Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Badger Baseball? Enough already.

It happens annually. Sort of like Bill Hall becoming a worse baseball player. Every year around the MLB draft and College Baseball World Series, people (media folks) talk about what an embarrassment it is that Wisconsin does not have a baseball team. With LAX dropping their squad, it's even more amplified than ever. It's recently been on the radio in Madison, and Mikey Hunt writes on this topic today...which is eerily similar to what he wrote a couple months ago. He even bolded a few statements for that "I'm really pissed" effect.

Look, baseball was cut for a number of reasons - chiefly, money. The team was consistently garbage, nobody went to the games, which were played in a shitty, D3-esque ballpark. Former UW baseball all-American Pat Richter was the AD responsible for cutting the cord, so the situation must have been bad. The guy F-ing played baseball at UW.

Amongst the arguments for revival is the U of Oregon. The Ducks brought to life their baseball program after an 18 year hiatus. This example is junk. First, Hunt says it would take around $10 million to start up a baseball program. According to this article, the Oregon stadium alone cost $15 million. That's not including coaches salaries, equipment, scholarships, and travel. And not only did Oregon add baseball, they cut wrestling (Wisconsin grapplers are always nationally ranked, by the way) and added something called "women's competitive cheer" to balance the Title IX numbers. Oh, and lets not forget the behemoth named "NIKE" a few miles up the road from Eugene which, no doubt, threw around considerable cash towards the efforts.

I realize the finances are out-of-this-world different now than in 1991. But let's be honest, Bucky just cut the printing of media guides to save a few pennies. You think they can afford to: build a stadium, pay for coaches, and spend the first month of the season on the road (weather)? No chance. Unless they ax about 6 other sports like rowing, or basket weaving, or whatever sports they have. That's not gonna happen either. One reason? Bucky already has a pretty low number (23) of varsity sports compared to the rest of the Big-11. Only Purdue, Northworstern and Illinois has less. Ohio State has 36, including - no joke - both men's and woman's pistol and rifle (Maurice Clarett, 2002 All-American). I'll bet within 10 years, two other Big-11 schools drop baseball rather than Bucky adding it.

Finally, is there enough high school baseball talent in Wisconsin? Quick, who's the best MLBer from the Badger State? Jarrod Washburn? Craig Counsell? This is a football state. Always has been, always will. Even when Alvarez took over the downtrodden football program, he immediately knew he wouldn't have to travel far to find enough beefy white kids to create solid O and D lines. There's no baseball equivalent for that. Recruiting big time, out of state talent to an unestablished program would be tough. Not impossible, but tough.

To recap, Mike Hunt sucks and baseball will never return to Madison. Enough already.

Whew, this felt like a homework assignment.

7 comments:

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DOGY said...

On the Oregon point-

I'm an alumni and was out in Eugene when that whole situation started up. Admittedly, I had a bad taste in my mouth about the administration at the University after they shadily sold the international/grad student housing I was living in to the local slumlord for the money to build a new basketball arena, so I wasn't entirely receptive to the U adding a baseball team. Especially considering the only reasons they were doing it was because OSU had just one two straight CWS championships, And yeah, Nike (who Oregon should just change there name to) was willing to throw massive skrill at the project.

All that said, I think that colleges should have baseball teams, especially colleges like Oregon and Wisconsin that can basically print money with their football programs (and heaven knows that money doesn't get injected back into the University at any consistent rate, you know, to lower the retarded, rising tuition costs). But that's me.

jnizzle said...

If bucky added baseball, the kids at the U would take tailgating to the Next Level. The mortality rate would increase by 5%......

Don't Panic We Have Leskanic said...

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Badger baseball, but as a proud UWM alum who watched plenty of games at the Hank, my primary concern is getting the lone D1 program in the state into a better venue.

Anonymous said...

you just said your cunt sucks

Anonymous said...

I love how people use how many major leaguers a school has produced as a barometer for keeping or restarting a baseball program. Throw in the relative lack of success of the program, and you've got two of the dumbest arguments ever.
If those two things were used as a gauge to keep or drop sports programs, colleges would be ridding themselves of athletic programs at an alarming rate.
And please don't cite UW Wrestling - they have been good in the past, but not long after UW chose to drop baseball, wrestling received NCAA sanctions for providing its wrestlers with improper benefits. Perhaps that should have been taken into account.
I don't care if they bring the program back or not, but at least make a useful argument if you think they shouldn't.

Scottage Cheese said...

Instead of the spotlight being on Madison and their quest to revitalize their baseball program...why not concentrate on the one we already have in UW-Milwaukee? They play on a bush league field that isn't even suitable for a high school game.
They play in a semi-decent conference and have turned out Major League players. Why not direct funding to this school to help in their quest of building a stadium?