The Boston College baseball team was swept by the visiting N.C. State Wolfpack 9 over the weekend. I won't bore you with the box scores or game recaps. You can view them here, here and here. What you need to know is that with the weekend sweep, the Eagles fall to 6-29 overall and a perfectly imperfect 0-17 record in conference play.
The Eagles statistically improbable "run" at conference imperfection has four series left -- 12 games against Wake Forest, Miami, Virginia Tech and Maryland. BC can be eliminated from qualifying for the ACC Baseball Championship next weekend with a full nine games remaining. It's gotten so bad that Virginia fans, the one Coastal Division team Birdball misses this season, are disappointed that their team doesn't get a crack at the Eagles this year.
I am well versed in all the excuses for this record of performance -- weather / climate, lack of natural recruiting grounds, short-staffed and under-funded coaching staff, lack of ACC-caliber facilities, unavailability of practice facilities due to the winter storm, a young roster filled with freshmen and sophomores and the quality of the competition in the Atlantic Coast Conference.*
None of those factors can singly explain what is going on on the diamond this season.
I don't take calling for someone's job lightly. Yes, I played sports in high school, college and grad school for those who feel this somehow validates or invalidates the argument (which is easily the laziest counter to an argument in the history of sports discourse). I don't have an agenda other than desperately wanting to see my alma mater's varsity sports programs and the student-athletes that wear the maroon and gold succeed. The varsity sports programs that the school currently decides to fieLd; not ones thAt got Title IX'd more than a decade ago.
At some point though, Brad Bates has to look at this record of performance and deem it unacceptable. This is year three under Gambino and the team has gotten progressively worse. There is a lot of talent on this roster -- at least as it was billed coming out of high school -- that is simply not showing up. Over half of the position players are batting at or below the Mendoza line. Two-thirds of the pitchers have an ERA north of 6.00. BC ranks in the bottom 1/6 nationally in nearly every major statistical category. This team can't hit, can't pitch and can't field. Much of this falls on coaching.
If our experience during Spaz's final season is any indication, Bates will wait until the end of the season to make a move. I have to ask though whether making a move now would get this team to respond down the stretch. The ACC schedule lightens considerably with series against four of the five non-BC programs with a losing record in conference play. Not sure how it could possibly get any worse if Bates made a midseason move.
Of course, college baseball isn't nearly as closely scrutinized as college football by the local media and the sport is a nonfactor in New England relative to other parts of the country. Don't let the lack of attention paid to college baseball fool you into thinking that this program isn't floundering several times worse than the football program ever got under Spaziani.
If the school is serious about competing in the ACC for baseball, they can start by hiring a proven coaching staff and sticking shovels in the ground on Brighton Campus. The school owes it to the student-athletes that come into the program to build the foundation that will allow the team to successfully compete in the second toughest conference in the country.
* All the teams BC has faced so far this season with the exception of Duke have a winning record in conference, though N.C. State and Georgia Tech's winning conference record are partially due to weekend sweeps of BC.