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Gorches: Stop being wimpy and play high school games

Boone Grove's Dean Hill is caught by Hobart's Tyrus Joseforsky top 3rd with 2 outs Hobart High School Thursday March

Boone Grove's Dean Hill is caught by Hobart's Tyrus Joseforsky in the top of the 3rd with 2 outs at Hobart High School on Thursday March 28, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 3, 2013 6:40AM



Remember the good old days when high school games would be played in the spring, when there were few cancellations and few scheduling issues?

Yeah, me too — it was last year when global warming was in its heyday.

There were 70- and 80-degree days in late March and into April with only one real bad day of postponements all spring.

Oh, for those days because a combination of factors have made this spring a nightmare for players, coaches, athletic directors and, of course, the lowly media. There have already been three full days of postponed games, and a couple other days in which a handful of games were not played.

I know weather can’t be helped, especially the first couple days of last week in the first full week of spring sports when it had just snowed the Sunday before. Some areas got as much as six inches on March 24 (global warming, my foot!). Then again, I still couldn’t understand why Portage postponed games on two days — softball against Andrean on Tuesday and Hebron on Wednesday — without even waiting for the second day to see if the weather improved, which it did.

It warmed up by the end of the week, getting up to 50 degrees, meaning the wimpiness was averted.

Then there’s Monday of this week. It was a beautiful sunny day, a little brisk temperature-wise at 40 degrees or slightly colder, but bright blue skies nonetheless.

And there were still games postponed. Get a sweatshirt on and go play, for cripes sake. I don’t mean to sound like an old man, but toughen up.

Among the events postponed were the two baseball games to open the 11th annual RailCats High School Challenge — Highland vs. Hobart and Hebron vs. Calumet.

I thought maybe they were pushed to Tuesday because of the field. After all, the high school games are secondary to making sure the professional franchise that plays at the U.S. Steel Yard has a well-manicured field. But that wasn’t the reason given by the RailCats.

“Cold weather,” was what the email reply was from their media office when I asked why the games were postponed.

Too cold? Really? Are baseball players that wimpy compared to softball players, because there were at least two softball games played on Monday. Chesterton athletic director Garry Nallenweg had only one warning to anyone from the Post-Tribune covering the Trojans’ home game against Hebron: “Dress warm.”

That advice should be used by region baseball teams — or any softball teams that thought Monday was too cold (LaPorte and Bishop Noll, for example). The kids aren’t going to get frostbite playing in cold temperatures. In fact, it might toughen up the wimps. As Rube said in Major League II, “When the tough get going, the going get tough.”

Zeller should stay for his own good: Speaking of toughness, or a lack thereof, how about that performance by Indiana’s Cody Zeller in the Sweet 16 loss to Syracuse. He had 10 points on 3 of 11 shooting, and 10 rebounds against the tough Orange 2-3 zone that seemed to collapse around the former Indiana Mr. Basketball every time he touched the ball in the paint.

More importantly, he had his shot blocked five times and looked intimidated against Syracuse’s lesser-known post players who don’t have quite the NBA Draft hype of Zeller.

The word coming into this season was that Zeller was a NBA lottery pick if he came out after his sophomore campaign. Not after that effort last week. He looked soft and in desperate need of another year of college in the toughest conference in the country (no matter what fake college basketball analyst Charles Barkley says) to learn how not to be soft.

Maybe more games against Chesterton native Mitch McGary will help, because despite being a couple inches smaller than Zeller, McGary looks like a man in the tournament (even going back to the regular season finale loss to Indiana) and more of a lottery pick than Zeller.

Back into golf: Not that I didn’t pay attention to golf on television the last three years during Tiger Woods’ family issues and slump, but the casual golf fan hasn’t watched as much.

It’s time to get back into the habit of watching starting next week with the Masters because Tiger looks like he’s ready to return to major-winning form.

He’s won three times this year already. Naysayers claim the three victories have come at courses he loves and usually dominates. True, but doesn’t that describe Augusta National, too? He may struggle in the three other majors, but when his game is clicking, he dominates the same courses and that means the rest of the entrants in the Masters need to be afraid.



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