COMPLETELY UNINFORMED SMACK
BY DR NORRIS CAMACHO
Welcome back my friends
to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside.
Well, here we are. We show up in the strangest of places sometimes. We weren't planning this, but once he heard about the matchup with you-know-who cuppycup got on his HAM radio and contacted all of us in our parents' basements and told us to get busy. Then he asked for the cheat codes to Assassins' Creed 4. Then we discussed the merits of various Doritos flavors. Blogger joke.
So relax, look around, take it all in. This is your last comfortable stop for a while. It's like Kerrville on your way to El Paso: one last chance at all the amenities before the long stretch of nothing and then the abrupt awkwardness of Fort Stockton--Media Days in mid-July. Probably. I'm just guessing at this metaphor because I'm now confined to a sliver of East Texas.
Let's baseball, folks.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
BY JASON ZIMMERMANN
P: Prior to the SEC Tournament game against Arkansas, Mengden had allowed just 6 earned runs over his last 4 starts combined. It would be huge for A&M to start regional play with a win over Texas, and Mengden is at least familiar with the Texas rivalry - the junior was on the team when the Aggies won the last series back in 2012.
1B: A&M's 1st baseman has come up clutch on numerous occasions this season, and leads the team in RBI and total bases. Against a team that pitches very well and manufactures runs, the Aggies are going to need someone to step up for a clutch hit and Lankford seems like the most likely character.
P: After starting the year unsuccessfully as Texas' closer, Thornhill moved to the starting rotation and has fared well. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 3 starts, and Coach Garrido will give him the ball against A&M. His favorite sports teams are the Yankees and Heat, favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and LeBron, and enjoys listening to Taylor Swift. Does anything else need to be said?
CF: When you consider that he hit just .247 in Big 12 play, Payton's .319 average tells you he was tearing up the ball in nonconference action. The senior CF set a Big 12 record for reaching base safely in 95 consecutive games, and had a strong performance in the conference tournament. If he heats up in regional play, Texas will have a much easier time putting some runs on the scoreboard.
FIELD: It's actually a little humorous that A&M and Texas have both beaten Rice at Reckling already in 2014 heading into this weekend's regional. As far as park dimensions go, Reckling is 330' to LF and RF, 375' to LCF and RCF, and 400' to straightaway CF. Those actually are the exact same dimensions as A&M's Olsen Field, but a little different from Disch-Falk Field in Austin - the Disch is 340 to LF, 325 to RF, and 400 to CF like the others. Obviously the biggest difference for the Horns will be playing on real grass, as opposed to the FieldTurf garba, er, surface that they have at their home park.
The baseball strategy/exercise known as the "bunt" can trace its origins back to the late 19th century. During the 1880s Abner Obadiah Bunt, the manager/barber of the Poxy Haberdashers of the Pioneer Base Ball League of Connecticut, felt that there was an overabundance of base running brought on by too much hitting.
"Such Excessive use of Ball-Striking can lead to Over Exertion and Foment the Foul Humours…" he wrote in 1887. "I propose what I would name ‘A Half Stop Swing to Alleviate Disorderly Capering About the Baseball Diamond’ in order to give relief to both Base Runners and Fielders of Play alike…"
Of course the official name faded from common vernacular virtually immediately and the practice became known simply as a "bunt" as opposing teams and even the PH’s themselves were heard to say "look at that a***** Bunt, he is at it once again" when the strategy was deployed.
The bunt lives proudly on in certain regions of the country, particularly in the college ranks.
The state of Texas has been celebrating the fifth year of drought with a series of violent thunderstorms and severe weather for the past week. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if our little stroll down memory lane gets even more Big XII as we see the tarps roll out. Use this added down time to visit with our long lost burnt orange brethren, grab a hot dog, and reassure yourself that Rice almost never floods every year. It is several feet above sea level.
You know how it goes. You break up with someone, talk trash about them behind their back, start seeing someone new and exotic… then you end up at a friend’s wedding and guess who you’re seated next to at table 713? You could make a scene, mock them for having a rough go of things, and go on and on about how happy you are with your new conference. But we all know the only classy thing to do in this situation is get wildly drunk, hook up in the back of the BMW her dad bought her, puke in her purse when she isn’t looking, steal that win and get the hell outta Dodge. That upper decker in Rice’s guest bathroom is just collateral damage.
B.A.S. - Baseball Edition
This is a scrappy Aggie baseball team capable of pulling off stunning upsets and digging themselves out of huge holes to win a series. It is also a team capable of falling flat on its face in the true tradition of Aggie athletics. This is not the time for dwelling on the low points. This is A&M’s eighth consecutive postseason, a mark that should be celebrated regardless for a program that has historically struggled to remain consistent. Congrats to our boys, and good luck in the Bayou City!
ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC
Why are there even other conferences? Elsewhere in the SEC there is so much going on that it would be impossible to list as a record 10 SEC teams made it to the college post-season and 5 of those teams are hosting their regional. This is just the result of media propaganda. SEC baseball dominance is a myth and the Big XII is stronger top to bottom than the SEC. TCU and WV are an upgrade. Academics. So cold… so very cold…
LET'S HAVE A STATGASM
BY FLETCHER MASSIE
WHAT TO WEAR
PRESENTED BY AGGIELAND OUTFITTERS
SHINE BRIGHT AT THE DIAMOND
Maroon Out Reckling Park with this Adidas Climalite tee depicting two bats bunting a ball at the same time. If you don't own any baseball specific Aggie gear and can't make a run to Aggieland Outfitters before Friday's game, go ahead and throw on your #2 jersey. Nothing will annoy the t-sips more. Looking for a conversation starter? Please have a look at some of our recent articles here on Good Bull Hunting.
Text GOODBULL to 99000 on 5/29 for a chance to win a free baseball shirt from Aggieland Outfitters.
BEST CASE / WORST CASE
Scoreboard with a vengeance. Sure, we won the last series against the sips. That's nice. They still took the last game to the tune of 2-1. That's purely unacceptable. Beating the horns in a Regional and putting them one loss away from elimination would be so damn sweet. Doing it in a 20-0 perfect game, though... I'm sorry I blacked out from hypothetical pleasure. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Scoreboard.
Bonus points: Manziel decides to attend as Celebrity Ball Boy and proceeds to heckle the everliving hell out of the sip batters from directly behind the home plate ump. The Sips will protest, of course, but the ump lifts up his chest plate to reveal that he's wearing an OVO t-shirt underneath. He and Johnny both make the "money" sign at the sip dugout and a bench clearing brawl ensues. This will become my favorite gif ever.
And also scoreboard.
Sips win and we have to freaking hear about it. A lot. Because that's all they have right now. That and a new football coach.
Hey, it's not all bad. How's the Big 12, fellas?
Dear Corps members, if the A&M baseball team has a man on third and calls for the squeeze play, it's not what you think it is. #GBHTailgate
A&M and Texas have agreed to go on one date. Both teams are hoping to literally and figuratively at least make it to 2nd base. #GBHTailgate
Good news, Ags. I’ve checked the Texas Baseball roster and there is no one with the last name "Tucker." #GBHTailgate
I heard our regional is sold out except for a little sliver of seats down the east side of Reckling. #GBHTailgate
There is no truth to reports that Texas A&M will join the SEC in the spring of 2012. None.