Yesterday, Tony Gwynn died at age 54. Gwynn finally lost his battle with cancer stemming from smokeless tobacco usage.
I wasn’t surprised. During my last couple of trips to San Diego to cover the University of San Diego and Gwynn’s San Diego State team, I had been told Tony was struggling and getting worse rather than better.
Since he left the San Diego State team in March, he had been in and out of the hospital and one player said the team hadn’t seen Gwynn since his departure.
But Tony was a fighter, so for the first time, I hoped my sources were wrong. I hoped the stories from San Diego State were the truth — that Tony was doing better and hoping to rejoin the team soon. I knew better, but I still hoped for the school updates to be more than a mask to protect the Gwynn family’s privacy.
Michael Cederoth to the bullpen
When San Diego State flamethrower Michael Cederoth sat at the podium following the Aztecs’ season-ending loss to rival San Diego in the Los Angeles Regional, in which he walked five batters, he vowed to correct his control issues:
“In the beginning, it was probably my best start I’ve had all year, but of course, bad habits tend to catch up to me,” Cederoth said. “Five walks obviously showed up in five runs, and I take that to heart, and I know for a fact that’s not going to happen next year.”
But when San Diego State opened the season at San Jose State, the junior walked four and gave up five runs (three earned) throwing 93 pitches in 3.2 innings, prompting the Aztecs’ coaching staff to reassess the best way to use the 6’6″, 215-pound hurler with the tantalizing fastball that routinely was hitting triple digits in the aforementioned season finale last year.
IRVINE, Calif. — Most coaches say it’s doing the little things. But excelling at execution can be a big boost. Tuesday night at Anteater Ballpark, the difference in UC Irvine’s 10-5 victory over San Diego State was the Aztecs complete inability to execute.
Poor execution cost the Aztecs (18-21) several chances to break through and provided UC Irvine (19-14) with extra opportunities. Despite being down only 5-4 in the eighth inning, the Aztecs continually struggled to get timely hits, put down sacrifice bunts and limit Irvine from taking extra bases.
Following the game, the San Diego State coaching staff laid into the players, letting them know their effort Tuesday night was unacceptable.
San Diego State head coach and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn completed his eighth week cancer treatment for a malignant growth in a salivary gland. He spoke about the treatment with the San Diego Union-Tribune saying: “I have to tell you, that was no fun, anyone who has gone through it knows what chemotherapy and radiation is like. I’m right there with you. My thoughts are with anyone who has done that.” Continue reading
Baseball Hall of Famer and current San Diego State head coach has Parotid cancer and will start treatment soon. The cancer is considered curable and is a relatively slow moving cancer according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Tony believes that his use of chewing tobacco has contributed to the cancer. He is expected to be back on the bench in the spring.
The AP has written an article about the San Diego State Aztecs and how Tony Gwynn has basically failed to turn around the program in his first four seasons. The pressure is starting to build on Gwynn to bring the Aztecs to their first NCAA Tournament in sixteen seasons. The College Baseball staff heard from a source that Gwynn is having problems teaching his student-athletes.
North County Times
San Diego State opens the season on Friday by visiting Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo California.
San Diego Game Notes
Cal-Poly Game Notes
The San Diego State Aztecs announced plans to host a doubleheader at Petco Park which is the home of the San Diego Padres. They will face the Michigan Wolverines in the nightcap while the San Diego Toreros will face Oklahoma in the early game. This will take place on Saturday, March 10th which is the middle day of the Round-Robin format tournament. The full article about the event is available here.