Canzano: Mailbag lands in Lubbock as Pac-12 lands in court
Your questions, my answers.
LUBBOCK, Tex. — My connecting flight into this booming west-Texas town had an interesting passenger on board.
Dale Scott, former Major League Baseball umpire, wore a bright green polo shirt on Friday evening. He towed a black roller bag and a matching backpack onto the American Airlines flight traveling from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport to Lubbock.
Scott was born and raised in Eugene.
He’s a die-hard Oregon Ducks fan.
“I try to pick a game or two every season to travel to,” he told me.
Scott, 64, retired from MLB after the 2017 season. He umpired three World Series, three All-Star Games, a handful of no-hitters and holds the distinction of being the last umpire to eject manager Billy Martin from a game.
I’ve known Scott for years. The guy loved his job. But he also likes barnstorming with the UO football team. In fact, the first time I met Scott was at baggage claim in the Bay Area, where he was traveling to see his Ducks play a Pac-12 game years ago.
I’m always impressed by the dedicated and fortunate who make road trips with their teams. On Thursday of Week 1, I was in Salt Lake City for the Florida-Utah game and saw a sea of Gator fans at the SLC airport.
A couple of days later, I flew to San Jose where I encountered a mob of dedicated Oregon State fans dressed in orange and black. There were so many OSU fans at Sunday’s game that San Jose State athletic director Jeff Konya pointed to several orange sections in the stadium and told me “a lot of Beavers here in the Bay Area.”
I’m in Lubbock for a college football game. I can see Jones AT&T Stadium from my hotel window. It’s known as a difficult place for visiting teams to play. In a matter of hours 60,000 fans will assemble and scream for Dan Lanning’s spleen. But there will be some others here dressed in green. I’m sure of it. And somewhere in that crowd will be a retired MLB umpire, hopeful he’s picked the right game this season.
On to the mailbag…
Q: Any predictions for the Washington State/Oregon State court battle vs. the Pac-12? It sounds like the teams jumping ship are trying to re-write the rules with the blessing of the commissioner that drove the nail into this whole issue. — @radesjardins