Who doesn’t love a new segment? Well, if you’re the answer to that question, then you’re going to hate Soaring Rhetoric. This is the part where my co-editor, Kyle, and I have a stimulating discussion about Boston College sports.
Our maiden voyage is all about the disaster that is the 2013 Boston College baseball season.
Joe: Boston College baseball is 5-25 (0-14), having just been swept by Clemson. In my 9 years following BC sports, I’ve never seen them this bad. The stats are awful everywhere, but what do you think is the most egregious problem with this team right now?
Kyle: Where can we honestly begin? Should I go over the fact that this team was on the road all year until last Wednesday because of the winter and the remnants of snow? This is obviously a young team that is currently only sporting a .199 team batting average, scoring 88 runs to opponents’ 209. Now that is horrid but what is even worse is the team ERA of 6.57. No team can reasonably expect to score six runs a game to back up their pitching and even though opposing pitchers have a 2.25 ERA against our hitters, it seems the bigger problem are the hurlers.
Joe: Pitching has almost always seemed to be an issue with this team in one way or another, though I remember the heady days of guys like Pat Dean and Mike Belfiore. Let’s talk about the offense for a minute, though: in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Clemson, they finally got a decent pitching performance, but they couldn’t plate any runs. They’re now below the Mendoza Line as a team at .199, and they have over seven times as many fielding errors (52) as they do home runs (7). Only one starter is hitting over .250. They don’t even get on base. How’s a team supposed to compete when they can’t even get guys on first?
Kyle: Pitching, pitching lots of pitching. If you’ve ever heard of the campfire song “There’s A Hole In My Bucket,” the problem keeps coming back to fact that the hole in the bucket can’t be fixed because the straw can’t be sharpened because — okay, I’ll stop delving into my childhood memories.
I really don’t think there is much morale on this team. The pitching won’t back up the batters’ effort, so what’s the point in the end? The hitters won’t score a run and the fielders can’t back me up (52 errors as you say). That sort of stuff has to get into a player’s psyche. My little league career was always plagued by this. I played 1B/RF for the same coach for three years. Let’s just say the coach’s son pitched a lot. He wasn’t too good and we hardly ever won. Of course, it was little league but there was always a lack of motivation to do anything. This is a young, inexperienced team that really has no spark and can’t see any light at the tunnel.
Joe: So now this begs the obvious question: just what the hell is BC supposed to do about it? Is it a matter of firing the coach, upgrading facilities to find better talent, both, or neither?
The conversation continues on the next page