Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Thoughts On The CWS

Let me share a few random thoughts I have about the just completed College World Series.

* I admire the toughness of Oregon State, emerging from the loser's bracket and dropping the first game of the CWS Championship round, but is it too much to think that North Carolina's sloppy defense handed the title to OSU?

* At what point do college coaches have a responsibility to their pro prospects in regards to limiting pitch counts? As a Detroit Tigers fan, I was more than a bit concerned over the number of pitches (over 300) Jonah Nickerson threw over the two weeks in Omaha. Didn't he pitch on three or less days of rest twice?

Nickerson wasn't the only OSU hurler to get an excessive workload, but he seemed like the most visible. As kids like Nickerson harbor professional dreams, don't college coaches have some responsibility to make sure they can succeed in their careers like any other instructor would? Doesn't throwing that often increase the odds of arm injury and shortened careers?

* I like Mike Patrick and Harold Reynolds in the ESPN booth, although with their other obligations, I doubt they spend too much time prior to June 1 paying much attention to college baseball. As a result, they do stumble around a bit. In spite of this, Patrick's CWS work is far better than his football work. He seems much more at ease and his work more fluid. Maybe he broadcasted baseball originally?

I like Reynolds' personality, always have, but I can't get past his comments in 2003 about contracting the Detroit Tigers. He does a solid, if unspectacular job in Omaha. Like Patrick, you do get the feeling he likes the work and that's half the battle.

I'm a big Kyle Peterson fan. The ex-Stanford pitcher does cover the college game year-round and played in the CWS. I'd like to see ESPN expand Peterson's role. Studio host, perhaps? Maybe they have given him more responsibility on ESPNU, but, alas, my cable provider doesn't offer The U. Regardless, Peterson should get more airtime.

Erin Andrews is fine. Easy, boys, I mean she does acceptable work. I'm not thrilled about these in-game coach interviews--the college baseball equivalent of the worthless exchange with football coaches heading in/out of the lockeroom at halftime--but, it's not like Andrews came up with the idea. She's just doing her job. I'm just not crazy about sideline reporters, so I'm biased from the start.

* I'm sad to see another season depart, but Oregon State is a deserving champion.