V.20 No.21 | 5/26/2011


The Daily Word with fights, Chihuahuas and Lady Gaga

The Daily Word

Serbian general accused of massacring 8,000 Muslims has been captured.

Patriot Act expires tonight at midnight—and Congress is rushing to renew it.

Cibola student taken to the hospital after a fight leads to broken facial bones and seizures.

Errant golf ball kills Chihuahua.

Gov. Martinez ditches her own No. 2 and sits nonchalantly near Heather Wilson.

Growers’ markets open today in Nob Hill and Downtown.

PayPal co-founder will pay college students $100,000 to drop out of college and start companies.

Parents won’t announce baby’s sex.

Maui Time ordered by police to turn over users’ IP addresses.

Supreme Court upholds Arizona law that punishes employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

The Isotopes’ policy on booze. (Not unlike most policies on booze.)

Legislators sue guv over vetoes.

Lost pyramids spotted from space.

The ADHD of Lady Gaga.

V.19 No.36 | 9/9/2010


’Topes gave it away in the ninth

And the last home game of the season is tonight

The Albuquerque Isotopes had the game all but licked last night—until the inning that mattered the most. The evening was hot, and the crowd was feeling great, cheering the team on. As night wore on, it began to smell of rain, but the ’Topes were still up. It wouldn't last.

Albuquerque held the Iowa Cubs to a scoreless first half of the first inning. Rafael Furcal, on loan from the Dodgers, got the scoring started with a great hit that should have been only a double, but thanks to a misread by the I-Cubs outfield, turned into a triple, putting him in scoring position.

Iowa answered back in the second inning, but that was the only time it was close: Albuquerque led (or was tied) at every point in the game, until the ninth. The ’Topes blasted four runs in the second inning, three of them after a controversial double play was recalled.

In the third inning, the Cubs still played victim and didn't score a single run, but John Lindsey hit a monster double that looked like it was going to sail over the back wall but dropped just short.

The massacre slowed a bit in the fourth inning, when the 'Topes scored only one run, but by that point it was 9-1, good guys on top. The Cubs started their comeback in the fifth inning, scoring two runs, but the teams traded runs after that point—the Albuquerque scoring three in the sixth, and Iowa doing the same in the seventh.

The crowd enjoyed the baseball tradition of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and cheered on the chile race (green won after an early collusion took down the rest of the field). Then things turned sour for the former Dukes.

In the ninth inning, they gave the game away. Allowing nine runs, the crowd turned from its playful, celebratory mood to curses and repeated calls to remove the pitcher or improve the defense; anything to stem the bloodletting. As more and more fans got up and abandoned the hope of a rally, they started to talk about the season's home closer, tonight at 6:35 PM.

The Isotopes lost to the I-Cubs, 15-13. With playoff hopes firmly out of reach, the focus at tonight’s game will hopefully be more relaxed, and the ’Topes will be able to say goodbye to the 505 for the year on a positive note.

V.19 No.33 | 8/19/2010


Local sports roundup: Lobos, Isotopes and The Pit, plus UNM skiing, volleyball and cross country

Back in the day, there was this great TV show called “Sports Night.” It was a fictitious look at the SportsCenter life, written by Aaron Sorkin, who would go on to write “West Wing” and gather numerous awards.

There was one episode, A Girl Named Pixley, where the cast (crew) sat around the set (newsroom) complaining about what a slow day they'd been having. That's how I felt when I looked at the headlines of ESPN in order to figure out the column for this week: Football's just beginning, hockey's nowhere near anything exciting, the World Cup and the Tour de France are over, basketball hasn't even made it to the preseason and baseball is suffering from the doldrums of the season.

The top headlines on read as a special kind of test of the avid sport's fan's attention: No Tiger Promise for Ryder Cup, Isiah Thomas declines Knicks job, LeBron uses criticism as fuel, Eagles security nabs fan in new McNabb jersey, et. al. This is almost the Land of Nod.

So instead, let's focus on home: Lobo football is about to start its season. Despite the controversy about where the players were going to engage in preseason, the simple truth is that we're all just hoping for an improvement on last year. Going 1-11 in his first year, coach Locksley must be thinking, “Well, there's nowhere to go but up.” (Especially after that pesky assault case.) Just because it should be true, though, doesn't mean that it will be. Tons of curiosity on my part to see, if this season goes as badly as last season did, if losing a ton of games matters more than bad press and a possible assault on an assistant coach.

The Isotopes, on the other hand, despite losing their last two in a row, stand only three games behind the Oklahoma City RedHawks. This does, however, put them behind the top two teams in the remaining three divisions of AAA baseball, so our chances don't look fantastic.

The good news is: The construction on the Pit is almost complete. The men's basketball team will have a beautiful new place to play in this season, as ticket-holders from last season can attest. The court won't be new, but there will be plenty of new box seats for the wealthy ABQ business owners to woo their clients in. And after the impressive performance of the Lobos last season, this seems to be the perfect time for a new look.

UNM's fall term is about to begin, and with it comes a plethora of fall sports that weren't mentioned here. The award-wining ski team tops the list, followed quickly by the men's soccer team, as well as the women's, looking to move out from under Elizabeth Lambert's shadow. The women's volleyball team, led by coach Jeff Nelson, looks to improve on their impressive showing last season, and, of course, the cross country team will be putting in the miles.

So while this may seem like a dull time to be a sports fan, it's a great time to get involved with our community. Come out and support the Lobos, or keep an eye and/or ear out for the next Isotopes game. Chances are, you won't be disappointed.