Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All-Conference Questions

Over the years, I've been asked for my opinion about the selections for the All-Big Ten teams. Invariably, someone feels a player (or players) from their program has been overlooked and is seeking my two cents. These questions usually come from fans or parents. This year, I'm the one with the inquiries.

The longer I read yesterday's press release, the more my head began to tilt like a dog's. You know the look. Where the pooch gives you that strange, almost confused expression while leaning his/her head off to a side.

Nearly a day after the press release was issued, I'm still kind of lost as to the thinking behind some of the selections. Let me start by hitting the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective).

  • How is Minnesota's Derek McCallum not the Big Ten's Player of the Year?
  • I know Ohio State is very well represented on the teams, but I'm not quite sure I can justify the absence of Drew Rucinski, Matt Streng and most notably, Zach Hurley.
  • Just how important is batting average to the coaches? In some ways, it appears to me that the coaches simply honored players based solely on their batting average.
  • Isn't it time to release the vote totals?
  • How can Chauncy Handran, of Minnesota, get left off?
  • And what of Michigan State's weekend starters -- Nolan Moody, A.J. Achter and Tony Bucciferro?
  • I think it's cool the coaches opted for twin first-team catchers, as the numbers between Indiana's Josh Phegley and Ohio State's Dan Burkhart were nearly identical. However, instead of leaving Illinois' Aaron Johnson on the third team how about bumping him up to second team and lauding a player like MSU's Eric Roof or Minnesota's Kyle Knudson?
Like I said, I've got questions. And don't fool yourself. My questions don't stop there. I'll come clean and tell you that I feel the coaches didn't exactly get an "A" in the selection of the outfielders. On any team. (Oh, they may have some of the right names, but not in the right places.)

Now, there's a great possibility I'm alone on this island. Perhaps, I'm the only one that thinks this year's voting was a bit more suspect than usual. We all know that I'm wrong as often as I am right. Yet, I am curious if any of you found this year's all-conference selections interesting. Feel free to leave your comments (not that I generally have to encourage any of you to do that).


Robbie said...

I cannot figure out any way McCallum did not win POY. At least 1 MSU starter should have made the list. Handran was not that great in conference play with a 4.27 ERA and 20BB/26Ks in 52.2 IP and a .307 BA against so I'm fine with that one. Purdue's Dan Black might have been the most feared hitters in the conference, but his BA wasn't that great so maybe that makes your point as far as BA goes.

powerdog18 said...

I agree with you about Ohio State’s Rucinski, it’s unbelievable he was left off the list. He is the only middle reliever that Ohio State used, 30 appearances, 65.2 innings, and 9-2 without a start plus 2 saves. It’s certain that Wimmers, Wolosiansky, Hale, and Ohio State would not have had the season and numbers they have had without him.

TouchemAll said...

McCallum was absolutely robbed for POY. He had a statistically superior year in all categories. And I'd also submit John Anderson for Coach of the Year after the Gophers turnaround this year from 9th place in '08 to missing out on the '09 title by half a game (one rainout game vs. Indiana). They started 3 RS freshman infielders and a true frosh in the OF.

Brian said...

Yeah, Robbie, Black's got a case, too. He led in walks, on-base percentage, was third in slugging and fourth in homers.

And we know he got pitched around all season long.

Comrade J. Michael Neal said...

Looking at the teams, one does wonder how the Gophers finished ahead of Indiana and Illinois.

As for Handran, it doesn't bother me that much. The Gophers' pitching has been good, but a lot of it has been pitching to contact and letting an amazing defense turn balls into outs.

Throw in defense, and I think Kvasnicka should have been rated higher than he was.

Robbie said...

I'm not sure who you would take off to put Ohio State’s Rucinski on the team though. Jake Hale is obviously 1st team, Minnesota's Matyas has 10 conference saves and 20 Ks in 12.2 IP while holding opponents to a .159 BA. The argument would be for third team where here are the conference only numbers.
PSU Ignas - 5.60 ERA, 12 appearances, 3 wins, 4 saves
IU Squires - 2.81 ERA, 11 appearances, 1 win, 5 saves
OSU Rucinski - 4.94 ERA, 16 appearances, 4 wins, 0 saves
I'm not convinced that Rucinski is a snub. He had a good year, but there is only room for 1 reliever on each team and the closers typically are most important

powerdog18 said...

No love for the set-up-man. Which player was more important to his team?
Rucinski was not going to gets saves with Hale going for the school record.

Robbie said...

I think PSU's Ignas may have been the most important to his team. His team only won 8 conference games and he alone won 3 and saved 4. That's pretty impressive for a reliever that didn't get as many chances to come in with the lead as most. IU's Squires had the best ERA so I put him #2.

Anonymous said...

Oops set-up man means??
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