I did not make this headline up
I stumbled across what looks to be a pretty good source for college baseball coaching rumors—a Twitter account called Skippers Dugout. Whoever is behind this account has tweeted a number of times about the Michigan job, with some interesting rumors that I haven't seen posted here before. On June 12, there was this one:
Hearing #Michigan has possible interest in former legend Chris Sabo. Been told AD Brandon wants "Michigan Man".— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 12, 2012
Also on June 12:
This is likely a reference to Erik Bakich, current head coach at Maryland, given this tweet two days later:
Bakich looks like a pretty good option. His Maryland profile says this about him:
Bakich, who is the youngest head coach at any BCS school, has a remarkable record of recruiting and developing elite talent. In the last 10 years he has coached 73 players that have been selected in the MLB draft, including 25 in the first five rounds and nine first-round picks.
I've seen many people advocating for Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin to get the Michigan job, but Skippers Dugout posted this on June 14:
One other name mentioned recently is current Michigan pitching coach Steve Merriman:
UPDATE: Perhaps Stricklin is still a possibility. Skippers Dugout just posted this:
A couple of side notes:
- Someone asked in a previous thread what other openings there are in college baseball. From BaseballAmerica's 2012 College Coaching Carousel, it appears that Michigan has the only current opening among BCS schools.
- Skippers Dugout has tweeted a number of times about Rich Maloney, indicating that he may be headed back to Ball State:
UPDATE2: Rich Maloney's return to Ball State is now official, and he'll be (re)introduced at a press conference tomorrow morning. See Rich Maloney Named Ball State's Head Baseball Coach.
Also, Kent State was eliminated from the College World Series earlier today, so if Stricklin is in fact interested in the Michigan job, he's now free to pursue it.
Coach Rich Maloney did an interview with Brian Foley of College Baseball Daily a few days ago revealing some answers to many of this off season's pressing questions, including the starting rotation and left field, as well as the closer situation (Tyler Mills in the lead), the tough schedule, and the new bat standards for this season. Some great stuff and worth a read to get your mind off other things.
As far as the rotation,
Kolby Wood will be interesting to see. I haven’t decided yet on who the Friday night guy will be yet. Bobby Brosnahan had a really nice year in 2010 and we are expecting big things from Bobby, no question. On the flip side, Kolby Wood has been outstanding, had a great fall and has become one of our leaders. It’s going to be significant for our team to be successful that Kolby comes into his own this season. He is very capable and has a Major League arm. He needs to have that consistency.
He also mentions Travis Smith as a "wildcard," which seems an apt description of a guy who started so promising, yet fell apart last season as well as both summers. Sinnery just gets a short mention in the end, which somewhat concerns me. He, along with Brosnahan, was held back from some more competitive summer leagues in order to stay in Ann Arbor to focus on strength and conditioning. One really had to think there was a lot banking on him with Matt Miller's early departure.
As far as left field, Mike O'Neill gets the first mention with his electric bat. O'Neill is a nephew of former Yankee great Paul and comes in as one of Michigan's most heralded freshmen. Kevin Krantz is also in the mix, having almost having a breakout in place of Ryan LaMarre, a breakout cut short by a broken finger of his own.
On in like 2 minutes. Repeating throughout the day. 15-run comeback. Must watch.
Update: Maloney will be on the 6pm edition to talk the comeback. Somebody get me the clip to watch when I get home.
This isn't anything revolutionary, crucially important or even mildly fascinating, but I'd like to highlight a positive contribution from the M community to my community.
I hail (!) from the small town of Chelsea, about fifteen minutes west of A2. My residence here isn't particularly MGoRelevant, but somebody else's is: Chelsea also happens to be home to Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney. I've had the pleasure of talking to him at a number of different sporting events in town, and I've always found him to be a great guy who makes an effort to be active in his community.
My positive impression of him grew a bit stronger today when I opened this week's edition of the local paper and saw a page of photos from area schools and preschools. March has been declared reading month in Chelsea, and among other things, that includes a variety of guests who visit local schools and read to the kids. As a part of that, Coach Maloney and several of the players spent time as guest readers at one of the elementary schools in Chelsea.
So as a resident of Chelsea, I'd like to thank Rich Maloney, Nick Urban, Mike Kittle, Chris Berset and Eric Katzman for taking the time to make a positive contribution to the community.
So I was planning on interviewing Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney tomorrow, but this morning's Michigan Insider with Sam Webb had their time with Rich Maloney this morning and they more than asked pretty much all of my same questions. So I'll summarize Maloney's comments here (full audio):
- The rotation is still up in the air. Oaks and Brosnahan appear to have solidified their spot in the weekend. Burgoon is going back to the closer role for now, but if Miller continues to struggle, Burgoon will be the third guy. If for some reason we don't have to use Burgoon in a Friday and Saturday, we could see him on Sunday as well.
- Ryan LaMarre is due to have the pins out of his thumb tomorrow (Wednesday). It should be at least a week of rehab to build up strength. Maloney expects LaMarre to battle to get in quicker against Indiana, but "but that might be a bit of a reach."
- Coley Crank has been a surprise to Maloney. They knew he'd one day be an offensive force, but his explosion this early was surprising. He's also greatly improved his defense.
- "Chris Berset is playing at an unbelievable level right now. He's truly one of the best catchers in the country right now."
- "Dufek hasn't been hitting them out of the park, but he's been starting to come alive with the bat." We'll have some more on this later in the week here at mgoblog.
- We're playing at Stanford next year, at LSU in 2012.
- Rain delays in Atlanta pushed back getting into Ann Arbor from 10pm Sunday via airplane to 2pm Monday (with a 12 hour bus trip).
- WTKA will broadcast 10 games this season between WTKA and WLBY
So it sounds like LaMarre is still on schedule. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ryan get a few at bats against Indiana, at least in a DH or pinch hitter role, most likely the latter.