Baseball: Louisville 16, Mizzou 6 (2007). Tim Jamieson's program had established some serious momentum through the middle of the otherwise craptastic-for-Mizzou decade, and it all built up to this. A year after making the Super Regionals in California, Mizzou hosted their first ever NCAA Regional. They beat Louisville on Saturday night and only had to beat the Cardinals one more time to make the Super Regionals against an extremely beatable Oklahoma State team. The College World Series was within their grasp. Then, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, Louisville beat Mizzou on Sunday with a late-game home run. And the next day, they scored eight (EIGHT!) first-inning runs off of future first-rounder Aaron Crow, pitching on basically 2.5 days' rest, and coasted to a regional victory. Quite the kick in the balls.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
If the season started today, there’s a good chance that Lockwood and Gerrish would probably start the season in some sort of bullpen role. And we’re talking about Lockwood, two years ago - if it weren’t for Strasburg - would’ve been the pitcher of the year in the Mountain West after going 9-2 with a great ERA and Gerrish, who ended up being our No. 1 starter at the end of last year and beat Texas in the Super Regionals. That’s two-thirds of our starters from last year’s team.
. . .
Let's shove all of the equivocations aside for a moment and cut right to the chase: as the active roster currently stands, Ian Kinsler (03) is the Texas Rangers' best player. He's a sensational talent, a success story of the highest magnitude for the amateur scouting department -- and, even more specifically, for Rangers crosschecker Mike Grouse -- and one of the single biggest reasons why Texas has clearly transitioned from "rebuilding" to "win-now" mode.. . .What is relevant is, of course, the widely held belief that Kinsler's adoption of a more pronounced uppercut swinging motion was a prime contributer to his offensive downfall in 2009, as well as Kinsler's insistence that no facet of his hitting mechanics had materially changed.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
When Turner Gill was named Kansas University’s new football coach, I told our desk people I thought we had an old black-and-white print of him in our photo files.
So I went to search one of the drawers in the large sports-department filing cabinet, found the G section, shuffled through some photos, and there it was — a picture of Gill playing shortstop for Nebraska in the early 1980s.
Here was one of the best quarterbacks in NU’s storied football history, and we had retained a picture of him playing baseball. Go figure.
. . .
When it comes to baseball, there are two categories of players — those who can hit, and those who can’t. And, like countless others before and after him, Gill fell into the latter category.
Gill played two summers for a Cleveland Indians farm team in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series and, to be frank, hit like a little leaguer — .189 in 1987 and .195 in 1988.
• KFRU and KBXR will no longer be the official stations for MU Football and Basketball. KFRU has been the flagship station for those MU sports for many decades. (KFRU to stop broadcasting Tigers games , Columbia Daily Tribune)• The Zimmer Radio Group now has the rights to local broadcast of Mizzou sports. KCMQ (96.7 FM), KTGR (1580 AM), KWOS (950 AM), KFAL (900AM) and KKCA (100.5 FM) will simulcast all football, men's basketball, coaches shows and daily shows starting with the 2010-11 season.
• In addition, for the first time in school history, all baseball and women's basketball games will be heard on AM and FM. KTGR (1580 AM) and KKCA (100.5 FM) will air all games, starting with the 2010 Mizzou baseball season.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The Southeastern Conference is taking its swing at picking up the pace during baseball games.
The league's athletic directors approved changes for the 2010 SEC tournament including a 20-second clock between pitches when the bases are empty and a 90-second limit between half innings, spokesman Chuck Dunlap said.
It's a move designed to make tournament games both more fan- and TV-friendly.
If it gets good reviews during the tournament, where games routinely drag on for 3-plus hours, it could be implemented for the 2011 regular season as well.
"I think it's going to be good for everyone involved,'' Dunlap said. "If it does pretty much guarantee games under 3 hours, I can promise you the TV networks will push very hard to keep it in place.''
Thursday, December 17, 2009
■ For minor league hopefuls, baseball is only a summer job (St. Louis Globe Democrat)
Brock Bond's (06-07) current activities are also discussed in the article.
At Balls-n-Strikes, Mantle’s hardly alone. Aaron Jaworowski (95-97) one of the co-owners of the company, played in the minors for both the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees. He can relate to the troubles that minor leaguers face in finding work, and states that at least 75 minor leaguers have been employed at one of the five area franchises since its founding.
These minor leaguers in turn educate a future generation of St. Louis baseball players. According to the company’s website, 121 former students of Balls-n-Strikes have been drafted—including high profile picks such as Jacob Turner and Max Scherzer (04-06). Instructors such as Mantle no doubt helped them tremendously, and it’s a process he greatly appreciates.“Teaching and simply being around the kids, watching them truly enjoy every minute, makes me realize how fortunate I am to still be playing the same game today,” he says.
. . .
Polls & Rankings
■ THE NCBWA has kicked off the early pre-season polls & rankings season by releasing their 2010 Pre-Season All Americans. There are no Missouri Tigers on the list. Not only that, but there is only one Big 12 player on the first team, plus 2 on the 2nd team and none on the 3rd team.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Max Scherzer is well aware of the irony. He was once a Tigers star and is expected to be a Tigers star again.
“I’ve gotten a lot of texts pointing that out,” said Scherzer, the former Missouri ace who last week was involved in a seven-player, three team deal that landed him in Detroit.
■ BoydsWorld.com has RPI numbers going back to 1997 for NCAA Baseball. Looking at the historic data, let's see how many teams were in the top 25 for each of those years, for both the Big 10 and the Big 12.
1997: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 1
1998: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 21999: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 32000: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 42001: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 12002: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 32003: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 42004: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 22005: Big 10, 0; Big 12: 32006: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 42007: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 32008: Big 10, 0; Big 12, 42009: Big 10, 1; Big 12, 4
• CWS Champions: Big 12, 2 (Texas in 2002 and 2005); Big 10: 0• The last Big 10 champion in the CWS: Ohio State, 1966• Total Big 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament, 1997-2009: 73
• Total Big 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament, 1997-2009: 25• Total Big 12 teams in the CWS, 1997-2009: 12• Total Big 10 teams in the CWS, 1997-2009: 0
■ Big Ten evaluating expansion to 12 teams
The Big Ten might be getting bigger.
The league said Tuesday it will explore options over the next 12 to 18 months for expansion. Big Ten presidents and chancellors decided this month that the timing is right to study adding a 12th school.
The Big Ten also looked at expansion in 1993, 1998 and 2003. Penn State was the last team to join in 1990, and Notre Dame rejected an offer in 1999.
The league, whose offices are in suburban Chicago, said no action on expansion is expected soon. It said it hopes to gather information before engaging in formal discussions with any schools.
. . .
"About every five years the Big Ten Conference explores the possibility of expansion," Illinois athletic Ron Guenther said in an e-mail to the AP. "Any expansion of the conference would obviously have to be a good fit academically, geographically and financially. If the Big Ten does make a change, I hope it will be as successful as the addition of Penn State."
■ Big Ten will mull expansion plans (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Missouri athletics director Mike Alden said Tuesday via e-mail that "there isn't really any story here for us" and noted Mizzou hasn't heard from other conferences.
Alden did not specify whether MU would be interested in joining the Big Ten. The conference said it would not engage "formal discussions with leaders of other institutions during the 12 to 18 months it will study the matter."
. . .
Longtime MU donor and former university curator Donald Walsworth said the only reason he could see joining the Big Ten is because of its television contract. But Walsworth doesn't believe that's compelling enough.
"I think Missouri is where it should be," he said. "Personally, I can't see it being an advantage to us. … I think our fans would just be livid."
Current curator David Wasinger, who is based in St. Louis, said he didn't know enough to "have any feeling on the subject yet." But he said it did not come up in last week's regular meeting. Neither did any discussion of discontent with the Big 12.
He did not expect any movement to be driven by the board.
Monday, December 14, 2009
• http://www.mizzou-bigten.com/ is a single page
• http://big10mizzou.blogspot.com/ is in a blog format, with more extensive arguments and the opportunity for readers to make comments
Both use the exact same banner masthead that pretty much rules out any expectation of lack of bias: Missouri + Big Ten Conference = Natural Fit
A natural fit unless, of course, you're a Baseball fan. The Big Ten is a 2nd-tier baseball conference at best. I'd rather be in the Missouri Valley than the Big 10, when it comes to baseball. But I'd really rather be in one of the top 2 or 3 baseball conferences in the NCAA: The Big 12.
I'm not too worried, though. I don't think there's much chance at all of this happening. No matter how many copy-cat websites people put on the interwebs.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
■ In Minors far from the show (Columbia Tribune), Matt Nestor profiles former Tiger Garrett Broshuis (02-04)
“Early on, I was worried about my career,” said the 27-year-old Broshuis. “Now, I’m not as worried, so I can be a little more honest about my opinions. If no one talks about these things, it won’t be brought to light.”■ Equal time: We posted a link to Cody Ehlers' craigslist ad for batting instruction the other day. Now we've stumbled upon a website for Hunter Mense (04-06), baseballhunter.com, advertising similar services.
Broshuis, who is currently applying to go to law school, recently ventured outside the game, writing an opinion piece about the health care bill for USA Today.
My next adventure came in the form of college. I signed to go to Mizzou as a pitcher/outfielder but only ended up being an outfielder. My freshman year was definitely a learning experience. I played sparingly and when I did play I was pretty inconsistent. I was struggling against guys that I should have been succeeding against. With about a month left in the season I dove for a ball in the outfield and tore a ligament in my thumb and consequently I was done for the rest of the season. That following summer I played for the Hays Larks in the Jayhawk league. I was able to play every day and re-discover my game. My sophomore year was a much more successful year. We were selected for a regional at Cal State Fullerton and I was named to the All Big XII team. I also impressed enough people to be selected to try out for the collegiate national USA team.
■ Players eager to build on 2009 success (kansan.com)
Kansas returns most of its starters from a season ago. Led by standouts like Tony Thompson and junior pitcher T.J. Walz, the Jayhawks should have strong leadership that will be essential to the team’s success.
“We’ve got lots of older guys coming back that will help set a good example for the young guys,” Thompson said.
The team will have some big holes to fill, though — most notably the graduation of catcher Buck Afenir and departures of shortstop David Narodowski and pitcher Shaeffer Hall, who both passed up their senior seasons to play in the MLB.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Now that it's official, we can take a look at that schedule and ask the question: How tough is MU's 2010 schedule?
Boyd Nation, at Boyd'sWorld.com, annually produces a list of Intended Schedule Strength, based on the final RPI or ISR numbers of each team on the upcoming schedule, averaged out to an intended average RPI.
Using that formula, and using the Boyd'sWorld.com final RPI numbers, I've compiled a list of the final 2009 RPIs of the teams on the tentative 2010 schedule, and averaged them out for an intended schedule strength of .540.
So what does that really mean, in terms we can understand? Two teams (UCLA and Sam Houston State) finished 2009 with an RPI of .540, placing in a tie for 70th place in Division 1 of the NCAA out of a total 300 teams.
Tim Jamieson's Intended Schedule Strength has been moving slowly upward over the past few years. This year sees a dip of just .001, a statistical blip that shows the Tigers are maintaining their level:
Part of this steady rise to the current level is due to the overall gradual strengthening of the Big XII conference from top to bottom. But it also reflects a willingness to schedule multiple contests against teams like TCU, Boston College, Auburn - and that extra game against the Longhorns.
.629 Texas (x4)*.607 Texas Christian *.586 Texas A&M (x3) *.586 Oklahoma (x3) *.578 Kansas State (x3)*.575 Oklahoma State (x3)*.570 Boston College *.570 Baylor (x3)*.568 Auburn.567 Missouri *.554 Kansas (x4)*.553 Gonzaga (x2)*.546 Xavier (x3)*.545 Eastern Illinois.543 Missouri State (x2).540 Illinois.532 Florida Atlantic.530 Texas Tech (x3).520 Nebraska (x3).519 Houston.508 New Mexico State.508 Washington.490 Purdue (x2).440 Arkansas-Pine Bluff (x2).428 North Dakota (x4).418 Southern Illinois Edwardsville.410 Western Illinois
Thursday, December 10, 2009
■ Baseball America's John Manuel blogs about the Winter Meetings, and mentions spending time with a former Tiger
I got to meet Garrett Broshuis (02-04) and show him around yesterday, which was my treat. We were both impressed when A’s player personnel maven Billy Owens quoted his scouting report back to Garrett and remembered seeing him at the Big 12 tournament. Broshuis on the Giants’ Double-A roster, so he’s eligible for the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5.Manuel also explains the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. (NOTE: Broshuis was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft this morning)
■ Speaking of which: Suitcase Chronicles: It's Raining Men is the latest blog entry from Brosh, who always has a point of view slightly outside the expected and usual:
I left the bar and walked up the steps to the press area. Here I found more men. Only a few female journalists scattered about. The whole place was a bratwurst fest that would've made any Oktoberfest proud.■ If you live in the Tampa area and are looking for baseball hitting lessons from a former Tiger, check this out on CraigsList.com:
The thought occurred to me that perhaps one needed a baseball background to perform most of these jobs. Then I thought about the number of front office posts filled by those without baseball skills. Baseball skills aren't always a prerequisite to perform certain front office jobs. The same could be said for journalists.
"Perhaps women simply don't want to work in baseball," I thought. So I began to look around for other signs of diversity. A few African-Americans; a couple of individuals of Asian descent . . . and that was it. The most shocking thing: almost no obvious Latinos.
Hi my name is Cody Ehlers (01-04). Looking for hitting, fielding, or pitching lessons? I give lessons on Wednesdays and Sundays at Gaither High School's baseball field. I played first base in the Yankees farm system for 5 years, playing for two of those years in double A. I'm currently on a professional team in Chicago called the Lake County Fielders. My rate is $50 a lesson and all ages are welcome. Bundled and package deals are available. Email me for more information.
■ From ConnectTriStates.com:
Hannibal High alum Neil Hugenberg has made the Missouri Tiger Baseball roster as a walk-on. Tiger Assistant Evan Pratte tells KHQA that Neil still "has some work to do" this spring before securing a spot on the Traveling Squad, but that Neil has been some "very nice things" in his workouts. Not surprised a kid with a 93 mph fastball found a college home; but with Hugenberg's collection of skills, should a kid like this ever slip through the cracks as a walk-on?
With a fastball that clocked in the mid 90's and a sweeping, nearly unhittable curveball, Neal Hugenberg enjoyed a dominant, albeit injury-addled high school career at Hannibal.
Those same attributes are giving him a new lease on his baseball life.
KHQA has confirmed that Hugenberg has successfully walked on to the nationally regarded Missouri Tiger Baseball team. Mizzou Assistant Evan Pratte confirmed Neal's place on the Tiger Roster, complimenting "Big Neal" on doing "a lot of impressive things" during his workouts. Pratte says Neal still has some work to do this spring before he cements a spot on the traveling roster, but the Tigers are weighing Hugenberg as a right-handed bullpen option.
■ He's back on top (Hannibal Courier-Post, April 30, 2009)
It has been a long year-and-a-half for Neil Hugenberg.
By his own admission, there was a time when the Hannibal senior pitcher did not think he would ever get to stare down a batter from the mound again.
Rewind to April 2, 2008. Hugenberg had been fighting what he would soon find out was an extra half of a vertebrae in his back that was causing him increasing amounts of pain. It became so bad at one point that he left the ’07-’08 basketball season in hopes of salvaging his baseball season.
“I would ice my back after each game,” Hugenberg said. “But, by halftime up at Borgia at the Thanksgiving Tournament, I just couldn’t go back out.”
Few would argue that he didn’t have good reason for doing so. Hugenberg’s skill on the mound had been affirmed just a year prior when he was named as an All-State pitcher, sporting a .48 ERA.
But after what the senior described as “the slowest double ever” against the Hickman Kewpies, it became clear that the sacrifice had been in vain.
“I went to put my hands on my knees and I couldn’t straighten back up,” he said. “It was just spazing out. I thought it was over.”
. . .
And Hugenberg has certainly made it look easy this season. In his past two starts, he has struck out a combined 31 batters – 17 against the Mexico Bulldogs and 14 against the Boonville Pirates. And with the district tournament right around the corner, Graham said he knows just who he will go to in those clutch situations.
“[Neil is] just that type of pitcher,” Graham said. “… Teams know that if Hugenberg is on the mound, it is going to be a battle. … He wants to be in those big games. As a pitcher, you’ve got to want the ball in the big situations and you’ve got to want to be the man for your team and that’s what Neil does.”
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This should be a beneficial move for Scherzer, who will like pitching roughly half his games at spacious Comerica Park in Detroit. Arizona’s home ballpark is a haven for hitters; Scherzer’s ERA on the road over the last two seasons is 3.67.
Right-hander Max Scherzer is a dynamite pitching talent who throws just about as hard as Edwin Jackson and whom some believe can almost immediately replicate what Jackson can.
. . .But his problem is the lack of a third pitch, not unlike Jeremy Bonderman's missing piece: Scherzer's got that hard fastball and a slider -- that's either "dominant or mediocre," according to Baseball Prospectus' 2009 season preview -- but little else can be trusted.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The first blockbuster deal of the winter will ship Detroit Tigers All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees in a three-team swap that will also pry St. Louis native and former Mizzou All-American Max Scherzer (04-06) out of Arizona
Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch sure wasn't going to spill the beans on the megadeal that apparently just got completed moments ago, but he was peppered with some questions about players reportedly involved.
Here's what he had to say about right-hander Max Scherzer, 25, one of the guys heading from Arizona to Detroit:
"Max's progression is good. Starting off in the bullpen when he first got up to the big leagues and getting through that year, last year he got up to 170 innings which, for a young starter, is a nice leap for him.
"We had tried really hard to get him to his inning totals. A year before, we sent him to the Arizona Fall League to increase his innings totals. So he went form somewhere in the 130s to 170 last year and had a very good year.
"If you toss a start or two that imploded on him, he was a bonafide guy for us. And we like him. He's a guy that has room to grow and he took some steps forward this year."
The D-backs were closing in on a blockbuster three-way trade with the Tigers and Yankees on Tuesday that would bring pitchers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona and send away pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth, according to sources.
The Yankees reportedly would receive center fielder Curtis Granderson and send left-hander Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit
Mr. Selig will arrive riding an Indian elephant—perhaps sporting a flowing robe and giant turban, riding atop the elephant with back straight and arms crossed. Scantily clad, masked dancers will accompany him, and bongo drums and rhythmic chants will scream in the background. He’ll slide down the elephant’s tail, be fed grapes from the hand of a dancer, and pronounce the beginning of the games. All the while I’ll be eating a corndog.
Monday, December 7, 2009
“I've seen many opportunities over the years to be involved in baseball projects, but this one is really special. The location, the people involved, and the chance to offer families in Zion and the surrounding communities a quaint and affordable setting for minor league baseball means everything. Like that unforgettable movie line says, ‘This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.’ Play Ball!” ~ Kevin Costner, Owner
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
What were they thinking?
Thanks to the vigilant fans at Tigerboard.com for the tip.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sorry, you need to transfer to another school if you want to get playing time.
That's the last thing a player wants to hear from his coach. Yet, it happens more frequently than you might suspect. And it will happen more frequently now that the NCAA has reduced the number of players who can be on a Division I baseball roster.
Join us for our FREE teleseminar when we discuss the issue of transfers:
Day: Wednesday, December 2nd
Time: 7 PM, CDT
More Details and Free Registration