Where have you gone Texas baseball ???
That’s the question I’ve started asking myself these last few weeks…. really months.
The team with the highest winning percentage in Division-1 history (.740).
The team with 77 conference titles and 34 College World Series appearances, both records.
The team that went to the College World Series six consecutive years (2000-06) and holds the mark for the most trips to Rosenblatt.
This team, in the Augie Garrido era, has appeared in nine CWS’s, with two national championships in four title game appearances.
This team influenced the masses into being coined,” The University of Texas at Omaha.”
The Texas Longhorns were the standard for NCAA Div-1 baseball.
This team will battle in Ft. Worth with TCU this weekend, and it’ll be their last chance to win a Big-12 series. In 2013.
That’s never happened.
So where did it all go wrong ?? There’s plenty of reasons.
Sudden and dramatic falls of this sort don’t just happen overnight. This has been the same disease all major college programs experience in the cyclical nature we call amateur sports.
My first reason is by far the most obvious. When 5-star high school prospects get drafted high in the June MLB draft, the allure of millions sometimes becomes too much for the 18 year-old’s (and their parents) to resist. In the previous 10 years, Texas has had an exorbitant amount turn pro, which over 2-3 year span can be absorbed throughout the roster. But not every year. From Dylan Bundy (SP) to Josh Bell (OF), and Courtney Hawkins (OF), it wears on a program.
A lack of premier talent to the point, where you’ve slept in the conference cellar all season.
And that’s not to say Texas doesn’t still get major league talent; Corey Kneble, Nathan Thornhill, Dillon Peters, and CJ Hinojosa will all have successful pro careers. But when you go from 7-9 commits every year, and only five arrive, it becomes a decade of decadence.
It wears on you. You need ‘It’ guys. X-factor type studs, and those are the guys getting rich.
Another reason, even though it wasn’t much of a problem for the previous 10-12 years, is the ‘small ball’ offensive strategy that Garrido incorporates. It’s basically a theory where base-runners are highly valued and you trade outs to advance them as close to scoring position as possible. The problem is when you have above-average talent, giving away outs can be detrimental. It also hinders players swings, because their trained to alter their approach for the good of the team. Another negative in towards the Horns downfall. Good hitters want to HIT. Not shorten their swing three times a night.
Nothing summarizes the season as much as the report in Complex magazine today, that UT senior closer, Knebel provided a urine sample to help teammate Cameron Cox pass a standard drug test.
Problem, Knebel’s sample was ‘hot’. He had a prescription for the drug, Adderall, for ADHD.
Problem, Cox did not. Cox was suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, and Knebel for a weekend series versus Kansas State. And thus Texas becomes a laughing stock.
Where does the program go from here. A new regime is a start. What Garrido has brought to the Forty Acres cannot be measured.
Wins. Titles. Respect.
But with an outdated philosophy and kids choosing big league dreams more than ever, Garrido’s days are numbered.
I wonder what Deloss Dodds thinks…..
Quote of the Week : “ There have been several hopeful indicators that we’re going in the right direction and then it turns around on us. That’s been an ongoing symptom in this disease.” - Texas head coach Augie Garrido
Tweet of the Week:
A&M’s plan for expanding Kyle Field to 102k is impressive. I hope it also comes with a Reveille dog that’s larger than Bevo.
— Max Olson (@max_olson) May 1, 2013