Saturday, April 30, 2011

Patriots pick Williams in 7th Round

A few hours after Marcus Cannon became a New England Patriot, he was joined by his TCU teammate Malcolm Williams when the Pats selected the safety with the 219th overall pick. Williams, who made just 12 tackles playing mostly special teams in 2010 for the Frogs, had his immense potential recognized by New England. He was a very highly-regarded recruit who originally signed with OU coming out of South Grand Prairie as the 5A Defensive Player of the Year. He spent two years at Trinity Valley CC before transferring to TCU.

49ers pick Jones in 6th Round

After three of his teammates were taken by AFC teams, Colin Jones and his 4.31 forty time are headed to San Francisco after the 49ers selected the Frogs' safety with the 19oth overall pick in the NFL Draft. This also makes him roughly the 1,000th high school running back to be converted to another position by Patterson and turned into an NFL Draft pick.


Jets pick Kerley in 5th Round

Jeremy Kerley and LaDainian Tomlinson on the same team? Yes, I'll have some of that. Kerley with join LT and Drew Coleman as a member of the New York Jets after they selected him 153rd overall in the NFL Draft. I'm guessing the Big Apple is going to love Kerley as much as Fort Worth did.


Patriots pick Cannon in 5th Round

Marcus Cannon, who was seen as a 2nd Round pick by experts less than a week ago, has been selected by the New England Patriots with the 138th overall pick of the NFL Draft. Cannon's health concerns are the reason he fell so far, but all indications point to him already taking care of it so this may be another brilliant late-round pick by one of the best-run organizations in professional football.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Bengals pick Dalton in 2nd Round

As expected, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Andy Dalton with the 35th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. With it looking like the Carson Palmer era of Bengals football is coming to a close, Dalton could have a chance to start as a rookie this fall...if there is an NFL season this fall.


Dalton should be picked quickly on Day 2

After watching teams like Tennessee and Minnesota reach on questionable quarterbacks like Jake Locker and Christian Ponder way earlier than expected in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft last night, it looked like Andy Dalton would also have his name called soon. Seattle, who many felt would draft Dalton to join fellow Frogs David Hawthorne and Clint Cresham on the Seahawks' roster, did not pick him and as you know he's now fallen completely out of the first round.

But according to ESPN, the Cincinnati Bengals attempted to trade back into Round 1 in order to select Dalton with the 32nd overall pick that the Packers eventually used to select Derek Sherrod. The Bengals have the third selection of tonight's second round, which is the 35th overall pick. The fact that they wanted to move up three spots would seem to indicate that they are not the only team who wants to draft him.

Both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper have Dalton going to Cincinnati at #35, so don't expect him to stay on the board for very long after the Draft gets re-started at 5:00pm. New England and Buffalo have the 33rd and 34th picks, so watch out for a possible trade involving a team that wants to beat the Bengals to the punch.

DCTF takes on the "rebuilding or reloading" question

If you're a football junkie like myself, you'll enjoy the Friday morning mailbag that the staff of Dave Campbell's Texas Football has been posting on texasfootball.com. In today's mailbag, DCTF writers Travis Stewart and Greg Tepper take on a Frog-related question that comes from a name you might recognize...

More new helmet pics

Since nothing seems to increase traffic like posts about new football uniforms, I should point out that Angry Trey's got some close-up pictures of the new helmets from different angles on his blog right now.



Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU, Winkler cruise past BYU 12-6
Star-Telegram

TCU pitcher Purke has shoulder soreness, no injury
Star-Telegram

Football:
Dalton misses first round, shouldn't miss second
Star-Telegram

Patterson sticks with successful run at TCU
Wichita Falls News Times Record News

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frogs Visit Mormons This Weekend; Caffeine and Alcohol Not Making the Trip

No Caption Necessary.

TCU's weekend series with 20-18 BYU starts tonight, actually, because silly Mormons wont play baseball on Sunday. Frogs send ace Kyle Winkler to the mound tonight with his 7-1 record and 1.38 ERA. The Friday starter is once again projected to be team anti-ace Erik Miller, whose 3-6 record with 4.54 ERA aren't quite as impressive as Winkler. However, according to the gofrogs.com preview, Miller is a left handed pitcher, so maybe he's trying something new. Couldn't hurt, could it? Saturday's start goes to the super dependable Steven Maxwell, who is 5-0 with a 2.90 ERA. BYU counters with RHP Taylor Cole (3-3, 2.98 ERA) on Thursday, RHP Chris Capper (3-2, 3.65 ERA) on Friday, and the dreaded and feared TBA takes the hill on Saturday.

BYU is also going to be without 4 players tonight, including starting outfielder Ryan Bernal, because they were suspended for 3 games after a post game fight with some New Mexico players. If there's one thing I've learned about BYU in my years following their sucky existence, it's that they are hot heads and have a hard time keeping their cool when they're getting their asses handed to them- this just further illustrates my stance on that. In their defense, you'd have some pent up rage issues too if you had multiple wives to deal with, or in the case of the unmarried ones, you'd have pent up rage too if you'd never ejaculated in your entire life.

In all seriousness, though, we definitely need a sweep. I say that pretty much every weekend, but I figure our chances for a regional hosting site are done, so it's time to focus on winning the conference again and beating down the lousy Mountain West baseball competition (especially crybaby Mormons). Oh, and for those who want to watch, all 3 games are being broadcast live on BYU-TV, so you can watch baseball in between commercials about how bad you are for drinking, having pre-marital sex, and using tobacco products.

Other Frogs in the NFL Draft.

#winning.

After spending the entirety of the off-season focusing on Andy Dalton's draft status, it'd be hard to blame anyone if they overlooked the fact that TCU could potentially have a record setting 10 players selected over the weekend. Of course, we toss around words like "unprecedented" for a reason; namely because the chances of all ten of these guys being picked up are about as good as bucknasty's chances of not telling Baylor fans how he REALLY feels about them Friday night in September. However, the fact that all ten of them will at least merit some serious discussion as the Draft stretches on speaks to the caliber of athlete Patterson and Co. have been producing over the years. Here's a quick run down, in descending order of logical draft status.

Marcus Cannon. Projected Round: 2-4.
  • In news that was at one point too shockingly ludicrous to be true, it has now come out that Marcus Cannon has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and will begin chemotherapy this week to take care of his illness. Of course we all wish Marcus the best and his long term health is far more important than any NFL paycheck he was due to receive. The good news in all of this is that lymphoma is very treatable, Marcus is expected to make a full recovery and will be more than capable of pursuing his career at the next level. The bad news is that the news came out this week and not next. Of course that's the selfish way to look at it, but its true that this will not help his draft stock as several mocks have downgraded him as many as 3 rounds after the announcement. Marcus will likely have to sit out his rookie season while recovering from chemo which will clearly scare away some GMs as they wonder if he will ever live up to his potential. However, even considering the treatment and missed year, many believe Marcus can bounce back and be as productive as he ever would have been, and it just takes one NFL decision maker to believe in him. He has way too much potential to be completely overlooked. I did some hasty Google research regarding NFL players and lymphoma and it definitely would appear that Marcus contracting the disease at such a young age and at this point in his career is a rarity, but hopefully he will power through it and give others who may fall into his same situation in the future hope. I have a feeling he's going to make 31 NFL GM's look pretty stupid down the road. Let's just hope Sandra Bullock isn't involved in the inevitable movie adaptation of his story of perseverance.
What the Mocks are Saying:
Jeremy Kerley. Projected Round: 4-5.
  • Ah, Kerley Fries. Definitely going to miss that guy. Even though he didn't have the impact this year as he did last in the return game, Jeremy is still being viewed as one of the best return men in the draft, and after showing good hands in the Senior Bowl, certainly helped his stock in the receiving game as well. Kerley recently took part in ESPN the Magazine's "King for a Day" feature which, for whatever reason, had him and several other NFL prospects travelling to Brooklyn to take part in whatever it is that ESPN does with this thing. So, at least you know his name is going to be out there. Kerley definitely fits the mold of a slot receiver and, as with any white or slot receiver heading into the draft ad infinitum, will be labeled as a "Wes Welker type." Kerley will definitely be a special teamer to begin his post-TCU career, but hopefully he will be able to transcend that label, especially when you consider the new rule changes are going to make return specialists a rare breed.
What the Mocks are Saying:
Jake Kirkpatrick. Projected Round: 6-7.
  • Even if you take into account my hasty research into the NFL success of former Rimington Award winners, I still don't get why Kirkpatrick's stock isn't any higher. Does the best center in the country really deserve to almost fall out of the draft completely? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what the knock on him is. He's well sized, was in sync with his QB all of last year, and is very athletic. So what gives? He is definitely one of those situations where I sincerely hope the draftnicks are wrong.
What the Mocks are Saying:
Jimmy Young. Projected Round: 6-7.
  • Jimmy Young is a guy who, had he been a Senior a couple of years earlier, probably would've been a third round pick at worst. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he was log jammed in a receiving corp that was as talented as any in the country. But following a strong Rose Bowl performance where he caught 5 balls for 57 yards, he definitely thrust himself back into the spotlight. At 6'0", 204, Tax has enough size to make it at the next level, as well as fantastic hands. Still, I'd say he is properly rated as a 6th or 7th round choice.
What the Mocks are Saying:
Wayne Daniels. Projected Round: 7.
  • Wayne has kind of been the unsung hero of the current crop of TCU draftees, but I wouldn't necessarily expect him to be shut out of the weekend. Following in the shoes of Chase Ortiz, Jerry Hughes and, dare I say his name, Tommy Blake, Wayne had a lot to live up to and while he may not be garnering the draft hype of those before him, he should still be a solid NFL prospect. As expected, he will make the switch to an OLB and will likely fall into the lap of some lucky 3-4 team with a late, late round pick.
What the Mocks are Saying:
All five of those guys have a very legitimate shot at being drafted at some point this weekend and, combined with Dalton, would tie the TCU record of six draftees set in 2001. If any of these remaining four get their name called, add it to the huge pile of records this class has broken already. It bears mentioning that had Tejay Johnson decided to pursue an NFL career, the record would be all but broken, but good on him for putting that speech therapy degree to good use as it appears he is very passionate about it.

Cory Grant.
  • If there was such thing as an unsung hero on last year's team, I'd have to suggest that Cory Grant was it. Even after losing his partner in crime Kelly Griffin, Grant never missed a beat and stuffed opposing runners all year. At 6'1", 316 he's of very good size for an NFL DT and would likely want to end up playing for a defense that uses a four man front. Given the lack of smoke surrounding his status, I'd venture a guess that he's probably looking at the free agency route, though.
Bart Johnson.
  • I want Bart Johnson to get drafted and become an NFL star as much as anyone on this list, if only for the press conferences. How do you think all that deer stand talk would go over in liberal San Francisco? The potential comedy is limitless! Believe it or not, Bart actually projects as a 7th rounder which, considering he caught a pass in just about every game he put on the purple, makes a lot of sense. He'd clearly be a possession guy and wouldn't be on the field every down, but I think he can be a contributor. (insert Wes Welker comparison here).
Colin Jones.
  • Jones is another guy who came on very strong this past year after sitting out his junior season with an injury. A hard hitting safety, Jones turned a lot of heads in his pro day with that ridiculous 4.31 40. Of course, just because you're fast doesn't mean you'll become a great NFL player, but that should have at least generated enough buzz for some team to give him a look in free agency.
Jason Teague.
  • The last member of the 2010 team attempting to take his game to the next level is Jason Teague, who is member 1A of the unsung heroes of last season. He may not have put up big tackle, break up or INT numbers, but there's a reason for that: No one was dumb enough to throw to his side. Seriously, halfway through the season there had been fewer than 10 attempts to his side, and I'm not sure how much higher that number reached. Teague absolutely locked down his side of the field and while I'm not trying to suggest he's Deion Sanders or anything, I think he's going to be a fantastic pickup for some team looking for help in the undrafted free agent market.
So there you have it, that should cover everyone. It's going to be tough to say goodbye to most of these guys considering they comprised a significant portion of unarguably the greatest TCU team ever, but it will also be a lot of fun to follow their careers at the next level. Draft coverage starts tonight at 7:00PM on ESPN with Round 1, continues Friday at 5:00PM with Rounds 2&3, and concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday at 11:00AM. Could be the last NFL activity you see for a while so I suggest you tune in. Go Frogs.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU basketball team's task at hand is winning at TCU
Star-Telegram

Gill Lebreton article
Star-Telegram-kinda

Football:
NFL draft interviews with Antoine Hicks and Curtis Clay
Sport DFW

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard GoFrogs.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Frogs Lose to OU for the Infinitieth Time in a Row

Maybe not shitty, but frustrating.

In front of the 3rd largest crowd in Lupton Stadium history, the Frogs decided to commit 4 errors en route to their 8th straight loss to OU, falling 7-4. In 2 games this season against the Sooners, TCU has committed a total of 8 errors. For those who don't know baseball, that's way too many. Like 7 or 8 too many. Andrew Mitchell wasn't his usual sharp self, walking 3 and giving up 4 runs (only 2 of them earned) in just 3.1 innings pitched. Trent Appleby worked a solid 3.2 innings in relief, allowing only 1 run and keeping TCU in the game for the most part, but Erik Miller came in in the 8th inning, decided Aaron Schultz didn't get enough grounders during warmups, and launched an ill-advised throw into centerfield attempting an impossible double play while runners were on the corners allowing a run to score and make it 6-3. That was the moment where most of the 5,000+ fans started to file out of the stadium.

TCU hit the ball well, but the winds were blowing in and line drives were crushed into the gloves of the left and centerfielders for most of the middle innings. Joe Weik did take an opposite field homer off the scoreboard, and Jantzen Witte and Josh Elander both crushed balls into the wind and off the fence, but more often than not we were unable to drive the runs home. TCU had a chance for a dramatic 9th inning comeback by loading the bases with 0 outs for the top of the order, but after a Rivera sac fly made it 7-4, but Witte flew out to center and Featherston grounded out to first, fittingly leaving 2 runners stranded to end the game.

I'm tired of doing TCU baseball recaps. They are making me angry.

The Last Post I Will Write About Andy Dalton Before He's All Growed Up!

Emo Andy is Emo.

Before I start pecking away on this here keyboard for the next few thousand words, I think we need to take a minute and reflect on the past few months in regards to Andy Dalton: In the history of the NFL Draft, has one prospect ever made the kind of late in the game charge up draft boards as Red? Seriously, think about it. One year ago today, we loved Dalton when no one else did. Dalton was considered a "game manager" and, following the Fiesta Bowl, a guy who just wasn't ready to lead the team over the top. They laughed when we launched our AD for Heisman site. They laughed when I cancelled my membership to Texas Monthly for neglecting to include Dalton in their feature on Texas Quarterbacks. They laughed when we said Dalton was going to lead us to another undefeated season, except this time we'd hit 13. But, as much as we knew Dalton was THE guy, did we really expect this? If you can name one person, no matter how homerific, who thought Dalton was more than a mid-tier, third round at best NFL prospect one year ago today, then I've got a shiny nickel with your name on it. Hell, if you can name one person, no matter how homerific, who thought Dalton was more than a mid-tier, third round at best NFL prospect SIX months ago, the same offer stands.

The fact is, while we knew Dalton was our guy, we knew he was our guy in a strictly TCU related context and genuinely didn't have any great expectations for him beyond that. But then three things happened: One, Dalton led the Frogs to a second consecutive undefeated season and capped it off by dissecting a team who was thought to perhaps be the best in the country with a legitimate gripe of being left out of the title game discussion. Two, Andrew Luck stayed in school, leaving this draft with no true front runner at the position which forced teams to inspect the entire field and judge each prospect on level ground. And three, the NFL lockout we'd been hearing about for months and months came to pass, shutting down free agency and at the same time creating doubt and fear in front offices once they realized the draft could be their only way of improving their team this off season. As a result, a premium has seemingly been placed on lower risk players, which has worked swimmingly to Dalton's benefit given he's arguably the cleanest of the next tier of QBs. When the biggest, run up to the draft knock against you is the color of your hair, you know that NFL types are having problems justifying why they won't pick you. Jake Locker is an overrated scrub who never performed at the college level and is a total product of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and Ryan Mallett has the tools and the frame to be a high performing NFL QB but it's unclear whether he has the mental makeup for the job, which leaves Dalton and Christian Ponder as the only two guys who would seemingly make sense for a team picking from this group. And really, you're gonna take Christian Ponder over Andy Dalton? Child, please.

So as a result of the above three factors, Dalton has gone from undrafted free agent to mid round, good value prospect, to a draft invitee who could be off the board as high as the 12th pick if you believe ESPN.com blogger Kevin Seifert. You think our coaching staff MIGHT use that story in future recruiting pitches?

Truth be told, Andy Dalton is, to my mind, the most elusive pick in the entire draft and his status is the only reason I will be tuned it for every bit of the opening night coverage. Few, if any, other players in the draft have the potential to go as high as the Top 15 or as low as the third round. It should make for some fascinating television, and regardless of where he ends up, he will be an NFL player by the end of the weekend.

When I started putting together my "Spitblood Psychic" posts, the hype machine was just getting cranked up for Andy and at the time I assumed they'd be pretty manageable as I couldn't envision any more than 10 teams showing genuine interest. But as the weeks went on and just about every single team in the NFL began showing interest, I abandoned them altogether because every NFL writer on the internet did the work for me. Heck, Peter King penned at least 2-3 articles of his own highlighting Dalton, and no matter what we think of PK - he's terrible is what you should think - this is the same sports writer who helped hoodwink Josh McDaniels into taking Tim Tebow 3 rounds too early, costing him his job in the process! Like I said, I question the King's motives and methods more often than not, but the man does have an audience.

(I also stopped writing them because they were just as boring to write as they apparently were to read based on the lack of reaction. Seriously, being a "Draftnick" is the most useless job of all time because you can literally write or say ANYTHING and if you're wrong, no one gives a shit. Every single cent that McShay and Kiper are paid is a cent too many. When you consider they make more at their jobs than a lot of folks ever will, you understand why everyone hates America.)

To go ahead and destroy the credibility of this post before I even really get it started, all I'm saying above is that I have no clue where Dalton will go, although I'm leaning second round. But based on everything I've seen and heard, these are the best guesses I can come up with. To cut back on repetition, if I have already previewed a team in said Psychic posts, I will link directly to them and offer only a brief summary for those of you who are too lazy to click the links.

The Favorites:

  • Bottom Line: The 49ers need a QB and seem to love Dalton as Coach Jim Harbaugh - who apparently knows a thing or two about QB's - was the only head man to attend Dalton's Pro Day workout in Fort Worth. If he falls to their pick in the second round, that should be that.

  • Bottom Line: Tennessee needs some hope after Vince Young and his mental midgetry absolutely torpedoed their franchise and got Coach Jeff Fisher fired even though he never wanted Young in the first place. Like SF, they probably hope Dalton slips to the second round, but are among the teams who could spring for one of the top tier QBs with their first rounder.

  • Bottom Line: Pey Pey won't be around forever and Dalton fits the clean cut image the Colts like to project, assuming you completely overlook Marvin Harrison and his drive by tendencies. Dalton could learn from one of the best in the league for a few years and have no pressure at being an instant savior.

  • Bottom Line: Favraro is gone for good, as is Tarvaris Jackson, so Minny is in DESPERATE need of a QB. If they're high on Dalton, it's not unthinkable that they would take him with their first rounder, but they are probably more in the market for immediate help. Would take a look with a second rounder if he falls.

5. Washington Redskins.
  • I include the Redskins in this list above the two Ohio teams and the New England Patriots, who were the other 3 teams I previewed before quittin' tim,e because Mike Shanahan appears ready to start over. Donovan McNabb will never throw another interception for him, Rex Grossman is the most ill-remembered starting QB of a Super Bowl ever and whatever else they're trying to pass as a QB on their roster will surely never sniff the field if Shanny has anything to do with it. Of course, this one comes with the caveat that Washington would either reach for Dalton with the 10th overall pick or risk trading down to pick him up in the teens, but with Daniel Snyder on board, truly anything is possible. There's been a small bit of fire to this rumor and I think there is genuine interest, but if you'll recall Shanahan's last first round QB pick of Jay Cutler while he was still in Denver, he's not the type to show his cards early.
Others in the Running:

  • Bottom Line: See Indianapolis, although I'd rather have Dalton land there than here.

New Orleans Saints.
  • Another team not included on my original list are the Saints, who have been one of late comers to the Dalton party. I personally think this is just a product of a bored rumor monger playing the inevitable Drew Brees/Andy Dalton size comparions - although it should be noted that Dalton makes Brees look like Wee Man by comparison - but I suppose all teams have to think of the future eventually. Brees may only be 31 years and be one season removed from leading the Saints to one of the more unlikely Super Bowl Championships of all time, but as NFL career spans become shorter and shorter, it's not unreasonable to think he could start breaking down in the not so distant future. The only two other QB's currently on the Saints roster are Sean Canfield and Chase Daniel - another mini-sized football player - so it's not unreasonable to think the Saints could be in the market for a backup. This actually wouldn't be too bad of a situation on paper for Andy, although I think my above assertions about Brees being on the verge of breaking down are a bit overstated. However, with New Orleans picking 24th in the first and second rounds, respectively, it would take a major slide for him to wind up in the Big Easy as I can't picture a situation where they use a first round pick on a guy they hope doesn't see the field.
Seattle Seahawks.
  • This is just one of those picks that, like Minnesota, makes too much sense if you believe Dalton is first round material. If the current trend holds, grabbing Dalton with the 25th pick in the first round would be the unquestioned steal of the entire weekend. With Matt Hasselback likely testing the free agency waters once that window finally opens, does Pete Carroll really want to put the fate of his third NFL coaching stop in the hands of Charlie Whitehurst? Carroll is nuts, but I'm not sure if he's that nuts. Given, I don't think you want Dalton to come in some place and be expected to be a day one starter, but Seattle is definitely a landing spot where he would be on as close to level ground for the starting job as anyone else on the roster. Although you might recall another former TCU standout who arrived in the Pacific Northwest expecting to wait his turn only to be thrust into the starting role when it was deemed to be foolish to keep him off the field, so at least David Hawthorne would be a friendly face to have around. However, it has been rumored that, with a multitude of other needs, Seattle is going to aggressively shop their pick for an additional 2nd or 3rd rounder on draft night which would likely take them out of the running altogether. Still, if Dalton is on the board when their name gets called, don't be shocked if you see Pete Carroll floating to their war room fax machine to deliver Dalton's name to Roger Goodell.
  • Bottom Line: Carson Palmer is apparently never coming back and I can't imagine the Bengals rolling the dice with his little brother unless it is absolute their only option. New OC Jay Gruden also apparently has a bad case of the geigh when it comes to Red. I still think the Bengals grab Gabbert or Newton if they are still there at the #4 pick, but they are another team who would take a hard look if Dalton is there in the second.

Miami Dolphins.
  • Another late addition to the party, I was not even aware of their potential interest until Peter King stuck Dalton's name in their slot in his mock draft for Sports Illustrated. However, as King also linked Dalton to Tennessee, San Francisco and Minnesota in this very same mock, I'm not sure what we should make of any of his proclamations. Regardless, I suppose it makes SOME sense as their current QB depth chart includes Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen with Chad Pennington apparently off the reservation entirely. If you ever wondered why Miami lacks a passionate fan base and has been forced to sell shares of the team to the likes of J-Lo, Jimmy Buffett and Venus Williams just to stay afloat, that should pretty well sum it up. This pick makes even more sense when you take into account Alabama RB Mark Ingram's slide down draft boards the past couple of weeks because in the early stages he was all but a lock to end up taking his talents to South Beach. From what I understand, Miami is publicly suggesting that Henne is their guy going forward, but based on his previous performance you have to think his name is written on the depth chart in pencil. However, like the others this one comes with the caveat that Miami would give up a premium pick for a guy they see as a backup for the immediate future. Lots of dark horse potential, though.
To be frank, there are at least 5-7 more teams - Jacksonville is an obvious oversight - I could lump into this mockery of decision making - because that's what a mock draft essentially is, yes? - but I'll keep it where it is and hope my 10% odds work out. These are the teams who I don't think would take Dalton based on either their current QB situation or how high he is likely to be drafted: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta, Bodymore, Kansas City - although I believe he visited - San Diego, NYG, Green Bay, St Louis and Tampa Bay, but a big slide moves anyone into play. That leaves 10 more teams who could possibly be in the mix this Thursday or Friday that I didn't even mention. Of course, chances are he'll go to some team who we would never even consider because you have no way of knowing how things will shake out until the picks start rolling in, especially in a draft like this where this is no clear cut #1 choice. Seriously, Carolina has apparently fielded 0 phone calls for their top overall choice which is pretty unprecedented.

The fact that we're even able to have this conversation about Dalton at all says a lot about how far he's come from choosing between UTEP, TCU and Memphis as a mop headed high schooler. Wherever he is drafted, you just get the feeling that he'll make the most of it and, even if it doesn't work out in his initial landing spot, I think Andy will be an NFL contributor before his career is said and done. We'll miss having Red in TCU purple, but at least now I know I'll have a team to follow once the Cowboys annual crapfest is in full swing.

Unless it's the Eagles. Cause I hate the fuckin' Eagles.

And just in case you haven't pored over them already, here are several potential landing spots for Dalton based on more widely distributed mocks:





Morning Dump

Football:
TCU football to open Friday Sept. 2 at Baylor on ESPN
Star-Telegram

As Andy Dalton's stock has risen, so have his airline miles
Star-Telegram

TCU's Dalton rising up NFL draft boards like a rocket
Fox Sports SW

Report: Titans debate between Nick Fairley and Andy Dalton
Sporting News

Sources: TCU NFL Draft prospect Marcus Cannon has cancer
ESPN

Baseball:
Oklahoma on Tuesday means trouble at TCU
Star-Telegram

TCU comes up short against Oklahoma
GoFrogs.com

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baylor Game Moved to Friday, September 2nd @ 7:00PM for Your ESPN Viewing Pleasure.

Baylor QB Robert Griffin Approves.

Thanks to the diligent sleuthing of our very own shortnkerley's, it has been surmised that after much rumoring the TCU/Baylor game HAS, in fact, been moved. However, instead of the original speculation of the match being part of ESPN's annual opening Thursday double header, the game will be played Friday night at 7:00PM. This should calm down most of you hand wringers who were terrified you might not be able to take off of work an hour early Thursday afternoon to make the trek to Waco to catch this one en vivo. Unfortunately, since it is a Friday, it also likely increases the chance of being tossed in the Waco jail for disorderly conduct because you're more inclined to drink and Waco PD is less inclined to allow you to. I think it's an indigenous law around those parts.

Horned Frog license plates

If merely putting a TCU sticker on your car doesn't do enough to let drivers behind you know where your allegiance lies, you're about to be able to slap one of these TCU license plates on your jalopy- and you don't even have to go wait in line at a DPS office. Starting May 2, according to Angry Trey's blog post from last week, you can go online to MyPlates.com (or just click HERE) and sign up to have TCU plates replace your current ones.
...or if you'd rather go for the "Keep Texas Wild" plates that you've seen around the state for years, you can get those online, too (click HERE). You'll be giving money to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (but not TCU) with these plates.





Frogs Lose to DBU...Again; OU Tonight


Kyle Starratt surrendered a walk-off 2-run homerun in the 9th, snapping TCU's 7 game winning streak and making it 3 consecutive losses to Dallas Baptist dating back to last season. Starratt pitched well in relief of Nick Frey, who only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing 5 runs. Starratt worked 6.2 innings, allowing 4 runs and striking out a career high 8, but was unable to close the door. As I watch watching (via gamecast) this unfold, I didn't expect us to bring in closer de jour Stefan Crichton because he is going to be needed tonight, but not bringing him or Trent Appleby in might have cost us the game. The Frogs bats were resilient, bringing us back from deficits of 5-1 and 6-2, thanks to homeruns from Joe Weik and Josh Elander, as well as a clutch 2 out single from Brance Rivera to tie the game at 7 in the 8th. However, the pitching staff that we all worry about now couldn't extend the game any further than the 9th.

Tonight, as most of you should know, the Frogs are back home at 6:30 in what is the most important game of the season to date- a rematch against the #14 (according to Baseball America) Oklahoma Sooners. It's not posted yet, but obviously freshman sensation Andrew Mitchell will take the mound for TCU. Mitchell was roughed up in relief against OU in their last meeting, giving up 3 runs in just 1 inning, but he seems to have found his comfort zone again since then and hopefully he can shut down the talented Sooner lineup and we can split the season series with the Sooners. If you have nothing better to do this evening (most of you dont, it's Tuesday night), head out to Lupton and cheer on the Frogs in a very, very meaningful battle between two 2010 CWS participants. Hopefully we get a full house tonight, and since tomorrow is the start of dead days students have no excuse. Nobody studies during dead days, especially day 1, so get over to the stadium for some baseball.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
Ninth-inning homer send Dallas Baptist by TCU
Star-Telegram

Dallas Baptists walks off with 9-7 victory
GoFrogs.com

Football:
Early rankings feature TCU, Boise State ESPN

TCU's Jeremy Kerley takes distinctive route to NFL Star-Telegram

Dalton, Ponder will not attend NFL draft in NYC
Star-Telegram

Could Cowboys have a shot at TCU's Andy Dalton Dallas Morning News

Edmonton signs former TCU and Stanford standouts
Box Score News

Monday, April 25, 2011

Matt Purke Update

Whenever you see your star pitcher's name in the same sentence as "Dr. James Andrews", it's usually not good news. So when the news came down in the early part of last week that Matt Purke was being shut down "indefinitely" and had an appointment with Alabama's most famous elbow mechanic, you had to start preparing yourself for the news that the Frogs' star lefty might be done for the season...and perhaps done with his TCU career.

But check out this tweet from Sirius XM College Sports:

TCU Head Baseball Coach Jim Schlossnagle says he is confident that Matt Purke will return this season, possibly in the next 2-3 weeks

Schloss was apparently on Mike Ferrin's College Baseball Show on Sirius-XM last night- so if anyone heard the interview, please share any other pertinent details with us in the comments section. I would think that they will touch on this subject in the pregame show for tonight's game on KTCU- so again, if you hear anything on there share it with us!

UNLV series recap

In their first weekend series since the news about Purke's injury came down, it was that same short-handed pitching staff that came up huge in a series sweep against UNLV which has pushed the Frogs' current winning streek to 7 games.

It was Kyle Winkler's turn first on Thursday night, and he continued the brilliant season he's been having so far by outpitching UNLV ace Tanner Peters and eating up all nine innings in a complete-game win. He was helped out by a three-run eighth inning, highlighted by doubles off the bats of Taylor Featherston and Kyle Von Tungeln.

Friday night it was up & down former closer Erik Miller, who's 2-6 record coming in was an illustration of his struggles, who took the mound. With Purke out indefinitely, Miller is one of the main guys who is going to have to step up and he did this weekend- striking out 9 batters in 7 strong innings of work to earn his third win of the season. Senior Steven Maxwell started Saturday afternoon and struck out 6 in 5 innings of work.

Another impressive stat is the bullpen's collective line for the weekend: 6 IP, 4 hits and ZERO RUNS. That included the usual suspects like Trent Appleby and Stefan Crichton- but also Kyle Starratt, Teddy Nowell and Nick Frey. If some of the guys in that latter group can gain some confidence and be able to give Schlossnagle another reliable option out of the 'pen in the postseason, that would be absolutely huge.

No time to sit and admire that 7-game win streak, though, as the Frogs are back with a pair of chances for payback tonight and tomorrow night. First it's a chance to redeem themselves against at Dallas Baptist, who beat TCU 4-3 back on March 1 at Lupton. Then it's a rematch against OU in Fort Worth on Tuesday. The Sooners pounded the Frogs, 13-6, up in Norman on April 12.

I typed this post out on Sunday afternoon, so if the pitching duties have already been announced by the time this goes up (when I'll be nowhere near a computer), just bear with me. I'm gonna guess that freshman Andrew Mitchell and his sterling 1.07 ERA will start one of the games- most likely against OU on Tuesday. As for the other, I would think it'd be a by-comittee type of thing, with Nick Frey and Kyle Starratt the most likely guys to start at DBU tonight.

Morning Dump

TCU basketball has a pulse...kind of Star-Telegram

That Easter meal apparently isn't ready to be released.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter surprise

The Frogs earned a commitment today from Arlington Bowie athlete Kolby Listenbee. Listenbee is a QB for the Volunteers and as you can see in the video he does a bit of punting as well. Word is that he has been told he will get a shot under center but will likely end up catching passes for the Frogs instead of throwing them. The 6 foot 170 pound athlete runs a 4.5 and chose the Frogs over a slew of offers from Big 12 schools including A&M, Kansas State, Arizona, Tech and OSU.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Eggs


Winkler outpitches this guy's sweet 'stache

Last night was a fairly disapointing, if not completely expectedly so, sports night for me. I mean honestly, you had to know that the Blazers would put up a fight and take Game 3 at the Rose Garden and I think we all knew all along that Johnathan Gray would pick UT*. That's why I was focusing more on the Frogs' game against UNLV and the second superb pitching showdown between Kyle Winkler and Rebels' ace Tanner Peters, who was apparently an extra in Deadwood.

If TCU is going to make another run in the postseason, it's going to be without Kaleb Merck and now possibly without Matt Purke. They're going to need some younger guys step up, but it starts at the top of the staff with Winkler, who's been nothing but outstanding this year.

Once the Frogs get to the conference tournament and the NCAA Regionals (and hopefully further), they are going to need someone that can eat up innings and outpitch other elite pitchers, which is exactly what Winkler did last night with a complete game with the equally-dominant Peters on the mound for UNLV. His performance not only gives the Frogs the series-opening victory that eluded them last time out against the Rebels- it also means the entire rest of the depleted TCU pitching staff is fresh with 4 games in the next 5 days...a scenario that will be a distinct possibility again in the postseason.

Erik Miller, who has personified this team's inconsistency so far this season, is slated to start tonight in Game 2 against UNLV. With Purke now gone, Miller is the pitcher this team needs to forget his early-season struggles the most and hurl some quality innings down the stretch. Hopefully tonight will be a turning point for him.


*-in all seriousness, though, I congratulate Gray on his choice and wish him nothing but the best in his college career. UT is a good school and Austin is a kick-ass city, so I'm sure he'll have a great time. It woulda been nice for the Frogs to get him, but I think we'll be alright.

Friendly Advice for Johnathan Gray.

Seriously, stay out of moving vehicles with this guy.

As a fan of college football, I want to be one of the first to offer Aledo's Johnathan Gray a HEARTY round of CONGRATULATIONS for hitching his cart to one of the most STORIED programs in all of college football, The UNIVERSITY of TEXAS. Even though you picked against the hometown TCU Horned Frogs, the only in state team with forward momentum AND unlimited upside, we at SpitBlood just want to demonstrate that there are no hard feelings by offering some sage words of advice for the four years you're going to waste in Austin. Did I say waste? I meant BLOSSOM.

First of all, buy PLENTY of Icy Hot and have a standing Sunday morning reservation on the trainers table because, for all their stars and accolades, those poor offensive linemen couldn't run block against Dallas' All-Girls Ursuline Academy. And they don't even have a football team! Just ask Fozzy Whittaker, Vondrell McGee and the battered assortment of other former top rated running backs who had their careers derailed because of that line fail. And Tre Newton! He actually had to QUIT football because his body was so destroyed by missed blocks and a complete absence of second level blocking. I by no means intend that comment to suggest that I wish harm on Gray. Far from it as, after watching last year's 5-7 campaign, I'm genuinely kind of worried for his safety.

Secondly, if any current or former Longhorn football players call and ask if you want to hit the town, remember to input the name and telephone number of your preferred bail bondsman and legal counsel because chances are you're gonna need it! Most UT athletes haven't met a car they aren't willing to drive drunk, a police officer they aren't afraid to disrespect, or a stranger they aren't willing to assault, almost always resulting in a night of lockup. And while I think you have a better head on your shoulders than just about anyone else on that team, seeing as how you chose UT as your preferred college football destination, I have to apply the scrutiny that comes with it. Here's a handy dandy guide of the upstanding citizens who have worn the longhorn on their temple

Third, when you undoubtedly make it to the NFL, hire a financial advisor whom you trust to invest that first paycheck well, because if history proves true your second one may not be quite as lucrative. Did you see the Ricky Williams 30 for 30 special on ESPN? He was just as highly touted, if not more so, than you currently are coming out of high school, won a Heisman and was a top pick in the NFL draft. Now? He's a family neglecting pot head who gave up the dream to become a holistic medicines expert and masseuse and is mostly remembered for derailing the entire New Orleans Saints organization for a decade and quitting the NFL so he could smoke dope. Sure, he's seen the field with the Toronto Argonauts and the Miami Dolphins, but he doesn't do it because he loves the game, he does it because he's broke. And Cedric Benson! WOW! His story is shockingly similar to yours - Texas high school football legend who was seemingly unstoppable at that level who then translated that success to college football... and then hopefully this will be where your stories diverge, because Benson went from first round draft pick to playing on a minimal salary in CINCINNATI of all places! And you know when you wind up in Cincy you're officially at the end of your NFL rope. Sort of like Williams, Benson decided he enjoyed his extra curricular vices more than he enjoyed contributing to his team, such as driving while intoxicated, a favorite pastime of his trumped only by his all time #1, BOATING while intoxicated! These two are the product of the enabling environment you'll encounter under the Mack Brown regime where anything goes as long as you're helping contribute to that $5 million annual salary! See what you have to look forward to?!

Fourth, when you see Coach Brown do that thing where he flips up his headset, drops his hands to his knees and tightens his lips into that sour smirk after a fumble, don't be afraid - he'll get over it as long as you're putting butts in those seats! Of course, with one of the more fickle fan bases in the country, there's no guarantee that those 100K+ seats are going to be filled week to week, as thoroughly demonstrated by last year's Iowa State debacle where fans were practically begged to attend the games and still refused. It's one of the main issues when your fan base is determined by the most rolled back price on merchandise at Wal Mart that week. But back to Mack - he's really a big ole softie! I mean, Greg Davis was employed YEARS past his prime because Mack was just such a nice guy, and did you SEE what his son in law did in the Holiday Bowl? What a big dumb boner! The fact that Garrett Gilbert is even allowed to compete for the starting position this year says a lot about his integrity to his word. You should do just fine...

Except, OH WAIT - I have a fifth point, which coincides with the 5 stars on RB Malcolm Brown's chest, who was Johnathan Gray before Mack even knew who Johnathan Gray was! And he's going to have a full year of starts under his belt before you even set foot on campus! And, just as Mack told you, I guarantee he told young Malcolm that he only has eyes for him and that he's the future of football at the University of Texas. This raises a dilemma- how can HE be the future if YOU'RE the future as well? Well, just ask poor Chris Whaley, who was Johnthan Gray and Malcolm Brown before either of you were the apples of Mack's eye. I hear he's doing well on the bench and looking more like a linebacker or fullback these days.

Continuing our numbers game, my sixth word of advice pertains to 6th street, or as I like to call it, Herpesville. Oh, it's a glamorous place for a 18 year old football star - bright lights, loud music, vomit on the sidewalks. It's a lot like the French Quarter, except without the history, character and Lucky Dogs. And the women! Oh, the women! Fresh faced and scantily clad, they probably haven't even had their first experience at a fraternity foam party, or as I like to call them, Herpesland. Seriously, 6th street sounds like a great idea... until you realize it's mostly the dregs of Austin and you can't look twice at any particular woman without getting a knuckle sandwich from a guy from San Marcos wearing an Affliction T shirt. Once you wise up and realize its the hidden gems of Austin, like Donn's Depot or Deep Eddy, that make it so unique, I know a few guys you can call.

I could go on and on, but it's Good Friday and it's time to relax so I'll cut it short. But seriously Johnathan, good luck at the next level, we all wish you well and appreciate the understated way your handled your recruitment. I realize the myriad of reasons why you chose UT. I mean, if it came to competing with the likes of McGee and Whittaker or Ed Wesley, Dwight Smith, Matthew Tucker and Waymon James, 99% of recruits would choose the path you did. We would've loved to have added you to the mix, but we won a Rose Bowl without any 5 stars, and we'll continue to win without them. Meantime, I'll just put these LaDarius Anthony highlights on repeat as a primer for signing day 2012. I hope you can talk your cowardly future athletic department into a rematch with the Frogs one of these days so we can definitively see if you made the correct decision.

But seriously - if you're at Lake Travis and Cedric Benson tosses you a line, swim away. Swim away as fast as you can.



Morning Dump

Baseball:
Winkler, TCU overcome UNLV 4-1
Star-Telegram

Winkler leads TCU to 4-1 victory over UNLV
GoFrogs.com

Football:
Schefter: Dalton, Ponder both likely to go in the first round
NBC Sports Pro Football Talk

Aledo's Johnathan Gray chooses Texas over TCU and Texas A&M
Star-Telegram

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TCU-UNLV series #2 preview

This picture is fitting because the Rebels ARE leaving Las Vegas, and because...Easter is a drinking holiday?

The Frogs- and Kyle Winkler- will get a chance to avenge one of their most painful losses of the season this weekend as UNLV comes to town for a second three-game series between the two teams. TCU did win the series in Las Vegas, but you know they've got a bad taste in their mouths from UNLV's 5-4 win in the opener of that set on March 18th, when Brandon Bayardi took Wink deep on a 2-2 count in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win.

Any loss, and especially one on a walk-off home run, is painful. But one of the most frustrating parts of that particular L is that Winkler had actually outpitched UNLV ace Tanner Peters and the Frogs should've earned a sweep in a series that they otherwise dominated. It'll be Winkler v. Peters II tonight at Lupton, and it's hard to tell who's having a better year:

Winkler: 6-1, 1.42 ERA, 69 K's to 11 walks and an opponents' average of .189

Peters: 6-2, 1.40 ERA, 72 K's to 15 walks and an opponents' average of .192

Translation? There probably won't be a whole lot of runs scored this evening. That likely will not be the case on Friday and Saturday, though, because of the offensive prowess of both teams. TCU is now batting .306 as a team, and it'll be fun to see if Jason Coats can continue his offensive resurgence. Coats now has his average back up above .300 and has been on a tear the past few weeks. The Rebels are hitting .308 as a team, and are led by the afore-mentioned Bayardi, who leads UNLV with 10 home runs, 38 RBI and is one of four regulars hitting .326 or better.

Since these two teams played eachother, the Frogs have gone 14-4 while the Rebels have played .500 ball at 8-8, although they did beat Baylor in Waco on Tuesday. UNLV is now 25-14 overall with an RPI of #76, so winning all three against them would go a long way in helping the Frogs' prepare their postseason resume.

J Gray Day is Nigh Upon Us...


Watch. Drool. Repeat.

After a fabricated cash grab, plenty of misdirection and the highest volume of time spent by older men watching videos of an 18 year old on the internet, non-pornographic category, - although J Gray's 8 TD performance in the state title game may fall into the category of "torture porn" - in 24 hours the chase of the century will be all but over. Sure, verbal commitments are anything but binding, as we're well aware, but with all the painstaking efforts Gray has taken to keep his commitment under wraps, I have a feeling we can hold him to his word no matter what he says tomorrow. For those of you who are unaware, Gray long ago set tomorrow, April 22nd, at 9:10AM as the specific moment in time when he would determine who has the biggest recruiting balls between UT, TCU and aggy, although it sounds more and more like aggy is out of the picture at this point. Which is why they took to spreading the pay for play rumors in the first place, an absolutely iron clad recruiting tactic if there ever was one. And they wonder why they've been surpassed by even Texas Tech in their own conference in recent years. (PLEASE hire them away, SEC. The reality check would be epic.)

However, word is now that Gray will be contacting the coach of the school he chooses this afternoon, his decision will be announced at midnight tonight and the aforementioned 9:10AM time slot tomorrow morning will simply be a media Q&A session, likely dominated by either UT or TCU related types. If he decides to go to UT, we can only hope a scruffy and inebriated Stefan Stephenson or Jeremy Clark/Jeremiah Glenn wander into the fray to throw their shoes at him, ala George Bush in Iraq.

I think the most interesting thing about Gray's recruitment is the absolute secrecy with which it has been executed. With the advent of sites like Rivals and Scout, along with the zillions of program-specific blogs that have sprung up since the millennium and the overly obsessive male adults that frequent them, even the most tight lipped recruits have more or less had their hands tipped prior to decision time due to the sheer onslaught of folks following the story. This is especially true in a state like Texas where the highest profile recruits typically choose between OU, LSU or Texas as early as their junior years with the real recruiting battles not even beginning until they've taken their cuts of the pie.

But Gray has been different - he said he wasn't going to announce his decision to anyone prior to April 22, and by god he hasn't. Word is his parents do not even know where he will be playing college ball next year, a decision that has surely kept Momma Gray up late at night. It's rare that a recruit as highly touted as Johnathan Gray - the first 5 Star recruit Rivals named for the 2012 class - keeps things this close to the vest without even hinting at playing the field. Even rarer, for them to not hold out for signing day or even after as we've seen happen recently with prima donnas like Terrelle Pryor. Gray narrowed his list to three schools early in the process and didn't waver. For folks who long for the days of recruits simply announcing their decision without teasing half a dozen schools and putting on a big show, Gray is about as close as you are going to get.

So the big question is, who is the genuine favorite in the race? History would suggest that Gray is simply giving respect to the hometown team by flirting with TCU for this long and is stringing us along until he stabs his Horns right through our hearts. This seems to be the thought processing of message board with "connections" to "people who knows things." But I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss our chances. For one, for a guy who has no intention of debating his decision, he sure has spent a lot of time on our campus hasn't he? I never got confirmation if he attended the Spring Game or not, but he came to multiple practices and has spoken highly of TCU throughout the entire process. Furthermore, his parents apparently absolutely love TCU - I think proximity plays a KEY role here - and thoughts are if it were up to mom and dad, he'd be in our win column on Rivals yesterday. Responsibly though, his parents are bucking the current trend of parents running the entire recruiting show in order to make the best decision for their pockets and not their child and are letting him commit on his own. No matter what happens, you can't say the Gray's haven't done this the right way.

I genuinely have no idea where he is going to pick. Everyone is trying to pick their own angle - I even saw someone suggest that since he has more current UT player friends on Facebook than TCU that is where he is going - so you can really spin it how you will. The pessimist in me says he's going to be in Austin as 18 year olds find 110,000 fair weather fans and 6th street pretty hard to resist. Just think back to when you were 18, because if you were picking your college based on 6th street or the Aardvark, you'd never give TCU a second glance. Not that Gray is doing so, but you see my point.

But at the same time, if he was just going to sign with Mack Brown, why drag it out? It's not like anyone would blame him for that decision since Mack almost always gets his man anyway. I think he is genuinely torn. And who wouldn't be? When showcasing your talents for the pros is at least a peripheral motivation for any top tier college athlete, you'd be foolish to rush your decision when one of your pursuers just signed the #1 player at your own position the year before and completely overhauled their offensive staff to boot.

The bright lights and highest of the high profile of UT would speak to any recruit, but deep down Gray has to have some sort of questions about the current trajectory of the program. I'm not suggesting UT is about to turn into Baylor or anything, but I think they have a year or two of growing pains to endure before they hit their stride once again, something that would plague any program hiring new offensive and defensive coordinators in the same off season. You have to think he looks at TCU and sees a program on the up and up having come off a major Bowl win, making the jump to a better conference and with a stable staff situation at the highest levels. Ever since Gary Patterson set foot on campus, TCU has been on a steady rise. After the events of last year, a National Championship is seriously in the picture and any recruit should understand that they have just as good of a chance at getting one of those big, knock you out rings in Fort Worth as anywhere, if not better. I'm not sure if we're the true front runner at this point, but I truly think we are just as in the picture as UT.

In the end, Gray will make the decision that is best for him, which is what he needs to do. No matter how much we stamp our feet that he'd be better off in Fort Worth, -he would, of course, but that's not for us to say - we can't make the decision for him. People say that signing Gray would "transform" our program or "take us to an entirely new tier," but aren't we kind of, you know, already there? Ten years ago did you think you'd see the day when TCU would go toe to toe with the University of Texas for potentially the top overall recruit in the country? It's pretty incredible to think about and, even if it doesn't work out, has to have opened eyes and doors around the state that would have been closed to us a couple of years ago. It's been a lot of fun to follow. I just hope the ending is as satisfying as the beginning.

TCU Pitching Staff Speculation

Deliver some good news for a change, mmk Jimmy?


Well, after the potentially devastating news about Matt Purke's shoulder troubles and his visit to the dreaded Dr. James Andrews today (has that guy EVER delivered good news?), clearly the TCU pitching staff has some adjustments to make. I've mentioned in previous posts that the lack of depth in the rotation is a serious concern, and obviously this make things much, much more troubling for a staff that outside of 4 or 5 guys has been woefully inconsistent this season. So I'll do my best to speculate what I think could potentially happen with 5 games in the next 6 days, including a HUGE mid-week rematch against the Sooners. I'm far from an expert on the issue, but I'll give my guess as to how we handle these next few games and potentially the long run without ace Matt Purke in his Saturday spot.

Andrew Mitchell's performance last night couldn't have come at a better time and in a bigger game, but unfortunately by throwing nearly 90 pitches last night, I wouldn't expect to see him this weekend at all. He's a freshman and we do not want to overextend a young pitcher who should be the ace of this staff for the next couple seasons. Since the UNLV series is being played Thursday, Friday, Saturday (great timing, Easter), that kind of screws up the ability to move Steven Maxwell up a day in the rotation, since now it would become 2 days, so expect him to stay at the back end of the weekend rotation. The real question is who do we go to on Friday? I'd guess we go back to the dreaded Erik Miller, since he will be the freshest of the remaining arms we have, but Stefan Crichton could also fill that void, however, it appears that he is assuming the closer's role (for now).

*Weekend rotation just announced- Winkler Thursday, Miller Friday, Maxwell Saturday.

The Frogs will have Sunday off before a rematch against Dallas Baptist in Dallas, a team that already beat TCU this season and has been a thorn in their side for the past few years. Obviously, you'd like to have someone throwing here with experience and a track record of success, but really our options become very, very limited with the much more important game v. OU at Lupton Stadium the following night. Crichton started against them in the first outing and allowed 0 earned over 4.1 innings, and I think he's the likely candidate to start that game again unless he gets overextended out of the bullpen this weekend, which is a definite possibility with Miller going Friday. Also, don't rule out a return appearance from rarely used freshman Nick Frey, who had an impressive start against UT Pan American, but a not so impressive second outing in relief against OU. Another wildcard option is highly touted freshman Tony Rizzotti, who has only appeared in 4 games and his numbers are far from impressive, but beggars can't be choosers when we are in the situation we are in.

The Tuesday night contest against OU will be another start for Andrew Mitchell, who has become as reliable as anyone on our staff this season, although his 1 inning, 3 run relief appearance against OU a couple weeks ago was by far his worst outing of the season. Hopefully he turns it around this time and keeps the OU bats silent and we get the win. Assuming Purke is out for an extended period of time (which I do assume, since he's seeing James Andrews), Mitchell will eventually have to work his way into the weekend rotation because I don't think Erik Miller is a guy we can trust there right now. Maybe the "promotion" will actually help Miller, but that's wishful thinking. I don't know how we'll be able to transition Mitchell into the Saturday or Sunday starter, but I think it's inevitable and needs to be done to give this team it's best chance to win conference games and weekend series'.

Another guy who could become a key contributor and huge factor in saving some arms is reliever Trent Appleby. Appleby has been solid all year, and pretty much his whole career at TCU, so he is going to be expected to be able to work a few innings on several occasions when we are in tight spots. Let's hope he can continue to stymie hitters with his wacky sidearm delivery, heavy sinking fastball, and slow breaking slider. Other guys that will need to step their game up out of the bullpen and get outs for us at times will be Kyle Starratt, Teddy Nowell, and Tyler Duffie, 3 guys who pitched a little bit earlier in the season but have fallen to the back of the bullpen lately. Starratt has 1 start under his belt this year, so don't rule him out for a potential weekday start as well. Nowell, who has a 13.50 era in only 2.2 innings pitched this year, now becomes the only lefty we have on our pitching staff. Not. Good.

Hopefully as I'm writing this whole breakdown of our pitching staff, someone like Stefan Stevenson is breaking in with news that Purke has tendinitis and will be out for 2 weeks or so, but like I've mentioned several times, I'm very skeptical of the visit to Dr. James Andrews, and don't think that bodes well for Purke. Honestly I don't know how the rotation will shake out, but let's hope that the young arms continue to pitch as well as they have been and that someone emerges late in the season out of the bullpen to eat some quality innings.

Morning Dump

Baseball:
TCU begins busy stretch; hosts UNLV starting Thursday
GoFrogs.com

Matt Purke's deal went bad, and now his shoulder hurts
USA Today

Football:
Wesley receives national notice
GoFrogs.com

TCU product Dalton's draft stock climbs
Star-Telegram

Red hair a flag for Andy Dalton?
NBC Sports-Pro Football Talk

Basketball:
Ryan Rhoomes talks TCU commitment
Sport DFW

Nate Butler's commitment adds to TCU's size and athleticism
Sport DFW

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sour Grapes- Texas A&M Baseball Edition

Much like famed Fatback Javorskie Lane, Aggie fans are crybabies too.

While all the quidditch talk has been fun, and we know that inevitably it will take over TCU as the preeminent "sport" on campus (I hear they are about to offer Coach P the big bucks to take over their squad, and by big bucks I mean a bag of magic beans, a book of spells, and an assortment of different potions), we did play a pretty important baseball game last night. During my free time yesterday, I went over to texags.com and tried to stir the pot a little, respectfully of course, only to rediscover what I already knew but had forgotten- that Aggies are the most brain dead, delusional fanbase in the history of sports. So I'll share with you a few nuggets they left for me to marvel at yesterday, as well as a few from the aftermath of us beating them down in College Station. I'll break this down into pregame and post game sections, to make it a little easier.

Pregame:

Let's not forget the conferences that teams like TCU and Rice play in. They can save pitchers for big time Tuesday night matchups. We have to throw our best pitchers every weekend just to win the series. Should be a very good game tonight.

Andrew Mitchell is not a typical weekend nor weekday starter this season, so we clearly didn't save our ptcher for a big time Tuesday matchup. We beat you with our closer starting. Deal with it.

TCU followed Rice's formula to success. Play all your important games in February and then fatten up on conference tomato cans on the weekends. It's an easier and emptier path to success no doubt.

and of course TCU's success last year was strictly due to an amazing stroke of luck in getting a 1st round MLB draft pick (a pitcher no less) to campus. In the last 20 years the odds of that happening are very very slim.

Ironically TCU got to see how the other half lives (so to speak) when UCLA's rare 1st round pick (that made it to campus) beat them in the CWS.

So, if following Rice's "easier and emptier path to success" gets us several trips to Omaha and a national championship, I guess I'll take it. I also believe this guy is trying to talk shit about us losing in the semifinals in Omaha. You can't really do that when you get knocked out in the regionals, can you? What's next- Rose Bowl smack??

When was the last time TCU won a national title in.... anything? Seriously, Froggies... Come on, now. And yeah, you've made it to Omaha once. I guess that means you're a stellar athletic program, huh? Looks like that MWC thing is really working out for ya! Oh wait, you're leaving because you realize that you're irrelevant and no matter what you do (go undefeated against a really soft schedule save one team who was battered and bruised by the time bowl season came around, etc.), you won't be in title contention

Yep. Rose Bowl smack. And did this poster really just try to scoreboard TCU's athletic success by piggybacking on a woman's basketball national championship? Wow, since fringe sports count, quidditch team- we need you to step up and bring home a title so I have some ammo to defend of fledging athletic's programs with. And to answer this poster's questions- 2 riflery championships in the past 2 years, and we've been to 2 straight BCS games, 2 straight super regionals and our trip to Omaha, so yes, I'd say that means we have a stellar athletic program. The MWC thing is working out better for us than the Big 12 is working for you, clearly.

P.S.- You're only making it worse. I really didn't care a whole lot about tonight's game. I was gonna just do my thing and sit back and watch a Top 10 match up tonight. Now, I'm bringing it all. No mercy now...

Wow. No mercy, huh? How'd that work out for ya? Good thing they left that game changer in the stands and didn't give him a jersey. He sounds intimidating.

Tcu people are like Baylor in a way. They taste a little success and proclaim they are the greatest in all sports. Our baseball team isnt a world beater but neither is TCU until what the last 2 yrs? Basketball?? Does TCU have a team? Football? Congrats, freaking Suckchione could have taken us to bowl games in the MWC and he's a cancer to programs.

This one was by far my personal favorite, so I'll wrap up the pregame stuff with it, although there is plenty, plenty more. We are like Baylor??? I guess I can see it, since Baylor has 2 BCS games, a Rose Bowl win under their belt, and didn't get eliminated by TCU in the regionals in Fort Worth last year, right? And if Franchione is such a "cancer" to programs, why is TCU thriving so much right now? He may have set your weak football program back a decade or so, but we have moved forward and continue to since he left. Typical Aggies, when things aren't right, blame someone else. Maybe the "cancer" to your program is the fact that it's in College Station, TX and no teenage kid in their right mind would want to live there (unless they have a goat fetish).

Post Game

Alright so on second thought, there are over 600 replies in their game thread, and most of them are just bitching about the inability for the Aggies to hit the ball and griping at their head coach for making poor managerial decisions all game, and not so much dogging TCU. There are several butt-hurt Aggie comments claiming that we had to pitch our best pitcher to beat them, which if they had any knowledge of TCU baseball at all, they would realize that this has been Mitchell's role for most of the season with the previous 2 weeks being the exception. There are a few comments similar to this one:

But oh well, playing a soft schedule allows you to save pitchers for Tuesday games against teams who are playing against stiff competition during the weekends. Like what happened tonight. Congrats on starting your closer to beat our #4 pitcher who was 1-3.

Where to begin. I wouldn't say pitching a guy on Tuesday who has been pitching Tuesday the majority of the season is exactly saving them for Tuesday games, is it? He pitched last Tuesday and also this weekend, so he wasn't exactly being saved and shelved all weekend. And quit bitching about using your #4 pitcher who is 1-3 and us beating him. We pitched Erik Miller, who is arguably our #6 pitcher against OU, and he is currently 1-6. Oh, and I'd like to commend Erik Miller on coming in with a runner on 3rd in the 8th and getting a key game saving out. Well done. I guess the real tragedy for the Aggies is that their "#4 pitcher" is 1-4. Andrew Mitchell and Stefan Crichton would be our 4-5 guys, and they're much better than that. I guess that's why we win regionals.

So that's pretty much the gist of it all, but if you wanna go stir the pot some more and see if the Aggies are still butt hurt in the morning, then feel free to head over to texags.com and see what you can do. However, most of them are probably still asleep because they drank their sorrows away at the Dixie Chicken until browning out and then went home with a farm animal.