Orioles

John Wooden statue stands vigil outside UCLA arena

201210261831667021445-p2.jpeg

John Wooden statue stands vigil outside UCLA arena

LOS ANGELES (AP) The stern gaze behind black-rimmed glasses, arms crossed, rolled-up program tucked under his arm. John Wooden is now standing vigil outside Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA unveiled an 8-foot bronze statue of the late revered coach on Friday outside its newly renovated arena on the Westwood campus. Wooden's family members, who were consulted by sculptor Blair Buswell, were pleased with how the nearly 400-pound tribute turned out after a few tweaks suggested by Wooden's daughter, Nan.

``The ears weren't quite right,'' she said, noting her father's right earlobe was slightly longer than his left. She also had Buswell smooth out the area under her father's arms and jacket that originally made it look as though the trim coach had a pot belly.

``I just wanted people to look at him and be able to say, `That's John Wooden,''' she said. ``I don't think there's any doubt.''

Hall of Fame basketball player Ann Meyers Drysdale, who emceed the ceremony under a searing sun, UCLA chancellor Gene Block and athletic director Dan Guerrero were among many in attendance who knew Wooden and agreed he would be embarrassed by the hoopla.

``He'd probably pooh-pooh this,'' Meyers Drysdale said. ``He was not one to draw attention to himself.''

Nan Wooden said, ``He's probably shaking his head, saying, `I don't deserve this.'''

Greg Wooden said his grandfather ``would have been against it unless his whole team could be out there.''

Other members of the Wooden family, players on the current men's basketball team, the university band and cheerleaders were among the crowd that watched as each of the speakers placed a hand on the yellow cord to yank down the white canvas covering the statue. Wooden stands tall in a jacket and tie, his usual sideline attire.

``He's intense,'' said Buswell, who created the sculpture at his studio in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and had it delivered 800 miles to campus this week.

Current Bruins coach Ben Howland added, ``It really captures Coach.''

Howland said Wooden might have downplayed the honor ``but he also understood how many lives he's touched and what he's meant to everyone here at UCLA.''

Wooden, who died in 2010, led the Bruins to 10 national championships, including seven in a row. The statue resembles Wooden in the final years of his 27-year career, which ended with a 620-147 record in 1975. Wooden was a frequent presence at basketball games in retirement, and he was sought out for his teachings on leadership and teamwork.

His autograph in his familiar unadorned cursive - a signature he gladly gave out countless times at games - is on the base of the statue. A plaque with his name and years as coach includes one of his quotes:

``Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.''

UCLA alum Jim Collins and his wife, Carol, donated the money for the statue. Collins, chairman emeritus of Sizzler International, recalled asking Wooden to serve on the steak restaurant's board of directors because the coach and his wife, Nell, ate at the location near their home most days.

``For nine years he never missed a meeting,'' Collins said.

Quick Links

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

alex-cobb-orioles.jpg
USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.

Quick Links

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

scherzer-dugout.jpg
USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: