Q. Arkansas baseball fans are still trying to get over that great Sunday comeback against the Aggies that suddenly fizzled. BloodRedHog wants to know: What happened? We just needed a sac fly… that’s all and the game is tied.
A. Basically what happened is that Arkansas scored five straight runs in the 8th with the Aggies not recording a single out and then suddenly the offense crashed and burned. Two strike outs and a ground out to first ended the 8th. Arkansas went in order in the 9th.
A lot of fans were complaining that DVH should have played small ball with the tying run on 3rd and nobody out. Maybe, but Arkansas had just put up four hits including a home run and a double to score those five runs. I can see where he’d say, I’m not going to give them an out to try to move that runner from 3rd. We’re finally hot at the plate. We’re gonna keep swinging. But all that momentum just evaporated. The pitcher that has just given up a two run double to make it a one run game, closed the game out with six straight outs.
I hate to say that but Hog baseball fans know this is true. Last year’s team would have won that game. It’s frustrating.
It’s also frustrating that a team that can score 10 runs in game three scores just one run on Friday in a 2-1 loss. Connor Noland pitched a great game. Went six innings. Gave up just two hits. He deserved a better fate.
Q. S GILES says: Did you notice Arkansas’ third base coach holding up Robert Moore on 3rd after Braydon Webb hit a double into the corner in the 7th inning of Friday’s game against the Aggies? With his wheels Moore usually can score from first on a ball hit like that. He ended up stranded on 3rd. Big mistake.
A. I could give you a better answer if I had been at the game. I could not tell watching the broadcast where Moore was when Nate Thompson told him to hold up at third. You just see the ball thrown from the left field and Moore is standing on the bag. You’re right. That ball was deep into the corner and usually Moore has the speed to score from first. Maybe somebody that was at that game can answer your question for next week’s Ask Mike.
Q. An Aggie fan on the TexAgs fan board doesn’t like Arkansas fans sitting next to him at the ballpark. He says: Section 104, Row 5, Seats 9&10. Please try to find a way to sell your tickets to Aggies. We have the opposing fans in these seats almost every game. Last night it was obnoxious hog callers. Maybe there is a way to sell them on the 12th Man site?
A. This is hilarious and typical of Aggie fans. This guy really believes they can shut out opposing fans from coming to their games? Get serious.
Some of the Aggies fans on that board explained to him that those tickets are held by Stub Hub and visiting fans typically are willing to pay more to get in than Aggie fans who don’t have tickets so that’s why they end up at Aggie games.
Q. parallaxpig had this to say about that: Aggie fans, let’s just say, are different. Sounded like a Japanese baseball game crowd.
A. That is awesome and dead on accurate. If you’ve ever watched a Japanese game the fan reactions are choreographed. Everybody is doing the same thing. Look, I get it that Arkansas fans call the Hogs. Florida fans do the Gator chop. But they don’t do it the entire game like they’ve been programmed and are wired up to a central computer. If you watched any of the Arkansas-A&M series you know that even the players in the dugout were doing it. At some point it becomes more about what you are doing as a fan than watching what is going on on the field. That’s crazy.
Q. WizardofhOgZ says: DVH has commented that the pitching speeds shown on the scoreboard at Baum were low by 2 or 3 mph. He said the Trackman equipment they had access to in the dugout confirmed that, and that he would “get that fixed”. Can you ask how the process of posting those speeds in the stadium (and on TV) works?
A. They used the trackman system to fix the incorrect readings that were being flashed on the scoreboard. As for how the system works, here’s a quote from a university spokesman:
“A permanent radar gun is installed behind home plate next to the Trackman equipment above the lower bowl seating. The videoboard display and the TV broadcast feed pulls data directly from the radar gun via a Daktronics interface.”
Q. It wasn’t all bad news this weekend. The Arkansas softball team was at Florida, a place where they’d never won a series…ever. s.m.-couvillion says: Hogs win (game three) 2-0. Delce with the complete game. 8 K’s, no walks, 2 hits and she retired the last 14 batters in a row!!! First ever series sweep over Florida and they are in the drivers seat to win the SEC championship outright this year
A. Arkansas has a game and a half lead over Alabama for first place. So they are in good shape right now. Courtney Deifel is right there with Eric Musselman and Sam Pittman in building her program. She’s doing it with recruiting and coaching and fans are starting to notice. We’ve seen some really big crowds at Bogle Park this season and it could get nuts in the post season. I can’t wait to see how far his team can go. If you can win the SEC you can compete for a national championship.
Q. @mousetown wants to know: What is Tennessee up to with this legislation allowing coaches to have contact with NIL collectives?
A. First of all NIL collectives is a fancy term for boosters. Under this legislation coaches can get directly involved. Apparently there’s a Tennessee NIL collective called Spyre Sports that is trying to raise 25 million dollar war chest for Tennessee athletics. Clearly this is a response to what the Aggies are doing. This was not the stated intent of NIL. Arkansas teaches its athletes how to hire an NIL agent. It’s up to them to find NIL deals.
Look, this thing is getting completely out of control. It has the potential to turn winning conference and national championships into a bidding war. Who really wants that?
Do you as a fan want athletes to go to your school because of coaching, facilities, the atmosphere on your campus, the influence of loyal athletes already there? Or is is just about money. Even the NFL has a salary cap which prevents the outright buying of championships like the Yankees did for years in baseball.
The NCAA needs better legislation and a better plan for college athletics. Get it approved by congress. Let it be tested in the courts. If this doesn’t happen college athletics is going to turn into a rich mans sport involving a few schools with large numbers of fans tuning out.
There is a way to be fair to athletes without this out of control nonsense.
Q. LR Tackett asks: Is Arkansas football done with the portal for this fall? Seems like Pittman has done a good job of adding some top talent at several positions but I keep hearing that he wants more.
A. First of all there was a big commitment on Monday from Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb 4 star quarterback Malachi Singleton.
He’s being touted as the next KJ Jefferson. He’s big and physical. Can run and throw. Singleton has accounted for a combined 91 touchdowns running and throwing over the last two seasons.
As for the portal, Pittman says he wants two more D-Linemen and a receiver. But with the deadline to enter the portal coming up on May first Pittman says it’s possible some new names may become available. Athletes who could be difference makers at Arkansas. If so he would consider them. While the portal for this fall closes soon, coaches have until school starts to pull a player out of the portal. So this may not be revolved for a while.
Q. Lanny asks: What’s your opinion on college football rule changes on faking injuries and next game suspensions for targeting?
A. This sounds like a big deal but I’m not sure it is. With regard to fake injuries, if a coach feels like the other team was using fake injuries to their advantage they can file a complaint with the national supervisor of officials after the game in question. If after review it is determined that fake injuries were used the findings will be sent to the conference office in question and they can determine any punishment.
I’m skeptical. This sounds like window dressing but we’ll see. I would like to see game officials given the authority to step in when a fake injury situation occurs and eject the player in question from the game.
That would stop this in a hurry.
Q. Swine American asks: Do you know if Drew Sanders left Alabama on his own? If Sanders left on his own, are you aware if there was there any consternation by the Tide faithful that they would regret losing him to play for us?
A. He had a hand injury last season. Only played in seven games. He was going to have to battle his way into the starting lineup this coming season so he decided to take his game elsewhere.
He’s a former 5 star recruit. He’s 6-5, 230 plus and very fast for a linebacker. He had an outstanding spring. He can get to the edge and cut off running backs trying to turn the corner. He’s excellent in pass coverage with his speed and size and he’s expected to be a big part of Arkansas’ blitz packages this fall. I haven’t seen any reaction by Bama fans. They’ve had several players enter the portal. Nick Saban has so much talent stacked up in Tuscaloosa I doubt Tide fans are worried about portal losses.
Q. Eddy Lynn wants to know: What do you think about C. J. O’Grady’s hot start in the USFL? Is this kid finally getting his act together? Can he use this to get to the NFL?
A. He’s off to a good start. 86 yards on 8 catches in his first game. Was named the offensive MVP in that game. In game two he made one those catches where he breaks two or three tackles and has to be gang tackled to go down. There’s no question that he has the skills and athleticism to play in the NFL. But it will be tough to get there from where he is.
He signed with the Bengals as an undrafted in 2021. He played in a couple of preseason games but was cut.
He needs to show consistency. He’s done a good job of turning his personal life around. He was never a kid that got into serious trouble. He just didn’t stay focused on football and when he told Chad Morris what he thought of him just a few weeks before Morris was fired that was it for O’Grady. That incident hurt his draft chances even though a lot of his ex teammates apparently felt the same way about Morris. They just didn’t verbalize it to his face.
O’Grady seems to be really hungry to prove himself these days. He’s got a chance. He just has to make it happen.
Q. jbcarol asks: Do you think Coach Musselman is still in the market for players from the transfer portal or the high school ranks? If so, what do you think he’s looking for?
A. I defer to our recruiting guru Kevin McPherson on anything regarding basketball recruiting or the portal. He says Muss is still looking around. If he takes anyone else it will likely be a wing-type player but if a game changer jumps into the portal at almost any position he’d still be interested. But he also may end up staying with what he already has, which with his recruiting class, looks to be the best ever at Arkansas.
Q. Porked Tongue asks: Coke Products for Football Season? Seems to be the case. Pepsi deal ends it’s 10 years on 6/30/22. Everything is coming together under Hunter.
A. Technically that contract is with the university, not the athletic department. Still I have to believe that Hunter Yurachek will have input into the decision. I don’t think there’s any question that a majority of Arkansas fans attending games on campus would like to see the switch to coke products. But I would not assume that Pepsi is out.