Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's 9

The arrival of New Year's Day means . . .
  1. Nasty weather. A week ago they were predicting a beautiful New Year's Eve, light jacket weather for those who plan to be out and about. I predicted NOT. New Year's always brings nasty weather. And, true to form, the high Friday is supposed to be around 60. and then that afternoon and evening the temperature is going to drop like a can of corn and hit 20 by the time 2011 arrives.

  2. The most non-productive week of the year. Nobody wants to do much of anything at work during the week between Christmas and New Year's. Me? I'm writing a blog post about how nobody wants to do anything productive during the week between Christmas and New Year's.

  3. Darkness. I drive to work before the sun comes up. I drive home after the sun is going down. It's too cold to go out and do much of anything. There's nothing on TV but bowl games and reruns of Glee (aka, Muzak disguised as a sit-com). No wonder so many people are depressed this time of year.

  4. College Football is finally going to be over. Can there be anything less exciting than a sport that plays only 11-12 games in a season, punctuated at the end by a meaningless bowl game? Picture that schedule being applied to basketball or baseball. It's laughable, right? So why does it make sense for football?

  5. The new BBCOR bat standards go into effect on January 1st, bringing about significant changes to the style of baseball we've gotten used to in college baseball. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

  6. Looking back. Every program, every magazine, every blog (except this one) has a Top Stories of the Year list. The first one is mildly interesting, and then they start to blur together. And when I look back on MY 2010, hardly any of those Top Stories rank in my top 10. My family moved, my job got crazy, my best baseball buddy moved away, a dear friend was released from prison after 32 years, my son experienced major changes in his life, a former foster child came back into our lives after nearly two decades, my father died, and I discovered the truth that every Baby Boomer discovers, that I'm now responsible for a parent in need. Those are the stories that really impacted my life.

  7. New Year's Resolutions. Lots of people make them. Few keep them. There's a good read and a unique take on the subject at Titus2Tea. What's your 1 resolution for 1/1/11?

  8. Mid-Winter Baseball Deprivation Blues. This time of year I'm reminded of a scene from Field of Dreams. Ray Kinsella has built the field and then waits for weeks and months while nothing happens. there's a quick scene during the holidays. His relatives are in the background making merry, and he's sitting and looking out the window at the snow-covered field. Waiting. New Year's is the low spot for most baseball fans, the middle of the long off-season wait.

  9. New Year's Eve marks exactly 7 weeks until Opening Day of the 2011 College Baseball season! The season ticket renewal forms will be in the mail any day now. The announcement of the date for the First Pitch Celebration will be made any day now. Mizzou-RAH!!!

    Those who think the baseball world revolves around the Major Leagues have 13 weeks until opening day. No wonder they're depressed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: Boyd's World

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

BoydsWorld.com used to earn my uncontested my vote as the #1 online resource for College Baseball.

It's still a great website, but Boyd Nation has moved on to other (more profitable) interests and now sells his incredibly detailed stats and analysis of college baseball players and trends to those with the big bucks to pay for it, like major league baseball and scouting groups.

He used to write a weekly column called Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha, for which devoted college baseball fans would eagerly wait and then argue about for days (or weeks . . . or years). He no longer writes that column, but the archives are available on the website and worth your while to read. All of them. Trust me.

Here's an example from a 2005 column on The Racial Composition of College Baseball:

Here then, are the numbers for the 8,591 players checked:
  • White 90.4%
  • Black 5.3%
  • Hispanic 3.5%
  • Asian 0.3%
  • Pacific Islander 0.4%
The number for black participation is skewed in a way that needs to be mentioned. If the two HBCU [historical black colleges and universities] conferences are removed from the numbers, that number drops to 2.7%, which is much closer to the generally perceived number.

"Asian", in the college game, means something different than in the professional sense. While almost all Major Leaguers of Asian descent are from the Far East, in college the numbers of players of Far Eastern and Middle Eastern descent are roughly equal, with a couple of Indian ancestry thrown into the mix.

The Pacific Islanders are highly concentrated in the two Hawaii schools, of course, but are present in reasonable amounts in many of the Western schools. This is in contrast to MLB, where as far as I know at this time, the presence of Pacific Islanders depends entirely on whether Shane Komine is with the A's or in AAA.
Be sure to read the rest of that article and check out the other archived articles.

Even without the weekly Breadcrumbs, what makes the site still worth frequent visits during the season are the sabermetric rankings and lists that he updates frequently (some of them daily), including his Pseudo-RPI, Strength of Schedule, Iterative Strength Ratings (ISR), Individual Leader Board, and the Pitch Count Watch.

All of these are great for knowing just how Mizzou and Mizzou players rank among other teams and players in D-1 baseball.

Also be sure to spend some time rummaging around in The Filing Cabinet.

And check out the Team Schedule Calendars. When he updates them for 2011, you can download MU's entire schedule to your Outlook calendar or Apple Calendar.

Like d1baseball.com, boydsworld.com is a plain vanilla site as far as graphics and flashy stuff (an intentional choice by Boyd Nation). But it is a treasure trove of information.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

MU in the Majors: Justin James

A little late news . . .

Brewers claim RHP Justin James off waivers from Oakland (mlb.com)
The Milwaukee Brewers today claimed RHP Justin James off waivers from Oakland and selected C Martin Maldonado from Triple-A Nashville. Both players have been added to the 40-man roster.
. . .
James, 29, went a combined 2-1 with 1.83 ERA (39.1ip, 8er) and 5 saves in 28 appearances between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento in 2010. He went 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA (4ip, 2er) in 5 appearances as a September call-up with Oakland while making his Major League debut this season. He had his contract purchased by Oakland from Kansas City of the independent Northern League in June. James was drafted by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and was traded to Cincinnati on December 5, 2007. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League.

James waiver claim (brewers.mlbblogs.com)
"I found out about the claim just before today's game," James said. "When I found out, you know you don't have control over that stuff, you just want to compete. Being here in the Fall League really opens up a lot of other doors for you as a player and for many people to see you. There are a large number of scouts at every game watching everyone."

James has bounced around throughout his career between the Reds, Blue Jays and A's organizations as well as a stint in 2009 in the Independent Northern League with Kansas City. He made his Major League debut this season with the A's.

"If I'm not pitching for Oakland or another organization, I might as well be pitching for the Brewers. I really am looking forward to being with Milwaukee and I think I can help the organization win. I want to finish up strong here in Arizona with the Fall League, do what I did last year and come back ready to go in Spring Training."


■ And an interesting message board conversation about Justin James on brewerfandemonium.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

MU in the Minors

Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson looks forward to taking the mound at Target Field (twincities.com)
The Twins had intended to have him pitch in the Arizona Instructional League, but Gibson (07-09) reminded them he was going to be married during that time. In fact, as we spoke by phone the other day, he and his new bride were wrapping Christmas presents. He's aware the Twins are in need of starting pitching, especially if Carl Pavano signs elsewhere.

Said Rantz: "He's kind of on the fast track. To be upfront, obviously he'll be in the mix at spring training. But we see him at Triple A with a chance to see the majors next year."

"I'm getting pretty excited," Gibson said, "but I'm trying not to overthink it. I'll show up and work hard with whoever I'm working with. They'll send me wherever they send me, and I hope to throw well and have a year like last year. Hopefully, even better."

More 2011 Schedule info

Oklahoma State released their 2011 schedule, which confirms the dates for the MU-OSU series on April 8,9,10 in Stillwater. We now have the scheduled times as well (6:30, 2:00, 1:00), which we have added to our tentative 2011 MU Schedule.

The only games still unconfirmed are those against SIU-Edwardvsville game and the neutral site game against Kansas.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Waiting . . .

Annual Christmas postThe countdown clock tells us there are 55 days until the first game of Mizzou's 2010 season. Even as the weatherman predicts a very white Christmas in the next couple of days, I can hardly wait for Baseball.

My grandson, on the other hand, is four years old and bouncing off the walls right now because he also can't wait . . . for Christmas. Having a child around brings a whole different meaning to Christmas-time, doesn't it?

Then again, you could say that having a child around is exactly what gives the meaning to Christmas. For centuries and centuries, people of faith waited and waited and then waited some more, for the promised son of God. And then, when He finally arrived, many missed it entirely because He came as a child, born to an ordinary mother in a less-than-ordinary setting.

I would hate to wait through the next 57 days and then miss the actual arrival of Mizzou Baseball.

Wise men still look every day for the signs of Jesus among us, as He offers blessings and provides opportunities.

A Merry Christmas to my Mizzou Baseball friends, and a sincere wish that you would seek God as eagerly as He has been seeking you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tentative 2011 MU Baseball Schedule

Edited 12/27/2010

We had previously posted an unofficial 2011 schedule, based on a tentative schedule in circulation among the team. Most of the other D-1 schools have now posted their official schedules, and I have been able to verify nearly every one of these scheduled match-ups and the dates and the times.

At this date, only SIU-Edwardsville, among MU's opponents, has not published an official schedule for 2011.

The other game on this schedule that is very much in doubt is the April 19th game against Kansas, scheduled to be played at Kauffman Stadium. That location and time appears both on the unofficial MU schedule I received AND on the official posted KU schedule. And yet, as I pointed out before, the official Kansas City Royals 2011 schedule shows them playing the Cleveland at the K that night. So we'll have to wait and see on that one.

The only game I have moved on this schedule is the MU-Illinois game, since the Illini officially posted scheduled shows the game at Busch Stadium on March 29th, not a week later as earlier reported.

(All times Central)

FRI 2/18 • Southern Cal @ USC (4 PM)
SAT 2/19 • Cal Poly @ USC (4 PM)
SUN 2/20 • North Carolina @ USC (1 PM)

FRI 2/25 • @ UNC-Charlotte (3 PM)
SAT 2/26 • @ UNC-Charlotte (DH: 11 AM / 2:30 PM)
SUN 2/27 • @ UNC-Charlotte (11 AM)

FRI 3/4 • Illinois-Chicago @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 3/5 • Illinois-Chicago @ MU (DH - 1 PM / 4 PM)
SUN 3/6 • Illinois-Chicago @ MU (1 PM)

TUE 3/8 • Gonzaga @ MU (4 PM)
WED 3/9 • Gonzaga @ MU (2 PM)

FRI 3/11 • Lemoyne @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 3/12 • Lemoyne @ MU (2 PM)
SUN 3/13 • Lemoyne @ MU (1 PM)

FRI 3/18 • Central Michigan @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 3/19 • Central Michigan @ MU (DH - 1 PM / 4:30 PM)
SUN 3/20 • Central Michigan @ MU (1 PM)

TUE 3/22 • Central Arkansas @ MU (6 PM)
WED 3/23 • Central Arkansas @ MU (4 PM)

FRI 3/25 • Oklahoma @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 3/26 • Oklahoma @ MU (2 PM)
SUN 3/27 • Oklahoma @ MU (1 PM)

TUE 3/29 • Illinois @ Busch Stadium, StL (6:30 PM)

WED 3/30 • @ Texas State (6:30 PM)

FRI 4/1 • @ Texas (6 PM)
SAT 4/2 • @ Texas (2 PM)
SUN 4/3 • @ Texas (12 Noon)

FRI 4/8 • @ Oklahoma State (6:30 PM)
SAT 4/9 • @ Oklahoma State (2 PM)
SUN 4/10 • @ Oklahoma State (1 PM)

WED 4/13 • SIU-Edwardsville @ MU (6 PM)

FRI 4/15 • Kansas @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 4/16 • Kansas @ MU (2 PM)
SUN 4/17 • Kansas @ MU (1 PM)

TUE 4/19 • Kansas @ Kauffman Stadium, KC (6:30 PM) - This date has since been shown to be in conflict with the Royals' published schedule)

THU 4/21 • @ Baylor (6:30 PM)
FRI 4/22 • @ Baylor (3 PM)
SAT 4/23 • @ Baylor (12 Noon)

TUE 4/26 • Eastern Illinois @ TR Hughes Stadium, O'Fallon, MO (6:30PM)

WED 4/27 • Missouri State @ MU (6 PM)

FRI 4/29 • Texas A&M @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 4/30 • Texas A&M @ MU (2 PM)
SUN 5/1 • Texas A&M @ MU (1 PM)

TUE 5/3 • @ Missouri State (6:30PM)

FRI 5/6 • @ Kansas State (6:30 PM)
SAT 5/7 • @ Kansas State (2 PM)
SUN 5/8 • @ Kansas State (1 PM)

FRI 5/13 • Texas Tech @ MU (6 PM)
SAT 5/14 • Texas Tech @ MU (2 PM)
SUN 5/15 • Texas Tech @ MU (1 PM)

FRI 5/20 • @ Nebraska (6:35 PM)
SAT 5/21 • @ Nebraska (6:35 PM)
SUN 5/22 • @ Nebraska (2:05 PM)

WED 5/25 • Big 12 Tournament @ Oklahoma City


I count 56 regular season games, so this schedule is likely very close to what will actually take place.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: Baseball-Reference.com

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

Baseball-Reference.com may seem like an odd fit for this list of College Baseball Resources. The website is well known as an online repository of historical details about everything MLB. It's the more nuts-and-bolts version of the more fan-friendly Baseball-Almanac.com.

But there is a feature of Baseball-Reference.com that the curious college baseball fan will find very interesting: the Collegiate Baseball Information page.

On this page you can find a list of every player who was ever in the major leagues who played at the University of Missouri (35 total, at this point). Or Haskell Indian Nations University (1). Or the University of Southern California (102 -- 2 more than the #2 school, Texas).

When you bring up the list of a college's alumni, you can sort the list based on a full range of statistics. For example:
• Homer Summa (MU '18) leads MU alums in career MLB batting average at .302 (among players with a significant number of at-bats)

• Glenn Wright (20-23) leads with most games played (1119) and plate appearances (4480), as well as home runs (94), although Ian Kinsler (03) is due to take the HR lead, having 92. Kinsler leads in slugging % (.466)

• Sonny Siebert (58) has a strong lead among pitchers with a 140-114 record, but is edged out by Darold Knowles (60) in ERA (3.12 vs. 3.21). Knowles is far and away the leader in saves (143)

If you're a casual fan, you'll take a look, shrug your shoulders and go, "Well, huh."

If, like me, you're a fan of college baseball history, don't be surprised if you get lost in the depths of BaseballReference.com.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Collegiate Baseball 2011 Pre-Season Poll

TCU No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball Pre-Season Poll (collegiatebaseball.com)
Big 12 teams ranked:
#6 Oklahoma
#7 Texas
#8 Texas A&M
#37 Kansas State
#39 Baylor
Also receiving votes: OSU, MU, NU

Pre-Season All-America Teams

Louisville Slugger Pre-season All America Team (collegiatebaseball.com)
From the Big 12, Taylor Jungman (UT)and John Stilson (A&M) are listed on the First Team. No Missouri Tigers are on the list.

NCBWA also released their Pre-Season All-Americans list.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Compliance: Mid-Year Transfers

Mid-Year Transfer Reminders (informedathlete.com)
1. Baseball players transferring TO an NCAA Division I program at midyear cannot be eligible until the following academic year. This is true regardless of whether the athlete is transferring from a two-year or four-year school.
. . .
4. Athletes in baseball or basketball looking for immediate eligibility upon transfer need to look at NCAA Div. II, Div. III, NAIA, or a two-year college.

Informed Athlete is a compliance consulting service provided by Rick Allen, a former MU Baseball parent and former D-I compliance director.

Friday, December 17, 2010

SimmonsField.com announces massive layoffs

SimmonsField.com, the leading Mizzou Baseball blog on the internet, announced today that several staffers have been laid off. Sources close to management tell us, however, that the layoffs are actually terminations, prompted by repeated embarrassing copy editing blunders. The unidentified minions had been put in charge of compiling the last of nominees for the You Make the Call Poll. Reportedly, they made the list, but failed to check it twice to find out who is newbie or not.

Trripleplay, the founder and CEO of SimmonsField.com has gone into seclusion after releasing a terse statement:
"Vote Early. Vote Often."

What goes around comes around

Cales testing loyalties with continued progress (mlb.com)
The razzing is kept to a minimum when David Cales comes home for the offseason. The Cubs' Minor League pitcher is a Chicago native, but he grew up on the South Side. His mother, Mary Weiss, has worked for the White Sox for more than 20 years.
. . .
He didn't start his baseball life as a pitcher but began as a shortstop. It wasn't until his freshman year at Missouri that he started pitching, and that wasn't exactly planned.

"We were playing an intrasquad game in college my freshman year," Cales said during a break in AFL play last month in Mesa, Ariz., "and [my coach] said, 'Why don't you get on the mound and throw?' I did well, and he said, 'Why don't you stay there and we'll put you at third base every once in a while to let you keep hitting.'

"The mental part of pitching was easier for me because I never thought about it -- it was just, get on the mound and do it."

If Cales makes it to the big leagues, give an assist to Missouri coach Tim Jamieson.

"I always had a good arm," Cales said. "In high school, I dabbled [at pitching]. I went to the University of Missouri as a position player, and that's where I came into my own."

Ironic. My understanding back at the time was that Cales left because he strongly disagreed with TJ wanting him to focus on pitching instead of hitting. Click HERE for his Mizzou Bio is here

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Arizona State penalized by NCAA

Arizona State dealt heavy sanctions (espn.com)
Arizona State's baseball team must vacate 44 of its wins from 2007 and is banned from the postseason in 2011 under sanctions announced by the NCAA on Wednesday.

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions ruled former head coach Pat Murphy failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and committed numerous recruiting and other violations from 2004-08.
NCAA drops the hammer on Arizona State (collegebaseball.rivals.yahoo.com)
While the Sun Devils received stiff punishment, former coach Pat Murphy escaped the NCAA investigation in better-than-expected shape after sitting out a year following his forced removal from the baseball program in November, 2009. Murphy received a one-year show-cause penalty, which includes a year of banishment from making recruiting phone calls to prospective student athletes
NCAA bans Arizona State from 2011 post-season (baseballamerica.com)
"The university agrees it could have monitored—and now does monitor—the program more closely and for that reason it self-imposed significant sanctions, including vacating all wins during the 2007 baseball season, including a conference championship and College World Series games," ASU said in a statement sent out by Renzulli. "However, many of the record keeping related violations were highly technical (some are not even violations under current NCAA rules) and one of the NCAA’s added sanctions is unduly harsh under the circumstances.

"Thus, ASU intends to appeal the NCAA report because the university disagrees with some of the findings of fact and the characterization of some infractions as major rather than secondary. The university also intends to appeal the additional sanction of banning post-season baseball play in 2011, which punishes many student athletes and coaches who were not involved in the rules violations."

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: D1Baseball.com

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

For pure numbers and the details of the game, D1Baseball.com has no rival.

The home page for D1Baseball.com is about as unflashy as it gets. A banner logo at the top, followed by three columns of links and drop-down menus. But those links are the portal to all the facts, ma'am, that you could want:
  • Complete Composite Schedule calendar of the baseball season, sortable by date (with every scheduled game with opponents, score, box score link, recap link and other miscellaneous info). The "complete" 2011 calendar is now up and being added to frequently.

  • Conference standings, Conference schedules, Conference Head-to-Head Results, Schools' Schedules

  • Links to Current Polls, Baseball sites, Summer League sites

  • And archives of nearly all the above data for every season going back through 2003

The home page says they're working on an iPhone app and improved mobile-ready website

Again, you're not going to get any commentary or opinions or photo spreads or interviews here. Just all the day-to-day information about what's happening, going to happen or already happened in College Baseball. And because there's no flash or fluff, you get it fast.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: NCAA.com/NCAA.org

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

If all else fails, you can always go to the NCAA.com Baseball page.

I say "if all else fails" because NCAA.com, like Big12Sports.com and most conference websites, is seldom the first online source on the mind of anyone who is seeking information about college baseball.

There is apparently an unwritten rule that being the official website of an athletics organization requires there to be nothing of high entertainment value on the website. No witty commentary and no speculation. Nothing of the sort of stuff that typifies the vast majority of sports-related websites.

And yet, when you really want to know something so arcane that the fun sites don't care about it,NCAA.com or NCAA.org may just be the sites you need.

The other unwritten rule about official websites, however, seems to be that actually locating the information you need is not necessarily easy or intuitive. The NCAA carries this to a new level, offering both NCAA.com and NCAA.org, which makes it difficult to know which site will have what you want. NCAA.com seems to being trying offer the sort of information (and relentless merchandise hawking) aimed at the fans, while NCAA.org seems to be more about the business of college athletics, aimed at the insiders and the truly obsessive fans (people like me).

Here are some links to my most-visited sections of NCAA.com and NCAA.org:

  • NCAA official RPI rankings: About halfway through the college baseball season the NCAA begins posting their official RPI rankings. This is interesting, since those rankings play a part in the selection and ranking of teams for the NCAA Tournament field of 64. What the list doesn't show is the actual RPI numbers themselves, or the formula and methodology behind the statistic.

  • NCAA Insider is a weekly blog highlighting the week's NCAA news, most of which is pretty dull. But occasionally you can find a nugget in the sand. Other Blogs cover other aspects of the arcane proceedings of the business of college sports.

  • NCAA Baseball Official Rulebook: Yes, you can buy a copy and wait for them to send it to you. Better yet, just download the PDF file for free.

  • NCAA Baseball D-1 Record Book: The official record of who did what the most and when - unless you're looking for obscure records (e.g., most consecutive scoreless innings pitched).

  • NCAA D-1 Manual: This manual is for all NCAA athletics. It covers the rules of recruiting, playing seasons and the like. This is the short version of the NCAA rules that give ulcers to even the most conscientious of college coaches. Like any legal document, some of this stuff begs for explanation and interpretation. Again, you can buy a copy and wait for them to send it, or just download the PDF file.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Signing Period

Jayhawks add 10 during early signing period (kuathletics.com)
Kansas baseball head coach Ritch Price announced Monday that the Jayhawks have added 10 players to the 2011-12 roster during the early signing period. KU had eight sign letters of intent to play at KU and added two other walk-ons.

Catcher/right-handed pitcher Nathan Arnold (Pittsburg, Kan.), left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin (St. Charles, Ill.), right-handed pitcher Robert Kahana (Ewa Beach, Hawaii), left-handed pitcher Cody Kukuk (Lawrence, Kan.), infielder Joe Luvisi (Scottsdale, Ariz.), outfielder Connor McKay (Parker, Colo.), infielder Justin Protacio (Pearl City, Hawaii), outfielder Dakota Smith (Leavenworth, Kan.), right-handed pitcher Colin Toalson (Lawrence, Kan.) and left-handed pitcher Justin Vander Tuig (Baldwin City, Kan.) will all suit up for the Crimson and Blue next season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

National Past-Time

Apparently it is no longer true that baseball is the only team sport without a clock. The details on that and other topics discussed by the Baseball Committtee:

D1 baseball committee opts for stopwatch over time clock (NCAA.org)
Umpires also will keep the time on the field between innings, when teams have a 90-second limit to start play in nontelevised games. The committee is considering a 108-second time limit between innings of televised games, but that may be longer depending on existing television agreements.
. . .
The committee considered having 32 first-round regional sites that would be conducted in a best-of-three format among just two teams per site. It could possibly be followed by eight four-team, double-elimination super regionals. Another option is for the entire tournament to be conducted in a best-of-three format until the CWS. This would call for an additional weekend to complete the tournament.
. . .
Weiser said the conversation about tweaking the RPI had a familiar tone. He has served two terms on the committee, and this topic is always up for debate.

One possibility could be adding more weight to road wins, which is similar to what the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee did in 2005.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Early Signing Period: Aggie signing class

Aggie baseball signing class breakdown (TexAgs.com) [includes video]
Chance Bolcerek,OF Childress' Take: "He's a special player. He plays with a chip on his hsoulder and plays extremely hard. He doesn't like the team in the other dugout, and you can see that by the way he hustles on and off the field and plays with an edge."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gone in 20 seconds

Base umps to enforce 20-second rule in tourney (rivals.yahoo.com)
Base umpires will enforce the NCAA’s new pace-of-play rules at the College World Series and other national tournament games in 2011.


Base umps to enforce 20-second rule in NCAA tourney (Washington Post)
There is a 20-second limit between pitches when no runners are on base and a 90-second limit between innings during non-televised games.

After one warning, a ball or strike will be added to the count depending on whether the pitcher or batter causes a violation.

10 things College baseball needs

Crystal ball: Ten things college baseball needs (rivals.yahoo.com)
With the sport slated to welcome a sparkling new facility in downtown Omaha next June that will host the College World Series, it's time to analyze ten things that could be done better or added to college baseball to make the sport better.
. . .
Speaking of roads we've traveled down before, it's a no brainer that college baseball should increase its scholarship totals. As has been the case for years, most programs have scholarship totals of 11.7. However, there's no question the sport is shafted from a scholarship standpoint when compared to other comparable Division I sports. The argument against increasing scholarships is many programs still aren't at 11.7. However, increasing scholarships, in most instances, would force administrators to make a greater commitment to the sport. It's a win-win for most.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mizzou Baseball: Longest Simmons Field Home Runs

■ There's a great discussion at the Tigerboard.com All Sports Board, prompted by the photo we posted earlier this week of W.T. Hoover, titled Longest Homerun. Various fans have chimed in on the longest HR they've seen at Simmons Field - whether by a Tiger or an opposing player.
JR Warner hit a moonshot on a windy Friday night that cleared the top of the yet-to-be finished roof.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Early signing period: Texas Tech

Raiders' signing class addresses specific needs (redraiders.com)
Tech released its fall signing class Tuesday, which comprised just six players — two right-handed pitchers, one-left-handed pitcher and three infielders. Five of the six players will be entering their high school senior seasons in the spring.

“Our signing class was very specific to what our needs were,” head coach Dan Spencer said in a statement from the school. “We really like the six guys that we signed. With only one senior, we will have to wait and see how the draft plays out to see whether or not we will add a guy in the spring or not.”

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: Rivals.com

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

Rivals.Yahoo.com/ncaa/baseball (aka collegebaseball.rivals.com) has become a true heavyweight in the world of college baseball.

Kendall Rogers started a little website and message board when he was a college student at Texas A&M, and called it Big12Baseball.com. It focused, logically, on Big 12 Baseball only. Then the conference yelped about his unauthorized use of the trademarked "Big 12" moniker. So the site became RosenblattReport.com, under the theory that the road to Rosenblatt Stadium (site of the College World Series) goes through the Big 12. Shortly thereafter, he expanded coverage to all of college baseball, and that's when the hobby became a full-time pursuit for Kendall.

At some point early in that process he joined up with the Rivals.com network of sites, which has since been bought out by Yahoo.

Since Kendall became the full-time paid guru of whatever you want to call the site now, he has become a nationally recognized expert on college baseball and a writer and reporter with an audience that has to be ranked with Baseball America as the reigning co-kings of the college baseball mountain. But unlike BaseballAmerica, this site is 100% free.

His nearly daily reports and summaries and interviews can range from the news-breaking and trend-setting to the elementary and repetitious. Granted, it's hard to produce original daily material during the off-season.

Some of what I find elementary, repetitions and boring is probably just what the college baseball novice needs, though. And Kendall is very definitely a man on a mission to proselytize baseball fans everywhere to join the growing throng of college baseball fandom.

And then there are the interviews with college coaches. Some of them are full of the usual canned answers and generalities (coming from coaches who have learned to talk in generalities), while others reveal unexpected news and candid opinions. Either way, Kendall gets the quotes because college coaches have learned that he has the ears and eyes of a very large audience of college baseball fans.

A good example of Kendall's ability to get the quotes is a recent article updating readers about Pat Murphy, the Arizona State head coach who resigned amidst allegations of wrongdoing nearly a year ago.
Murphy joined the San Diego Padres organization after his removal last November. That opportunity catapulted him into a position as manager of the Class A short-season Eugene (Ore.) Emeralds.

“I’ve learned so much about myself throughout this process. I’ve realized that life simply doesn’t have to be fair all the time,” he said. “In some weird sort of way, I think I’m going to be in a better place when the dust settles on this situation. I’m almost thankful for going through it.”

Personally, I spend more time on the College Clubhouse Message Board than anywhere else on the site.

Like any sports message board, there are plenty of homers and rude "yahoos" that are best ignored. But there are many participants on the boards who are highly knowledgeable about their favorite teams and conferences, and about college baseball in general. I learn a lot about other teams and other conferences just by reading their comments.

It says something about this message board that several of the guys who run other websites on my Top 9 Resources list are regular participants on the Rivals.com message board.

Another valuable message board on the site is the Scoreboard. Operating just like any other message board, this is the best placed I've found to get up-to-the-minute updates on scores from across the nation. It's more current than you'll find just about anywhere else because it's maintained and updated by the fans themselves who are listening or watching the games they're updating. It's an excellent example of how the new social media can compete with and out-perform the traditional news media.

While we're talking about Rivals.com, I should also mention SEBaseball.com, another member of the Yahoo-Rivals network. Started as SECBaseball.com, the owners ran into similar trademark problems and expanded their coverage to all teams and conferences in the Southeast part of the country - which actually made the site much better. While the articles and the message boards focus primarily on that region's teams, there are some very good conversations and some very informative articles about college baseball in general. Mark Etheridge's reputation as a college baseball guru ranks near that of Kendall Rogers, and his other regular contributors and message board commentators share a wealth of information and insight.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

MU Baseball online

@MUTigerBaseball on Twitter:
  • WOOHOO!! Official, we now have the most followers of any @Big12Conference Baseball Team! Way to go #Twizzou! Keep the new followers coming!

  • [Andy Heifner] transferred to Jefferson College in St.Louis
Missouri Baseball on Facebook:

TCU Baseball and the Big East

TCU's move to the Big East makes sense (Collegebaseball.rivals.com)
The Big East, meanwhile, should be ecstatic about adding TCU in baseball. The Horned Frogs are one of the greatest success stories of the past few seasons, becoming a national power with much competition inside their state and around the Southwest region. The Frogs also have made a strong commitment to baseball with a sparking facility.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simmons Field Photo: Trash

W. T. Hoover, 1999-2002
Hoover was the first Tiger to hit the Devine Pavilion with a home run

Friday, November 26, 2010

Early Signing Period: Big 12 Recruiting

Husker baseball team signs 11 (huskerextra.com)
The Nebraska baseball team's initial group of recruits slated to become Huskers in August has ties to what will be its Big 12 Conference past, its Big Ten future and, as always, its home state.
. . .
"This is a very diverse group of signees that really fit some specific needs for our team," NU coach Mike Anderson said. "We feel again that we have signed a very talented class, but also a class that has strong integrity and character."
. . .
Aggie baseball signs 11 to National Letters of Intent (aggieathletics.com)
"This class may be one of the most talented classes we have put together here at Texas A&M," head coach Rob Childress said. "Justin Seely and Matt Deggs worked very hard to assemble this group of not only talented baseball players but quality young men. We have very good balance in this class with five position players and five pitchers along with a very special two-way player in Daniel Mengden. On the pitching side we were able to sign two very talented left handed pitchers in Ty and Matt and three right handed pitchers in Corey, Gandy and Jason that we feel like all have a chance to come in and make an immediate impact. Positionally, we feel like we signed two of the best catchers in the state in Cole and Mitchell. Our other two in-state kids we signed we feel are two of the most talented left handed bats in the state of Texas in Chance and Dillon. We also signed a very talented junior college infielder as well in Mikey who will give us some added stability in the middle infield next year."
Baseball inks 14 for 2012 season (soonersports.com)
Overall, 12 of the 14 recruits are rated by Perfect Game Crosschecker as prospects for the 2011 MLB Draft. Four of the signees have already been selected in the draft, including three last season.

"We are very excited about this recruiting class," said Golloway. "Just like others in recent years, we feel like it's a strong class that can help us immediately. The coaching staff did another great job in landing a group of players that is full of character and talent that will continue our Sooner baseball tradition."

Baseball wraps up the early signing period with two additions (texassports.com)
The University of Texas Baseball program certified the National Letters of Intent from two more of the top high school student-athletes in the nation on Tuesday to wrap up its early signing period with 11 additions.

The Longhorns combed through the finest players in Central Texas for their final two players of the early signing period adding Parker French, a right-handed pitcher from Dripping Springs, and Brooks Marlow, an infielder from Giddings.

"We added two more players to what is a very strong class," associate head coach Tommy Harmon said. "Both players are capable of making an impact early in their careers."
. . .
UT Head Recruitrer Tommy Harmon: "Dylan Bundy is one of the top pitchers in the nation. He 95, 96 mile per hour with a power breaking ball. They don’t come a long like him very often."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks Giving

Oh God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;

When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;

And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency
and stir up my compassion.

Make me concerned enough
to help by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for
granted.

by Samuel F. Pugh

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me… – Matt. 25:35

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top 9 Online Resources for College Baseball: College Baseball Daily

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

CollegeBaseballDaily.com recently changed their name from The College Baseball Blog.

CBD is to College Baseball what SimmonsField.com is to Mizzou Baseball. Occasionally the people behind the website provide original reports and analysis, but the meat and potatoes of content is the day-to-day compilation and summary of online articles and press releases about college baseball.

They lean heavily toward official press releases rather than independent news reports, but that's somewhat out of necessity. Knowing first-hand the unbelievable amount of semi-relevant links about Mizzou Baseball that hits my in-box every day, there is no way any website could wrap their arms around everything that's published or posted about the entirety of college baseball. They are, however, gradually increasing their reach, posting about articles in the independent media.

The folks at CollegeBaseballDaily.com do a remarkable job of reporting on the wide range of collegiate baseball.
  • If you want to keep up with all the upcoming college baseball schedules as they are released, they have the complete list for you.

  • As the season approaches, they do an annual countdown of the CBB Top Players, with brief write-ups on each.

  • If your time online is limited, you can check in each weekend for the Top 5 College Baseball stories of the week.

  • If you're a fan of the true hinterlands of baseball - NCAA D-II, DIII and NAIA - they do a pretty good job of covering the major stories there as well

  • Just this week they've begun a series of interviews with coaches, starting with perennial MU opponent Western Illinois' Mike Villano:

  • "Due to the fact that I was hired in December and Coach Coryell didn’t get to campus until almost the end of January our recruiting class is heavily dominated by JUCO guys this year (23 players; 8 high school players and 15 JUCO). One freshman will compete for playing time if the season was starting right now."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Making of a College Baseball Schedule

Scheduling Questions? (CollegeBaseballDaily.com)
James Madison's Spanky McFarland: Why would the big schools go play at good mid major programs, they have everything to lose and nothing to gain. The only way you will get the big schools to travel more would be to change the R.P.I. formula to reflect a bigger percentage on road wins.
. . .
UNLV's Tim Chambers: I don’t think you can get better if you don’t play the top teams and you won’t have as good of an opportunity to get to a regional if you don’t play the top teams, so for RPI, we have to do it.
. . .

Monday, November 22, 2010

The State of Cal Baseball

The State of Cal Baseball with Coach Dave Esquer (collegebaseballtoday.com)
So I walk into Dave Esquer’s office on a rather surprise visit out of the blue. It’s a Friday morning and it doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is, Coach Esquer is in his baseball uniform. He is dressed and ready for a game. He’s even got a few dirt marks on it too.

Metaphorically, the moment is not lost on me.


This guy is ready for baseball. He’s ready to crank it up, whether his university allows him to field a team or not.
. . .

Justin James in the Arizona Fall League

■ Former Tiger Justin James played this Fall with the Phoenix Dessert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is the league where Major League organizations send their prime prospects for refining against top competition. James made relief appearances in 9 games, earning 2 saves, a 0-0 record and a 5.99 ERA.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TJ & Team USA

MU baseball coach named manager of USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (Columbia Missourian)
"I think he'll bring an aura of calm and confidence to the team," said Evan Pratte, the director of baseball operations for MU. "He's been through it before and knows the ins and outs of Team USA. He'll run the team well. He'll do the same thing he does here."
Team USA puts together impressive coaching staff (rivals.com)
Jamieson, who is regarded as one of the nation's best teachers, has done a fantastic job during his tenure at Missouri. He also earned a great reputation in 2005 when he helped lead Team USA to an impressive 16-4 summer record.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tim Jamieson to lead Team USA

Mizzou's Jamieson to lead '11 CNT (USABaseball.com)
USA Baseball announced the four members of the 2011 Collegiate National Team coaching staff on Thursday. Missouri's Tim Jamieson will manage the club next summer, and he will be joined by pitching coach Rob Walton (Oral Roberts) and assistant coaches Dave Van Horn (Arkansas) and Scott Stricklin (Kent State).
Jamieson and Walton made their Team USA debuts together on the 2005 Collegiate National Team coaching staff, serving as an assistant coach and the pitching coach, respectively, for manager Steve Smith of Baylor. Van Horn and Stricklin will both be wearing the red, white and blue for the first time.

"We are thrilled to announce Tim Jamieson as our 2011 manager," said Eric Campbell, USA Baseball General Manager of National Teams. "His experience from 2005 -- coaching players like David Price, Matt Wieters and Matt LaPorta -- will serve him well, and teaming him with Dave Van Horn, Scott Stricklin and Rob Walton will provide our athletes with a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best college coaches in the game. Once again, the college coaching community has rallied around the Collegiate National Team program."

Tim Jamieson enters his 17th season as the head coach of the Missouri Tigers in 2011. He is the second-winningest coach in Mizzou baseball history and will begin the 2011 campaign with a career record of 544-382-2. In 2009, Jamieson passed legendary head coach John "Hi" Simmons on the university's all-time win list and trails only Gene McArtor's 733 victories. While with the 2005 Collegiate Team, Jamieson helped lead Team USA to a 16-4 record, which included games played in Japan and Taiwan. He was accompanied that summer by Missouri players Max Scherzer and Hunter Mense, the first Collegiate National Team representatives for MU since 1991.

ORU's Rob Walton returns for his third stint with Team USA. In addition to his time with the 2005 club, Walton managed the 2008 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, which, in finishing an undefeated 24-0, is widely considered one of the greatest U.S. Collegiate Teams of all time. Known as one of the top pitching minds in baseball, Walton helped lead an '08 staff that featured the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Mike Leake, Mike Minor and Kyle Gibson. Walton will be entering his eighth season as manager of the Golden Eagles in 2011. He owns a 290-120 (.707) record over that span, and he is a four-time Summit League Coach of the Year.

Next spring will mark Dave Van Horn's ninth season as head coach of Arkansas. In 2010, the Razorbacks made it through to their second consecutive super regional for the first time ever, and they later advanced to Omaha for the sixth time in program history. Four Arkansas players were drafted in the first five rounds of the 2010 Major League First-Year Player Draft, including Zack Cox who went No. 25 overall to St. Louis. Van Horn holds a career record of 319-179 (.641) at Arkansas and an overall record of 904-419 (.683) in 22 years as a head coach.

Scott Stricklin enters his seventh season as head coach of the Kent State baseball program in 2011. The Kent State alum and 2006 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year has guided his alma mater to a 222-128 overall record, including five MAC championships and three NCAA tournament appearances. The Golden Flashes closed out the 2010 regular season with their fourth MAC East Division crown in five years, and they won five elimination games in three days to capture the MAC tournament title and earn a trip to the NCAA Los Angeles Regional -- its second consecutive NCAA berth.

The Collegiate National Team is coming off a 16-3 2010 season which ended in a heart-breaking loss in the gold medal final of the FISU World University Championships in Japan. The U.S. lost 4-3 in extra innings to a Cuban team featuring several players from its top-level National Team. The 2011 schedule is highlighted by five games against Japan, marking the 38th time the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team has met the Japan Collegiate All-Stars in an international friendship series. The complete 2011 schedule has yet to be announced.

Unassisted Trripleplay: Trib changes the wrong things

Tribune to start charging for online access (Columbia Daily Tribune)
The Tribune will start charging readers next month for unlimited access to its website.

Under a so-called metered model, website visitors will be able to read up to 10 local stories per month for free. Those wanting to read more will have to purchase an online subscription or buy individual stories. Also, only online subscribers will be able to comment on stories.

Here at SimmonsField.com we link and quote from the Columbia Tribune whenever thy have a story about MU Baseball, and this will make that more difficult. But I'm not motivated to start paying for it, and this isn't going to seriously impact the availability of quality free information.

  1. There's not exactly a ton of ink devoted by the Trib to MU Baseball anyway. During the Fall, there seems to be an article or interview or feature every day about MU Football, and as the weekend approaches, there are multiple pieces every day. On Sundays there are no less than 4 or 5 articles analyzing the previous day's game.

    Most MU Baseball games are lucky to get a basic game summary, especially if its an away game. Matt Nestor (and occasionally other Trib reporters) provide somewhat more detailed game reports for many home games, and occasional features. Some of these are pretty good, and I've expressed my appreciation for Matt in my annual "Tip of the Cap" awards.

    But even with the good stuff, the Mizzou Baseball follower can't help feeling unappreciated by the Tribune as a whole.

  2. When I think back on what were the best and most interesting stories I linked to over the past year, there were a lot more from the "new media" websites and blogs and message boards than on any newspaper site. And the hottest stories this past year (assistant coaches leaving and being replaced, MU alums in the minors and majors, recruiting information), were stories that I broke based on information from other "new media" sources and from "social networking" with other MU Baseball fans.

    Perhaps the Tribune should focus more on emulating the new media than on jacking up prices for the same old same old online. The traditional print media is no longer the center of the information universe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Ball

Fall scrimmage games; a college baseball junkie's paradise (CollegeBsseballToday.com)
Love the new bats.

Yep, I said it. The new restricted bats play closer to the ones I’ve seen in the Cape Cod League over the years. Keep in mind, I’ve seen plenty of home runs in the Cape, mostly by guys who are supposed to hit home runs. On Saturday during the scrimmage at Fullerton, there wasn’t a single home run hit. There wasn’t even a shot to the warning track that I recall. The only near-dinger of the day was USD’s 6′4″ Bryan Haar taking Titan ace Noe Ramirez way, way over the left field wall, but went about 10 feet foul.

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: College Baseball Today

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

For pure entertainment value, CollegeBaseballToday.com has become one of my favorite haunts during the baseball season. And as regular readers of SimmonsField.com know, for me, being entertained is what college baseball is all about.

Eric Sorenson writes CollegeBaseballToday, which is basically a blog about his personal experiences and opinions and observations about college baseball (and other stuff, including hockey).

If you're looking for hard info about who beat who and what the stats were, go to D1Baseball.com. If you want to know who gave which umpire a dirty look and which team lost because their grounds crew cuts the grass too long, then Eric Sorenson is your guy.

Where else can you read stuff like this:
He was going to bat for his nudity. Brandishing one of those oversized plastic pink bats, the tog-less one stepped up to home plate, took a fake swing, dropped the bat and then noticed the cops starting to run at him from the 1st base side. So he began to run down the 3rd base line instead. After stepping on 3rd, he bolted for 2nd, touched the bag and then, just kept running for the right field foul pole.

At that point, p.a. man Jack Payne blurted out over the microphone, “… and there he goes!”

The more you make CollegeBaseballToday.com a regular habit, the more you'll become a true "stitch-head".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Condolences

College coach, former UNO pitcher Callahan dead at 52 (neworleans.com)
Southern Illinois University baseball coach Dan Callahan, who was part of a long list of coaches and managers-to-be at the University of New Orleans in the late 1970s, died Monday after a long battle with a rare form of skin cancer. He was 52.

In 21 years as a college head coach, Callahan won 595 games. He is one of five coaches in Missouri Valley Conference history with 200 league victories. As he continued on the job while battling cancer last fall, Callahan received the MVC Most Courageous Award.

Callahan pitched at UNO under Ron Maestri in an era that produced new Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade, Cubs assistant general manager and former UNO coach Randy Bush, LSU coach Paul Mainieri and Missouri coach Tim Jamieson.

Phil McCormick: Not just a submariner

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mizzou Recruit: Confirmed Signing

Oak Ridge ace signs with Mizzou (semissourian.com)
Oak Ridge senior Brett Thomas caught the eye of more than one college coach when he pitched at a showcase at the University of Missouri in June.
. . .
Thomas made his verbal commitment to Missouri official Saturday by signing his national letter of intent.

"It's good," Thomas said. "I'm glad it's over with. It's just the first step of many, I'm sure. I've got a long way to go. That's just a piece of paper. I've got to put in a lot of hours, but it's been fun."

Thomas led Oak Ridge to its second straight quarterfinal appearance with a 7-2 record last season. He had a 0.59 ERA and struck out 92 batters in 59 1/3 innings.

Wedding Congratulations!!

■ Congratulations to Mizzou Assistant Coach Kerrick Jackson on his marriage to Talia Teer this past weekend in St. Louis. You can read all the details and see photos at their wedding page on TheKnot.com. Including the story of the Proposal:
After dinner, it was time to open presents and Kerrick had two for Talia under the tree. The first one was a beautiful ornament marking our first Christmas. The second one was a St. Louis Cardinals Mr. Potato Head. Talia was appreciative, but puzzled, by this gift. Then, in his mitt, she saw something....a shiny ring. She pulled it out and looked at Kerrick in surprise and amazement. Kerrick dropped on one knee, popped the question and Talia said YES!
And apparently, according to the website, former MU assistant Coach Tony Vitello was one of the groomsmen at the wedding.

Friday, November 12, 2010

2011 Recruit: Patrick Quintanilla, C

Patrick Quintanilla, C
Southlake Carroll HS (Dallas-FW area)
6'2", 180 lb, R/R

2010 stats: .354 BA, .446 OBP, .506 SLG, .952 OPS; 28 H; 79 AB; 6 2B; 2 HR; 14 RBI; 10 R

Quintanilla's signing with MU confirmed by DallasNews.com

GameChanger.com has a complete breakdown of Quintanilla's batting record, fielding record and hitting spray charts.

MaxPreps.com photo gallery

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mizzou Recruits: Confirmed MU Signings


Brett Graves RHP; 6-1 170 R-R Francis Howell St. Charles MO -- St. Louis American confirms

Jake Busiek LHP; 6-2 180 R-L Lafayette Eureka MO -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirms

Brandon Platts RHP; 6-4 210 R-R Mason City Mason City IA -- Mason City Globe-Gazette confirms
“When I first saw it [the Mizzou campus], I kind of fell in love with the place,” Platts said. “They have a really good baseball program with a lot of tradition. I felt like that was the place for me.”

Mizzou Recruiting: No Simple Signing

Variables complicate signing process (PerfectGame.org)
It has been strongly speculated that the next Basic Agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association will contain the same sort of defined draft slotting system that exists in other major sports. MLB has a strong desire to reign in signing bonuses and create a more-level playing field for all 30 teams in the draft process.

A strong and less frequently discussed motivation for the powers that be at MLB is to push more high school players to college baseball, and let the colleges serve as the de facto minor leagues for developing players. The bottom line would simply be to shift a portion of the player-development costs from the existing minor leagues (i.e., 30 major league teams) to the colleges.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mizzou Recruiting: Early Signing Period begins today


The National Letter of Intent Early Signing Period begins today and continues through November 17th.
By signing a National Letter of Intent, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. Pursuant to the terms of the National Letter of Intent program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of the National Letter of Intent program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs a Letter of Intent. This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once a National Letter of Intent is signed with another institution.
For complete details on the NLI and all rules and requirements, see the NCAA National Letter of Intent page.

An excellent summary of the ins and outs of the National Letter of Intent can be found at InformedAthlete.com, the site of former MU Baseball dad Rick Allen.

Here at SimmonsField.com we've been compiling a list of players who have made verbal commitments to Mizzou or who have been seriously talked about as possible or likely MU signees. Our current list:

Corbin Berkstresser 3B; 6-4 210 R-R Lee's Summit Lee's Summit MO - PerfectGame.com lists him as verbally committed to MU Baseball, but most sources list him as a verbal commit to MU Football.

Jake Busiek LHP; 6-2 180 R-L Lafayette Eureka MO -- Verbally committed

Brett Graves RHP; 6-1 170 R-R Francis Howell St. Charles MO -- Verbally committed

D'Andre Heggie 3B; 6-0 195 R-R Blue Springs South Blue Springs MO -- Verbally committed

Brandon Platts RHP; 6-4 210 R-R Mason City Mason City IA -- Verbally committed

Jake Ivory C/OF; 6-1 160 R-R Francis Howell HS St Louis MO -- Verbally committed

Brett Thomas, RHP/SS; 6-2 190 R-R Oak Ridge HS, Oak Ridge, MO -- unconfirmed verbal commit
Kyle Barbeck, LHP; 6-1; 191 lb; L/L Northeast Texas Community College ('11); Ole Miss ('09,'10); Blue Springs HS (MO) - Former prep teammate of Nick Tepesch, rumored to be planning to sign a Letter of Intent with MU

Some other names that have been mentioned as considering Missouri:
Tyler Hunt RHP; 6-0 210 R-R Westran HS, Huntsville, MO- Hunt has been recruited by MU, but no word yet on his plans
• The StL Post-Dispatch lists the following as considering Missouri:
- Nick Gregory, SS; McCleur HS
- Chase Haslett, P/IF; Clayton, MO
- Daniel Kraus, Webster Groves
- Sasha Kuebel, P/1B; SLUH

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

100 Days until Opening Day 2011

The Mizzou Baseball 2011 schedule opens in a big way on February 18th in Southern California with a tournament that pits Missouri against USC, Cal Poly and North Carolina.
• "You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen." (Joe Dimaggio)

• "A home opener is always exciting, no matter whether it's at home or on the road." (Yogi Berra)

• "Every Opening Day, I have this tradition. I pray -- hard. One prayer for each loss in the previous season. It usually takes all day. But I think it's working." (Royals fan "Troy" in Liberty, Mo)

Top 9 Online College Baseball Resources: Baseball America

We're taking a look at my top 9 favorite (in no particular order) online resources for College Baseball information.

Baseball America was started as a newspaper devoted to baseball in 1981, and has always focused on baseball below the Major League level. There are numerous lists and databases and articles available to subscribers, but there is plenty of info for the cheapskates like me, as well.

■ The College Blog, Draft Blog, Prospects Blog and High School Blog are good resources to keep up with the latest news and analysis for college baseball and prospects coming into and leaving the college ranks.

■ The live (and archived) Chat and Podcasts can also be a great way to pick up the latest news

■ The Draft Database is a good place to get up-to-date information on which players and recruits have been drafted or signed.

■ Following Baseball America and the various specific College beat writers on Twitter is often the best way to get breaking news before it hits the website, as well as some rumors that never reach the website. Specifically search for the general Baseball America page, as well as those of Jim Callis and Aaron Fitt.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2011 Recruit: Kyle Barbeck, LHP

Kyle Barbeck, LHP
6'1"; 191 lb; L/L
Northeast Texas Community College ('11); Ole Miss ('09,'10); Blue Springs HS (MO)


Kyle Barbeck has reportedly signed a Letter if Intent with MU for the 2011-2012 season

2009 Pitching (Ole Miss): 0-0; 5.89 ERA; 11 G; 1 start, 26 H, 16 R, 12 ER, 15 K, 13 BB, 18.1 IP

2010 Pitching: "Redshirted" at Ole Miss

■ Barbeck is a former HS teammate of Nick Tepesch

Northeast Texas Community College Bio for Kyle Barbeck:
My first job: Umpiring
My greatest love: Baseball
Favorite thing to do outside of baseball: Workout
Favorite quote: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” –Jimmy V
Unknown or unique fact about me: I think with my left part of my brain
■ Kyle Barbeck, who will not be returning to the Rebels next season, is pulling double-duty for the the Coastal Plains League’s Thomasville HiToms. At the plate, Barbeck is hitting .243 with nine hits in 37 at-bats. On the mound, Barbeck is 1-1 in four starts with an ERA of 5.89. In 18.1 innings of work, Barbeck has allowed 12 earned runs on 13 hits and 26 walks (yikes), while striking out just seven. Opponents are hitting .206 off the former Rebel. (Oxford Eagle, 7/6/10)

Perfect Game prep scouting report

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mizzou in the Majors: Mathis released by Rangers

Rangers cut three (NewsOK.com)
The Texas Rangers have sent infielder Esteban German and right-handers Doug Mathis and Brandon McCarthy outright to the minor leagues, and the trio have refused the assignments and become free agents.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Simmons Field Photo: Lucky 13

Torre Tyson, 1995-1998

2010-2011 Roster Updated

Our last update on the 2010-11 Roster was back in August. Now that the official Fall Practice season is finished, here is our current list of the players who are still with the team.

There are 40 names on this list, which is compiled from the Fall World Series rosters. The roster shows a good balance of veterans and younger players: 11 seniors, 11 juniors, 8 sophomores, and 10 freshmen.

By February 18th, the roster will be trimmed down to the regular playing season roster limit of 35.

• Ryan Ampleman, C (SR)
• Eric Anderson, RHP (SO)
• Sal Belfonte, OF (FR)
• Blake Brown, OF (SO)
• Brad Buehler, RHP (SR)
• Kenny Burton, LHP (SR)
• Drew Carlile, C (FR)
• Brian Carr, LHP (JR)
• Brannon Champagne, OF (SO)
• Ryan Clubb, RHP (JR)
• Jeff Emens, RHP (JR)
• Ian Ekery, LHP (FR)
• Dillon Everett, IF (FR)
• Kelly Fick, LHP (SR)
• Eric Garcia, IF (SO)
• Ryan Gebhart, OF (JR)
• Zach Hardoin, LHP (SR)
• James Hudelson, RHP (JR)
• CJ Jarvis, IF (FR)
• Russell LaFleur, OF (JR)
• Matt Linderer, RHP (FR)
• Jeff Lusardi, OF/IF (SO)
• Conner Mach, IF (JR)
• Kevin Mahler, RFP (SR)
• Phil McCormick, LHP (SR)
• Garrison McLagan, 1B (JR)
• Dane Opel, OF (SO)
• Andreas Plackis, C (SO)
• Dusty Ross, RHP (JR)
• Jesse Santo. IF (SR)
• Jeff Scardino, LHP (SR)
• Jonah Schmidt, OF (SR)
• Myles Smith, RHP/IF (FR)
• Scott Sommerfeld, C/1B (SO)
• Matt Stites, RHP (JR)
• Andrew Thigpen, IF (SR)
• Ben Turner, C (JR)
• Jake Walsh, LHP (FR)
• Ryan Yuengel, RHP (FR)
• Rob Zastryzny, LHP (FR)

2011 Recruit: D'Andre Heggie, 3B/1B

D'Andre Heggie, 3B/1B
6'0"; 195 lb; R/R
Blue Springs South HS (MO)

Heggie has made a verbal commit to MU, according to PerfectGame.com

■ 2010 Surburban Big Seven All-Conference 2nd Team

Barnstormers Baseball Scouting Report, April 2010 (includes Video):
D'Andre Heggie is a powerful right handed hitter from Blue Springs South who will graduate in 2011. He shows a great combination of strength and balance that is evolving into a solid average high school player who hits for average and power. With patience and understanding D'Andre has the potential to be a true power threat at the next level.

His defensive abilities are best suited for a corner infield positions at the high school level, but with continued work on running speed and physical conditioning he may one day be a corner outfielder. To make outfield play a reality he will need continued development of his arm strength. D'Andre will be a good college player and with lots of hard work he could be a player who reaches the professional ranks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mizzou in the Majors

Getting healthy (DallasNews.com)
Ian Kinsler (03) said he felt better in the playoffs than at any time and plans on using the down time to work on his quickness.

"I just need to get my speed back," he said. "I didn't steal as many bases as I'd like this year. I didn't really feel comfortable stealing bases because I wasn't able to catch up with my speed after the spring training injury."
Fans celebrate Rangers' season (espn.com)
Kinsler looked over in the direction of Cowboys Stadium and said: "I can't even see that stadium over there. Baseball is what it's about."

2011 Recruit: Brandon Platts, RHP

Brandon Platts, RHP
6'4"; 210 lb; R/R
Mason City HS (IA)

Missouri-bound: Platts commits to Tigers (globegazette.com)
From the beginning, there was always something that separated Missouri from other schools in Brandon Platts’ mind.

The Mason City High senior had a laundry list of schools wanting his right arm in their pitching rotation but Missouri was always one of the schools that intrigued him most.

It was the Tigers of the Big 12 that wound up with his services.

On Monday, the right-handed pitcher committed to the Tigers, ending an arduous recruiting process that included Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas as the finalists.

“Looking over things, I really wanted to play in the Big 12,” Platts said. “I think it gives me the best opportunity to move on after college. I really think they are headed in the right direction and I want to be part of that.”

Platts, the Globe Gazette Player of the Year, was 10-0 with a 1.08 ERA, leading the Mohawks to the Class 4A state semifinals
.
Midwest Sports Advisors profile and scouting report (includes photos):
Brandon Platts is a big, strong player with tremendous potential to play beyond college. He is very athletic for a big man and his work ethic is only surpassed by his coachability. Brandon receives MSA's highest grades as a recruitable athlete and is without a doubt a Division 1 prospect. As a pitcher, he is poised and confident with an excellent speed variation between his upper 80's fastball and his off-speed pitches. His command is excellent and with a few seasons of growth, Brandon could be an absolutely dominant pitcher. His delivery and balance are acceptional as well as is his mental approach to the game. As a hitter, Pro Evaluator Kevin Seitzer (Kansas City Royals Big League hitting instructor) says of Platts: "Brandon is an above average high school hitter that should adjust to the college game very quickly, he is strong with tremendous bat speed. He will continue to grow as a hitter because of his work ethic and his athletic ability. He is a powerful hitter and will learn the ins and outs of each at bat as he faces more pitching at higher levels." Brandon has an awesome oppertunity to play baseball for many years to come. Presently, we would project Brandon as a pitcher first and position player second. He has the ability to dominate a game from the mound or the batters box.
Perfect Game scouting reports:
Brandon Platts is a 2011 RHP with a 6'4'', 210 lb. frame from Mason City, IA who attends Mason City HS. Big solid build, nice present strength. Simple hand drop delivery, clow paced, good smooth arm circle, high 3/4's release, tends to come over FB on release and not stay behind it as well as possible. Steady 86-88 mph FB from windup, CB bit soft on velo but big downer shape and commanded very well, Change up flashed good sink with nice arm speed. Threw strikes with all offerings, good idea how to pitch with 3 pitches. Solid prospect, good student.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

2011 Recruit: Kyle Barbeck, LHP

Word is that Kyle Barbeck, LHP will be signing a Letter of Intent to come to Mizzou in 2011.

Barbeck, a graduate of Blue Springs HS (MO) - and former teammate of Nick Tepesch - spent a year at Ole Miss and is at a Junior College in Texas.


Mizzou in the Majors: Justin James on the move again

A's trim roster, part ways with Bonser, James (mlb.com)
The A's cropped their 40-man roster yet again Tuesday, this time eliminating relief pitchers Boof Bonser and Justin James (02-03), along with outfielder Matt Carson.

Bonser and Carson were outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento -- the former electing free agency and the latter agreeing to terms on a 2011 contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. James, meanwhile, was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers.
. . .
James, a hard-throwing September callup, offered the A's a feel-good story toward the end of the 2010 campaign. His year began with the Kansas City T-Bones in the Independent League and ended in Oakland, where he posted a 4.50 ERA in five relief appearances for the A's. He was immediately added to Milwaukee's 40-man roster.