Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When will Carpenter get the call?

Former Horned Frog Matt Carpenter was one of the big stories coming out of the St. Louis Cardinals' spring training camp, where he nearly won a spot on the big-league squad before ultimately being assigned to Triple-A Memphis. A little more than a month into the 2011 season, the Cards are hoping that they can hold off the Brewers and Reds in the NL Central despite inconsistent play at third base while Carpenter continues to hit (and almost as importantly- draw walks) at AAA. Roger Hensley of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently wondered- along with some other Cardinals' experts- why not give Carpenter a shot by calling him up?

Golf Tournament Signup Drawing

We are seven weeks out from the 2nd Spitblood golf tournament on July 23 at Whitestone. We are going to do a little incentive to try and speed up the sign up process. The first 60 people who sign up for the tournament and pay will have their names put into a drawing for a prize at the tournament. We already have a number of teams signed up, so move quickly to get your name in the hat. The prize will not be announced till the drawing but look at the prizes last year and just imagine what it could be.

So get your teams together and sign up. The link is on the right side of the blog. Same as last year, $100 per person, per team. The faster people sign up then the easier it will be to get the prizes and possibly line up a beer sponsor. Do it. Do it.

Title TBA pending end of hysterical laughing fit

Ohio State president and shabbily-disguised popcorn magnate Gordon Gee is probably very-much looking forward to the day when he can finally wipe the last of the egg from his face regarding his "Little Sister's of the Poor" comments about TCU, but that doesn't look like it will be any time soon.

Since even before the Frogs beat Big Ten champ Wisconsin for all of the Little Sisters of the Poor out there, the mirage of a clean program at Ohio State has steadily dissipated to the point that Buckeyes' coach Jim Tressel resigned yesterday morning. Perhaps, Gordon, you should've been more focused on the rampant cheating going on right under your nose than, say, how badly TCU was beating up on Wyoming.

Some out there might be thinking that maybe we shouldn't be laughing at the misfortune of Ohio State- after all, the Buckeye program has the prestige and money to lure just about any coach they want to Columbus...even Gary Patterson. You might have a point, but I really doubt GP wants to step into the fallout there...especially with more allegations apparently on the way with this week's Sports Illustrated.

Another possibility that might worry TCU fans is that two potential candidates for the Ohio State job- Ohio natives Bo Pellini and Bob Stoops- are currently at programs that might be more a more realistic destination for Patterson. But hen again, with the looming threat of the NCAA hammer coming down in Columbus, do either of those guys want leave what they've got to go there?

So is this a temporary setback for an overrated program, or another nail in the rust belt coffin? I guess we won't know for years to come, but for now it's fun to laugh as the O'Doyles have driven over the banana peel after cheating their way to just one national title that really should've belonged to Miami.

Post-Memorial Day Morning Dump


Frogs host familiar foes at Fort Worth Regional Star-Telegram

TCU to host third straight regional Sport DFW

Seven Texas schools make NCAA field ESPN

Sooners know regional foes well Tulsa World

Dallas Baptist glad to return to baseball regionals Dallas Morning News


Summer Stock: TCU ESPN (Insider)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Fort Worth Regional field set

The field for the third NCAA Fort Worth Regional in three years is set, as the Frogs will host three teams that they faced in the regular season. Oklahoma, Dallas Baptist and Oral Roberts will invade Lupton Stadium to try to prevent TCU from winning this round on their home field three years in a row.

Redemption will be a major theme of the tournament for TCU, as the Frogs went a combined 1-4 against these teams- including 0-2 each against OU and DBU. Game 1 of the tournament is Friday at 2:00pm between the Sooners and Patriots, then TCU plays Oral Roberts at 7:00pm.

Should TCU make it past this round, there will not be a third consecutive trip to Austin for the Super Regionals. The winner of the Fort Worth Regional will take on the winner of the Houston Regional, being hosted by overall national #8 seed Rice. If Rice is the winner of that regional, they will host next weekend as well. So if you're a TCU fan, you should be rooting for Baylor, Alcorn State or Cal (playing their last season of baseball) to upset the Owls so that TCU can host the Super Regional. Check out the entire bracket here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

NCAA Regionals coming back to Fort Worth

In the end, the Frogs' failure to win the MWC Tournament did not end up revoking their right to host an NCAA Regional as it was announced today that they will host for the third consecutive year. Joining TCU as regional hosts are former SWC rivals Texas, Texas A&M and Rice- giving the state exactly one-quarter of the action next weekend.

We will find out tomorrow what other teams will be playing at Lupton as well as where the Fort Worth Regional fits into the national bracket. The announcement will be on ESPN at 11:30am and the team has invited fans to watch with them before a special edition of the Jim Schlossnagle Radio Show at 1:00pm live from Buffalo Brothers.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Frogs fall to New Mexico, await NCAA's judgement

Last night's action at the MWC Baseball Tournament showed why you need to avoid falling into the loser's bracket. The Frogs, after eliminating Utah 14-1 earlier in the evening, simply ran out of gas in a 4-2 loss to New Mexico late last night. As we've done throughout this tournament, we'll outsource the analysis to hornedfrogsports.com.

I guess congratulations are in order for the Lobos, who unpredictably now find themselves with a ticket punched to the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 20-39. Baylor QB Robert Griffin might call their run to the MWC Tournament title a fluke, but I think whatever #1 seed plays them in the opening game next weekend better be ready for a fight.

As for the Frogs, you have to wonder if their losses in San Diego will cost them the chance to host an NCAA Regional next weekend. Their RPI, according to Boyd's World, has dropped to #19. Aaron Fitt, the main college baseball writer for Baseball America, said through his twitter feed that he still thinks TCU will be chosen to host. We'll let you know when we hear anything on the matter.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Frogs may play two tonight

TCU got off to a good start on the long road out of the loser's bracket by elimintating BYU last night, 12-5. As we did yesterday, we'll leave the recap to hornedfrogsports.com- but in short, the Frogs committed zero errors (after committing four in their loss to New Mexico) and got seven innings of work out of Andrew Mitchell before Teddy Nowell converted a two-inning save. One of our readers brought up the fact that this game might've been the final competition for BYU as a member of the Mountain West. That might be true, but then again their softball team might still be going or something. Googling "BYU softball" is not very high on my list of priorities, though, so we'll just assume they're gone.

Next up is another elimination game, this time against #2 seed Utah at 5:00pm Fort Worth time this evening. The Utes lost to New Mexico last night, 6-5, meaning that the #6 seed Lobos (just 19-39 overall this year) are now in the catbird seat. The winner of the TCU-Utah game will face UNM at 9:00pm tonight, then again tomorrow at 3:00pm if they're victorious in that one.

The big question for TCU going into a stretch of what could be 27 innings of baseball in just over 24 hours is...will Steven Maxwell pitch? Trying to win a tournament coming out of the loser's bracket is always a challenge to any pitching staff, but it's especially tough on a staff without it's #1 starter. Having Maxwell join Kyle Winkler on the shelf for the weekend would only make the situation harder- putting a heavy burden on Erik Miller, Nick Frey and Kyle Starratt to get the job done while calling on help from the bullpen as little as possible.

Morning Dump

Hot hitting carries Frogs past BYU Star Telegram

'Embarrassing day' led TCU to opening loss, coach says Star Telegram

TCU ends Cougars’ baseball season Salt Lake Tribune


Rick Pitino Talks TCU and The Big East Star Telegram

Big East:

Marinatto Q&A Part I: Talking Big East TV rights, expansion CBS Sports


Gipson Leaps Into NCAA Championship Finals Thursday Go Frogs

Get your teams ready for the 2nd Annual Spitblood Scramble on July 23rd at Whitestone Golf Course. Click on the tournament logo on the sidebar to pay your entry fee, or click here. $100 per player, all proceeds go to Purple People Seaters. The girls below may or may not be included. Email your teams to the thefinch@spitbloodtcu.com .

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TCU vs. BYU @ 5:00pm

Take these guys with you on your afternoon commute by listening to KTCU

San Diego State, coached by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, was unceremoniously dismissed from the MWC Tournament they are hosting this afternoon when BYU beat them 8-2. The Cougars don't have time to rest, though, as they'll have to turn around and fight for their season to continue against TCU in about 40 minutes.

To help you keep up with the goings-on at the double-elimnation tournament, here is the master schedule as well as the bracket. You can check on the status of the entire tournament on twitter by following @TheMWCOlySports, or just the TCU games by following @FollowtheFrogs or @TCU_Baseball. All of the games are being televised live on both The Mtn and CBS-College Sports, and all of the TCU games are on KTCU.

If you're wondering "why is he repeating all of that information?", it's because you wouldn't believe how many people have asked since I posted it earlier today...and yesterday...and before just about every game this season...

Can Kurt Thomas buy the Mavs some rest?

First of all, I want to apologize to the non-Mavericks fans amongst the readers and contributors of Spit Blood. Everywhere you look or listen in the Metroplex right now, it's Mavs this & Mavs that- and having grown up in Austin, I know how annoying it can be to hear way too much about a team you don't care about. I fully understand that those of you looking for a respite from the hoopla surrounding Dallas' return to the NBA Finals should be able to count on a TCU blog for that.

But even if you're not hoping for the two extra days of rest for Jason Kidd's knees that a Bulls' win in Game 5 tonight would provide as much as I am, surely you will be cheering for the last remaining Horned Frog in the NBA (and let's face it- with a possible lockout looming, Thomas turning 39 in October and the current state of Frog hoops- tonight could be the last NBA game played by a TCU alum for quite a while) against the Miami Idiocracy...I mean Heat.

Thomas hasn't played yet in the Bulls' series against Miami, but that will change tonight as he's set to take over the minutes of Omar Asik, who's out with a broken leg. Chicago head coach (and former Boston assistant) Tom Thibodeau hopes that Thomas can take over the role that PJ Brown played in the Celtics' seven-game defeat of the Lebron-led Cavaliers in the 2008 playoffs. And he's done it before, when he filled in for the injured Andrew Bogut and helped Milwaukee push Atlanta to seven games in the first round last year.

Frogs to take on BYU or SDSU at 5:00pm

In a season riddled with bumps in the road, we couldn't really expect a smooth ride all the way to Omaha, could we? Maybe not, but I don't think many of us expected the Frogs to lose their opening game in San Diego to the lowest seed in the MWC Tournament. I'm generally in a pretty grumpy mood after a defeat, so I'll let David Peterson of hornedfrogsports.com have the honors of dissecting last night's 4-3 loss to New Mexico.

TCU has won the MWC Tournament after having lost a game in it before, in 2008, but that loss came a round later than this one. The Frogs will now need to win 4 consecutive games- in 3 days- to claim the trophy. That's a tall task, one that the 2009 team was not up to after dropping their first game in that year's tournament (in Fort Worth) to Utah. They were able to win their first game in the loser's bracket, but succumbed in the next game, again to the Utes- who ended up winning the tournament to stamp their ticket to the NCAAs. It should be noted, though, that not winning the conference tournament that year did not keep TCU from hosting an NCAA Regional.

First up in the long road back to the conference tournament title is taking on either BYU or San Diego State this afternoon at 5:00pm Fort Worth time. The Cougars and Aztecs play in an elimination game this afternoon at 1:00pm. Freshman Andrew Mitchell will be on the mound for TCU, and will be counted on to eat up as many innings as he can given the possibility that the team could be playing 36 innings (or even more if a game goes to extras) in the next 72 hours.

To keep your head straight in the confusion that a double-elimination format can sometimes create, here are links to the full tournament schedule as well as the bracket. The schedule link ought to contain a link to the gametracker and/or live audio of the BYU-SDSU game at 1:00pm, but you can also keep tabs with the action on twitter by following @TheMWCOlySports. The TCU game at 5:00pm can be heard on 88.7 FM if you're in or near Fort Worth, or online at ktcu.net. All of these games are being televised live on The Mtn and CBS-College Sports, for those of you who are at home.

Morning Dump


Frogs in do-or-die mode after tournament-opening loss Star-Telegram

Errors prove costly in 4-3 loss to New Mexico gofrogs.com


TCU football among national leaders in Academic Progress Rate gofrogs.com

Athletic Department:

Notes on a scorecard gofrogs.com

Big East:

Army, Navy might hold key to Big East football expansion CBS Sports

For Big East, where is this all leading? Boston Globe

College football divide might be coming, but which leagues will conquer? CBS Sports

The Big East must expand or die WRTA-AM Altoona, PA

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let the countdown begin

Exactly 100 days from today, TCU will kick off their 2011 football season against Baylor down in Waco. That means if you had a dollar for every day you'll have to wait to see Horned Frog football from today going forward, you'd almost have enough to buy a single nosebleed seat to tonight's Game 5 between the Mavs and Thunder (trust me, I've been looking).

Hopefully the baseball team will keep us entertained well into June like they did last year, because at 7:00pm tonight we'll have just over 8.6 million seconds to kill. That may sound like a lot, but consider that you'll spend about:

-2.8 million of those sleeping
-2.6 million at work
-220,000 driving to and from work
-14,000 at the Spit Blood Scramble on July 23rd
-5,400 driving to Waco for the game

...leaving just under 3 million seconds to spend playing quidditch or videotaping yourself hugging people in the library or whatever else people are doing for fun these days. Either way, it's going to take forever to get there.

Baylor's Latest Criminal Activity Will Leave a Real Sour Taste in Your Mouth.

I've never cared much for our hand signal
but at least there's one that's worse.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with typical life cycle of a Baylor, it more or less goes as follows: You willingly pay money to move to Waco, Texas for four of the most monumentally important years of your life, you put on one of those goofy Baylor Line jerseys in the picture above and watch your shitty football team play to their descriptor, you don't have fun in college but afterwards tell everyone you do and close it out by getting married before graduation and pumping out a few kids before pondering divorce by 30 because your blissful union is failing. It's a harsh reality, yes, but it's true. However, every now and again someone slips through the cracks, either because they didn't realize the miserable lifestyle they signed up for and are trying to buck the trend, or because they realize only a moron would get married before they're 25. In either case, these folks are pushed to the fringes of Baylor society. As an outsider, you might think, "Well, hey, at least someone is trying to make some changes around there! I mean, it's not like Waco has ever had any fringe outsiders go off the rails or anything. Just ask Janet Reno!" However, in this particular case, being an outsider clearly showed its drawbacks.

Which brings us to the story of particularly promiscuous Baylor student Robert Cole who has been so far removed from the norm that I'm not sure counseling and Dave Bliss can get him off the hook for his actions. Well, maybe Bliss.

Picture the scene: You're at a college party. There are girls there. Said girls are getting drunk -but drunker than a normal college girl because Baylor students are so unfamiliar with the concept of drinking to excess that their minds literally implode at the first sip of Boone's Farm-especially one girl who is so drunk it's pretty clear she needs a breather. As a normal person, you might think, "Hmm.. that girl looks like she could be in for some trouble, I better remove her from the situation either by calling her a cab, getting a friend to come pick her up, or at least taking her drink and getting her a glass of water." We've all at least seen this situation unfold and, at least to my surface knowledge, I don't know anyone who had anything bad happen to them while being over-served at a party. However, if you go to Baylor, your brain is so turned to mush from the Waco scene where girls who won't hook up with you unless there's a diamond involved, combined with a general lack of routine alcohol consumption, apparently THIS is what goes on in your head.

Without going into the gory details - this is a family oriented website, after all - let's just say Mr. Cole must've had on his Bad Idea Jeans at this party... before removing them and reenacting a common Japanese film-making technique, of course. And while I'm in no way trying to make light of a pretty grisly situation - that's for the guys at barstool sports to tackle - you kinda have to admit that something like this just has Baylor written all over it. Sexual depravity and the lack of developed social skills can really weigh on a person's psyche; Actually, it's kind of amazing that this is the first time this has happened down that way.

No one in their right mind would ever attend Baylor. Seriously, I'd rather do 4 years in Nacogdoches and develop one of those rashes that doesn't wash off than spend a second in Waco. But man, I never thought it'd drive a person to do that. Things must be way more wacky down there than we can imagine. But then again, that's the funny thing about Waco - the Baylor faithful will tell you that it's this all enveloping Baptist environment and a fantastic place to live, yet it's, to my knowledge, the only city in the country that has had a team sponsored murder cover up AND radical-religious-separatist-nut-job-government-intervening-smack-down happen in the same era. Here's to betting they don't bring either of those highlights during the admissions process.

As a result of all of this, Young Robert is likely going to federal pound me in the ass prison for quite some time and the young lady in question will never fully get that taste out of her mouth, but let's try and think positive here. Do you realize what this will potentially add to our trash talking repertoire over the summer before week 1? Assuming TCU's new admissions standards haven't completely made the student body devoid of all the foul mouthed rapscallions we glowingly remember from our days in the Funk, this should be viewed as a call to arms. I feel like I don't even need to prod the Section V faithful in this endeavor.

Give us your best Baylor related money shots in the comments. I have a feeling that referring to Robert Griffin as a "choke artist" or "gagging under pressure" will take on different meanings this year.

Frogs vs. New Mexico Tonight at 9

TCU opens the conference tournament tonight against 6th seeded New Mexico, who beat 3rd seeded BYU in 11 innings yesterday to become the lowest seed to advance which earns them a date with the Frogs tonight. TCU is fresh off a sweep of New Mexico where they exploded for 46 runs over the 3 game set, and they will not have to face UNM's #1 starter Rudy Jaramillo (no clue if he's related to the former Ranger hitting coach, but I'll just assume he is). The starting pitcher is yet to be named, but I'll assume it's Purke tonight, albeit on a limited pitch count (probably around 60-70 if I had to guess). I was planning on doing an elaborate look at our pitching depth for the tournament, since the injury bug or rest bug seems has set in again just when we though we were getting healthy, as ace Kyle Winkler will be unavailable this week. Also, I'm still not sure about the availability of Steven Maxwell, who we haven't seen in over a month. Good news for me and the readers is that I don't have to go into detail on the whole ordeal, because our friend David Peterson at hornedfrogsports.com already took an in-depth look at the pitching breakdown, and he's far more knowledgeable on the situation than we are over here.

West Virginia knows how to party

The meeting of Big East athletic directors that was scheduled for this morning has been cancelled because West Virginia AD Oliver Luck had to fly back to Morgantown to deal with a situation in which the Mountaineers' head coach in waiting (and Mike Leach disciple) Dana Holgerson was kicked out of a casino between 3:00 and 4:00am last Wednesday.

Surveillance cameras caught the entire incident, so right now let me promise to you that we'll post that video here on Spit Blood if it ever becomes available. There wasn't an arrest made, though, so you'd have to think his job is safe, right? After all, getting a little rowdy in a casino that late on a weeknight is nothing for the school that already employs Bob Huggins in a state that is famous for this.

Before all of this news broke, however, the Big East ADs were able to get a little work done yesterday- deciding that all 17 teams will participate in the conference basketball tournament after TCU joins the conference for the 2012-2013 season. So while your wives/girlfriends may never let you take a road trip to see the Frogs play in West Virginia, there'll be at least one TCU basketball game at Madison Square Garden every year.

Morning Dump

TCU's Brance Rivera continues to be huge hit for Frogs

TCU opens tournament play Wednesday against New Mexico

TCU's Patterson gets preview of Frogs' future
St Petersburg Times

Open letter to Andy Dalton

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Dabble of Football Notes.

Casey Pachall Back-up quarterback Casey Pachall #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs passes against the University of New Mexico Lobos on November 27, 2010 at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. TCU won 66-17.

With the Metroplex rightfully buzzing about the Mavs unbelievable run, the Rangers presumed return to form with Hamilton and Cruz back in the mix and not to mention the Baseball Frog's beginning post season play, it'd be forgivable for a person to have put college football on the back burner for the time being. And while I personally have sports ADD in the sense that I can't follow more than one sport religiously at a time, I'm still a sucker for mock rankings, which SI's Andy Staples has conveniently provided for us this week. In his first post-spring look at things, Staples has the Frogs ranked 15th, sandwiched between the Big Ten's Michigan State and our old pals Wisconsin, respectively. I'm definitely one of those people who reads every inch of column space SI devotes to college football so I can pretend the season is just around the corner, but for those of you who are Frog Monogamists, here is what he had to say:

Key returnees: WR Josh Boyce, RB Ed Wesley, LB Tank Carder, LB Tanner Brock

Spring star: QB Casey Pachall

Spring recap: Looking back at the Top 25 I put out in January, I felt I was expecting too much of a TCU team that lost 26 seniors. But while I think it would be presumptuous to start the Horned Frogs in the top 10, I also have faith in their ability to reload. Coach Gary Patterson went 6-6 when he took over the program in 2001. He then won double-digit games in seven of the next nine seasons. He has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/05/24/post-spring-top-25/index.html#ixzz1NIuDkeag

I think that's probably a fair ranking for us, or at least truer than his immediate post-BCS Title Game rankings where he had us 8th. Losing 4/5 of your offensive line and a four year starting QB isn't exactly good for the business of winning immediately. However, I'm glad to see he bows a little bit at the altar of Patterson and gives him the benefit of the doubt where reloading is concerned, which is something we all should do as well. The schedule is tailor made for at least 10 wins and as long as our offensive line isn't a complete disaster, we're going to score a lot of points. And on defense? Well, see that whole "benefit of the doubt" thing. We're approaching the 90 day mark for the regular season. It really can't get here fast enough.

Switching gears a little bit though, I think one thing that has maybe gone a little under the radar is the absolute rampage our coaching staff has been on this off season where recruiting is concerned. We - well, lyle and shortnkerley, I've been pretty AWOL lately - have tried to keep you updated as much as possible, but if you're not clear on everything I highly suggest you go see the current list over at Purple Menace. Stars are bullshit, of course, but it's worth noting that four of our eleven verbals picked up four of them, and LaDarius Anthony is sitting pretty at three although it's not too far fetched to think he could add one more point, shiny thing to his name with a big senior season.

However, with the latest interested party, our coaching staff can add a whole new level of swagger to their acumen. The player in question is Travis Blanks, a four star cornerback from Tallahassee, FL and the 27th overall prospect in the country, per Rivals. However, it's his list that really sticks out - Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, The U, Ohio State and... TCU? Not bad company to keep if I do say so myself. Whether Blanks ends up in purple or not - and based on his reaction, playing in the Big East could be a deal breaker - the fact that we're in the discussion with all of those larger, closer schools is pretty derned swell.

Up next: Baylor fan drinks too much, forgets his manners.

Final Regional Projections

Is a rematch with the 'Noles in TCU's future?

In a matter of just days, the official field of 64 for the 2011 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament will be announced- making this the last week that we'll be gazing into the crystal ball to see where (and who) TCU will be playing once it begins.

For most of the year, Baseball America has not put out full regional projections. Instead, they've put out a "Stock Report" that actually takes a much more in-depth look at the selection process. In this week's edition, BA's Aaron Fitt lists TCU as being "on the bubble" in terms of hosting a Regional, but in the sub-group that he believes will be granted hosting duties. Among the teams that he believes are nipping at the Frogs' heels (read: teams you should be rooting against in their respective conference tournaments) are Miami, Central Florida, Stetson, Clemson and future Big East rival UConn.

College Baseball Daily agrees that TCU will end up hosting the first weekend of the tournament, but they've laid out a fairly difficult gauntlet for the Frogs in their latest regional projections. The #2 seed in that hypothetical Fort Worth Regional would be Clemson, who is 39-17 on the year with an RPI ranking of #9- six spots ahead of TCU. Whether it ends up being the Tigers or not, the message from CBD is that the Frogs should expect the NCAA to send a very formidable opponent their way. The winner of that foursome (which also would include Southeastern Louisiana and Michigan State) woud face the winner of the Tallahassee Regional- hosted by projected overall national #8 seed Florida State. Don't you know the Seminoles would like the chance at revenge against TCU!

According to the latest projections from Southeastern Baseball, TCU might be seeing some familiar faces as they try to get back to Omaha. Their version of the Fort Worth Regional includes Oklahoma State and Texas State, who went a combined 1-3 against TCU this spring, as well as James Madison (the alma mater of Charles Haley, not the president). Should the Frogs survive that weekend, Southeastern Baseball has them slated for a third consecutive trip to Austin for the Super Regionals. The potential for TCU-Texas III and Mavs-Heat II to be going on at the same time is probably enough to prescribe half of the readership of Spit Blood, young as you all may be, some kind of blood pressure medication.

MWC Tournament starts tonight

After another successful regular season, the Horned Frogs' road back to Omaha begins with the MWC Tournament this week in San Diego. The recent news that the TCU pitching staff will not be back to 100% as hoped for this tournament is a bit of a bummer, and we'll write more on that topic later, but the Frogs are still the #1 seed for this event that they've posted a 13-3 record in over the past five years- winning four titles in that span.

Tonight's action gets started at 5:00pm Fort Worth time, when #3 seed BYU takes on #6 seed New Mexico. Immediately following, it'll be #4 seed and tournament host San Diego State taking on #5 seed UNLV. The lower-seeded team among the two that advance would then play TCU tomorrow night at 9:00pm.

The Frogs were a combined 14-2 against these four teams this season, but keep an eye on that game between the Aztecs and the Rebels- it could hold the biggest threat to TCU other than #2 seed Utah- who I'm sure we'll discuss plenty as the tournament goes on. UNLV ace Tanner Peters, the 2011 MWC Pitcher of the Year, is slated to pitch tonight. But Rebels coach Tim Chambers still has nearly 12 hours to change his mind. If he were roll the dice to save Peters for the second round, it could match TCU up against a pitcher that held them 41 points under their season batting average and struck out 17 Frogs in 15 innings in his two starts against them.

Those of you with The Mtn and/or CBS College Sports will be able to watch all of the tournament, as BOTH networks will carry every game live. For those of you who do not or are not ready to commit 30+ hours of couch time to a college baseball tournament, you can follow along on the interweb at MWC Tournament Central. You can also follow via twitter @TheMWCOlySports or just the TCU games by following @FollowtheFrogs or @TCU_Baseball.

Morning Dump


Just when it was coming together, TCU pitching staff takes another hit Star-Telegram

Ten Frogs earn All-MWC accolades gofrogs.com


Yahoo! Sports honors Tanner Brock gofrogs.com

Big East:

Gary Patterson talks Big East ESPN

Patterson, Frogs thinking big with move to Big East CBS Sports

Calhoun predicts Big East split in 4-5 years CBS Sports

Monday, May 23, 2011

QB of the Future?

The Columbus Elite 11 camp took place this past Friday in Ohio, and 2012 commit Tyler Mathews was on hand to display his talents. Here is the recap from Tom Luginbill with ESPN. "The best release, natural wrist snap and velocity"- Yes please. Good thing GP and staff picked out this guy early on, bc based on the article, it seems that alot of D1 teams are going to try and make a run at him in the future.

Big East expansion: what the coaches say

Brett McMurphy of CBSsports.com recently conducted a survey of the eight current head football coaches of the Big East, plus Gary Patteron since he'll be the ninth starting in the fall of 2012. The topic was expansion, and according to McMurphy's survey, 5 of the 8 coaches want to expand the football conference to 12 members. That's good news if you're Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston or SMU- who were all specifically named as preferred new members by current Big East coaches.

Patterson, however, said he would prefer the league to stay at just 9 football-playing members- the same number that have been in the Mountain West for TCU's entire stay in that conference up until this fall. A nine-team league, like the old Southwest Conference before the departure of Arkansas, makes for a symmetrical 4-home, 4-away conference schedule with a predictable schedule from year to year since home & away opponents just flip-flop each fall.

Joining GP in saying "no mas" is UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun, although he just doesn't want to see an 18th basketball member added. It's likely that Calhoun and most of the other basketball coaches would like to see Villanova added on the football side in an attempt to appease the basketball-only schools like 'Nova themselves, St. John's, Georgetown, Providence, DePaul, Notre Dame, Seton Hall and Marquette.

UNM series recap

When Walt spends his hard-earned money taking his family to the ballpark, he expects the home team to win at least one game...

Earlier this spring, David Peterson of HornedFrogSports.com and I were discussing the prospects for this year's baseball team. I was fairly pessimistic at the time, perhaps dwelling too much on the ugly midweek losses that dotted the early part of the Frogs' schedule. David, though, had a much brighter outlook on things and said that WHEN (not if) they finished the regular season 20-5 in the last 25 games, that the Frogs would be in a very good position to host an NCAA Regional for the third consecutive year. With their sweep of New Mexico over the weekend in Albuquerque, TCU reached 40 regular season wins for the third time in program history and finished those final 25 games with a record of...20-5.

It certainly wasn't a run-of-the-mill weekend series in the spacious but offensively-conducive Iosotopes Park in the thin-air of apparently Simpsons-minded Albuquerque. The teams combined for 70 runs on 92 hits over three days, highlighted by the football-like score of 25-16 in the Frogs' win on Friday afternoon. The only thing that could stop the offensive outburst was the sterling return of Matt Purke and Kyle Winkler, who combined for nearly 8 innings of shut-out ball in the 9-0 win on Thursday. Teddy Nowell and Tyler Duffie combined to get the last four outs of that ballgame to preserver the goose-egg.

At the plate, it was a stat-padding weekend for TCU. As a team, they scored 46 runs on 53 hits for the weekend while also showing some patience with 16 walks. Four players (Jantzen Witte, Jason Coats, Joe Weik and Taylor Featherston) recorded at least 8 hits on the weekend- including Witte's 6-hit game on Friday and Joe Weik's 4-for-4 day on Thursday. Featherston drove in 8 runs to lead the way, followed closley by Coats and Weik, who each had 7 RBIs. TCU went deep 5 times on the weekend, including a monster shot by Zac Jordan on Friday that was estimated to have been hit well over 400 feet and a three-run shot by Aaron Schultz who went 2-for-2 in his return to action.

With their 40-15 overall record and #15 RPI ranking, TCU is now in good position to host a Regional during the first weekend in June. Of course, that is if they can win the MWC Tournament- which starts tomorrow in San Diego. The Frogs' first game of the tournament will be Wednesday night agains the lower seed to advance out of Tuesday's opening-round games.

Morning Dump


Frogs sweep series, await opponent in MWC tournament Star-Telegram

TCU sweeps New Mexico to close out regular season gofrogs.com


TCU center Nikola Cerina transferring to Northwestern Chicago Tribune

Athletic Department:

TCU joining Big East meetings for first time Charleston Daily Mail

Friday, May 20, 2011

Second Annual Spitblood Count Down to Kickoff Golf Tournament

This is just a reminder that the golf tournament is July 23. It will be at White Stone in Benbrook same as last year. It will be the same four man scramble format as last year, so you need to get your teams ready. It will be $100 per player, which will go to charity. We are working on getting a link up so you can pay through that. In the mean time, if you already have your team together, you can send the names to thefinch@spitbloodtcu.com. If you don't have a team (or have less than four), then just send an email giving your name(s) and we will put you on a team. As all who played last year remember, there were some pretty great prizes. Including closest to the hole - GP signed football, long drive - Coach Schloss signed bat. We are working on different prizes at the moment, but they will be of equal badassery as the ones last year, and they will be revealed the day of the tournament. And of course to the winning team goes the ever coveted purple blazers.

So send in your teams as soon as you get them. We are looking to try and double the players from last year, so the quicker you get them in the better.

Ohh, and of course, to the last place team goes the Dead Ass Last trophy which I believe is more coveted the the blazer.

Awesome story on Tejay Johnson

By now, I think most of us are familiar with Tejay Johnson's choice to let his football career end with the Frogs' 21-19 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Now, ESPN's Andrea Adelson is bringing the rest of the country up to speed on Tejay's story.

Purke and Winkler Shine in Return to Mound

Admittedly, I was one of the skeptical ones who didn't think we'd see Matt Purke on the mound again for the Frogs in his career. Glad to say I was wrong. As most of you know, Purke made his return to the mound yesterday against New Mexico and looked like his old self again, throwing 42 pitches, with 27 of those being strikes over the course of 3 innings, striking out 4 and walking 1 and allowing only 1 hit. He was on a pitch count (roughly 40 pitches) so the sample was small, but he averaged 90 mph with his fastball, hitting as high as 92 on the gun yesterday. Most importantly, however, was that he pitched pain free. Apparently his mechanics were tinkered with a bit as well, raising his arm slot slightly to prevent him from "slinging the ball" which more than likely is done to put less stress on his arm. Let's hope now that he can expand on this 42 pitch performance and work his way back into starter's form in time for the regionals. The real test will be to see how Purke pitches in the later innings, because early in the season there was a drastic drop in velocity the deeper he got into games. So until we see him in full starter's mode and against a solid opponent, I'll temper my excitement, but yesterday was definitely a positive sign and a step in the right direction. Perhaps most importantly, it deepens a pitching staff which has really been coming of age lately.

Also returning to the mound in relief of Purke was ace Kyle Winkler, who shined after sitting out last weekend to rest his arm. Winkler, whom I have no concerns about whatsoever, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing 0 runs, 3 hits, and striking out 2 while walking 0. This did not come as a surprise, but it's good to see that he was his usual sharp self yesterday as TCU cruised to a 9-0 blowout of lowly New Mexico. Let's hope that Steven Maxwell comes back pain free on Saturday as well and we have our complete rotation ready to go for the postseason. I like the idea of our postseason rotation with those 3, and having the likes of Andrew Mitchell, Stefan Crichton, Erik Miller, and even Nick Frey and Kyle Starratt as viable options out of the bullpen if necessary. It should also be noted that the bats continue to heat up, especially Joe Weik, who went 4-4 with a homerun yesterday. After a dreadful start to the season, Weik has stepped up and produced like we expected of late, upping his average to .291 and taking over the team lead with 8 long balls. Hopefully we can complete the sweep this weekend, because I think that would almost assure a regional in Fort Worth in a few weeks.

Morning Dump


TCU's Purke back in action as Frogs win Star-Telegram

TCU dominates New Mexico in 9-0 victory gofrogs.com

Listless Lobos pounded by Horned Frogs Albuquerque Examiner


Pachall's success hinges on development of receivers Sport DFW

Cannon says his cancer treatment is on course ESPN

Lockout wouldn't dramatically affect Bengals just because of Dalton Cincy Jungle


Is it time to dust off Kurt Thomas? Comcast Sports Chicago


TCU men sixth after Day 1 at Colorado Regional gofrogs.com

Thanks to TCU alum, Colonial no longer a rough outing for kids and parents Star-Telegram

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bad News for Cashner

Former TCU closer Andrew Cashner's comeback from his opening-day shoulder injury took a bad turn Monday, when he felt pain while warming up for a scheduled start at the Cubs' extended spring training camp in Arizona. He had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed inflammation in the same place as the original MRI back in April, effectively pressing "restart" on his recovery. The Cubs are now targeting a return date roughly near the All-Star break, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

TCU Basketball headed to Paradise

In each of Jim Christian's first three years as head coach of the TCU men's basketball program, he's taken his Horned Frogs to play in any early-season, neutral-site tournament. So far these trips have taken them to the likes of Charleston, Tempe and Springfield, Mass. This November, though, the Frogs will be headed to St. Thomas to take part in the 2011 Paradise Jam on the campus of the University of the Virgin Islands. They'll take on Virginia in the opener, and then either Norfolk State or Drexel. Other teams in the tournament include Ole Miss, Marquette, Drake and Winthrop.

TCU-New Mexico series preview

Purke on the hill at 1:00pm today

Despite all of the struggles that this 2011 TCU baseball team faced early in the season, they've really figured it out recently- a feat even more impressive when you factor in all of the injuries that have plagued the pitching staff. So now that we're a week away from the conference tournament, seeing #'s 47, 8 and 4 on the mound against New Mexico should be a very welcome sight for Horned Frog fans.

Purke, who has missed the most time, will get his chance to pitch first as he'll start today's series opener against the Lobos. He is only expected to pitch a few innings before handing the ball off to Winkler. Andrew Mitchell is slated to start tomorrow afternoon and then Erik Miller on Saturday, but Steven Maxwell should see action in the finale and may even be inserted into the starting role. If these three are able to return even close to their previous form, I have to say I have a lot more confidence in this staff- and it's depth- than I did earlier in the season. Schlossnagle has been able to get some quality innings out of some of the younger guys in their absence, which should pay off when they're counted on to get important outs in the postseason.

All three of the websites mentioned in my post yesterday about Regional projections had the Frogs hosting the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, but those opinions were based on the assumption of a sweep of New Mexico this weekend- something TCU was not able to achieve when they dropped a game to the Lobos in their series against them at Lupton in mid-April. Baseball America does a much better job of breaking down the Frogs' chances of hosting in their NCAA Tournament Stock Report.

For those of you that aren't headed to Colonial this afternoon, shortnkerleys and myself will probably be discussing the game in the comments section of this post when the game gets started at 1:00pm.

Morning Dump

Matt Purke starts it off as TCU's aces return

Carder and Brock tabbed All-Americans

Can Dalton, McCoy close AFC North gap?

Athletic Department:
Notes on a scorecard

SuperFrog swings at the Colonial

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Latest Regional Projections

With just this weekend's series at New Mexico and the MWC Tournament next week in San Diego left to go before the NCAA Tournament, let's take a look at where some of the college baseball experts from around the interwebs see the Frogs, who are 37-15 with an RPI of #16, playing once it begins:

-College Baseball Daily has TCU hosting with Arkansas (34-17 overall, #14 RPI) as the 2-seed, Baylor (27-23, #33) as the 3-seed and Manhattan (28-17, #134) as the 4-seed. Should the Frogs survive that round, they'd likely be headed to Austin to take on Texas in the Super Regionals. They've got a tough draw for the 'Horns, though, with Texas State and UCLA also slated to be in Austin. If the Bobcats or Bruins (or even Princeton) could win that Regional, TCU would then get to host the Super Regional.

-Southeastern Baseball predicts a simliar path for TCU: playing the Regional in Fort Worth before likely heading to face UT at Disch-Falk in the Supers, but they offer the Frogs a shot at revenge in the first weekend of the tournament. The #2 and #3 seeds in their Fort Worth Regional are Oklahoma and Dallas Baptist, two teams that combined to go 4-0 against the Frogs this year. And the #4 seed is no cupcake- Tulane, a traditional powerhouse, is currently 30-21 with an RPI of #61. On the other side of the bracket, the Longhorns would be dealing with a Regional that consists of Arizona, LSU and South Dakota State.

-ESPN offers a slightly different path for the Frogs' return trip to Omaha: through College Station for the Super Regionals. Their Fort Worth Regional consists of Oklahoma as the 2-seed, Ole Miss (29-23, #38) as the 3-seed and Miles Austin's alma mater, Monmouth (34-17, #125) as the 4-seed. Texas A&M would be hosting Auburn, Southeastern Louisiana and Stony Brook.

While we're looking a few weeks into the future for baseball, why not a few months for football? College Football News recently came out with their Way-Too-Early 2001 Bowl Projections, and they've got GP and the Frogs facing a familiar foe in a familiar locale.

Always Bet On Purple

So apparently our own JJ Henry and fellow tour member Jerry Kelly (a Madison, WI native) made a bet before the Rose Bowl that the loser would have to dress up like the winning teams mascot for the Colonial this weekend. We all know how that went down and as you can see Jerry is a man of his word and wore the Super Frog costume for a few minutes this morning. Bet he is thankful this years weather isn't as hot as last years lest the stench of SuperFrogs ball sweat might knock him out of the tournament. Thanks to spitpurple for the tip.

Jerry Kelly settles bet, becomes SuperFrog - ESPN

Oh and here's a pic of GP wearing purple gators. Only he could pull this off:


Morning Dump

TCU survives Oral Roberts rally

TCU closes out home schedule with 6-4 win

Hold for Coach Belichick
ESPN-Rick Reilly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New endzone logo?

Or maybe they're just testing it for the blimp shots from Colonial this weekend.

Home Finale Tonight

The last of TCU's scheduled 33 home baseball games for the 2011 season is tonight when the Frogs take on Oral Roberts at 6:30pm. While they have definitely played their way back into contention for hosting an NCAA Regional, it's not a lock so there's a chance this could be the last chance many of you have to see this team play in person.

Junior Kyle Starratt (0-1, 5.56 ERA) takes the mound for the Frogs, and will be counted on to pitch as long as possible since the main two options out of the bullpen- Trent Appleby and Stefan Crichton- both pitched twice last weekend and this weekend's series starts on Thursday. He'll be pitching against "TBA" for Oral Roberts, who could possibly be an NCAA Tournament opponent of TCU's as they are currently tied for first place in the Summit League.

With a crowd of just over 4,700 tonight- a figure that's not likely for a weeknight game but also not completely out of the question on "let's take advantage of this relatively cool weather while it lasts" kind of May night, would get the Frogs' season turnstile count to 140,000. The previous season record of just over 80,000, set last year, was broken during the first weekend in April. The top eleven most-attended games in Lupton Stadium history were played in 2011, topped by the crowd of over 6,000 that attended the season-opener against Kansas. Of the top 40 most-attended games, 32 of them were this year!

The Newfound Elitist.

Sir Wesley Willis, as seen While Penning this Post.

A pretty watershed year for college football, no? I mean, what, with a summer full of Conference realignment and scandals and a season full of scandals, scandals and more scandals, more anti-BCS pressure than at any point since its inception, and topped off with that roguish rapscallion Cam Newton producing the most positive ROI the college football investment arena has ever seen... well, you name a more eventful year, guy. And, of course, sprinkled in among all that shuffle was TCU taking their talents from the slums of the Mountain West to the less slummy slums of the Big East - sort of like moving from Detroit to Cleveland: It's still Cleveland, but it's sure as shit better than Detroit. But amidst all of this shuffling, amidst all the relief of finally getting to sit at the big kid's table with a mostly equal shot at first dibs on the creamed corn, we have to ask ourselves a fundamental question: Just because we're with them, do we have to act like them?


What's that, Andrea Adelson? Sad because, with the departures of TCU, Utah and BYU, your beat became just about as exciting as watching FeistyFrog pat himself on the back for reporting on other people's information? Sad because, under the current landscape, no current non-AQ conference has a chance in hell of ever qualifying for a AQ spot? MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE, according to some. Sad because your now cover a conference that is so fickle about a, thankfully, former team's success that they deliberately try to ruin their season through questionable scheduling tactics? I mean, come on Craig Thompson, after all we've done for you, at least buy us a cosmo before you try and fuck us, amiright?

If you haven't read her piece - and, honestly, this isn't an attack on her because she's just stuck performing a job that was a lot sexier when she first accepted it - the baseline is the same as it was when we mentally checked out: In the current round of evaluations, the MWC will fall short of qualification due to the bottom of the conference dragging it down. It's the exact same reason why we plastered ourselves in Cool Water and mainlined Binaca when the Big East started batting its, admittedly, tattered eyelashes at us last year.

However, the twist occurs about halfway through the article when, after propping the ole girl up on the merits of the now departing members, Adelson suggests that the MWC, in the respect of fairness, be allowed an appeal for the two seasons following the current evaluation period. I assume she intends this to mean that the MWC should be extended a lengthier period of evaluation to account for the addition of new members. All MWC hate aside, I was behind her argument at first because, after all, the MWC has had massive turnover and should arguably be given a chance to stand on its own two feet before passing judgment, although realistically it NEVER would without us and Utah. Then she had to go and drop this
one and ruin the whole thing for me:

Hawaii, which joins in 2012, also has a BCS appearance. Nevada is on the rise. Fresno State has been in the national conversation before. Say a Mountain West team gets the AQ bid with four losses. Would that be more embarrassing than a Big East team that qualified with four losses this past season?

::Makes Wanking Motion for 15 minutes::

Seriously? That's what you're rolling with? First of all, uhh, yes, yes it would be more embarassing. Hawaii had one BCS appearance, that happened to be the rapinest' BCS appearance of all time, under a coach who opted to leave the school, which just so happens to be in FLIPPING HAWAII, for a job at another school with no BCS credentials, in the middle of smoggy assed Dallas, TX, still suffering from the biggest cheating scandal in college football history, for a chance to lose to Army at home in a bowl game. Got yerself a real winner there. Nevada, as much as I love, love love them out of purely selfish reasons, had one great season altering half of football last year, but has consistently been an underachieving sucker fish or completely irrelevant altogether throughout their history. And Fresno State??? Don't make me laugh. No, seriously, don't do it... come o... ah dammit, you did it - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Pat Hill and his sad mustache face need to change their mantra to, "We'll beat anyone anywhere, anytime" to "We'll beat anyone anywhere, anytime... unless you're in our shit conference." Oh, but they played that big, bad Big Ten team close and came up just short? Newsflash, media: THEY STILL LOST!

All that's to say, the current pupu platter of Boise, Fresno, Nevada and Hawaii ain't exactly the 12 course tasting menu of Boise, TCU, BYU and Utah that was initially promised.

Did no one see what JUST HAPPENED in regards to the TV contracts for the major conferences? The Pac 12 got paid. The Big 12-2=10 got paid, especially Texas. The ACC, SEC and Big Ten got paid last year. And while the Big East hasn't gotten paid quite yet, it's going to happen simply because the networks have already made bajillions on their basketball revenues and have money to give back as a goodwill gesture. Sorry, non-AQ scumbags, but the masses have spoken, and they like what's going on. Nothing is changing. The bums lost!

And you know what? I could not be any happier about it. People are going to talk shit about the Big East in a football sense. Heck, WE were the ones leading the charge this time last year. But while we may still be in a booster seat at the head table, we're at the head table nonetheless, and as long as we keep doing what we've been doing, the rewards will continue to manifest. Have you seen our football recruiting? Have you seen the big time, top rated athletes who have not only been giving us looks but, you know, actual commitments? Do you remember that time the top player in the state waited until the 11th hour to make the biggest decision of his life to that point because of us? Did you see what happened with basketball recruiting? Our basketball program is ten kinds of rancid feces right now, yet we were able to make a last minute push and recruit some athletes who will help. They won't win any Big East titles, but they'll keep us out of the cellar. You think that happens without the Big East? You think a kid from Queens with offers from nearby schools with actual track records chooses the Frogs? Girl, please.

I always kind of hoped we'd leave the MWC in the same way that Utah did - with well wishes and understanding, with the Conference respecting our decision and being grateful that, because of us, they're still relevant. But after the bitchy, middle school mean girl way the rest of the teams have handled things, I say good riddance. I hope the MWC becomes the CUSA part deux. I hope Mike Locksley starts a fight with his offensive line and gets pummeled. I hope CSU disappears into a foggy, gnar-gnar gazin' haze. I hope UNLV gets mercifully shut down by the Casino Mafia that runs the school. I hope San Diego State gets eaten by Tony Gwynn. I hope Wyoming... well, actually, Wyoming isn't really hurting anyone, are they? And I suppose Air Force can slide since they, you know, kept a close eye on Osama and all. But as for the new guys? I'm... I'm just sorry your situations are so dire you're having to join forces with those yahoos. Keep your chins up.

Del Conte's chat wrap

Chris Del Conte took questions from fans during his monthly live chat on gofrogs.com yesterday afternoon, and you can read the whole thing here. With the Amon G. Carter stadium renovation is rolling along, you could easily guess that Del Conte fielded quite a few questions from the type of unhappy, complain-for-the-sake-of-complaining type of folks who frequent a certain other TCU-related website and would rather bitch about their parking space being moved than enjoy the fact that our alma mater is finally getting a much-needed stadium upgrade. But he did give us a few nuggets of useful info:

-An architect is working on the renderings for the new locker room, which will be completed in the second phase of construction after this coming season.

-The new scoreboard in the north endzone will be quite an upgrade over the jumbotron that we were so glad to finally get just a few short years ago. It will be high-definition and three times the size of the old one.

-Just under 18,000 season tickets from 2010 have already been renewed as of Monday. Del Conte said he hopes to shatter last year's record of just over 19,000 with a goal of 25,000 season tickets.

-Get ready for Nike to have a bigger impact on the program. Del Conte mentioned that the school and Nike would be rolling out a new "overall branding" of the athletic programs in time for 2012. He also said that Nike & HKS, the architecture firm handling the stadium renovation, have been tasked with finding spaces "in and around the stadium" to honor TCU greats.

-People who put down a deposit for club seats in 2012 will be invited to a "Pick Your Seats Night" sometime this fall. Your butler will be delivering more information on this later in the summer.

-Football is not the only sport getting facility upgrades. Del Conte mentioned that all of the seats in Daniel-Meyer would be replaced over the next few years, and that the school continues to look into a "major renovation" that will be needed when the program moves into the Big East. He also mentioned that they are looking into additional upgrades at Lupton stadium including more suites and new locker rooms and other team facilities.

Morning Dump

TCU receives high marks from Athlon GoFrogs.com

Bengals QB Carson Palmer's Cincinnati house under contract
USA Today

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hatcher vs. Squirrel

In case you were wondering what ever happened to former TCU catcher Justin Hatcher, he's enjoying a very odd 15 minutes of fame right now. After being drafted by the Rangers out of TCU in 2003, he played 5 years of minor league ball before getting hired as the San Diego Padres' bullpen catcher in 2008. Then, in the Friars' 9-7 win over the Rockies at Coors Field Saturday night, he was bit by a squirrel that had found it's way into the San Diego bullpen. Adding to the hilariousness of the situation was the commentary of ESPN's Sage Steele:

TCU-Utah series recap

I didn't get a chance, due to some technical difficulties we were having with the site on Friday, to preview this past weekend's series against Utah. For those of you that are such casual fans that you only get your TCU baseball info from Spit Blood, you might not want to rely solely on a bunch of lazy guys who still rely on free blogger software.

Anyway, the major storylines going into the weekend were that 1) the Frogs needed to win 2 of 3 to clinch another regular season conference title and 2) they would have to do it without their top three starting pitchers. Things got a little shaky in between, but the Frogs did indeed clinch the MWC crown when Jason Coats scampered home in a pair of the bright pink socks (a breast cancer awareness deal, I assume?) pictured above on a wild pitch to win Sunday's game and the series, 2-1.

When I say "things got shaky", I mean that Schlossnagle had to get pretty creative while dealing with a dramatic shortage of arms. Without his top three starting pitchers, he had to make do with a hodge-podge staff that included the tactic of putting senior reliever Trent Appleby in right field after he was pulled in the 9th inning of Saturday's game, just in case he was needed again. It proved to be a wise move, as freshman Tony Rizzotti gave up three consecutive two-out base hits that allowed the Utes to get back in it. Appleby was brought back to the mound from right field and earned the save as he finally got the third out.

In the end, though, the Frogs got three pretty good starts out of Erik Miller (who struck out 8 in 8 innings on Friday), Andrew Mitchell (9 K's in 7 and a third IP Saturday) and Nick Frey (1 run in 6 innings Sunday) to and enough out of Appleby and Crichton from the bullpen to string together a very important series win.

With the two wins on the weekend, TCU improves to 36-15 overall on the year and they've moved up to #15 in the Boyd's World RPI rankings- two spots ahead of Oklahoma, who the Frogs will be going against in the running to host a Regional. Next up is the regular-season home finale against Oral Roberts tomorrow night. My guess would be that Kyle Starratt starts that game and is counted on to eat up as many innings as he can. Then the last weekend series of the regular season gets started in Albquerque on Thursday.

Del Conte live chat @ 3:00pm

Most of the questions will probably just be old people whining about how their season tickets are being moved due to the massive upgrade the football stadium is going through, I'd still recommend checking out Athletic Director Chris Del Conte's live chat on gofrogs.com at 3:00pm today. Between these chats and the weekly "Notes on a Scorecard", he has done a great job of keeping fans aware of what is going on with TCU athletics. Of course, it may just be because Danny Morrison warned him about being drunkenly cornered in the men's room at a Mavs' game by one regular on this site who just wanted to know who the Frogs would be playing in non-conference...