Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baylor Wants The Big 12 To Stay Together

As the Big 12 continues to go down in flames all around them, Baylor is singing like Al Green. It's not too much of a shock that the people at Baylor want the conference to stay together. No one has been pulling at Baylor's coattails, so they've started a campaign to keep things together.

Nothing is more beloved in Texas than Texas football. Entire towns travel to neighboring communities on Friday nights as rivals meet under the Friday night lights; Saturday mornings find families rushing out to pee wee football games and spending their afternoons with friends tailgating or watching some of the most historic and storied football rivalries in the nation; Sunday afternoons see families gathered in living rooms across the state to cheer on the Cowboys or the Texans.

Football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state.

Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state's largest universities align themselves with other states across the country?

Will Texans sit and watch as Texas' flagship universities pledge their loyalties to other states?

Will Texans stand by as our most promising student athletes are lured out of Texas by new rivals?

Will Texans watch as our most precious resources—the great minds of the next generation—are exported to new conference institutions?

Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state's future. Texas' flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state's future—their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens. Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas.

This is the only stand Baylor can take or they face being left out of a BCS conference and going at it in Conference USA or the Mountain West and even that's not guaranteed. If it wasn't for Ann Richards, Baylor wouldn't have been in the Big 12 in the first place (Texas Tech also got in for political reasons too).

Now you want to do what's best for "Texas football"? Why didn't you think about TCU, Houston, Rice, and SMU back in the 90's? You didn't stick up for them and now you may be the jilted bride. Of course Baylor wants the Big 12 to stick together. The problem is that the reason they want to stay together is the same reason that nobody will listen to them. They don't have any pull in the conference and nobody has been knocking down their door to invite them into their conference. The were lumped in with the other Texas teams when the Big 8 was expanded to the Big 12 and they will be lumped into Conference USA or something like that. They are starting to come around slowly in athletics but they are still no where close to contending year after year.

Isn't this poetic justice?

Adam Loewen Reinvents Himself

Adam Loewen was once the highest Canadian player drafted in Major League Baseball. He was the number four pick in the 2002 draft and made it to the bigs with the Baltimore Orioles in 2006. He was thought to be a fixture in their rotation for the future. That was as a pitcher.

After two stress fractures to his left elbow, it was too early for Loewen to give up on his baseball dreams. So Loewen went the Rick Ankiel route and reinvented himself as an outfielder. Loewen was one of the Toronto Blue Jays' September call-ups after hitting .311, with 16 home runs and 79 RBI, for the Las Vegas 51s, the Blue Jays’ farm team in the Pacific Coast League.

Pretty impressive for someone whose career was thought to be over.

“Adam’s done a great job,” said Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays’ assistant general manager, who is with the Jays for a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners before he and GM Alex Anthopoulos arrive in Vancouver on Thursday to check out the Jays’ single-A prospects. “It’s very unusual what he’s done — going from major league pitcher to minor league outfielder. He’s another Rick Ankiel. Not many have done it, but he’s really put himself in a good spot. I think he’s certainly on the verge of becoming a viable major league player.”

Granted, he has been hitting minor league pitching and playing in minor league parks, specifically the one in Las Vegas. The people that matter in the Blue Jays organization think Loewen has a future with the team. Maybe a platoon outfielder? Who knows.

Toronto does plan on giving Loewen a few starts to see if he's worth keeping around.