It was an Ernie Banks type of day for FIU baseball on Friday. First, 2 Golden Panthers get drafted and will play in the pros, then a future Golden Panther?? says he too wants to get drafted, but not in the pros -- rather by FIU. And another future Golden Panther?? was expected to prowl onto University Park on Friday.
Left fielder James McOwen was picked in the MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners in the 6th round and catcher Luis Bautista was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 32nd round -- not too shabby for FIU baseball after the dismal season that is mercifully over.
McOwen says he will sign with the M's and Bautista, a senior, obviously will be a Cub. Congrats to both. McOwen had one of the better offensive seasons in FIU's 35-year history.
"This makes me feel real good,'' said McOwen. "I know it doesn't fix how bad our season ended, but it definitely is something I'm proud of.''
Bautista provided one of the season's most majestic hits when he clobbered that 2-run shot at um in the 10th inning. I heard the ball finally landed at Coral Gables city hall the other day.
As for the FIU baseball coaching update, Rod Delmonico was on the "Descarga Deportiva" sports talk show on Friday evening with Jerry del Castillo (who corrected me in that the "d" in del is lower case). By the way, JdC translated the English interview with RD to Spanish for his listeners. I will translate JdC's name to English....Jerry of the Castle.
Anyways, RD is "very interested" in the FIU job -- now there's a shocker, isn't everybody interested? RD said the FIU job is "a job where you can build a program. A program that can get to Omaha and win a national championship. This is an area rich with talent where you can go to your mailbox and a find a player."
RD went on to add that "the first thing is to keep the talent at home" -- RD must be reading the GPP's previous blogs. Maybe the FIU witches and myself should apply for the baseball job, after all.
Which reminds me, since the coaching search will only get more in-depth with every available coach in America applying, let's take a moment to introduce our newest FIU witch, Kaley, who was summoned by the 3 original FIU witches to help solve this FIU coaching spell. Everyone say hello to Kaley...
Back to RD, he finished by telling JdC that FIU "is a job that's a sleeping giant." Now, I know this guy is reading the GPP.
RD was not the only big name talking FIU on Friday. South Florida pitching coach Lazer Collazo was expected to be on FIU grounds on Friday and it was probably not for the vacant FIU softball job.
So that makes JD, DiMare, RD and Lazer. Turtle Thomas (ASU), Mike Taylor (Rice) and Mark Calvi (South Carolina) are still involved in super regionals so they can't speak FIU language until their teams are eliminated. That's just a starters list, who knows who else may come a knocking on PG's door. Maybe Morris Buttermaker wants the job. Except, that the Bad News Bears days at FIU are over, son!
FI-UM Fan: The 790 radio interview is available on "The Inconvenient Truth" blog. Just click on the link.
HiHardHeat: You make a very valid point with your "Development" post. FIU has had baseball talent before. Just look at how this year's team hit, but the development from the coaching staff was never there. Exhibit A was the pitching this season. You can't totally blame the arms, because there hasn't been a pitching coach at FIU since Mark Calvi left.
scUMsanitizer: The GPP admires and respects your passion for FIU, but the liberal claw has to keep it clean.
RedArmy: Thanks for reading the GPP in Vermont. By my count we've reached double digits (10) in states readership. Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Colorado, California, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Tennessee and now the Maple Syrup capital - Vermont.
24/7: Coaches are not overrated. We need to look no further than FIU vs. um this year 2 times (there's that 2 theme again) where FIU's former coach blew both games. "He's bigger than me and he wanted the ball." -- famous last words.
Heck, my slo-pitch softball coach can win 2 or 3 games a season on his managerial decisions alone.