First, I hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl yesterday. It was quite a game. I wrote on Saturday that I thought the New Orleans Saints would cover, but I didn’t think they would win.
I am really happy the Indianapolis Colts didn’t win. It would have angered me to see a coach like Jim Caldwell win a Super Bowl. Is there a more useless coach in the NFL than him?
He is exactly what George Seifert was with the San Francisco 49ers. He just stands there, does nothing and wins with someone else’s talent. That act won’t act much longer.
Now that the football season is officially over, it’s baseball season again. And now that we all can focus on baseball full-time, I wanted to talk about an article I came across the other day.
I was reading Buster Olney’s article on Saturday (which every baseball fan should be reading) and the beginning of his article focused on how Major League Baseball can help the college game.
Here are some of the suggestions Olney got in regards to how MLB can help college baseball:
1. As Major League Baseball restructures the draft in the next labor negotiations, it could help the colleges by moving their draft signing deadline up to July, somewhere in the middle of the month, so there can be an adjustment period for schools that lose kids to MLB teams. Under the current deadline, in mid-August, colleges are left in a really difficult position regarding maximizing their use of scholarships when kids who would be on scholarship suddenly sign with the pro ranks. As it stands, college coaches don’t have a clear idea about their needs or available money until after the signing deadline.
Moving up the deadline might also be more attractive to MLB teams, because this would mean the drafted players would be signed and playing in short-season leagues by the middle of the summer.
2. There would be support in the college ranks for some sort of baseball combine where players go and get the meetings with teams and physicals out of the way instead of having area scouts track the players all winter and spring. As it stands, says one insider, “there are tons of meetings for these kids — they become redundant and it is a distraction during the most crucial time [before the college regionals and College World Series], right before draft. They could have the combine in January before we start school.”
3. Move the draft so it comes after the College World Series. As it stands, the draft falls right in the middle of the college baseball playoff season, which has an impact on the teams.
These are all really good suggestions and suggestions that I agree with. I think that MLB could be doing even more. Here are a couple of more suggestions I have for improving college baseball.
4. MLB and the NCAA needs to work better with ESPN and the MLB Network and start televising college baseball games on TV. Let’s face it, the only time you hear about college baseball is during the College World Series or the Draft.
However, you can hear about college football or basketball 12 months a year if you want to. That’s because ESPN covers these sports on a yearly basis.
How great would it be if ESPN or the MLB Network starting showing the College Baseball game of the week on a Tuesday night during the summer. If baseball wants to put some juice into their draft, then people need to know who their favorite team is drafting.
Stephen Strasburg was the most hyped prospect maybe of all-time and nobody ever saw him pitch on TV. That needs to change. Putting college baseball on TV would really help the sport tremendously.
5. Turn college baseball from a regional sport to a national sport. The way college baseball is setup now, it’s a regional sport. If you look at the College World Series over the last 20 years, it’s teams predominately from the southeast, southwest, and west.
I think the NCAA should bring back the northeast and midwest bracket like they had in the 1980′s. Back in the 80′s, schools like the University of Maine, St. Johns, and James Madison made the College World Series. Now, those schools don’t have a chance.
If you give those schools a chance to compete at the highest level, it will attract more kids from the northeast to baseball. The reality is a coach from let’s say Penn State, can’t walk into a kids home in Pennsylvania and say “You will have a chance to play for a National Championship.”
If college baseball gave everyone a chance, it would help the sport.
This is a pretty interesting topic and I think we can all agree that baseball needs to do a better job of integrating itself with the college game. Hopefully these suggestions are a start.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham of Twitter @ theghostofmlg