The Miami New Times dropped a bombshell on baseball today, reporting on a Coral Gables-based anti-aging clinic that it describes as "the East Coast version of BALCO." In addition to implicating University of Miami benefactor Alex Rodriguez—for whom the Hurricanes' home field is named—the story links Miami's baseball strength and conditioning coach and two former players to the clinic.
The New Times turned up numerous handwritten notebooks and payment records that connect Rodriguez and former Hurricane stars Yasmani Grandal and Cesar Carrillo to performance-enhancing drug purchases from Biogenesis, the clinic run by Tony Bosch. Jimmy Goins, who is in his ninth year as the strength and conditioning coach, is also listed in multiple Biogenesis client lists, according to the New Times.
"The University of Miami is aware of media reports regarding one of our employees and an intensive review is underway," UM's athletics department said in a statement. "We will not comment further on personnel matters." [...] Continue Reading »
The National College Baseball Hall of Fame took a major step toward becoming a reality Tuesday, thanks to a $5 million capital campaign grant from the Moody Foundation.
The grant brings the total raised toward the campaign to build a Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas, to approximately $7 million, not including the value of the land committed by the City of Lubbock. The total campaign goal is $13 million, with $9 million needed for facility construction and a $4 million endowment.
"This is a momentous day for our organization," Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, said in a release. "This is a huge step forward for the capital campaign and the mission of the musem."
Frances Moody-Dahlberg, executive director of the Galveston-based foundation, said the College Baseball Hall of Fame and its mission of preservation and education was a natural fit for the foundation. [...] Continue Reading »
CHICAGO—College coaches no longer gripe about BBCOR bats, which have suppressed offense dramatically since becoming mandatory two years ago. In fact, American Baseball Coaches executive director Dave Keilitz said 86 percent of Division I coaches now support the new bats, according to the results of a survey he conducted of his membership.
But even though coaches are content with the less lively bats, there is a new movement to switch to a livelier ball—specifically, the ball used by professional leagues. That was one of the more notable topics of discussion at the 2013 ABCA convention, where coaches gathered for the annual Division I business meeting on Thursday night.
Clemson coach Jack Leggett led the push for switching to the professional ball this fall, prompting Keilitz to study the issue. Currently, Keilitz said, the NCAA does not mandate any ball standards for regular-season play except that the ball’s coefficient of restitution (COR) cannot exceed .555. The higher the COR, the farther a ball will travel. Professional baseball uses a ball with a maximum COR of .578.
In the NCAA tournament, games must be played with an official Rawlings ball with seams that are higher than the seams of a pro baseball. For that reason, college conferences generally use the raised-seam ball during the regular season to prepare for the postseason.
[...] Continue Reading »
North Carolina State coach Elliott Avent told Baseball America on Monday that the Wolfpack has parted ways with senior catcher Danny Canela.
Canela has 17 homers in three seasons at N.C. State, and he's coming off his best season in 2012, when he hit .348/.457/.507 with six homers, 18 doubles and 46 RBIs. He was slated to hit cleanup for the 'Pack as a senior, and he would have provided a much-needed lefthanded bat in the middle of the lineup.
"He is a great player, and he served us well, so I wish him well," Avent said. "For three years, he's been a good guy and a good player. At some point this fall, we just kind of parted ways."
Scouts have questioned Canela's work ethic for years, wondering why he hasn't been able to firm up his round frame (listed at 5-foot-9, 241 pounds). But he's always had a knack for making quality contact at the plate. Canela is headed to NAIA Lee (Tenn.), coach Michael Moody confirmed Tuesday, and he will be immediately eligible this spring.
For a Wolfpack team with legitimate College World Series aspirations, losing Canela is a blow, but NCSU should be able to overcome it. Sophomore catcher Brett Austin, an unsigned supplemental first-round pick in 2011, figured to be the primary catcher anyway, but losing Canela takes away N.C. State's security blanket in case injury should strike. Now Austin and freshman John Mangum are the only catchers on the roster, Avent said.
Austin's prospect pedigree is built on his offensive potential, as many scouts believed two years ago that he would eventually have to move to another position, but Avent said he worked hard this summer to improve behind the plate.
"He went to the Cape, he caught and did pretty good," Avent said. "Austin's receiving has cleaned up, although he still misses a ball occasionally. If he stays healthy, we'll be OK behind the plate.
"There will be more pressure on him, but I think he's good enough to handle it. If he gets hurt is my biggest fear. That's when I think we'd go backwards."
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