They are the future of professional baseball and will one day sit on my fantasy squad. I will inevitably curse them when they are injured and sucking. That’s right gentlemen, they are Division I baseball players. So why don’t I care more about them and their sport? I mean, I love baseball and I love college sports…so where’s the disconnect? Is it because I compare their sexiest asset (the World Series) to that of “The Tournament” and “The BCS”? Probably, but I think it is much more than that. Over the course of the last week some truly remarkable performances took place on the college diamond and I haven’t batted an eyelash at them:
1) The Fighting Shoplifters defeated Ohio State 37-6. FSU had 38 hits, 66 total bases and only 2 misdemeanors. They led 32-0 by the 5th inning for the love of Peter Warrick!
2) Stephen Strasburg took his first defeat of the season as Virginia dropped him to 13-1. The kid has 195 strikeouts in 109 innings and has been as dominant as any college player in recent history, yet I would venture to say there are some who follow this blog who have no idea who this wunderkind is. Admittedly, I didn’t know until 3 weeks ago.
3) Texas outlasted Boston College 3-2 in 25 innings. Here’s my favorite part, Texas reliever Austin Wood tossed 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball! Think about that, in a sport where a comparable team scores 32 runs by the fifth inning, this kid channeled his inner Nolan Ryan and handcuffs his opponent for a game and a half.
I’ve really tried to delve into why this sport doesn’t entice me, so I first needed to figure out what exactly does a sport need to give me before I become an unconditional follower. The answers all pointed to one aspect…ACCESS.
Before being moved to ESPN in 2009, it was a fact that the college world series got less CBS play than Coy and Vance Duke’s rebel rousing days in Hazzard County. One weekend? Hell, the Little Leaguers get just as much, if not more, time on ABC. I’m not searching TSN-Biloxi or any other obscure channel to try to find regular season college baseball either. It’s the lack of availability and my unwillingness to search that has me so far removed by the time the post-season rolls around and by then, all interest is lost.
Go to espn.com sometime and scroll over “All Sports” and you’ll be shocked what you find. College basketball and football have their own section and so does, wait…what? Women’s college basketball has their own link? Bingo. It is not until you click on the “College Sports” that you will find baseball articles sharing the headlines with women’s softball, men’s lacrosse and men’s golf.
With college post-season baseball in full swing, I decided to shoot over to my favorite wagering site to see what the action was, and much like the Longhorn’s bedroom in Lawndale …there wasn’t any. I can bet on NCAA futures for both basketball and football (both 7+ months away), but I can’t pull the trigger on a sport that wraps up in the next few weeks?
I think it is simple to see why college baseball ranks right up there with rugby and hurling in my eyes…I was never exposed to it. Now, I know there are some college baseball alums on the blog so what is your take? Are there some who feel this way about another sport?