Hmm, well that sucked didn't it? I was certain we could beat Troy and Belmont- and I was wrong. So now we sit here with baseball over, and for all intents and purposes the slow summer season is here. Now, I'm aware that the Pokes were knocked out of the NCAA's almost two weeks ago, but I wanted to take some time, take a step back, and reflect on the season that was after a few days had passed. If you're ready, click the jump and we'll see what the hell happened and what to look forward to next year.
Before the season began, I'm sure most had low expectations for this Cowboy squad. The 2010 team had, well, sucked, and missed both the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA tournament. Going into the year, I know I would have been pumped if I knew we would finish 4th and get back to the postseason. But the thing about expectations is they can change. Mid April the Cowboys were 28-9, one game back of first in the Big 12, and 5 games above Oklahoma. Life was good. It was at this point, after two thirds of the season had passed, that I started to think "Hey, you know, we might make some noise this year, kick a little ass, and make a post season run". And then we began one hell of a choke job, closing out the back third of the season 7-16, including a four game losing streak to wrap up the year. I believe "shit" is the appropriate response to that last sentence.
Most of the reason I waited to write this article (besides my extreme laziness) is that I didn't want to create a Frank Anderson needs to be fired piece (though to be honest on the Sunday after we were knocked out of the NCAA's I created a draft title "Frank Anderson Must Go". I deleted that gem, had language that would make David Banner blush.) But I'm having a hard time figuring out why our collapse isn't Andersons fault. There is no mystery why we lost games. We didn't have "internal issues" like OU. We didn't have God against us like Missouri (it's true). What we did have was a very undisciplined team, one that had problems making the routine plays. Our pitchers lost all control near the end of the season, allowing more than half of our walks or hit by pitches in a third of the season. After such a great start, including climbing all the way to a 16th ranking, it just seems odd that without a major injury or something crazy that we would crumble so hard, and the only person I can think of to blame is coach Anderson.
Now, again, we are far and away better this year compared to last year, but I don't believe that means we should just accept what happened. I can hear you now, "But King, you dumb shit, before this season Anderson hasn't had a full allotment of scholarships in like 42 years. THINK OF THE GOD DAMN SCHOLARSHIPS YOU DICK!!!" Well, I did, thank you very much, and that excuse doesn't mean a damn thing. Texas Tech suffered the exact same penalty from 1999-2002 and made the NCAA tournament all 4 years. In the end, I don't even know what to think anymore. Since Anderson has been the OSU skipper we have finished: 4th, 6th, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 9th, 10th, and now 4th. Does he deserve to keep his job? Probably, but we lost to Belmont to end the year, and that pisses me off. Yes, the same Belmont who was making their FIRST APPEARANCE in the NCAA tournament. Glad we could give em a parting gift.
Lets hit some positive notes before we get outta here. Zach Johnson was selected as a Louisville Slugger All American this year, that's badass, congrats to Zach. We also had 6 Cowboys drafted in the MLB draft: Chris Marlowe was selected in the 5th round by San Francisco (up from the 21st round a year ago); Mike Strong was selected in the 10th round by Milwaukee; Mark Ginher went in the 14th round to the White Sox; Zach Johnson was selected in the 15th round by Houston; Brad Propst went in the 38th round to Houston; and finally Devin Shines was also selected in the 38th round by Los Angeles. So lets wish these Cowboys luck as they begin their pro careers, if they so choose. We also had series victories over both OU and Texas (I believe the OU series was when the season peaked), and it's always good to beat the horns and thieves.
In closing, we are getting better. We made both the Big 12 and the NCAA tournament, finished 4th in the regular season, and looked like a competent ball club for most of the season. Will Frank Anderson get us back to Omaha? I'm not sure, but hopefully he can get us back to winning Big 12 championships.