Posted by LongTimeDevil on May 10, 14 at 14:40:27:
In Reply to: ASU Baseball posted by Baseball Devil on May 10, 14 at 09:46:00:
: Before everyone jumps off a cliff, remember there's still 2 games to be played in this weekend's series. In the next 48 hours or so the Devils can go from firmly on the bubble to firmly in the field of 64 by taking two of three from the #12 team in the country.
: As an overall synopsis and looking to the future I think there are a variety of things that have hurt the ASU program over the last few years.
: 1. Recruiting and coaching. I know that Esmay and Benjamin are both ASU alums and probably care more about the program than anyone around. I also know Mike Benjamin had a very good big league career and probably knows as much about baseball as anyone. I know Esmay and Knutson are both extremely knowledgeable baseball people as well. I don't think knowledge or caring about the program is an issue here. I do think that having 4 of the coaches kids in the program over the last three years is ridiculous. Unless a coaches son is head and shoulders above everyone else at their respective positions, they shouldn't be playing. It just looks bad. Personally I don't get why a dad would want to put their son in that situation or why a kid would want to be in that situation. There is no reason these kids can't go somewhere else to play. I also think losing Travis Jewett from the coaching staff was a huge loss. No offense to Greg Bordes but Jewett is one of the best assistant coaches/ recruiting coordinators in the country, there's a reason he's at Vanderbilt right now. Unfortunately Steve Patterson was so worried about football that we couldn't keep a great baseball staff intact.
: 2. Rise of the northwest schools. With OSU turning into a national power over the last 9 years and Oregon going from having no program to being a consistent top 25 team over the last 6 years, the Devils cannot go into the NW like they used to and pluck guys like Willie Bloomquist and Travis Buck. With Washington's success this year and finally finishing their stadium it's just going to get tougher to get those guys out of the NW that ASU used to be able to get. It's also obviously created more competition on the field as well with having to play Oregon 3 times a year now.
: 3. Probation has hurt worse than many people anticipated. I think losing the 2012 season is going to have lingering affects until at least the 2015 recruiting class. Kids were turned off by the whole situation and that's created opportunities for other schools to snatch up kids that probably would have gone to ASU in the past.
: With all this being said, I think the future will be very bright with the move to Phoenix Muni. Although I hate that Packard will be gone and there will be no more baseball on campus, it's about a 3 minute ride from campus on the light rail and the stands should be even more packed with students b/c the capacity is so much greater. Plus with three big time arms returning next year the Devils should be fine. They can fill in the other areas of need through recruiting.
::Agree with just about everything you said. I have been more concerned about the critical errors and lack of hitting and good AB's this season. I'm not sure what the answer is to fix the errors. I know for a fact that they are being well coached and practice hard each day to improve. Losing Travis to Vanderbilt was a big loss too, but we should be loaded and ready to kick some PAC12 butt next season as almost everyone will be back. Tim Esmay deserves a fair chance to coach this team next season and the fans should give him some slack. If next season is more of the same then he will probably be gone.
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