Friday, May 30, 2008

Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Columbus?

When I checked out Bob Hunter's Rumblings in today's Dispatch it was great to see this as the lead note in his column...

The Greater Columbus Sports Commission plans to meet with Big Ten officials late this summer and pitch the idea of Columbus playing host to the conference baseball tournament in the new Huntington Park.

Commission executive director Linda Logan and Clippers general manager Ken Schnacke were in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament last week to see how that tournament is run, in preparation for what Logan hopes will be an offer that Big Ten officials can't refuse.

"We've been what I call 'flirting' with them for the past year," Logan said. "Big Ten baseball coaches would like to do it at a predetermined site and build it. The administrators probably aren't quite there yet. We have to overcome some obstacles, but if we're able to put together an attractive package…"

As it stands, the conference regular-season champion plays host to the tournament; that means sometimes the host team doesn't find it will have the event until about five days before. Using a predetermined site would allow for sponsorships, better travel arrangements and bigger crowds.
Battle Creek, Mich., was host of the tournament in 1993-94, the only time since the event started in 1981 that it was held at a neutral site.

Logan said tournament play at Huntington Park could begin as soon as next year. "A lot has to happen," she said, "but we're up for the challenge."

I guess if you can't win the league for the right to be the host you might as well endorse a plan that would bring the tournament to your own backyard.


Todd Lamb said...

I think this would be great for the conference. Of course, it would take a tremendous committment from them to make the event a success. I have been saying for years the Big Ten needs to embrace this idea. Start it in Columbus and then move it around the Midwest to some of the great minor league parks.

The article mentions the Big 12 event in OKC, but the cream of the crop is the ACC tourney. The two years I attended that event (when I worked at Clemson) it was held just outside of Charlotte in Fort Mill, S.C., where the Charlotte Knights (Triple-A White Sox) play. They've been in Jacksonville, Fla. the last couple of years and rotate it around the region. I think it will be held at Fenway Park beginning next year or the year after.

What makes the event such a huge success is the fact the conference office is completely behind the event. With the Big Ten trying to make strides on the college baseball scene it seems only right they would want to an event like the Great Columbus Sports Commission can provide.

rockybuckeye said...

I have mixed feelings. As much as I hate Michigan and Ann Arbor, I have liked traveling to go to the tourney, and seeing the hosting campuses. Same with Illinois and Campagine in 05.

I don't think I would oppose a "neutral field", but I don't like the idea of Columbus being "neutral". Dayton, Fort Wayne, Toledo to me would have a better feel as none are really in someone's backyard as Huntington Park will be to OSU.

I also still like rewarding the reglar season champ.

I don't know, just something feels "right" and "unique" about the current set-up.

Chuck said...

I'm a Michigan fan that reads this blog and I have to agree with rockybuckeye. First, Columbus isn't really neutral (I don't know who else in the Big Ten has a minor league team right in town, but I'd be opposed to that as well). I also like seeing the Big Ten campuses, and of course, once you know how to find them it makes other trips for other sports or events easier.

Plus, it's walking distance from my house to the Fish. When it *is* in Ann Arbor (which has been often, lately), I'm sitting pretty.

BaseballBucks33 said...

Yeah i don't know about this idea either.We had a blast last weekend in AA for the tourny. It was the 1st time i watched other games than OSU.It was cool to watch other teams and see good baseball.I do like how the Big Ten regular season champ gets to host it. I also think it was good for the Ann Arbor community.

Like every thing else in the Big Ten this change(if it does happen) will take a lot of time.I just think you have to find a good ballpark or change location every yr. to make it fair. No reason to rush to make a bad choice and mess up a god thing.

Michigan up 5-1 over Kentucky. In a rain delay right now.Bottom of 5th inning. UM scored all 5 runs in the 2nd.

Other scores from around the country

St. Johns 2
Texas 1 Final

Bucknell 7
FSU 0 Top of 9th.

Ga Tech 2
Louisville 2 Bottom of 8th

BaseballBucks33 said...


Great write up on JJ huddle. I read all the time, but don't post. Good stuff. You hit the nail on the hit about the 2008 season. Not much more i can add. Lol

Not really a suprise Michigan lost yesterday. They lost Recknagel and had used Putnam and Fetter in the 1st 2 games.Too bad to see Nate R get hurt.It did not look like much at first with his injury

They did not have much this year after Fetter and Putnam on the hill.

Wilson,Jenzen,DeCarlo and Katzman have all had up and down season this year. I do think Burgoon will be a stud and can be a ace. He looked good a couple of weeks ago in person.

Did get to watch some of the NCAA regional games over the weekend. I have really had fun watching Aaron Crow pitch with Mizz and watching Buster Posey for FSU.

Posey is unreal,i have not watched him much this year but the kid is for real. 24 Hr,85 RBI and is at .467 BA Holy cow!! This FSU team is scoring runs like crazy,not playing really good teams yet, but baseball is still the same game for both sides. Kinda cool to watch some ACC ball on tv.

Also got to see LSU on tv too. They have won like 20 some games in a row and have a DH with 25 HR.Kid is only a Sophmore. Also did not know that former ND head Coach Mainieri is at LSU. Always liked him as a coach.I knew the Lopez boy from UA that played SS for him.

Can't wait till the weekend for the super regionals. I am sitting here watching FSU pound Tulane 10-2.

rockybuckeye said...

It unreal how the national seeds advanced.

The bad thing about Michigan, in how it relates to OSU is that nationally Michigan was an average team. Not a top 15/20 team. Yes with Putnam and their offense they have a chance to win a game against almost anyone, but I think their losses to Costal, ASU x2, and ECU showed they weren't a good team relative to the top of the nation.

Now for OSU to be clearly behind an "average" team like Michigan, God, not a pleasant thought. I don't think many casual fans know the quality of the elites and how good their programs are, and how unfortunately far from the summitt we are.

I too did watch Posey and Crow. The Devil Rays with their #1 pick this week is in quite the sticky situation. Posey is a stud, an Posey does fill a need, however many scouts do not believe he is worth the #1 overall pick. Doesn't project to be up to the level of a Weiters/Mauer. I still think Gordon Beckham of UGA will turn out to be the best player from this class, and a few mocks have him going to Cincy. I would be very happy.

BaseballBucks33 said...

The Goldenn Spikes Award winners have narrowed it down to five today.

Beckham ss
Posey c
Brett Wallace 3B
Aaron Crow LHP
Brian Matusz LHP

I always wanted to know how much does winning have to do with this vote. It seems like some years it does,but not all of them. I have heard TB does not really have a soild #1 guy on their board. I kinda thought that was odd,2 days till the draft and you don't know who your guy is. That is odd. Maybe they know and don't want to tell?

Brian Matusz has some crazy stats. He had 141 K this season in 105 Ip. Last seaon he had 163 K in 123 IP.I guess maybe a knock on him would be the level of schools you play at SD and the WC conf.But his record does speak for it self. Plus he is left handed.

I personaly would love for him to be there at # 7 for the Reds. We all know the Reds can never have enough good pitching. Lol

On a side note,Jay Bruce is on a crazy first week run in the Bigs. What this kid has done in nothing short of amazing for the Reds.How fun it is to watch him hit. Unreal!!

rockybuckeye said...

Couple weeks back I said the 5 finalist would be


3/5 isn't bad. Should've figured Posey would be there as well as Matusz.

I wan't the Reds to have Bekcham.