DEVILLE: Tigers like a box of chocolates

Smoke Laval's Rockin' Roller Coaster ride continues. Being a bit cliché, Laval's 2005 LSU Tiger baseball team is sort of like Forrest Gump's "box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get."

After two straight weekends in which the Tigers proved they are far from out of the race for the SEC title, LSU encountered another bump in the road. A sweep of the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville and two victories over Vanderbilt in Nashville had the doubters beginning to believe again.

However, last Tuesday's loss to cross-town neighbor Southern had the critics singing their tunes yet again. Usually a cross-town foe would be referred to as a rival, however in this case, LSU holds a commanding lead in the all-time series with a 37-2 advantage.

Well, it was 37-1 before last Tuesday when Roger Cador's Jaguars came into Alex Box Stadium trouncing the Tigers 9-5.

LSU was once perfect versus the Jags, that is before Skip Bertman's 2001 ball club allowed Southern to record its first-ever win over the Bayou Bengals. The Jaguars notched an 11-6 over LSU win in Bertman's last season as the Tigers' skipper.

Baseball is a funny game.

The losing pitcher versus the Jaguars was Justin Meier. Meier, who has had his struggles since a brilliant freshman season, put together his best outing of the season in a four-inning performance as LSU hammered national power Rice 9-3 a month ago. It was Meier who fans were howling for just a week earlier when Brandon Nall was getting roughed up by No. 1 Tulane. And just seven days later, Meier can't get past the Jaguars.

But as Laval says – that is just baseball.

Over the past few years, Southern has had the best teams in its programs history. Featuring the best player in the country two seasons ago in Rickie Weeks, LSU handled Cador's club with ease. But this season, with the Jaguars struggling to win even the SWAC Western Division, Southern manages a victory over LSU.

Tuesday's loss to the visitors from the Bluff hasn't been the only shocker for Laval's Tigers this season. An earlier trip to Shreveport saw LSU fall to Centenary, and not just lose but get two-hit by a pitcher that could barely break 80 miles per hour.

While midweek woes have been a regularity this season – including a pair of losses to hated Tulane – the Tigers still seem to be getting it done on the weekend. It drives fans crazy that Laval seems to de-emphasize midweek contests, even against the likes of the arch rival Green Wave. But LSU is right in the thick of the SEC race and is a sure lock for a regional as well as in the running for a possible super regional if things go well in the SEC Tournament.



From the mailbag:

Dear Tiger Rag,

First, your Aril 26th edition of Tiger Rag was the best magazine you guys have ever put out. Your coverage of LSU's sports teams, most especially the spring football coverage, was excellent.

The only article in the magazine that was undesirable was written by Lee Feinswog. I understand he is from New York and has been here for 20 years or so. But if he has been here for 20 years and writes in your magazine about "a meaningless midweek game against Tulane," then he has been in hibernation.

If you watch his television show or read his articles, he considers himself an expert on all LSU sports. If a man has been here for 20 years and writes what he did, he knows nothing about the LSU-Tulane rivalry that has existed since 1895. These two schools despise – no – hate each other. Tulane hates us more than any other team they play. The same is true for LSU. This is true whether the sport is ping-pong or Chinese checkers, much less baseball and football.

If he (Feinswog) doesn't know that the happiest days in an LSU fan's life (that experienced it) were the three 62-0 lickings put on Tulane in football, then he (Feinswog) might want to give up writing about LSU sports. If he wants to know anything about this rivalry, I can fill him in on it from the mid 1930s on. He can really use the lesson.

Thanks for letting me express my opinion in your magazine.

Sincerely, Alan Sommer Baton Rouge

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Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at matt@tigerrag.com

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