The University of Oregon announced on July 13th that they were bringing back baseball to the Eugene school after a 26 year absence. The school ended up dropping the wrestling program and adding competitive cheerleading to the athletic program. The reason that was quoted by the Oregon athletic department to add baseball was that the sport is seeing increased growth across the country.
I believe that this is true in the suburbs but Baseball has seen a major decrease in urban areas. The main reason is the increasing cost in competing on select teams which in some communities start before the age of 12 when a kid in the city of Miami can go play a game of basketball for weeks on end at the playground for 20 bucks with a decent basketball. I would like my readers to drive by a baseball field this weekend and see how many kids are playing on their local Little League field. Also, look at the Little League World Series and see how many African-American kids participated in the final eight. There was a report on Say Hey which is one of the top sports blogs on the internet that only two out of the eight US teams had any African American kids. (Click here for article). The other experiment is to look at a MLB baseball game and see how many players are minorities from United States. You will be surprised with how low it actually is.
The other problem I see with Oregon adding baseball is that the wrestlers at the school now will have to transfer to continue their athletic careers and possibly make the Olympic team. Baseball has been removed from the Olympics starting in 2012 due to the lack of interest in the sport around the world. We did see a very well attended World Port Tournament in Holland this summer with over 3,000 people attending some of Team USA games but we also saw the debacle which was the Pan-American games. During that tournament, we saw multiple delays with the field due to poor drainage and even had the tournament readjusted a day before it started due to insufficient lighting.
The final problem I have with Oregon is that they couldn’t support baseball 26 years ago. What has changed in Eugene to say they can support a Pac-10 team? They currently have no stadium and need to build a brand new facility.
I also think that the Oregon Athletic Department is aiming way too high with the help of Phil Knight for a new head coach. The Oregon Athletic Department has already interviewed Tim Corbin and planned on bringing in Dave Serrano before he backed out. There was some reports on the Internet that Phil Knight had earmarked so much money that whoever took the job would be one of the top five coaches in the nation in terms of salary. Why has Oregon not looked at some of the top assistants on the West Coast instead of a current head coach? How many top head coaches are going to leave a successful place to restart a program which will not have the full usage of scholarships until 2011-2012 season?
I just felt like sharing my thoughts on the situation in Eugene and hope that the Oregon program will be a success but they need to overcome the obstacles I have outlined above.
Following up a story by djbfootball, Ritch Price of Kansas has been linked to the job opening with the Oregon Ducks. Price has lead the Kansas program for five seasons with an overall record of 173-142 including getting to the NCAA Tournament in 2006 after winning the Big 12 Tournament. Price has connections with Kansas currently as two of his sons play for him. Ryne being a senior and his youngest Robby being a sophomore. Price is a native of Sweet Home, Oregon and went to college at Williamette University in Salem Oregon. The full article from The Lawrence Journal-World News is available by clicking here.
Coach Dave Serrano will be visiting University of Oregon and the facilities on Monday and Tuesday. When they approached him two weeks ago to see if he was interested he told them thanks but no thanks. He felt he was not ready for to make this move. Well he had second thoughts about this job and it is a good move on his part to at least go and see what they are willing to provide for a program. This may not be the right job for Serrano but, for the long term he needs to know what is out there. Coach Dave Serrano is a coach that will make a name for himself rather it be at UC Irvine or at another University. Coach Dave is capable of turning UC Irvine into a Cal State Fullerton. Fullerton was not on the baseball map until Augie Garrido came in and turn that program into a Baseball powerhouse which Coach Horton as continue that with Great success. Both Horton and Serrano has played and or coach under Garrido. So, Serrano will be successful wherever he goes.
Some other articles in regard to the coaching job.
The Register Guard
Oregon may not be earning any friends at OSU by talking to Pat Casey, but were there really any friendships there to begin with? Brian Meehan of the Oregonian weighed in on coaching search etiquette. You can read the column here. The article has some info on the folks who are on NIKE’s wish list (Dave Serrano of UC Irvine, Pat Casey of OSU and Dave Brundage of the Braves AAA team).
Meanwhile, Mo Patton of the Tennessean reported that Vanderbilt skipper Tim Corbin was out in Eugene over the weekend. You can read the article here. There is an uncorroborated rumor that Corbin was indeed offered the opportunity to restart the Duck program in 2009. Corbin flirted with LSU’s vacancy last year and Auburn’s two years prior. Corbin turned down both opportunities but noted that the interviewing process is a good means of information exchange in the building of programs. From a Vanderbilt fan perspective and as a massive supporter of Corbin, considering Oregon makes sense for two reasons: 1) the opportunity to learn about Oregon’s plans for building a program for the bottom up and 2) the challenge involved (turning Vandy around was a challenge in which Corbin has and is succeeding famously). On the other hand, Corbin has no connections to the Northwest. The X-Factor? The departure of Chancellor Gordon Gee (to OSU) removes one of the biggest promoters of Vanderbilt baseball. This blogger says: just another in a line of Corbin paying respect with a visit and bringing home ideas to build on the Commodore foundation. After all, is Corbin willing to give up the recruiting advantage he and recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich share with Stanford, Rice and Tulane that Will Kimmey documented two years ago?
The LSU baseball program moved one step closer Monday toward entering a new era as ground was officially broken at the construction site of the New Alex Box Stadium.
The new stadium will be located at the corner of Nicholson Drive and Gourrier Lane — about 200 yards south of the current site of Alex Box Stadium — and will seat 8,700 fans. The stadium is expected to be completed by the fall of 2008, and LSU is scheduled to play its first game in the new facility in February 2009.
LSU officials were joined at Monday’s groundbreaking by representatives of the stadium architects and contractor. The stadium was designed through a combined effort of Grace & Hebert Architects of Baton Rouge and DLR Group of Omaha, Neb. The contractor for the project is Buquet & LeBlanc of Baton Rouge.
“The construction of a new stadium demonstrates LSU’s commitment to our mission of returning the baseball program to a position of prominence,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “This facility will be one of the finest in the country, and it will enhance our players’ ability to compete at the highest level. I also believe our fans will be thrilled with the amenities the new stadium will offer.”
The FedEx Corporation donated three million dollars to the Memphis Baseball Program for the renovation of Nat Buring Stadium. The plans for the new stadium call for a new locker room, dugouts, grandstands, concession stands, press boxes, and new private boxes. The full release is available here.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University and CSX are currently working together to make an on-campus baseball field more than just talk at the office water cooler.
CSX, a railroad company based along 5th Avenue, wants to donate a seven-acre tract of land to Marshall in order to move the baseball field closer to campus, according to Head Baseball Coach Jeff Waggoner.
The seven acres to be donated, adjacent to Village Apartments on 22nd Street, have been toxically contaminated over an extended period of time, Menis Ketchum, chair of Marshall’s board of governors, said.
Marshall University must first remediate the land before it can be donated, Ketchum said.
Omaha Royals President Alan Stein said his group is open to any sort of possibility regarding the future of baseball stadiums in Omaha.
That includes, he said, having a hand in building a new stadium in the north downtown area, even if Rosenblatt Stadium is refurbished for the College World Series.
Among the possibilities being considered by the city is a $26 million upgrade in and around Rosenblatt Stadium. Another is a new, smaller stadium in the NoDo area with expandable seating for the CWS.
Two new stadiums? Out of the question, Stein said.
“But I’m not so sure that one new stadium and an appropriately upgraded one doesn’t make sense,” he said. “One of the options I’ve seen and heard is $50 million for a new stadium for both the CWS and the Royals.
OMAHA, Neb. — The city of Indianapolis has steel skyscrapers, slick presenters and the constant clatter of hardhats building the amateur sports capital of the world. Today, it juggles USA Track and Field and a dream to host the Super Bowl. Tomorrow, officials will contemplate something else, maybe the College World Series, because a bustling sports city never really sleeps.
Omaha has Jim Costello and 120 New York strip steaks.
Costello is with the Kiwanis Club, and for two weeks each summer, it’s his job to make one of the eight teams at the CWS feel special. He grills up halibut, chicken and mounds of steaks for Oregon State, and lets the boys tool around on pontoons at Chris Lake. One time, his job took him to a Laundromat at 2 a.m., washing jockstraps and dirty socks, because “it had to be done.”
“I almost try to treat them like they’re a guest in my house,” Costello says. “They’re our team. We’re Oregon State Beavers fans now.”
Indianapolis, it seems, doesn’t have a chance.
Elizabeth Merrill talks about keeping the CWS in Omaha
David Albright talks about moving the CWS
We have been on the hunt for some great college baseball links. If you know of some feel free to e-mail us by clicking here.
Baseball Digest Daily is in Omaha covering the College World Series. They are great people so check it out.
The Kansas City Star has another article about a possible new Rosenblatt stadium.
The Valley Baseball League has announced their players of the week which includes players from around the country including Tampa, Western Carolina, and Butler.
The Cape Cod Baseball League has also released their players of the week.
ABCA has released all region teams for the entire country but right now we only have found the Northeast team right now.
The ABCA has also released their 2007 All-American teams for Division 1 which can be found here.
The Capital Times of Madison WI has an article today about the University of Wisconsin’s lack of a baseball program and efforts to bring the program back.