The Jackets got demolished by the half-breeds at UGAg in beesball yesterday. Season over. What is there really to say? It was a depressing end to a tragic season. Truthfully, there wasn't going to be a happy ending to this year. The death of Michael Hutts made sure of that. Sure, a trip to the Super-Regional would have been nice. A single victory over our hated rivals in two tries would have been nice. Not only didn't either happen, the Jackets played the worst game of the season during the most important game of the season. It hurts. It stings. It's painful to see your guys completely fall apart in every phase of the game when it counts the most.
So what is your reaction? Do you choose to empathize with the team and their pain or do you choose to focus on the X's and O's of a pitching staff that failed or a defense that fell apart or bats that went silent? Do you choose to focus on the big picture - that Danny Hall fields a team each and every year that is competitive and in the national picture? Or do you choose to focus on a pattern of post-season collapses, with too many coming against our Rival? Are you the optimist that focuses on the youth of this team? Are you the pessimist that focuses on their shortcomings?
For me, I'm a supporter of Danny Hall. He's built a consistent regular season program that just hasn't proven to be a consistent post-season winner. His teams are seemingly always in position to do good things in the post-season. They just don't do them enough for anyone's taste - Coach Hall's included. I want more. We all want more. One College World Series game won since that great 1994 team during Hall's tenure isn't enough for me. However, I support Coach Hall's efforts 100% and want to see him continue to build the program further. Danny Hall is a successful program builder. I like the kids he brings in. I like the teams he builds. I like the consistent winning his teams do in the regular season. I'm just selfish like every other fan, and I want more trophies and titles. I hope he can find a way to build off his current success and make that happen.
To UGAg - congrats. Even without our errors, I doubt we beat them. They mashed. We got mashed.I hope with every ounce of my being they get crushed by NCST. I really do. The Pack better bring their A-game though. In the end, it's not really about them anyhow.
For the Jackets, better luck next season I guess. Congrats to the team on a successful season in light of some truly unique and trying circumstances. As much as this season will sting fans, it will pale in comparison to what each and every member of that team feels. Not only will they be dealing with two bad losses to our rival. They be dealing with fan backlash, AJC backlash, 790theZone backlash and blog backlash.
Most important, they'll still be dealing the loss of their friend and teammate Michael Hutts. My guess is that dealing with that is going to be a lot tougher now that there's no "team" to go practice with. This group is disbanding. Guys are heading their separate ways - summer leagues, Cape Cod leagues, MLB workouts, etc. They will be more alone in their contemplation of things now, and that just might be when reality starts to hit some of them.
I hope the guys stay in touch during this time. I hope their families check in on them regularly, because you know us fans mostly won't. We'll be voicing our frustrations through keyboards and radio shows. Then we'll be moving on to the next thing, preparing for Paul Johnson's opening stanza in the fall. We'll compartmentalize the baseball team somewhere and lock it away until next spring. The guys on the team will be living every day.
Have I completely depressed you? I hope not. I just wanted to share some of my perspective about different ways to view the situation. Kids playing games in college. That's what we're talking about.