jorge Reyes has looked awfully good in the postseason, and I think he’s capable of containing the dangerous UNC bats. I’m going with Oregon State in a somewhat low-scoring affair, but I think the Tar Heels are resilient enough to bounce back even if they lose today. I have a feeling this series will go to three games, which seems like an appropriate conclusion to a drama-filled CWS.
Aaron: Oregon State
John: North Carolina
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