Thursday, January 31, 2013

DL: EA↑ SS↓

Missouri shortstop Segovia questionable for opening weekend (Columbia Missourian)
...Head coach Tim Jamieson told reporters Wednesday that Shane Segovia, a junior transfer from Northeast Texas Community College, pulled his hamstring Saturday while rounding third base during an intra-squad scrimmage
...
On a more positive note, senior pitcher Eric Anderson will use batting practice to face live hitters on Thursday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May...


Ian Kinsler: MU Hall of Fame

Former Tiger shortstop Ian Kinsler will be inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, February 1st. (Induction Banquet details)

Ian Kinsler, #22
2002 Fall World Series
MU 2004 Media Guide
Ian Kinsler was a good player for the Tigers during his single year with the team, in 2003. No one was quite sure what to expect from him going into that season. The 2003 Media Guide included one indistinct photo of Kinsler in a Fall World Series rundown, with these comments:
"Kinsler made an impressive debut at shortstop in the fall...Kinsler led all Tiger hitters with a .619 average (13-for-21) and a team high 10 runs scored."
But the year before, after transferring from Central Arizona Community College to Arizona State, he had hit only .230 in 29 games, losing out his starting role to a more consistent hitter, his future fellow MLB All Star, Dustin Pedroia.

But Tim Jamieson had seen Kinsler play in summer ball, and liked what he saw. He was quoted on AZCentral.com (7/19/08) about his impression of Kinsler:
"We needed a shortstop, so I went out to see him," Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said. "I saw him take ground balls and thought, defensively, he was as good a middle infielder as I had ever seen. As for his bat, I didn't really care."
My own memory of Ian Kinsler as a Tiger is of a good ballplayer, but not one I would have listed among even the top 25 Mizzou players I've seen that were likely to reach the major leagues, let alone be a star player. He was a wiry middle infielder, listed as 6'0" and 182 pounds.

After playing second fiddle to Pedroia at Arizona State, Kinser's 2004 stats at MU show that coming in 2nd was what seemed to define him.

The star of that team, and the lead-off hitter, was senior outfielder Jayce Tingler. Kinsler spent most of the season batting second, enjoying the benefits of the disruption Tingler caused with his drag lead-off bunts, constant threat to steal bases, and general distracting behavior.

Kinsler finished 2nd to Tingler in Batting Average (.335), Runs (54) and Stolen Bases (16).  He also came in 2nd in Doubles (13) to 1B Cody Ehlers, and in Sac Flies 6) to C Brad Flanders.  Kinsler did lead the Tigers in Slugging Percentage (.536), Triples (4), and Stolen Base Percentage (.941).  I suppose I should apologize for naming our annual Tip of the Cap Base Cadet Award after Ian, with a SB% like that.  Or maybe not.

Ian Kinsler and team mates at Taylor Stadium Autograph Day
Photo by Trripleplay
Like I said, he was good player, but most of the time there was someone else overshadowing him.  But as, Tim Jamieson said in a 2008 Sports Illustrated article, "From the day Ian stepped through the doors here you could see it on his face: He was on a mission."

Kinsler impressed his coaches enough that he overshadowed his back-up at shortstop, Adam Garrett.
Garrett has been in the starting lineup since junior Ian Kinsler injured his foot at Texas on March 16. Garrett was 1 for 10 before his insertion into the starting lineup. Since then, he has hit safely and scored in every game, batting .619 (13 for 21) in six games to raise his season average to .452. (Columbia Tribune, 3/29/03)
But after Kinsler returned from his eight day break, Garrett was returned to the bench.

From that point on, Kinsler cemented his place in the lineup and his value to the team, impressing the scouts. He was drafted in June, 2204, by the Texas Rangers organization. He was one of five Tigers drafted that year. Justin James eventually made it to a short career in the major leagues after a long journey. Jayce Tingler, Andy Shipman, and Derek Roper all put in their time in the minor leagues.

Ian Kinsler and 1st Base Coach Tony Vitello
2003 Big 12 Tournament
Photo by Len Laskowski
Kinsler's team mates on that 2003 team also included future Mizzou asssistant coaches Travis Wendte, Luke Cassis and Tony Vitello, among others.

After a slow start in his rookie season in the minors, Kinsler made a steady march through the Rangers' farm system. He seems to be one of those rare players who actually gets better at the game at each successive level, improving his skills and raising his game to the level of the competition.

Since then, he has become a leader on the Texas Rangers and an American League All-Star.  His achievements as a major leaguer have been well chronicled.

But today, we honor him as a distinguished representative of Missouri Tigers Baseball

Here's a Tip of the Cap to Ian Kinsler, a member of the 2013 Class of the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HI NOTES: Tigers on Deck, Future Stars, Gibby Gallery, Low Tide

Be sure to check out  TIGERS ON DECK,
the MU Baseball student fan group, on Facebook!
TIGERS ON DECK

Mizzou Students: Join Tigers on Deck (mutigers.com)
Notable Tigers on Deck Promotions This Season
- Pregame Tailgate featuring games, music, free food and drink and Tiger Crew meet-and-greets.

Pregame tailgates will be featured for the following games
- March 1 vs. Northwestern - Mizzou Home Opener
- March 15 vs. #7 South Carolina - Mizzou SEC Opener
- March 30 vs. #10 LSU - Mizzou's First-Ever Televised Home SEC Game
- April 19 vs. #17 Florida
- May 17 vs. #11 Kentucky - Come honor the Tiger seniors
- Prize Drawings Every Weekend
- Free Hot Chocolate for TOD Members
- Free Admission and VIP seating with other TOD members at every game
- Tiger Crew Meet-and-Greets before every Sunday game
COLLEGE BASEBALL

♦ If you needed any further motivation to be a College Baseball fan, scroll through the names and faces of MLB.com's 2013 Top 100 Prospects.  You'll see Mizzou's own Kyle Gibson check in at #49,but you'll also see many names college ball fans will recognize from the past few years, including Texas A&M's Michael "OwnedByMizzou" Wacha.
Gibson came out of Missouri and did as expected, moving quickly through the Twins system. He was on the brink of being big-league ready when he needed Tommy John surgery late in 2011. The big right-hander did return in 2012 and shook off the rust, starting the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game and showing, at least in glimpses, that his stuff was back. That repertoire includes an above-average fastball with sink and an outstanding sinking changeup. His slider gives him a third above-average offering. When he's right, he keeps the ball down in the zone from a downhill plane, inducing many groundballs. Now putting the surgery in his rearview mirror, Gibson should get the chance to help out in Minnesota very soon.
MU IN THE MINORS

Prospect Uniformed: Twins Righty Starter Kyle Gibson in Every Minor League
Jersey He’s Worn (MLB Prospective)
How about June 2009, when Minnesota made the 6-foot-6-inch right-hander the 22nd overall selection the Draft? In the four years since, Gibson has pitched for three Minor League teams (not counting the Gulf Coast League Twins, whom he rehabbed with briefly this past year) and one in the Arizona Fall League. I expect him to return to Triple-A Rochester this spring but wouldn’t be surprised to see him north-bound by summer. Here is a gallery of Gibson, in every uni he’s donned to date. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

Team Speed Kills begins their 2013 SEC Baseball Preview with We've Found the Sport at Which Alabama's Not Great
...This is not a super-young team -- though there is a lot of youth here -- but it is a somewhat inexperienced one, having lost 224 position starts while returning 271. But most of the focus has to come back to the pitching. If the Tide can tighten that up, they can probably wrangle an invitation to Hoover, but a trip to the NCAAs still seems to be asking a bit much for now.

WORD ON THE TWEET

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

HI NOTES: SEC Underdogs, Poll-ish Sausage, Miami Vice

POLICE BLOTTER

Photo by Mike Licht flickr.com
♦ The big news coming out about the Tony Bosch list of PED customers isn't just about MLB players. This articles says a lot of the key figures had close ties to the University of Miami Baseball program: A Miami Clinic Supplies Drugs to Sports' Biggest Names (Miami New Times)
Indeed, there are two patterns to the names of athletes in Bosch's records: (1) Most have direct ties to Miami and often to the UM Hurricanes baseball program, and (2) a number have already been caught doping — which suggests that either Bosch isn't particularly gifted at crafting drugs that can beat performance tests or his clients aren't careful
...
At least one UM coach makes an appearance as well: Jimmy Goins, the strength and conditioning coach for the Hurricanes baseball team for the past nine seasons. Goins is recorded in multiple client lists; in one detailed page dated December 14, 2011, Bosch writes he's selling him Anavar, testosterone, and a Winstrol/B-12 mix and charging him $400 a month. Another, from this past December, includes sales of HGH and testosterone...
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

♦ Mizzou isn't the only SEC Baseball team with something to prove: Baseball out to prove critics wrong (Bama Online)
Alabama, which opens the season Feb. 15th when it hosts VMI, went 21-34 last season, 9-21 in league play and missed out on the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover. It’s not one of the eight SEC teams to be ranked in the national preseason coaches’ poll that had Arkansas first, LSU third and South Carolina fifth.

“I think we’re capable of a lot, more than people are giving us credit for,” Moore said. “We have a lot of guys coming back who went through the crap. We don’t want to do that again, so we’re really motivated and we have a great freshmen class, with a couple of guys who are going to come in and help right away. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”...

PRE-SEASON SEASON

Another day, another poll. The National College Baseball Writers Association has their say: Arkansas Tops 2013 Preseason NCBWA Poll (sportswriters.net)
Arkansas leads the Top 25, which includes 9 SEC teams not located in Missouri (plus Southern Mississippi, MU's opening weekend opponent).

♦ And no pres-season season would be complete without the poll of polls: Arkansas claims top spot in CBI Preseason Composite Poll (College Baseball Insider)
After tying for third place in the 2012 College World Series, Arkansas begins the 2013 campaign at No. 1 in the CollegeBaseballInsider.com Preseason Composite Poll.

In previous seasons, CBI has used four rankings in its composite poll: Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. This year CBI will add a fifth ranking to the composite poll, the Perfect Game poll.
. . .
The CBI Preseason Composite Poll contains seven teams from the SEC. There are five from the Pac-12, four from the ACC, two from the Big 12 and single entries from the Big East and West Coast Conference...

HI NOTES: Season Ticket Deal, John Hancocks, EA Starts

TICKETS
I'll take one of these caps,
please & thank you.

Baseball Season Tickets Remain on Sale (mutigers.com)
As the Mizzou baseball program prepares for its inaugural season as members of the nation's premier baseball league, the Southeastern Conference, the Tigers on counting on the support from Mizzou Nation this year. Season tickets for the 2013 Mizzou campaign are still available to the public, and the first 500 fans to purchase season tickets will receive a free Mizzou baseball hat.

At just $60 for adults and $30 for youth, Mizzou baseball season tickets are one of the most affordable packages in the SEC and give fans a chance to see every game at Taylor Stadium for just $2 per contest. A family pass (two adults/two children) is also on sale for just $150...
Ian Kinsler and teammates sign autographs in 2003
SIGN HERE

Mizzou Baseball to Sign Autographs at Men's Basketball Saturday (mutigers.com)
At Saturday's Mizzou men's basketball game against Auburn, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena, fans may notice a Mizzou baseball theme as the Tigers will be on hand to sign autographs for fans during halftime on the game. In addition, the team will be recognized for its Big 12 Championship last season during the first half of Saturday's game. Also, former baseball standout and current Texas Ranger and MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler will be recognized at halftime of Saturday's game as part of the 2013 Mizzou Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The autograph session will begin at halftime of the game on Saturday on the main concourse of Mizzou Arena. The team will have free posters to give away to the public and fans will get the chance to interact with the Tigers, who are preparing for their inaugural season as members of the Southeastern Conference.
PRE-SEASON SEASON

Anderson rehab remains on schedule (Columbia Tribune)
"He's still on track to potentially throw an inning or two the first weekend," Jamieson said. "He's been doing great with his rehab. Hopefully he can not just feel well but throw well."

Jamieson said he'd prefer Anderson to start, even if it's no more than an inning, once he's ready for a game...
LOL

From RockMNation: Beaker and the Brain

Monday, January 28, 2013

2014 Mizzou Recruit: C Brett Bond


According to chatter on Twitter, Brett Bond, younger brother of former Tiger Brock Bond, has made an early verbal commitment to play baseball at Missouri.  Bond is a junior at Westminster Christian Academy, where he is a teammate of Shane Benes, also an early Mizzou commit for the fall of 2014.

Brett Bond, C
6'1", 195 lb, S/R
Westminster Christian Academy (StL)

♦ 2012 Stats: .300 BA (30-for-100), .346 OB%, .470 SLG, 100 AB, 8 R, 4 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 6 BB, 19 K, 1 HBP, 0/0 SB

Future Games Preview: Brett Bond, a Catcher from Westminster Christian Academy PrepBaseballReport.com, 7/31/2012)
Switch-hitting catcher, enough said. That is what Brett Bond from Westminster Christian Academy brings to the Midwest Future Games. The strong bodied 6-foot-1, 195-pound catcher hits well from both sides of the plate and is poised for a big Future Games weekend and solidify his rank as a top Class of 2014 player.
...
Behind the plate, Bond manages the staff with the experience of a seasoned veteran. Bond also plays a bit of first base and outfield, and will see time there as well this weekend at the Future Games

♦ From Prep Baseball Report Profile on Brett Bond:
The switch hitter showed he can handle the bat from both sides of the plate, barreling up the ball a few times over the weekend while hitting hard line drives right at opposing players. He managed only one hit, but that doesn’t tell the whole story on is performance at the plate. Bond also has surprising speed for a catcher.

Quarterback Bond's stock on the rise at Westminster (StLToday.com)
As well as he’s played on the football field, Bond’s future lies on the diamond. Brock Bond, 27, who starred at Lindbergh, played college baseball at Arkansas and Missouri. He currently is on the roster of the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

“I love both sports a lot,” Bond said. “But baseball is my sport. It is in my bloodlines.”

HI NOTES: That Never Works

MIZZOU BASEBALL IN THE MAJORS

♦ The most common fan reaction to the fake-throw-to-third pick-off move is "That Never Works!", but apparently it did work occasionally for Max Scherzer: Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer voice displeasure over change to fake pickoff move (mlive.com)
"I'm pissed," Scherzer said during Saturday's TigerFest at Comerica Park.

The move was used by pitchers to trick a runner on first base into trying to swipe second. It proved particularly effective for Scherzer, who picked off two baserunners with it last season.

"(Scherzer) gets one or two guys a year on that thing," Justin Verlander said...
Photo by Duncan Hall flickr.com

PRE-SEASON SEASON

Pre-Season Prognostications have a success rate only slightly better than the fake throw to third, but what else would writers and bloggers doing during the Pre-Season Season?

♦ Perfect Game has their preview of the SEC, which you'd have to pay to see. For free, you get to see that Missouri is surprisingly NOT predicted to finish last in the SEC East: Conference Previews: SEC (perfectgame.org)

♦ Stitch-Head-in-Chief Eric Sorensen has Mizzou ranked 88th nationally and 12th in the SEC - and his facts a little outdated - in his comprehensive Top 298 for 2013 (College Baseball Today) Could be worse. We could be Coppin State fans.
Ugh! It’s going to get a little worse before it gets better for Tim Jamieson and Co. The move to the SEC is pretty ill-timed as Mizzou loses two of three starting pitchers and three-fourths of the infield. Tigers will apparently also lose RHP Eric Anderson for ‘13 due to Tommy John surgery.

♦ Also lining up to take a wild swing is ChasingOmaha.com with The Omaha Eight: Preseason Edition

♦ Tweets from the first day of practice nationwide: Storify: First Day of Practice (College Baseball Daily)

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

Mark Etheridge takes a look at LSU and Kentucky, plus his own spare time bucket list, in Three Cuts: Ain't Nobody Got Time For That (SEBaseball.com)
Gary Henderson's club rode a fast start against so-so opposition to an early ranking. Many of us felt they would fall back to the pack once conference play started. Instead the Wildcats hung in all season and should have hosted a Regional last June. When they dropped a 21 inning Regional opening game against Kent State their pitching staff was stretched for the rest of the weekend and fell in the final to eventual CWS club Kent State.

So the question now becomes will Kentucky stay at the top of the SEC or will they slip? ...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

HI NOTES: Kind of a March 15th Feeling

PRE-SEASON SEASON

♦ The weather cooperated Friday, as MU baseball team opens practice outdoors (Columbia Tribune)
"Obviously, being a little cold, it gives us kind of a March 15 feeling," junior college transfer Keaton Steele said, referring to the Tigers' Southeastern Conference home opener. "That's when South Carolina comes here. We'll be outside. They've been sitting in their 60, 50 degree weather, we'll be out here in 25. So it gives us a little edge on the competition I think."

Opening their first season in the premier college baseball conference, Missouri marked the occasion by matching ace left-hander Rob Zastryzny against freshman phenom Alec Rash in the full-squad scrimmage...
Zastryzny will be "the guy' for Missouri baseball (Columbia Missourian)
Newcomer Keaton Steele, who hit a two-run home run in the scrimmage, raved about Zastryzny's role as a mentor, rattling off the types of questions he routinely asks the Texan in the dugout...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

HI NOTES: Tigers Past & Future, LSU Expectations

Torre Tyson
MIZZOU BASEBALL IN THE MINORS

♦ Former Missouri Tiger Torre Tyson has moved from the Yankees organization to the Orioles' minor leagues, according to wfmd.com:
Joining Minor will be pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, returning to Frederick after three seasons with the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles’ AA affiliate, hitting coach Torre Tyson, formerly a manager and defensive coordinator in the New York Yankees organization, and athletic trainer Patrick Wesley, returning for his fifth season in Frederick.
MIZZOU BASEBALL RECRUITS

♦ Grant, Lake Zurich players invited to prestigious camp (newssun.suntimes.com)
Though the weather and calendar may suggest otherwise, it’s not too early to start thinking about baseball.

Coming up a week from Sunday (Feb. 3) is the 11th annual Super 60 Pro Showcase, which will be held at an indoor facility in south suburban McCook.

The prestigious by-invite only one-day camp is put together by Prep Baseball Report, which is based out of Lake Forest.

Players invited are top prospects from within Prep Baseball Report’s eight-state coverage area and get to perform in front of pro scouts.

Among the invitees are two area prep stars:

Grant senior outfielder Jake Ring. The left-handed hitting, lefty-throwing outfielder will be one of the fastest players at the camp. He’s committed to play college ball at Missouri...

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

LSU starts down the road to a new baseball season with plenty of promise and high expectations (NOLA.com)
Check around the country and you'd find that most college baseball programs would love a 47-win season with a Super Regional appearance that got within a game of the College World Series. Most college programs aren't LSU.

The uniqueness of superiority that the Tigers have carved out the last 27 years makes this time of year a mixture of excitement for a new season and renewed top-shelf expectations that -- without fail -- involve a June junket to Omaha for the sport's crown jewel...

Friday, January 25, 2013

WORD ON THE TWEET: Practice Begins (Officially)

Lots of chatter on the twitter today, the official first day of practice for Division I Baseball.












Thursday, January 24, 2013

HI NOTES: Poll to Poll Coverage, Good Wood

PRE-SEASON SEASON

♦ Baseball America released their Pre-Season Top 25 today, which of course includes no mention of the flagship school in the state of Missouri among the 8 SEC teams on the list (plus Southern Mississippi, Mizzou's opening weekend opponent, at #23). But if you're interested in their "illuminating way" of ranking teams, check out 2013 Preseason College Top 25 Scouting Reports (Baseball America)
Baseball America OFP: 55. The Eagles spent last year breaking in their third-ranked recruiting class, and they went through their share of growing pains. But they should reap the rewards of that acclimation period this year. Southern Miss is a balanced club that should contend for the Conference USA title and could make a deep postseason run if it stays healthy and gets hot at the right time.
♦ Not to be outdone, USA Today released their 2013 College Baseball Coaches Poll, featuring SEC rival Arkansas at #1.
With seven other SEC teams — No. 3 LSU, No. 5 South Carolina, No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Florida, No. 15 Kentucky, No. 18 Mississippi State and No. 24 Texas A&M — in the preseason poll, Van Horn is anticipating a challenging season but feels his team is up to the task.
The USA Today poll is the one that always gives you a list of non-top-25 teams that also received votes.

Nope.

WORD ON THE TWEET



SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

♦ ESPN talks about South Carolina baseball and other college baseball stuff in Chad Holbrook's latest chase (ESPN.com)
Holbrook says he doesn't feel any pressure to become what Tanner was, to live up to the 738 wins, the six trips to Omaha, the legendary status.

"I'm not Ray Tanner and I won't try to be Ray Tanner," Holbrook says. "I can't try to follow his success."

Sure, he won't try to.

But Chad Holbrook has always licked his lips at the thought of a chase. This is just the next one...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HI NOTES: Pitchers & Catchers

MIZZOU BASEBALL RECRUITS

♦ Tweets from former Mizzou assistant coach Brian Delunas about velocity tests, including MU signees Jake Brentz, Devin Williams, and Jared Fosdick:


♦ And some further details and explanation on Jake Brentz' decision to play in Iowa this Spring, on the StLToday.com Prep Sports Forum:
We made the decision to go to Iowa for the simple reason that he will pitch every week. Every MLB scout coming into our home ask us the same question. "Will you pitch this spring, and how often"? We could not answer that question nor did we ever get confirmation that he would get more than one chance on the mound. Past experience told me that he would get one opportunity, if he did not produce he would not get another. Choosing this option insured that he would be able to work through any early season issues he might have. Pitching is going to be a strength this season at south and I did not see many inning for Jake based on past experience...
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

♦ The Kentucky Baseball SID has a 10-part series beginning today previewing the 2013 Wildcat Baseball season, beginning with Baseball season previews: Gott emerging as NCAA's top closer (ukathletics.com)
Regardless of how the season ended, Kentucky had a record-breaking season and its closer also etched his name throughout the UK history books. While earning spots on the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Player of the Year Watch List and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award Watch List, Gott set the UK single-season record with nine saves.

He appeared in 23 games and charted a 3-0 record with a 2.16 ERA. Gott tossed 25 innings and allowed only 17 hits and seven walks, striking out 38 and limiting opponents to a .189 average. He was especially dominant against Southeastern Conference foes, working the first five innings of the year against league opponents without allowing a hit...
Getting to Know SEC Baseball: Georgia (mutigers.com)

MIZZOU BASEBALL DIASPORA

♦ A former record breaking hitter for the Tigers demonstrates his coaching skills in How To Hit a Baseball (youtube.com)



Note: I didn't say which hitting records J.C. broke.

AMERICA'S PASTIME

Speaking of record-setting ballplayers:





Mizzou Ranked #1 in Perfect Game Pre-Season Poll

Preseason College Top 25 (Perfect Game)
OK, so maybe not.

There are 8 SEC teams on the list, with Arkansas coming in at #2, after #1 North Carolina.

College Baseball: Ballpark Expansion & Pre-Season List Season

♦ Perfect Game heralds the beginning of the Pre-Season List Season with their Preseason College All-Americans (perfectgame.org) The First Team includes no one on Mizzou's 2013 schedule, although a pair of Arkansas players are listed. The 2nd team includes 7 SEC players, plus Nick PEtree of Missouri State, who the Tigers will not likely face in their mid-week match-ups with the Bears.

♦ Take a look at this video Tour of Louisville’s Jim Patterson Stadium Expansion, showing what a decent college ballpark upgrade can look like without over-reaching.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Southern Exposure: SEC Takes the Cake & Regrets

♦ Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin has plenty to say about MSU Baseball and their ballpark, Dudy-Noble, in Stricklin:
Mississippi State 'better off down the road'(ClarionLedger.com)
Recruiting has become something where you have to cast your line further and further out. John is having to recruit sophomores and freshmen. It’s interesting to see how far because recruiting is taking place so much farther in the future. It’s harder to get a quick read on a coach and what he’s doing. It’s almost like, here John is going into year 5 and now for the first time you can see where his program is backward and forward...

♦ I've been trying to figure out what the point is of Pinterest.  After taking a look at the decorated cakes on the SEC Weddings album, I'm still wondering.

RockMNation has an interesting discussion thread regarding So ... is David Ubben right? If you were pulling the strings, would Mizzou "sprint back" to the Big 12?
There was apparently a late break of no's, and in the end, a whopping 12 percent of those responding said that Mizzou should never have left the Big 12. Never mind that you cannot get 88 percent of Missouri fans to agree on anything. They agreed on this. But apparently that's just hubris, not an enormous combination of conference stability, financial stability, and the fact that the SEC is just a pretty nice place to live. Nope...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mizzou Baseball int he Majors: Hot Stove & Hot Moves

♦ You must click this link and see how Max Scherzer will NOT waste his move (notgraphs.com)
Max Scherzer
Photo by Keith Allison (flickr.com)

Among seven arbitration-eligible Tigers, Max Scherzer has most intriguing case (Detroit News)
How closely is Max Scherzer about to follow in Justin Verlander's financial footsteps?

We're going to find out this week.

There are differences in the number of games they've won, of course. There are differences in what they've accomplished.

But there could be similarities in what they will.

After all, Scherzer's career ERA of 3.88 is exactly what Verlander's was from 2006-09, prompting this question: With arbitration looming, will Scherzer sign a multi-year contract the way Verlander did at a similar point in his career three years ago?
...
Grant: If Ian Kinsler doesn’t excel in 2012, I expect it to be his last season with Rangers (Dallas News)
I think Kinsler will be on a shorter leash this year and if he doesn't excel, I'd expect it to be his last season in Texas. The Rangers will make it clear that there is not going to be playing time for him and essentially push him towards accepting a trade. That said, I think he's perfectly capable of bouncing back and he's always been good at making adjustments to his approach in the offseason.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mizzou Baseball Recruit: Shoeless Jake Goes to Iowa

"I'm a ballplayer. I'm looking for a place to play. I heard rumors about the Midwest.  They say every town out there has a team, and that they'll find you a job int eh daytime so you can play ball at night and on the weekends.  Thought I'd give it a try."
- Archie "Moonlight" Graham, in Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa, by W.P. Kinsella

Jake Brentz, a senior OF/LHP from Parkway South HS in Manchester, MO (St. Louis area), has notified his coach, Adam Stahl, that he will not be playing for the Patriots this season.

Instead, Brentz will be playing for the Perfect Game 2013 Iowa Spring Wood Bat Scout League.  That league plays on Saturdays and Sundays from March 16 through April 28.  The regular Iowa prep season takes place in the summertime, due to the weather, and the Perfect Game Spring League not only provides a baseball venue for top Iowa players during the spring, but also accepts players from outside Iowa who want to play in what they tout as a highly competitive league with maximum exposure to scouts.

Missouri freshman pitcher Alec Rash, who was drafted in the late 2nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft, played in the Perfect Game Iowa Spring League in 2010 and 2012.  Rash, being from Iowa, was also able to then play for his high school team in the summer.

♦ An article about Brentz's training regimen, who works with former MU assistant coach Brian DeLunas: Jake Brentz: Fostering Baseball’s Future (thesandlotstl.com)

When Jake threw that 96-mph fastball in front of the best college and pro baseball scouts in the business, it was the culmination of not only recognizing his potential but also maximizing his gifts. Talent – even 96 mph fastballs – has to be recognized and fostered. Jake Brentz trains with Sandlot pitching coach Brian DeLunas to refine his pitching mechanics and with Sandlot owner Rick Strickland to tighten up his hitting stroke...
♦ Perfect Game founder Jerry Ford talks about the Iowa Spring League:


♦ Here's an interesting look at the impact of programs like Perfect Game on high school baseball and recruiting: Perfect Game USA and the Future of Baseball: How the Remaking of Youth Scouting Affects the National Pastime (review)(Project Muse)
The emergence of showcases is causing repercussions for high school baseball programs, which Edgerton claims have “become almost irrelevant” and where talent for the most part “isn’t all that good”. Select baseball has taken over as the destination for the best youth players, and some of the nation’s more prominent select programs (such as the East Cobb program in Georgia) feed into Perfect Game showcases and participate in Perfect Game tournaments...
Local Baseball Player Has Great Potential (ksdk.com VIDEO)

♦ Read more about Mizzou recruit Jake Brentz HERE

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Southern Exposure: Southern Snow & Squirrels

♦ Simmons Field is not the only SEC ballpark covered with snow:




♦LSU is the next in the series: Getting to Know SEC Baseball: LSU (mutigers.com)

♦ Great quote from Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco:

Southern Exposure: Kerrick Jackson on SEC Recruting; Box Top; Horses>Cups ...

Mizzou Enters the World of SEC Baseball (Prep Baseball Report)
... In terms of recruiting kids, “Based on need, our goal is to get the best players out of the state of Missouri year in and year out and as we move forward to get the best players from the Midwest,” said Jackson. “We also look at the mental toughness part, getting kids who are tough, hard nosed players. Maybe all of the players we get will not be high profile guys, may not be the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked players, we want to get players who play the game the right way and understand the failure aspect and play through that.”...
BE sure to click and read the whole story HERE

LSU's Alex Box Stadium
Photo by Shoshana flickr.com
♦ Word on the Tweet from @LSUBaseballProb
Alex Box Stadium is ranked no. 70 among Top 101 Stadium Experiences in the U.S....ranked ahead of 5 MLB Stadiums on the same list #whoa
The List (prlog.org)

♦ Check out the videos and updates on Vanderbilt's annual Omaha Challenge at vucommodores.com
Vanderbilt returned to classes on Monday, January 7 and the Commodores wasted little time in getting back to business beginning the team's annual Omaha Challenge on Wednesday afternoon.

The competition opened with a creative new team event in the Bar Carry. Each of the four teams were given two weight bars (40 lbs. each) and had to transport eight teammates forty yards down the field and back before the next teammate could be toted down the field. Essentially, a human relay race. Strategy and weight definitely came in to play as Team Lupo took home the title.

Day 1   Day 2   Day 3

2013 Gators Preview - Part 1: New Identity (Gator Country)
In the past few seasons, “Sully” sent several batters up to the plate who could change a game with one swing. While this season’s club has a few who can club it, the make-up of the squad will be much different offensively.

“Every year your offensive philosophy changes to the personnel you have,” O’Sullivan said. “This year’s personality is different from last year’s because the personnel is different. For us to try to run a lot last year, that was not the strength of our team.

“This year, it could be and it should be for us to be successful.”
Of the 75 home runs hit last season, 61 were hit by players that are no longer with the team. Of the 360 RBI, 245 were hit by former players. That accounts for 81.3 percent of the homers and 68 percent of the RBI from a year ago...

♦ Kentucky's answer to the Ole Miss Red Solo Cup Races:


♦ The new Ole Miss video promo is big on glower-power:

x

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Update: Auburn Uni-palooza

♦ The story behind Redesigning the Auburn Baseball Uniform (CollegeAndMagnolia.com), complete with more detailed photos.
That got me thinking. Could Auburn follow that same strategy? What would it look like if Auburn designed its uniforms based off of any of the 30 MLB clubs? And lo, a time killing, creatively fueling, and ultimately rewarding project was born. I took out my notebook and started to draft my ground rules...
My favorite, featuring the Auburn War Eagle:
Photo from  SBN CollegeAndMagnolia.com
The classic "Bird on Bat" logo is modified to just a single eagle. I also went with the Sunday home uniforms to cheat a bit and not have to try and warp the StL logo into some sort of AU hodgepodge.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Southern Exposure: Getting To Know U's

♦ Baseball's SID Shawn Davis (or more precisely, Assistant Director of Strategic Communications - Media) has started a series of short introductions to Mizzou's 2013 SEC opponents, including weird facts, Word on the Tweet, and other miscellany.  He started with MU's first opponent: Getting to Know SEC Baseball: South Carolina (mutigers.com)
Electric Gamecock
photo by Rick Stillwell

Quick Thoughts From Vickash Ramjit Entering 2013 Season (gatorzone.com)
What do you think the fans at McKethan Stadium have to look forward to this season?

“They will have a lot of young faces to see; I feel they’re going to be very surprised. I think it’s going to be a mirror of the ‘10 season, when Nolan Fontana and those guys (including Cody Dent, Brian Johnson, Austin Maddox, Hudson Randall, Steven Rodriguez and Mike Zunino) came in. These guys have been in here day and night working and are so motivated. The fans are going to be excited to see these young guys. We could have a special team this year.”
Auburn/MLB Jersey redesign. Great picture, interesting concept, not sure if it's for real or just for kicks. Check it out.

Solo cup races at Ole Miss Baseball this season (totalfratmove.com). OK.

♦ Pretty lame 2013 Florida Baseball Commercial. But hey, it's better than the one Missouri Baseball is running.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Q & "A" with Tim Jamieson: Call Me Maybe

Photo by Roman Stanek flickr.com
♦ "Missouri baseball Coach Tim Jamieson sat down with the Columbia Tribune's Matt Nestor to discuss the Tigers' upcoming season, their first in the Southeastern Conference."

That's how the Tribune article, Q&A with Tim Jamieson, opens, and that lede is certainly more completely true that the headline attached to the piece. The headline is only about half true.

Nestor had lots of Qs: he asked about plans for pitchers Eric Anderson and Alec Rash, plans for the sophomore pitchers like Platts, Graves and Miles, Rob Z's status as the #1 starter, transfers Jace James and Keaton Steele, the outfield, the open catcher position, the challenge of the SEC, and contstruction/remodeling plans at the Stadium.

Jamieson's As mostly fell into the category of the ubiquitous pop song, Call Me Maybe  (see below, if you've been under a rock for the past year), which is perhaps what we should call TJ.

Apparently almost every pitcher on the staff is going to pitch in the weekend rotation. Maybe.

Apparently the only position player guaranteed ("that's hands down - we know he's going to be in the field for us") is newcomer Shane Segovia, but he doesn't really know what position he'll play. Maybe 3rd or SS.

As for the SEC, TJ knows it's going to be tough, but he spent the most time talking about that he doesn't even know yet how they're going to get to Tennessee. By bus, by plane + bus, by sleeper bus). Maybe this, maybe that.

So...maybe there are a lot of questions still left to be answered.

I did enjoy his sideways manner of putting the entire MU athletic department on notice not to leave baseball flapping in the wind:
Q: And then I wanted to finish with the new clubhouse. Is that still on schedule?

A: It's supposed to go out for bid in the next week or so. And then we begin construction March 1. There's nothing to suggest that that time frame has changed. The design part of it is over. I have not heard budget numbers — that certainly could affect things — but everything seems to be on track.
But maybe you shouldn't take my word for it. Maybe you should click and read the entire interview. Maybe you'll learn something.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Southern Exposure: Baseball>Basketball, 3-and-Out

Does your program/fans care more about basketball or baseball? (SECRant.com)
  • South Carolina fan: I know for South Carolina fans, most of us care more about baseball, but those of us who were around during the Frank McGuire days still care about basketball.
  • LSU fan: Baseball without a doubt. We lead the nation in attendance EVERY year for a reason
  • Ole Miss fan: Baseball for sure. You can't bring a cooler to basketball games
  • Alabama fan: Basketball for Alabama. The 90s are long gone for the Alabama baseball program
  • Auburn fan: Whichever one is better. If I had to choose, I'd say basketball, because when they are good, more fans follow them. When baseball is good, a percentage of fans follow them, and the park is filled up, but you don't get the same turnout as you would for a good basketball team.
  • Florida fan: Definitely basketball for UF
  • A&M fan: A&M has traditionally been a baseball school and Blue Bell Park is as beautiful of a facility as any. We always support the baseball team.
  • Georgia fan: Neither :(
  • Arkansas fan: Its about a tie. Overall attendance numbers for each sport is close to a tie right now.
  • Kentucky fan: Nobody cares about baseball where you use aluminum bats...
  • Mississippi State fan: When MSU is good(this year for the first time in over a decade), there is no better place to watch a college baseball game than Dudy Noble Field -- even though she's a bit outdated these days.
♦ Mark Etheridge at SEBaseball.com has some good thoughts on the plusses and minuses of the newly expanded SEC Tournament format, plus a brief look at the prospects for Georgia and Auburn, in Three and out: SEC Tourney Makeover (SEBaseblal.com).
When did you stop beating your wife?

Remember that time we all quit watching baseball because it causes in-grown ear hairs? Me either.

Remember when we quit stopped lining foul-lines because it contained trace levels of mayonnaise. Not really...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mizzou Baseball Tickets

2013 Season Ticket and Game Day Ticket information is now up at mutigers.com.
Photo by Ensign Beedril

Season Ticket renewal forms were mailed out in November, with a due date just short of Christmas.

Ticket prices have not increased for 2013.

MU Students are admitted free to all home games.

2013 Season ticket costs
(Reserved/assigned seats)

Single Ticket: $60

Youth/Senior Citizen Ticket: $30

Family (2 adults + 2 children): $150


Individual Game Tickets will be for sale at the gate on each game day.  I've never know there to be a complete sell-out, but who knows what the SEC season will bring?

The price for 2013 will still be $5 per ticket, with a discount price of $3 for children under 12 and for senior citizens.


Mizzou Spirit Pass

The Mizzou Spirit Pass is an all-purpose pass to most sporting events at MU (excludes Football and Men's Basketball). It does not include reserved or assigned seating, and does not include post-season events

Individual: $60

Couple: $110

Family Pass:(2 adults, 2 kids) $200

Faculty/Staff Family Pass: (2 adults, 2 kids)$100


Where can I get tickets?

By phone:

  • 1-800-CAT-PAWS (228-7297) 
  • Or in the Columbia area, (573)884-7297

Ticket Office:
Mizzou Arena, North Entrance
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Offical MUTigers.com Tickets Page

Check out our SimmonsField.com GameDay FAQ for details on the seating chart of Taylor Stadium and other facts about Going to the Game (parking, concessions, etc.)


Baseball Deprivation, The Other 1-Year Tiger & Punch a Midget

Kicking Rocks: A Case of the Januaries (fangraphs.com)
While the movie Office space made the phrase, “somebody’s got a case of the Monday’s” a modern day staple of the American workplace, I think it’s time someone in the fantasy baseball community made the adjustment and coined the phrase, “a case of the Januaries.” Because let’s face it, this month sucks, plain and simple. The GM winter meetings have come and gone, the majority of free agents have already signed, Spring Training isn’t for another month and a half, and the baseball news feeds are pretty much barren. . .
Of course, if you're a College Baseball fan, January is when things really start to get interesting, with opening day looming on February 15th.

Shaun MarcumMU Freshman
But still, the baseball deprivation blues have me paying attention to unusual stuff, like an interesting article about that other MLB player who played at Mizzou for just one season.

Shaun Marcum's Winter of Silence (fangraphs.com)
...It’s just not normal. Marcum has averaged 86.7 mph with his fastball over the last three seasons, the slowest non-knuckleballer, non-Livan Hernandez right-handed fastball in the game (min. 400 IP). It doesn’t look or feel right because it’s so unconventional, and yet it works for him and has for a really long time now. One day someone’s going to do some really great research and analysis on pitch sequencing and we’ll better understand how a big league hitter could swing through an 87 mph fastball over the heart of the plate like it was 97, and maybe then guys like Marcum will get some more respect....

♦ Thanks to Former MU Baseball Student/Forever MU Baseball Fan Christian Walden for tweeting the link to Routine Baseball. Some great baseball-themed Tees, Sweats, Caps, etc.

And a great page devoted to The Bible of Baseball S'language
[Mrs. Doubtfire]- Someone on the opposing team who doesn't look anything like a ballplayer, but turns out to be a stud.

[Punch the Midget] - A visual aid for players, when stealing bases you drive your arm forward as if punching a midget.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

HI NOTES: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

♦ We posted last week about Word on the Tweet rumors of possible changes being talked about at the ABCA Convention in Chicago, with many of those tweets coming from Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game (@KendallRogersPG). Kendall now has an article up at Perfect Game with more details about the things he heard. Well worth clicking the link and reading the whole story: ABCA convention rewind (PerfectGame.com)
"This is for prospect student-athletes, those in high school or in the junior college ranks," Lennon said. "In this case, they might be able to have agents and advisors allowed in negotiations. We're prepared to put forth this idea for the council to consider."

A swift change of opinion on the agent-advisor relationship was only the tip of the iceberg for Lennon and the NCAA at the convention, as they also announced the NCAA is in the midst of some significant deregulation across the board, putting more of the responsibility regarding NCAA rules and regulations on member institutions.
...
♦ Baseball America's Aaron Fitt (@AaronFitt) was also a frequent tweeter at the ABCA, and he follows up with his ABCA notebook and a focus on Livelier Balls Discussed At ABCA Convention (Baseball America) (also well worth clicking the link and reading in its entirety)
Clemson coach Jack Leggett led the push for switching to the professional ball this fall, prompting Keilitz to study the issue. Currently, Keilitz said, the NCAA does not mandate any ball standards for regular-season play except that the ball’s coefficient of restitution (COR) cannot exceed .555. The higher the COR, the farther a ball will travel. Professional baseball uses a ball with a maximum COR of .578.

In the NCAA tournament, games must be played with an official Rawlings ball with seams that are higher than the seams of a pro baseball. For that reason, college conferences generally use the raised-seam ball during the regular season to prepare for the postseason.

Leggett sent a letter to coaches across the country in the fall. He said about 55 coaches responded to him, and all but one supported his proposal to switch to the minor league ball...

♦ And rounding out our pocket-full of change, there's John Infante (@John_Infante) with Breaking
Down the NCAA’s First Steps Toward Deregulation (The Bylaw Blog on AthleticScholarships.net)
On January 19, 2013, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors will meet at the NCAA Convention. It should be a significant day in NCAA history. The board will likely adopt 26 proposals that represent the most sweeping deregulation of NCAA rules ever attempted in a single stroke. The proposals touch on staffing, off-campus recruiting, phone calls, text messaging, minor academic rules, and a good portion of the extra benefit legislation.
...
An example of one of the 24 proposed regulations he covers:
RWG 13–1: After Signing National Letter of Intent

Would allow schools to treat prospects like student-athletes for purposes of applying recruiting regulations once a National Letter of Intent or signed offer of admission or financial aid is received.

Details about this proposal are scarce. A “Points to Consider” document does not include any more explanation. But saying that athletes are student-athletes once they sign an NLI opens up a can of worms about what that status means.

Odds of a fight: High. The extra benefit language in the proposal is too unclear. I would expect a significant number of override requests.
♦ The Nebraska Cornhuskers are adding Sand Volleyball to their list of NCAA Intercollegiate Sports. Sand volleyball in Nebraska in March? Someone must have told them they could play on Omaha Beach: Nebraska to Add Sand Volleyball as 24th Intercollegiate Sport (huskers.com)
Sand volleyball is a spring team sport. The Division I playing season starts the first Thursday in March and ends eight weeks later or the end of the school year, whichever comes first.

♦ And lastly, a look at a new recruit:


Hall of Fame Cheaters

An interesting read by former Mizzou pitcher/current law student Garrett Broshuis, on whether Bonds and others like him deserve to be or should be in the Hall of Fame: Their Own Hall of Shame (Life in the Minors)
At the end of the day, baseball writers must make a moral choice. Those that tell them to "get off their high horse" are simply wrong. Cheating is a moral issue. The players made a moral choice when they decided to use performance enhancers. The baseball writers must assess the effects of this moral choice when making their decisions.

Are the baseball writers then judging the players? Yes, in a way they are. Would many of the baseball writers have made the same choice as the cheating players had they been players? Undeniably so. But that does not make their current decision hypocritical, as it is a hypothetical discussion. One must instead deal with realities. The baseball writers are the ones to make the choice, and it must be a moral one...

♦ When you read Brosh's blog post you'll see a link to an upcoming law review article. That link takes you to a page listing other law review articles he has written -- all related to baseball.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

College Baseball Hall of Fame Gets $5 Million

CBHOF receives major capital campaign donation (CollegeBaseballHall.org)
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame has been based in Lubbock, Texas, since its founding in 2004. However, on Tuesday, the dream of a permanent home devoted to recognizing and preserving the history of the game took a major step toward becoming reality.

The Moody Foundation, based in Galveston, Texas, awarded the Hall of Fame a $5 million capital campaign grant. The grant brings the total raised toward the campaign to approximately $7 million, not including the value of the land committed by the City of Lubbock. The total campaign goal is $13 million, with $9 million needed for facility construction and a $4 million endowment...
College Baseball Hall Of Fame Receives $5 Million Grant (Baseball America)
...The Hall of Fame complex also will include a baseball field for youth tournaments and other amateur baseball events.

"We look forward to providing a world-class facility," said Jana Howser, Hall of Fame vice president of development. "The Moody Foundation Board of Trustees embraces the necessity of a proper national hall of fame that will educate the extraordinary history of college baseball."
See who is already in the CBHOF

WORD ON THE TWEET: What people are saying about the CBHOF and the donation

Monday, January 7, 2013

Andy Benes to be Guest Speaker at First Pitch Celebration

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes has been announced as the guest speaker at Mizzou Baseball's First Pitch Celebration.  Benes' son, Shane Benes, made an early verbal commitment to Mizzou back in November.  Benes' brother, Alan, is a scout for the Cardinals and is seen somehwat often at Mizzou games.

Details for the First Pitch, including cost of the event, are avialable HERE.

Andy Benes to Speak at First Pitch Dinner (mutigers.com)
Join the Mizzou baseball program in kicking off the 2013 season as generations of the Tiger Baseball family will come together to recognize past and present achievements in a fun-filled evening on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center by the Columbia Mall. The event will run from 7-9:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:30.

The Ninth Annual First Pitch Celebration will include hors d'oeuvres, beverages for young and old, introductions of past and present players, an outlook of the Tigers' inaugural SEC season and a silent auction featuring prestigious professional and collegiate items. Make it a weekend by taking in the Tiger basketball game against Ole Miss at noon on Saturday, Feb. 9th.

This year's guest speaker will be former St. Louis Cardinals All-Star pitcher Andy Benes. A fan-favorite while in St. Louis, Benes compiled a career ERA of 3.97 while winning 155 big league games with 2,000 career strikeouts. He was an All-Star selection while pitching for the San Diego Padres in 1993. Benes was the first player selected in the 1988 MLB Draft and finished third in the Cy Young voting in 1996. He played 14 seasons in majors.

♦ Sample of Benes as a speaker, from YouTube:

HI NOTES: Top coaches, Minor moves

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Baseball America has a list of the Top up-and-coming Coaches Under 40, plus a list of the Top Assistant Coaches.
It should come as no surprise, then, that gifted recruiting coordinators dominate our updated list of up-and-coming assistants. We asked current Division I head coaches to list three prospects among the ranks of current assistants, excluding their own staffs. Seventy coaches responded, and we list the top 10 vote-getters here. We also consulted more than a dozen scouts because they make their living observing amateur baseball and offer valuable perspective.

Coaches and scouts alike weighed in on our second, more informal poll: Who are the best current head coaches under 40? Most coaches in this category currently lead mid-major programs, but they constitute the next wave of marquee coaches in college baseball, along with the assistants on our first list...
MU IN THE MINORS

♦ Included in Baseball America's list of the latest Minor League Transactions:
Miami Marlins Signed: RHP Doug Mathis (Lotte (Japan))

Sunday, January 6, 2013

HI NOTES: 4 Blind Mice & Coach Jayce

SEC

Tweet from the ABCA from @AaronFitt (Baseball America):
Another nugget I picked up yesterday: #SEC has so much cash, it will go to 4-man umpire crews this year. Most leagues have 2-man crews.
MIZZOU BASEBALL IN THE MINORS

Jayce Tingler
♦ Former Tiger Jayce Tingler (00-03) will be coaching in the Rangers' organization again in 2013, with a twist: No hitting coordinator position in 2013 (ESPN.com)
The Rangers have decided not to fill a hitting coordinator position in the minor league system this season.
...
It’s expected to be a temporary move. But for 2013, field coordinator Jayce Tingler and special assistant roving hitting instructor Harry Spilman will handle those duties with guidance from Triple-A hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and major league hitting coach Dave Magadan.

"Jayce and Harry worked together at Instructional League in a hitting program there and we were pleased with how it went," Purpura said. "They complemented each other well and we wondered if it was something we should look at this year." ...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Word on the Tweet: ABCA in Chicago, New Transfer Rules??

The American Baseball Coaches Association annual convention is underway in Chicago this weekend.  Lots of discussion and creative ideas being knocked about, according to the twitter-sphere.  And, by the way, several College Baseball people you should be following on Twitter among the quotes that follow.

ABCA Convention in Chicago
ABCA Convention in Chicago
Photo by Nate Shipp (twitter)
@CoachPietro: On our way to Chicago for the #ABCA convention. @jemens20 caught a big one! http://lockerz.com/s/274296423

@vianneybaseball: Sitting behind @CoachPietro and the rest of the Mizzou Staff at the ABCA Clinic. Impressed to see them locked in getting better

@StLPiratesPitch (former Mizzou Baseball asst coach Brian Delunas): Good first night in Chicago catching up with friends. Looking forward to the speaker lineup the rest of the weekend at the ABCA!

MLB Draft and Agent/Athlete Relationships:

@KendalRogersPG: NCAA Legislative Council is taking a hard look at allowing HS/JUCO players to have agent/advisor representation in #MLB negotiations . . . One thing that's interesting about the agent/advisor relationship: NCAA's Dennis Poppe reiterated that all BSB folks on board with changes. . . With that, this proposal does NOT include eligible sophs/juniors in college. Would prefer to have it include HS/JUCO/those in coll #mlbdraft

@Mike_Rooney: @KendallRogersPG That sounds strange..both sets of kids have same needs.. I'm getting cynical in my old age!!

@AaronFitt: Idea of letting HS and JC players have an agent/advisor for draft negotiations is gaining some traction. Will go before leadership council. . . Very encouraged that NCAA is finally acknowledging difference between baseball and hockey drafts vs "opt-in" drafts in football/basketball.

@JimCalisBA: NCAA "allowing" agents/advisors won't change reality. Just means players won't have to lie about it, NCAA witchhunts can end. #mlbdraft

BBCOR Bats and "Livelier" Balls:

@AaronFitt: ABCA head Dave Kelitz says discussions are ongoing about whether to switch to a livelier ball, or a ball with flatter seams. . . Keilitz said in his survey, 53 percent of coaches want to keep same ball. 47% prefer a livelier ball, and 55 percent want flatter seams.

@KendalRogersPG: According to Dave Keilitz …. 86 percent of college coaches support the BBCOR bat after last season. Pretty impressive and high %.

@KendalRogersPG: ABCA's Dave Keilitz acknowledges Jack Leggett's email about changing #collegebaseball "ball" … might be something to target down road.

@Mike_Rooney: More offensive baseball makes me nervous.. Slippery slope and not sure that #StonyBrook and #KentState happen with old Big Offense set-up

Fall Baseball:

@KendalRogersPG: NCAA says there have been talks by #BigTen #MAC coaches about fall games, but that no action (for now) was possible at this time.

@Mike_Rooney: Can't understand why #CollegeBaseball cannot have same fall ball allowances as softball #Equity

@AaronFitt: D-I baseball committee not prepared to move forward yet with proposal to play fall games that count, but discussion will continue. . . I like some things about it, but it comes with a lot of complications. I like that Northern coaches are thinking creatively. . . It would be completely voluntary. But to reiterate, all this talk is still a long shot, I think.

Post-Season:

@KendalRogersPG: More notes about D-1 meeting. For now, serious talks have ceased on changing NCAA postseason format to three-game series before CWS. . . The NCAA's Dennis Poppe reiterated that "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" approach in regards to postseason format. I agree 100 percent.

@AaronFitt: After a "robust" discussion, committee decided not to seed the top 16 teams, because of concerns about cost and intra-conference SR matchups

@KendalRogersPG: Good news for your conference tourney fans, the NCAA will not announce anything tourney related until Sunday NIGHT now. Was early afternoon. . . For instance, now, if someone like #MSState or whoever is on the fence as a Regional host, winning the #SEC tournament could change things.

@KendalRogersPG: 2013 NCAA Committee: Joel Erdmann (#SouthAlabama), Randy Buhr (#Wazzu), Joey Gallo (#UNC), Rick Greenspan (#Rice), Eric Hyman (#TAMU). . . Also, Dave Hickey (#CMU), Robert Goodman (#CAA), Mark LaBarbera (#Valpo) and chair Dennis Farrell (#BigWest).

@KendalRogersPG: Bad news for you power lovers in Omaha. Poppe said no serious discussions about moving fences in. Wind has killed HR totals . . . Denny Poppe did, however, say that after another year/two in Omaha, NCAA will take a look at power numbers and other things

Odds & Ends:

@KendalRogersPG: Nothing too big from the NCAA Rules meeting in Chicago. Only notable change is suspension for bumping now 4 games (was 3). #collegebaseball

Transfer Rules:

@John_Infante: NCAA considering transfer model that would allow all athletes with a 2.6 GPA to play immediately: http://www.athleticscholarships.net/2013/01/03/new-transfer-model-would-reduce-eligibility-consequences.htm

And check out John Infante's twitter feed where he answers a lot of questions about this possible rules change