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Who Are Our Yankees?
Publication Date: April 5, 2005
Who's Your Daddy?
While watching the Yankees dismantle the Red Sox Sunday night, I got to wondering: Who are our Yankees? Who's the college team with a large fan base (a sizeable portion of whom are the sort of weak-willed bandwagoners that pull for the Yankees, Miami Hurricane football, and Manchester United all, if they've paid attention enough to know about Man U) and whom almost everyone else actively roots against? I mean, I assume there are Brewers fans out there, but it's hard to imagine anyone caring enough to hope they lose an otherwise meaningless game.
What are, as the say in HR land, the qualifications for the position? I've already mentioned the large fan base. You also need a large number of past championships, enough to create a sense of whiny entitlement in that fan base. You need an expectation that they'll win something every year, or at least get to the postseason. Finally, you need the perception that they have an unfair advantage built into the very system of the game. Bonus points are awarded for things like possession of their own media empire or announcers who reference old conquests after every third pitch, especially if it's done in the sort of reverent tones usually reserved for Papal funerals or golf announcers.
I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of the nation (or any other disgustingly biological metaphor) enough to know the answer to this question, so I really want to hear from y'all on your choices. In the mean time, here are three nominations:
Southern California. "Winners of 12 NCAA championships, more than twice as many as any other school." That phrase, perhaps appropriate once a year in a media guide, appears early in literally every release from the USC West program. You've got to be tremendously nice guys to overcome that sort of bragadociousness. On the other hand, the fan base isn't that large, given the general lack of interest in the game in the LA area, and they're a high-dollar private school, so there's no systemic advantage. Add to that the fact that they've only won one title in the last quarter century and have been downright close to mediocre the last couple of years, and we may be looking at the Celtics rather than the Yankees.
Texas. Lots of titles, an enormous endowment, a tendency to play loose with the rules in ways not even available to teams with fewer resources, and a tendency to look down on their agricultural or rural neighbors make them a tempting candidate. Add in a sense of fan entitlement that would have fired the winningest coach in the history of the game if they had had one more average year. Then toss in the annoying Eyes thing, combined with the Aw, Shucks, It's Our Tradition faux cluelessness thing when someone objects, stir, and serve.
Louisiana State. Lots of titles, at least some of them of semi-recent vintage? Check. Huge, semi-drunken fan base, convinced of a massive umpire conspiracy against them? Check. Systemic advantage, in this case the ability to essentially hold fall tryouts for scholarships? Check. Annual assumption that they will win their conference? Check, although in this case the assumption is incorrect. Own media empire? Check -- the SEC teams, the Tigers in particular, have actually been successful enough at negotiating regional TV rights that they turned down ESPN's request to show games for free; WWL, their flagship radio station, covers a fourth of the country at night.
So, what say you? One of these? One of my honorable mentions, like Miami or Wichita State? Someone I'm missing entirely? Special points will be given for creative vitriol on this one; let me hear from you.
By the way, I apologize for missing last week; I was busy creating the functionality behind the Leaderboard, and the time got away from me.
This means absolutely nothing, ignore it.
This is one generic layman's predictions for who gets in the tournament. I'm not going to bother picking a team from the one-bid conferences, since the conference tournament will just be a crapshoot, but if I only list one team from a conference, they'll get an at large bid if they don't get the automatic bid.
America East Miami, Florida Coastal Carolina Arkansas A10 Florida State UC Irvine Alabama CAA North Carolina Long Beach State Auburn Horizon Georgia Tech Cal State Fullerton Vanderbilt MAAC Clemson Cal Poly Tennessee MAC Central Florida Oregon State Mississippi State MEAC Texas Stanford Northwestern State Ivy Texas A&M Arizona State Wichita State Brigham Young Nebraska Washington Evansville NEC Texas Tech Arizona Rice OVC Baylor Southern California Nevada Patriot Missouri California East Carolina SWAC Michigan Louisiana State Tulane Pepperdine Illinois Mississippi Southern Mississippi Oral Roberts Rutgers South Carolina Coll. of Charleston Louisiana-Lafayette Winthrop Florida Georgia Southern
Pitch Count Watch
Rather than keep returning to the subject of pitch counts and pitcher usage in general too often for my main theme, I'm just going to run a standard feature down here where I point out potential problems; feel free to stop reading above this if the subject doesn't interest you. This will just be a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye -- the general threshold for listing is 120 actual pitches or 130 estimated, although short rest will also get a pitcher listed if I catch it. Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger.
|Mar 18||Illinois-Chicago||Ryan Zink||University of Iowa||10.0||10||1||1||0||9||41||42||115|
|March 24||Texas||Randy Boone||Texas Tech||7.0||7||2||2||2||7||26||29||127|
|March 25||Alabama||T. J. Large||Vanderbilt||7.2||2||1||1||6||6||25||33||141|
|March 25||Florida International||David Asher||Arkansas State||8.2||8||2||1||3||5||35||39||151(*)|
|March 25||Oklahoma State||Thomas Cowley||Baylor||8.0||8||1||1||2||8||31||34||139|
|March 25||Brown||Bryan Tews||North Carolina-Asheville||9.0||9||4||3||1||6||37||39||149(*)|
|March 25||Penn||Josh Appel||Columbia||7.0||4||2||2||4||13||24||28||127|
|March 25||Davidson||Andy Carter||Elon||6.2||2||2||2||5||10||20||28||122|
|March 25||North Carolina-Greensboro||Chris Mason||East Tennessee State||9.0||4||2||0||0||16||33||33||134|
|March 25||Rider||Joe Moronese||Iona||9.0||10||5||5||2||7||36||40||148(*)|
|March 25||Lamar||Derrick Gordon||McNeese State||8.2||4||2||2||3||13||30||33||132|
|March 25||Southeastern Louisiana||Rodney Story||Nicholls State||8.0||13||6||5||3||4||32||38||135|
|March 25||Utah Valley State||Jed Jensen||Southern Utah||9.0||9||6||4||4||8||34||41||145(*)|
|March 25||Troy||Landon Brazell||Gardner-Webb||8.0||8||4||2||3||10||31||36||128|
|March 25||Washington||Kyle Parker||Arizona||9.0||11||5||5||4||4||36||41||146(*)|
|March 25||North Carolina-Wilmington||Ronald Hill||William and Mary||7.0||10||1||0||1||4||28||30||124|
|March 26||Indiana State||Andrew Galle||Bradley||9.0||7||2||2||4||9||31||36||133|
|March 26||Youngstown State||Justin Thomas||Central Michigan||9.0||8||2||2||1||9||35||37||148(*)|
|March 26||Creighton||Jeff Daneff||Illinois State||8.0||9||1||1||4||5||32||38||149(*)|
|March 26||Illinois State||Dan Frega||Creighton||8.0||10||3||3||5||4||31||37||140(*)|
|March 26||Lehigh||Kyle Collina||North Carolina State||6.2||13||7||7||2||7||32||34||127|
|March 26||Liberty||Michael Solbach||High Point||9.0||3||2||2||5||5||29||36||139(*)|
|March 26||Norfolk State||De'Mece Williams||Maryland-Eastern Shore||9.0||8||3||2||4||6||34||40||137|
|March 26||Mississippi State||Todd Doolittle||Arkansas||8.0||5||2||1||5||5||27||32||130|
|March 26||Arkansas-Pine Bluff||Ja. Carter||Rust||8.0||12||5||4||3||10||32||35||135(*)|
|March 26||Arkansas-Pine Bluff||T. Davis||Rust||7.0||12||12||8||5||5||33||40||145(*)|
|March 26||Texas-Arlington||Jake Baxter||Sam Houston State||8.0||10||5||4||2||5||34||37||127|
|March 27||Oklahoma State||Scott Richmond||Baylor||9.0||6||2||2||1||6||31||32||134|
|March 27||East Tennessee State||Jeremy Hall||North Carolina-Greensboro||8.2||3||0||0||3||11||29||33||133|
|March 27||Southeastern Louisiana||Chad Pendarvis||Nicholls State||9.0||7||2||1||3||7||35||39||131|
|March 27||Nicholls State||Bryan Myers||Southeastern Louisiana||9.0||8||7||5||1||7||34||37||121|
|March 27||Rice||Joe Savery||Nevada||7.2||4||1||0||4||8||26||30||126|
|March 28||Central Florida||Ray Rodriguez||Jacksonville||6.0||6||4||2||3||7||22||26||121|
|March 28||Siena||Josh Burnett||Niagara||10.0||10||5||4||3||6||38||43||147(*)|
|March 29||Oklahoma State||Adam Daniels||Arkansas-Little Rock||8.0||6||1||1||3||13||29||32||140|
|March 29||Utah Valley State||Jed Jensen||Washington||7.1||10||5||5||4||3||32||38||149(*)|
|April 01||Birmingham-Southern||Brandon Hynick||Virginia Military||9.0||9||1||1||2||7||33||37||140|
|April 01||Virginia Military||Jimmy Thoms||Birmingham-Southern||8.0||7||3||3||0||4||31||32||122|
|April 01||Texas Christian||Lance Broadway||East Carolina||8.0||7||4||0||1||12||32||33||121|
|April 01||Texas||Kyle McCulloch||Kansas State||9.0||3||0||0||3||5||27||30||130|
|April 01||Louisiana-Monroe||Matt Green||Texas-Arlington||7.0||6||1||1||4||12||26||31||128|
|April 01||Southeastern Louisiana||Bernard Robert||McNeese State||9.0||3||1||1||3||14||29||35||132|
|April 01||Southern Utah||Justin Abbott||Northern Colorado||8.0||7||4||3||1||6||35||38||123|
|April 01||Old Dominion||Dana Arrowood||William and Mary||8.0||8||3||2||4||10||28||34||123|
|April 01||Penn State||Sean Stidfole||Purdue||7.0||8||3||3||2||6||27||32||123|
|April 01||Rice||Josh Geer||Fresno State||9.0||6||2||2||2||11||33||36||147(*)|
|April 01||Southern Mississippi||Cashion||Memphis||9.0||7||1||1||3||10||30||35||135(*)|
|April 02||Troy||Landon Brazell||Campbell||7.0||8||4||3||3||9||29||32||121|
|April 02||Maryland||Ben Pfinsgraff||Georgia Tech||7.2||5||1||1||6||5||29||35||131|
|April 02||North Carolina A&T||M. Hauff||Maryland-Eastern Shore||9.0||14||6||6||5||15||39||46||167(*)|
|April 02||Southeastern Louisiana||Rodney Story||McNeese State||9.0||12||6||6||1||7||37||40||151|
|April 02||New Mexico||Danny Ray Herrera||Utah||9.0||8||3||1||2||7||37||39||135|
|April 02||North Carolina-Greensboro||Chris Mason||Furman||8.0||5||5||4||3||12||29||35||145(*)|
|April 02||Southern Mississippi||Matt Caire||Memphis||8.2||8||3||1||2||5||30||36||134|
|April 02||James Madison||Bobby Lasko||Virginia Commonwealth||8.0||6||1||1||6||8||29||35||145(*)|
|April 02||Rice||Eddie Degerman||Fresno State||8.1||2||0||0||4||10||27||31||127|
|April 03||Florida A&M||Michael Tavernier||Delaware State||9.0||3||0||0||3||10||31||34||145(*)|
|April 03||North Carolina-Asheville||Chris White||High Point||7.0||3||4||3||8||6||23||33||138(*)|
|April 03||New Mexico||Darren Coltrinari||Utah||9.0||8||3||3||1||5||33||38||124|
|April 03||The Citadel||Ken Egleton||Wofford||9.0||7||3||3||2||6||33||36||127|
|April 04||St. Peter's||Grevin Rodriguez||Fairfield||6.0||12||12||9||6||5||29||36||139(*)|
|April 05||Tennessee-Martin||Estil Casey||Arkansas State||8.0||9||7||6||4||3||29||41||130|
|April 05||Arkansas-Pine Bluff||Bryant Garner||Oklahoma State||4.1||11||17||17||10||1||24||36||122|
The Zink count is a correction based on his actual pitch chart.
(*) Pitch count is estimated.
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