Sabino grad and Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy throws to first base on a ground out by Boston Red Sox's Daniel Nava in the first inning of a baseball game in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. Hardy has committed just 12 errors through Friday's games.

Michael dwyer
  • The UA is negotiating with the Arizona Interscholastics Association to stage at least one state football championship game at Arizona Stadium on the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. It’s likely that game would be the Division II title game — Salpointe, anyone? The chewed-up grass turfs at University of Phoenix Stadium and Sun Devil Stadium will be virtual dirt tracks by the UA-ASU game on Nov. 30. Salpointe Catholic, which has outscored five opponents 230-28, would be able to play for its first state title in Tucson. Over the last 20 years, Mountain View, Palo Verde and Canyon del Oro have won state championships at Arizona Stadium. The new artificial turf at the field makes it more appealing to the AIA schedule-makers, but a contract has not yet been signed.
  • Sabino grad J.J. Hardy has had another dazzling year as the Baltimore Orioles shortstop, committing just 12 errors through Friday as an everyday player. His fielding percentage (.981) is fourth among American League shortstops. But winning the Gold Glove, as Hardy did last year, is unusually difficult. In 2012, Hardy committed just seven errors and had a .990 fielding percentage. The difference in a Gold Glove year for a shortstop like Hardy is probably a bad throw and one bad hop in more than 500 total fielding chances.
  • Arizona State softball coach Craig Nicholson inherited a terrific situation, a Top-10 program with a dominant pitcher, Dallas Escobedo. He is also in the right place at the right time during ASU’s building project. Shade barriers have been built at Farrington Stadium for fans on the first base and third base lines. Those shade structures are about 15 years overdue at Arizona’s Hillenbrand Stadium. Fund-raising for a similar project at Arizona is in its early stages.