Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big 12 Orientation: Oklahoma State Baseball

Robin Ventura apparently majored in being an idiot asshole at OSU
-Program founded: 1909
-Overall record: 2,354-1,184-4
-1 National Championship: (1959)
-19 College World Series appearances (most recent: 1999)
-39 NCAA Tournament appearances
-30 regular-season conference titles (zero Big 12)
-19 conference tournament titles (one Big 12)
-3 College Baseball Hall of Famers
-22 All-Americans

History with TCU:  Despite their relative proximity, the Cowboys and Horned Frogs had faced each other on the diamond just 16 times prior to 2004, when their respective current head coaches took over.  Since then, TCU has won 5 of 9 and the Frogs now hold an overall series advantage of 13-12.  OSU beat TCU as part of the Stillwater Regional in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, but the Frogs have taken 2 of 3 from the Cowboys in both this season and last.

Notable former OSU Baseball Players:

  • Robin Ventura.  See above.  Forget his National Player of the Year awards or his NCAA record 58-game hitting streak at OSU, his gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, and his six golden gloves won in his 16-year MLB career.  The current White Sox manager will always be remembered for getting his ass handed to him when he charged Nolan Ryan on the mound in 1993.
  • Mike Henneman: An All-Star with the Tigers in 1989, Henneman earned 193 saves in a 10-year MLB career that also included stops with the Astros and Rangers.
  • Pete Incaviglia: Despite looking like Ron Jeremy, "Inky" holds the NCAA single-season and all-time home run records.  He went straight from OSU to the Rangers without ever setting foot on a minor league field, and in recent years has been linked to the use of amphetamines.  Imagine that, someone from Oklahoma who likes meth...
  • Mickey Tettleton: He hit 245 major league home runs between 1984 and 1997 employing one of the weirdest batting stances I've ever seen.  The last 59 of those came in the three years he spent as Pudge's back up and DH in Arlington from 1995 to 1997.
  • Jeremy Burnitz.  He played for a lot of different teams, and I couldn't tell you much about him from memory.  He apparently hit 315 career home runs and was an All-Star with the Brewers in 1999.

Recent History: Think TCU has been dominant in the Mountain West?  Oklahoma State won the last sixteen Big 8 Baseball Tournaments!  That string included 10 trips to Omaha, but the golden era of OSU baseball came to a screetching halt when the Big 12 was formed and longtime coach Gary Ward left.  They've continued to field winning and even some really top-notch teams, but have won only one conference tournament title and made just one trip to Omaha since then. They are generally a tournament team, but the history of the program and the still somewhat fresh memory of their magnificent run in the 80s and 90s means the bar is set pretty high.

Outlook for next year:  With the Cowboys not quite living up to expectations in recent years, the watchful eye of T. Boon Pickens had to have been on the coaching job that Frank Anderson would do with this year's team.  The 2012 Cowboys are led with a heavy concentration of seniors and draft-eligible juniors- which is usually a recipe for success.  They are 32-24 overall though, went 13-11 in Big 12 play and probably need to win this weekend's conference tournament to make the NCAA Field.  With so many potential departures, another powerhouse program (TCU) entering the conference and Texas Tech having already decided to make a head coaching change, you have to wonder whether or not Frank Anderson will be around in 2013.

Let the countdown begin!

A friend of Spit Blood recently launched a new tumblr site, 2012 College Football Countdown, that's sole purpose is to (you guessed it) count down to the beginning of the 2012 college football season.  And even though there are 108 torturous days until the Frogs' season opener against Grambling, there are just 99 days until the first games kick off on Thursday, August 30th.

What will make this site so fun- other than marking another 24 hours gone from the prison sentence called the offseason- is that they've added a comments section to each post.  So, for instance, if you saw the picture above of a Wisconsin player denoting our current status of being 99 days away from kickoff- you've got an open forum to once again claim Pasadena scoreboard or tell everyone how terrible Badger fans are. 

So share this with fans of teams all across the country, and we can all count down to football season with bragging on our team and shit talking other teams.  You know, the reason college football was invented.

They're on twitter, too: @NCAAFcountdown

Del Conte on Big 12 expansion

TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte was in Lubbock today to speak at a morning function, and was interviewed by Chris Level of "Double T" 104.3 FM.  Among the topics discussed was the recurring Big 12 expansion rumors, and CDC let fly with the tasty nugget that the once seemingly dead conference "now has schools like Florida State, Clemson and Miami trying to get in."

I wonder what Iowa State would think about getting shipped over to an eastern division that included the three schools mentioned above, West Virginia and, say, Georgia Tech?

Read more here:

Recruiting Update

Spit Blood has never been- nor will it ever be- the place to find breaking news about TCU recruiting.  So for those of you who, like me, fork over $10 a month to sites like Purple Menace or Horned Frog Blitz, this post is going to be old news.  But since we know that a good chunk of you all out there are not the kind of hard-core fans that devour every bit of recruiting news as it happens, I'll bring you up to speed.

Last night, word came down that Ty Slanina (shown in the photo above) of East Bernard had committed to TCU over offers from Tech, Baylor, Stanford, Arizona, Utah and Mississippi State amongst others.  If you're a fan of the "do everything" kids that Patterson has had so much success with over the years, I think you're going to love Ty Slanina.  He plays quarterback and safety for the Brahmas in addition to returning kicks and punts, and with speed reported at 4.3 or 4.4 depending on the source, this 6'0" 182lb athlete (the #33 athlete in the nation according to Rivals) it's easy to imagine him playing any number of different positions for the Frogs- although many of the experts see his future at wide receiver. I think that, wherever he lines up, Slanina's combination of toughness and electric athleticism will quickly make him a fan favorite.

Here are the highlights from his sophomore season at East Bernard (which is a 2A town just southwest of the Greater Houston area):

Slanina's commitment followed, by a few days, the pledge of Bastrop linebacker Paul Whitmill to become a Horned Frog.  Like Slanina, Whitmill chose TCU over Tech & Baylor as well as schools like Arkansas, Wake Forest and Ole Miss.  He probably could start for Baylor from day one, but I think it says something about his character that he chose to join a TCU program that has consistently developed top-notch defenders over the past decade plus.  Whitmill is just a tad small for a linebacker at 5'11" 200lbs, but he makes up for it with his vision, speed and hitting ability  Rivals has him ranked as a four-star recruit and named him the 12th-best outside linebacker in the country.

Check out his sophomore highlights:

Morning Dump


Preston Morrison named MWC Pitcher & Freshman of the Year Star-Telegram

Six Horned Frogs tabbed for All-MWC honors

Coats' injury hits TCU teammates, coaches hard Star-Telegram

Other Sports:

TCU rifle's Scherer takes aim at Olympic gold NBC 5

TCU track heads to Austin for NCAA West Preliminary Round