Frank Anderson’s job should be safe
OSU baseball coach Frank Anderson has not done a good job this year. His Cowboys are 30-21 overall but 7-15 in the Big 12 and going to miss the conference tournament, barring the most unlikely of miracles.
Watching the Bedlam Series, you could see signs of the Cowboy problems. A major baserunning blunder Friday night, when OSU could have taken control of the game. Simple failure to play pitch and catch Saturday night, when OU scored the game-winning run with only one batted ball, which did not leave the infield.
Bad weekend. Bad year. But that doesn’t mean Anderson should be fired, which has been a question I’ve gotten quite a bit in recent weeks. Anderson has been a solid coach for the Cowboys; OSU has been nationally-competitive before this season, and as recently as last spring the Cowboys seemed a College World Series contender, until Andy Oliver’s NCAA problems arise and sabotaged the Cowboys in their own regional.
In his six seasons, Anderson has not reached the CWS, which once was the OSU standard. But that was then. Times have changed. The new college baseball landscape — formation of the Big 12, two tiers of playoffs that make it tougher to reach Omaha — works against OSU. The Cowboys went to eight straight College World Serieses in the 1980s primarily because Gary Ward dominated the Big Eight, then usually received a home regional. In that eight-year run, OSU played six regionals at home and another in Tulsa. Only in 1987, at Starkville, Miss., did the Cowboys play in enemy territory. In the Big 12, which is a crapshoot league with a variety of established baseball schools, a home stretch is rare in the NCAA playoffs.
Plus, OSU’s facilities have fallen behind. The Cowboys had the best stadium in the Big Eight. But now OSU ranks somewhere in the bottom half of the league, and its indoor practice facilities aren’t much. A new stadium and an all-sports indoor facility are on the drawing board, but when Boone Pickens’ money went poof in the economic collapse, those facilities fell from the horizon.
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