The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
The Little League World Series could go all local: Teams from Tijuana and Chula Vista have already secured spots in this weekend’s international and U.S. championship games, respectively. If they both win, the Tijuana and Chula Vista teams will end up facing off in the tournament championship.
Will San Diego explode then? Both teams made Grantland writer Shane Ryan’s piece on why the tournament is his guilty pleasure. U-T San Diego’s Matt Calkins called Tijuana “the perfect place for Little League.”
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
How Far Can Aztecs Football Go?
The San Diego State Aztecs kick off their 2013 football season on Aug. 31 with a home game against Eastern Illinois. It will be a crucial season for the program, as they are scheduled to face five of the top 25 teams in college football. They’ll also be trying to replace arguably the top three players from last year’s team, each of which are currently fighting for jobs in the NFL.
With good health and good luck, Rocky Long’s Aztecs could end this season being one of the rising programs and could start next season in the preseason top 25. That would go a long way towards getting better recruits, which would mean better teams, which would lead to better crowds and an SDSU football program that would be as strong as its basketball program.
Delving Into Chargers Players’ History
• Michael Gehlken from the U-T profiled the rough childhood and adolescence of San Diego Chargers first-round draft pick D.J. Fluker, whose family lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and continued to struggle afterward. Some real heart-wrenching stories in there, but it’s great to see a happy ending for a man, and a family, that worked hard for it.
• Jeff Pearlman of SB Nation profiled Ricky Bell, the star running back who was dead within two years of being traded to the Chargers. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have a happy ending, but it shows you how you can go from the pinnacle to the grave in the blink of an eye.
• GQ magazine caught up with friends and ex-teammates of Junior Seau, a former Chargers player who took his life last year, to tell the tale of who Seau was and what happened to him.
New Padres CEO Takes Over. Will Uniforms Change?
• The San Diego Padres finally held a press conference for new team CEO Mike Dee and he took the opportunity to say all the right things. I welcome him to take a shot at allowing more locals to watch the local baseball team.
• ESPN sports uniform blog, Uni Watch, put together their second annual MLB uniform power rankings. For the second consecutive year, the Padres finished dead last. Will Leitch from Sports on Earth didn’t agree that the team should “bring back the brown” color scheme like Uni Watch’s Paul Lukas, but did suggest that they wear full time their military-appreciation uniforms (typically worn only for Sunday home games).
Stories You May Have Missed
• The Chargers may have found the steal of the year in undrafted free agent nose tackle Kwame Geathers. Not only is he almost assured to win a roster spot with the team, he has been flashing the potential to be a future star at the position.
• Phil Roth put together this interactive tool to give MLB fans some perspective on the difference in total salary among the 30 teams. If you needed another reason to be depressed as a Padres fan, just look at the teams that pay less in salary. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are each strong contenders to make the playoffs this season.
• GIF of the Week: I have a fascination with right fielders with strong arms throwing out base runners, but I’m not even sure we can call what Yasiel Puig has an “arm.”
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