Coach Gillespe is not a popular guy among Tiger fans. He once got in a fight with an LSU fan, who apparently said some things about his wife. Before this series, he said that LSU fans didn’t know the Civil War was over which led to one of the more clever signs: “The Civil War should have been best 2 out of 3.”
I don’t hate him, but there are things about Gillespe which drive me insane. He’s a notorious staller, and the way he came out for conferences and tried everything in his power to slow the game down absolutely pisses me off. Let’s go out there and play baseball. There’s nothing worse than standing around waiting to play. I have no problem with a long game, so long as there is actual baseball being played. He’s mastered the art of essentially calling timeout when the other team is about to seize momentum. This isn’t basketball. And let’s face it, it’s irritating in basketball, too.
But more than anything, I’m sick of hearing about how his team plays baseball the way it’s meant to be played, especially from our own fanbase.
I’m sick to death of hearing about UCI’s good fundamental baseball while LSU apparently are mindless thugs who barely have the capability to tie their own shoelaces. If an LSU pitcher had balked in the first run like UCI did, half of the LSU message board population’s head would have exploded. If LSU’s outfield had played defense the way UCI’s has all weekend, we’d probably be at home right now.
And UCI ran into the biggest weakness of small ball and an offense based on bunting and hit and runs: down 6-0 after the first, this game was over. OK, UCI did score 7 runs, but a lot of that is due to the LSU bullpen adopting the “just throw strikes and let them put in play” strategy of protecting a mammoth lead.
There is just no more efficient way to score than hitting a home run. One swing. One run. It’s easier said than done, but there’s no way I would trade our offense which can put up football scores for a good offense based on the high-risk strategy of aggressive baserunning.
As Mainieri pointed out, his team plays some fundamentals, too. Which was a not-so-veiled shot at the college baseball press which has been sticking to the meme of “UCI: good fundamentals/ LSU: bad fundamentals”. One that a lot of our own fans have bought into for some reason. So here’s what to tell them: