Some random thoughts while wondering if Stephen Strasburg will be considered for this year's Major League All-Star Game:
n Joe Paterno has a big game next week, and let's hope he can make it. The third "Evening with Joe" is scheduled Wednesday in Philadelphia. The first two such nights (May 11 in Pittsburgh and May 27 in Hershey) were canceled at the last minute because the coach wasn't feeling well. Money was refunded in Pittsburgh, but 700 in Hershey were not informed of JoePa's status until it was too late. Galen Hall, Ron Vanderlinden and Mike McQueary were dispatched for damage control. Scratching next week would not be a good sign.
n Noticed that Coquese Washington's contract was extended as Penn State women's basketball coach. Why? Washington did manage her first winning season last year (17-14) since arriving in 2007, but it ended with a home loss in the WNIT to Hofstra, and Washington was already under contract through the 2012 season. There's no question she inherited the train wreck Rene Portland left, but Washington is averaging 16-plus losses per season. This is not to say she won't get the job done eventually, but these next two years on her original contract should be sufficient time to prove that.
n Tim Curley also tripped over himself to extend Ed DeChellis after a 15-15 record in his third season (and a home loss to Rutgers in the NIT). Maybe the university just gets giddy at the mere sight of the NIT.
n I was rooting for John Wooden to make it to 100.
n Since Atlantic Broadband took a beating for not acquiring the rights to the entire Pittsburgh Pirates' TV schedule, it's only fair to give the local cable company credit for adding the 36 other games that were not part of the 120-game package. Better late than never. A chunk of that schedule starts this weekend with the interleague series at Detroit.
n The addition of Hollidaysburg native Tim Wassell to the Penn State women's soccer staff as an assistant coach is one of the best opportunities a local soccer player has ever landed.
n It wasn't noted in the fine print of the Garver YMCA Triathlon results, but John Ankney of Peach Bottom deserves mention for riding the nine-mile portion in 95.32. If the time wasn't fast, it's because he was riding a unicycle.
n Tussey Mountain's Peter Riley became the first singles player in District 5 history to win a PIAA tennis championship and just the first from District 5-6 to win since State College's Todd Lundy did it three years straight from 1972-74. This is particularly notable because Riley's high school, Northern Bedford, does not have a tennis team.
n Brady Gehret's two PIAA titles and national-elite times in the 200 and 400 have left longtime Altoona Area High School sports fans thinking his feats put him in the rare stratosphere that rank among the very best athletes ever to come out of the tradition-rich athletic program. It was noted here recently that Gehret could eventually become Blair County's first Olympian. Actually, he'd be the second. Hollidaysburg's Ward McLanahan took a fourth place in the 1904 Olympics in the pole vault. McLanahan, who competed at Yale, was the first pole vaulter in the world to leap 12 feet.