Saturday, April 12, 2014

Huskies Putting in Some Bullpen Sessions?

To the victors go the spoils: UConn's national-champion men's and women's basketball teams will be feted in numerous ways over the coming weeks and months. There will be Sunday's parade, which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of fans. There will be trips to the White House, championship dinners and loads of other stuff.

There will also likely be ceremonial first pitches. Now, the question becomes, where do these pitches happen -- Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, CitiField ... or, possibly, nowhere at all.

The UConn women will almost certainly be taking part in ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park on Tuesday, April 22, according to a source from the Red Sox. The men may join them that day, but that hasn't been determined yet. There are minor issues like classwork and the like that the Huskies must catch up on after their incredible run through March and early April.

Invitations have also come from the Yankees and Mets. This makes things even more intriguing. The 2011 team did the honors at Yankee Stadium.  Kemba Walker, the New York native (and non-baseball fan) threw out the pitch, but he was joined by Roscoe Smith, Alex Oriakhi and several other teammates. Not Jim Calhoun, however -- he threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park a few days later. Just as he'd done in 2004, after saying that he had rejected the Yankees' offer (this was later found to be an embellishment, at best).

Now, the question is -- does UConn, which is trying to strengthen its foothold in New York and will be playing a football game next November in the Bronx, go with Yankee Stadium? What about CitiField -- let's not forget, SNY broadcasts both UConn and Mets games.

Maybe there's a happy medium. Maybe Roxbury native Shabazz Napier does the honors at Fenway, while other UConn players accept the Yankees and/or Mets' offers.

Or maybe nothing comes of it at all. Seriously, there are classroom issues to take care of, and that's a concern for the Huskies over the next couple of months.

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