Daily Trojan: Recruiting Mis-steps have hurt USC Baseball Program...

Discussion in 'USC Baseball' started by tirebiter, Feb 2, 2014.

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  2. taido

    taido Junior Member


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    Feb 5, 2014
    #1
    Recruiting in baseball is difficult. At a private school like SC, you really only "risk" on 2 or 3 top recruits. The rest should be lower drafter players you expect to come to school. It does appear that Kreuter did a poor job of this, as even lower drafted players often chose the pros over coming the SC.

    Gillespie was hard on his players, but they respected him. I was there at Fresno, when the team clinched its first CWS appearance since the Dedeaux years. In a minor surprise, the entire team stood in line to hug Coach Gillespie.

    That being said, he definitely lost the team towards the end. Personally, I think Kreuter actually made it worse by being the "soft hand", purposefully to balance Gillespie, but diminished Gillespie's position with the players. They clearly favored Kreuter. Easier to be liked when "assistant" is in front of your title, because that favor would quickly change. This is all hindsight, of course.

    As for Savage, Gillespie needed a good pitching coach. He made pitchers psycho. Savage was a great pitching coach -- and I think he still gets all those pitchers to UCLA heads-up recruiting no matter what SC did. It's that more players may have come the USC if Gillespie (or someone else not Kreuter) were still the coach.

    As for approaching Savage -- he'd barely taken the UCLA job when Gillespie left, so a little awkward to leave (unless your name is Kiffen). I don't think MG offered the reported $1 million that Haden offered either.

    Good luck to Coach Hubbs. He was on those early Gillespie teams. Gilly-ball it was called -- trying to manufacture wins with no major league pitching talent, and a depleted roster.
     
  3. Lunderful

    Lunderful Junior Member


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    Feb 8, 2014
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    Gillespie was a class act.

    During his last series against U. of Arizona in Tucson I was at the first game with my, then, 8 year old nephew, Ryan. Jeff Clement was our AA catcher. After the game Coach Gillespie noticed Ryan standing behind the fence near the USC dugout with a baseball and pen in hand. He took the ball and pen from Ryan and lined up - that's correct - lined up the players. The ball was passed down the line and each player signed it. Coach Gillespie then gave the ball to Ryan, shook his hand and thanked him for coming to the game. The boy was still smiling the next morning.

    Ryan is finishing up college this year. Whenever I see him he brings up that wonderful gesture. The ball still has a prominent place in his room.

    I'll bet a bag of burgers that Mr. Gillespie has given many lasting memories to many youngsters over the years. He's a class act.
     

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