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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Wednesday Rant: Fire Mike Anderson

Nebraska defeated Iowa (11-21) on Tuesday night and improved their record to 17-18-1. The win stops a 9-game losing streak overall and an 8-game losing streak at home, which is the longest streak at home since 1964. The Huskers needed to get to 13 consecutive losses to break a school record. After being swept at home by Kansas State and Texas and with a 15-0 sandwich loss to Creighton, things won't get any easier after Iowa leaves town. On deck are series at Texas A&M and at Kansas with a trip to Omaha to play Creighton in between. At least they beat Iowa.

It's time. T.O., please fire Mike Anderson. Not even when the writers at DXP made the Nostradamus-like prophecy of Mike Anderson 'Frank-soliching the Husker Baseball Program' back on March 3rd, well before the wheels fell off the bus, did they foresee this level of ineptitude.

It's safe to say that after the 15-0 drubbing by MVC powerhouse Creighton, a team NU beat 3 times out of 3 chances last year, was the point where even the casual fan said to themselves, 'Mike Anderson has Frank Soliched this team.' It's time to make a change. There's no need to think there's a chance Anderson saves himself with a win over Iowa and few down the stretch. It's obvious that not even Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross could motivate this team. Screw the steak knives, Mike Anderson deserves the "third prize is your fired" now.

With a Big 12 record of 4-11, which is good for 10th place (out of 10 teams) in the league, and with series against ranked teams in Kansas and Baylor along with former #1-ranked A&M, there is a better chance I hit the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby May 2nd then the Huskers making the Big 12 tourney (no, not the NCAA tourney). That's right, this team is so bad they will finish in the bottom 2 slots of the Big 12 missing the conference tournament.

How the mighty have fallen. As I noted back in March, Mike Anderson's teams can't hit. After failing to post a +.300 team average in the past 2 seasons, this year's group of underachievers is posting a .286 average. At the same time, the pitching staff ERA resembles Ricky Vaughn's before the corrective lenses. A team ERA of 6.52 is the worst for a Husker team since.....well, I'm not sure, but it's before 1999. The staff is young and inexperienced, but could they maybe improve over their careers?

Don't bet on it with un-Sparky Anderson at the helm of a ship sinking faster than a 88-mph Carlos Marmol hook. Take current 3B Jake Mort, for example. Forget that he belongs further away from a D-I program than Caylee Anthony does from a daycare. Look at how he 'improved' under Anderson's tutelage. After a freshman year hitting .265, Mort followed up hitting .207, then .262, and is now currently batting .276. Bottom line: Anderson can't "coach up" less talented players in a power conference. Dave Van Horn? That's like comparing Gene Chizek to Bill Belichek.

And for the "we just lose all our awesome recruits to the draft" crowd, do you honestly think that EVERY other baseball program in the country doesn't have to worry about this? You think that Texas just grabs 2nd and 3rd rounders and talks them into foregoing millions for a Longhorn career? If so, then I have a condo in South Beach to sell you.

Are we expecting too much to win every year? The answer is no. We aren't expecting too much. Nebraska has one of the top 5 ballparks in the nation, has minimal recruiting competition, and has a massive fan support. We should own recruiting in NE, IA, CO, KS, MN, SD, ND, and every once in awhile land a prize out of California or Texas. Add the success that was led by a truly great coach in Van Horn and it's time to give another coach a chance.

I am actually changing my prediction from last month's post considering there is no chance Ohio U. would even consider hiring Melt-down Anderson. A new prediction: Mike Anderson, coming to a NAIA school near you. Doane perhaps? Tommie Frazier gives great recommendations.