Look . . . I’m a BIG Dave Van Horn fan, and that’s not gonna change. Just like in any sport, tough losses come along from time to time. Baseball is no different. tonight was such a night for the Razorback program.
So, this is NOT a rip-job on anyone. But i do have something I just don’t get.
OK - so, we play Keystone cops on what should have been a caught foul ball - game, National Championship. And then, Cronin duels their batter with 4 or 5 pitches that he fouls off before he gets the game-tying hit.
All of that, so far, painful but just part of baseball. I get that.
But after that happened, it was easy to see that our whole team was devastated. They were in shock - you could see it in every eye of every player the camera showed in the aftermath of that game-tying hit. Most of all, you could see it in Cronin’s eyes.
So, why, oh WHY did Wes Johnson NOT take a walk out to the mound to put his arm on Cronin’s shoulder, tell him something like “I know you just lost that battle, but that guy on first has won a lot of them. However - that’s over; it’s done. What I need you to do now . . . what this team needs YOU to do NOW . . . is to gather yourself and focus on the task at hand; and that’s getting this next guy out, so we can come up and win this game. Now, let’s go over what we’re going to pitch him.”
If ever a coach needed to go and re-focus a player, it was there, in that moment. Instead, when the camera caught Johnson in the dugout, he had the same look of shock on his face as the players had!
The guy is a great coach, and I’m thrilled he’s on our staff. He’s done a super job with our pitchers, and I’m sure he will continue to. But . . . I just don’t understand what happened there. Well - I do. But i’m surprised that DVH or someone didn’t grab Johnson and send him out, if he didn’t know that he needed to do it on his own.
Would it have made any difference; who knows? But I sure as heck would have made sure it was done.