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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 05.18.10

Under the Weather:  My wife got me sick . . . again.  Slept most of yesterday afternoon as well falling asleep at nine last night.  Not feeling 100%, but did work on some things this weekend.  I have the assistant coaching profile of Chad Scott to post today, a five question post tomorrow and a preview of New Mexico on Friday. 

More on Realignment:  A handful of articles this morning and I'm not sure where to start.  I'll start with what seems to be the wildest rumor and/or thought regarding the Big 12/Pac-10 joining forces.  As reported by the DMN, ESPN Austin's Chip Brown said on his radio show that the Big 12 and Pac-10 would form the "American Conference":

Chip Brown of ESPN Radio Austin and Rivals.com added to the conference expansion argument with what he would call the "American Conference."

Brown sees USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State as the AC West and then Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado coming from the Big 12 and joining Arizona and Arizona State as the AC East.

It’s important to know that the cable portion of the Big 12 contract is up in 2011, and that contract belongs to Fox, which also happens to be a TV partner with the Pac-10. It’s been said that the Pac-10 is desperate to get into the Central time zone. For this reason and others like former Big 12 commissioner and current Pac-10 commissioner Kevin Weiberg maybe thinking about wanting to combine the Pac-10/Big 12 networks, the conferences could form as one and be called the "American Conference," according to Brown.

I'm not sure where to go with this.  Chip Brown is pretty plugged into the conference (and yes, I remember that it was Brown that made the open records request for those infamous Leach ranting videos) and I can't tell if this article is just Brown's opinion or what he thinks will happen.  I tend to say that this is more of Brown's opinion, which at this point is no better than your opinion or mine and I think they need to think of a better name than the "American Conference".  

Miscellaneous:  BON's Hopkins Horn has a pretty good opening discussion on realignment.  It's from a UT perspective, but there's quite a bit of good information there . . . BOTC's TB also wonders if the ACC's new TV deal is a good thing for the Big 12 . . . Maize n Brew Dave (SBN Michigan blog) takes a look at the Big 12 and each respective school's ability to survive . . .

Tubs Leaves to Visit Troops on Friday:  It appears that head coach Tommy Tuberville will leave on Friday for his trip overseas to visit the troops:

Kelly will travel Friday to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, before heading overseas along with Army’s Rich Ellerson, Harvard’s Tim Murphy, Tommy Tuberville of Texas Tech and Ron Zook of Illinois. The first foreign stop will be at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and Kelly said the tour will also take them to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The coaches will travel by airplane, helicopter and naval ship during the tour, Whalen said, with security provided by armed forces personnel.

Red Raiders to Take on Nebraska Without Two Relievers:  LAJ's George Watson has two stories on the current situation where both Chad Bettis and Jay Johnson will be suspended for some (and in Bettis' case all) of this weekend's series with Nebraska.  Watson details some of Sunday's events (please go read the whole thing if this story interests you):

For Tech, there were no warnings given to either team before the ejection, as is customarily the case. Also, whether Bettis intentionally hit Glime is a subjective call by "Lightning" Ken McQueen, who reportedly has a history of being quick with the ejection trigger and already threw out one pitcher for the same offense earlier this season.

Snip

One thing I think we all can agree on no matter what side of the suspension issue you came down upon is the fact that Lightning McQueen is one of the worst umpires walking the face of the earth. Baylor people wouldn't argue with that. Tech people certainly wouldn't argue with that. How the heck did this guy ever get back in the Big 12, much less get picked to ump in Omaha?

His strike zone moved more than a performance of Riverdance. He allowed Baylor on-deck batters to sneak closer behind home plate than they should have, and he allowed the Bears to stage celebrations in front of their dugout after homers by Glime and Max Muncy.

And Ken Eldridge, you're right behind Lightning. Instead of having your head in the Tech dugout listening for anyone to chirp, maybe you should have been out there helping wrangle Tech players who were arguing Bettis' ejection. Instead, you baited Johnson into an ejection a day after you were just as horrible behind the plate.

Wow.  There's obviously quite a bit there and Watson, who is one of the best beat-writers I've read, has some fairly strong opinions about the umpires who were in charge of last weekend's series. 

Watson also ponders the thought of not having Bettis and Johnson available and Texas Tech is asking that the Big 12 review the situation.  Watson has some fairly strong evidence as to why the automatic suspension might be forgiven a bit, especially considering no warnings were issued:

On Sunday, McQueen had been hearing complaints from both benches and the raucous Dan Law Field crowd about his strike zone, but had never issued any warnings to either team or indicated either bench was complaining too much. Spencer said the umpires never lost control of the game but that McQueen's ejection of Bettis was an overreaction.

"The other thing that favors us in the deal is there was never an issue of a fight breaking out," Spencer said. "The kid got hit by a pitch and took his base. Chad didn't come down from the mound looking for a fight. There was no altercation. In times where I've seen this happen, as soon as the kid gets hit by the pitch and takes his base, now there's a warning, both benches. But it never got to that point.

"I think four (games) at this point in the season when you're talking about a kid who's a clean kid, no priors, at any time of the year for a baseball play, is over the amount."