Report: Chris Sabo to Be Named U-M Baseball Coach (update2)

Submitted by Raoul on June 23rd, 2012 at 6:30 PM

It looks like it'll be a Michigan Man after all. Per Skippers Dugout:

Hearing reports Chris Sabo will be named new HC at #Michigan. Several reports today on this story. Something's up.Stay posted.

— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 23, 2012

Update: Matt Slovin of the Michigan Daily recently tweeted this:

Michigan asst. baseball coach Wayne Welton told me earlier today that Twitter is the only place he has heard Chris Sabo will be new HC.

— Matt Slovin (@MattSlovin) June 24, 2012

Update2: Skippers Dugout posted a series of tweets last night about his supposed "scoop." Here there are in the order in which he posted them:

FYI:lots of people blowing us up on Sabo to #Michigan.We got three emails from people in the game tipping us off on this. We just (cont)

We said we were hearing reports of this. Not us coming out saying this. We just pass on scoop of what we here. We try to confirm (cont)

Only person that probably knows about this job is Brandon. We r working our connections but like we always said this is tight to the vest.

We know the people that tipped this story to us. Connected in baseball and connected to #Michigan felt was worthy of throwing it out there.

We r interested 2 see if the "reports" end up being true. Take it for what it's worth. We guess whoever is hired should b this week.



June 23rd, 2012 at 7:06 PM ^

Did you ever use any of these coupons  though?

I have to say that Sabo would be an...unexpected choice. If he is hired and builds a good staff, that would definitely help. So far, the current administration is making excellent hires, so I am guessing there is something that they see that we don't necessarily. I would be willing to give this a go. 


June 23rd, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

So we are going to hire a 50 year old man who has no experience in college baseball (other than as a 3-year player), and no experience managing a baseball team?

I hope it's not true; it strikes me as the Bill Freehan debacle all over again.

Leaders And Best

June 23rd, 2012 at 8:38 PM ^

Not as surprising as Nebraska hiring 37 year old Darin Erstad to take over their program last year.  Has worked out OK for them so far and wonder if that may have inspired this move if true. At least Sabo has had some minor league coaching and development experience if this does happen


June 24th, 2012 at 9:18 AM ^

A couple of points:

(1) Erstad was already an assistant coach at Nebraska when he was hired to be their head coach.  He had received a year of on-the-job training prior to being given the reigns of the program.  Sabo has never been involved in college baseball.

(2) It's hard to argue that Erstad has "worked out okay for them so far," since he has only been coach for one year, and a 4th place finish in the Big Ten didn't exactly meet their expectations coming in to the season.  It's too early to judge how Erstad is working for Nebraska.  If he does work out, that's wonderful for Nebraska, since there's no reason that he couldn't be their coach for the next quarter century.


Leaders And Best

June 24th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

1. Erstad retired from MLB in 2010 and served as a volunteer assistant coach for one year (under a coach who was fired).  I wouldn't really call that on-the-job training as he had no prior coaching experience.  Sabo may not have been involved in college baseball, but he has had more experience in player development by working as a coach in minor league baseball. I was just making the point that Erstad has had less coaching experience than Sabo.

2. Don't know enough about Nebraska baseball and the fanbase's expectations, but Nebraska was picked to finish 4th in the league in the preseason poll so I would say they met expectations. They were one of the worst teams in the Big 12 the last 3 years.  Big 12 is a better baseball conference, but it would be hard to predict they would run roughshod over the Big 10 in their 1st year with a history like that.  Just saw that they had a decent record in his 1st year (actually had 3rd best overall record of Big Ten teams when including nonconference) and finished ahead of Sparty who actually made the NCAA tourney.  Finishing 4th in the league in your 1st year could be good or bad depending on perspective. This Nebraska blog considers the season a mixed bag but successful overall:

Not defending a Sabo hire as I would prefer someone with more experience. Just trying to reason motivation behind why he may being pursued.


June 23rd, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

It's a very large gamble, considering he's got no meaningful managing experience. Michigan should not be a training ground for managers and head coaches, regardless of their Michigan ties. There were other more highly qualified candidates being mentioned; maybe they all turned David Brandon down.


June 23rd, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

Well, as someone said in a previous thread: Why would anyone leave the ACC to come to the Big Ten? And I couldn't see Stricklin leaving Kent State either--at least not for the Michigan job. He might as well wait for an opening at a Sunbelt school.

I don't disagree that this is a gamble. If he does get the job, Sabo will need to make some solid hires for his assistants.


June 24th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

I'm actually not that surprised.  UM (and really the whole B1G) isn't a destination for established, on-the-rise baseball coaches, and I never thought the coach from Kent State would make what would likely be a lateral move.  I don't know enough about Sabo to determine whether or not he'll be a good coach, but at this point Brandon probably knocked on a bunch of doors and Sabo was the only one who answered.

I do wish him luck, and hopefully he'll help to turn the program around.


June 23rd, 2012 at 7:03 PM ^

Brandon seems to be making some good coaching hires, but this one seems outta left field (no pun intended). He usually seems to like to o with a head oath track record. But maybe he wow'd in an interview with his plan. Or feel a major leaguer can recruit where recruiting is tough. But it would be an odd choice. But I guess a lot thought Brady was too.


June 23rd, 2012 at 7:27 PM ^

You know the "I played at Michigan" card was brought up in the interview. Went something like this:

DB: you ever coach in college baseball?

Sabo: no

DB: you ever been a head coach anywhere?

Sabo: no

DB: do you know what it's like to recruit?


DB: Why should I hire you?

Sabo: did I tell you I played at Michigan?

DB: You're hired


June 23rd, 2012 at 10:01 PM ^

seriously, what sort of qualifications do you expect the manager of a baseball team to have?

1. do you have access to any of the following?

                             a. sunflower seeds

                             b. chewing tobacco

                             c. big league chew bubble gum

2. can you spit?


3. are you not a moron and can tell when a pitcher is getting his ass handed to him and call in a relief pitcher?




June 23rd, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

Sabo was a part of an era when Michigan had players who would go on to be major leaguers: Hal Morris, Barry Larkin, and Sabo to the Reds, Jim Abbott and Scott Kamieniecki to various teams.

Casey Close ended up being pretty successful, too, after he bounced around the minors.  He is best known for being Derek Jeter's agent, though some around here might remember that he negotiated a $17 million deal for overwhelmed and undertooled Drew Henson.