This has been a disappointing baseball season. I know that sounds silly considering we entered this weekend series with Florida with a 27-7 record and ranked 8th or 11th, depending on the poll. But after getting swept by a good Gator team with a mediocre record, the problems with this team are glaring like the noonday sun – terrible defensively, lacking in quality at-bats, no bullpen with the exception of Adam Westmoreland, and yes, there have been some questionable coaching decisions.
The way we lost these games to Florida only exacerbated the frustration:
- Thursday – Trailing by a run in the top of the 9th, we get a clutch 2-out hit from Chase Vergason with T.J. Costen at second. Costen trips and falls rounding third and is thrown out to end the game.
- Friday – The Gamecocks take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth only to see the Gators score 3 and secure a 4-3 victory.
- Saturday – Chad Holbrook’s squad claws back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game at 4-4. The Gators then put up a 10-spot in a horrific bottom of the sixth, and cruise to a 14-5 victory to complete the sweep.
They were all hard games to watch. When you lose games like that the fan frustration boils over, and people start tweeting and Facebooking and blogging. Some complaints are reasonable to point out (like the above) and many go over the top. People can get stupid in times like these, but I understand. If you don’t like it you can ignore it or not respond to it.
Or, you can be Andy Demetra:
It’s no secret this guy gets under our skin, and this is a prime example of why.
First, the “clever” play on words, a Demetra trademark – “Win Anyway”, “Whine Anyway”. I felt like I was experiencing his wordplay again for the first time. Yuck.
Second, the finger-wagging. As a representative of USC and the athletic department there are ways to respond to fair criticism and unfair criticism alike that don’t make you sound like a condescending a-hole. People say stupid things, and people respond in kind with stupid things. The play-by-play guy for a major university sports program doesn’t have to lower himself into that conversation, and if he does there’s a proper way to do it. The proper way is not to insult your fan base.
Finally, as a guy who covers this team day in and day out, it’s ok to point out some shortcomings. Not only is it ok, we should demand it. Otherwise he just becomes the Baghdad Bob of Gamecock sports.
“All is well!”
I got news for you, it ain’t. And it’s ok for us to talk about it. Really.