The Morning Report
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The San Diego State Aztecs Men’s basketball team is expected to drop dramatically in the next polls, after losing on Tuesday night to an unranked Wyoming team.
The loss isn’t a sign of bad things to come, but rather a confirmation of what fans and experts have thought of this team for years: With only one or two consistent threats on the offense, the Aztecs are always one cold shooting spell away from losing.
Despite this, the team managed to win 20 consecutive games and go undefeated in the Mountain West Conference before this week’s loss.
Experts say not to worry. Wyoming is a pretty good team, especially at home, and the Aztecs had a rough travel schedule these last two months. SDSU is still expected to be a No. 2 seed in next month’s NCAA tournament, the same spot they were in before.
Seattle Seahawks fan Beau Lynott joined VOSD Radio this week, and compared head coach Steve Fisher’s Aztecs to the current Super Bowl champs. He later listed off 10 things that the two teams have in common. Lynott made a lot of valid points, but that doesn’t guarantee the Aztecs a deep run in the tournament.
But it does show Fisher’s successful rebuilding of the basketball program can serve as a blueprint for teams at any level and across all sports.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Hope Springs Eternal in Peoria
They’ve done it. New(ish) Padres owner Ron Fowler, new Padres CEO Mike Dee and a bevy of new faces in the front office have almost turned fans around on the franchise, and they’ve done it without changing team colors or spending big money on free agents.
In the past, I would’ve pointed at those last two points as missed opportunities, but now it seems they’re just more bullets in the chamber that the team can use to win back the fanbase.
Here’s how the team spread the love last week, and here’s how they continued that this week:
• After two years of bitter negotiations that went nowhere, the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego were finally able to come to terms with Time Warner Cable. Half of the county was unable to watch the Padres without a satellite dish these past two seasons. Now no matter where you live, the games will come as part of your cable package. Here’s to hoping the deal isn’t affected by the Time Warner-Comcast merger.
• When pitchers and catchers reported to Peoria, Ariz., for spring training this year, they were greeted with a remodeled team complex, including a state-of-the-art clubhouse and weight room. This, paired with the laundry list of renovations at Petco Park, make it pretty clear the new braintrust has a goal to provide players and fans alike with first-class facilities.
Unfortunately, newly acquired left-hander Alex Torres will be a few days late to spring training — he’s facing issues with his visa in his native Venezuela.
The Padres roster certainly has potential for a winning season if the team can stay healthy. That’s especially true if Yasmani Grandal can return by Opening Day.
Will Faulconer Build the Chargers a New Stadium?
Ahead of Tuesday’s special mayoral election, blogger Jeff Siniard reviewed both candidates’ public stances against building a new Chargers stadium. Will Faulconer change his tune now that he’s in office, or are the Chargers doomed to stay in Qualcomm Stadium until they leave San Diego altogether? The team is certainly doing its part to court the mayor-elect to avoid a big move.
Other Chargers news:
• Despite supposed video evidence to the contrary, linebacker Thomas Keiser pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge he had allegedly attacked an employee at barleymash, a restaurant and bar downtown.
• Head coach Mike McCoy deserves a ton of credit for taking the Chargers to the playoffs in his first year, but his decision-making on fourth down was a point of contention for many fans. Blogger Jason Peters did the math to find out the coach cost the team one full win this season with his conservative tendencies.
• Despite nothing happening in the last week, Texas Christian University cornerback Jason Verrett went from being the Chargers’ selection in 7 percent of mock drafts a week ago to being their selection in 20 percent this week. Mock drafts are nuts.
Stories You May Have Missed
• Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will retire after the upcoming season, and then walk straight into the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest post-season performers the word of sports has ever seen.
• Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is fighting to make human growth hormone legal in the NBA to speed up and improve recovery from major injuries. It’s an interesting proposition, and one that could actually get approved some day.
• The Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin “bullying” situation keeps getting messier and more confusing, this time with an assist from a Twitter rant by Incognito himself.
• You may know Tracy McGrady as the NBA superstar with the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets who had his career ended last season by knee problems. Now, meet Tracy McGrady, minor league pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
• GIF of the Week: LeBron James has probably been the main focus of “GIF of the Week” more than any other athlete, but that’s because he does things like hit a ridiculous three-point shot in the final second to win the game, and makes it look easy.
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I’m John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or e-mail me directly at email@example.com.