By Mike Williams
Since this is my first swipe at "real live" journalism, I must state my utter neutrality in this situation. Think of me as the Switzerland of The Territory, sans the Lederhosen, although I do look good in those things, and often wear them dancing in front of the mirror.
But I digress.
Now that we have that little detail out of the way, I want to address the issue of one Coach Mike Martin and his obvious inability to get Florida State the hardware we have lacked for so long: A National Championship Ring (and all the accouterments that come with it).
It is okay to address him as 11. Isn't it?
Anyway, 11 has been with FSU for what, 22 years, now? In those twenty some years, he has, without failure, led the 'Noles (and those wretched Animals) to some level of post-season play.
Okay, he's never quite gotten us to the point where we could win "the big one," but we've been there, nonetheless. Personally, I think championships are overrated. I remember the time I won the Wet T-Shirt contest at La Vela. Let me tell you, celebrity is not always pretty. But I re-digress. I think it's important that we look deeper into what might be gained (and lost) by being "The Champ."
Let's look at the pros and cons of winning a championship.
1. You finally get that "I won the Big One" Tattoo your wife has been promising you for your birthday.
2. You can overtake your Gator neighbor on the obnoxious-o-meter.
3. Martin retires in peace and we can go looking for Andy Lopez.
4. The Animals have time to learn the Ecuadorian National Anthem.
5. The Gators would still have zero baseball championships.
A fine list, to be sure, but have you really looked at what we have to LOSE by winning a College World Series?
1. The carnage brought on by celebrations of this magnitude would create havoc in Tallahassee (I mean, can you imagine the Drive Thru Line at the Wendy's on Tennessee Street?)
2. Championship hangovers only lasts two days, then...you're just you, again.
3. The Baseball Board would be robbed of such rich acrimony.
4. Of course, there's Mad Cow's coronary.
5. Miami would still have four.
So you see, it's really a push. The pros and cons of winning a College World Series cancel each other out.
When you get right down to it, what we're doing is asking for a minuscule improvement in a program that has consistently hovered near the top of the College Baseball World. Will it ever happen?
Maybe, maybe not, but is it worth tossing a guy on the trash heap who has given so much? Is it really that important to YOU (as opposed to important to 11) that we win a CWS to scrap the foundation we have here and start over?
Let's see, Martin has been here 22 years. At 1200 wins, that's an average of 50-plus wins a year. Let's say that winning the College World Series every year is our goal (Why not?). To win the CWS you basically have to win four additional games.
Over 22 years, that's an additional 88 wins. Which is only a SEVEN PERCENT improvement over the "group of losers" we have now!!!
So those calling for Martin's head are looking for a coach that can improve our team by four games, per season (assuming they win the other 50). What "coach tree" do we pick that apple from? If it was so easy, don't you think EVERYONE would have done it by now (Martin notwithstanding)?
There are only so many Ron Fraziers out there (How we let that Son-of-Sacrifice-Bunt get out of Tally is still beyond me), only so many Skip Bertmans. The Gators are still (no pun intended) trying to replace Joe Arnold, for crying out loud! Don't you think with their crack search committee...uh, er, never mind.