Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's the problem????

The Problem is Taylor Stadium !!!
"The stadium is below par relative to other Big XII schools but . . . it is a vast improvement over its predecessor.

The school went cheap on it, but very few care about baseball at Mizzou, at least among big money boosters so there wasn't much that could be done about it.

Mizzou has made it clear that football and men's hoops are the priority. All other sports will fight for scraps and make due as best they can."

"The most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark filled with people." (Bill Veeck)

"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." (Bill Lee)

The Problem is a Lack of Focus !!!!
Taylor had allowed 33 hits in 23.2 innings coming into the game, allotting to a .337 batting average against, but Missouri made him look good in his one-hitter.

“He was good, but he wasn’t great,” said Missouri outfielder Blake Brown. “We got good pitches. We made solid contact a lot, but we hit it right at guys and some people, like myself, were maybe trying too hard.”

“I don’t know if it was that he threw that well or we were that bad at the plate,” explained Missouri coach Tim Jamieson. “Guys [were] not focused.”
"We just want to win. That's the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don't really reflect on what we've done in the past. We focus on the present." (Derek Jeter)

The Problem is Too Many Errors!!
• March 6 - Mizzou committed five errors in Saturday’s series opening 11-7 loss. Those errors compounded starter Matt Stites’ rough outing, as the junior college transfer allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, four walks and four strikeouts over just four innings of work.

Error cost MU baseball game (Columbi aTribune, 4/9)
Shortstop Jesse Santo bobbled a ground ball, allowing the winning run to score with two outs in the ninth as the Missouri baseball team lost to Oklahoma State 3-2 in Stillwater, Okla.
"Bobby Knight told me this: 'There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense.' In other words a good offense wins." (Dan Quayle)

The Problem is Not Enough Strikes !!!!
“He struggled to throw strikes and that’s kind of been his downfall,” Jamieson said of Smith. “The whole pitching staff, when we’ve thrown strikes, we’ve been good. When we haven’t, we haven’t been good.”
"Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don't move." (Satchel Paige)

The Problem is the #$%^ BBCOR Bats !!!!
"Through seven games Mizzou, as a team, has shown about as much power as former St. Louis Cardinal and current Philadelphia Phillies infielder Placido Polanco.

The Tigers’ team isolated power (ISO, slugging percentage minus batting average—which measures a player’s true power) sits at .087 through 230 team at-bats. In 2010, Polanco’s ISO was .088.
. . .
So it’s not altogether shocking Mizzou’s power stats aren’t high to begin the season. What is surprising is that the team’s power numbers are those of a slap-hitting infielder. And that’s where the NCAA’s new bat regulations may just come into play."
"I struck out with two men on base. I was so angry, so frustrated, I turned and without even thinking about it, snapped my bat over my thigh. The bat split right in half. Afterward, reporters asked me if it was the first time I'd ever broken a bat over my thigh. "I broke an aluminum bat over my knee in college," I said. I was just kidding." Bo Jackson

The Problem is the middle of the order !!!!
• February 16th: “It’s been a while since we potentially had that much offensive production from those [positions],” said coach Tim Jamieson. “Usually we’ve had one guy at the top of the lineup and one guy at the bottom of the lineup, but with those two guys you’re talking about the 3-4 hole hitters.”

Both players fit perfectly into those spots in the lineup, with Garcia possessing plus on-base skills for a No. 3 hitter and Mach bringing good power for a No. 4 hitter.

“Conner especially is going to show some power—Eric’s gonna show some power too, but I think he’s a guy that’s gonna hit more for average,” added Jamieson. “Those are two guys who have a chance to be really good offensive players, not only for us but also relative to the other middle infielders in the Big 12.”
Opel shows signs of life for Tigers (Columbia Tribune, April 8)
The middle of Missouri’s lineup has been more vacuum than vaunted, especially early in Big 12 play. If the Tigers are going to make a charge at reaching the Big 12 Tournament, they’ll need their run-producers to get back on the assembly line.

Jonah Schmidt has been the best of the bunch, hitting .350 with four RBI in five conference games entering this weekend’s series at Oklahoma State. Around him, though, Opel, Conner Mach and Eric Garcia are hitting a combined .128 (6 for 47) with 10 strikeouts and just one RBI.

“Those guys need to perform well for us. Dane’s one of those guys, and you’re starting to see some of that,” Missouri Coach Tim Jamieson said. “For us to win in the Big 12, we need to have at least three of those guys, at least two of those guys, swinging the bat well, and we haven’t had that yet.”
. . .
If Opel can get back to last season’s numbers — he hit .270 with eight doubles and 30 RBI — Jamieson believes it will help the rest of the order. Pitchers tend to make more mistakes under pressure, and making mistakes to the likes of Garcia, Mach and Schmidt could come back to haunt the hurler.
"The math professor who taught us that it wasn't the answer to a specific problem that was important but, rather, learning to appreciate the interlocking coherence of the whole scientific view of the world. The English teacher who showed us the agonies of patience that went into crafting a poem so precise in its choice of words that we could read it a hundred times over fifty years and always find it powerfully true. The teachers, in other words, who taught us that love of learning --- for itself --- not love of grades, was the beating, enduring heart of education.

So too in games, the guiding principle that most often keeps people oriented through all their passages and changes is a governing passion for excellence. In baseball, that's what you discover at the heart of the order."
(Thomas Boswell)

The Problem is a Lack of Passion !!!!
"U could ask any and every player that had played missouri baseball in the past 10 years (since they went on there regional run) and they will all tell u the same thing about each team, each team played with passion and fight. They had "swag" and would do anything and everything to win each game. The teams the past few years doesn't have that. The swag left when u lost players like Bond, wendte, lawless, crow, gibson, fry."
"Passion, not pedigree, will win in the end." (Jon Bon Jovi)

The Problem is Kerrick Jackson !!!!
When Jackson held up the stop sign for Champagne, he took the pressure off LeMoyne, a 3-9 team that is prone to mistakes, and put it on Sommerfeld, his own player. A team that tries to bunt with its three-hitter in the first inning, cannot simply wait for the big hit in the ninth inning of a one-run game. If the Tigers do not anticipate the hit at the beginning, then why do they expect it at the end?

“You just had a guy thrown out at the plate a batter or two before that, so you’re going to be a little bit gun-shy,” said Jamieson. “It’s easy to second-guess, but that’s one out of six or seven plays that you could point at that make a difference.”

However, there is a flaw in that logic. It does not matter that a runner has already been thrown out at the plate – never mind that it was a completely different outfielder making the throw. That logic only justifies the fear of sending Champagne home, not the decision to hold him at third. If the Tigers want to be aggressive, then they also have to manage the consequences of those game-swinging decisions. For every few runners that take an extra base, one is going to be thrown out. When Jackson held Champagne up at third, he suddenly reversed Missouri’s offensive priorities.
“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result” (Vince Lombardi)

The Problem is Matt Hobbs !!!!
"His management of the pitching staff has been awful.. He, not our pitchers, should be to blame! He has several great arms on the bench that he is not even using.. Also, he is using guys in the wrong situations. How this guy got the job I have no idea."

"I have an idea what to do about the bullpen: napalm." (Stanley Wilson Williams, Seattle Mariners Pitching Coach, 1998)

The Problem is a Failure to Consistently Execute the Game Plan !!!!
Throw out the baseball textbook with this team. Throw out the rules that say you should not have your third hitter bunting in the first inning. Those rules do not apply to this club. Missouri should be playing that type of exaggerated small ball. A team without many power hitters – or even gap hitters – has to put the pressure on the defense before the pitcher puts pressure on its hitters. A team with only 20 extra base hits in its first 13 games – and only five in its previous six – is forced into that strategy. However, there is something to be said for consistency.

A philosophy this exaggerated can work and absolutely can lead to success, but it needs to be the team’s only identity. Missouri has attempted 29 stolen bases – persistent considering they have only been successful on 18 of them – but that is what the team needs to do to win. They need to continually put pressure on the opposition. They need to keep running and they have.
. . .
Now it seems as though that scratch-and-claw style may not be the key to their season, but consistency might be.

"My best game plan is to sit on the bench and call out specific instructions like 'C'mon Boog,' 'Get ahold of one, Frank,' or 'Let's go, Brooks.'" (Earl Weaver)

The Problem is the Team is in a Slump !!!!
In a 162-game schedule, clubs will generally lose 50 games and win 50 games. But it's what they do over those remaining 62 contests that either makes them a championship-type caliber team contending for the pennant, or an also-ran that finds itself out of playoff contention.

Obviously no player wants to be on a team that loses on a continuous basis. Victory is the main objective, and the more you win, the better it feels. And according to Catalanotto, all it takes is an instant to feel the pulse of a team and whether or not they are hot or cold.

"I think you can walk into any clubhouse and know whether it's a winning team or a losing team," he said. "There's definitely a different atmosphere. When we were playing good baseball and winning, the clubhouse seemed different. It seemed a lot looser and it was a fun place to come to. We looked forward to coming to the clubhouse. But earlier in the season it was very dreary and very blah and you could just kind of feel the tension in the air."
  • "Slumps are like a soft bed. They're easy to get into and hard to get out of." (Johnny Bench)

  • "My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." (Hank Aaron)

The Problem is . . . That's Baseball
In everyday life, there are good days and bad. Everybody has them. In baseball, it's no different.

But unlike everyday life, bad days incurred by baseball players and teams can be quantified. Whether by batting average, earned run average or wins and losses, baseball's numbers tell us who's hot and who's not. Numbers, though, certainly don't tell the whole story.

So the next time you try to analyze these numbers, remember that there is no rationale, no hypothesis, no formula for extending streaks or curtailing slumps.

"Baseball is a funny game," said Kapler. "It's one of the hardest ones to explain and describe. There's a lot of feeling that goes on and the feeling is difficult enough to try and describe for someone who has gone through it but even more difficult to describe to somebody who is on the outside. There's really no terminology for it. It's just something in your body."

"When I played ball, I didn't play for fun. . . . It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a contest and everything that implies, a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest." (Ty Cobb)

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