Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Crimson checks in...

...with a spring practice article and, more unusually, a piece in Fifteen Minutes.

Among the highlights:

1. "Javy Castellanos, weekend starter." Intriguing. He's already come up with big innings in the clutch before, and has shown great promise against quality competition.

2. Sounds like we may be looking at a few immediate freshmen contributors in Haviland (RHP), Steffan Wilson (2B) and Bryan Hale heir-apparent Matt Vance.

3. Ah, springtime in Minnesota. An endless indoor start to the season. Why? We're still not sure, but the official word is:

“We’re anxious to get ground balls going off of Astroturf,” head coach Joe Walsh said. “For the very first time, we’re opening up indoors...Hey, we may be the best team indoors in New England right now.”

According to Walsh, the set-up has also let the coaching staff transfer attention upon the more minute, but no less important, aspects of the game. Though outdoor on-field action often lends itself to players simply trying to blast the ball out of the park, indoor baseball facilitates work with bunt and first-and-third defenses, the running game, and swing mechanics.

“If we can do those little things better than other teams and be better prepared, then I really feel that we get a chance to win the tight ballgame,” Walsh said. “To me, the bigger the ballgame, the better your bunting game’s gotta be.”

4. The team will wear Wes Cosgriff's No. 28 on their jerseys.

5. The FM piece, a semi-profile on Walsh, gives us gems like this:

Take what the team calls the Valentine’s Day Massacre.

No ordinary man could hatch such an ambitious plan. The Massacre takes so much work that Walsh needs help—a couple of spies, like Herrmann and first baseman Mike J. Dukovich ’06—to get the dirt on his own players. Hook-ups, embarrassing weekend details­—little is sacred.

“I get a little bit of information,” Walsh says. “Inside information on the team. A few little things.”

During the team’s Valentine’s Day baseball practice, he uses the information to structure sprints, says Lance L. Salsgiver ’06.

“He’ll say, ‘for all you guys who have done this, run.’ Except one guy will start running and he looks behind him and sees no one else,” Salsgiver says. Inside info, indeed.

“Coach tries to keep the mood light,” Herrmann says. “He’s good at that.”

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