Tuesday, May 27, 2014

weekend review

Let's play a little game.  A little Team A / Team B thing - you know how that goes.  These are baseball teams.

Team A is 43-12, with a 16-11 record in ACC play.  They are ACC tournament champions as a 6 seed.  They had two OOC series, a sweep of Bucknell and then of Fordham/Delaware.  (2 games against the latter, one against the former.)  They also had the usual slate of midweek games ranging from a minimal challenge to straight-up cupcakes.  They have an RPI somewhere in the 16-20 range - it is unfindable at this point but that is a decent guess.

Team B is 36-21, with a 15-14 record in ACC play.  They are ACC tournament runners-up as a 6 seed.  They had three OOC series - a 1-2 loss to Florida and sweeps of Bryant and UMass.  They too had the usual slate of midweek games yada yada.  They have an RPI of 25.

The reason Tim Weiser's name is still mud in UVA baseball circles is because both ended up as regional 2 seeds, but Team A got sent 3,000 miles away to play the #6 seed (and, incidentally, this guy) and Team B got sent about 400 miles to play an unseeded regional host.  It's not entirely fair to the committee to compare teams five years apart, but astute fans with good memories will by now have figured out that Team B is this year's Maryland Terrapins and Team A is the 2009 Hoos.

I don't know that there's much point to all that, except maybe just to segue into the fact that I still hate the ACC tourney format.  If you don't want to get eliminated, fine, don't lose games, there's certainly that point to be made - even so, getting eliminated after losing just one game and not even getting to play the other two, it's just silly is what it is.  Naturally, my interest plummeted when Maryland knocked off FSU on Friday, before UVA's game with UNC, and made anything we did completely moot.  I guess we ended up beating UNC and losing to FSU, for all the good it did anyone.  What is the point of having a regular season?  The ninth seed won the tournament, and did so by beating the sixth seed.  Next year let's just have the tournament in March, invite all 14 teams, crown a winner, and play the rest of the year for NCAA positioning.  Of all the championships the ACC sponsors, baseball is easily the least legitimate.  I want to win it because I want to win ACC championships, but it's not hard to see why many baseball fans consider it a mere freak show, a diversion on the way to what really matters.


-- On the other hand, the ACC gets it right with lacrosse.  Remember how I posited that the autobid did the ACC a lot of good, guaranteeing a sixth team in the NCAA tourney when it was possible that that team might not have gone?  Now you have that same team as NCAA runners-up.  The ACC came in for some ridicule when it had no autobid but held a tourney anyway, which accomplished little but boosting the RPIs of every participant.  Now there's an autobid and it actually matters, too.

(Side note: I'm also aware that Georgia Tech was never getting an at-large bid to the baseball tourney, and therefore in some respects the baseball tourney worked just like it was supposed to.  However, nobody would look at the powerhouse that is ACC lacrosse and say the tourney winner is undeserving of a championship.  On the other hand, the ACC just declared its 9th-best team the champion in baseball.)

-- This weekend produced one lock for FOV Cavalier of the Year nominee (the award process begins shortly!) when Danielle Collins won an individual national title, the first time a ladies' tennis player advanced past the round of 16 in the individual tournament let alone scooped up a trophy.  Brilliant work.

-- I would say the school just announced the extensions and raises handed out to the assistants on the basketball staff, but that's not quite true.  Ritchie McKay, Ron Sanchez, and Jason Williford - all utterly invaluable components of UVA's success lately - all got decent raises and extensions, which is something people had been wondering about.  The interesting part to me isn't the raises themselves, though - it's the fact that the Daily Progress had to FOIA the info out of the department.  McKay's contract ran out in April, so it's a safe bet this whole deal was wrapped up six weeks ago.  It's a small lesson to fans doing a lot of bilateral arm flapping over the lack of announced extension so far for Tony Bennett.  Smart money says it's already done and they're just not bothering to scream it to the heavens.

-- I have an unusually busy schedule the next couple of weeks, so posting will be necessarily light.  There isn't much going on except the baseball tournament anyway.  Of course there will be a preview of the Charlottesville regional** and various other attempts at cogent wordsmithing, but this weekend and next are kind of spilling into the regular week, so it won't be til after that stretch that proper full-time posting returns.

**It's a revenge tour!  Arkansas (sent us home from Omaha in 2009) is in our regional and South Carolina (same, 2011) is the opposite regional 1 seed.  Oklahoma, however, is nowhere to be found; in potentially related news, their coach is former VT coach Pete Hughes.


Anonymous said...

In what was a blah weekend for baseball, I happened to catch this article and was thrilled to see that O'Connor is among those doing things the right way. (Of course, he's got the bullpen to allow it, but still.)


It's amazing the caliber of coaching we have in so many sports. Except that one.

Anonymous said...

It was even worse than you guessed back in 2009. The Hoos RPI was 6 when they were sent out west to face Strasburg & co.