For those of you that know me, you know that I am most at home at Simmons Field & University Field. I holler to begin the games (Rip 'em up, Tear 'em up, Give 'em Hell, TIGERS!), sometimes come up with clever lines during the game, pace around the ballpark, chat with most people, give umpires and opposing teams grief and generally act like I'm in a second home where I can be as loud as I want. My favorite sport is baseball and its little sister softball isn't far behind. I love the sound of a strike going into the catchers mitt, the crack of a home run and the rush of a victory. I also understand that there is a process to winning games. But, as some of our fans know, I am not a favorite of certain persons in our favorite Athletic Department. They tolerate me because I show up ALL THE TIME to sports that most people have little or no interest in (Volleyball, Wrestling, Gymnastics) unless Mizzou is winning. But that also causes my loyalties to be divided like last Friday night. I missed the Baseball and Softball SEC home openers in lieu of sending out two terrific Seniors on our Gymnastics team. I hate how the SEC forces us to have home series for both stick and ball sports start at about the same time every weekend. But it was worse under the Big XII so I put up with it. Now that I have explained myself a bit, time for the real intent of this fanpost.
THE BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL SEASONS ARE NOT OVER!!!!
Some people around have been getting a little hysterical about the start of the Softball team in SEC play (2-4 to start conference play). This is a team with YOUNG pitchers (i.e. TWO FRESHWOMEN) that have to learn how to win in the circle at an elite level before they can truly show what they have. And in the cauldron that is the SEC, there is going to be a learning curve. So, I expected a bumpy start there. If you haven't noticed, the team is still 16-7 and beating the teams they should while losing to the upper echelon teams they have faced. With the exception of the second A&M game, all the games against those teams have been ONE RUN AFFAIRS. So one pitch here or there, a defensive miscue or other random thing going FOR Mizzou instead of against, and they win those games. Basically, for the softball team they "should" be able to rack up wins against "lesser" teams Georgia, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Ole Miss and all the non-conference games in between before the final six game grinders against Alabama and Florida. Mizzou does not play Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU. But that is still a loaded schedule. By the end of this thing, I believe that Mizzou will host a Regional and travel for a Super Regional. Not what we are accustomed to here at Mizzou for the last 3 years, but it is what it is.
As for baseball, many people know I LOVE the baseball team. Best group of guys you can ever be around! And most of them you would want as son-in-laws. I think their talent could take them a LONG way. And the chemistry is good in the clubhouse. That being said, I am not a fan of the coaching staff. Those of you that talk to me know my opinion regarding tactics, communication and overall effectiveness of what a baseball team should look like is not here. I may not be a coach of young men, but I really feel I know what baseball should look like. This is not one I am happy about. Don't get me wrong, I BELIEVE in the group of guys here at Mizzou. I just don't think highly of the "adult" leaders. So, considering all that, Mizzou WILL MAKE THE SEC TOURNAMENT! Will they push for the upper tier of the league, probably not, but it will be in EVERY GAME. Mark my words folks. The stick and ball portion of the athletic schedule is going to be fun!
See you at Simmons Field and University Field this Spring!