Plans for a new stadium for the College World Series in Omaha appear to be moving forward, and some people in Omaha aren’t too happy about it. Mayor Mike Fahey wants to build a new $50 million facility north of Interstate 480, between the Qwest Center Omaha and Creighton, and the idea might have some traction with the NCAA. The park would seat about 9,000 fans during the Triple-A Omaha Royals’ season but would expand to 25,000 during the CWS. The current arrangement, where the Royals simply cover a number of bleacher seats with a tarp during home games, seems a more practical and palatable solution.
Yes, Rosenblatt Stadium needs some renovations–perhaps as much as $25 million in renovations to keep the NCAA happy long term, according to the mayor–but there’s a big difference between $25 million and $50 million. Plus, there’s the nostalgia factor. Rosenblatt is home to a lot of memories, and it’s not like it’s an uncomfortable place to watch a game. On the contrary, most fans will tell you it’s a wonderful baseball atmosphere during the CWS, and there aren’t any bad seats. Some cosmetic changes wouldn’t hurt, but there’s no good reason to tear the place down.
On to the mailbag:
Do you think that several teams are happy that only the top-eight teams will make the ACC tournament this year so that they won’t have to face Tony Bajoczky of Duke in the first round? He has taken out top 10 teams and might make someone sweat if the Devils can somehow make it in. Is he a solid candidate for All-ACC?
Bajoczky, Duke’s senior righthander, has a real good shot at first-team all-ACC honors at this point. You’ve got to figure Virginia’s Jacob Thompson and Florida State’s Bryan Henry are locks, and I’ll bet on North Carolina’s Robert Woodard to take the third starting pitcher slot on the first team. That leaves one spot remaining for FSU’s Michael Hyde (9-2, 2.96), UVa.’s Sean Doolittle (7-3, 2.11), Miami’s Eric Erickson (7-3, 2.03) or Bajoczky.
Duke’s Saturday sniper has already knocked off Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, and he pitched well in a no-decision in Duke’s 4-3 loss to Wake Forest this past weekend. He also pitched very well in a no-decision in Duke’s 4-3 win against Washington star lefthander Nick Hagadone earlier this season. Bajoczky doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he is a fierce competitor, he can locate his fastball wherever he wants, and he gets people to chase his breaking ball down out of the zone. On the season, he’s 8-2, 2.80 with 51 strikeouts and 19 walks in 80 innings. There might not be another pitcher in the nation with four more impressive wins than Bajoczky’s triumphs over Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia Tech. But Duke trails eighth-place Wake Forest by five games with six remaining in the regular season, so don’t expect the Bajoczky to get another crack at any of those teams. In the meantime, Virginia Tech and Miami better be sharp the next two Saturdays.