It's a dreadful, rainy January 22nd, but it is truly a fantastic day. Why is that? Well, we're just 28 days away from the beginning of the 2010 college baseball season and we're celebrating it with a gathering of 12 Southern California coaches here at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim for Easton's SoCal College Baseball Media Day. One again, I'd like to give a hearty thanks to Easton, whose contributions to college baseball, including this one, do an enormous amount for the sport.
So, today we're going to have head coaches from UCLA, USC, Fullerton, UC Irvine, San Diego, Pepperdine, Cal Poly, LMU, Cal St. Northridge, San Diego St., UC Riverside, UCSB and Long Beach on hand. As this is BruinsNation.com, look for a heavy dose of UCLA coverage, but I will also provide anything interesting coming from any of the other 11 coaches both here and on my UCLA baseball twitter.
I will update this thread throughout the day with quotes, comments, thoughts, observations and anything else. Please use the comments or contact me via twitter if you have any questions or comments that you would like me to ask or want to get through to me. So here we go guys, 2010 SoCal College Baseball Media Day. Follow along all day after the jump.
12:22 pm- I like being a part of the official media for one outstanding reason: free food. I could get used to this. It is time to wrap it up here though so I'm leaving the wet oasis of Anaheim, but have a ton more information from Coach Savage so keep an eye out for a post on what I've got later today. Also, keep an eye on my twitter that's linked above. I'll throw some quotes on there or shorter stuff or who knows what there, but I use it often to relay information all year long that doesn't get into posts like how Bruins are doing in the pros, random stats, observations or things I'm hearing from coaches, scouts, players or anything else. Have a good one guys.
12:19 pm- Coach Savage says he only expects the field turf behind home plate to be in by the first game on February 19th. He's still plugging away at putting seats above the dugout where the grass hills currently are, but that won't be in by this season. The extra seats and a new clubhouse are the priority for him right now and top of the list of things to do.
12:16 pm- The catching position sounds like it will be a platoon. Coach Savage says Steve Rodriguez has made huge strides and he think Trevor Brown has a ton of potential. Savage did not say the word platoon, but spoke highly of both Rodriguez and Brown so the impression I get is we will see a lot of both of them.
12:08 pm- Coach Savage has yet to decide on a Sunday starter yet, but likes his options. Dan Klein is definitely locked in as the closer and any combination of Matt Drummond (he's healthy again), Erik Goeddel (he's healthy again too), Matt Grace, Scott Griggs and Mitchell Beacom will be carry the bulk of the load as the middle relievers.
11:58 am- Just got a good word in with Coach Savage and have some good stuff coming. A quick word on scheduling. They will return the Nebraska trip in 2011, but some of the home series they are paying guarantees to the opponent instead of returning the trip so 2011 shouldn't be a crazy road schedule. Also, future series against Georgia, Baylor and Minnesota.
11:15 am- I wanted to bring some attention to the game on Sunday, February 28th. The Dodgertown Classic will culminate a weekend tournament involving UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma St. After games versus the Commodores and Cowboys at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday and Saturday, the Sunday game will be at Dodger Stadium. Vandy and Okie St. will play first at 10 am PST, then UCLA will take on USC at 2 pm PST at Chavez Ravine. it should be a ton of fun and the Morgan Center has been pushing it a bit with an ad on the video board at basketball games and even showing a video of players and Coach Savage talking about it last night. If that video hits the web, I'll post it. Tickets will be $5 for that game and parking will be free.
10:56 am- Cal St. Northridge head coach Stephen Rousey says he has a goal to underperform here because if he does too good of a job cooking, he might be asked to do some cooking at home. Pepperdine head coach Steve Rodriguez is very ambitious, aiming to "make sure nobody gets sick on the way home."
10:49 am- I don't want to be too rough on Savage, but it's pretty clear that cooking is not his specialty and I think he would admit as much. He presented his dish as a "Jack in the Box beef bowl" and needed some help from his assistant chef to name the spices and herbs he used.
10:42 am- The coaches are talking trash to each other as they cook. Kreuter is hearing it because he is making the same dish as last year and when interviewed, Savage confesses to having no idea what he will cook or what he'll do up there. Savage is stepping up to the plate or pan or whatever you want to call it now. He says it'll be a beef and rice dish for him.
10:31 am- LMU head coach Jason Gill's wife went to culinary school so he says that if this were an eating contest, he would definitely win. Now would also be a good time to mention the staff with the Big West Conference, who had an enormous and outstanding media guide for everyone here. Kudos to them and to UCLA baseball SID Alex Timiraos who has an outstandingly detailed media guide on the Bruins.
10:29 am- I got a quick word in with UCLA head coach John Savage earlier and he's very optimistic about the season, but definitely wants the rain to go away. They've spent the entire week in the hitting facility and definitely can't wait to get on the field, but it has to drain first. I'll try to get more from him later, but it's cooking time.
10:25 am- The cook-off is about to get underway. It'll be entrees and it seems as if they are being encouraged to use butter, cheese and more butter and cheese.
10:16 am- Snapped a picture with my phone.
10:06 am- Just about ready to get the coaches cook-off started. Seeing 12 head baseball coaches in an apron is quite the sight and had I been smart enough to bring a camera, I'd snap a shot.
10:02 am- Kendall Rogers from Rivals.com has a good piece on the two UCLA aces, Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. Check it out. I've overheard a couple coaches mention the two already and are saying that no matter what kind of offense UCLA has, they're a scary weekend team because of the two and they give the Bruins a great shot in the postseason.
9:34 am- AM 830 (for those of you in the LA/Orange County area) is live from here and Cal St. Fullerton head coach Dave Serrano is being interviewed as we speak. Tune in if you want to listen.
9:29 am- Coaches looking for games? There's been talk between the coaches about setting up midweek games for 2011 and 2012 with even a little bit of talk about a weekend series. UCSB is looking for some midweek games and it sounds like USC might oblige.
9:10 am- The coaches are trickling in here and we're just about ready to get started. One of the things that I'm not sure I really mentioned is that there will be a coaches' cook-off here. I'm not going to pretend like I really know what's going on with that, but apparently USC head coach Chad Kreuter is the defending champion.