Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 12:46 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
Time Out

Paul Yarbrough: Bleeding Blue as Dodgers Head Into Playoffs

L.A. is riding high after winning the NL West crown, but Cal — recently unbeaten and ranked No. 6 — falls flat in Pac-10 football race

» After an interesting day of college football on Saturday, what a treat it was to sit in the recliner and watch the Dodgers clinch the National League West crown on the MLB Network, with Vin Scully calling the action. Ah, nirvana. Just how huge was it for the Dodgers to win the West? With the victory, they earn the home-field edge throughout the NL playoffs and open the National League Divisional Series at home against St. Louis on Wednesday. If they had reached the playoffs via the wild-card route, the Dodgers would have opened the playoffs at defending World Series champion Philadelphia, without the home-field edge ...

Paul Yarbrough
Paul Yarbrough

» Has anyone fallen so fast as quickly as Cal in the Pac-10 football race? Ten days ago, the Golden Bears were unbeaten and ranked No. 6 in the country. After back-to-back pratfalls (a 41-3 loss at Oregon and a 30-3 setback at home against USC), the “genius” label on coach Jeff Tedford appears to be laughable ...

» Let’s stop calling anything Stanford’s football team does a surprise, OK? The Cardinal appear rock solid and are atop the Pac-10 standings at 3-0. They can cement that position Saturday with a visit to Oregon State ...

» The biggest surprise Saturday might have been Washington State scoring against Oregon, which unveiled yet another set of uniforms — these with bright yellow tops, black pants and black helmets. For much of the game, it didn’t appear the Cougars would come close to the end zone. The only way they did score was when an Oregon player muffed a punt, setting WSU up at the Oregon 1-yard line. Yes, the reclamation project in Pullman still has a long way to go ...

» Just when I think it’s time to write off the Oregon State Beavers, they go out and amaze me. This time with their upset win Saturday night at Arizona State. Yeah, that makes sense: Lose at home one week to Arizona, and then win at Tempe?!?! The last time the Beavers beat ASU at Tempe was a few months after men walked on the moon for the first time ...

» Bow, bow, bow. I am rarely right, so on the rare occasion I am, I feel it is incumbent upon me to point it out to the world. In my Sept. 14 Noozhawk column about the LeGarrette Blount suspension at Oregon, I wrote, “Stay tuned to this story. I have absolutely nothing but a hunch to base this on, but I don’t think we’ve seen the end of LeGarrette Blount in an Oregon football uniform.” On Friday, Oregon coach Chip Kelly announced that there are benchmarks Blount can reach in order to play again for the Ducks, perhaps as early as Oregon’s Nov. 7 game against Stanford ...

» From the beginning of the Blount incident, I haven’t had a strong feeling either way about his suspension. I suppose that’s because I think there is no one closer to the situation who has a better feel for all of the facts regarding Blount than Kelly ...

» I had great fun officiating in the Santa Barbara area. I did basketball (college summer league and incoming high school freshman league) and baseball (high school summer league with my nightly partner Sandy Thompson and regular-season high school and junior college baseball as a member of the Channel Coast Officials Association) ...

» Back in those days, when I worked sub-varsity baseball games, I worked alone. When I moved to Oregon and joined the Lane County Umpires Association seven years ago, they make sure you work in two-man officiating crews ...

» One summer, Thompson and I (for a very good reason that I can no longer remember) bought red belts and wore them with our umpiring outfits every night at Pershing Park ...

» I’ll never forget the junior college tournament game at Pershing when my partner, from the Los Angeles area, ejected SBCC coach Rusty Fairly from the first game of a doubleheader. That was bad on two levels: Rusty hadn’t paid us our game fees yet, and the longtime coach was providing us lunch between games of the twin bill ...

» After violence erupted at a semi-pro baseball game in town because the league didn’t provide proper umpires, Thompson and I were approached about working the league’s games. We agreed and worked the first contest without a hitch. When it came time to work the next week, the visiting team (responsible for paying for the base umpire — in this case, Thompson) told me at the plate talk at Santa Barbara High that they weren’t going to pay him, but instead supply their own base umpire. I reached in the wallet, handed the home team my game fee, which already had been paid, and Thompson and I sprinted to my car parked on Canon Perdido, with both teams in hot pursuit ...

» We quickly drove to Thompson’s car, parked near the high school swimming pool, then vacated the area. Pronto. And never worked a semi-pro game again.

Noozhawk columnist Paul Yarbrough can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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