That umpiring post until noon so it looks like I potentially did some work today. Instead I’ve been in and out of class all morning with little time to devote to this place. It doesn’t help that this is the slowest Wednesday in google reader history for me. Normally I have about 240 articles posted on a Wednesday, right now its around 180. One of those remaining 60 or so posts is going to be awesome… I just know it.
Just as I typed that, it comes through. I follow NorthernSunBaseball pretty regularly. The Northern Sun Conference is a D2 conference including mostly Minnesota schools, but also schools Iowa and Nebraska (and maybe other places, as I’m too lazy to look up where they all are). It’s blogger, FishinMN, posted a couple links to notable baseball stories from the news, and I thought they were interesting enough to comment upon, and just spread the word in general. Make sure you check out his site. Great stuff.
The first link tells of D2 level Newberry College. The college was recently pressured into dropping it’s mascot name, the Indians. While not formally required to change its name, the NCAA rule from two years ago prohibits teams from showing “hostile or abusive” images relating to Native Americans during post-season road games and host post-season games.
The College decided to drop the nickname mid year, and no new name has been adopted. The now nickname-less team joins only 2 other colleges, both in D3, who carry no mascot name. To quote one of the baseball players:
“We are the notorious Block N’s,” says Bley, a baseball outfielder. “It carries no fear.”
The second link made former.ly.cious last week, telling the story of a D2 baseball team in Maine that hasn’t hosted a home game since 2005, a year in which they only hosted 2 games. They are so isolated, and their climate far too cold to get teams to play against them on their home field. An outfielder takes it as well as he can,
“You can either complain that the baseball field is buried under six feet of snow, or you drive to where you can play baseball,” said Tyler Delaney, a junior infielder. “We don’t complain.”
I admire their willingness to play, and especially to keep up the academics. It can’t be easy playing 37 road games in a 2.5 month span, even more so in a cramped bus with 13 other players and your 2 coaches.
His last link was something I hadn’t heard about, but there was a minor leaguer traded for ten wooden bats last May. While initially the guy seemed to take it well, doing interviews, finishing the season, etc., the guy overdosed on drugs this past week. Quoting a previous coach:
“I guarantee this trade thing really bothered him. That really worried me,” said Dan Shwam, who managed Odom last year on the Laredo Broncos of the United League. “I really believe, knowing his background, that this drove him back to the bottle, that it put him on the road to drugs again.”
That is truly awful. While it is speculation on the coach, it hopefully still raises some introspection by both baseball general managers and business managers in general on how they treat employees.