The Times West Virginian


July 8, 2014

COLUMN: Cabrera’s win a good one for golf fans

FAIRMONT — Don’t know what you may think about it, but we thought that the victory by Angel Cabrera was a mighty good one for The Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament since the Argentinian golfer has posted past victories in the Masters and the U.S. Open. We realize the young golfers on the tour need to pick up their first victories somewhere and The Greenbrier course has been there for them in the past. It’s still there, but Cabrera played an excellent round to come on out on top. Maybe his victory will bring some better golfers into the field in 2015.

Would you believe there was a $368,000 difference between the 264 score that Cabrera checked in with and the 266 score that George McNeill posted for second place? You may have heard on television that McNeill, who posted an amazing round of 61 on Sunday, would be going home after the match to spend the month with his critically ill sister. Unfortunately, his sister died on Sunday and he was informed of her death after the match. Cabrera put together four superb rounds — two rounds of 68 and two of 64. Former Masters winner Bubba Watson finished 22nd in the Greenbrier with a 273. He had four scores in the 60s — a 67, 68 and a pair of 69s.

News around Pittsburgh is that pitcher Jeff Locke, who has made six straight quality starts since being called up from Indianapolis, might be sent back to the minors when Francisco Liriano gets off the disabled list. The last time we looked, Liriano had a 1-6 record while Locke, with some luck, should be 5-1 now. But Locke has some options left to be sent out, and Liriano and the other top pitchers do not. No one has pitched any better than Locke since his last call-up a month ago. Liriano was an excellent pitcher last year but this year, well, not so good.

Several former Pirates made the All-Star teams with other ballclubs this year, including Jose Batista of the Blue Jays, Brandon Moss of the Athletics, Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers and Casey McGehee, who is among the five players the fans will select. Moss had a .228 average with the Pirates in parts of three seasons. McGehee batted .230 in 2012. They are both doing much better this year. Pirate fans have to be happy that Josh Harrison made the National League All-Star team. He may be the first utility player ever to be accorded such an honor. Andrew McCutchen was an automatic and those that selected pitcher Tony Watson made an excellent choice as well.

Remember Freddie Smalls, who wore the No. 30 jersey for the Mountaineers as a linebacker in the early 1980s? John Antonik, director of new media for West Virginia University, did a piece on him that makes for good reading. He wrote that Smalls was the first Mountaineer player to “flatten Doug Flutie.” The one thing Flutie did not do during his All-American career at Boston College was defeat the Mountaineers.

Smalls served for several years as a bod guard for entertainers but more recently he has gone into the Army. He has become an Army counselor with a tremendous impact on young people’s lives. And Antonik write that coach Don Nehlen still ranked very high among the people who have had a great influence in his life. “A lot of my life is based on the teachings of Don Nehlen,” Smalls said of his former coach. “Coach Nehlen is always on my mind and the things I learned at WVU are the way I live. ...I pray that a lot of these coaches today are like him.”

Email John Veasey at

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  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time.jpg Texas’ Strong prefers not talking about national title

    Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
    The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NMHS hopes new playing surface generates excitement

    The St. Louis Rams coined the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” for their collective group or multiple Hall of Famer-caliber players in during the 1999-2001 seasons. If Rams can run on turf, why not Huskies? 

    July 22, 2014

  • FSU's Barfield, Jean-Charles named preseason All-Americans

    Chris Barfield and Jacob Jean-Charles earn preseason honors by being named to the USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American team.

    July 21, 2014

  • Baylor coach isn't buying schedule strength argument

    The College Football Playoff committee has vowed that strength of schedule will be a major criteria when selecting the four teams.

    July 21, 2014

  • Big 12 Commissioner says cheating pays

    Big 12 Commissioner says the NCAA lacks the resources to enforce its rules and that has to change.

    July 21, 2014

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