Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NOW we find out what kind of team we have!

It was bound to happen Gamecock fans.  The 2012 baseball team is talented, has a few very high-profile veteran names on the marquis and got off to a great start.  So it was easy to ignore the youth and errors as we rolled through the early “bunny” games on the schedule.  It wasn’t until we actually got beat that we would be able to re-focus.  That has happened and it should be a good thing for the rest of the year.
First of all, let’s address Kentucky.  Congratulations to them on the weekend sweep.  They were hungry and excited and are on a good streak right now.  It was the PERFECT weekend to catch us and every call and break went their way.  Hey, we’ve certainly benefited over the last few years from situations like that so just tip your caps to them and move on.  Let’s see where the Wildcats are in June to find out if this was real or just a “hot team on a roll” mirage.  

Either way, we should just shake it off and get ready because #1 Florida is in town Thursday and I think they are certainly ginned up by their start and what happened in Lexington.  The Gators smell blood in the water and they want to lay down a marker that they have not forgotten the 1-4 record against USC in 2011.  

This target on our backs is what happens when you have sustained success in a major sport and we better get used to it.  Everyone wants to beat us and anyone who hasn’t had that kind of success will treat it like the greatest thing ever.  If you doubt me, look at how we have treated our wins over Alabama in football.  

To bring Kentucky into the analogy since they are the team that beat us, think about it this way:  We look at Kentucky in baseball and football the same way they look at us in basketball.  When we beat them on Senior Day at Rupp and swept them in hoops a few years ago we went ballistic and it meant nothing long-term.  They still have parades over the time they beat Spurrier there in football and this weekend will probably end up as a DVD purchase to their fan base and those really mean nothing long-term.  

Now that we have been popped in the mouth and “bloodied up” a little, we must now find THIS team’s chemistry and identity.  I look at Tanner English, LB Dantzler, Connor Bright, Grayson Greiner and the other “newbies” and I see a much stronger and better Carolina team in May than we have on March 18.  The bad news?  We have a meat grinder to go through before we get to May.  That’s life in the SEC.  

So yes, in many ways, our “new” season starts in Columbia this weekend.  I know which horse on which I am betting.  So bring on those top-ranked lizards.  Trust In Tanner! 

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