A love of baseball, a love of Boston College, and almost 14 years spent writing have all led to this - your newest Front Page man for BC Interruption, Dan Rubin. A baseball aficionado with time spent working in the NCAA ranks and on Cape Cod, get ready for Birdball coverage ... and anything else wherever anyone sees fit. Dan Rubin - not the one who plays basketball for BC.
Mike Gambino still has a job with Boston College.
Read that sentence over for a second. He is still the man leading the charge of the Birdballers, a month after a 12-40 baseball season ended with their worst record ever. Through three years, he's amassed a 49-106 record, 21-67 in the ACC. He is the worst statistical manager in the history of Boston College baseball, and with three years complete at the helm, he's now doing it with players he recruited to continue an era of unprecedented success.
Jim Morris has been at Miami for 32 years, and Mike Gambino already has 20% of Morris' total loss numbers. It's taken him three years to get a quarter of the losses Mike Fox has amassed in 30 years at North Carolina, and he's roughly 20% from Mike Martin's total loss total in 33 years at Florida State.
So why, Brad Bates, is Mike Gambino still the Boston College manager?
There hasn't even been so much of an inkling that Gambino would be fired at the close of the worst stretch of BC baseball ever. The team is less than five years removed from a trip to the NCAA Tournament under Mik Aoki, and many of the upperclassmen of the Gambino years either were on that team or were recruited to play at BC during the high of publicity surrounding the team. They'd had back-to-back 30-win seasons, and they were largely recognized as a microcosm of the sleeping giant of northern baseball. Then Aoki left for Notre Dame, and they turned to the former player Gambino.
And then the roof fell in.
The ineptitude is astounding. BC was well below the 10-win mark right up until the closing weeks of the season. They were on the verge of becoming one of the top 10 worst NCAA baseball teams ever. BC people in the public eye were clamoring for the team to fall off the map altogether, to be replaced by men's lacrosse. The players went from dominating summer leagues like the Cape Cod Baseball League to not even making it unless on a temporary status. This year, Eric Stevens spent two innings with the Brewster Whitecaps before being jettisoned as a temp. There are only two other Eagles in the entire league.
This all happened under the Gambino watch. And this all happened during a time period when BC was finally supposed to break through as an all-year power with football, soccer, basketball, hockey, and baseball. They were supposed to start rising up, giving the school a reason to finally complete its goal of building a baseball stadium somewhere on campus.
BC's cracked 10 wins in the ACC only once in the Gambino era. Players completely regressed instead of improved, with Matt McGovern hitting below .200 in his senior year. Stevens went winless on the bump. And the blowout losses to Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson, and Wake Forest point to an overall lack of competitiveness within the league. Yes, there are flashes of brilliance, like not losing by more than three runs and somehow, inexplicably, beating Miami in two out of three at home (turns out the Hurricanes left their Wheaties in Coral Gables). But those flashes are more like flashes of lightning - about two seconds worth of amazing, followed by a 10 second wait for the inevitable, followed by a bone-rattling crash signaling something bad might've happened. And it happened immediately after the Aoki era ended, meaning the fall was swift and pretty much right away.
The only reason why Brad Bates hasn't fired Mike Gambino is that he's forgotten which printer the paperwork is on or that he got caught up in the waves of enthusiasm brought on by Steve Addazio. We'd all hate to think that with all the great job Bates has done in improving the athletic department's image during football season that baseball got lost in the shuffle. After all, college baseball still has tradition, and in a baseball-crazy environment like Boston, there's no reason why the Eagles can't succeed. The program's made great strides in the public eye, especially with the fight against ALS and ESPECIALLY with all they've done for our own warrior in Pete Frates. With all that good will, the next step is to clean everything up on the field and let someone come in who can right this ship and try to get BC back to a place where they wouldn't probably lose to schools with no teams like Providence, BU, and Syracuse.
But it has to start with the removal of the manager. And time's a-wasting.