Published: Sunday, October 21, 2007
2 losing years means time for a Bucs move
Shed no tears for former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Tracy. He may have been glad to get out of town even if it was only the second year of his original three-year contract.
Nobody likes to see a guy get fired but Tracy showed he came from the same mold as a number of his predecessors over the past 15 losing seasons. He couldn't win ball games.
Although he seemed to have somewhat of a good relationship with his players, he seemed to lack that determined leadership that inspires players, and drives them to be the best they can be.
He seemed to lack emotion and his facial expression never seemed to change. Even Browns boss Romeo Crennel seems to show more emotion, and that's really saying something.
Tracy failed to show any progress and his 2007 team failed to put anything together. The team had long losing streaks and failed to come up with clutch hits when needed the most. He may have been too patient and many of his moves came too late or never came at all.
Shortest reign as skipper
His reign as manager of the Pirates was the shortest of any non-interim manager since the ax fell on Bill Virdon, a former Buc outfielder, back in 1973.
As far as a replacement for Tracy, new general manager Neal Huntington said earlier that a replacement could come from an "internal list" of potential candidates, meaning the new manager could come directly from the Pirates organization.
In his two seasons with the Pirates, the Bucs just couldn't jell. In his first year, Pittsburgh showed a 67-95 ledger, followed this past season with a 68-94 mark. That doesn't cut the mustard and as baseball standards go, that's pretty deplorable.
The Pirates' brass saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to clean house and they took the bull by the horns. They will start with a clean cupboard in 2008.
The Pirates, since their 15th consecutive losing seasons began, have gone through four managers including Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon and Tracy. They were all given pink slips while Jim Leyland, who possibly could have been the Pirates new manager several years ago before Tracy took over, was let out of his managerial contract in 1996 to manage the Marlins. He has since took over as the Detroit Tiger skipper and just several weeks ago had his contract with the Tigers elevated.
Bowers' record falls
You know what they say about records. They were made to be broken.
Well, former West Middlesex High School and Grove City College running sensation, R.J. Bowers, had his NCAA all-division career rushing record surpassed recently. Bowers' record of 7,353 yards was established while playing for the Grove City College Wolverines.
There were those who believed Bowers' record couldn't be touched. However, Chadron State's Danny Woodhead now holds the new record as he pushed his new mark to 7,441 yards in a recent 21-0 victory over Western New Mexico. Woodhead and Bowers are the only two players to break 7,000 yards in rushing in college football.
Woodhead, who played his high school ball at North Platte (Neb.) High School, weighed only 175 pounds in high school and stood 5-8 in height.
He passed Bowers' Mark by reaching 121 yards in the third quarter of the game against Western New Mexico. He finished the game with 208 yards and still has the rest of the season to pad his lead.
A 2006 Harlon Hill Award Trophy winner as the outstanding player in Division II, he had averaged 27 carries and 190 yards over 38 career games before breaking Bowers' standard.
Last year he set an all-division single-season record with 2,756 yards rushing.
Lamie does it again
Grove City College women's soccer coach Melissa Lamie hit a coaching milestone recently when she notched her 150th victory and as of this writing, she was 9-0-1 on the season.
Lamie, who also coaches the men's and women's golf teams and is head women's basketball coach, now has a record of 150-109-18 as women's soccer coach in 15 seasons. She is the all-time, most-winning coach in Presidents' Athletic Conference women's soccer history. She has led her Wolverine women to five PAC titles and two NCAA Division III Championship Tournament berths.
Her women's basketball teams from 1992-2006 is that programs all-time leader in wins with 157.