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Baseball Musings

Things have been...

WV Metro News

First things first. I need to apologize. I have let the baseball coverage slide much longer than I expected to (and well beyond what is acceptable) due to a new job and several other things going on in my personal life. Combining those issues with a stretch of season that saw a 10 and a 5 game losing streak over just over a month, it has been hard for me to write about baseball. I have been keeping up with it, and that very well may explain why I haven't been sunshine personified of late.

Kimbo Smash wrote up a nice piece about baseball. You should read it.

As Kimbo noted, we are a frustrating team. We have flashes of promise, but more often than not we get one phase of the game or the other working for us. I will describe the team a little differently than my counterpart. We are actually remarkably consistent, just not in the way we would hope. As of the time of this writing, we are hitting .260 as a team. That is good for 193rd rank out of 295 (7th in the Big 12). If you happen to look at our relative "neighborhood" in those rankings, we see such teams as Duke, Yale, Michigan State, and... Cal Poly. We still are not a very good offensive team, and while we have faced some "Dudes" this year, .260 is not a number that we are used to from a Bears Baseball team.

The offensive struggles were somewhat expected as we continue to develop our young talent. And on a positive note, we are currently 30 points above last year's .232 batting average. What I personally was not prepared for was our pitching issues. Daniel Castano has been outstanding. When he is on the mound, it has been easy to be confident that he will give us a chance to win. His 2-3 record does not really do justice to how well he has pitched so far. Drew Tolson, while not as consistent as Castano, has pitched well lately and gives us a chance on Saturday. But, our 5.12 team ERA is good for a 196 ranking (8th in the Big 12). Remember the rule about ERAs and GPAs? Yeah...

Finally, our fielding percentage ranks 213th in the country...

To be totally fair, we play a very good schedule. Under different circumstances, and against lower quality competition, our numbers would almost certainly be markedly improved. However, we are under the current circumstances and find ourselves in the bottom 3rd of the country in pretty much every team ranking. We are a young team, and with maturity our performance should improve. Despite what we are lacking, we have been competitive and find ourselves in a 3 way tie for 5th in conference having taken a series from OU and WVU. Kimbo is right, though. The story of this season is not yet written. If the Bears can scratch out two wins this weekend, the outlook on the season could be trending up.

Since Kimbo Smash addressed it, I just want to take a moment to say I am not going to ever get into any speculative discussion about the coaching situation with the baseball program. Steve Smith has a resume that stands on its own, and any disappointment in the current situation is directly related to how much success we have enjoyed under his leadership as the most successful baseball coach Baylor has ever had. There are great baseball minds on the staff, but there are some better men. I have confidence that the will of these good men can return the program to the level we have come to expect... Shameless Thirteen Days quote jacking. Sic Tech