Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Blogger: Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily

My challenge with commenting on BC baseball is perspective. I know a little about BC baseball but not much about college baseball in general. The record and the stats show that BC is terrible, but I wanted a more informed opinion. You can't get more informed than Brian Foley. He's a BC grad and the editor and founder of College Baseball Daily. My questions and his answers follow.

1. When we last did this, you thought Gambino would get another year. Do you still feel that way? 

Brian Foley: The last time we did this was before the team started playing up north against some of the mid-week opponents. I thought that maybe the team would have to get used to playing outdoors and the underclassmen that were playing would come around. After starting to play up North (March 26th), they went 5-6 in games. Is that respectable? Not for an ACC team. BC went 8-15 OOC with an extremely weak OOC schedule with losses to Ohio (14-39) and UMass (14-31).

 2. As I mentioned over the weekend, we cannot build a new field in one year. You can't turn the roster. You can't change the weather. What are some immediate things BC can do to improve the baseball program? 

Brian Foley: You can't build a field in one year? I know there is an athletic department in Providence that played an entire season in an arena that was getting construction done on it and the renovations will be done in time to start the season in October. BC "could" build a field in a year but the extra stuff wouldn't be able to be done. But the main issue is, how long can a coach continue to lie to his players that they are getting a new stadium. Tony Sanchez was told he would be playing on the new field and ground was never broken and still isn't.

3. This season was a mess, but did anything give you hope or optimism? 

Brian Foley: Andrew Chin is the only positive but he only has one more season left at BC since he is going to be a draft eligible redshirt sophomore and wouldn't have been at BC if he didn't have Tommy John surgery near the end of his senior year.

4. If BC makes a change, when will it happen and who are some potential replacements?

Brian Foley: If BC makes a change, it needs to happen right now. Cincinnati let go Brian Cleary last Thursday and David Perno was let go on Sunday by Georgia. The longer they wait, the less likely they are going to get a legit candidate with head coaching experience.

Here is my top five
1. Rob Cooper (Wright State)
2. Jim Foster (Rhode Island)
3. Jayson King (Franklin Pierce)
4. Joe Sottalano (Army)- No chance he ever leaves Army...continues to win there.
5. Dave Perno (Former Georgia Coach)- No chance in the monetary range though as he made 450k last season and is due that for the 2014 season.


Big Jack Krack said...

I am an old guy by blog standards.

The baseball field hasn't changed since before I got there (in 1964).

I don't want to hear excuses any longer. It is pathetic that BC has not built a new field. You want to know what's wrong with BC Baseball? How about the lack of commitment to upgrade the field in more than 50 years - especially since joining the ACC.

I'm sick of it. We are better than this - or at least we should be.

Build the new stadium on the Brighton Campus already!

CatabEagle said...

You're not only in the HOF on this blog, but you built the damn place, so I'll walk very softly in my disagreement.

In my opinion, BC needs to give up the dream of big time baseball. We have very limited space and a limited amount of political capital which we can throw around Brighton and Newton. I see our best use of the Brighton Campus would be to build another field which could support student athletic activities. Currently, the following sports teams share a similar spaced field;
1. Men's V Soccer
2. Men's Club Soccer
3. Women's V Soccer
4. Women's Club Soccer
5. Women's V Field hockey
6. Women's Club Field Hockey
7. Men's Club Lacrosse
8. Women's V Lacrosse
9. Women's Club Lacrosse
10.Women's Club Rugby
11. Men's Club Rugby
12. Men's Club Ultimate
13. Women's Club Ultimate
14. Intramural Football
15. Intramural soccer

The following teams use a baseball field:
1. Men's V Baseball
2. Women's V Softball.
3. Intramural Softball

In short, we have approximately 9k students and only so much space for athletic facilities. I'd rather use that space for the betterment of most of our students rather than unique space for the baseball program.

BC'78 said...

Eagle, I am pretty sure that Brian Foley is not a BC grad. I think he went to UNH. Brian's passion for baseball can not be denied and his assessment of BC's baseball situation is fairly accurate.
The new field was supposed to be completed in time for the 2009 season and the ACC championship was supposed to be played at Fenway Park that same year until the Red Sox backpedaled out of it.
Coach Aoki did sell the new ball park in recruiting and we will never know if it was unknowing naivite or intentional lying. In Coach Gambino's defense, he has never and will never use the alleged new field as a recruiting tool, knowing that, pre-Brad Bates, the liklihood of it becoming a reality was a distant mirage. I am sure that the ACC is not happy with BC's baseball facility. Oddly enough, thanks to the grounds crew, the playing surface has been lauded as one of the best in the ACC by none other than Jim Morris, the head coach of Miami. What BC needs to realize is that this new facilty in Brighton can be a great asset for the community in terms of affordable , family entertainment. Stop listening to the political activists and professional protesters in that neighborhood and open dialogue with the families, youth groups, and schools in that area. BC baseball could be a wonderful option for families who will never be able to afford the Red Sox and Fenway Park. BC needs to promote the team, the university, and the ACC and what it has to offer to young kids, families, and senior citizens. BC should take a group of youth leaders from the Brighton community each weekend on road trips to various ACC schools. The atmosphere at Florida State, UNC, Virginia, Clemson, and Miami et al, is fantastic. Once being exposed to it, the youth and community leaders would be BC's best advocates in promoting the start of construction of the new facility. Mayor Mennino can help the local economy immediately by approving this new project and putting hundreds of contractors to work. BC baseball would improve exponentially in the following years and would be on it's way to competing at the level where the 2009 and 2010 teams, which had ten players drafted, had achieved. The foundation for success was there. It needs to get back and beyond that level and it can be done.

Big Jack Krack said...

No problem about walking softly, CatabEagle. Your points are well taken, especially considering the space issues.

I have only been trying to say that if we are going to play baseball - then let's do it.

I do not want to be mired in last place with substandard facilities. We are better than this.

Brian P. Foley said...

I have attended games on the road and been in the clubhouses at Florida State and there is nothing BC can build that can compete with that.

But, there is nothing stopping BC from having a facility like Illinois State which has a turf infield and a grass outfield. They are hosting the 2013 Missouri Valley Tournament this weekend. Something BC couldn't do if they were even in that conference since they don't even have lights on their current field.

I cover baseball for a living now...I care about BC Baseball winning as each game I cover at BC when they are good, it is good for my business. Covering a 4-25 team isn't good at all.

Brian P. Foley said...

And YES, I am a UNH grad but that has nothing to do with my comments on any baseball.

Tim said...

Why doesn't BC just drop baseball? The team has never really been good, and probably never will be. It brings no revenue or positive exposure to the school, and it takes a ton of land (for relatively few games per year) in a geographic area where land is at an extreme premium. Why is it so important for BC to invest so much land and money in a losing enterprise?

Claver2010 said...

Agreed, when Bates has his season ending discussion, killing the program has to be on the table.

Is it worth investing more in a program that has a limited shot to compete, let alone compete for championships in conf?

CatabEagle said...

I agree. If you're going to do something, do it well. Tim also has some great points, do we have a high liklihood of success in Baseball akin to Football, hockey, or basketball, and/or is there a compelling reason for us to continue the program (conference requirements, funding, university prestige, fan/alum interest).

That brings up another discussion; what sport could increase funding for that brings those attributes?

My 2 cents;
1. Unfortunately Mens' sports continutes to turn the dial. So if we were looking for maximum exposure/funding/fans, it would require funding for a men's sport that could draw large crowds .
2. Sports that succeed at schools with a similar profile as ours -urban, expensive, strong academics (USC, ND, Northwestern, Gtown)
3. Possible with our limited space/funding/Title IX constraints

Two Answers (in my humble opinion):
1. Men's Lax
-Big ACC
-East Coast Fan Base
-Uses standard field

2. Men's Rugby
-3rd/4th most popular sport in the world
-Dominated on HS level by Jesuit schools (Gonzaga, Sac Jesuit, Xavier, BC High)
-Uses Standard Field

Curious on every else's thoughts.

skip12 said...

Drop baseball for lax or rugby? Seriously? Why does BC need to consider even dropping the baseball program at all?
Program needs change in the worst way. In no particular order:
1) Hire a successful head coach from a mid-major d1 or a high level d1 assistant. Either hire must bring a top level recruiter.
2) pay for a 2nd full-time assistant in accordance with just about every major d1 school
3) at a minimum, move your acc games to Lowell or brockton. Charge admission and promote the program to youth/hs programs. 9 of the top 32 teams in this weeks poll are from the future acc. Its certainly good baseball for an area that gets 1700 fans a night for brockton rox futures league games. At least give the program some sense of being in a top level conference by playing in a quality park with lights until or if a new park is ever built
4) Build a wall around new england when it comes to recruiting and signing the best talent that goes to school.
5) Build a new facility

Being competitive in the acc can be done (see 2009 and 2010). Qualifying for the acc tournament gives you a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. That means finish in the top half of the conference going forward. With the proper resources in place, no reason BC cannot be successful, even in the northeast, where a school like stony brook just last year won the regional in Miami, win a super regional at LSU, and advance to Omaha. STONY BROOK!!!

Brian P. Foley said...


Also KENT STATE only went to the CWS last year....People forget that.

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