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Baseball Notes: Two new pitchers, Beer Garden at Hoglund? and more

In Brief:

  • Two pitchers transfer into KU, will see action in 2008
  • Beer Garden and tail gating at Hoglund Park?
  • Links of interest
  • All-Time Homerun leaders at KU
Two More pitchers for 2008
Two Junior College Pitchers transferred into KU over the winter break and will be eligible for action in the upcoming season.  Both are left handed and will enter as Juniors with two years of eligibility remaining.

Sam Freeman is 5'11, 170 lbs. and has been pitching at North Central Texas College.  NCTC's website did not prove too helpful in learning more about Freeman, although it did list him as transferring to Marshall, not Kansas.  Did Ritch Price change his mind?  According to the KU press release Freeman is coming off a very good season.  He was 10-1 last year with at 3.20 ERA.  He struck out 50 in 50.2 innings and was named all conference as well as all academic in 2007.  This all looks very good, with a caution about how difficult it is to compare Jr. college stats with what one can expect from the same player once he hits the Big-12.  Freeman will be stepping up the equivalent of two competitive levels.  That said, NCTC clearly has a good baseball program.  Six of their players were taken in the 2007 MLB draft, including Freeman who was selected in the 24th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.  NCTC already has two alumni playing in the majors, Craig Stansberry and J.R. Towles.  So there is a lot of good going on here with Freeman.  Price on Freeman: "He has an excellent fastball, a good slider, and has shown an outstanding change-up during his bullpen sessions.  We will give him an opportunity to compete for a starting role in our rotation this spring."

Daniel Manos is the other incoming arm.  Manos has been pitching at Santa Ana College.  Santa Ana's web site is somewhat more helpful so I can pass along more complete statistics about Manos.  In 2007 he pitched primarily out of the bullpen, 16 relief appearances and one start.  In 23.1 innings he gave up 24 hits.  Four walks and 22 strikeouts.  Opponents hit .250 against him.  His ERA was 2.31.  All good stuff.  2006 was less kind.  Ten of his twelve appearances were as a starter.  48.2 Innings, 56 hits, 19/31 BB/K.  His ERA hit 6.29.  So, maybe he is not cut out to be a starter?  He did not pitch deep or effectively in the role.  Is he a LOOGY?  Price indicated he can pitch either as a starter or out of the pen, but it looks like he will likely fit into the relief corp this season.
The two newest Jayhawks,
Sam Freeman and Daniel Manos

Beer Garden and Tailgating at Hoglund Park?
There has been some discussion at KU about opening a Beer Garden at Hoglund Park and allowing tailgating before baseball games in the parking lot. I am not a representative of the team and do not speak for anyone but myself, but I have been made aware of this discussion.

Without having specific information, I understand the basic outline of the Beer Garden idea is to open a specific fan zone somewhere in the right field area to beer sales. This would be the only area of the park where a person could buy and drink beer. Also, the university would allow fans to tailgate before games in the parking lot.

On the plus side, these ideas might draw in more fans, create more excitement on game days, and increase team revenue. On the down side, these things might alter the feel of home games in ways not all fans would embrace.

So, what do you think? Please take a minute and reply to a poll I have posted at KU Sports.com.  Link here.  I thought it best to leave the poll only in one location rather than recreate it on this site as well.  If you have thoughts on this matter, or if you have other ideas on how the experience of KU baseball games might be improved, I hope you also take a few minutes to post them. Also, you might want to highlight aspects of the home games you have enjoyed in the past and encourage their retention.

I suspect some of the folks at KU who are thinking about these same issues will take time to look over the responses posted with the poll.

More Links of Interest

  • Recommended reading from the Daily Kansan:  Baseball Team Welcomes Positive News by Shawn Shroyer runs down several recent developments.  Shroyer also interveiwed Ritch Price last week.  Shawn does a good job covering the team and I am glad to link his work here.
  • Rivals.com will be broadcasting a weekly one hour radio program from now on called the College Baseball Report.  The shows will be broadcast live Wednesdays at noon (CT) and then be archived on the website.  Happily the show is hosted by someone who knows what he is talking about, Kendall Rogers.  Currently Rogers is releasing his pre-season Top-25 list one team per day complete with individual write-ups.  Link.  Just FYI, #12 Missouri, #18 Wichita State, #20 Baylor, and #24 Texas A&M. I am sure Texas will be one of the final eight still to be announced.
  • Perfect Game Cross Checker website put out a Top-100 pre-season ranking for college baseball.  Finally!  KU can make one of these lists!  The Jayhawks check in at #91.  Yeah, they'll regret that low ranking in a few months! (fingers crossed).
  • A new Baylor Baseball Blog can be found here.
List of the Week: Jayhawk all-time home run leaders

  1. Travis Metcalf (2002-04) - 29
  2. Ryan Baty (2000-2004) - 28
  3. Matt Gundelfinger (1978-80 - 27
  4. Jeff Niemeier (1990-93) - 26
  5. Josh Igou (1992-95) - 25
  6. Erik Morrison (2005-present) - 24
  7. Ryne Price (2005 - present) - 24
  8. Darryl Monroe (1991-94) - 24

A few other current Jayhawks are closing in on this list.   Preston Land enters 2008 with 13 homeruns, Buck Afenir has 12 and John Allman has 11.  All have a shot at leaving Lawrence in the top-10.