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The Beauty of Baseball

Zeta The beauty of baseball is that second-guessing is part of the game. And there was plenty of second-guessing at University Park Stadium on Wednesday night when FIU took on um.

I have to get in a Catherine Zeta-Jones photo here, because what follows is some ugly baseball.

Wednesday night, the Golden Panthers bullpen had pitched a marvelous game heading into the ninth inning. After a shaky third inning, Brian Santana, Evan Ellison and Walker Whitley were flawless allowing zero runs in seven of the eight innings the trio pitched. They struck out 11 um batters.

Then came the self-inflicted wound that became the ninth inning. Ahead, 7-6, coach Danny Price brings in Jorge Ramos, who had NOT pitched since March 16 because of elbow tendonitis. I'm no math whiz but by my count that's 26 days since the freshman had thrown a baseball that counted.

On top of that, Ramos had to get out the top of the um order which was pulverizing the baseball Wednesday. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the um lineup combined to go 7 for 14 Wednesday.

Just to remind, Ramos had not pitched in 26 days so you CANNOT pin the ninth inning on the kid.

Anyways, leadoff hitter Blake Tekotte doubles and gets moved to third base on a ground out. Now comes, arguably the best hitter in college baseball this season -- Yonder Alonso, a left-handed hitter going against the right-hander Ramos.

The move everyone in University Park and those listening on the radio would have made was to walk Alonso and set up a double play. Nope, on the first pitch Alonso rips a single to right...tie game. Then comes clean-up hitter Mark Sobolewski who smacks a double to right and then the FIU wheels came off with an error and a um two-run double. Five runs later the Golden Panthers suffer another defeat.

Mack Now, I'm no Connie Mack (winningest major league manager: 3,731 wins), but I have to wonder: bringing in a pitcher, who is coming off an injury into the 9th inning of a one-run lead against the top of the batting order?

''He's bigger than me and he wanted the ball,'' Price said. "That's the truth he really wanted the baseball and I wanted somebody who really wanted the ball to be out there. . . . and if I had to do it again, I'd do it again.''

Ok, then. Good luck to the Golden Panthers against Sun Belt No. 2 Louisiana-Monroe this weekend.

I know many of you have written in already calling for change to the FIU baseball program. After games, like these, I could see your point. When and what the changes will be are unknown.

But one thing is for certain. FIU AD Pete Garcia won't have to come up with $40,000 like um did when they went looking for a football coach, when the coach they hired was already on campus. Who's running the financial show over there and could they give me $40,000?

Back to the matter at hand.

Pete Garcia will have to make a trip to the Home Depot for some door reinforcements, because baseball coaches from around the nation are going to be beating down his door for the opportunity to coach a Division I college baseball program in talent-rich Miami. Doorsmall

Folks, the FIU baseball program, like many of FIU's sports is "a sleeping giant" and someone needs to give it a wake-up call.

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Last night really showed how clueless he is. Don't waste time, fire him now.

Not even a little league coach would have made that pitching decision.

What are we playing for hugs?!? We got to play to win, especially in a game that really mattered.

I hope PG reads this, Get Price a plaque and then show him the door.

Right on point with this one Pete. Something needs to be done with the baseball leadership. Football losses are somewhat understandable given we have been building a program from scratch but baseball losses year after year are unacceptable. PG, the onus is one you.

I don't want to sound like I'm adding fuel to the fire, but it's time for Coach Price to announce his retirement, and allow the university to have all the ceremonies and event that should take place to celebrate his tenure at FIU. We all appreciate what you've done, but it is time for a change. This is a stagnant program and there is no reason for this to continue. Your right on, Pete. There will be an impressive array of candidates pounding on Pete Garcia's doors for an opportunity to turn this around.

How does a coach, especially a paid coach at the division-I college level, say that he puts a player in the game because "he's bigger than (him)?" That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard a coach at any level say. And to not intentionally walk that kid was a very poor coaching decision. I don't know much about the baseball program, but this tells me all I need to know about the coach. He fed his team to the lion on a silver platter. How sad.

I wholeheartedly agree with Pete's theme in this post. Also, FIUFan's post is exactly what I feel. I hope Danny leaves FIU in a "gracious" way, with all the accolades he truly deserves as architect and "father" of this program. But the truth is, this program has been stagnant at best, perhpaps a better word combination would be "going backwards" the last several years.

What Pete Pelegrin just said about coaches wanting to come to FIU makes absolutely as much sense as anything else. Baseball should be a top 25 program year in and year out.

I like the man, as a coach and as a person, but enough is enough. He's clearly not the guy to take FIU to Omaha.

Price did a wonderful job setting the bar to the highest of expectations. All the people who call for his firing are doing so in part because they know FIU should be an Omaha contender every season, and Price is the main reason why those expectations are there to begin with.

Name the baseball stadium after Danny Price, because the man deserves it. He's as important to FIU's baseball legacy as Ron Fraser's is to the University of Miami.

After that's done... hand him the pink slip, Mr. Garcia, and find us the guy that'll take FIU over the top.

DP is a class act, but to compare him to Ron Fraser, (11 World Series appearances and 2 World Championship trophies), is like comparing a Mercedes to a Yugo. When RF left UM, nothing was named after him and the only reminder of him is his jersey in centerfield. Stop the nonsense.

I never said he was in the same class as Ron Fraser. I said Price is as important to FIU's baseball legacy as Fraser's is to UM.

Both of them built their respective programs up. The fact Fraser was better at it is important, but both men are the cornerstones of their respective programs. That's all I was trying to say.

And the only reason Fraser doesn't have the baseball stadium named after him is because UM has something FIU doesn't: BENEFACTORS. Go look up who George Light is and you'll know why Ron Fraser's name isn't where Mark Light's is right now.

If FIU had alumni who donated money, then perhaps Price's name shouldn't be on there. But they don't.

What baseball legacy is there at FIU? One trip to a super regional in 28 years? For God's sake, it is more than enough to keep his number retired. Stop it with the sucking up already. It's time to move on.

At least my man was involved in NCAA's fastest transfer ever from Div IIA to Div IA football. What has Danny done?

Danny Price is a legend only in his own mind. What coach with any dignity retires his own number? After 28 years of coaching at the same school, there are only three retired jerseys? 28 years of a quality program? Who are you kidding? Miami and South Florida, in general, are one of the best baseball areas in the country. FIU is a GREAT University. An exceptional academic program should be complemented by an outstanding athletic one. When was the last time Price won anything? I am very proud to have graduated from FIU. I am embarrassed to say we have such a lousy baseball team. They have one of the best hitting teams in the Sunbelt Conference yet they can't win games consistently. For the first time in the almost thirty years since I graduated I have gone back to watch several games. The stadium is very nice. Promotion of the baseball program and the in-stadium activities are non-existent. Attendance is abysmal. The students don't even go. They have an adequate website. They are supposed to have a School of Journalism and Mass Communications yet there is no local radio or TV broadcast. While Price is not to blame for that, in 28 years he should have started something. Let's not even talk about his on-field blundering. The man makes decisions that even little league coaches wouldn't. Baseball is game of overcoming failure. It's about time we overcame the ultimate failure. GET RID OF PRICE. FIU and Miami deserve better.

Well, this sure sparked off a small storm...

First off, the man's one of the winningest coaches in college baseball history. He deserves some credit for that. Granted, talent-rich Miami and a tendency to schedule cup-cakes had a lot to do with that, but you still gotta win games, and he's done that pretty well until recently.

To say he's a totally crappy game-day coach is also unfair. You can't totally suck at it and still win over a thousand games. This isn't women's basketball (see Cindy Russo). He's not great at it, that's for sure, and I certainly don't like the way he handles pitchers (especially since Mark Calvi left), but you can't be a total moron and win as much as Price has. That's simply not possible.

And to the moron who implied that his man (Strock) did more for FIU than Price: Give me your dealer's digits. That's good crack you're smoking.

Strock had NOTHING to do with the team moving from I-AA (not IIA... that doesn't exist) to IA as fast as they did. Miami leaving for the ACC and the domino effect that followed through the other conferences forced the Sun Belt to accept FIU (and FAU) faster that both sides probably wanted. The move was simply a reaction to a changing collegiate landscape. You or I could've coached that team and the move would've been made regardless.

If the move wasn't made then, FIU probably doesn't go D-I ever because they needed the Belt to complete the move. And, by the way, that same move also exposed Strock for the crappy coach that he was, eventually leading to last year's disgrace of a season and his dismissal.

Say whatever you want about Price, but to compare him to an utter failure like Strock is unfair and disrespectful to the man's legacy.

As for the last poster... Price did start something. He elevated FIU from a DII school to a program that most colleges would like to have, and the man's work over the past 30 years is going to give whoever succeeds him a great chance to bridge the gap and get FIU to Omaha.

As for the rest... Price coaches baseball. He's not responsible for the rest. Though I will admit, the biggest diff between him and Fraser, besides the records, is that Fraser was much better at getting the community involved. Price just isn't that kind of guy. Hopefully, the next coach will be.

THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN AND SHOULD SPEAK ABOUT PRICE ARE THE PLAYERS WHO PLAYED FOR HIM. HE IS A GREAT GUY BUT IN THE LOCKER ROOM AND MAKING DECISIONS HE IS IGNORANT. NONE OF YOU OUTSIDERS HAVE A CLUE ABOUT HOW IT IS AND WAS IN THE LOCKER ROOM PLAYING AT FIU FOR PRICE. AS FOR THE WINNING RECORD, PLEASE CHECK THE SCHEDULE SACRED HEART, LA SALLE, LIPSCOMB, FLORIDA A&M, BETHUNE COOKMAN, WAGNER, HARVARD, SIENA, MARY SCHOOL OF THE BLIND, AND THE LIST GOES ON. YOU KNOW HOW MISERABLE IT WAS A PLAYER TO TRAVEL ALL THE WAY TO TALLAHASSE PASS BY FSU AND GO PLAY FLORIDA A&M?????? IT WAS LIKE PLAYING A HIGH SCHOOL GAME. GETTING PUMPED UP TO PLAY WAGNER WAS AS HARD AS KEEPING DANNY'S WEIGHT DOWN. FIU SHOULD BE PLAYING FSU, UF, USF, TENNESSEE NOT TO MENTION TOUGHER SCHOOLS. THATS WHY I GIVE MIAMI ALL THE RESPECT IN THE WORLD THEY GO OUT AND PLAY ALL THE TOUGH SCHOOLS WITHOUT A PROBLEM OR EXCUSES LIKE. BUT IN THE END GIVE DANNY HIS RESPECT, HE IS DONE AFTER THIS YEAR AND HE DID A LOT FOR THE PROGRAM, GOOD OR BAD, WHO KNOWS BUT HE DID SOMETHING. NOW ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE. TOO BAD IT WAS AFTER I PLAYED.

arealist really hit the nail on the head. While he may be a great guy making decisions on the field he is a moron. The fact that he has stuck around for so long should be an indication of the kind of person he is. A coach is only as good as the coaches he surrounds himself with. You currently have a pitching coach who was neither a pitcher or a catcher. You have a first base coach that is too busy planning his next hidden drink to communicate with the runners. Today was a perfect example of Price ball. The sad thing is that the players are paying the price. You bring Evan Ellison out for the third time in three days. Four innings on Wednesday and two innings both yesterday and today. 8 innings over the course of three days. Brilliant. I'd be surprised if he can comb his hair tomorrow. Put a fork in him. He also did a classic Danny. Man on third with one out and the all-time hits leader in FIU history at the plate; and he calls for a squeeze play. Brilliant. The pitcher throws high and the guy is out at third. The hitter then hits a fly ball to the left fielder that would have scored the run. Keep playing Danny ball. You will certainly get an early retirement. That way the seniors can get on with their lives and the other players can look forward to the new coach. to DannyPricefieldNOW, you must either be his wife or want to be. No one else could be so blind.

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