Monday, May 09, 2005

...Now On To the Real Season

First things first. Here are the results of our prediction contest.

1) Who wins/by what score/how many games?
2) Who are the MVPs * batting and pitching separately?
3) Who ends the series with the career Crimson homerun record * Mann or
4) How many bases do the Crimson steal?
5) How many runs does Vance score?
6) How many homeruns do the Crimson hit?
7) How many different pitchers pitch in the Series?
8) How many different positions (including DH) will
Wilson/Salsgiver/Farkes play (a number for each)?

Bonus: Describe in detail Coach Walsh’s unusual and unanticipated
coaching move of the Series.

The Real Answers

1) Harvard won both.
I was the only one who had a sweep. One point.

2) MVPs are tough here – Herrmann or Haviland would work on pitching. Wallace, Wheeler, or Mann I think would work on hitting.
Faiz had Mann and Herrmann – half point for each.
Marty had Haviland and Klim – half point.
Brian had Klim and Herrmann – half point.

3) Farkes
No one said that.

4) strangely enough, no stolen bases for the Crimson
Marty was closest with three, but I’m not awarding points for zero productivity.

5) Vance scored zero
I had three which was closest – same deal, no points

6) zero Crimson homeruns
I had five which was closest – but not rewarding it

7) three Crimson pitchers
I had four, and I am taking that.

8) Wilson – 3B, P – Faiz, Marty, Brian all had it
Farkes – 2B, 3B – Marty had 2 positions (though not the right ones), but I’m awarding that
Salsgiver – RF – no one had just one position for Salsgiver
A third of a point for each.

Faiz – 3.33 points
Marty – 1.16 points
Brian “the answer key” Fallon - (what’s a half plus a third?) .833

For the Bonus question, the correct answer was:

Coach Walsh surprises us all by not surprising us. Stability, predictability, and consistency marked both games. Haviland starting game 2 might have drawn some attention, but of course, it was a relatively obvious move, holding Morgalis back for a deciding third game.

Congratulations to the Crimson. Congratulations to Coach Walsh who continues to build upon his dynasty (yes, dynasty)… and congratulations to Coach Donovan and Coach Hyde. It’s a great day to be a Harvard baseball alum.

That being said, here’s a message to the 2005 Crimson baseball team. I don’t mean to diminish this significant achievement in any way, but you have earned only what many Crimson teams before you have achieved. You now have the opportunity to separate yourself and fulfill the aspirations of past teams by taking this current Ivy League Champion squad beyond the 1st round of the NCAA Regional, beyond the often-quoted “two and a barbeque.” Without diminishing the great accomplishments of the ’97 and ’98 Crimson teams who, in a different NCAA Regional format, were able to turn quite a few heads in the postseason, the ultimate dream remains very much alive. There is a real palpable feeling among the Harvard faithful that this team has what it takes to play on national TV.

Having been a part of 2 teams that made it to the Regionals, I have to say that the most difficult challenge will easily be staying sharp. Between now and June 3rd (which is a long ways off in baseball time), there should be very little lapse in conditioning and preparation. Bullpens and BPs must go on as if you were in the middle of the season. Intrasquad games (hopefully even some games against local teams) are important. And given how much this team lives on its hitting, and hitting tends to be the first thing to go when you stop practicing, there's an extra burden to keep those bats sharp in whatever way you can. So when you take on the conference tournament champions of whatever league -- who just got done playing a couple days ago and are playing at the top of their game before a home crowd of 5,000, you can confidently march in knowing you’re prepared to take them down.

You never know if you'll get this opportunity again (some of you know you won't). No excuses – that’s the ticket.

1 comment:

Sandy73 said...

Martin, This is fantastic. Joe told me about it and how popular it is, not just for us old Harvard Baseball Alums, but also for other coaches and players! GREAT JOB! We went to Omaha twice: '71 and '73 and only lost one-run games in those years at Omaha with a record of 1-4. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT THAT THIS TEAM CAN ACHIEVE WHATEVER IT DECIDES IT WANTS TO ACHIEVE. GoCrimson! "Sandy" Weissent, '73