Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grewe Departure Official

Yep, it's finally official. MSU's David Grewe has jumped off the Green and White train and headed south to join LSU. While my initial post on the subject proved to be 100% accurate (not that I doubted the credibility of my source), I don't retract my apology, either. I still feel I made a mistake in the way I framed that first post on the situation.

Hopefully, the Spartans can land a solid replacement in the days to come. With a new financial commitment from the adminstration, a renovated ballpark to open in 2009 and a few solid returning players, one would like to think that the Michigan State gig might be appealing to a number of candidates.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Open Apology

In my last post, I reported that Michigan State's David Grewe was signed, sealed and delivered to Louisiana State to become the Tigers' top assistant. The same source that assured me that Grewe was on the way out a few days ago, informs me that a "final" decision is expected tomorrow. As such, I owe you an apology.

While only a blog, I attempt to run this with a degree of journalistic integrity. Not that I'm above passing along a good rumor, but I try to present it as such. In this instance, I failed. I offered up a rumor as fact based on two things: 1) my source was reliable and 2) I was lazy. I should have followed up on the lead. I didn't.

Even if Coach Grewe does indeed leave for Baton Rouge, I should have presented the information as a rumor or avoided it altogether. As I did neither, I apologize first and foremost to Coach Grewe, his staff, the MSU players, their families and the Spartans fanbase. Of course, I owe each of my readers an apology as well.

I believe the majority of you realize that the last thing I would try and do is toss a college baseball program under-the-bus, especially one in the Big Ten. Regardless of whether or not my last post becomes fact or fiction, I made an error and I'm willing to take responsibility for it. My sincere hope is that I'm wrong and Coach Grewe stays on in East Lansing. Let's hope we learn something soon. I have already.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grewe Leaves MSU

Hot on the heels of Michigan State's stadium expansion news comes word that head coach David Grewe is leaving East Lansing to join Louisiana State's coaching staff. Grewe is slated to become Paul Mainieri's recruiting coordinator and pitching coach. Grewe was part of Mainieri's staff at Notre Dame before both moved on.

The whispers around the program indicate that MSU's administration is looking outside the program for a replacement.

How this can be viewed as anything other than bad for the Spartans' program is beyond me. Grewe had built bridges with former Spartans that felt alienated prior to his arrival and was the central figure behind the program's renovation. While this does give MSU a chance to have the new guy in before fall, one wonders what affect it will have on recruiting commitments.

To have him bolt now -- with the stadium improvements planned and the better recruiting classes on the way -- is a disappointing turn for the Green and White.

Honestly, it doesn't help the Big Ten's reputation much, either. When one of your program's head coaches bolts to become an assistant, even a SEC assistant, it's not a ringing endorsement on the state of your conference.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MSU To Renovate Stadium

Remember during the conference tournament when I mentioned that we might be hearing something from East Lansing in regards to the baseball program? Well, the announcement has indeed arrived. As I speculated then, Michigan State has received a donation to renovate their on-campus ballpark.

An anonymous donor has not only coughed up four million to fund the 2,500 seat grandstand and new pressbox, but the project is tentatively slated for completion by the start of next season. A fairly lofty objective.

Old College Field will still be lacking lights in '09, but MSU appears to be committed to raising the remaining revenue to complete the entire project (which includes the softball facility, soccer stadium, baseball park and the adjoining plaza.

Friday, June 06, 2008

MLB Draft Day Two

All fifty rounds are finally over. Quite a few familiar faces were selected on day two of the Major League draft. A couple of patterns jumped out at me today, as well.

You have to think the Indians have a scout nearby Ann Arbor, as Zach Putnam, Adam Abraham and Nate Recknagel were all tabbed by the Tribe, as was Doug Pickens a year ago.

While the Twins seem to like Coach Anderson's squad. The Twinkies selected Gophers Kyle Carr, Matt Nohelty and Nate Hanson.

Here's the complete rundown of Big 10ers from day two:

# 329 - Andrew Means (Indiana), Cincinnati
# 359 - Kyle Day (Michigan State), Cincinnati
# 366 - Kyle Carr (Minnesota), Minnesota
# 404 - Scott Shaw (Illinois), New York Mets
# 411 - Adam Abraham (Michigan), Cleveland
# 417 - Caleb Curry (Iowa), San Francisco
# 478 - Andy Loomis (Purdue), Florida
# 546 - Matt Nohelty (Minnesota), Minnesota
# 591 - Nate Recknagel (Michigan), Cleveland
# 846 - Nate Hanson (Minnesota), Minnesota
# 944 - Mike Powers (Michigan), New York Mets
# 963 - Tyler Tufts (Indiana), Texas
# 973 - Mark Sorenson (Michigan State), Detroit
# 1047 - Dan Black (Purdue), San Francisco
# 1063 - Dan DeLucia (Ohio State), Detroit
# 1178 - Eric Decker (Minnesota), Milwaukee
# 1388 - Eric Roof (Michigan State), Detroit
# 1416 - Matt Bischoff (Purdue), New York Mets
# 1450 - Kevin Hoef (Iowa), Boston

One extra selection of note. Former Illini Friday starter, Tanner Roark was taken with the 753rd pick. The righthander went to Texas.

Just as yesterday, if I happened to miss someone, please let me know.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

MLB Draft Day One

Here are the Big Ten players that were drafted on day one of the Major League Baseball Draft.

# 61 - Josh Lindblom (Purdue), Los Angeles Dodgers
# 116 - Kyle Hudson (Illinois), Baltimore
# 120 - Drew O'Neil (Penn State), Chicago White Sox
# 138 - Ryne White (Purdue), Arizona
# 154 - Jason Christian (Michigan), Oakland
# 171 - Zach Putnam (Michigan), Cleveland
# 182 - J.B. Shuck (Ohio State), Houston

If I missed someone, I'm sure one of you will let me know.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America Team

The 2008 Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America Team has been announced by Collegiate Baseball. Three members of the Big Ten Conference have managed to make the team. Northwestern's Eric Jokisch, Ohio State's Dean Wolosiansky and Illinois' Casey McMurray all garnered recognition.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ann Arbor Regional: Day Three

Arizona Wins Regional Title

The University of Arizona won the All-Wildcat Regional Final in Ann Arbor. U of A claimed the crown by beating Kentucky, 5-3. The number one seed in the region won all three of the contests they played, one each against the rest of the field -- Eastern Michigan, Michigan and Kentucky.

Tonight, the desert Wildcats got a strong start from lefty Eric Berger who worked 7.1 innings giving up five hits, two walks and the three UK runs. Berger also fanned 11 UK batters. After Berger's evening was completed, UA turned to their (insert your adjective here) bullpen.

Just as they had done in the previous two regional games, the UA bullpen of Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth and Jason Stoffel shutdown the opposition. Arizona's bullpen is one of the best I've ever seen on the collegiate level.

Bobby Coyle had a pinch-hit, two-run homer to lead UA's offense. T.J. Steele had a pair of hits and scored twice. Brad Glenn, Bryce Ortega and Dwight Childs drove in the other Arizona runs.

UK answered with a pair of homers. One each from Collin Cowgill and Brian Spear. Spear drove in the other Kentucky tally with a double.

The win now advances UA to the Super Regional, most likely against Miami (FL). Kentucky's season was concluded with the loss.

Earlier in the day, UK eliminated Michigan from regional play with a 12-6 triumph. Kentucky jumped on the Wolverines early posting seven runs in the first inning and two more in the second. Cowgill led the way with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Spear had three RBI. Troy Frazier, Chris Wade and Sawyer Carroll all had two RBI each. Frazier and Carroll both homered.

Zach Putnam launched a three-run homer for Michigan. Adam Abraham had a four-hit game. Mike Dufek and Leif Mahler both knocked in two runs.