Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Links

A day after our first significant snowfall of the winter, I'm providing a few baseball links to help keep our minds on warmer thoughts. I toss in a ongoing rant to help melt the ice, as well.

First, there's Rivals.com top Midwest programs. The Big Ten manages to land three of the top five places. (Yes, I'm going to make you click on the link to see which three and in what order. Sorry.)

Rivals also mentions the Michigan/Ohio State baseball rivalry.

Michigan's Jason Christian is "On The Radar" of Doug Kroll's list of top returning shortstops.

I can't recall if I posted this one before, but Rivals Baseball Editor Kendall Rogers also offered up this piece on Michigan's success.

MORE WALLACE AWARD RANTING
In keeping with BTH unwritten policy, here is the link to CSTV's Kroll's blog about the Wallace Award Watchlist. (The unwritten BTH policy states that if you mention this blog, and I know about it, you get a link here. Oh, and it helps if you say something positive. Negative comments are generally just emailed to me.) As Doug points out, a number of lesser known baseball programs landed multiple award nominees.

Here, again, is my problem. No, not being obsessive-compulsive. That's a different problem. The issue I'm typing of is one where Southern Illinois lands three Wallace Award nominations and Michigan gets only two. Ohio State has only one. So, SIU has three players as good as Nate Recknagel, Jason Christian, J.B. Shuck and Jake Hale, all of whom got overlooked. It's lunacy.

Not only do noted baseball programs like Brown and Delaware land two players -- just as many as the Wolverines and one more than Ohio State, "my" Oakland University can't get a single nod? Seriously, are any of the three, yes, three Appalachian State players selected mathematically more likely to win the Wallace Award than Golden Grizzlies Andrew Stafford or Justin Wilson? The simple answer is no. So why not honor the kids and help the program by including them?

Don't get me wrong, I say let the Salukis have three nominees. Give Brown and Delaware as many spots as seem deserving, but don't leave out the other players that warrant a pre-season nomination. If you are worried about the list being too big, then, perhaps, you pass out the honor a bit too loosely. As it stands now, over 200 names make the watchlist. What's a few more going to hurt? Your reputation?

The College Baseball Foundation -- overseers of the Wallace Award -- either needs to modify their standards to keep the list smaller or expand the list to include everyone worthy of the recognition.