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Number 15 With A Bullet

Back from Denver, where the Marlins made a pleasantly surprising move bringing up top pitching prospect Chris Volstad, who pitched two scoreless relief innings to win his major-league debut and beat the Rockies on Sunday.

Mia_5 In Miami, another pleasantly surprising baseball move....

As if having the No. 15-nationally ranked college baseball recruiting class wasn't already enough of an accomplishment in his first season, FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas's next class should have a higher ranking at this time next season.

Only the Florida Gators (No. 12) had a higher-ranked recruiting class among Florida schools this year.Rdm_3 

TT filled his vacant assistant coach position on Tuesday with the hiring of Rod Delmonico -- the winningest coach in Tennessee Volunteers history -- and along with TT, RD is one of the top recruiters in the nation with his recruiting classes having cracked the Top 10 many times while he was at UT and as an assistant at Florida State.

You may remember when the FIU Witches (yes, that is a gratuitous photo placement of the FWs) were casting their FIU coaching search spells last summer that RD was in the running for the FIU head coaching job along with TT. When he didn't get the Fiuwitch job, RD took an assistant coaching position at FSU. Now with the chance to work again with his good friend TT, RD could not pass up the opportunity.

"We've been friends for more than 30 years," RD said. "This is a great opportunity to help Turtle turn FIU into something special. FIU has always been a place that can be great. I've spent a lot of time recruiting South Florida. This is a hotbed for talent.''

TT and RD coached together at Clemson earlier in their careers and TT has always been looking to coach again with RD.

"I've been quietly waiting on Rod for a long time,'' TT said. "He's always done a great job recruiting South Florida and the state and he knows the game as well as anyone."

Besides helping bring top talent to FIU, RD will coach the infield, baserunning and be TT's bench coach. Sean Allen, last year's infield coach, is now the pitching coach. And before you ask, SA has been a pitching coach before. None of that old FIU musical chairs coaching carousel going on with TT's staff.Mus_3

                                                                                                                                                                                                           LogoGOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

We'll continue MC's Q & A on the next post. Also, will have an updated FIU Stadium tour with pictures on here soon.

                                                                                                                               

ridgepanther: Who or what is to blame for UM stopping the crosstown matchups?

                                                                                                                                                      

UM will not play FIU, because of two reasons: 1) God forbid, if FIU happens to start beating UM on a consistent basis, the people in Coral Gables won't know what to do with themselves. And while no one over there will admit it, that could happen in the future, because FIU finally has its athletic act together. Since PG took over as AD, the coaching and recruiting at FIU has improved 200 percent. The athletic academic mess has been cleaned up and not swept under the rug. And the athletes arriving at FIU have more talent than ever. Just witness, the No. 15 baseball recruiting class in the nation. Football cracked the top 100 (No. 81) for the first time in the 6-year history of the program and Bbq_2 basketball looks to have a promising year.

                                                                                                                                                         

2) While this is not the main reason, you also have to take into account that some of UM's coaches are not exactly inviting some of FIU's coaches over for a Bar-BQ on Sunday afternoons. Remember "Alligator Arms" JM at home plate at FIU earlier this year?

                                                                                                                                                         

Fgg_2 The Home of the Griffins (left) has joined the Prowl....Quahog, Rhode Island reads the GPP....actually it's Pawtucket, Rhode Island (home of the Pawsox - Red Sox Triple A team).

                                                                                                                                                       

Db Count 'em down, Dingo and the Baby: The 30 states the GPP is read in: ALA, CA, COL, FLA, GA, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MO, NEB, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, VA, VER, WIS. 9 Countries: Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Panama, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A. 1 District: Washington, D.C. and 1 Territory: Puerto Rico.

                                                                                                                                                         

So what have we learned from the last 3 poll questions: FIU Nation loves the classic unis (blue top/gold pants), The Golden Panthers offensive line should be a major reason for FIU's success in 2008 and UM is the yearly opponent you good people would like to see FIU play. . . .Well, going 2 for 3 (UM not going happen) leaves you with a batting average of .667 and a spot in the Hall of Fame.

                                                                                                                                                         

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