Saturday, April 19, 2014

Don't Blame Players for Titans' Mess

By Samuel Chi

Where does the buck stop?

When Hook says to a reporter that this team "lacks leadership and accountability" that is the most damning indictment ... of himself.

When the preseason No. 1 USC football team went down in flames in 2012 with a Heisman-worthy QB, did you blame the Trojans players?

But when the preseason No. 1 Titans - with STILL the nation's best pitching staff - about to become the first team since 1991 not to make the postseason, it's all the fault of the players?

When Serrano's teams unraveled in the postseason, did you blame the coach or the players?

You can't have it both ways.

You want to call the players soft and call them a bunch of names, to me that's despicable. Other than the completely understandable loss on Thursday, they have fought hard all season, they just kept coming up short.

So I ask you, other than pitching, which is handled superbly for the most part by Jason Dietrich, who's in charge of everything else? Who recruited these players here? Who's responsible for coaching hitting and fielding? Who's supposed to motivate these players?

That we have a huge talent problem with respect to position players, whose fault is that? Our two best position players are both Serrano recruits. Last year's team that won 51 games had a lineup that was nearly exclusively Serrano recruits.

When things started going south this season, did Hook make any adjustments to right the ship besides ranting and raving at the team AND to the press? How many times has he thrown all the players under the bus, and how many times has he pointed the finger at himself?

Of the 15 losses this season, 10 were one-run games or in extra innings and another two were by two runs. This isn't a team that's not trying hard. This is a team that lacks some talent and the coaching needed to get it over the hump.

I, for one, will salute the players for putting forth the effort and try hard every game. And for enduring the endless tongue-lashing, punishing post-game workouts and early morning scrimmages after coming up just short many times.

These players aren't soft. They needed guidance, leadership and support. They aren't getting it from their head coach. And sadly it seems like they're not getting it from the fans, either.

Shame on you, Titans fans, for throwing these kids under the bus, too.


Anonymous said...

TYVM to Samuel for this post. Like him, I was 100% DEAD SET AGAINST this hire BEFORE it happened. Fullerton baseball is NOT an "Entry Level" job - it is one of the FINEST jobs in the sport. If Hook was such a great leader how come NO ONE hired him already? His hire was an "easy" hire - not the "best" hire. If Fullerton didn't hire him - NO ONE ELSE WOULD HAVE!! That says it all. We need to get rid of him ASAP before he turns Fullerton baseball into the joke Long Beach baseball has become. I know he was signed to an extension thru 2018 by Jim Donovan for reasons only JD can fathom - and buying him out will cost us a lot of money - but the longer he stays the more damage he does. For a team ranked #1 to start the season to be this laughingly bad is something the players and coaches must share the blame in. You can't get rid of the players as easily as you can the #1 guy. This team IS capable of winning it all this season but not with Hook (mis)managing things. I know he is a "Loyal Titan" but he is Jimmy Carter - nice guy and someone you want to be friends with but completely Unqualified to be the Boss. Hopefully his transgression will lead to his firing and with cause so we don't have to pay him. Give Hook the HOOK! Easiest way to post this was anonymously but I think all know who posted this........Erik Schuman.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the word is out now, until Hook is gone, recruiting championship quality players is only going to get harder!

Anonymous said...

Is it reasonable to credit last year's 51-win season to Serrano, for his recruiting? I don't think so. Maybe some of the credit/blame goes to the former coach in Hook's first season. Not so much in the second. Don't be silly! I haven't seen much evidence of mismanagement, per se. Blame the recruiting? Okay, but Hook is about the most well-connected recruiter in Southern California, and has been for many years. Indeed, Hook has been a successful recruiter since before his current players were born. (What happened to the talented freshman from last year?)

The previous poster who suggested that Hook was hired as an "entry level position" is clueless. Not qualified? No, genius: Extremely well qualified.

Coach of the Year, with a 5-year extension, to "Give Hook the HOOK" in (almost) one season. I believe this phenomenon is called "front-running". Were you "100% against the hiring" last year? Was Hook a horrible recruiter the past couple of years? Time will tell.

By the way, whoever took their case to the administration is a RAT. Get rid of the rat(s) before you get rid of Hook. (T. Thompson)

Anonymous said...

Hook is miles away from Fresno and CSUF just lost a run at the plate because the player thought a slide wasn't necessary. That's a "between the ears" problem and unacceptable to a career baseball player, fan or coach like Hook. It's tough to pile on 18-21 year olds for failing to live up to national expectations, but you agreed to play on a big stage, it is harder than you thought it would be, and the world keeps score. There is still an opportunity for these young men to succeed, and I hope they go on a run for the ages, but - like the professional life CSUF is preparing ALL STUDENTS to enter - the report card, the job review, and the statistics are the ultimate responsibility of the man in the mirror. Kudos to Hook for being a truth-teller. His players will be held to that standard for the rest of their lives regardless of the rattle of helicopter parents and disappointed fans - of which I am one.