All Things Gopher Baseball

TNGophfan

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BTW, we're not the only ones scratching our heads. Look at Nebraska. They also have a good baseball history and are struggling mightily.

Hey - we won a series!!
 

Goldy Gopher

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It was nice to see the guys finally pull out a couple close games. While the record is similar I will say this years team has been much much more competitive than last year and the biggest issue has just been giving away games in different ways. There are some pieces there to build around both on the mound and in the field but have to adjust and tweak some things as well. I don't know that we have any room at the moment but I would really really love to find a answer at shortstop in the portal.
 


Goldy Gopher

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I see Holetz and Skoro are starting for Ireland and Massey, injuries?
Doesn't sound like it. Ireland is actually on in relief for Holetz right now. Mentioned on the broadcast with the short turnaround Anderson wanted to limit pitches a little bit.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Doesn't sound like it. Ireland is actually on in relief for Holetz right now. Mentioned on the broadcast with the short turnaround Anderson wanted to limit pitches a little bit.
Different opponent same story bullpen blows a 6-2 8th inning lead with a 6 run 8th. Culliver and Liffrig were awful, freshman Rooney tried to clean up the mess but had no margin for error. Skoro should've been used tonight, gotta get the win when you can this year. Doesn't matter if you want to start him tomorrow or not just adjust when you can get the win. Culliver and Liffrig against that Indiana lineup is a terrible matchup as well.
Gophers tried to battle back again in the 9th loading the bases but couldn't come through with the big hit.
 


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Gophers getting blown out this morning. Coach Anderson must be running out of things to tell the boys.
 

LesBolstad

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Gophers getting blown out this morning. Coach Anderson must be running out of things to tell the boys.

Shocking how bad they've been last 2 years. And the recruiting has been pretty solid on paper- among top 5 B10 classes.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Shocking how bad they've been last 2 years. And the recruiting has been pretty solid on paper- among top 5 B10 classes.
I'd say 3 years even going back to the bad start of 2020. Much the same record wise results the last two years but much different teams in watching them. Much more competitive this year just have blown a ton of games late, don't know if some of that is lack of depth or what but if you can think of a way to give away/blow a game I'd bet money they have done it this season. Usually seems like one thing goes wrong, often a misplay by the defense or a walk or something and it is like a spark of a avalanche that they just can't stop until it is too late.
Just this weekend leads going to the 8th in games 1 and 3 and come out of the weekend with 3 losses.
 

Goldy Gopher

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I'd say 3 years even going back to the bad start of 2020. Much the same record wise results the last two years but much different teams in watching them. Much more competitive this year just have blown a ton of games late, don't know if some of that is lack of depth or what but if you can think of a way to give away/blow a game I'd bet money they have done it this season. Usually seems like one thing goes wrong, often a misplay by the defense or a walk or something and it is like a spark of a avalanche that they just can't stop until it is too late.
Just this weekend leads going to the 8th in games 1 and 3 and come out of the weekend with 3 losses.
I lied Gophers get a leadoff walk from Kelly followed by a 1-2 homer from Bork to take back the lead 9-8 in the 9th and Culliver is able to get out of a jam in the 9th for the win. He escaped bases loaded nobody out in the 8th as well.
 





SomeGopherFan

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Gophers win a wild one at Siebert Field this evening. After a back and forth game early Minnesota opened up a 13-6 lead only to see Northwestern tie it with 5 in the top of the 8th (the last four runs coming on a grand slam). However, Gophers score a run in bottom of 8th and hang on for a 15-14 win.
 

Goldy Gopher

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A late collapse in the last 2 innings to blow a 5-0 lead perfectly encapsulates this season. Starts with a veteran reliever Culliver walking a man on 5 pitches then a young guy mishandles the double play ball and a hit batter loads the bases, Skoro comes in and cleans it up limiting the damage to 2. Then in the 9th you get what should be out 2 and Wilhite completely blows a routine flyball and you just can't ever recover from it.
 



Goldy Gopher

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They honored all 11 seniors yesterday so not sure if any of them will be back or not but right now I'm just not gonna count them because I believe the NCAA had said the 35 man limit would be back for next year and if that is the case a current projected roster without any of those outgoing seniors comes to an even 35. Now I have to believe they want to tweak a few more things as well, some speculation but could see some guys who haven't pitched much at all like a Gurka or Schoeberl hit the portal or maybe someone who has gotten opportunities and really struggled like DeLuga or Dauman move on.
7 Seniors
Maldonado
Ireland
Holetz
Liffrig
Stahl
Gurka
Schoeberl

7 Juniors
Bork
Bateman
Merila
DeLuga
Hauser
Semb
Dauman

12 Sophomores
Klassen
Cousell
Larson
Perry
Malec
Clausen
Novotny
Everson
Hall
Becker
Davis
Rooney

9 Freshmen
Capomaccio
Berkland
Neels
Hokenson
Fritcher
Egan
Ellis
Saunders
Kennedy
 

nitramnaed

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1653508472563.png

Via Saturday Tradition

Is this heaven? No, it's the perfect site for the B1G Baseball Tournament​


Alex Hickey
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...perfect-site-for-the-b1g-baseball-tournament/

They built it. Now the Big Ten should come. Because the opportunity to make the B1G Baseball Tournament feel like a big event is here.
All that’s needed is a little creativity.

An event without pizazz​

Unless you’re a diehard, you might not be aware that the Big Ten Baseball Tournament begins today. And there’s not necessarily anyone to blame for that being the case. Hate the weather, not the game.
College baseball is a tough sell in the North. The mere idea of sitting through 9 innings in mid-March East Lansing will make you instinctively reach for a blanket.
As with so much else in life, COVID is also to blame. The past 2 Big Ten Baseball Tournaments were canceled due to the pandemic. Even if this was an event that was once marginally on your radar, it likely fell off the screen by now.
But it’s not as if baseball isn’t a big deal within the Big Ten footprint.
If you’re generous enough to include the Yankees and Mets in Rutgers’ backyard, 12 of MLB’s 30 teams reside within Big Ten territory. Nebraska and Iowa both have Triple-A teams that have fed players and fans to the Royals and Cubs, respectively, for several decades.
People will come. Provided you put it in the right place.
And the recently rechristened Charles Schwab Field in Omaha is certainly a good one. It is, after all, the mecca of college baseball. The goal of every program is to be among the 8 who come back in June for the College World Series.


There’s a built-in audience for college baseball in Omaha. On the ground, it’s a good dry-run for the CWS.
But there’s a double-edged sword element to this, too.
Given the option for the entertainment dollar, locals will choose attending a CWS game over the B1G Tourney. That’s especially true when Nebraska is not among the 8 teams to qualify, as is the case this year. (Why the Huskers missed this year’s B1G tourney is worthy of a separate message-board discussion, but the point remains.)
And because Nebraska is the Big Ten’s westernmost outpost, it’s naturally limiting. Omaha is an easy drive for Nebraska and Iowa fans, and that’s it. Fans of Maryland and Rutgers — the top 2 seeds in this year’s Tourney — are definitely not making that trip.
If the Big Ten Baseball Tournament aspires to be an event that puts butts in seats, it needs to be unique. Something that a fan can’t resist no matter the travel inconvenience, because they ambiance is just that irresistible.
Such a venue now exists. And it screams BIG TEN BASEBALL.

A Field of Dreams … and Big Ten champs?​

Major League Baseball has a Mr. Bean-caliber knack for stumbling over problems of its own creation. The offseason lockout was completely avoidable. The blackout restrictions for streaming local games on MLB TV cripples attempts to sell younger viewers on the sport.
But even a blind squirrel can find a nut, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred actually struck gold last year with the Field of Dreams game.


For probably the first time since the 2016 World Series, baseball was front-and-center in the national sporting conscience for last August’s White Sox-Yankees game near the iconic movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The visuals were stunning. The Dyersville diamond was 2nd only to Augusta National in terms of popping off the TV screen and making viewers feel they had to be there.
And therein lies the opportunity for the Big Ten.
Big-league baseball will be back in Dyersville this August with the Cubs playing the Cardinals. The 7,382 seats will be difficult to come by. Once again, hundreds of thousands more people will see the cornfield-bordered ballpark and want to attend a game there.
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament is the perfect event to feed this demand.
Casual fans who have no impetus to attend the Tournament in Omaha or Target Field in Minneapolis might be compelled to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see a game at the Field of Dreams. The chances of scoring a ticket to the annual MLB game are pretty low. But a tournament with 15 possible games gives far more people the chance to take in the splendor.
Beyond that, it makes for great TV. After all, this concept was literally a Hollywood production. And I’m willing to bet holding the Big Ten Tournament at the Field of Dreams would be a ratings boost for Big Ten Network. A baseball tournament from an actual baseball stadium doesn’t stop a viewer in their tracks. But a baseball tournament in a cornfield? That oughta do the trick.
The Big Ten football championship game and basketball tournaments are tentpole events for the conference. The same is not true for the baseball tournament. But thanks to a little bit of movie magic already turned reality, maybe that can change.
People will come. They will most definitely come.

 


#2Gopher

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Boat load of Nebraska players in the portal as well.
 

Good KNight

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Yes NEB had individual meetings and then 6 guys left. Cleaning their roster after this year.
 

Lincoln gopher

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Yes NEB had individual meetings and then 6 guys left. Cleaning their roster after this year.
There is already more news of additional departures. Looks like a several more leaving for multiple reasons, retiring from baseball, to moving closer to home, to checking out pro prospects. Could be more like 12-14 leaving that was on last year's roster.
 

SomeGopherFan

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View attachment 18631

Via Saturday Tradition

Is this heaven? No, it's the perfect site for the B1G Baseball Tournament​


Alex Hickey
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...perfect-site-for-the-b1g-baseball-tournament/

They built it. Now the Big Ten should come. Because the opportunity to make the B1G Baseball Tournament feel like a big event is here.
All that’s needed is a little creativity.

An event without pizazz​

Unless you’re a diehard, you might not be aware that the Big Ten Baseball Tournament begins today. And there’s not necessarily anyone to blame for that being the case. Hate the weather, not the game.
College baseball is a tough sell in the North. The mere idea of sitting through 9 innings in mid-March East Lansing will make you instinctively reach for a blanket.
As with so much else in life, COVID is also to blame. The past 2 Big Ten Baseball Tournaments were canceled due to the pandemic. Even if this was an event that was once marginally on your radar, it likely fell off the screen by now.
But it’s not as if baseball isn’t a big deal within the Big Ten footprint.
If you’re generous enough to include the Yankees and Mets in Rutgers’ backyard, 12 of MLB’s 30 teams reside within Big Ten territory. Nebraska and Iowa both have Triple-A teams that have fed players and fans to the Royals and Cubs, respectively, for several decades.
People will come. Provided you put it in the right place.
And the recently rechristened Charles Schwab Field in Omaha is certainly a good one. It is, after all, the mecca of college baseball. The goal of every program is to be among the 8 who come back in June for the College World Series.


There’s a built-in audience for college baseball in Omaha. On the ground, it’s a good dry-run for the CWS.
But there’s a double-edged sword element to this, too.
Given the option for the entertainment dollar, locals will choose attending a CWS game over the B1G Tourney. That’s especially true when Nebraska is not among the 8 teams to qualify, as is the case this year. (Why the Huskers missed this year’s B1G tourney is worthy of a separate message-board discussion, but the point remains.)
And because Nebraska is the Big Ten’s westernmost outpost, it’s naturally limiting. Omaha is an easy drive for Nebraska and Iowa fans, and that’s it. Fans of Maryland and Rutgers — the top 2 seeds in this year’s Tourney — are definitely not making that trip.
If the Big Ten Baseball Tournament aspires to be an event that puts butts in seats, it needs to be unique. Something that a fan can’t resist no matter the travel inconvenience, because they ambiance is just that irresistible.
Such a venue now exists. And it screams BIG TEN BASEBALL.

A Field of Dreams … and Big Ten champs?​

Major League Baseball has a Mr. Bean-caliber knack for stumbling over problems of its own creation. The offseason lockout was completely avoidable. The blackout restrictions for streaming local games on MLB TV cripples attempts to sell younger viewers on the sport.
But even a blind squirrel can find a nut, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred actually struck gold last year with the Field of Dreams game.


For probably the first time since the 2016 World Series, baseball was front-and-center in the national sporting conscience for last August’s White Sox-Yankees game near the iconic movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The visuals were stunning. The Dyersville diamond was 2nd only to Augusta National in terms of popping off the TV screen and making viewers feel they had to be there.
And therein lies the opportunity for the Big Ten.
Big-league baseball will be back in Dyersville this August with the Cubs playing the Cardinals. The 7,382 seats will be difficult to come by. Once again, hundreds of thousands more people will see the cornfield-bordered ballpark and want to attend a game there.
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament is the perfect event to feed this demand.
Casual fans who have no impetus to attend the Tournament in Omaha or Target Field in Minneapolis might be compelled to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see a game at the Field of Dreams. The chances of scoring a ticket to the annual MLB game are pretty low. But a tournament with 15 possible games gives far more people the chance to take in the splendor.
Beyond that, it makes for great TV. After all, this concept was literally a Hollywood production. And I’m willing to bet holding the Big Ten Tournament at the Field of Dreams would be a ratings boost for Big Ten Network. A baseball tournament from an actual baseball stadium doesn’t stop a viewer in their tracks. But a baseball tournament in a cornfield? That oughta do the trick.
The Big Ten football championship game and basketball tournaments are tentpole events for the conference. The same is not true for the baseball tournament. But thanks to a little bit of movie magic already turned reality, maybe that can change.
People will come. They will most definitely come.


This is an interesting idea. No idea if there would be any issues with it hosting an 8-team, multi-day tournament or not. I think Iowa being in the tourney would still have a significant impact on attendance, but it's possible more fans would attend from elsewhere to see the field.
 

DarrenTheGreek

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I think it would be awesome to have the Big Ten tournament at the Field of Dreams site. I'd like to to see them rotate the locations again. Omaha is just too far away from the rest of the conference and way too big of a park to host it on an annual basis.

Either go back to the #1 seed hosting the tournament or start rotating among AAA ballparks within the footprint. Off the top of my head that would be:
St Paul, MN
Omaha, NE
Des Moines, IA
Toledo, OH
Columbus, OH
Indianapolis, IN
Allentown, PA
 

Good KNight

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Field of Dreams is very cool but would have trouble hosting because Dyersville is a small town and close to absolutely nothing.
 

Outsider

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Cast my vote for Toledo, the Mudhens stadium is a great park and right in the heart of downtown. Plenty of eats, drinks and new hotels recently opene. Easy drive for most schools and DTW is only about 50 min or so from the stadium for those teams that would fly. If chartering Toledo airport is only 20 min from the stadium.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Seems like more stolen bids this year than most seasons.
B1G likely ends up with only 2 in this season unless Michigan(leading Iowa 4-1 in 7th) or Iowa beats Rutgers. Maryland will host, some even think they will be top 8 which I'm not sure I agree with. Personally don't see either Maryland or Rutgers having enough pitching depth to Omaha. The Terps lineup is deadly but their bullpen seems really weak.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Michigan steals a bid winning the B1G tournament over Rutgers.
Maryland will officially host.
Someone on the committee does not like Notre Dame. Last year they should've easily been top 8 and instead had to go to Starkville for supers and this year they were probably in the 7-12 range and instead will be on the road for regionals.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Michigan steals a bid winning the B1G tournament over Rutgers.
Maryland will officially host.
Someone on the committee does not like Notre Dame. Last year they should've easily been top 8 and instead had to go to Starkville for supers and this year they were probably in the 7-12 range and instead will be on the road for regionals.
Well… I am not sure I love Notre Dame either… so that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Watching the selection show not sure Rutgers will be in seeing Ole Miss, DBU, Liberty, and Grand Canyon as bubble teams in.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Watching the selection show not sure Rutgers will be in seeing Ole Miss, DBU, Liberty, and Grand Canyon as bubble teams in.
And they don't. Rutgers is first 4 out with NC State, Wofford, and Old Dominion. Ole Miss and Grand Canyon were the 2 big surprises for me that got in.
 

nitramnaed

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Via Saturday Tradition:

Rutgers gets hosed as NCAA Tournament selection committee slaps northern baseball in face
Alex Hickey
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...on-committee-slaps-northern-baseball-in-face/

If you’re a Big Ten baseball fan, it’s time to start burning as many fossil fuels as possible. Because if we get this planet hot enough, maybe college baseball’s northern teams will actually have a shot at scheduling the opponents deemed respectable by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Unfortunately for the 2022 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the advent of tropical Piscataway won’t get here soon enough. Despite a school-record 44 wins, the Scarlet Knights weren’t invited to this year’s NCAA baseball regionals. Rutgers has the most wins of any team that did not get into the field.
It’s a hose job of epic proportions. And the Scarlet Knights didn’t just get the hose; they got the whole hydrant.
Sure. Baseball isn’t the Big Ten’s strong suit. There’s a reason Major League teams don’t hold spring training on the Jersey Shore. For a season that’s halfway through by the end of March, elite prospects will choose any climate where it doesn’t feel like your hands have been electrocuted on a foul tip. Heck, even New Jersey legend Mike Trout had decided to fly south to play college baseball in North Carolina before the MLB came calling.
Despite its climate-related challenges, the quality of the league is improving. The Big Ten was 8th nationally in RPI this season, up from 11th a year ago and 10th in 2020.
Rutgers finished 1.5 games behind Big Ten champ Maryland, which earned the No. 15 national seed. The teams were tied for first heading into the final weekend. The Scarlet Knights also reached the Big Ten Tournament title game before falling to Michigan.
And this is a well-rounded team. Rutgers is 5th nationally in batting average, 8th in slugging percentage and 16th in fielding percentage.
This was an elite team. Rutgers was the 2nd-best team in the nation’s 8th-best conference in the regular season and postseason. That should have been enough for an at-large berth.
But it was not, because of a clear geographical bias shown by this year’s selection committee.


Nonconference SOS: A no-good, anti-northern metric​

It’s clear that 1 metric mattered above all others when rounding out this year’s field: nonconference strength of schedule.
Last 4 in
  • Florida State (33-23, 15-15 ACC): 29 RPI, 28 NC SOS
  • Grand Canyon (41-19, 25-5 WAC): 50 RPI, 10 NC SOS
  • Liberty (37-21, 19-11 Atlantic Sun): 31 RPI, 13 NC SOS
  • Ole Miss (32-22, 14-16 SEC): 39 RPI, 94 NC SOS
First 4 out
  • NC State (36-21, 14-15 ACC): 32 RPI, 181 NC SOS
  • Old Dominion (41-17, 19-11 C-USA): 40 RPI, 189 NC SOS
  • Rutgers (44-15, 17-7 B1G): 42 RPI, 238 NC SOS
  • Wofford (42-16-1, 16-4-1 SoCon): 35 RPI, 90 NC SOS
Reliance on that metric also makes it clear how Dallas Baptist — a team many expected to be on the wrong side of the bubble — made it into the field without breaking a sweat.
The Patriots were No. 1 nationally in nonconference strength of schedule. So despite going a totally unremarkable 11-9-1 to finish 3rd in the Missouri Valley, DBU made it in over all of the above. It bears mentioning that the MVC was the 9th-best conference in RPI, which puts it behind the Big Ten.
The bizarre message from Dallas Baptist’s inclusion? Even though the only automatic way into the NCAA Tournament is by winning your conference, in this case conference performance doesn’t really matter.
But the bigger issue here is how much emphasis is placed on nonconference strength of schedule, because the practice is inherently anti-northern.
With the bulk of nonconference games being played from February-April, weather is a constant factor facing any northern college baseball team. A Tuesday game might get canceled due to snow. To make up for it, a previously unscheduled game might pop up the next day.


RPI is of little concern to the coaches involved. They’re simply looking for an opponent within, say, a 3-hour driving radius that can play. And small-conference opponents in the Great Lakes region do not stack up to their southern and West Coast counterparts. Because if you can avoid playing center field in driving sleet, you do.
This isn’t just a Big Ten issue.
With a No. 13 RPI, Notre Dame should probably be a regional host. But because the Fighting Irish scheduled local teams like Valparaiso, Butler and Purdue-Fort Wayne, they are punished. Notre Dame’s nonconference RPI is 259, so the Irish are stuck going to Auburn instead of hosting.
Few fans will be inclined to cry, cry for old Notre Dame. But there’s an inherent unfairness to what the baseball selection committee is emphasizing.
This isn’t like basketball, where teams are rightfully punished for ducking tough competition. In the north, baseball teams have to play whoever the heck they can get whenever the heck they can get them. And if you’re good enough to beat 75% of those opponents, as Rutgers did, you’re absolutely good enough to be in the postseason.
Baseball is the hardest sport in which to win consistently. Too many wacky, weird things can happen on a day-to-day basis. Yet there were only 9 teams in this country with a better winning percentage than Rutgers. To suggest the Scarlet Knights aren’t a worthy tournament team is preposterous.

Can it be fixed?​

You hope no other deserving teams go through what Rutgers is experiencing. But if the committee continues to put such a lens on nonconference play, future disappointments are inevitable.
The only fix that comes to mind is loading up on road games early in the season, but that’s already a staple of northern baseball. Of Rutgers’ first 25 games, 22 were on the road.
Unless the committee places more emphasis on conference results, teams in the Big Ten and elsewhere in the north will only continue to see their competitive disadvantage exacerbated.
 

WindyCityGopher

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View attachment 18631

Via Saturday Tradition

Is this heaven? No, it's the perfect site for the B1G Baseball Tournament​


Alex Hickey
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...perfect-site-for-the-b1g-baseball-tournament/

They built it. Now the Big Ten should come. Because the opportunity to make the B1G Baseball Tournament feel like a big event is here.
All that’s needed is a little creativity.

An event without pizazz​

Unless you’re a diehard, you might not be aware that the Big Ten Baseball Tournament begins today. And there’s not necessarily anyone to blame for that being the case. Hate the weather, not the game.
College baseball is a tough sell in the North. The mere idea of sitting through 9 innings in mid-March East Lansing will make you instinctively reach for a blanket.
As with so much else in life, COVID is also to blame. The past 2 Big Ten Baseball Tournaments were canceled due to the pandemic. Even if this was an event that was once marginally on your radar, it likely fell off the screen by now.
But it’s not as if baseball isn’t a big deal within the Big Ten footprint.
If you’re generous enough to include the Yankees and Mets in Rutgers’ backyard, 12 of MLB’s 30 teams reside within Big Ten territory. Nebraska and Iowa both have Triple-A teams that have fed players and fans to the Royals and Cubs, respectively, for several decades.
People will come. Provided you put it in the right place.
And the recently rechristened Charles Schwab Field in Omaha is certainly a good one. It is, after all, the mecca of college baseball. The goal of every program is to be among the 8 who come back in June for the College World Series.


There’s a built-in audience for college baseball in Omaha. On the ground, it’s a good dry-run for the CWS.
But there’s a double-edged sword element to this, too.
Given the option for the entertainment dollar, locals will choose attending a CWS game over the B1G Tourney. That’s especially true when Nebraska is not among the 8 teams to qualify, as is the case this year. (Why the Huskers missed this year’s B1G tourney is worthy of a separate message-board discussion, but the point remains.)
And because Nebraska is the Big Ten’s westernmost outpost, it’s naturally limiting. Omaha is an easy drive for Nebraska and Iowa fans, and that’s it. Fans of Maryland and Rutgers — the top 2 seeds in this year’s Tourney — are definitely not making that trip.
If the Big Ten Baseball Tournament aspires to be an event that puts butts in seats, it needs to be unique. Something that a fan can’t resist no matter the travel inconvenience, because they ambiance is just that irresistible.
Such a venue now exists. And it screams BIG TEN BASEBALL.

A Field of Dreams … and Big Ten champs?​

Major League Baseball has a Mr. Bean-caliber knack for stumbling over problems of its own creation. The offseason lockout was completely avoidable. The blackout restrictions for streaming local games on MLB TV cripples attempts to sell younger viewers on the sport.
But even a blind squirrel can find a nut, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred actually struck gold last year with the Field of Dreams game.


For probably the first time since the 2016 World Series, baseball was front-and-center in the national sporting conscience for last August’s White Sox-Yankees game near the iconic movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.
The visuals were stunning. The Dyersville diamond was 2nd only to Augusta National in terms of popping off the TV screen and making viewers feel they had to be there.
And therein lies the opportunity for the Big Ten.
Big-league baseball will be back in Dyersville this August with the Cubs playing the Cardinals. The 7,382 seats will be difficult to come by. Once again, hundreds of thousands more people will see the cornfield-bordered ballpark and want to attend a game there.
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament is the perfect event to feed this demand.
Casual fans who have no impetus to attend the Tournament in Omaha or Target Field in Minneapolis might be compelled to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see a game at the Field of Dreams. The chances of scoring a ticket to the annual MLB game are pretty low. But a tournament with 15 possible games gives far more people the chance to take in the splendor.
Beyond that, it makes for great TV. After all, this concept was literally a Hollywood production. And I’m willing to bet holding the Big Ten Tournament at the Field of Dreams would be a ratings boost for Big Ten Network. A baseball tournament from an actual baseball stadium doesn’t stop a viewer in their tracks. But a baseball tournament in a cornfield? That oughta do the trick.
The Big Ten football championship game and basketball tournaments are tentpole events for the conference. The same is not true for the baseball tournament. But thanks to a little bit of movie magic already turned reality, maybe that can change.
People will come. They will most definitely come.

There wouldn’t be an ear of corn anywhere near the playing field in late May. It would be surrounded by dirt for as far as the eye could see, and there’s not much romance in that unless you work for Monsanto or Case/IH.
 




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