Monday, April 07, 2008

Back From Vacation. Mad.

First, an old joke- which I first heard as a young cavalry officer in Germany in the early nineties:
A Polish farmer, a Russian army officer, an old lady and a gorgeous young woman were all sharing a train compartment. As the train rolled through a tunnel, the compartment became pitch dark- and the sound of a kiss, shortly followed by a loud slap, rang out.

As the train car emerged from the tunnel, the Russian officer thought that farmer is a sharp fellow: he steals a kiss, and I get slapped. The old woman thought approvingly- that young girl had standards! The pretty girl thought- how odd, one of the boys tried to steal a kiss from the old lady instead of me?

And the Polish farmer thought: perfect! I kiss the back of my hand, slap a Russian, and get away with it!
Now that the Marshall-Tulane series is over, who do you think was the Russian and who was the farmer this weekend?

Well, I know the Herd managed to reduce our fan base to posts and strings labeling Marshall classless, etc.- while in the next sentence calling them “in-bred” and “coal miners”. I don’t know much about college baseball- but those posts, coupled with a consensus bad team going on the road and getting a split… powerful evidence that yet another baseball team has stole a march on Jones and the boys.

No doubt Marshall came to New Orleans chippy and confrontational. They’re probably laughing now- guilty as charged! Heck, I’m increasingly getting tired of the Tulane community sense of entitlement vis-à-vis baseball- we have a new stadium! we have a zillion dollar coach! we’ve been to the CWS!- I can only imagine how the Herd must feel. Frankly, a lot of self-congratulation is going on around Tulane for a team that might struggle to finish fifth or so, again. I know if I were the Marshall coach, with my band of road underdogs, I would encourage them to see and treat Tulane with contempt as a bloated factory.

And, of course, it also helps Marshall that, well increasingly, I too get this feeling the baseball program is in fact a bloated, Dr. Feelgood situation. If the Russians came to Lake Placid to trade jeans, Tulane seems a little too worried about the air-conditioning level in the hit shack.

The program is run like a yogwf fantasy: new building, big dollar coach, endless soft ooc opponents. Where is the sense of urgency? When was the last time the Wave played surprisingly well, over expectations for- oh, I don’t know- two weeks in a row? Seriously, three years ago? Four?

I know- the season isn’t over. I am really trying not to rant- and I realize Shooter probably insulates the Wave against real disaster. But they have a real chance to have the conference season slip away- and probably the tournament too- this week. I don’t know much about the roster or who does what- but, like I said last time, some distance probably actually helps here. Tulane does not have a tree problem, but a forest problem.

Tulane has a SMU football stadium situation here. They’ve made real investments in this thing- and this malaise cannot continue. Katrina aside, what more do these guys want? LSU, conference play, UC-Irvine, in-state play.... every test has been wanting. Not good enough. Something needs to be shaken up. Now.

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