Lingering Disappointment

FSU coach Mike Martin is pulling for Georgia Tech and Clemson in the College World Series. He still is dealing with the reality that his Seminoles are not in Omaha, Neb. -- and Notre Dame is. "I guess the biggest thing that sticks in my mind is we won 26 of the last 28 games that we played, we beaten some of the best teams in the country, home and on the road, but we didn't go to the College World Series," Martin said Saturday.

Editor's Note: Jim Henry's entire interview with Mike Martin is available for premium subscribers.

Mike Martin spent Saturday morning running errands. Later this afternoon, he planned to be in front of his television set watching the College World Series. Martin, Florida State's veteran baseball coach, is still trying his best to cope with the disappointment following last Monday's Super Regional defeat to Notre Dame.

"I guess the biggest thing that sticks in my mind is we won 26 of the last 28 games that we played, we beaten some of the best teams in the country, home and on the road, but we didn't go to the College World Series," Martin said.

"It's mind-boggling. Absolutely mind-boggling. We will win more games than anybody in the country. ... I ache but life goes on. I know today when I watch those games -- I am not having any trouble watching 'em. That's life. Life goes on."

Yes, Martin's Seminoles enjoyed a wonderful season. They had 60 wins, won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and conference titles and strung together a school-record 25-game win streak.

However, there also was pain and frustration after another chase for an elusive first national title ended in Super Regional play for the second consecutive year. In fact, FSU was the lone host that did not win its super regional and advance to the CWS. Five of the eight teams clinched a berth in the decisive third game. The Irish are making their first CWS appearance since 1957. The ACC is represented by Clemson and Georgia Tech -- a duo the 'Noles went 8-0 against this season.

"The easy thing is to tell you that I am all over it," Martin said. "That would be a lie. I've had a hard time sleeping. I am still extremely disappointed, but each day that goes by I am able to focus on next year, because there is nothing I can about what has already happened."

FSU loses seven seniors from the second-winningest team in the program's history. Pitchers Robby Read and Matt Lynch may skip their senior seasons for professional baseball. Assistant coach Chip Baker moves from third base to upstairs as a full-time administrator. While Jamey Shouppe, FSU's recruiting coordinator, suggested that a review of how he recruits may be in order, Martin scoffed at that notion.

Simply, Martin won't make wholesale changes in either strategy or the make-up as he continues his quest for the program's first national title.

"Never have been more comfortable with it," Martin said of his program.

"There is so much excitement in our program. This past year we drew more fans that we have drawn in many years. We won 60 ballgames. Look what we accomplished in those wins. Do we throw away the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and its unbelievable comeback? Do we throw away the Atlantic Coast Conference (Tournament) championship. Do we throw away the excitement of a freshman coming back who is one of the most exciting players we have ever brought in? Do we throw away the excitement of a new facility that could be the most beautiful, efficient, baseball stadium in all of college baseball?

"We have a future head of us that's very exciting. It will require a lot of hard work. The parity in college baseball is upon us. You just don't know what's going to happen because of the parity. You have schools that are not getting their kids signed after three years -- they are coming back for their fourth year, which makes it even more difficult because other programs are losing them after three years. You have the challenge every year. You have to have depth. Boy, we've got to get numberss in here."


Nole Digest Top Stories