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Baseball: North Dakota State Series postponed yet again!

Lawrence received another few inches of snow yesterday prompting yet another delay for Opening Day.  The North Dakota State series was pushed back one day.  If all goes as planned (fingers crossed) the series will now be played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  All games at Hoglund Park, first pitch 3:00PM.

Temperatures are expected to rise into the 40's and 50's starting tomorrow.  If that is true the stands will be chilly, but not unbearable.  I read somewhere that the field needs at least two days of warm weather to thaw.  I wouldn't be shocked to see the series pushed back one more day.  The Bison of NDS apparently are being very cooperative about the situation.  Their head coach told Coach Price to just tell him when to show up and his team would be ready.

A few other baseball tidbits to hold you over until we get some more game action:

Boyd's World is a great website devoted to college baseball numbers.  Often the information is just kinda dumped on the site and you have to work with it to find what you want, but I know many of us are just damn thankful it's available in any form.  Here is one nugget I picked up from the site over the weekend.  Several KU pitchers from last year had their DERA calculated and compared to their actual ERA.  DERA (Defense Independent ERA) is a method to calculate what a pitchers ERA might have looked like if defensive (either good or bad) were factored out of the equation.  

Name        Actual ERA    DERA
K. Quick         3.62        4.65
R. Fairchild     5.95        6.65
S. Land          5.56        5.51
N. Czyz          5.11        4.72
D. Czyz          1.56        2.97
A. Marks         5.11        4.68
R. Hayakawa   5.85        4.92
P. Smyth         6.13        4.97

I think they are calculated by emphasizing the four true results (HR, K, BB, and HBP) to eliminate defensive involvement, but that also removes from the equation a pitchers ability (or lack thereof) to bear down when its tough. You can look at these numbers a couple of ways. If a player has a lower ERA than a DERA then you might think he was lucky and received very good defensive work behind him, or you can see it as a reflection of the pitcher somehow being able to work himself out of jams.  To make the pitch when it was most needed.  Last year I saw Quick and Don Czyz consistently work scoreless innings when they seemed to be dealing less than their best stuff.  Would these numbers have held up in longer seasons?  Who knows.

On a more emotional note, Coach Price and many of his players were a bit miffed last week when the Big-12 Coaches pre-season rankings came out for baseball.

79 Texas
70 Oklahoma State
64 Nebraska
57 Baylor
46 Oklahoma
37 Texas Tech
34 Texas A&M
29 Missouri
22 Kansas
12 Kansas State

If this prediction holds up than Kansas will not even qualify for the Big-12 tournament, much less the NCAA dance.  The story was hung in the club house to incite righteous indignation among the Jayhawks.

Finally, Kyle Murphy was named to the National College Baseball's Honor Roll last week for his outstanding effort thus far in the season.  The emergence of Murphy as an offensive threat is, at least in my mind, one of the most welcome surprises of the season so far.