First day of practice quotes
Jan. 25, 2013
Texas Baseball Press Conference Quotes
Head Coach Augie Garrido
On what the changes in the roster and coaching staff have showed during preseason: That is one of the exciting things about it. That is why it doesn't get boring. Each personality is different and each personality affects each other in a different way that creates a different environment. It is under that environment that all things grow. I don't know, I am excited to see it. I know it is different, but is it different enough to predict the end. The Mayans didn't do well with that. I am not much for predictions or expectations. It is about ground balls and throwing strikes and putting the ball in play. If you give me a team that gets more runs than the other team, then I'll get you a winner. It's pretty simple.
On assistant coach Tommy Nicholson's relationship with the team: Tommy is a good coach. He communicates with them in today's media in the way that they communicate to each other. I think that is probably a better question for the players than me. I am moving around and interacting with them myself and probably not as aware as they are about his effectiveness. It is awfully early in the going to know that. We still have to win games.
On getting the infield ready for this season: I think we have an idea, let's just hope it turns out to be a good idea. One of the questions of course is there is some doubt in some people's mind about Erich Weiss' ability to play third base after last season. I think you will see him play it at a high level. I feel good about C.J Hinojosa at short. We have other choices there. Brooks Marlow at second along with Madison Carter who has played very well at a very high level. Codey McElroy is a shortstop out of high school, but he is awfully tall. He is 6-6 and it is a long ways from where his glove is to the ground. So maybe he is better at first, we don't know. I think the most interesting thing that I would like everyone to keep in mind is that there are three things that are really driving the playing time. That is what all the players are curious about- how do I make this team? How do I get involved? What is my role? Am I going to get to play? It is really based on the following things and just watch for it if you choose. Number one is attitude. It is an ultimate team sport, this sport. To keep a rally going offensively is really difficult because hitting is difficult and pitch selection is difficult, but it demands player after player fulfilling his role offensively. So attitude and then work ethic. You can't do it unless you have the right work ethic and you can't do it without total commitment to team. It's total commitment to what the team is about and what the team is trying to do. Those are the three things. We are not about prospects as much as we are about ball players. We have prospects on the team, but that is up to major league baseball. Our coaching staff is concerned with those three things that are going to dictate who is going to get playing time. Not your potential, not your pro ranking. Going back to the first question about where we are ranked in the polls. The polls are basically driven by the number of professional prospects on your team. That isn't what wins college baseball games, it is ball players. It is players committed to playing the game, unselfishly and with total commitment to team and the right attitude and work ethic. It really is. That teamwork will overcome individuality, so that is why I sort of distrust the polls at this point in time. It is also like ranking recruiting classes. The same thing, how many professional prospects do you have on your team is where you fall into it. Well is seems like Dwight Howard isn't doing quite so well with the Lakers. I don't know, I just heard some rumblings about their lack of success. So I'm not so sure it is always about athletic ability, but I am sure that it is about the spirit of the person involved. That is what's great about baseball. It can accommodate more body types and more personalities than the other two major sports. You don't have to be 6-6, even though we have a guy that is 6-6.
On what he plans on doing with Corey Knebel and the pitching rotation: What we think is best for Corey and Corey agrees with this is for him to be the closer. The starter obviously is a valuable person, but you can't win the game. To be a championship type teams in a championship environment is going to be exciting. The games are going to be close and you are going to have to do it on the road sometimes with people yelling and screaming and the bases loaded and you need the pitcher to throw a strike. You've got to have the right personality and Corey has that. Right now he is very comfortable and knows it is in the team's best interest, which is always his concern to be the closer. Whether Nate [Thornhill] starts or comes in to set up. Our pitching staff is basically set up with four starters that we want to go five innings a piece early in the season and get us to the sixth and then the set up guys. We hope to have four of them, two left and two right and make changes in the lineup as the lineup dictates and get us to the ninth. Corey might have to pitch the eighth and the ninth, but at least get us a couple of innings to get close to the end so he can pitch at the end more than once a week. Where that doesn't work is if you don't score any runs. If you don't score any runs then it isn't close at the end. Like Stanford, it is hard to overcome a 13-run inning.
Junior infielder Alex Silver
On being excited for the official start of the season: Absolutely. Been looking forward to this day since the end of last season. Really looking forward to the first game and just really to show everything we've done over break and the all hard work we've put in.
On the 2012 season's results being motivation for this 2013 season: Everybody works hard. We definitely have worked harder. I'd say that we worked just as hard last year. But it's always in the back of your mind how last year ended, and the bad taste in your mouth that you want to get rid of as soon as that first game starts. I feel for the most of us, it's in the back of our minds, but it's not something that we dwell on or think about a lot. It's a new season. It's a new opportunity and we want to take advantage of it.
On what fans should be excited about with the 2013 team: It's a fun club. Everybody is working for a spot. Everybody is working hard. It's Texas Baseball. It's the storied program it's always been. We're coming back and ready to go.
On assistant coach Tommy Nicholson: He's great. He's a very personable guy, a great coach. He's helped me a lot at first base and he will pull you aside, or send you a text message every so often just to ask you how you are doing, if you want to work or fix something. It's great. He's a great coach.
Freshman infielder C.J Hinojosa
On preparing for his first season: It's a fun thing to do, obviously coming here to The University of Texas. Having the chance just to play with these guys and under [head] Coach [Augie] Garrido obviously. It's a lot of fun though. It's a lot harder than I thought. It's a lot different of a game than high school is. So just changing my work ethic, and becoming a team player is a big thing here. It's going to be a fun little thing that happens this year.
On becoming a productive player for the team: It's not hard. I mean everywhere I played, I've never had to sit. But coming here and having [former infielder Christian] Summers, who was here last semester and [sophomore infielder] Codey McElroy, who is the junior college transfer come over, and just learning from the older guys is what helped me a lot.
On if he feels any added pressure being such a celebrated high school baseball player: No, I don't feel any pressure. It's the same game that I have played since I was three-and-a-half years old. So I'm just coming out here and having fun with it. You know, this has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid to come and play at The University of Texas and now I get the chance. I'm going to take every advantage I get. I'm going to play the game the way I have ever since it's been competitive. And it's a lot of fun. So I don't see any pressure coming, and I don't see any pressure being dealt my way other than performing and having fun with it.
On if he feels an added sense of motivation after how the 2012 season ended: Yeah, of course. Everybody here is working hard to get us back to Omaha and that's our goal. Today is our first day of practice and that is a long ways away and we all know that you've got to win every day. Once we get there, and to that situation, hopefully we make it back there. That's our goal this year.