Beaver baseball National Champions again (and pepino)

Monday, June 25, 2007

NCAA Baseball National Champions Congratulations to the Oregon State baseball team! The Beavers swept through the College World Series, winning all five of their games.

In the best-of-three finals, they beat the North Carolina Tar Heels for the second straight season.

OK, you know how I love random trivia, so here are some CWS facts:

The Beavers (49-18) trailed for only one of 45 innings they played in Omaha, and they became the first team to win four CWS games by at least six runs. North Carolina (57-15) was runner-up for the second straight year after the first CWS finals rematch since Arizona State and USC met in 1973.

Oregon State baseball And some more trivia: Last year, Oregon State became the first true northern team since Ohio State in 1966 to win the championship. This year, Oregon State became the first team since LSU in 1997 to repeat as College World Series champs. Texas (1949-50), Southern California (1970-74) and Stanford (1987-88) also won consecutive titles.

Read the full ESPN recap and last night’s AP article.

Now go out and consume a crapload of officially licensed Oregon State merchandise and be happy! It’s just like OMM says: “Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And be happy.”

I guess the next exciting sports event is the NBA Draft on Thursday, especially for Portland and Seattle. Also, the NHL Draft, according to Bill Simmons, apparently just happened too.

pepino melon Aside from Wimbledon 2007, I can’t think of any other sports news I care about. So, shifting gears . . . while not a sport (but perhaps akin to gambling), exotic melon tasting is fun. Yesterday I bought a pepino melon (also called a tree melon or pepino dulce) to try. (It’s like Jerry Seinfeld once said: “Fruit is a gamble. I know that going in.”) What is a pepino dulce? It’s about the size of a baseball, but shaped like a pear. Here’s a quote:

Pepino is Spanish for cucumber. Dulce means sweet. This yellow-skinned fruit with streaks of purple is between four and six inches in length and is a member of the nightshade family along with peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. . . . Pepinos grow on shrubs that reach a height of 3 feet. The plant has evergreen leaves and purple blossoms. It’s difficult to understand how it ended up being named cucumber in Spanish. The inside contains a sweet orange or yellow flesh with edible seeds.

I’m looking forward to tasting it, though I think it needs a day to ripen. What random produce item will I throw a few dollars at next? Well, Sunday’s purchase was a toss-up between the pepino and the kiwano (horned melon). So, maybe I’ll get a kiwano next time; it’s certainly a weird one. See more melon varieties.

Here’s an interesting article about the genetic modification of tree height that forest scientists at Oregon State University are working on: “A six-inch tall tree: researchers demonstrate way to control height.” Oregon State researchers are also looking into welcoming our nanobot overlords.

Lastly, have I ever mentioned that I don’t like amusement parks? I found a disturbing article last week and have been afraid to search for a follow-up. Anyone interested in cheap thrills in exchange for severed feet? Ugh. I have no idea what the girl was doing, or if the park will now be sued, but still . . . I’ve heard too many of these stories. About the worst I can remember personally is getting whiplash on a rollercoaster ride as a kid. I’d much rather take my thrillseeking desires into the mountains than pay to get buckled into some whirring mechanical contraption.

Speaking of mechanical contraptions . . . the OSU baseball boys should be rolling back into town this afternoon for a celebration in Parker Plaza, in front of Reser Stadium.

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