Thoughts on the College World Series

We just got another dog this weekend, so I’ve taken to going home for lunch to check up on him and our other dog. Which also means I’m getting to watch some of the College World Series.

This afternoon I got to see a couple innings of the Tulane-Cal State Fullerton game. I saw Padres first-round pick Jake Gautreau bat. Good balance, good patience, nice approach to the ball. He hit a sharp grounder up the middle that looked like a base hit, but Fullerton second baseman David Bacani came out of nowhere to make a spectacular diving stop and turn it into an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom half of the inning Gautreau made a fine play of his own, sprawling for a bunt that was popped up into foul territory off third base. Bacani continued his heroics later in the inning, smacking a three-run homer that put Fullerton up, 6-0. Bacani is a senior, and I don’t believe he was drafted, but he made an impression on me when I saw him play back in 1999, and I still think he could do something at the next level if given the chance.

One other thing I have to mention is ESPN’s new center field camera angle. I’m all for innovation but only when it actually improves on what’s currently in place. It’s not as annoying as listening to Ray Knight (what is?) but one of the things I like to watch in the pitcher-batter matchup is how the ball breaks as it moves toward home plate. That’s easy enough to do with the camera low over the center field fence looking from right behind the pitcher into the catchers mitt, but good luck with this new angle. The only advantage I can see to what ESPN is doing now is that it’s easier to tell whether a pitch is inside, over the plate, or outside. That’s nice in limited quantities (watch the Cubs on WGN for a good example of how to use this technique properly) but it gets old pretty quickly. It’s disorienting to try and track the ball from that angle. Or maybe it’s just me.

Okay, enough of my whining. I’m starting to sound like Andy Rooney. Oh well, at least I don’t sound like Ray Knight.

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