It’s not every day you care about something so much you start a blog over it.
That’s where I find myself today. The debate over a summer season has really struck a chord. As a fan, seeing another drastic overhaul proposed on the heels of TD Ameritrade, BBCORs, and flat seams makes me uneasy. As someone who got into the game through summer ball, it kills me to see these leagues put in jeopardy. And as a New Englander, it feels just plain weird that one snow storm and some 30 degree weather can cause such an uproar.
Let me start off by saying I have a huge amount of respect for Aaron Fitt. We may disagree about the idea of a summer season, but you’ll have a hard time finding a more talented, intelligent, and engaging writer in the world of college sports. The same goes for his colleagues over at the new D1Baseball.com. When you think about why the game’s grown so quickly in recent years, their hard work and love for the sport are near the top of the list.
That said, I’ve gotta be brutally honest. A summer season isn’t just a bad idea, it’s a dangerous one. It takes the “college” out of “college baseball.” It puts the interests of the NCAA and ESPN over those of the players. It means the end of collegiate summer baseball. It’s a more drastic change than anything our game has seen in the past fifty years: the switch to metal bats, divisional realignment, the loss of true regionals, the 64-team bracket, conference realignment, the common start date, TD Ameritrade, BBCOR’s, flat-seamed balls, whatever. A summer season is a bigger game-changer than any of them. Support it or not, it’s not a change we should make without considering the consequences.
Basically, that’s what I’ll try to do on this blog. This idea has a lot weighing for and against it, and I’m gonna try to get all of it out on the table. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d appreciate your help. I’ve gotten to know a lot of incredible people through the twitter account: players, coaches, parents, fans, SIDs, sportswriters. What do you think about this? How is this going to affect you? Current players: what’s your take? What’s your ideal season schedule look like? High school players and parents: if D1 switched to an April-August season while D2 and D3 stayed the same, would that influence your decision? Coaches: what would this do for the ways you recruit, schedule, develop players, and run your programs? Are there more pro’s than con’s? And to everybody else: what are the best reasons we should or shouldn’t be doing this? Tweet at me, leave comments here, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you agree with me, great. If not, I’d like to hear from you even more. My initial reaction is pretty negative, but I’m open to changing my mind. Any thoughts you have for me to factor into what I write here are much appreciated. This issue deserves consideration in more than just 140-character increments, and I hope I can help to give it that.
And don’t worry, that’s not all that will be going on here. The time I’ve got for writing is limited, at least for the next couple months, but I’m hoping to at least do weekend preview and roundup pieces each week. Hopefully more in the future, if time frees up and people are reading. I love this sport, and I love meeting people who feel the same way. If I can do that in more places than just twitter, I’ll be a happy guy. Till then, stay warm, and enjoy the baseball.