Welcome to the Mario Cristobal Era
Welcome tothe first full day of the Mario Cristobal Era at Oregon.
A few popular questions regarding new Florida State and former UO football coach Willie Taggart, with my opinionated answers:
Q. Do you believe Florida State is really the only job Taggart would have considered leaving Oregon for, or exited Eugene to take?
A. No. Not if another major, major football program was going to give him a six-year, $30 million deal and that kind of support. And that could have happened after the 2018 season, had he stayed at Oregon and gone 10-2 or better or won a Pac-12 title, etc.
Q. Shouldn't the Ducks have made it harder contractually for him to leave after one year?
A. If Oregon had tried to draw a really strong line, he might not have signed.
Q. Should the Ducks seek someone with Oregon ties or roots?
A. It's a good idea, if you can get that type of person and he's a great coach. But there's no guarantee that coach will stay long-term, either.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Oregon State's Nate Yeskie has been named Pitching Coach of the Year by Collegiate Baseball.
And why not?
The Beavers' staff won a school-record 56 games in 2017, posting a 1.93 ERA and 14 shutouts.
THROWING AWAY $15,000
Allen Crabbe, a guard/forward for the Brooklyn Nets and former Trail Blazer, is $15,000 lighter after being fine by the NBA for throwing the game ball down the court at the basket stanchion during the fourth quarter of a Monday victory over Atlanta.
Crabbe received a technical foul and was ejected.
Toronto's DeMar DeRozan now is fourth on the Toronto Raptors' all-time assist list. He passed Portland native Damon Stoudamire with eight assists in a Tuesday night win over Phoenix.
But the per-game numbers favor Stoudamire, and it's not even close.
DeRozan has 1,768 assists in 617 games over eight-plus Raptors seasons (3.0 assists per game).
Stoudamire had 1,761 in 200 Toronto games over 2 1/2 seasons (8.8 assists per game).
The Portland Pickles, who have moved into the West Coast League, will return outfielder Alec Leighton and left-handed pitcher Max Jones in 2018.
Leighton and Jones both are at Cal State Monterey Bay.
The next round of picks for MLS expansion, which will bring welcome new money to existing owners in the form of franchise fees (reportedly $150 million per), is about to get clearer.
Los Angeles and Miami already are slated to be the league's 23rd and 24th teams, with LAFC joining next season.
Bids for two more expansion berths are down to Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville and Sacramento.
Two of those four hopefuls — who were making presentations Wednesday at the MLS meetings — will get a team (and maybe three, if the David Beckham/Miami club's shaky plans fall through).
Nashville seems all but a lock. Sacramento and Cincinnati have soccer history at a lower level and some proven fan support.
The decision will come soon, and the two cities picked would begin play in 2020 (again, barring a collapse in Miami, which could move one of the others up to a 2019 start).
Two more expansion teams are expected to be selected in 2018, and they would come aboard later and make the MLS a 28-team league.
Those who didn't make the most-recent cut to a final four could get back in line for that round of expansion. On that list are Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa Bay.
For Timbers fans who prefer their foes to be as close to Portlandia as possible, Sacramento would be a welcome addition.
Down the road, both in travel distance and time frame, Phoenix and San Diego would be most convenient for Timbers supporters.
It seems like only a matter of time for Sacramento, although it has seemed like only a matter of time for Sacramento for a while now.
Cincinnati has a lot of positives, and concerns about it being a small television market are relatively bogus, because it's not like MLS is going to pull in Olympian TV ratings anywhere.
Finalists for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year: Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis.
The winner will be announced later this month.
Morgan and Ertz led the national team in goals with seven and six, respectively, in 2017. Rapinoe led in assists with five; Horan had four. Mewis was all-National Women's Soccer League; the other four, including Horan of the league champion Portland Thorns, were on the NWSL second team.
Voting on the award are national team coaches and staff, national team players, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer's Athlete Council, NWSL coaches, some college coaches and some media.
Shawn Roof will return as manager of the Hillsboro Hops for the 2018 Northwest League baseball season.
Mike Parrott will be pitching coach for the third year in a row.
Micah Franklin will be the new hitting coach.
Carlos Mesa will be part of the coaching staff, as well, and local product Ben Petrick will be back as a consultant.
• The Trail Blazers have transferred guard Wade Baldwin IV to the Texas Legends of the NBA G League.
• Zach Nyborg, who was associate athletic director for football at Oregon State, has left the Beavers program as part of the transition under new coach Jonathan Smith.
• Former Concordia University basketball standout Latrell Wilson has signed to play for the Dublin Lions, a pro team in Ireland.
Wilson, a 6-3 guard from Arcata, California, finished his college career last season. He was a two-time all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference pick.
• The high school wrestling season is just getting started. Catch a couple of Portland Interscholastic League matches — Madison at Lincoln, 7:30 p.m., and a three-way between Jefferson, Roosevelt and Wilson, at Wilson, 4 p.m.