Around The Bases

November 12, 2009

Four Things I’m Thinking About Right Now

By Editor Sean Stires


We’re still  3 1/2 months away from the start of the college baseball season, so I thought I would share a few things that are rattling around in my head.

1.  The World Series Is Over, and like most baseball fans I’m sad.  I don’t know if I’m more sad that the season’s over or that the Yankees won.  The good news though is the next meaningful games that will be played will be college games on February 19, 2010.   One of the more intriguing match-ups of the opening weekend has 2009 College World Series participant Virginia at East Carolina for a three-game series.  ECU fell to North Carolina in ’09 Super Regional action.  Brian O’Connor’s Cavs host a three-game set with Rhode Island the following weekend, so they’ll have a tough task to match the 19-0 start they had in 2009.

CLICK HERE to see more 2010 schedules.

2.  The Early Signing Period Is Here, and college baseball teams around the country are officially inking players

Fresno State Won The 2008 CWS

Fresno State Won The 2008 CWS

for their 2011 classes.  I know recruiting is the life blood of college athletics, but I have just never been a “recruitnik”.  How many “can’t miss” guys turn into giant busts, while “projects” fly below the radar in high school, but blossom in college or beyond?  Fresno State and Southern Mississippi haven’t sniffed a top 20 recruiting class lately, but things  worked out pretty well for them in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

3.  Andre Agassi’s Book Is Stirring Things Up, and his is no doubt a cautionary tale.  In “Open” Agassi not only dishes on himself for drug use, but also on his dad for pushing him into tennis.  There is a fine line for parents between introducing a sport to their kids and then encouraging young Johnny or Jane to succeed.  Ala Marv Marinovich (the infamous Todd Marinovich’s father), Andre’s dad, Mike, pushed his son into a sport that Andre apparently Agassididn’t really love.  It’s a shame, because so many people loved watching him play.  (Ever wonder if A-Rod had daddy issues?)

4.  College Baseball Lost A Good Umpire RecentlyLenny Brickens died on October 30th, and by all accounts he was a guy who cared deeply about the game.  Brickens had been the Missouri Valley Conference’s Baseball Coordinator of Umpires since 2006.  A coach I talked to whose team played games umped by Brickens told me “He was always trying to help younger umpires.  He cared

Lenny Brickens

Lenny Brickens

about the sport…he was one of the better umpires who took pride in developing the young guys so that they could be good Division One umpires.  Lenny’s heart was always into it.”  I’ve taken my share of shots at umpires, but I have also always said that being an umpire is a job I would never want, because 50 percent of the people are always going to be mad at you on every call you make.  That said, I think there are a lot of good “Lenny’s” out there working games.  They all care about the game, and they all want to get the calls right.

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