So you’re Alabama’s baseball coach, Mitch Gaspard. You’re in Tallahassee at the NCAA regional. Fresh off the bone-headed move of overpitching your starter against No. 2 LSU in the SEC Tournament, you’ve made your way into a regional where your team has underachieved, to say the least.
You tank the first game against Troy on Friday, unable to overcome one measley inning of offense from the Trojans. Then Saturday, your team barely escapes lowly Savannah State. But in doing so you get new life, through just three stinking runs. Against Savannah stinking State.
Then Sunday, you’re finally in a position to make some noise in an avenging game against Troy, sending them home and sending you to the championship series of the weekend with host Florida State.
You’re up three runs going into the bottom of the 9th. Your pitching staff and defense has done enough to get you across the finish line. You make it into the 9th inning, and opt to put in the normally dependable closer Ray Castillo. But somehow, you blow it. And as the game crumbles around you and season draws to a close, you sit on your thumb.
The Trojans didn’t just rally in the 9th. They scored four runs on only two hits…”dos,” for our Spanish speaking friends. Two batters were hit by Castillo pitches, and the Trojans drew three walks, including the game-winner.
And at no point…no point…as the final inning began to unravel…did Mitch Gaspard make a move to do something different. Simply, amazing.
Said Gaspard afterwards:
“It was a tough one and a tough way to lose. I thought our guys competed really hard. This has been a season that we’ve been on the edge like that late in games, but we’ve been able to finish most of them off and today we weren’t. We allowed Troy too many opportunities and they did a good job to get some big hits there in the ninth inning. It doesn’t take away that our guys competed extremely hard and I think our young guys learned a lot from the tournament. We’ve just got to regroup and get better for next year.”
This team wasn’t making it much further than the game with Troy. Bama doesn’t have the firepower it once did. There was a day when a regional was just a warm-up for the Tide, usually in their own house. And there is enough quality youth on this team to get there again. You just have to hope that when the day comes, Bama’s puzzling skipper doesn’t get in the way…again.
Speaking of what people are thinking, what if you’re Gordon Gee today? Ohio State’s president has framed himself for the world as an absolute idiot; a man seemingly incapable of rising to the heights of becoming a university president.
Gee’s comments about Catholics (“they can’t be trusted”), the Southeastern Conference (“they can’t read or write”), and the University of Louisville (“no academic integrity”) are hard to believe on one hand, but on the other, how many times now have we seen a “Mr. Big” out there playing to home crowd, only to be embarrassed later at the comments being recorded…and released? Lane Kiffin, James Franklin and Tim Davis (among others) say “hey.”
In this day of smart phones, each coming standard with any of a number of recording options, how can a man with any level of education be so stupid?
The SEC envy around the country has simply reached unbelievable proportions. Until someone dethrones the SEC from the game’s top crown, you’ll continue to hear this crap.
“We can’t beat them on the field, so we’ll attack the bottom half of their conference.” (Bob Stoops)
“We can’t beat them, so we’ll say they can’t read or write.” (Gordon Gee)
“We can’t beat them (and I can’t eat them), so I’ll go along with what Bob Stoops says.” (Charlie Weis)
It really is hard to watch grown men make idiots of themselves, especially when they look like Orville Redenbacher’s slimy cousin.
How either found mates that wanted to reproduce with them should give us all hope. But that Gordon Gee leads a university more intent on whining and slinging mud than getting down to business and doing what it takes to be a winner should give us even more. Looks like #8 in a row is on its way.
If OSU trustees keep Gee as their president after this they simply don’t have the same integrity that Gee likes to boast about. Like a fat girl who insists she “doesn’t want to go to the dance anyway” only because no one will ask her, we’re seeing the college football minions attempting to change the rules of the game…and perceptions…in order to deal with their inadequacies.
It’s good to be king. And it’s even better not to be Gordon Gee.