Welcome to Summer: The College World Series begins | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Welcome to Summer: The College World Series begins

After watching the USA claw back into a draw with some tiny Eastern European country this morning, I’m feeling a little proud to be an American.  With the College World Series set to begin tomorrow and Ron Ron’s single apparently dropping sometime in the near future, it’s a pretty fun time in sports.  The best part about this time of year for me, though, is that the sports world only has baseball to follow (and US soccer every 4 years) until the damn NFL season starts.  I personally hate football and don’t really care for basketball either.  Hockey is not a sport in New Mexico, but from what I gather, other places unfortunately seem to care about it.  To me, these other sports are simply a massive distraction to the public and divert conversation and concentration away from the one game that actually deserves to be followed.  What I am getting at here is that for folks who primarily/only care about baseball, get ready for the best 2 months of the year.

And what better way to kick it all off than the College World Series?  It’s a pretty unique field this year.  No LSU.  No Texas.  No Miami.  No Fullerton. No Stanford.  Well, who the hell actually got in?  ASU and FSU obviously.  Clemson did.  Florida too.  South Carolina beat Coastal Carolina on the road unfortunately; it would have been nice to see a small school represented next to these small countries.  The rest of the field is comprised of Oklahoma, UCLA, and TCUTCUA Mountain West team.  Unfortunately it’s not UNM.

I always tend to root for the team I am geographically closest to, so that means go Sun Devils.  They won in extras against Arkansas twice in Tempe last weekend in a couple of truly nail-biting games, in front of a packed Packard.  They are the obvious favorites to win it all after a spectacular season that saw them climb to the top seed in the tournament.  It’s the College World Series, though.  It’s a pretty tough road.  Once, Fresno State won it all.  Truly, any team that gets in has a very realistic chance to go the distance.  The best pitching staff in the country in UT was knocked off by TCU last weekend.  The best hitter in the country, and obvious top talent in next year’s draft class, Rice’s Anthony Rendon, is not in attendance.

I think for us baseball fans, the lack of superstars may be a portion of what we love so much about the College World Series.  Amateur baseball may never provide us with consistently well-located pitches, reasonable strike zones, wood bats, average or above defense, or good commentating, but it does provide us with the reasons we love baseball in the first place.  The faces of the players in the CWS express urgency, excitement, brotherhood and fun.  Barry Bonds was the best hitter of all time for a decent chunk of his career.  Did any of us ever see a single one of these attributes from him during those years?  Of course not.  We saw a self-entitled, childish, indifferent, and pompous piece of shit that morally never deserved a single gift he was provided.  The College World Series reminds us that guys like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Roger Clemens are not the norm and should not be regarded as the standard.  I like to believe that the players fighting for the NCAA title every year in Omaha are the standard.

There exists a purity to the amateur game and even within the minors that often escapes the Bigs.  What do you want to bet that we don’t see any of the CWS shortstops loaf toward a grounder after they kick it a la Hanley?  What do you want to bet that we won’t see any fat guys waddle as close to a walk as possible after clubbing a massive bomb a la Papi?  What do you want to bet that every few minutes a player actually smiles or laughs or sprints out to their position between innings?  We will see guys dive, slide, jump, twirl and the like when it probably is not entirely necessary.  We will probably see a guy or two chuck a throw over the first baseman and into the stands.  We will see botched sacrifices, balls lost in the sun, and consecutive walks.

Remember when you are watching these mistakes and unnecessary hustle that you are watching kids, sometimes terrified, attempt to play at the highest level they ever have (barring those fortunate players who have played overseas with the national team).  They will make mistakes every game, but the mistake will certainly not be the same mistakes we expect from A-Rod or Bonds.  Their crime is that of indifference and entitlement.  Compare these guys to the ace of the TCU staff who led the Frogs to their first World Series through the gates of hell: Disch-Falk Field in Austin.  Everything about this place is designed to make the visiting team hate every second they are there.  Well, TCU freshman ace, Matt Purke, went there, tossed 7.2, allowed 4 baserunners, and struck out 11.  Brettsta wrote a cool piece on Purke for www.youbeenblinded.com recently.  Purke turned down $4 million to toss for TCU.  I grit my teeth as I say this, but it’s really tough to say the kid made the wrong decision.  He carried his friends all year and now he finds himself ready to take the ball for TCU’s first CWS game with a realistic shot at being the most talented player on the field.

Enjoy these games.  They happen once a year and have never disappointed.  This is the last CWS at Rosenblatt, and many folks think that collegiate athletics are becoming more and more commercial to the point that progress becomes dangerous.  Football is clearly to blame.  I firmly believe that every negative aspect of sports is elicited most vividly by NCAA football, but expanding on this would lead me into a very extensive tangent.  Regardless, these next two months are baseball, and only baseball, season.  It’s really sweet for us fans to have the College World Series to welcome us to summer.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the shoutout homey. Youbeenblinded got the link to Ron Ron’s new single, “Champion” http://youbeenblinded.com/ron-artest-is-a-champion-on-the-court-and-in-the-studio/7276 check it out dude, it’s halfway decent and far beyond anything you’d ever imagine the Tru Warrior is capable of.

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