Since we missed a "Q's and A's" session on Wednesday due to the April Fool's column, let's get caught up today, sports fans.
First, let me ask. How many of you got fooled again on April 1?
According to a bunch of people who called the 24-Hour Sportsline (647-2499), it looks like I got a bunch of you again. The April Fool's joke was Arundel's Bernie Walter taking the coordinator of physicaleducation position.
Should I take it as a left-handed compliment from the one Sportsline caller who said, "Pat, you are the best sports fiction writer in the business"?
An Arundel parent was among thefirst to call Wednesday morning.
"You got me again," laughed Mandy Durocher, mother of Arundel senior Chris Durocher.
"Chris went to school without reading the whole thing and thinks Bernie is leaving. You had our house in an uproar this morning."
Walter himself said several coaches and teachers at Arundel believed it, plus he heard from a few people at Old Mill who called to congratulate him.
"Yougot a few people hook, line and sinker, really nailed 'em," chuckledWalter.
Former Chesapeake High head baseball coach Dave "Pop" Warner, who is an assistant coach at UMBC, called to say, "Even though it is an April Fool's joke, I seriously think the county could not make a better choice for that position than Bernie. The guy has been successful in everything he has done. Some people get (angry) at him anddon't want to admit that he outworks them."
Warner has been in the county school system as a teacher for more than 20 years, so his opinion holds a lot of weight.
* Isn't it great to hear from Warner that "Kevin Alarie is well again and pitching very well?"
Alarie, a right-handed pitcher who led Annapolis to the state 4A championshipin 1988, sat out last year with arm problems, but is on the comebacktrail.
UMBC (16-3) hammered West Chester, Pa., 14-4, Wednesday with Alarie picking up the win.
* Is it just me, or do you agree that several high school games this spring have been longer than they should have been because the umpires squeeze the plate and won't call strikes?
Do these men in blue realize how exciting and how fast thegames would be if they called more strikes?
Isn't the main gripe of non-baseball fans that the game is too long with all those pitchesbeing thrown, making it boring?
By not giving the pitcher the edge when he's close, don't the umpires encourage taking pitches and drawing walks instead of going up there to hit?
Aren't softball gamesplayed in about half the time because the girls are up there swinging, knowing full well that the windmill pitchers are going to have strikes called?
* Speaking of softball, how about congratulations to Old Mill's pitcher/third baseman Jen Bostak, a 3.6 GPA student, who received a scholarship to LaSalle?
Bostak has played summers for the Tangerine Machine and Jade Garden Bandits.
* If you don't have aticket to opening day Monday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, won't the next best game for you baseball lovers be at Joe Cannon Stadium inHarmans with defending state 2A champion Northeast meeting 4A contender Old Mill at 7 p.m.?
Do you remember last year's donnybrook between these two outstanding high school teams that resulted in a suspended game because of curfew?
* Did you know that Cannon Stadium will open its doors for a college baseball doubleheader at 1 p.m. Sunday between Bowie State and St. Mary's College?
* Isn't it absolutely insane that supervisor Don Brooks is running around trying to fill the calendar at Cannon Stadium with baseball games and the very Recreation and Parks Department he works for has started a 14-15-year-old league to be played on 80-foot diamonds?
Cannon is a major-league 90-foot diamond where 15-year-olds belong.
* Wasn't it admirable of Chesapeake's Denise Perrone to volunteer to play goalie last week for Coach Jim Buchan's Cougars in a pinch?
"We were without a goalie for one reason or another, and Denise volunteered to move from the midfield to goalie for the team," said Buchan. "I think that kind of sacrifice should be recognized."
Perrone moved back to midfield when underclassman Amanda Vernon was ready for the cage.
* If you live in the Severna Park community, have you been wondering why the football lights are on nearly every night with nothing going on inside the stadium?
* How could the pollsters leave Broadneck, arguably the team to beat in Class 4A boys lacrosse, out of the rankings?
* How honored do you think I was to show up at North County Monday to watch a couple of games and have Knights' varsity lacrosse coaches PaulShea and Jon Appelt stop practice, assemble their team in two lines with their sticks raised over their heads and crossed while two female managers escorted me through the line?
Is that class or what?
Did you hear that Shea and Appelt, two of the county's best pranksters, presented St. Mary's veteran coach Jim Moorhead with a sportsmanship trophy prior to a scrimmage?