June 9, 2017 8:02:16 AM
You all know the routine by now: Y'all really came through with the questions, I love it and I love you for it. Now let's get to the good stuff.
Let me start this off by quickly breaking @trojandawgmsu's heart. He wants to know if there will be cheap tickets available to State fans.
Brian. This is a Super Regional in Alex Box Stadium between LSU and Mississippi State. The word 'cheap' does not belong in anything in that happens this weekend. If you find a way to make it happen, let me know, though, as I'll be quite impressed.
My man Wesley Johnson (@Wesley_Johnson) gave me a reason to launch on this hot take of mine, so I'm taking it. He asks for my thoughts on this whole thing where LSU will be the home team in Game 1, the road team in Game 2 and a coin flip will decide Game 3's home team.
This. Is. Ridiculous. I've hated this forever. If these guys are going to work themselves to the bone all year long, as many student-athletes do, to be the best in the nation and earn homefield advantage, it's ridiculous that an asinine NCAA rule can water that down in anyway.
Yes, the advantage of being able to play on your homefield is plenty. But the advantage of hitting in the bottom half of innings is so obvious that I don't need to explain it to any of you reading this. And here's my message to any teams that are on the road in Regionals and Super Regionals that feel like it's only fair that they get to be the home team in some of these games: if you want to be a home team in the postseason, win more in the regular season. Simple as that.
Welcome a new Twitter Mailbag question asker, everyone. Josh Wright (@JoshW2571) wants to know if there will be any changes to the lineup at LSU.
I'm especially excited you asked this question, Josh, because I actually wrote something about MSU's lineup changes throughout the season that should be posted here on cdispatch.com in a couple of hours. So, Josh and all others reading this, if you're wanting to hear from guys like Ryan Gridley and Elijah MacNamee on the lineup changes throughout the year, come back around lunchtime Friday and read all about it.
But to answer Josh's question, no, I don't think there will be more. Generally, when Cannizaro makes a tweak like this, he sticks with it for at least a couple of weeks, and he has no reason to change now since this same lineup just hung 8 runs on Southern Miss in back-to-back games with the season on the line.
I think you'll see the same first five (Stovall-Rooker-Gridley-Brown-Mangum), with MacNamee and Vansau behind them (doesn't matter in which order), Lovelady behind them and the DH of either Cole Gordon or Harrison Bragg in the 9 hole.
Cannizaro's surprised me a few times this season, so I'm not completely ruling it out, but I didn't see anything in that lineup from the last three games that make me think he would want to change it.
Now let's hit a series of questions from @MsStBaseballFan. 1) Will Cannizaro surprise LSU with any strategy to gain an edge?
Honestly, what else is there? It's not like this team has a hidden bullpen piece that MSU can surprise LSU with and throw him out there for 2 perfect innings. This team is what it is at this point, and the depth of it gives Cannizaro so few options, it just is what it is.
If I had to say something, it would be more bunting -- both sacrifice and for a base hit -- to try to manufacture something against LSU's outstanding starting pitching (more on that later), but I wouldn't consider that a surprise.
2) Will LSU intentionally walk Rooker like MSU will with Greg Deichmann?
I really don't think they will. With starting pitching like Alex Lange and Jared Poche', I'm not sure they have much to fear. The regular season series proved that: Rooker only walked twice against LSU, and only once in the two games started by Lange and Poche. If Rooker makes them pay with a couple of doubles early, you might see them change their tune, but I wouldn't surprised to see them challenge him at first.
3) Will Cannizaro continue to put the bats on the floor of the dugout?
That man is all in on the wild superstitions of baseball, so he absolutely will. Let me tell you a story to support that claim.
In MSU's Hall of Champions (the small building in between Dudy Noble and the Palmeiro Center) there's a larger meeting-style room where they do the midweek media availabilities. When you enter the room, there's a big lit up M over S (jokingly referred to as the Bat Symbol) on the wall in front of you and a sizable flat screen TV on the wall to the left. There's couches lining three walls of the room, big space in the middle to put chairs facing the TV, you get the picture.
For all of the non-conference season, Cannizaro used the blank TV as his backdrop for interviews. He did the same before the Arkansas series when, as you all know, MSU got swept. He entered the room for the midweek availability in between the Arkansas and Tennessee series and said, "No, we've got to mix something up here," and walked over to the big M over S logo, stood in front of that and began to answer questions.
MSU swept Tennessee. We've been doing interviews in that location ever since. Ask anyone else on the beat, that's 100 percent true.
Let's wrap this up with one from @lounge_dawg: Should they use MSU women's basketball coach Vic Schaeffer as a troll job of Kim Mulkey, the Baylor women's basketball coach that is also LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson's mother?
I've got to give credit to either Robbie Faulk or Brian Hadad for coming up with this idea first, I can't remember who it was, but the opportunity to do this came when LSU was in Starkville. Y'all watching on TV would know better than I, but I'm pretty sure Mulkey was in Starkville that weekend, so what MSU should have done was played a ton of women's basketball highlights in between innings. Really made the weekend a big push for women's basketball season ticket sales, show a ton of Baylor highlights, the whole nine.