Explanation Please

UT's baseball team can't seem to hold onto – or hit – the ball lately

Explanation Please
Photo courtesy of Matt Hempel

Somebody tell Augie Garrido to please read my last column!

I previously wrote a blog stating Texas needs to play better defense and hit the ball to win games. So, let’s see … in three of the last four games, they committed eight errors and lost three of those games. In the game which they won, they only committee one error and racked up 12 runs on 14 hits.

Does anybody see a trend? Not yet? Well here’s another look. Let’s break the last five games down a little further.

In the three losses – they committed eight errors and averaged roughly five hits and two runs.

We getting warmer?

In the two wins – they committed two errors and scored 19 runs on 22 hits.

Anyone catching on yet?

When Texas commits several errors, they lose. When Texas doesn’t hit the ball, they lose. But, when Texas plays good defense and hits the ball well, they win. I think a call to Tom Emanski is in order. Or, I guess Fred McGriff will do, but I think the players would be too distracted by his Dr. Seuss hat to really get anything out of the instructional videos.

Anybody remember the game Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? It’s the one where the user tries to find someone based on clues and different events that occur. Typically, her underlings are captured first. Then, once she is located and arrested, the game is over. Carmen is spotted sporadically, but always seems to avoid capture. OK, I had a lot of time on my hands as a kid, but I am getting to the point. What about the song by Eminem that goes, “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?”

I am thinking of copying the game (of course with a twist or two because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings) and call it Where on the Field Is Kyle Russell? Actually, I know what I can do. I’ll rewrite the song, with Mr. Eminem’s permission, and change the lyrics to, "Will the real Longhorns please play ball, please play ball, please play ball?"

I know sports can be quirky, but how does a guy who leads the nation in home runs (28) last year, only have one home run halfway through this year? Russell also has the lowest batting average (.230) of all of the starters, after hitting .336 a year ago. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player, but it blows my mind how one player can have such a dip in form.

There seems to be a little confusion on exactly what to do to pull it all together. How does a team commit five errors in a loss and hit the ball well, then turn around in the next game and play good defense, but only have two hits and score exactly zero runs.

There seems to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde approach. After game one against Nebraska, where they committed those five errors I referred to earlier, the Horns got the defensive problems ironed out, but forgot to bring their bats. Baby steps guys, baby steps.

Maybe in Augie’s next speech, fundamentals should be the name of the game.

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augie garrido, kyle russell

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