Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which will bang a drum, slowly, for WVU’s baseball team and its three-game series this weekend against 10th-ranked and Big 12-leading Oklahoma. Given the formal conclusion to the TIF Tuesday and the build toward this series, it’s a pretty enormous opportunity for the Mountaineers.
And to think, they’re three months deep with five Big 12 series in their pocket and still haven’t had that yearbook moment.
A series sweep could put WVU in first place in the standings. A series win could force a tie for first. Either is subject to what Baylor (24-20, 11-6) does in a three-game series at Kansas.
“I don’t know that there’s been that defining moment for us yet,” West Virginia Coach Randy Mazey said. “Usually there is one in a season when something happens and you realize it’s a defining moment. Maybe it’s still coming, but we haven’t had that yet.
“I think it’s been a gradual thing. It’s taken this team a while to get to know the coaching staff and what we’re all about and the way we attack things. And it’s taken a while for us to get to know them.”
To more important matters: Softball. A two-summer hiatus ended this week in a local rec league and, boy, have things changed. I’m not talking about my skills. They’re still refined, Edmondsonian even, though my endoskeleton seems livid about this. I’m talking about this zero tolerance profanity rule that governs the use of the F word. You get ejected from the game and the next game. I don’t know how to describe this without earning a retroactive suspension.
We were informed of this at our first game at 10 p.m. Wednesday because we were in the presence of women and children, never mind the language of some of the women there or that infants were at a 10 p.m. game or that there is a culture of pre- and in-game drinking and smoking. No F bombs, please! Anything else, go right ahead.
This is a challenge — lose a line drive in the lights and nearly lose your teeth because of that and try to bite your tongue … dive for a sinking liner and watch it skip by and fight the urge — but it’s a good one. Softball is therapeutic, if not for the activity and the camaraderie, than for checking yourself. If nothing else, it forces you to take personal inventory.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, track your contributions. (Thanks for hanging in this week. We put some intentional speed bumps in place, but we’re back on the Autobahn now.)
The 25314 said:
Wait, but I thought it takes awhile to adjust to the Big 12′s style of play, and it takes awhile to recruit the kind of kids and depth to play in the Big 12, and that travel is just unfair and too hard on the players, and the depth of the league makes it too hard to compete?
Seriously, how do you feel about a 14-2 record in “home” games. WVU played — and will only play — eight games at Hawley Field this season. Everything else in a 56-game schedule is a hike. So, yeah, I think we’re over that explanation now.
What is it about a surprise successful season that you don’t understand?
Then again … Hey, I don’t think Mr. Zip Code is overlooking that. I think he’s enjoying the surprise in the presence of the oft supplied rationalization of struggles of other teams on campus. Let’s not forget, Mazey recruited 15 new players and seven are pitchers. Sure, he’s a Big 12-ish guy, having been at TCU, so maybe he had a better idea about who and what he needed. But those are big numbers. I guess the discussion to have, whether here now or later, is how much the Big 12 Style matters in the three sports. That is, if you don’t have it, does it matter more in one sport than another? I think you could argue baseball is baseball. There are no spread offenses or zone defenses, no tall cornerbacks or stretch 4s. If you can pitch it, you can win. No?
Thanks to ADOL for hiring Coach Mazey. But many many more thanks for to Coach Mazey for turning the WVU baseball program into something we can get excited about. With a little luck we have a chance to be one of the 64 in the quest for the CWS. I firmly believe once the new field is completed we will be able to compete with most teams for the better recruits.
When do fans begin to worry about Mazey leaving for a better job? We’re near the due date, right? Then again …
One more interesting note on Randy Mazey. Said he’s building a house up at #WVU where he wants to retire. Hint: Won’t be easy to hire away.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersPG) April 29, 2013
Not to be a wet blanket (and I love that we’re getting a new field), but that facilities = recruiting thing has worked out so well for the basketball team.
… then again …
What really must impress Holgs as far as baseball’s degree of difficulty in accomplishing what it has is that a baseball is, like, not only really small, but also has, like, an infinite number of sides.
Never thought about that. I used to believe in pitching, defense, hitting and base-running as part of the four-sided ball. But all the intangibles and the unwritten rules do indeed create an infinite number of sides. Good job, good effort.
If we win the conference, do we still have to move the baseball team to Miami?
Yep. The Florida Miami, too. Not even the one in Ohio.
If Geno becomes a good QB in New York that could be huge for WVU football. And we sorely need exposure in the northeast since we don’t play there anymore.
Now there’s a good spin and Geno’s going to need one to spin this the other way. He has forces actively working against him right now, but in the end, he controls the ultimate direction with his performance. It would be something else for WVU if Geno turns the story on its head.
It is really amazing how much crap Geno had to hear during the whole draft process. Gruden went from his biggest advocate to one of his biggest detractors within a matter of weeks; then when he is picked by the Jets, Mayock and the NFL Network show a “low-light” reel instead of the good plays that they showed for just about every other first or second day pick.
See, this is where we step on some thin ice. I don’t know how much there was that was outside of the normal attention devoted to a player of his caliber in a position with potential similar or superior to his. The harshest thing was the Pro Football Weekly scouting report, for sure. But is that it? I think the biggest slight was that there was no counter to that opinion piece. Geno wasn’t on radio or TV or in newspapers, scrupulously, if not surreptitiously, rewriting the dialogue. Coaches and teammates and reporters were brought to his defense, but honestly, what were they going to say — of course, I have to say no one came out and supported PFW, either. Also, I didn’t watch the draft, so I’m not sure how accurate your final measurement is, but I do know from listening to multiple conversations with Mayock, he had concerns about Geno’s low-lights. And when the story is what the story was for Geno on the second day, aren’t you sort of inclined to show some of those to explain things?
Certainly people switch representatives all the time, but anyone have any idea how common or uncommon this is at this point in the process?
It’s not common. People want to give Geno a pass and say players change agents a lot. And that’s true. But this is not that. Listen, I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I don’t know what promises were and were not made. I do know Geno wasn’t defended after the PFW story. I don’t know who told him to leave the draft or come back. I do know this is not a typical occurrence. If he wants to be more comfortable about how his future is managed, it’s his call, but the timing is newsworthy.
Maybe Geno’s agents advised him to skip the Senior Bowl – seems like bad advice in retrospect.
I’ve heard that’s not entirely true — and I heard that after the combine, where he acquitted himself very well and seemed to justify the decision. It’s getting tossed around now, and understand both sides are working toward their best interest here. Who knows who’s telling the truth? It was a bad decision by someone. If it was the agency’s and it bothers Geno, good for him for being proactive in retrospect. Not an easy thing to do if you have an ego as big as his has been made out to be.
Perhaps the agent in questions (smart guy I assume) told Geno to do the Green Room gig because he was sure the Jets were taking him….sans round info…..that could get a feller fired.
The thing that stood out most to me on draft night is that Geno couldn’t find enough joy in Tavon’s early selection to get him thru the night without looking like a baby. Maybe he is a diva and maybe that is why we lost 5 games in a row..that and the absentee defense of course.
Lots of signs…..
Again, I didn’t see the draft, so I don’t know about the body language, but there’s an overarching point here. You say he was “looking like a baby,” and I’m inclined to believe that. Many other people have told me that’s more or less true, though I can certainly sympathize given his plight that night. But where were his handlers saying, “Yo, you’ve already got the PFW cloud hanging over your head. Maybe try to act like this isn’t as bad as is truly is?” If looking back we can say there are lots of signs about Geno — and there’s no disputing that — I think we can look back and fairly judge the agents similarly.
Geno is clearly taking cues from Holgorsen on how to manage PR and media relations.
Well, that might be harsh. But it is true Dana is a Select Sports Group client. Different agents, but the same affiliation.
I like to view this as Geno b**ch slapping the NY media.
“You think you’re tough? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Bring it!”
Wait … you think Geno will win that battle?
Whaddya think? The source is Geno’s ex-agent? Seems a safe assumption.
Very safe. And again, if this is the reaction, or even our hunch and presumably Geno’s hunch, and if Geno was given certain promises that were ultimately empty, do you blame him for changing his representation?
Geno is getting some bad advice, even if it’s from the man in the mirror.
If he thought there was scrutiny as a once-high flying QB leading a team on a hot streak in college football he ain’t seen nothing yet. As someone observed elsewhere, the NY media are obsessive, competitive and miserable human beings to boot. Tebow’s gone and that means Smith will get their full attention.
Absolute agreement that the Tebow move was a blow for Geno. Tebow would have generated enough headlines to steer attention away from Geno’s learning curve.
All of this would’ve been avoided if Geno had not done the green room. I know, it’s hindsight. But if he’s not in the green room, then there’s no story. No one would be talking about him because ESPN couldn’t have cut to their camera on Geno at all. Without that, ESPN doesn’t have as compelling television when they say, “Geno is freefalling!” . . . so it would have gone to some other story.
No matter how famous you are, you can avoid being a celebrity. As the quarterback of the Jets, Geno is going to be big news no matter what he does… so the best thing he can do is to stay out of the media as much as possible. When he is in front of a camera, he should be as boring as he can possibly be.
At the end of the day, this is also a April/May story that no one will remember or care about at all when September rolls around. Unfortunately, ESPN being what it is, it will probably try to get a couple of months out of Geno because it ties nicely into its already long-running story about the Jets being a circus.
On the Gruden QB Camp with Geno, Gruden made a good (and obvious) point. Geno’s play at quarterback will ultimately decide everything. No matter what he does off the field, the only thing that really matters is how he plays.
Oh boy, can you imagine the fervor of the reaction if he declined the invitation to the green room AND the Play 60 clinic for kids the day before the draft? That would have been a very bad move. Plus, the NYC reporters I talked to really liked Geno and the way he interacted with them — answered tough questions in a smooth stride, agreed with criticisms to a certain extent, politely paused interviews to sign autographs, things like that. That was his first impression with them and he scored points that have to help, if only a little.
Once Geno gets this agent mess behind him he can focus on what he consistently does well … starting pregame riots with the opposing team.
I’ll allow it!
Mike, was Smith’s attitude part of last season falling apart? Reading the Cole story and others it’s hard to believe that Smith’s behavior started after the football season had ended. I liked watching him play and wish the best for him in the NFL. But it does appear someone needs to get through to him that he’s not the center of the universe. If not, his career may well go down in flames. That would be sad.
Every a mountaineer!!!
I never heard that from anyone during the season. Actually, quite to the contrary. But you don’t have to be a coach or a teammate to have watched the games and seen his reactions and his posture on the field in bad spots and it’s fair to say impressionable teammates noticed it.
Being tied to a cell phone, and in concert the social network on the other end, is a 21st century addictive behavior that is showing up these days in businesses of all kinds. I’ve seen it increasing more and more each succeeding year in co-workers.
It’s a habit Geno needs to break immediately, or the success on the field won’t even begin. He’ll wash out in the meeting rooms.
There are two ways to look at this: 1) It’s 2013 and kids are on cell phones and teams drafting kids need to understand that and process it better. 2) It’s a job interview, so there are no distractions. I guess I have a hard time giving Geno a pass on this one … if it’s true, and I doubt Jason Cole is lying by being lied to.
Simple Jack said:
Despite mike’s statements to the contrary, I was suspicious that the 2012 team was a lot like the 2004 team. Then they beat texas and I finally got on board the bandwagon. Welll, it turns out they were a lot like the 2004 team afterall, and Geno was still the QB with immense talent who got rattled when things got tough. I hope geno figures things out faster than pacman and chris henry.
Good point Jeff, just bc youu’re good at football doesn’t mean you aren’t immature like any other 21 year old
I’m part of the “cell phone generation” and think old people are out of touch when they get bent out of shape over someone being on their phone
You caught me! And you might be right. I didn’t see that coming, but maybe I was totally wrong forecasting it. Maybe we’ll know in time who or what conspired against the team’s success in 2012. I’d never heard such detail about the 2004 team before Rasheed spilled it onto the pages of my book. Not a plug — honest! — but a note that it may be a while before someone says something.
Mike, I believe that at some point you talked about Geno’s persona in the locker room being different from what we saw in public. If you’re comfortable writing about it, I would be interested in how that might relate to recent events and the things that have been written about Geno. There have been many comments about pre-game encounters with opposing teams and the horns down at Texas, how does that fit into this conversation? Finally, do you think that any of this contributed to the team’s mid-season swoon or are we just looking too hard for something that isn’t there?
I’ve never been in there with him, so I’d only be relaying information with my second hand and through sources, which doesn’t seem appropriate in the current climate. It wasn’t all positive, though there were positives. I had almost universally pleasant interactions with him in four years, too. There was the one minor thing after Texas Tech, but that, despite our different opinions of that event, doesn’t change my take on our relationship: I was there to ask questions and he was there to answer them and there was nothing outside of that.
I dunno, Mike. I’d say if you didn’t want to discuss the original report when it came out, don’t discuss it, or the new report, now. The new one is actually worth less then the original, because it’s after the fact. And, though it’s “sourced,” it’s still anonymous. So much of all of this is speculative and full of tenuous causation, and now it’s all over with anyway. Shall we just let the man get on with his career? Hasn’t he already gotten chewed up and spit out by the machine? He’s not blameless. His agents aren’t blameless. Mel Kiper is not blameless (there’s always enough blame to go around to find some for Mel).
You’re probably right that I’m practicing some hypocrisy, and I agree with the assessments of the story, but I just felt like it was wrong to ignore it all together now. I also think there’s a difference between me breaking down the PFW opinion because I cover WVU and me piecing all these things together more than a month later. I was mostly curious what affect, if any, it had on people. I sense that even as bookends one story doesn’t affect the other and people are generally maintaining their positions. Again, I’m not out go get Geno. I wanted to take the temperature and I sense that it worked.
Could Geno’s work habits and “failings” be a result of him being socially introverted? a loner who wants to hit the film room over hanging out with family or teammates or reporters or execs? Did he have a social life beyond football? He loves to play he game, study the game – just being on the field. I saw him light up playing flag football with kids before the draft.
could introversion explain why he played the wall flower during interview time? the cell phone?
could introversion explain his interactions in public and on man-trips?
He never interviewed well with lots of reporters around. He did great having candid one-on-one interviews – Gruden, Feldman among others.
Plus a perfectionist who likes to be in control. On the field – he has that control. Looks fantastic when things are going well but when things are beyond his control . . . Off the field, he does not have control On draft night – he did not have it. Fire agents – regain control.
Being shy is no excuse though. I am one. When the job requires it, you put on the mask and do what is required in the crowd.
The harder part will be – if he is introverted – stretching to be a leader off the field. Because he will naturally want to pull back – watch film . . .
just observations from 50,000 feet
This is all good, but I want to pull out one thing that Someone mentioned to me Thursday night after the draft ended with Geno’s early exit. Throughout his senior season, Geno was consistently lauded for his artistry and how that perfectionism helped him in football. It made sense, to be honest, but it was also very convenient. That control, as you call it, should extend to the most important sequence of his life, right? In that light, it just seems odd to me that at no point in time with the texts and the tweets in meetings or the demeanor in and departure from the draft or telling reporters it was always his intent to come back Friday after he told ESPN Thursday night he was going home that this perfectionist didn’t step back and say, “Wait a second…”
Tavon just needs to remember his money (I think I saw $7 million guaranteed) is supposed to last him for the rest of his life.
It’s all an approximation, though these numbers are fairly accurate. If he plays the first season, he’s making $10 million. St. Louis is actually a smallish city. He can stretch that out, I bet.
I think it’s great that Tavon wants to take care of and provide a better life for his family. I just hopes he finds good financial advisors and listens to them.
The statistics for post-retirement bankruptcies for retired NFL and NBA athletes are staggering. I forget the exact numbers, but well over 50% of these guys were bankrupt within 5 years of retirement. About 40% of he $7MM will be eaten by taxes before Tavon even sniffs it.
The smart play would be to build his budget around living off of 2 or 3 paychecks and bank the rest, but it’s tough to pursuade a 22 year old to worry that much about tomorrow when he feels like the man today. Especially when so many of your teammates live paycheck to paycheck enjoying the high life.
Hey! The Rams play in the Edward Jones Dome. Stroke of, uh, good fortune since, you know, Edward Jones…
Good for Tavon. He may want to give life estates to his fam and reserve the remainder for himself after football life is over. Between Bruce on the Seahawks and these guys on the Rams, I’m going to be looking for some NFC West games to watch this year.
Here’s your 2013 WVU football road trip: Oct. 26, WVU at Kansas State; Oct. 28, Seattle at St. Louis.
Did Trickett ever get an offer from WVU three years ago?
Nah. Everyone I knew here at the time thought he was going to Florida State. And remember, WVU had Geno in the 2009 class and in Trickett’s class a year later added Barry Brunetti and Jeremy Johnson, who committed in May.
Couldn’t find where WVU offered Trickett. FSU aside, looks like Arkansas, Pitt and South Florida were his most notable offers.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it looks like Dana doesn’t think he has what he needs from a starter in Millard and Childress and that Rawlins will be changing positions. Can’t imagine WVU takes Trickett and Trickett accepts unless both sides think he has a good chance of starting.
I know some think that Trickett is leaving FSU because he isn’t good enough, but his recruiting info says he is accurate and a good decision maker. Hopefully, he just wasn’t a good fit for FSU’s system, but could work nicely in WVU’s.
Honestly and succinctly, I think it comes down to the fact Trickett wasn’t good enough to win the job at FSU the past two years and is good enough to win it at WVU this year.
WVU has wanted to redshirt Rawlins all along. Trickett makes that possible in the event of a QB injury if nothing else. The added competition should also help since neither QB looked impressive to me at the spring game. The only negative would be if one of them left but do we really want a QB who would immediately leave after being beaten out be Trickett?
Bingo, but don’t hotly blame a kid for transferring if he can play somewhere else (think FCS) or if he’s asked to play another position or if he wants to play with his brother or whatever reasonable reason might contribute to it. If it’s just because he doesn’t want to compete, then that’s a little different.
I’m seeing some parallels between this situation and when Greg Paulus transferred from Duke to Syracuse. At the time, no player on Syracuse’s roster had done anything to distinguish themself as the frontrunner for the job. Paulus, who had one year of eligibility left, came in and served as a temporary placeholder while the younger guys got more time to learn the offense. By late that season, the redshirt freshman Ryan Nassib got good enough to take over the job. That turned out pretty well. Maybe the story ends similar for Childress, or Rawlins, or even Crest next year.
That’s interesting. I hadn’t considered that, but it’s certainly plausible. And I think people need to be reasonable about Trickett’s skills and ability. He’s not the answer to all the questions.
99% sure DH didn’t offer him the starting job, but a chance to compete for it. Trickett was at the Spring game. He scouted “the competition” with his own eyes. I suspect he came away from the game with a pretty good sense of what he will be up against this fall. DH would be stupid to promise anything other than a fair shake. He’s already got three QBs on the team and one verbal. He’s their coach too.
The bigger issue for me is chemistry. who will this team rally around? 7 on 7s this summer are voluntary. who’s gonna set up practices and build teamwork with no coaches around? will Trickett be accepted this summer – BEFORE the coaches can give guidance? what will Trickett do to blend onto the team, ingratiate himself to his teammates/especially his receivers?
the relational side of this is just as critical as the ball skills side. a young O needs leaders.
I do think Trickett can be that guy and I think his new teammates will recognize that, especially alongside the others at that position who may not have exhibited that thus far. Or maybe Trickett does it and brings it out of the other quarterbacks. It’s a good spot for everyone if everyone wants it to be one.
Seen on bumper sticker:
“This is Clint country. On a quiet night, you can hear a Ford rust.”
Or it could be good for him. (P.S. Nice!)
Bobby Heenan said:
Since I’m a WVU fan I look at the worst possible scenario being an all too realistic option (pretty good topic for a book, I hear)…
So Trickett wins the starting job, and BOTH Millard and Childress transfer. Trickett gets hurt and we’ve got to burn Rawlins RS and throw him out there way before he’s ready. Rawlins does terribly and it ruins his confidence and he never recovers. Moving into 2014 Crest can’t redshirt because we have no depth.
OK, but you can take solace in the fact all of that won’t happen. I think.
By the way, Bob Huggins thinks it’s a great idea to have a transfer start at quarterback.
Just about that time …
Look at the bright side. If this kid ends up as the starter, we could have a lot of fun with it.
Clint in the shotgun, eyes a middle linebacker set to blitz, and coolly says, “Go ahead, Punk; make my day.”
In a post game presser, Mike asks the starting QB why he hit the check down instead of throwing deep on a third-and-long. Clint responds, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”
Down South said:
In answer to the last question of the post, I think it is probably Quinton Spain, but I’d have to see how he has his feet positioned to know for sure.
So good, so close …
I think I’ll take my kids to the game at the APP on Friday evening. Anyone want to meet up for a beer? The kids know how to call a taxi if necessary.
Enjoy the weekend!