Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big 12 Coaches Poll & Teleconference

Big 12 Coaches PreSeason Poll:
  1. Oklahoma
  2. Texas
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Baylor
  5. Kansas State
  6. Oklahoma State
  7. Texas Tech
  8. Nebraska
  9. Kansas
  10. Missouri
@MUTigerBaseball on Twitter: Another poll, same story... Fine by us, fuel for our fire! #MIZ #redemptionin11

■ Notes from the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference (big12sports.com) The teleconference audio will be archived.

• Tim Jamieson, MU:
Will preparing to coach the USA National team impact your time? The selection process is going to be different this year, so it will be more office work, maybe one day a week.

Do you expect pitchers to pitch inside more because of the new bats? I expect more to see a need for more strike-to-ball efficiency.

What areas need the most polish? Last year we played a lot of young people and that will definitely help us. The biggest thing we have to overcome is we don't have a real marquee guy, its going to have to be a team effort.

How much separation do you think there is between those four south schools picked 1,2,3,4 and the rest of the conference? I don't think there's going to be that much of a separation from 1 to 10.

Who are the new pitchers you're going to be looking at? If the season starts today, the Friday night pitcher will be Matt Stites; Saturday guy will be Rob Zastryzny; Zach Hardoin looks to be the Sunday guy. The guy nobody has talked about is Eric Garcia. He's a guy that will probably be an end of the game guy.

What are your thought about the Big 12 Tournament format change? I do feel like the drama had left the tournament. But for us, you never want to be in the loser's bracket, but there's a drama that you lose without the double elimination tournament. . . If you get into the Regionals and to Omaha, it's double-elimination, so it prepares us for what's ahead.

• Dan Spencer, TT:
Pitching: We're going to throw more strikes, and we're going to be better defensively this year . . . The pitchers, at the end of the year, sign your check.

New bats: The guys that can hit are going to be fine with the new bat. . . . The batting averages and RBIs are going to be similar; the home runs will be down.
• Mike Anderson, NU:
Mindset on playing their last year in the Big 12: I don't think it's changed . . . our goal is to get toward the top of the conference and move on into the post-season.

Recruiting for the Big 10: We're pleasantly surprised with the strong interest we've gotten from across the country.

New bats: The key to it is throwing strikes. there's no way you can give up free passes. . . I think it's going to change the game quite a bit.

Darren Erstad as a coach: He has the ability to serve people . . . it's the first time I've turned the offense over to somebody else in the past 10 years, and he's energized the kids.
• Ritch Price, KU:
New bats: The games are about 30 minutes shorter than they've been in the past, in the intra-squad games
What's it going to be like not coaching a Price: If my wife hadn't cut me off, I'd have a lot better team.
• Steve Smith, BU:
New bats: I'm excited about the change. I think we literally have our game back. Some of the players of this generation . . . I don't think they even know how to play the game. . . The last 10 or 15 years you sat in the dugout, you hoped your pitcher could at least miss the bat, and you waited 'til someone hit it up in the wind and out. . . . It's an emphasis on how you play the game of baseball.
• Brad Hill, KSU:
New bats: It is what it is . . . Heck, we only hit 31 home runs last year, it's not going to effect our team.
• Rob Childress, aTm:
New bats: A team's not going to be able to cover up a mistake in the 3rd inning with a 5-6 run inning later. It's just not going to happen. . . You're going to see a number of games played in under 2 hours. . . You don't want to show up 30 minutes late - you might be in the 6th inning.
• Sunny Golloway, OU:
Following up on 2010 success: There's a special temperament that comes with being a team that went to Omaha last year. . . I've had to get on some players.
New bats: Our power guys it doesn't seem to affect us as much . . . We haven't put too much emphasis; I don't want that bat to have too much of a psychological effect on what are already good hitters.
• Frank Anderson, OSU:
New bats: It's always been big to throw strikes . . . we had home runs over the weekend - they're not going 500 feet, they're going 400 feet. . . Every hitting coach in college baseball has been whining about it, but so far it seems pretty good.
Why they had a down year in 2010: We have a niche that was going good with the transfers, but then they changed the rules on that.
• Augie Garrido, UT:
New bats: You still have to be able to execute. Few of the players that c0me out of high school are able to bunt, understand the concept of productive outs . . We still have a lot of work to do for our players to get the timing, to execute the plays. . . . It's about sustaining the rally. . . We played a total of 72 innings [in practice], 36 against ourselves, 36 against outside Division 1 opponents, and there was not one home run hit in those 72 innings. . . Every game is going to take on its own destiny.

Big 12: Every team has a nucleus of a good team. It comes down to which teams have the attitude and teamwork . . . any one of the teams in the conference could catch that magic.

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