Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, speaking with the Chicago Tribune on the pressure of living up to his past success in the NCAA tournament:
“For a while when I dated my wife, I had trouble living up to the
expectations of her former boyfriend. Just judge people for who they are
right now. We’re not the Yankees, we’re not, thank goodness, the Cubs.
It’s different. It’s college, just give them an opportunity.”
Like ’em or not, Coach K-led squads have captured 12 ACC Championships, have reached 10 Final Fours and have captured three National Titles (in 1991, 1992, 2001). The Duke Blue Devils are certainly not “the Cubs,” who haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and failed to reach the playoffs last season despite a massive $134,809,000 payroll (figure courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts).
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.