Around The Bases

January 5, 2010

A Few Things I’m Thinking About Right Now…

By Editor Sean Stires

1.  A new year is here, but the question is how do you say the year?  You would think “2010” is pretty simple, but maybe not.  I guess ESPN has directed its employees to say “Twenty-Ten”.  I prefer “Two Thousand Ten”.   I think most people say “N-C-Double-A” when referring to the “NCAA”, but I have know some people who call it the “N-C-Two-A”.   It’s all “tomato-tomahto” to me.

2.  There’s a big part of the Mike Leach/Craig & Adam James situation at Texas Tech that hasn’t been talked about much that applies to all sports.  First a disclaimer, what Leach did with Adam James was wrong, so I am not condoning Leach putting Adam in a closet by any means.  That said, Leach and his staff have characterized Craig James as a “helicopter dad”.  They say he has hovered around the practice field, called repeatedly and lobbied for more playing time for his son, Adam.  James has downplayed that characterization, but there has to be something to it.  My point is, by the time a parent send their kid to college that “kid” is a young adult.  At that time it’s time for “junior” to take care of things on his own.  If Adam James or any other 18-22 year old has playing time issues they should approach their coach themselves.  Is Craig James preparing Adam for life if he’s still calling coaches to talk about playing time?  I’ve seen and heard too many instances of parents crossing the line to think there’s nothing to Leach’s claim.  From parents calling the press box during a game to question a hit/error scoring decision to a high profile booster verbally lambasting a head coach for not playing his silver spooned kid more.  If the Adam James’ of the world can’t take care of themselves without hiding behind their parent’s coat tails by their third year in college, when are they ever going to take care of themselves?

3.  I love college baseball and college football, but I don’t love college football overtime rules.  I’m not a huge hockey or soccer fan, but I follow them a little bit, and I don’t like their OT rules either.  I wish both college football and the NFL would just go to a system where they kickoff in overtime and just ensure that both teams get the ball at least once.  Hockey and soccer at least play overtime periods, but if things still are not resolved they go to a shootout to break the tie.  What if baseball did something similar?  What if they started an extra inning with one out an a runner at second base like they do in some little leagues?  The epic Texas-Boston College 25-inning game might have ended after 12 innings.  Are you kidding me?  It’s not natural.  It’s not the real game.  The other sports should take a lesson from baseball (and basketball as well).  Either play the game from start to finish by one set of rules or just let it end in a tie.

4.  There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks about teams like the Colts and Saints not playing their starters at the end of the NFL season.  Things like competitive fairness and fairness to fans paying for tickets to a game absent of stars are being looked into by the NFL.   College baseball (and really most college sports) really doesn’t have the luxury to sit players regularly, because every game really does mean something.  The best players typically play almost every game.  What about the MLB though?  Big League baseball players get frequent rests throughout the season, and that’s just the way it is.  I’ve gone to a Cubs-Giants game expecting to see Barry Bonds in the line-up only to see him sit on the bench for nine innings instead.   I might not like it, but that’s the way it goes.  To the victor go the spoils, and resting players is the spoil of teams that win.

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