You didn't really think I would leave you? Did you?
Those are just a couple of questions without answers to start today's "Q" session.
A lot of you got fooled by Monday's April Fools column, judging by the number of calls I got on the 24-Hour Sportsline (647-2499). In the column, I said I was leaving after 14 years, and I even ran into a few people in the grocery store and elsewhere who wished me well.
One of the best calls to the Sportsline was: "Pat, I read your column and I had tears come to my eyes, the thought of you leaving, AprilFools!"
And Archbishop Spalding softball player Kerri Endler said, "My grandparents read it all the way through and still thought it was true. We were all at McDonald's after our tournament (Spalding edged Chesapeake, 2-0, in the North County Tournament) and were talking about your leaving. You fooled us."
More importantly, isn't it great to hear that Endler, an Anne Arundel County Sun All-County third-team third baseman last year, has been offered a full scholarship to Drexel University in Philadelphia as a pitcher?
"But I'm not sure I'm going to take it," said Endler, a three-year varsity starter at Spalding. "I'm thrilled I've been offered the scholarship, but I'm alsolooking at Mary Washington College in Virginia."
Drexel is a Division I school, while Mary Washington is Division III. Former Chesapeake star pitcher and 1987 Anne Arundel County Sun Softball Player of the Year Heather Frey pitches for Drexel and is on scholarship.
Frey and her summer coach, Ron Schellhouse of the state champion Bandits' 18-and-under team, told Drexel coaches about Endler. The coach there saw her pitch and was impressed enough to offer her a scholarship.
What's ironic about Endler receiving a scholarship as a pitcher isthat she does very little of it for Spalding. That's because she hashad the misfortune of attending the school the same time as Cavaliers ace Kim Sheridan, and in softball, usually one girl pitches most ofthe games.
"It was frustrating at first, but I learned to accept it," said Endler, who has pitched occasionally in the shadow of Sheridan, but who is a true team player.
Don't you know that Endler haswindmill pitching guru Jack Crandell to thank for building the foundation of her pitching skills at his renowned clinic?
Aren't the results of the Crandell off-season windmill pitching clinic quite evident in this week's Sun top 10 for softball with the first five from Anne Arundel -- (1) Northeast, (2) Chesapeake, (3)
Spalding, (4) North County, (5) Glen Burnie -- plus No. 7 Severna Park and No. 8 Old Mill? Can you believe seven out of 10 from one county?
* Is it any wonder that Anne Arundel Amateur Baseball Association commissioner Lew Holmes was upset at 7 a.m. yesterday after reading that Archbishop Curley of Baltimore and the Maryland Scholastic Association had won the eighth annual Broadneck Baseball Tournament by using the same pitcher in both games Monday?
Curley edged top-ranked Old Mill, 2-1, in the first game with Bryan Bowen going all seven innings. In the 9-5title game win over host Broadneck, Bowen pitched the last three innings in relief to preserve the victory.
"I can't believe he did that," said Holmes of Curley's 30-year veteran coach Al Frank. "That's why they should have high school pitching rules like they do in summer programs.
"That can't be good for a kid's arm, and do you remember Tim Norris, who pitched for Frank at Curley? He had arm problems after he signed with the Orioles because of that kind of stuff."
Doesn't Holmes make a good point?
Norris was a workhorse at Curley under Frank, but the Maryland Scholastic Association doesn't have any pitching rules to save a kid's arm. A kid can pitch every game in theMSA if a coach wants to abuse him -- and some have over the years.
But in fairness to Frank, if Bowen felt loose warming up and didn'thave any tightness after throwing only 72 pitches in the first game,then maybe it wasn't so bad.
Three years ago, the Maryland PublicSecondary Schools Athletic Association adopted pitching regulations like those of the National Federation of High Schools that allows a pitcher 10 innings over three days. Those 10 frames can be in one day.
Most coaches are reluctant to use a pitcher like that, but if youhave a rubber-armed kid who is OK warming up, it might not be all that bad. The MPSSAA rule says a pitcher can throw 14 innings over a seven-day period as well.
Since adoption of the pitching rule, policed by the individual teams, there have been no serious problems.
Everybody but the MSA, which most hope will one day join the MPSSAA, has a pitching rule.
* Speaking of arm problems, why wasn't former Annapolis right-hander and Anne Arundel County Sun 1988 Player of theYear Kevin Alarie not put on a rebuilding program by UMBC sooner after having arm surgery in the off-season?