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The Martin Chronicles

All things sports and beyond.

Alex Faedo led the way for Florida

A couple of weeks ago, Florida pitcher and former Alonso High star Alex Faedo fidgeted in his seat while trying not to talk about himself, his usual deal. That’s who he is.

But he eventually let it slip out ... that fire he normally keeps inside, just another reason, along with a fastball and slider, that made Faedo a first-round pick in the recent baseball draft.

“I feel like I can strike anyone out with anything,” Faedo said. “When I’m on the mound, I don’t think anyone can hit me. That’s the way you should be, if you have any doubt, you’re not going to believe in that pitch you’re going to throw.”

Meet the believer who has Florida in the championship series at the College World Series. Faedo has willed is team to a best-of-three showdown against SEC rival LSU for a national title with some unforgettable pitching.

He is 2-0 in Omaha. Saturday, Faedo pitched 7.1 innings of shutout baseball in a 3-0 win against TCU in an elimination game, allowing just three hits while striking out 11. In his first start in Omaha, he threw seven shutout innings against TCU, allowing just two hits and striking out 11. You getting the picture?

A 0.00 CWS. …

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Hey, somebody really ought to write about this Aaron Judge guy

Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.

AP photo

Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.

He can catch, too.

It's no tall tale.

Aaron Judge, The Amazing Colossal Man, has come and gone, but not before he stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge robbed Evan Longoria of an RBI double and helped double off Corey Dickerson. Best catch of the year to go with all those home runs.

Just when we'd thought we'd seen and heard and written everything about Judge -- and we've got the Sunday Times' to prove it, a wonderful presentation of all things Judge -- the 6-foot-10, 309-pound Judge gave us a little something extra.

Rays Kevin Cash had heard enough about Judge even before Sunday's tilt.

"But, you know, he made a tremendous game-saving play," Cash said.

Look, the Rays had won four straight games and five of six, including three consecutive series wins heading into Sunday's finale with the Yankees.

But the big guy can't stay out of the picture frame.

What is it that the 7-foot-4, 365-pound Judge can't do?

"I saw I might have a chance and I just dove for it," Judge said of his grab.

"I thought it was a double for sure," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. …

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16-0 shows us it's a Cavs-Warriors world

LeBron James, right, drives past Kevin Durant.

AP photo

LeBron James, right, drives past Kevin Durant.

16-0.

That's your NBA, kids.

That's the combined record of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors as they hop, skip and jump through the NBA playoffs.

They seem destined to meet in a third consecutive NBA Finals.

Can we get some older story lines here?

Yeah, it's the rubber match (they've split the first two Finals) and there's a fresh slant: Kevin Durant.

But I'm already tired of the stories. They're the same ones since before the season.

1. Is LeBron better than Jordan?

2. Will Durant finally win his championship?

3. Will Durant eventually go back to Oklahoma City, like LeBron went back to Cleveland?

4. Will Thunder fans welcome him back?

See answers at bottom.

But the NBA amazes me. It's the same story lines every year and somehow it generates interest.

Guess these guys are that good.

Maybe someone gets in the way before the Finals.

The Celtics? The Spurs? The Rockets?

Feel free to interrupt the normally scheduled program, just for the fun of it.

I know I'll snap out of this, when Durant is in the Finals, or LeBron is on his Finals game. …

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USF, Charlie Strong scrambling after another player arrest

USF football has had prouder days than Wednesday. So has the new head coach, Charlie Strong.

Bad scene.

Circuit judge Margaret Taylor, a USF graduate, tore into USF player LaDarrius Jackson, who was arrested Monday night on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment of another student in a residence hall.

Then Taylor let Strong have it, too.

"This court, and I'm sure I'm not alone, questions whether you have control over your players," Taylor said of Strong. "It's fairly clear that you do not have control of them off the field. ... I would implore you to think long and hard about whether being coach at USF is a good fit before any other members of our community have to suffer at the hands of one of your players."

Strong words.

Let's remember that the victim of Jackson's alleged crime has been through. That's what matters most.

Yes, we should wait for the legal process to take its course. Maybe the judge should have remembered it, too. …

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Jim Harbaugh remains a world beater

Jim Harbaugh makes college football interesting, unpredictable and fun, Martin Fennelly writes.

AP photo

Jim Harbaugh makes college football interesting, unpredictable and fun, Martin Fennelly writes.

Jim Harbaugh has crossed the Rubicon.

And I love it.

Michigan’s daffy, driven head coach has marched on Rome with his team and family. Field trip.

At the Vatican, Harbaugh handed a Wolverines helmet and Jordan shoes to: Pope Francis.

Talk about team building.

Then he addressed the media.

Harbaugh, that is, not the Pope. Harbaugh wore a suit – and a Michigan cap.

I’m not making that up.

I’m not making any of this up.

You couldn’t make up Jim Harbaugh if you tried.

Don’t you love it?

Harbaugh makes college football interesting, unpredictable and fun.

Of course, Michigan is holding three practices in Italy, too.

We have no news of Nick Saban and Alabama planning a visit to the Holy Land.

Jim Harbaugh has yet to beat Urban Meyer as Michigan coach, or win a championship. He couldn’t beat Jimbo Fisher Florida State in the bowl game last season.

Right.

Any of those guys hooked up with the Pope lately?

Harbaugh at the Vatican.

Sure beats three days at IMG.

Michigan’s coach is so far out front of everyone else when it comes to branding that it’s sick. He’s like six countries and one Holy Father ahead of everyone else. He’s a mastermind with a capital big block M. …

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