February 11, 2018 8:29:10 AM
Man, it's been too long since the last Mailbag. With so much going on in football, men's basketball and baseball at the same time, I thought this would be a good time to drop one, so I have a few questions and let's get right to them.
- Two from @MSStBaseballFan: When will people be able to set up their stuff in the outfield? Will will the nickname be for the right field corner?
MSU hasn't released anything about a stadium opening for outfield lounge customization, but my God it makes all the sense in the world to let people in before the first home series and do some of that, doesn't it? You already know that entire week (MSU plays a Tuesday/Wednesday stint before the weekend series) is going to be a complete (bleep)show with everyone there for reasons other than the game: foot traffic is going to be awful in quantity and quality, people are going to be out of sorts and constantly asking questions to poor employees that probably won't be able to answer them, the whole nine. Consider this my petition to MSU: Release certain blocks of time for stadium opening to let people do some lounge customization before that first home game on whatever Match Tuesday that is. I know better than to think everyone will have everything set up before game day, but let's try to cut this down some.
That brick plaza already has a name: just that, the right field plaza. Fans may give it a nickname based on a big play that happens in that area in the coming years or something entirely fan related, but that area also strikes me as a great place to honor a future championship team or a former legend. Maybe a couple of decades passes and MSU can name it the Brent Rooker Right Field Plaza; maybe Cannizaro and MSU break through for a national title sometime in the early 2020s and they can dedicate the plaza to the members of that team. I'm in favor of all of it.
- Shoutout to celebrated Mailbag member @10RobertWilliam with two questions: Are men's basketball officials the worst/most incompetent of all levels of all sports?
(Let is be known this answer was written before the whole sequence with Lamar Peters at Missouri. Timing is a cruel mistress that waits for no man.)
I have a feeling Geno Auriemma, Vic Schaefer, Dawn Staley and others would like to chime in on this subject off-the-record.
Joking aside, it used to be pretty easy to tell that the officials in the women's game are worse than that of the men's game; I don't watch enough of the women's game to know for certain, MSU fans would probably know better than I do. I will say this though: as data in baseball has gotten more and more extensive, not only are we finding out MLB home plate umpires have significant flaws, but that a lot of their flaws are predictable and might be gamed by savvy players.
I won't beat around the question, men's college basketball referees could be better, but they're not the worst for this reason and this reason alone: they know every rule. You can't say that about all other levels of all sports, because there is one place where one crucial rule is known by no one: how to catch a football in the NFL. NFL refs are the worst because no one knows what a catch is, the refs included.
- And second from @10RobertWilliam: How common is it for coaches of several different sports to attend games of others (and give pregame pep talks), a la Andy Cannizaro with the women's basketball team against South Carolina?
In general, coaches will use whatever resource they have within their grasp: MSU is lucky to have dynamic, engaging people in pretty much every head coaching role. Cannizaro, Vic Schaefer and Joe Moorhead being the most prominent examples of MSU head coaches who also have a knack for engaging crowds of people of many sizes, communicating a message effectively and doing so improv style if need be. Frankly, I'd be curious to pick the brain of people who wouldn't use such resources.
As for coaches attending games, most at the schools do it (even if not nearly as frequently as, say, Cannizaro, who might as well be a basketball season ticket holder) for this reason: they may coach different sports, but they all teach the same things. Most coaches in all sports want programs that thrive on common factors such as mental toughness, discipline, effort and all those other buzz words. All of those things apply to football and baseball just as well as they apply to golf and volleyball, and they know that. They'll look for examples wherever they can get them; if you can get them on campus, that's just going to resonate with their players even better.
- My man @CalebGarnerMSU -- What do you make of all the Tide Pods shenanigans?
Natural selection at work.
If you're willing to eat Tide Pods, that's just like the dog who parks it next to the grandmother at the Thanksgiving table: nature has identified the weak link and it is pouncing. That dog has identified whoever is most likely to succumb to his charms and, in the Tide Pod scenario, the universe has identified who is most likely to succumb to crippling -- honest question, is it possibly lethal? -- stupidity.
And for those of you that actually at the Tide Pods and might be insulted: let's be real, there are no words I can write that will be nearly as insulting as the taste of those Tide Pods were to your taste buds. You clearly got through that, so you'll get through this easier.
- Willy @WLister83 -- Would you eat the moon if it were made of bleu cheese?
I wouldn't eat a dime if it were made of bleu cheese.
Bleu cheese is awful, you guys. I will never understand the desire to have bleu cheese when ranch is so much better and works equally well with everything you might reasonably put bleu cheese on.
Anybody know where I can get a moon made of a ribeye?
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson