FORMER long-standing First Class and International umpire John Richard Gayle, popularly known as Johnny Gayle died yesterday morning in his native island, Jamaica. Gayle also represented the West Indies in three Test matches. He was 96.According to a release from the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) secretary Vivian Johnson, “This is a difficult day for us all. I would like to inform you of the passing of legendary, long-standing Jamaica and West Indies umpiring giant Mr Johnny Gayle. Mr Gayle died this morning after a short illness.“Johnny served the cricket umpiring fraternity in the West Indies for over 60 years. He served in many capacities including Honorary Secretary and President of the Jamaica Cricket Umpires’ Association, Honorary Secretary of the WICUA for approximately 20 years and WICUA representative on the WICB (CWI) Umpires Subcommittee during that time. The WICUA secretary pointed out that Gayle was also a regional First Class umpire and attained the lofty status as a Test umpire during the 1970s and 1980s. “He was a revered figure in the West Indies and was an instructor on the Laws of cricket examination assessor for most of his career. He was honoured by the WICUA as one of its regional giants at its 50th anniversary celebrations during the biennial convention in Trinidad & Tobago in 2013.Johnny was also honoured by the Jamaican Government with the Order of Distinction for his contribution to cricket umpiring in the West Indies.“The entire West Indies is saddened today and we’re definitely poorer with the loss of this overarching figure of a man that had transcended the sport that we so dearly love. The bible states that “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” Therefore we were prepared for this day. May his soul rest in peace and may light perpetually shine on his soul”.More information on funeral arrangements will be released at a later date.
For seven innings, the Trojans fought to find any consistent offense against Long Beach State. For seven innings Dirtbags pitcher John Castro had USC’s lineup on its toes, allowing just six hits and zero runs.“I thought Castro pitched phenomenally well for them today,” head coach Dan Stubbs said. “He had three pitches working and he kept us off balance.”But in a wild Tuesday night game that lasted four hours and featured 11 innings, the first seven frames merely served as prelude. The Trojans needed one major play to get back into the game, and junior Lars Nootbaar provided just that. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a man on second, the center fielder blasted a moonshot that sailed over the right field fence. With that two-run homer, a Trojans’ offense that had been largely dormant up until that point came alive.“Honestly it’s one of the greatest feelings,” Nootbaar said. “Just knowing you squared a ball up, it’s almost as if you didn’t even feel it. It’s one of those things where right at contact, you know it’s going out. Just seeing my teammates enjoy it was really the best part.”While Nootbaar’s home run gave the team a chance to win, solid pitching from a very young rotation kept the Trojans afloat up until that point. Junior Mason Perryman performed admirably — if slightly erratically — in only his fourth career start. He gave up just five hits but also hit three batters, at one point nailing two in a row to load the bases. After four innings, he was replaced by sophomore Quinten Longrie, who gave up one hit in nine outs, with five strikeouts.“We’re relying on a lot of young guys,” Stubbs said. “You think about the pitching that was out there today; I think Mason probably has 25 innings of college experience, Longrie might have 2 or 3 innings of college experience and the other guys have zero. We’re going to be a work in progress a little bit.”With the game tied at two at the top of the ninth, Stubbs made the bold decision to send freshman Austin Manning out to the mound. The lefty looked confident at first, striking out LBSU second baseman Jarron Duran. But then he gave up a double followed by a perfectly executed RBI sacrifice fly to center field. Manning managed to get out of the inning giving up only the one run, but the Trojans once again found themselves in a do-or-die situation heading into the bottom of the ninth.This time, however, they didn’t need Nootbaar’s hot bat. With two freshman pinch runners, John Thomas and Christian Moya, at the corners senior Cris Perez came up to bat with two outs. As Thomas attempted to steal from first base, LBSU catcher David Baneulos overthrew the second baseman, allowing Moya to score off of the error. The Trojans left the inning with a 3-3 tie, meaning that fans at Dedeaux Field would be treated to a late night of extra innings.Both teams failed to score in the 10th inning. Manning produced a three up, three down inning on the defensive end and then senior AJ Fritts was unable to bring junior Adalberto Carrillo home from third with one out.After Manning once again prevented the Dirtbags from scoring in the top of the 11th, the Trojans seemed destined to finally finish the game. First Brandon Perez reached first base when LBSU’s center fielder dropped a routine flyball. Then he reached second off of a wild pickoff throw to first base. The Dirtbags’ pitcher Chris Rivera intentionally walked Matthew Acosta and Tyler Urbach leaving the bases loaded with zero outs.Despite the odds stacked in their favor, the Trojans still did not make ending the game a simple task. Cris Perez and David Edson both struck out, leaving junior shortstop Frankie Rios up to bat with two outs and the game on the line. Rios immediately got down 0-2 in the count, and for a minute it looked as though USC had squandered another golden opportunity — except it had not. Rios blasted a walk-off single to center field and was immediately mobbed by an army of exhausted teammates.“I was excited,” Rios said. “I wasn’t doing all too well, and then I got that hit. I saw it off the bat, and I was pumped.”On the game, Nootbaar produced a memorable performance, going 3-4 with a home run and two RBI. On the season, he is batting .688 with two homers.A positive sign for USC going forward was the season debut of senior leader Corey Dempster following a knee injury. The outfielder came into the eighth inning as a pinch hitter and singled on the first pitch he saw.After defeating LBSU, the Trojans travel to North Carolina on Friday for games against Wake Forest and Duke.
Hearts will listen to offers for their entire first-team squad in an effort to keep the club afloat.The Edinburgh club said it was the result of other revenue “drying up”, with season ticket sales about half what they were last year at this time.Managing director David Southern told BBC Scotland it is doubtful they will be able to pay players’ wages that are due at the end of this week.Hearts need to raise a “significant six-figure sum” before the weekend.The club faces uncertainty with a debt of £25m – £10m of which is due to their parent company, UBIG, which is claiming insolvency.And the club owes £15m to Ukio Bankas, which has been declared bankrupt .Hearts’ majority shareholder, Vladimir Romanov, who claims to have spent £60m on the club, is seeking a buyer for the Scottish Premier League outfit.In a statement, the club said: “It is now crucial to the football club that we find a solution to bring in enough finance to allow us to trade into the new season when normal trading can resume with the benefit of SPL and game-related income streams.“The board had planned to bring income in through the sale of players while considering the financial forecast for next season, but now this will need to happen much earlier in order to preserve the business”Hearts statement“The payments to HMRC and players/staff salaries are the most important issues in our focus these days where very limited time remains available to the club.“However, given that the revenues for season tickets has dried up and no other realistic income is available quickly enough, the club will consider offers for the players of the current squad, including the most promising talent in order for the most necessary and important payments to be made.” Hearts have had assurances from the administrator handling Ukio’s liquidation that he wishes to keep the football club as a going concern.However, the club says the resulting uncertainty has led to the club’s main source of revenue in the close season – the sale of season tickets – drying up, with around 6,500 being sold so far, leading to problems in paying debts owed to HM Revenue and Customs .“Due to recent unexpected circumstances away from Tynecastle, the club is now experiencing a shortfall in funding,” said the club statement.“This shortfall, due to recent uncertainty, has created a significant noticeable blockage in projected revenue streams for the club.“While this hesitation is understandable, it is unwittingly damaging the club’s current efforts to improve its financial situation, including current payments to HMRC and raising doubts over future payments to players and staff.“The board had planned to bring income in through the sale of players while considering the financial forecast for next season, but now this will need to happen much earlier in order to preserve the business.”Hearts say the financial problems have resulted from their worst league finish in more than 30 years, the absence of Rangers from the SPL and increased costs relating to the Main Stand. “Provided we can achieve security for the club, it is the view of the board that there is a viable strategy for the change of ownership to a willing buyer or investor,” they add.