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Archive for Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lions move up kickoffs

May 26, 2009

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Notes, notes and, yes, even more notes while wondering how long it will be before we see Zack Greinke in a Yankees uniform. …

For at least the last 20 years, Lawrence High has been the only school in Kansas adamantly refusing to go with the flow and start its home football games at 7 p.m., sticking doggedly to 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.

Nothing lasts forever. Starting when the Lions open in their new artificial-turfed, on-campus stadium Sept. 4 against Shawnee Mission North, home kickoffs will be at 7 p.m..

To tell the truth, I thought I would see the South Lawrence Trafficway completed before the Lions’ hierarchy, hidebound traditionalists that they are, ever would dump those 7:30 p.m. starts. …

Speaking of city high school football, Sept. 18 also will be a significant date. On that night, for the first time, both Lawrence High and Free State will be playing a home game.

That will also be the Firebirds’ debut in their new artificial-turfed, on-campus stadium. Free State, coming off its first appearance in a Class 6A state championship game, will play its first two games this fall on the road.

Incidentally, each of the new city prep football facilities will seat 3,500 fans, with the capability of expanding to 4,000 should the schools advance to the playoffs. Under Kansas State High School Activities Association rules, 4,000 is the minimum capacity to play host to a playoff game. …

Can you guess the highest-ranked team that failed to reach this weekend’s Class 6A state baseball tournament in Lenexa? It’s Free State. In the final weekly rankings of the Kansas Association of Baseball Coaches, the Firebirds were ranked No. 3 behind Goddard and Maize.

No. 4 in the rankings was Lawrence High. The Lions, as you know, qualified for the state meet by squeezing the Firebirds, 2-1, in last week’s regional final. No. 5-ranked Manhattan also failed to reach the state meet. …

While covering Lawrence High’s regional soccer finale at Washburn Rural last week, veteran Topeka Capital-Journal sportswriter Rick Peterson asked me if Emma Lumpe, the Lions’ goalkeeper, was related to Jerry Lumpe, the former major-league baseball player with the Yankees, A’s and Tigers.

So after the match, I asked the LHS senior, and, I’ll be darned, she is. “He’s my great uncle, my grandpa’s brother,” she said. “I usually see him at our family reunions.”

Jerry Lumpe, who hit .301 while playing second base for the Kansas City A’s in 1962, lives in Warsaw, Mo., and will turn 76 a week from today. He played 12 seasons in the big leagues and, notably, had more career walks than strikeouts. …

Director Steven Soderbergh plans to make a movie out of the best-selling book “Moneyball,” the story of the Oakland A’s innovative concept of building a winning baseball club based on the unconventional ideas of Lawrence resident and stats guru Bill James.

Soderbergh has landed Brad Pitt to play A’s general manager Billy Beane. Who’ll play James? Nobody.

“My current plan,” Soderbergh told MTV, “is to animate him. The background will be real, but the person who is supposed to be him will be animated.”

I don’t know. I can envision Philip Seymour Hoffman as James, but I guess cartoon characters are cheaper than actors.

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