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A Whole New Ballgame

We were going to play Name that Tune -- FIU style tonight, but the inevitable went down late Saturday night as baseball coach Danny Price was let go after FIU was knocked out from participating in the Sun Belt tournament.

Sources have told me Price was asked to resign and/or retire and accepted neither, so therefore he was dismissed.

Yes, Price built the FIU baseball program and had some success -- the high point the Super Regional vs. USC. The man won more than 1,000 games, but the fact is change was desperately needed in the FIU baseball program. FIU could not even make its own conference tournament. C'mon, that should be a given every year.

With all the local high school baseball talent in our backyard and just south of us in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America, there is NO reason why FIU should not be in the Top 25 every year in college baseball. NO reason. Heck, FIU should NOT only be in the Top 25, but every season the Golden Panthers should be knocking on front door of this place...Cws_3......

So who should the next FIU baseball coach be? For one thing, the new coach has to do a better job of recruiting. Too many of South Florida's top high school players have been escaping north to schools that have no business taking these players.

PubAnother thing, the new coach has to be a salesman as well. I think there have been more people in line at the Publix deli on a Sunday morning than there were at FIU baseball games the past few years.

The new baseball coach also has to bring in a "PITCHING" coach. The past couple of years there's been a rotation of pitching coach duties between DP's assistants. Someone please call Mark Calvi in South Carolina.

Like I said in the "Beauty of Baseball" blog in April, Pete Garcia get some door reinforcements, because here comes every available college coach and even some high school coaches about to bust your door down for the FIU baseball coaching job.

Before we get to the Panther Pawse, I''ve been getting a lot of e-mail lately concerning the numerous coaching changes at FIU. Well, folks, here's how GPP sees it: Before PG took over as AD, the FIU athletic program was going nowhere fast. Mediocrity ruled. The jobs were not getting done as you can see by FIU teams' won-lost records. For those of you who have e-mailed me complaining of the swift changes, well, I'll quote Donald Trump: "Hey, it's not personal, it's just business"......Here's a picture of Ivanka Trump since she's easier on the eyes than her father. Ivanka

As for FIU sports business, it's been bad for a while. Here's to T.D.A.O.S.

PANTHER PAWSE

My apologies to Baltimore Panther: Thanks to BP, the GPP is currently read in 6 states: Maryland (Home of El Monstruo), Florida, Georgia, Colorado, New York and Tennessee. And read over a spot of tea in jolly Old England by Quijote.

FIUobserver: An MC interview sounds like a great suggestion for summer reading. GPP will get to it.

Yippee, I will be at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday morning. Should be a pretty historic moment when they break ground on T.D.A.O.S. and the stadium, too.

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It was time for him to go but shouldnt they have let him resign or leave in a more dignified way? After all, like you said, he did win 1,000 games.

Something tells me PG will be speaking with many ex-hurricanes (possibly players & coaches) for the job opening. Why would he do that you ask? Oh yeah, bring someone in who knows how to win.

Also, I think 24/7 was throwing his hat into the ring....any update on that front?

Well, I guess FIU has officially joined the big time in college athletics. In a span of a few days, the Golden Panthers new regime has fired two of the most successful coaches South Florida has ever seen. FIU wanted to be big time and I guess they are. They now fire coaches for not winning enough.
They added football a few years back, so they can get on the national map. Well, that was accomplished this year with the brawl with their crosstown neighbors.
Is it any wonder that baseball, soccer and even women's basketball has not been as successful since football was added. I'd love to see the athletic deparment books and we'd probably see that football has sucked all the money and life from the rest of the sports teams on the Tamiami campus.
Dr. Maidique and the administration may have done a lot of good at the university, but adding football, killing all the other sports, and now hiring an AD whose job it is to get rid of all the past employees really sets a good example for South Florida.
FIU can tell you all they want about academics, etc, but once they put in football, FIU became like all the other sports. It wasn't about academics anymore. It was about winning.
In the past, FIU would win, win the right way and be a good example for the community.
Who spread a better word about FIU than Karl Kremser (who probably did more for soccer in South Florida than anybody) and Danny Price (i.e. did anybody notice Mike Lowell's grand slam on Saturday). Nearly 55 years of service down the drain because of an overly eager administration and a former UM adminstrator who probably believes since he came to the "smaller" school that he can rule like Stalin and just become a one man firing squad.
Oh, you can sugar coat it all you want and say Karl Kremser resigned, but let's be real. Pete Garcia is on a mission to get rid of every "Golden Panther" and put his own stamp on the program. Its obvious he doesn't have any class in his manner of doing things either. Both of those coaches deserved better and a better way to exit.
Its a shame that FIU wanted to be like all the other athletic departments out there. Well now they are. They fire coaches in sports that are considered "olympic" or non-financially supporting.
Thanks, Pete.

Stuart Davidson
FIU Sports Information Director
1988-1995.

Welcome to big time sports, Stuart, where it is all about the wins and losses. Does that mean that the academics is or has to be lost? No. As a matter of fact, I think that it has been proven that the academic side of things was not being handled properly, thus our little problem with the NCAA. Though I must admit that I find it a bit concerning that the majority of people being brought in have Hurricane ties, I also must remind myself that those are the people that our new leaders know first hand and trust to get the job done. Think about it. If you were in the position to hire someone for a job, wouldn't you feel more comfortable with someone who you are personally familiar with rather than a person that someone else tells you about? Yeah, Coach Price was at FIU for a long time. But based on what I have seen it was time for him to go. It would have been nicer to allow him to resign, but maybe that offer was extended to him and rejected. That is apparently what happened with Kremser. Gwydir's situation with softball was different, as she had a very poor winning record (just over 50% in 10 years---that is horrible). Strock, well, we all know that his pink slip was already signed and sealed when he resigned. The bottom line is that we can't move forward if the past is holding us back. Does that mean that every coach of every team we have needs to go? No. But it does mean that they better wake up and smell the coffee fast or they may find themselves serving the coffee instead. Look at Mike Shula. The guy was only in charge for a very short time. Winning 6 games was not enough for the Bama faithfaul so he was gone. That's just the way it is. As a coach you know this. Your job is to win games. If your job at McDonald's is to serve french fries, but you continue to serve them cold, do you honestly think you would be allowed to keep your job? No. These people know going into a coaching career that they must win in order to stay employed. That is just the nature of the business. I wish them all well in whatever they do.

Pete, I never realized she was so hot.
Out with the old and in with new. We need winners

Kremser was a shock- he's been a very good coach for years. This was a little more expected. He's simply just not had the W-L Record that's decent the last 5-6 years. Just not good enough. I'm all for being loyal to coaches if they're going through a bit of a tought spot for a couple of years but by year 4 there should be marked improvements. We were still waiting to see those.

Dear Mr. Stuart Davidson,

As a former employee of FIU, I consider you a part of the GPC (Golden Panther Community). For that, much respect to you.

However, I must call a jack a jack and a spade a spade. Your post is drenched in sarcasm. As an FIU sports fan, I’ve struggled with the GPC for 11 years. I'm tired of the loosing. The "but he's been here a long time" argument is stale and doesn't provide any relief. The winds of change are upon us and it is time for a changing of the guard. I will agree that more tact could have been used to end the era of DP, but as another blogger pointed out, we don't know what occurred behind closed doors. Perhaps DP didn't want to accept "retiring" because he wanted to add fuel to the PG fire and force the headlines to read, "PG fires DP." Who knows?

The only thing that is certain is that if we kept doing what we were doing, we were going to be getting what we've been getting...and the only thing consistent about FIU sports has been mediocrity.

FIUMom, as for your concern about the PG-UM ties, those ties are the reason we hired PG. He has ties to a winning program. I realize UM is a rival, but from a business/performance perspective, it makes sense. The formula: remover under-achievers, insert leader whose overseen successful program and start winning. It may be painful to the old guard establishment but it is clearly not complicated.

GPC, the dismissal of DP hurts from an emotional POV. But no one is going to miss the loosing FIU baseball has endured the last 5 seasons. Let's not forget, we're all members of the GPC and we all root for the same team.

As always, Go G-Panthers!

Wow some solid posts on the GPP. I understand some of the negative posts concerning Danny Price´s dismissal. Indeed, he´s a landmark as far as FIU athletics is concerned. However, the last few seasons were mediocre at best. And I don´t see the correlation between Pete taking all the resources to football and Danny not taking his team to the conference playoffs, as Pete mentioned it should be a given, especially in the SunBelt. If anything, if you are a long time coach at FIU, you should´ve assumed Pete Garcia came in to clean house...therefore you MUST bring your best damn game. Sergio Rouco is well aware of this, and seems to be putting on one of the best recruiting classes we´ve seen in some time. And guess what...if Sergi disappoints this year....

I know its a tough pill to swallow, but I applaud Pete Garcia´s aggressive approach. FIU is a top 25 school in attendance, yet nobody knows who we are. We have our law school which is kicking ass, our medical school will kick ass too, and now the final piece of the collegiate trifecta is athletics. These changes are for the better, and while it may disappoint many long time GP crews, it will bring success in the long term for FIU´s students and alumni.

Pete, london tea....worst weather and disgusting fish and chips. I miss my Sergio´s palomilla con arroz y frijoles under the warm south florida sun.

Roarin´in London
Quijote

Ah yes, and another point that Pete made. Aside from having a mediocre record, Danny needed to be a businessman too. You can´t be naive and dismiss this fact. While its a somewhat different comparison, the only reason why JoePa is still at Penn State is because his name alone packs the house. Sure, there is nothing else to do up there but watch football, but with the exception of the last couple of seasons, his recent tenure at PS has been mediocre. And only 2 national championhips in his 30 years at PS isn´t too impressive either, and those were back in the 80s. If a coach alone can´t fill the stands, a better record must. Unfortunately, Danny Price couldn´t bring neither to the table.

Coaching is like Sales

Guys certain jobs are high stakes , high rewards

You can have a legendary sales person and if they don't meet goal 2 or 3 years there gone in fact, probably after just a bad 6 months.

Lets not romanticize coaching as if its some steady blue collar job where someone can punch the clock and hard work is all that matters. Hate to break it you kids but it isnt enough.

WIns have to be acheived or your gone. no one "Owns" their job at FIU, the program is bigger that the person fot the schools sake.

By the way Pete put down California, as I recently moved out here to the OC but I know at least 2 FIU alums who still read your bllog in NY.

To those of you that are crying over your Cocoa Krispies and milk this morning, you need to get your facts straight. Karl Kremser retired after being part of the State of Florida Drop program. The Drop program fattens up your pension the last few years that you work before you retire.

Stop with the whining.

If Danny Price had any dignity and brains, he would have announced his retirement during this past season, allowing him to leave on his own terms, amidst celebration and adulation for his long career. The last thing anyone wants to do is fire a guy that has been at a place as long as he has. Did anyone, Price included, think that after another in a long line of BAD seasons, both on the field and off the field, he was not going to be shown the door? Get over it. He had a long career here, and he should be thankful for that opportunity.

Please, don't give me the tired story on his number of wins. Anyone who coaches that long has to have those numbers just by osmosis.

Let's face reality: Price has been retired in place for the last few years, not doing a damn thing. His recruiting stinks, his assistants, (with the exception of volunteer coach Lou Sanchez) have never had any success at any level, his inability to build the semblance of a pitching staff, his inability to communicate with his players, both now and in the past, his not being able to keep star players on his roster due to grades and other little problems, etc. All these situations tell it all. Pete, I disagree with you on one thing. This program should be BETTER than UCG year in and year out. The difference in the cost of tuition alone should keep all these star players here. The status quo is not acceptable, therefore the change needed to be made. Congratulations to Pete Garcia for having the co-johns to do the right thing.

BTW, Price has also been in the State of Florida Drop program the last few years, fattening his pension, as well as his belly.

I am very happy to see that the FIU athletic programs are no longer being run like a governmental agency.

"The time for hesitation is through; there's no time to wallow in the mire".

Thank God for TDAOS.

FINALLY...The baseball season is finally over and so starts the end of an era of incompetence. Winning 1,000 games against teams like Florida A & M, which they lost to at the end of the season, and other cupcakes does not constitute a "winning" program. One NCAA appearance in 28 years?
There are more important issues than winning and losing here. The fact that the graduation rate is the lowest of any Division 1 baseball team (850 APR) is the real issue. In an area that is rich with talent most of it chooses to go elsewhere. The facilities are excellent and that's where it stops. In previous blog some fool compared DP to the Miami legend, Ron Frazier. Whether Frazier was the ultimate coach on the field is not the issue, Frazier was a salesman. He made the baseball program because of his personality. The best players wanted to come to UCG to be part of the mystique. That is what FIU needs, a coach that can create the "desire" to want to belong. The excuse has always been that FIU is a commuter school. That may have been the case when I went there but has anyone seen the number of dorms they now have. FIU is a world-class academic institution, unfortunately it has not been reflected in the athletic programs and specifically in the baseball team.
As the saying goes, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken droppings". How many games did the baseball team lose at the end of the season? They even lost to FAMU. A sign of a good coach is one that motivates his players in the face of adversity. Good teams win close games. How many one run games did FIU lose?, and more importantly, how many games did they loses when they were winning at the end? Specifically two that ultimately cost the stuffed potato his job. Now let's concentrate on the future. DP may have built a program, it is the new coaches responsibility to bring in players that will graduate and put people in the stands. Bring in some players that can not only hit, FIU was among the leaders in hitting in the conference, but that can field their position. The infield had more than 85 errors collectively. And that is the ones they listed. With the mystery hits it would have been well over 100.
NOW is the time for PG to bring in someone that won't kick the students out of the games for being too rowdy. Yes, DP had the football players removed from a game by the campus police for rowdiness. After that the games were like going to a funeral.
I salute PG for having the stones to start FIU baseball moving in the right direction.

WOW some really powerful comments. I'm glad to see that everyone is concerned. Stuart, I must say reading your comments I had to really go back over it a couple of times. I can tell you first had that the educational programs have not suffered one bit at the University, and a lot has been pumpped into football, but everyone knows that football brings MONEY to an Athletic Program, but Winning is important, the good ole boy system is not a good thing with ever you we have people that have been here since the late 80's early 90's and the athletic program as gone NO WHERE, small levels of winning but nothing to be crazy about. the soccer team and some track athletics are the only ones with NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS what does that tell you? FIUMOM my good friend you are right completely. College sports make a lot of money and donors want to give to a winning program or programs with promise. DP was many things and tired was one of them. Stuart if you would have been at the UM vs FIU baseball game at home you would understand why he needed to go. DP was asked to retire or walk away and his pride got in the way so they let him go who's fault is that HIS he's a grown ass man he needs to figure it out. But he's a good fearing man so I'm sure that his faith will hold him over but he saw it coming. Trust me.
But here is my take on it...I am not a lost and I dont think for one second the University I attend and give my time and effort to is or should ever been doing anything but trying to be the best at everything that we do because that makes my degree so much more on all levels, Athletics, reseach, Law and Med schools, Business school are all doing well and have always been. Lets face it folks the only reason why FSU, UF, UM UGA, CLEMSON, GA TECH, USC, OU, OSU, get it done in other sports is because there football game provides so much money for them that its out of control...I don't ever wanna be SECOND PLACE i dont care about SECOND PLACE ever, I want to be first and i dont think PG will ever take anything lets trust me folks in the near to not so distance future everyone is going to want to be at FIU ATHLETICS............

Sometimes people can only get you so far, then someone else must take the wheel and drive!

Pete is Lowell the only FIU baseball player currently pro? How many have made it?

You would think with a community so obsessed with baseball, (go to Tamiami park and the fields are full 24/7), right next door that the attendance and recruiting in that area would be automatic.

Thanks for another great post Pete!

First off, good luck to Danny and his family. Hope that baseball stadium gets named after him and quickly, too... he's earned it, even if he was too stubborn to take the graceful way out. Senor Pelegrin, I know it's early and all, but have you heard anything on that front?

Second... get something straight, fiugrad78. I never said he was Ron Fraser (not Frazier... I would say you need to learn how to spell, but your argument comprehension is clearly the bigger issue, so work on that first.)

What I said was that DP is to FIU what Fraser was to UM, in that both of them built their programs to where they are today. I know Fraser was more successful at it... that's obvious. But the point people forget is that the expectations surrounding FIU Baseball today are there because of Danny Price. He set the bar, and set it at a level that most college baseball coaches would kill to get. If DP was in another town where he wasn't overshadowed by Miami, I would say he'd be a lot more recognized and appreciated. But he's not, and such is life. It still doesn't take away from the fact that he's one of the best college baseball coaches in history. He's not at Fraser's level, but few are.

With that said... it was time for him to go. The program was stagnant and he was clearly burnt out. I can't say I'm shocked he was fired, though; Price is not a quitter, and knowing him from my years covering the team, I kind of had the feeling he was either going to get fired or die in the dugout. He's that kind of guy.

Let's see who PG gets now. This should get mighty interesting...

Brad Eldred is currently playing with the Pirates. Some others have made it to the big show, but most of them have been career minor leaguers, if they stayed for long. Lowell's been the only one with any staying power in the majors. Though I think Big Country will make his mark soon. Nice to see he can finally hit a breaking pitch now...

Oh, and one more thing... Kremser should get his name on the soccer stadium, too.

Did he really just say that DP is one of the best college baseball coaches in history?

Come on...not even the FIU fans on this blog can agree with that...

You cant be considered one of the best ever when you sit in a baseball hotbed, can't recruit and can't win.

He had 3 losing seasons in 28 years.

He also won over 1,000 games. Go look up how many college baseball coaches have ever done that... and then tell me how he CAN'T be considered one of the best.

The man lost his mojo... no doubt of that... but you can't sit here and tell me he's a no-talent loser who got lucky... bad baseball coaches don't get to win totals like that, even if they are playing cupcake schedules.

Yes, he has done a ton for FIU and FIU baseball but to call him one of the best ever is ridiculous. He is not, nor should he be mentioned with..Dedeaux, Garrido, Fraser, Bertman,Gustafson, Marquess, Martin, etc.

"Winning" means getting to Omaha as far as college baseball is concerned...(which FIU should be able to do, as Pete pointed out)...DP was not able to do that

But as for the cupcake schedule, yes, it does get you a ton of wins...he would have had less wins had his schedule included Hialeah, Columbus, Gulliver, Westminster, Killian, Southridge etc. Imagine if he played an ACC schedule or a SEC schedule..can anyone say maybe 600 wins, maybe??

Heck, as Pete wrote today, look what happens when they play some talent.. "Since 2003, the Golden Panthers have compiled a 6-20 record against local rivals, the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic. FIU is 2-8 against UM and 4-12 against FAU"

I don't know that much about Coach Price, but looking at the schedule for the past few years it does appear that he did not schedule games that would make our guys better. It looks more like he scheduled games that would guarantee wins. That may look good on your resume to a certain extent, but it does you no good if you take a winning record against lesser teams into post-season play where you face elite talent.

i've never been a big baseball fan so i wouldnt know much about DP but i have to agree w/ what PG is doing w/ the program. some times when the water is stagnet you gotta stir it up so you dont get mosquito's . if you leave a program head there when all they do is break even and thats it. sooner or later they are goin to take a turn for the worst. cant leave that water there to long.

CJ - though I agree with the firing of DP, I am not sure I agree with your logic. I mean, if that were the case, legends like Paterno, and yes, Bowden, would have been out of a job years ago. Sometimes, you have to let these types of guys, legends if you will, fix what's wrong. That being said, I agree with MIA/NY, DP is no legend. he is not one of the greats. At best, he is a successful car salesman. Yes, he has a lot of victories, and yes, that is an accomplishment in it odf itself, but you have to look at the compitition. If you look closely, this guy should have double his current win total. Ok maybe not double, but you get my point. Also, you have to look at the outcome of his seasons. The guy has been to Omaha how many times? He's one how many Nat'l Championships? Now I know this logic is flawed as well, I mean a think Dan Marino is the greatest of all time, but he has no rings. However, greatest can also measured by the legacy you leave behind. Dan Marino, though departed the NFL without a championship, left a legacy in this town and the entire country as a winner, a hall of famer, and one of the best, if not the best,ever. I ask you , what is DP's legacy is this town, heck, even in his own FIU community. Lets just say, I dont think they will be having any parades for him. And, since I am TheU24/7, I just have to add, DP is no Ron Frazier.

Petey P...let me ask you a question

from all these coaches that got fired/resigned...football, baseball, softball, soccer(men/women) + any others I forgot...did all of them take their respective teams from D-II to D-I???
i dont really know much about recent history on fiu athletics...that's why i'm asking
thanks

YouGotGold: Of the ones who got fired, the only ones who oversaw a move from D-II to D-I were Kremser in soccer and Price in baseball. You can count Strock moving football from D-IAA to D-IA as well, if you wish.

TheU24/7: I should think a true UCG fan would spell the name of their legendary head coaches right. It's FRASER.

MIA/NY josh: Only 30 college baseball coaches have ever gotten to a thousand wins. EVER. If that's on the same level as a successful car salesman, then I'm the Pope. I also suggest you go and do it, since you apparently think it's so easy to do.

The argument that Price scheduled lots of cupcakes is a legit one, but that does NOT make him any different than most college baseball coaches, including many who are on that same thousand-win list. Fraser's scheduling was impressive in its toughness, but he also scheduled plenty of easy teams. He also didn't have a conference schedule to worry about most of the time, and that helps a LOT when it comes to RPI. After '91, Price was saddled with TAAC (now A-Sun) and Sun Belt schedules. The Belt's a good baseball conference (usually), but the TAAC was a joke, and there wasn't much he could do about that.

By the way, FAU was also in the TAAC when FIU was there, and FIU more than held their own against the Birdies then. Recent history has obviously been different, but then again, Kevin Cooney's a damn good coach of a damn good program, so it's not like Price was losing to a crap team. I don't mean that to sound like an excuse; there's no way FIU should have records that poor against FAU, and UM, for that matter.

I won't put Price among the best ever... that's clearly not the case, since he never got to Omaha... but he's certainly in the top 30, if wins mean anything, and I think they do. That, in my mind, means he's one of the best ever. Not THE best.

And if you really think high school baseball teams in south Florida can get to .500 against college baseball teams, give me the name of your dealer, because that crack must be amazing.

DannyPriceFieldNOW, your obvious lust for the man has blinded your objectivity. Any buffoon that lasts for 28 years because of an incestuos relationship with the former AD is bound to win that many games with cupcakes. How many coaches last that long.
Whether I know how to spell the man's name or not, the REAL point is not the winning and losing, even though that is how coaches are measured, Price (to borrow a term from the NCAA when they put UCG on probation) lost institutional control. THE LOWEST GRADUATION RATE OF ANY D1 SCHOOL IN BASEBALL. What a legacy he leaves. He should have named the stadium after himself before he got fired just like he retired his own number.
FIU baseball was going nowhere.
Whether I know how to spell the man's name or not, Fraser brought enthusiasm, desire, and a mystique to UCG that FIU sorely needs and would be wise to emulate. Just like Tommy Lasorda in MLB Fraser brought interest and a desire to watch baseball. I grew up as a Dodger hater but I always admired and respected Tommy Lasorda for what he brought to the game. Even though Lasorda and Fraser may not be considered tactically great managers they were GREAT for their respective teams. Both could sell ice to eskimos, DP could not give water away in the desert.

Yo Petey add Jersey to the list! i'm a FIU grad and your blog is great. Regarding Coach Price it was his time to go, I remember watching Manhattan College in the CWS last year and they had 6 guys from the Miami area(who contributed) on the team, thats BANANAS! There is just an absurd amount of talented ball players in Miami, FIU should be better PERIOD.

fiugrad78: There's no doubt that Price's tenure lasted as long as it did in part because he was good friends with Rick Mello. I doubt most AD's would've let Price slide with just firing Casanova. But Price was there way before Mello was. If I'm correct, he went through a slew of AD's at FIU. I can't recall how many, unfortunately. But the fact there was lots of AD's during Price's time means you can't blame Mello for DP being there as long as he was. There was lots of other factors, including an athletics administration that, frankly, was incompetent. The fact Price could win and stay under such inept leadership is impressive in and of itself. The same goes for Kremser and Cindy Russo.

And if my "lust" is blinding my objectivity, then your "lust" (and many others) for wanting that man fired is equally blinding. Price is not as bad a coach as people think. I know, because I have years of experience following that team. He's a damn good coach that, had he been in a more traditional college town, would be getting a lot more accolades and probably more success. But in South Florida, he gets compared to Fraser, and that's a standard that's damn near impossible to achieve, especially because they get more resources at UM for baseball than Price ever had at FIU.

With a new AD in town and most of the bad seeds gone or going soon, more resources will go to athletics, and better leadership will help coaches succeed at FIU. If you think firing Price is the be-all end-all to making that program successful, you're wrong. A good head coach is important, but giving that coach what he needs to win - something Price never really had - is even more important.

With that said, the main reason Price had to go was not because he couldn't coach, or because he got burnt out. His biggest problem, as Pelegrin said, was that he had a hard time recruting in Miami. He's not a Miami guy. He's an old-school American whose favorite song is the national anthem. He doesn't relate well to Latin players or their parents, and in south Florida, that's a deal-breaker. Once Casanova left, he didn't have anyone on the staff who could. And that, more than anything, was his downfall. Go look how many Latins were on the FIU roster in the past 5-6 seasons and you'll see what I'm talking about. The new coach must be better at local recruting in general, and Latins in particular, and that's why I suspect the new coach will be a Latin.

And for the record, yes, it IS important you know how to spell Fraser's name. It goes to credibility.

As for APR... yes, that's a damning stat, no question... but that goes more to resources than anything else. It's hard for me (or anyone not in the know) to say how much of that is the fault of the coaches or the fault of the administration. There's no question that poor admin support led to lots of APR problems, including football and basketball. That might be on Price... and might not be, either... hard to say... maybe Senor Pelegrin can enlighten us more on that.

You also have to remember that college baseball has one hell of an attrition rate when it comes to players leaving early for MLB. FIU's not the only school with that problem, and that's a fact.

Fraser certainly did leave a legacy that Price did not. Here's hoping the new coach at FIU can be more like Fraser and less like Price in that sense.

Pete Garcia can say all he wants about what the coaches should do (or he can do) about drawing fans. FIU, for the amount of students, has had little fan support forever. And it doesn't matter if teams win or lose or who is the coach or what they do to promote. FIU brought in Shaky Rodriguez, a local legend, to coach basketball a few years back and, other than the Michigan game, it was the same as all the other years. Nobody ever shows up no matter how much the teams are winning. PG needs to get his head out of the sand if he thinks a new coach is going to bring new fans to the stadium.

And oh by the way, who do you think was responible for fundraising to build the present baseball stadium. It was Danny Price.

As I said in a previous post, it is PG's right to hire and fire as he pleases, but both KK and DP deserved better. If PG lives to be 100 he won't accomplish and do as much for south florida and FIU sports as KK and DP.

Stuart Danny Price thinks his shirt doesnt stink problem number one. IF you have attended any of our baseball games in the past couple of you years you would see that Its time for Danny to go. They gave him an option and he wanted to be a duck and not take the option so he was fired. He won't get the stadium named after him now at all. Of course he has 1,000 wins he never played anyone, hell if i played teams like FAMU in three game series year after year then I would be at 1000 wins or more after 28yrs but lets face it he only went to the NCAA's once in his entire career that doesnt work at other Universities and we can accept nothing less if we are to move to the next level. A lot has changed since you were here because back then we were going no where fast and we all know about fan support here in miami, you win and you will get butts in Seats. Don't hate on PG for doing his job and cleaning house, the guy walked in to a MESS that Mello jacked up, and he never had a true backbone to let anyone go...So don't blame PG, blame Mello. Most of the people in AD have been here for way to long and have accomplished nothing...its sports no matter what its about number 1 and number 2 and i dont know anyone who likes to settle for number 2. Well I can tell you this FIU ATHLETICS doesn't settle for number 2 AT ALL. Look at bosie state and school like that, come out of no where and trust me in the next 5 to 10 years FIU Athletics is going to be the place to be and everyone is going to want to be here. Trust me if u were here you would make the same choices because no one wants to suck but you have your blame all wrong.

DPFNOW, you wrote "With a new AD in town and most of the bad seeds gone or going soon." Well, if PG hires, Lazar Collazo, forive any mispellings, then the new AD in town is replacing a bad seed with a worse seed. You want to talk scUM, well here is one individual with UM ties who FIU should stay away from. This guy went to Gulliver and in an attempt to pump up his players, pulled out his twig and berries and asked (high school) kids, "Do you have any of these?" Any coach that would do that, anywhere, forget for a moment that it was in the outfield during a post-game speech, is worse seed and FIU, PG, and the fans should not accept him. However, I know you GP fans. They will hire this guy and you will come on the blog talking about, how he'll relate to the latin players for recruiting, (an idea you all dismissed with african-american players and Randy Shannon for recruiting,), he'll help mold our pitching, he is from a winning tradition. I can't wait. You people are worse then the fans at the U. Because you think the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. You're the type of fans who love the back-up quaterback when your team is not winning. Whatever, say what you want about the fans at the U, but you FIU fans are the same in many respects.

I have been a loyal, long time supporter of FIU sports...yes even before Stu Davidson came aboard to FIU.....lol....I always liked DP as a person and as a figure for FIU baseball through all these years. I have hoped he would go some other way than what has publicly transpired...

Now, while I recognize his accomplishments and his due as FIU's baseball coach through so many years of dedication, hard work, and sacrifices, let's not canonize him, nor appoint him as the smartest, greatest coach ever. I must admit I have some very, very loyal fans of FIU Athletics, that have been telling me for years the desire of "getting rid" of DP due to their thoughts of him not being a great coach....Just a "40-20 Coach", they would say.

While I agreed then a bit with them, I would answer that DP had done an overall good job of growing the program, and I could see us turning the corner (albeit slowly)...beginning with our Super Regional appearance against Southern Cal, what 5-6 years ago?...Well, I was wrong....and the program has not only stalled...but gone backwards, in my opinion...While it pains me a bit to say it, the fact is I don't think anymore that DP is the right man to take FIU into what EVERY long time FIU baseball fan has longed for....OMAHA...and doing it with a certain amount of regularity and success....I don't see it, the new regime doesn't see it...so it's time for a change...

I would assume I would react similarly to current and some former FIU Athletics staff members like Stu (who by the way is a very nice man too, from my dealings with him back in the day, going to hoops practice as a student with Rich Walker, and then Weltlich) when friends's jobs are at stake. I don't fault them (him) for that. In fact, that is very comendable and what a true friend would do. However, the thing is that us...now I, and many from my time as students, are financial supporters of the FIU Athletics Program besides being just supporters all these years.....want to see our alma mater to do well, not just academically, but also in the competitive athletics field. Bottom line is, many of us don't trust DP anymore to bring us to the level FIU aspires our program to be....he hasn't shown it the last several years, unfortunately....Very unfortunate for a good man....But....

Now that we are attempting to make progress in baseball, I hope we schedule more difficult opponents. It would be really nice to have a top 25 team at FIU.
Pete, when or if at all (when for my fellow Panthers and if for our UCG partners) will FIU Athletics be moving to a more competitive conference? I do not know if my question has been brought up before. If it has, I apologize.

Why doesn't FIU succeed in the Conference they are in before we start worrying about them moving to a more competitive conference. Must I remind you of the records of FIU football and baseball in the Sun Belt? Where do you want to go? Big East? ACC? SEC? Do you really think FIU is ready in any sport for that kind of competition? Seriously Fiurulez, you need to accept reality, at least until FIU proves that they have outgrown their current conference.

I really like you24/7. You responded so quickly to my post that you must be refreshing this page constantly. That means that you are contributing to the total hits for this page which drives it up the charts. Check that, I love you. Keep refreshing and keep posting comments. I am going to continue posting delusional comments just to get a reply from you. How about later you and I head over to Miami's campus and hand out flyers promoting this blog. Holding hands is optional. I'll wear my FIU shirt and you can wear your snazzy "DA'U" shirt. If you play your cards right, maybe we can create a new name to post as: FIUrulezTheU24/7
I'm getting Goosebumps already.

Stuart: I have to disagree with you about PG. I think he's someone that school desperately needed to get them to an elite level sports-wise. As others have alluded to, nice guys don't finish first in the field of college sports. If you wanna be nice, stay in the minor leagues. Playing with the big boys requires nastiness and balls, and PG's got plenty of both. I think he's already accomplished more than KK or DP did, and by that, I mean change the losing culture of the entire department. Just firing all the people he did makes that clear. The ramifications won't be felt much soon, but give 2-4 years, and I bet many who are complaining now will say "man, why wasn't someone like PG brought in sooner?" Of course, that's only if they actually win games...

MrFIU: I suspect you're right about the stadium name now that all of this nastiness has allegedly gone down. A shame, really, but such is life sometimes. Also, Price did not get to NCAA's once in 28 years. He got to a super-regional once. Last I checked, regionals are still part of the NCAA Tourney, and he went to 10 of those, if you count two in Division II.

TheU24/7: I agree with you on Collazo, and I think you spelled his name right, for the record. He'd be a bad hire. Too loose a cannon. But man, with his connections and success at UM, he'd certainly be a tempting hire, and I don't doubt that many at FIU would justify that hire if it happens. I would like to see one of the big-name high school coaches get a shot, personally. There's plenty of good ones locally, and solid local recruting would be a big step in the right direction for FIU. We'll see what happens.

I also gotta agree on the conference talk, too. The Sun Belt has given FIU enough problems. Take care of business first. If FIU gets to where they are capable of, big-name conferences will follow soon enough.

Wow what alot of folks with way too much time on there hands post once and move on. What is done is done can't we all just get along. DP is offically now FIU history to quote a famous author which most college grads would not recognize let's just let the man move quietly into that good night.

I like the comment I read that the only people that can comment intelligently on DP as a person and coach are those that have played for him. I am a parent of one of those and while I did not play for him I believe I have a minimal insight into the workings of FIU baseball, at least recently. Like most of us mortals he had his strong points and weak points and lately the latter exceeded the former and he is gone. I was at every home game this season and many away games as I have been the past few years and we had the UCG games won at least the home game and gave it away. He lost alot of one run games this year and that was not the fault of the players. Alot has been said about defense and deservedly so as pitching and defense wind games,. don't care what your offense is like. If you score 7, 8, 9 runs a game and lose more that you win there is a problem. But the biggest problem was pitching not defense or offense. Hopefully the next coach will have more success in recruiting quality pitching. To win in college baseball yes you need good hitters and defense but you need at least 3 quality starters, 2 middle ininng guys and a closer if you don't have that don't care what else you have your toast. That is something DP has never had and I'm not sure why but hopefully the new coach will.


One should trust in the new AD in his efforts to elevate the program and I wish him well. I can't imagine it going anywhere but up from here.

During a time that there is little athletic action (now), I do not see how we cannot discuss future conference possibilities. Think of it in these terms: In five to ten years, if FIU is consistently Sun Belt champs in Football, Baseball and/or Basketball, would the AD make an attempt to move us to another conference. If you rather sit silently then have a little discussion about our future possibilities, by all means do so.

Sorry but I can't break my own rule opps I just did didn't I. You bring up an excellent point. I don't know about 5 years from now but today I imagine than you can argue anything but you would be hard pressed to argue about the strength and notarity of the SEC or perhaps ACC in the South. But first you need to be King of the Sunbelt before making that claim much like UCG was King of Big East before the moving to ACC. Oh and forgive any spelling mistakes that many point out as I am typing fast and don't really give a hoot.

I don't buy the argument that DP can not relate to the latin players or their parents. That is a racist remark. DP had Lou Sanchez a very respected and successful coach at Braddock HS on his staff. DP could not relazte to or did he know how to motivate the new college players. Aside from baseball DP is the kind of person you would want as a neighbor. Unfortunately on the field he could not relate to the players and did not know how to motivate them. Ask any former player. As a former plyer myself, not at FIU, I did not care what race or ethnicity the coach was. Al I cared about was the HONESTY and RESPECT with which I was treated. The same arrogance that got him fired is the reason that many players refrain from staying home and go away to play baseball. DP is a good-old-boy whose time has passed. The new coach doesn't have to be hispanic he just ahs to be able to motivate and relate to the players. He has to create the same enthusiasm that the football teams seems to have created. Respect is earned you can't demand it.

Just a side note:
I spoke with Stephen Jair Cabas today- He's still committed to FIU.

Not to beat a dead horse but even though his resume is unmatched (18 yrs at the U, titles as a player and coach etc.) Collazo definitly isnt the right hire...not to mention his twig and berries incident at Gulliver Prep, he also cost THE U baseball scholorships with some of his outside endeavours (4.66 scholorships over a 3 yr probation period).

For those of you who dont know, he is currently the pitching coach at Louisville. UL is 39-18 with a team ERA of 2.86. While his pitching credentials can't be denied, I can't see putting a program in his hands (though I am sure he would love to return home).

Red Army..Where did Jair-Cabas played?..did he sign or just committed? Any stats, accolades?

What were Collazo's troubles in his past? Could you be more specific? Has he cost Louisville any scholarships too? I've read something about him, but I'm not clear on his past, and what he could bring to the table....Thanks

I like Sebastian.

If you're going to talk about Lazer Collazo, at least try and be accurate as to where he is employed. He is the pitching coach at the University of South Florida. Get on the ball, folks. By the way, UCG has NEVER won a championship without Lazer there, as either a player or a coach. How many UCGers out there knew that?

Please, do not attempt to use the race card. As mediocre a coach as Price is, there is probably not a more decent person than him. There is not a racist bone in his body.

I'll make another attempt at clearing something up for that frustrated ex-employee, Stuart. Karl Kremser was not fired. He retired, after completing the State of Florida Drop Program.

Also, Stuart, you may want to check out the average attendance figures when Shakey was the basketball coach. The truth will set you free. Every time you open your mouth, (or type some words together), only bitterness and misinformation comes out. You must have not progressed much further in your athletic career and are probably working in something that you are definitely more qualified to do than anything to do with college athletics.

By the way, what do the administrations of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush have in common? They all have witnessed mediocre baseball at FIU.

Thank God, TDAOS

You people are missing the two main points I made in my first point. They are:

1. Danny Price and Karl Kremser deserved to be treated with respect and have a better ending than being tossed out the door. They have put in too much time and effort, they have won and they have garnered the respect of the South Florida community.

2. It is not a coincidence that the three most successful sports at fiu (w-hoops, baseball, soccer) stopped winning once football came around. FIU does not have recruiting budgets like other schools, does not pay salaries like other schools, and the budgets have been tied up to go to football. If you don't think that is true, where do you think the football budget came from. Part of it is from other sports.

I stand corrected...Lazer was at Louisville for one year and has been at South Florida this year.

As for The U never winning a title without Lazer, I did not know that because it isnt true...

Even in his USF bio...
"He has been a member of three NCAA College World Series Champion teams with the University of Miami, posting a 2.79 ERA in limited action for the 1985 team as a reliever and working as the pitching coach for the '99 and '01 national champs. "

Last I checked, Miami has 4 national titles in baseball. He was not around for the 1982 national title.

WOW. I just saw on Channel 7 that DP wasn't allowed to hold his press conference on campus, he had to hold it "across the street." WTF is wrong with PG to not allow this man, who helped build the ONLY respectable program our school has ever seen, to hold his press conference officially and on campus sorrounded by a supporting crowd??? I don't care if he was given the option to retire gracefully, I am utterly embarrased by this administration right now, and I'm not even a baseball fan!!!

I agree that both deserved to be treated with respect. I don't necessarily like the way the DP firing has come accross, to be truthful. At the same time, I wasn't there, but I have "heard" different versions of what went on.

Your comments about the three sports coming down because of football is another animal...and I don't think it holds up either, at least exactly the way you put it, and the reasons behind it. Soccer, while succesful for the most part, had had so so years for a while. In fact, FIU's best year in DI was the run for the championship in 1997, I believe. Since then, it's been up and down...well before the advent of football in 2002. In 1999 the record was 6-11..hardly successful before football...2000 was 11-7...2001 was 10-8...2002 (football came) was 13-6-1...the best of those 4 years....I have no access for years 2003-2005...FIU joined Conference USA for the last 2-3 years....a very, very tough conference, by the way, a lot tougher than ASC we were...2006 was 6-10-1.

As for football and budgetary effects, FIU students approved themselves, in more than one occassion, to "tax" themselves with additional per credit hour athletic fees to be used to bring up football. Then, when the decision to jump to IA was made, another increase went up (under Mello) to finance this move. Now, just months ago, another increase was approved.

Each increase in student fees resulted in generating additional millions of dollars per year, the first two (if I remember correctly) exclusively, or almost excusively, for football coffers, and the last one to be used for the whole athletic program, but I suppose mainly for football...

Let's look at records....

Baseball..Year 2000: Record 42-20,15-12 SBC..went 2-2 in Regionals

2001: 43-21,16-11 SBC.....Super Regional lost to #1 USC

2002: 41-20,13-11...0-2 Regionals

2003: 34-21, 12-12 SBC

Men's basketball was a complete disaster under Donnie Marsh, with two years before football and 2 with it. I would say that Sergio's first year was the best FIU has had in men's hoops since the Shakey era...it's a matter of coaching...not football. Women's tennis is doing as good as ever, football notwithstanding. Volleyball, under its new coach just had the best season ever...this year...with football taking its resources...no excuses...it's a matter of coaching..

OK... lemme try to clear my comment up.

Price is not a racist. I'm pretty sure of that. He's a true God-fearing man and one of the nicest people I've ever met. But what I'm talking about isn't racism. You don't have to be a racist to have problems relating to others from different cultures.

Put more simply... logic says that in an area as heavily Hispanic as South Florida, FIU should have a heavy amount of Hispanics on their team. At least 50% of the team, I would think. But the rosters for the past 4-5 years haven't been as Latin-heavy as you might expect. Or, at least, as heavy as I expected.

Beyond that... when I used to cover the team, I heard lots of stories about how Latin recruits, and more specifically their parents, didn't want to send their kids to FIU because of Price. Granted, there's plenty of reasons for why recruits make decisions, and maybe I'm just saying something that is not true or exaggerated. All I can tell you is, I heard lots of stories like that.

For the record... I am Hispanic. I like Price a lot. And I'm sure he doesn't discriminate when it comes to ethnicity. But others do, and that especially includes Latins from older generations, the kind whose kids might go to play for FIU. Many of them naturally mistrust Americans, especially old-school types like Price. It's not something many people will say publicly, but I'm convinced there's some truth behind it. I've heard too many stories behind the scenes to think there's not something to it.

Again, I don't think Price is a racist, but I do think there was clearly a cultural issue there, at least when it came to the parents. With the players, I doubt ethnicity was a factor. I suspect it's more like what fiugrad78 says, in that Price just couldn't relate to the new crops of kids coming out of high school.

Sure, it helps to have Hispanic assistant coaches, and Price had plenty of those. But with many recruits and parents, it's the head coach that seals the deal.

fiurulez: If FIU starts winning SB titles consistently in the next 4-5 years, then a conference move is certainly possible. But this is one clear case of counting chickens before they hatch. Who knows what'll happen 5 years down the line? Not many saw Miami's move to the ACC until just before it happened, and the factors behind the move wasn't just about Miami dominating the BE, either. The ACC wanted to expand. You need two to tango. With that said, I think the BE would make the most sense because they'd be the ones most likely to expand in the next 5 years. But, again, that's trying to read very murky water at this point. FIU needs to worry about the Belt first, and let the rest fall as it will. Baby steps, 'mano...

FIUShouldBeAshamed: You're forgetting Kremser with men's soccer and Russo with women's basketball. Baseball isn't the only FIU sport that's won everything.

But otherwise, I'm with you on this one. I saw the same thing you did on 7. That's bs. I don't care if he did deserve to be fired... he also deserved to go out in a classy way. Even if he got fired, give the man a proper send-off. Don't just toss him out like that, telling him he can't hold a press conference on-campus and making him do it in what looked like the parking lot between the baseball stadium and the Little League fields at Tamiami Park. That's very poor taste shown there. As an FIU alum, that's just a horrible way to treat a man who dedicated his life to the school.

You've been given a mandate to change the athletic department, Pete, but you also promised to do it the right way. This was NOT the right way. I hope an apology is coming very, very soon from PG...

Well...if the Channel 7 thing is true, then obviously PG and DP did not end in good terms...a discussion, fight, argument, w/e it was, it wasnt pretty

Hey Petey P...how about this for the next post: "The Replacements"...names and bio of coaches that could take over for the ones that got BOOTED!!!

We have an imposter on our hands. Last night, at around 6:49, someone, disguised as TheU24/7 posted some idiotic comment about Sebastion. I would like for it to be known that that particular post did not come from the real TheU24/7. The way the post reads now (I like Sebastion) though a true statement, was not posted by me. And whatever said post read before PG chaged it certainly was NOT true and I did not post it. If whoever decided to post that comment using my postID - u got problems. If you have something to say, say it. Don't come on this blog, use other peoples ID's and try to be funny - its not funny. Anyone who has seen me posting over the past few weeks would realize that I would not post that kind of crap. I do love the U, but posting something like that last night would have been a waste of my time and effort. Therefore, from now on, if you want to post, create your own ID and stop pretending to be TheU24/7.

Look on the brightside FIU, the more PG cleans house and the more people he puts in place that are "his", the less likely he is to jump ship.

"Hey Petey P...how about this for the next post: "The Replacements"...names and bio of coaches that could take over for the ones that got BOOTED!!!"
You should be weary of using hypothetical situations. People well ostracize you for it. From what I can gather, you should wait until the new coaches are hired and then you may ask for the bio.


24/7 you should use that line as a trademark that way whenever you comment we know its the real you

I’ll start by saying it was time for a coaching change in baseball…but wow!..not allowed to have the press conference in the stadium he built(yes he raised the $$$)...I feel bad for FIU athletics and their fans...this lack of respect is becoming very obvious and has no place in college athletics...even the Garcia supporters on this board have to admit this was disgraceful...they owed it to Danny to work something out (settlement, reassign, etc.)...they obviously did not really attempt to try and work it out by calling a coach in on a Sat night when his emotions are all over the place...then just firing him...even if they asked him to retire first, this was not the way to handle it...Garcia and his administration is making way to many enemies with the former FIU staff and supporters and I will bet that something is going to come back and bite him…and it could be in a big way causing a huge negative impact on FIU athletics…time will tell.

go comment overthere that way our regulars can battle it out w/ the cote regs. that will never fathom FIU can do as good as the Canes

heat101 although it was a rapid fire i dont think that making enimies w/ past staff is goin to be to much of a problem.. and as long as they bring in wins w/ the new coach the old fans will forget. so do i think it was right thing to do? it was time for change but i agree there could have been alil more curtious about it. but hey this aint a nice business, its a business.

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