College baseball season is fast upon us . . . not as fast as it ought to be upon us, mind you, but the campus edition of the national pastime is worth the wait, even if the accursed uniform start date has done little to ameliorate the sorry state of the sport in cold-weather climes.
Some changes are on tap for the 2010 campaign, including a pitch clock during the SEC Tournament designed to make the sport more telegenic for ESPN, which holds the broadcast rights to the Hoover tourney for the first time this year. Deadline-driven beat reporters, fans of televised college baseball, and anyone else who’d like to get a good night’s sleep rejoice.
Supporters of David Perno’s Diamond Dogs greet the end of the offseason with mixed emotions. On the one hand, Georgia baseball seasons tend to be like "Star Trek" films starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, in that the even-numbered ones are good and the odd-numbered ones are bad. If Coach Perno’s club holds true to form, we can look forward to the Classic City Canines concluding the campaign in Omaha. On the other hand, freshman Chance Veazey’s offseason accident cost the promising infielder more than merely a college baseball career. (Donations to the Chance Veazey Fund, by the way, are welcome.)
As we prepare to begin a new season at Foley Field, though, we turn our attention to the Baseball America preseason top 25, which was released earlier today. Texas checks in at No. 1, with third-ranked Louisiana State leading the way for the SEC. Other Southeastern Conference squads included in the rankings are No. 7 Florida, No. 10 South Carolina, No. 17 Arkansas, No. 22 Georgia, and No. 24 Ole Miss. Red and Black in-state rival Georgia Tech occupies the sixth slot and the Diamond Dogs’ other ACC rival, Clemson, is ranked 15th.
The Bulldogs’ 2010 schedule includes road dates against No. 9 Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Clemson, Arkansas, and Florida, along with home series against the Rebels and the Gamecocks. It ought to be an interesting season, to say the least.