OMAHA–Yesterday’s blog criticizing the locals for not showing up at Rosenblatt Stadium in the same numbers this year as in recent years elicited some good responses. The best was from Brian Bodner of Omaha:
"Maybe if tickets were available to the average fan for face value instead of in the hands of scalpers going for twice that, then there would be more fans. It’s hard to blame local interest when games are sold out. The problem is that the tickets are mostly in the hands of season ticket holders and scalpers. Not everybody has $40 a ticket for multiple CWS games. I’m well over $250 for three games for two people after taking into account paying for parking, water/sodas, etc. Imagine the effect on a family of four? It’s a poor economy to have the same expectations of years past when the cost to attend games keeps going up."
Well said, Brian. Let’s get to today’s picks:
John’s Pick: "I’m sure this will ingratiate me to the whole Valley community, but I have a hard time seeing Fresno State winning this series. They have to win one of these first two games to get to Justin Wilson in the third game Wednesday night. I don’t think I have given enough credit to Fresno’s defense, though, and the way those guys grind out at-bats. Coach Mike Batesole’s reputation is as a hitting guy, and Fresno gets good at-bats, grinds out at-bats top to bottom, even getting production from Jordan Ribera in Omaha. It’s impressive to see their total approach. All that said, Georgia has more depth, more power arms and the best player on the field in Gordon Beckham. A lot of those same things were true with North Carolina, but Georgia also is more rested than Fresno, and that was not the case with the Tar Heels. I’m picking Georgia to win tonight and to win the series."
John’s Pick: Georgia
Aaron’s Pick: I made up a game last night thanks to Fresno State’s 6-1 win over North Carolina, and I’m going to ride the hot hand. Justin Miller threw just 21 pitches Saturday night, and he could give Fresno five solid innings as long as he can avoid Georgia’s trademark first-inning onslaught. I’ve got enough faith in the Fresno defense, hot bats and a bullpen that has pitched very well in the postseason to pick the upset in Game One.
Aaron’s Pick: Fresno State
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