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Dave Campbell tells Texas and Texas A&M to “play the game”

We have now arrived at preseason magazine season on the college football calendar. While most of us are familiar with the offerings from publications from the likes of Athlon Sports and Phil Steele, folks in the state of Texas have another annual preview to look forward to fromDave Campbell. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is widely considered the go-to resource for all things Texas football, be it high school or college, and the summer edition is always a big draw around the lone star state. Appearing on the cover is a big deal in the state. Baylor was pleased to be featured last season, and you might have thought TCU would have a good shot to the featured school appearing on this year’s preview edition. Heck, both TCU and Baylor figure to start the season highly ranked and are both stronger conference championship and College Football Playoff contenders than either Texas or Texas A&M. So they should appear on the cover, right?

Nope.* The big story this year appearing on the cover is the call to revive the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, with just the second illustrated cover in magazine history.

 

As you know, Texas and Texas A&M have not played each other since Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012. Though the coaches have spoken about reviving the series by any means necessary, the people with power from above have been reluctantto make it a reality for one reason or another. We have even has state legislatures try to get involved.

“One of our toughest jobs every year is to narrow down all the terrific football stories across the state and choose the most important cover subject for Texas Football,” said DCTF managing editor Greg Tepper said. “This story — Texas vs. Texas A&M, and how it’s inconceivably gone dormant — is the proverbial elephant in the room. For decades, Aggies vs. Longhorns shaped the face of football in Texas. As the authorities on football in the Lone Star State, our position is clear: It’s time to bring it back.”

I am sure I am not alone in saying I hope to see this rivalry played again in the future, and hopefully on a long-term basis. Realignment ripped away many great storied rivalries, including the in-state series between the Longhorns and Aggies. Fans from both sides have been vocal about having no desire to revive the series, but deep down they all would love to get another crack at their rivals if given the opportunity.

* Yes, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin appears on the cover in the secondary image at the top of the cover. Baylor’s Shawn Oakman is also featured in the secondary box.

 

Do you like to daydream?

Here is the perfect video to do so.

Video: Vin Scully talks D-Day

Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully speaks eloquently on just about any subject, but you have to check out this clip from Saturday — the 71st anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy

Rangers’ former first-round pick Travis Demeritte suspended 80 games for PED

Rangers minor leaguer Travis Demeritte, the 30th overall pick in the 2013 draft, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the diuretic/masking agent Furosemide.

Demeritte was playing at low Single-A for a second straight season, hitting .241 with five homers and a .755 OPS in 48 games as a 20-year-old second baseman.

Demeritte was drafted as a shortstop out of high school and signed with the Rangers for $1.9 million.

A look at the flooding as of yesterday

New Ranger Joey Gallo is the real deal

Last night, Joey Gallo made his MLB debut and had an awesome night.

Gallo was batting .314/.425/.636 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 34 games this season at Double-A Frisco when the Rangers decided to promote him to cover for Adrian Beltre‘s thumb injury, The kid looked awesome going 3-4 and 4 RBI’s.

Generously scored a hit, the shot brought home two runs, and Gallo himself came around to score the Rangers’ fourth run as they sent all nine batters to the plate. The White Sox answered with two in the top of the third, and after Samardzijaissued a one-out walk in the bottom of the frame, Gallo broke out the heavy artillery:

The home run was estimated at 430 feet by ESPN Stats & Info, and Gallo still wasn’t done. In his third plate appearance, with Samardzija stuck on the mound, sweating out a 7–2 deficit of his own making, the new kid missed a second home run by mere inches, settling for a double off the right centerfield wall. In his fourth PA, facing Dan Jennings with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, he struck out swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt, and even then he got an ovation from the 27,558 fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. In his fifth PA, facing Hector Noeai in the eighth inning with Andrus on third and a 12–2 lead, he worked a walk, which was quickly followed by Carlos Corporan’s three-run homer.

Gallo is  no ordinary rookie. He entered the year ranked No. 6 among Baseball America‘s Top 100 Prospects list. A supplemental first-round pick in 2012, he grew up in Las Vegas, where he took instruction from Kris Bryant’s father and played on the same Little League team as Bryce Harper, who’s 13 months older. Here is a photo circa 2002 that Gallo posted in January of 2014:

 

Pretty good stuff.

TCU pulls off miracle, will play Texas A&M in Super Regionals

What an absolute miracle TCU pulled off last night.

Yes, NC State, in defiance of the odds, managed to blow an eighth-inning, 8-1 lead. In a related matter, they committed six errors on the night.

That’s a tough way to go out, for sure. And credit, of course, to TCU for the miracle comeback.

So … up next is the Super Regional round of play — the last step before the College World Series in Omaha. In the Super Regionals, the two teams matched up play a best-of-three series, and the winner of each series becomes one of the eight teams to go to Omaha.

Now for the Super Regional matchups (regional seedings listed in parentheses) …

(3) Virginia vs. (3) Maryland
(2) Arkansas vs. (1) Missouri State
(4) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (1) Miami-FL
(1) Florida vs. (1) Florida State
(3) Louisiana-Lafayette vs. (1) LSU
(1) TCU vs. (1) Texas A&M
(1) Vanderbilt vs. (1) Illinois
(1) Cal State Fullerton vs. (1) Louisville

As you can see, we have three in-state Super Regional match-ups (including a certifiable blood feud in Florida-Florida State), and we also have three one seed vs. one seed encounters. Defending national champion Vanderbilt remains alive, as do four other SEC teams. Looking for a cinderella? It’s VCU, the lone four-seed to make it out of the Regionals.

Finally, here’s a link to NCAA.com’s interactive bracket. Super Regional play gets started on Friday.

Rangers accidentally drench reporter with Gatorade after Josh Hamilton walkoff hit

 

Josh Hamilton lifted the Texas Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox with a walkoff pinch hit double, and, as is custom, his teammates were going to pour an entire cooler of ice cold Gatorade on his head. It was coming. He knew it. We knew it. Everyone knew it.

Everyone except on-field reporter Emily Jones. Poor Emily Jones.

Jones was just trying to get a comment from Hamilton when she was caught in the deluge.

The collateral damage? Her dress. Those stains aren’t coming out.

Tough break. Charge it to the game.

Josh Hamilton hits a pinch-hit walk-off two-run double

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton delivered a walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to help pull out a win against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Hanser Alberto reached base to lead off the inning due to a Pablo Sandoval fielding error. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, Alberto was on third base, but Red Sox manager John Farrell opted to have closer Koji Uehara intentionally walk the hot-hitting Prince Fielder to bring up Hamilton. Hamilton made the Red Sox pay for the decision as he ripped a 1-1 off-speed pitch to left-center. Alberto scored easily to tie the game, and Fielder motored around the bases to score the winning run with a head-first slide.

 

Rangers to call up prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez to start Saturday

The Rangers announced on Twitter that pitching prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to start on Saturday against the Red Sox.

Gonzalez, 23, was taken by the Rangers in the first round (23rd) overall in the 2013 draft. In 43 1/3 innings with Round Rock this season, the right-hander has a 4.15 ERA and a 26/19 K/BB ratio. Entering the season, he was rated among baseball’s 100 best prospects, including a #29 overall rating from Baseball Prospectus.

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