how long?

Southern Conference Champions - 2007

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how long?

Postby jackiewalnuts on Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:48 am

From my observation of this board and conversations with Wofford supporters, it is evident that people are not happy with the direction of our baseball program. I understand we are not on a level playing field compared to Southern Conference schools with our limited number of scholarships. However, that should not allow us to sit back and watch us finish near the bottom of the SoCon yearly. Other than the lack of scholarships for baseball, there is no reason that Wofford should not consistently compete for a Southern Conference championships. We are a great school with superb facilities in an state that is loaded with baseball talent. Yet, we have had losing seasons for as long as I can remember.

For those who preach patience, what signs are there that the team is improving? By looking at wins and losses, our trend under Coach Interdonato is
2008 24-35 (6-21) finished 4-20
2009 17-32 (7-22) finished 0-15
2010 11-24 (4-11)

Granted the 2010 team is hitting the ball extremely well with a team batting average around .300. Doyle, Foster, and Behrendt are having great years at the plate. But, these hitting numbers have not translated into runs as we are 10th in the SoCon in runs scored and lead the SoCon in strikeouts. As for our pitching and defense, we are terrible. Team ERA is 7.15, 11th in the SoCon, on par with our previous finishes. (07- 9.27 10th in league, 08- 9.36 9th in league, and 8.81 ERA 11th in league) As if the ERA is not bad enough, we are tied for 11th in the league with a .955 fielding percentage. These two stats combine to give us a league leading 302 runs allowed. Furman has 299 and the next closest is UNC-G a mere 45 runs lower than us at 257. From my understanding, defense in baseball is largely attributed to coaching. Our lack of defense appears to be a direct correlation of our lack of coaching.

I know we are young, but Coach Interdonato has been here for 5 years (2 as an asst.) meaning he helped recruit our entire team. During his tenure, there have been countless people either transfer out or quit the team. That leads me to believe that he either did not recruit well, did not improve the player's ability, or has run off some players.

I did not mean for this to bash Coach Interdonato as I am sure he is a good guy. I did not agree with his hiring at the time of the hire, as I felt we should have hired someone either with proven success or one from a consistently competitive program. I just believe Wofford has the ability to compete in baseball and I do not think we are doing that. I believe the experiment is over. I hope I am wrong and we finish differently than each of Coach Interdonato's previous years.
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Re: how long?

Postby dungeonjoe on Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:42 am

The lack of scholarships is the bottom line at this level of competition. By the nature of the game, we can do more with less in football and basketball. In baseball there are more specialists (pitchers) needed and the season is longer
I believe it would be difficult to do more with less consistently.
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Re: how long?

Postby wocomouth on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:58 am

Joe hit the nail on the head. Joe Torre would be below .500 in the league coaching this team. Wofford simply doesnt have enough scholarships to be a consistent winner. As for recruiting, I think we do a good job, but we certainly dont have the luxury to miss on a kid.
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Re: how long?

Postby SC_Terrier on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:15 am

"Other than the lack of scholarships for baseball, there is no reason that Wofford should not consistently compete for a Southern Conference championships."
…That's a big reason to not consistently compete for a Southern Conference Championship. We are a great school with superb facilities in an state that is loaded with baseball talent. Granted, Wofford is a great school (academics, beautiful campus, etc) but lets be honest, the ballplayers that are choosing USC, Western Carolina, or Miss. State aren’t choosing the school because of those things…they choose them based on the money being offered in addition to them having the best opportunity to play at a high level. For the most part, Wofford wants to recruit the same player that CofC recruits but we can’t get them on a continuous basis. We can go get one kid like Mac Doyle but we have sign him knowing that we are going to have to sign a pitcher or position player of lesser talent that may require less scholarship money. CofC has the resources and tools to get at least a three star player for each position that they need to fill. So I would argue that we are recruiting different players than most teams across the state. Furman is the only team that recruits the same type of player but even Furman has a better funded program.

"Team ERA is 7.15, 11th in the SoCon, on par with our previous finishes. (07- 9.27 10th in league, 08- 9.36 9th in league, and 8.81 ERA 11th in league)."
…I would like to comment on this. A 7.15 ERA is a huge improvement from 9.27 and 8.81. While, I agree that it stinks to be worst in the SoCon, a reduction in the team ERA by two runs per game in two or three years is a huge step in the right direction.

"That leads me to believe that he either did not recruit well, did not improve the player's ability, or has run off some players."
...There are 1,000 factors that could go into a player deciding to leave or not play. Trust me; every school has this going on, not just Wofford. I don’t know for a fact but I would say Division 1 baseball has the most transfers of any sport because the transfer rules are very accommodating to the players. They can transfer out of conference and not sit a year. This also goes back to a previous point. To me, there is a difference between a baseball player at USC/Clemson and a baseball player at Wofford. If you go to Wofford and ask a kid what he’s majoring in at Wofford, he will tell you Science, Finance, etc. You go to USC and ask a kid what he’s majoring in and he will tell you baseball. In general, the kids that sign with Wofford have their mind on several things, not just baseball….sometimes those things consist of school, studying abroad, etc. So, as I said before, we are recruiting different types of players…If Coach I recruited a lot of “majoring in baseball” type of guys, then people would be raising a storm because our team performs poorly in the classroom or that Coach I isn’t graduating enough players…I honestly don’t think you can have both without a fully funded program.

"I just believe Wofford has the ability to compete in baseball and I do not think we are doing that."
...Why do you think Wofford has the ability to compete? I think often the problem is that those of us that went to Wofford think of it as the greatest school in America (I’m one of them) but you have to look at it from a high school player’s perspective. When Traylor recruited me in several years ago, I was concerned about many things but an aesthetically pleasing campus wasn’t one of them. I did care about going to a top notch academic school but I also wasn’t being recruited by USC, Clemson, etc. For the most part playing professional baseball wasn’t a goal of mine so I valued a quality degree as well as the opportunity to play in the SoCon. It all starts and ends with money. Money is the most important thing in college sports. If you don’t have scholarships then you have to find players that have families prepared and willing to pay $39k per year. That’s why I have said for many years that Wofford needs to recruit more in the Northeast. We have to step out of the state of SC. We have one commodity to offer northern kids and that is weather. We can offer them a place to play for 12 months out of the year and Northeastern schools are a similar in price to Wofford…if not more expensive. Parents in the Northeast are prepared to pay $45k per year for school…but that’s another story.
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Re: how long?

Postby jackiewalnuts on Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:36 pm

SC_Terrier,
Good points. Perhaps, I was being too negative in not realizing the two run improvement in our ERA from 08 to '10. You are right that is a sign of progress, and I should have focused on that instead of complaining that it is still poor by comparison to our opponents.
I agree that money is the biggest problem facing our baseball program. However, I still am going to defend my belief that Wofford has the ability to compete in the Southern Conference. From my understanding, our lack of baseball scholarships does not prohibit potential financial aid, academic scholarships, or service based scholarships (like Bonner). If these academic scholarships are not available during the admission process, then I am sure there are avenues to reward a student athlete who excels academically once they are on campus. With the success of Brandon and Gilmartin, it has been established that if you prove yourself as one of the top performers in the SoCon then there will be opportunities to play baseball professionally. As a high school athlete, this would make an impact on me.
To sum up my point, I believe we can compete because we have one of the newest D-1 stadiums in South Carolina with an exceptional playing surface. If you perform well while at Wofford, there is a significant chance you can continue your career professionally. Our recruiting base of South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina produces great high school baseball. In addition, as you suggest we have something to offer prospects from the north as an untapped resource for recruiting. I know we have our backs against the wall without the scholarships, but that should not be the end of the discussion.

As for your belief that the Wofford community would be in uproar if we recruited athletes with borderline academics, that may be the case in some areas. From my perspective, these athletes will be given every kind of opportunity to succeed while at Wofford and just because someone does not produce academically in high school and on standardized scores (ala Eric Norwood) should not automatically assume they will not produce at Wofford. As long as the athletes are academically eligible and abide by the Honor Code, I do not see an uproar over their inability to make Dean's List. In addition, people respond to incentives to produce. There is more incentive for a college athlete to become eligible to keep his scholarship than there is for a high school student uncertain of his future.

Finally, I appreciate the responses. Does that mean the general feeling is because we are at such a competitive disadvantage on the diamond, we should accept these results? I don't agree with that, but I am interested in the opinion of you all.
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Re: how long?

Postby Ruckus on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:41 pm

As a former player in the Mark Line era (which for some on this board didn't really exist and was inferior to the great athletes of our current generation), I for one think we should be more competitive but how much more is an open question. I'd like to think we could beat Furman and Davidson on a regular basis and at least get into the conference tournament on a regular basis, but apparently not. From what I have seen, we are not as fundamentally sound defensively as I would like and the strategies employed from time to time are questionable, although our talent level is generally higher than what one would expect given our record (excluding pitching). We have some every day guys that can flat play. Gilmartin and Waring are examples of that talent.
I was not a fan of the hire 3 years ago as I thought we could get a more experienced proven guy but I don't think Coach I is at fault for the continued frustration (at least not completely). The bottom line is lack of money and scholarships. Until the supporters and administration of the college decide baseball will be a priority and fund it more competitively, we will continue to struggle. Which is really unfortunate because we really do have a lot to offer in terms of a quality education at great school, nice facilities, and, although we play a tougher schedule these days, at least some history of success back in the pre-historic ages. :roll:
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Re: how long?

Postby Natural on Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:09 pm

Five or six more scholarships for baseball would make a huge difference in our ability to recruit top pitching. Meanwhile, the football team has five or six scholarship athletes standing on the sideline who never see any action. Would it really hurt the football program to shift five schollys to baseball?
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Re: how long?

Postby wocogoose94 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:27 pm

Let's look at an issue with facts, if they can be ascertained. Can someone please provide facts to the following questions and not just supposition?

Each Division 1 team can award 11.7 scholarships. Each baseball athletic scholarship given must be at least 25% of a scholarship. The number of baseball players on athletic scholarship can not exceed 27 this year. I am pretty sure this information is correct, I apologize if it isnt. Supposing Wofford has 6 scholarships this season, that equates to 24 partial scholarships (giving each 25% of a schollie) I dont think that's a bad deal.

1. How many baseball scholarships does each SOCON team have? UNCG and Davidson dont count in my opinion since they dont offer football schollies,

2, How many baseball scholarships did Wofford have in 2007? 2008? 2009? 2010?

Can anyone help in answering these questions?

Thanks
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Re: how long?

Postby dialing8 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:49 pm

wocogoose94 wrote:Let's look at an issue with facts, if they can be ascertained. Can someone please provide facts to the following questions and not just supposition?

Supposing Wofford has 6 scholarships this season, that equates to 24 partial scholarships (giving each 25% of a schollie) I dont think that's a bad deal.

I understand Wofford to be at just a hair over FOUR

1. How many baseball scholarships does each SOCON team have? UNCG and Davidson dont count in my opinion since they dont offer football schollies,

This is the most guarded secret in the world, but from my questioning of powers at be and a few parents at other schools. I understand Furman is at eight or very close to it and everyone else is between 10 and full. PS--CofC has no football either.

2, How many baseball scholarships did Wofford have in 2007? 2008? 2009? 2010?

Has been about the same but may have gone from low to upper three to low four in this time frame.

Can anyone help in answering these questions?

Thanks
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Re: how long?

Postby johnd7 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:27 pm

pitching has had a up and down yr but you cant say hitting extremely well we only have 3 guys batting over 300 and with the lack on scholarships is not going to win many games when you score only 3 to 5 runs per game
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Re: how long?

Postby blitz4 on Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:42 pm

From my understanding our Wofford baseball program does a great job of using these scholarships combined with academic and other scholarships available to make playing at Wofford affordable. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that our players are all paying 36,000 to go to school. I personally am getting sick and tired of hearing this scholarship mess. Our baseball team is fundamentally horrible. They walk way to many and commit too many errors. Last year our team had a 7.56 era at this point in the season. If history repeats itself, the era should slip well up into the mid 8's or even 9's.
From the attitudes on this board, there are two guys who think Coach I and his staff are doing a good job. From the attitudes of Wofford alum and other supporters, there needs to be a change. It's just a matter if RJ can admit he made one of the most bonehead hires in Wofford history.
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Re: how long?

Postby wocogoose94 on Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:00 pm

The cheerleaders should gain some momentum this week as Wofford plays UNCG, the worst team in the conference.
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Re: how long?

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:06 am

Wofford's baseball program has many challenges, as do other programs. Each program also has a buzz around it. Some are positive, some are neutral, some are negative. Some win lots of games, most do not. All of these things can be attributed to 1000 things ranging from funding to consistency to luck. My issue with the baseball program (admittedly I am a casual follower at best) is not with the on-the-field results, but with the buzz I hear coming from the program. I see a core group that is intensely loyal to the current coaching staff and feels they are proceeding in the right direction, but I also see a general apathy from everyone else that makes me question whether this core group really see something the rest don't or if they have some other vested interest. At some point, progress must be shown. I am certainly not the one to make the call on when that time is, but at the risk of allowing more apathy to creep into the program, I would think that next year would be about as far as things should be allowed to progress if the current trend holds. I am certain that the current staff wants to win as much as anyone, but at some time desire is overruled by W's and L's.
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