Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hosting A Regional

I thought Michigan should have submitted a bid to host a NCAA Regional. I believe they should have taken the opportunity to capitalize on the team's success and build some fan interest heading into their stadium renovation project.

While I know the administration would rather wait for the renovation to be complete before inviting the nation in, I think that hosting would have brought along some credibility and excitement to the program. It also might have gotten Rich Maloney's squad a bit more local press coverage than normal.

Both major Detroit papers might send a reporter or a photographer to Ann Arbor for a couple of hours, or a local television station might have a cameraman grab some footage for their Sunday night sports wrap-up shows, but neither are about to ship anyone to Atlanta to follow Wolverines baseball.

The crowds for the Big Ten Tournament were good and would probably be even better for a NCAA regional. The thought of bringing in a national power or two, might have intrigued both the Michigan faithful and general baseball fans who rarely get to see the nation's best teams on display, let alone in person.

Do I really need to point out that it could have been a recruiting tool, as well?

Hosting a regional would have made the program appear to be on the rise, even if it went two and barbecue. Now, if the Wolverines drop two straight and end up spectators, or simply don't advance, it ends up a very small paragraph in the Detroit papers and probably won't get any mention on metropolitan news broadcasts.

All that said, I don't think they had any chance at hosting a regional. If Notre Dame, which is considered the standard bearer for northern baseball, can't win a regional after claiming the Big East regular season and tournament titles, Michigan wasn't about to host, either.

However, if you put in a failed bid, so what? You tried to get your kids another home series. You made an attempt to lift the program to the next level. You don't lose anything trying. Win a bid, however, and you've got another weekend of publicity and the program gets a boost without the aid of a new facade on the stadium.

Sure it's a risk bidding for a regional, but it was a risk worth taking.