Welcome to the Mid-Week Grades. We’re taking next week off for a little summer vacation. It’s a Houchins-free zone at WGEM SportsCenter again today, so Broc Hampsmire and I will break these down around 8:20 or so on Wednesday. If you’d like to text in a grade to the show, zip it to us at 217-617-9437:
A — College World Series. South Carolina wrapped up its second straight CWS title on Tuesday night with a win over Florida, sweeping the best-of-three series at the new TD Ameritrade Omaha Park. The Gamecocks made every play they needed to make on defense, especially in the Game 1 win against Florida on Monday night, to win the title. The CWS was all about pitching and defense and a lot less about the high-scoring games we’ve seen the CWS produce in the past. Thanks the new aluminum bats for that.
B — Soccer news. It was a pretty newsy day on Tuesday in the soccer world. Sure, the U.S. women’s national team opened World Cup play with a 2-0 victory over North Korea, but that wasn’t the biggest headline from the match. That came afterward when the North Korea coach said his team lost because his players were struck by lightning during training. If that wasn’t enough for you, Mexico’s men’s U-22 team that will play at the Copa America Cup had eight players suspended for having a party with prostitutes and having a bunch of stuff stolen from the ladies of the night.
C — Old guys. The Major Leagues has welcomed back two old guys to the bench in Florida’s Jack McKeon and Washington’s Davey Johnson. The good news for those guys is that they’re back in the saddle again. The bad news is that they have to manage the Marlins and Washington. It’s good for McKeon and Johnson that they’re back, but why don’t these teams give some new guys a look on an interim basis?
D — Pittsburgh. The city really needs this NFL lockout to get over and fast. In lieu of having anything to root for — although the Pirates are having a pretty good season — the city will have a celebration on Thursday to commemorate Hines Ward’s victory on “Dancing With The Stars.” There’s no word on whether the Steel City will also celebrate Ben Roethlisberger if he can make it through the rest of the off-season without getting into any trouble.
F — St. Louis Cardinals. The Twitter and Facebook worlds were buzzing Tuesday night after Ryan Franklin came in and promptly gave up his eighth home run of the season. The fact that the team still has him on the roster, is rather amazing and it’s something that no one can seem to figure out. Franklin’s days with the Cardinals should be numbered.