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A Home Run and A Home Win

Great turnout on Saturday night for the FIU Baseball Diamond Dinner where first-year coach Turtle Tt_2 Thomas and the 2008 Golden Panthers baseball team were introduced.

A little baseball here on the blog before the latest football stadium tour. Don't panic the first of two parts of the stadium tour will be on here either Monday or Tuesday.

Heard the baseball dinner raised more than $30,000 for what will likely be put toward improving the FIU baseball stadium. The stadium has already undergone a makeover along the outfield wall where a padded wall was installed to replace the tarp covering the outfield fence.

As for the dinner, besides the savory filet mignon and shrimp, the other highlights of the night were that suddenly the FIU baseball out-of-conference schedule got a lot tougher the next three years.

Counting USC, Arizona State, Cal-Irvine this season, FIU will take a trip to Tallahassee next season to play.....NO not 6 games with FAMU....., but rather Florida State. Tennessee and Oklahoma State also are on FIU's schedule in 2009.

FIU plays current No. 3-ranked San Diego, San Diego State and Missouri in 2010. And host San Diego and play at Georgia in 2011. In addition, FIU will also play every team in the state of Florida in the next two years, except Florida.

These types of schedules can only make the Golden Panthers much better and when they go into Sun Belt play -- which as TT said last night, the SBC is ranked No. 6 out of 31 NCAA baseball conferences as far as strength goes.

Countdown to Opening Day at home against USC: 11 days.

On a side note: there are a couple of brothers on my Sunday morning softball team who brought up some interesting comparisons to the past week's Hurricanes Karim_2 baseball coach Jim Morris's "Turtle who?" comment.

The brothers said what JM said was no different than other "(Name here) who?" in sports in years past. Such as when the Red Sox and Yankees had that tough 2003 American League Championship Series where former BoSox pitcher Pedro Martinez and former Yanks outfielder Karim Garcia got into a shouting match after Pedro threw a pitch near Garcia's head. Afterwards, when asked about the incident, Pedro said: "Karim Garcia, who are you?"

Former FIU and current Suns guard Raja Bell got into a similar incident with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant Raja after a little tussle in the 2006 playoffs. Afterwards, Kobe said: "Who is Raja Bell?"

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his former assistant and current Jets head coach Eric Mangini also had an issue after the first time their teams played each other. At midfield after the game, Belichick, instead of doing the Belmang_2 traditional coaches handshake, walked right past Mangini.

So what does it all mean? Well, the "Who's" (Garcia, Bell and Mangini) have 2 wins versus 1 loss against their adversaries -- only Belichick won. We'll see April 2.

Hey, how about that FIU basketball team. Finally after 23 games, the Golden Panthers were able to break the full court press and get a win against Middle Tennessee on Saturday night.

Don't want to rain on the win, but MT only pressed four times. SR made a nice adjustment using forwards Chris Fuller and Alex Galindo to help with the press break on Saturday. I would like to see FIU beat the press all game long. Arkansas-Little Rock will likely try that on Wednesday at Pharmed Arena. If the Golden Panthers are to even get past the first round of the Sun Belt tournament they will need to solve the riddle of the press on a consistent basis.

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Good News! Every team in Florida (except the Gators) sounds great to me!!

There seems to be a group of FIU baseball fans that have purposely stayed away from the new regime. We're glad to hear of the energy, agree that a change was needed, however we're still upset over how DP's removal was handled. I saw on Pete's article that a couple of UM players showed, however no former FIU players? Mike Lowell wasn't there. He feels much the same as the rest of us. Wants the best for FIU baseball and MAYBE TT is the answer. Howev er how DP was treated after 30 years of BUILDING (both as a player & coach) FIU baseball is wrong. I only hope that the correct thing is done for DP. He deserves that much.

GO FIU!!!

Talking about that. I was positively surprised that the new FIU baseball Media Guide devoted a section (don't remember if one or two pages) to Danny Price and his FIU roots. I know this by itself is not enough, but I'm happy that the history wasn't "re-written" and Danny P. wasn't totally forgotten.

Also, I think it is imperative to see what the returing players that played last season are saying. Some of them have already been quoted on newspaper articles, I've read.

FIU Fanatic, though I haven't read any of the returning players comments, I can only assume that they will be pro-Turtle. How could they not? You think any of the rollover players are going to talk crap about their new coach and discuss how it was better under DP? Noway, not if they want to stay on the team and get quality PT. All I am saying is FIU Fanatic, please do not be naive and think that just because the rollover players are saying all this postive stuff about the new regime that it means that the old regime was inadequate.

UltimateFIUFan: There were several former FIU baseball players at Saturday's dinner. Among the players I saw were: James McOwen, Bryan Pullin, Chris Dunn and Willy Collazo.

Pete, that's good to hear. However the right thing needs to be done for DP.

GO FIU!!!

Some players might not be so eager to make comments if they feel that way, 24/7. You would be too naive to think that players that don't like what is going on would be so eager to say nice things about the new coach. Of course, I agree with you, that whoever speaks up better at least be "politically correct" or openly making positive remarks about Turtle. That I can stipulate.

BTW, nowhere in my post did I say the last regime was inadequate, or that players said that either, so neither did I quote any players saying that, nor I implied that. I think you are getting a little bit ahead of yourself.

UltimateFIUFan,

What would you say is "the right thing to do". There are two pages in the media guide. The administration is not saying things about him. What more should they do?.

Common guys let's face it when was the last time you looked forward to the baseball season. It was "groundhog day" every year. For 20 something years you knew you will play FAMU, Bethune Cookman and all the flunkies from the north, then a trip to UM which was the highlight of the season and where Danny will screwup the rotation and the lineup and back to next year.

FF and UFF I know you mean well, but stop dwelling on the past.

Go FIU


How about naming the baseball stadium after Price? I think the man deserves that much after being here 30 years and giving FIU a consistently good team year in and year out.

Sure, you can hate on his coaching, or hate on him never getting FIU to Omaha, but the man did prove that FIU could be a Top 25-caliber team every season. And he was a pretty classy guy, too. I always enjoyed talking to Coach Price the years I broadcasted their games on WRGP. He always was willing to talk, even if he wasn't in the mood for it. And he taught me things I never knew about baseball, for which I'm thankful for... and it made me a better broadcaster, too.

As for how he was dismissed... I mean, what did you people expect? FIU baseball had stunk for 4-5 years. A new sheriff was in town. And Coach Price, being the type of guy who probably would've died before quitting anything, wouldn't turn the keys over to the car. These things happen with programs trying to be big-time, and that is a good thing.

I don't mean to diss on Price, but history only goes so far. You gotta keep improving. His teams nose-dived the last 4-5 seasons. There's no denying that. It was probably time for a change. As much as some loved the man, lots of others didn't. That's a fact.

I don't know if that's what "doing more for the man" means, but that's what I'd do if I were FIU. Name the soccer stadium after Kremser, too, while you're at it. Ain't nothing wrong with recognizing your roots. :)

Good post Messod. I agree with your post a lot. However, I don't know if the way DP left FIU burned some bridges with the current leadership...you never know...look at how it seems that Wertheim is back on FIU's Medical College boat....

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