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4-0 Start for Diamond Dawgs

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I will be the first to admit that I am not a baseball guru. I don’t pretend to be either. I patiently wait for Todd4State’s baseball pieces on Maroon and White Nation so I can improve my “90%er” baseball ignorance. That said, there might not be anything better than sunny skies and a good MSU squad competing at Dudy Noble Field. Basketball has been a nightmare this year so we have been waiting for this like a 5 year old waits on Christmas. What better way to start the year than a 4-0 sweep?

The Diamond Dawgs started the year with a combined 31-3 pounding of the Portland Pirates over the 4 game series. The opening game had a crowd of over 7,ooo and the attendance stayed strong all weekend despite the cold weather. We saw a good combination of hitting and dominant pitching to bring in the new year.

Let’s start with an overview of the pitching. In 36 innings our pitchers combined for 45 strikeouts and only gave up 20 hits. That is dominating. The wins were awarded to Kendall Graveman, Luis Pollorena, Ross Mitchell, and Jacob Lindgren. The only save of the weekend was awarded to Jonathan Holder. All in all a great performance by the whole pitching staff.
Our hitting also showed some bright spots this weekend particularly with the 16 run outburst in the opening game. Some notable batters were: Adam Frazier with 8 hits, CT Bradford with 5 hits, Trey Porter with 6 hits, Mitch Slaughter with 6 hits, and Darrly Norris with 4 hits on the weekend. The lone game we struggled was game 2 with only 2 runs but a key bunt showed that we can execute offensive plays in crunch time. With a total of 31 runs over 4 games I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the offensive production.

The biggest takeaways from opening weekend were that we were able to win a few different types of ways. Game 1 saw us with the big, dominating win. Game 2 saw us struggle but come through in the clutch. Game 3 and 4 showed our ability to grind out victories in consecutive days when dealing with early season fatigue was obvious. The one constant was great pitching throughout and that is what fans should be most excited about. This staff appears to be built for post season play with the quality depth and sheer number of quality arms out of the bullpen. MSU resumes action tonight at Dudy Noble against Grambling with an opening pitch scheduled for 4 pm.

From the Mailbox: My First Hate Mail

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From a gentleman named Trent Jackson

Why do you worry so much about Ole Miss? Your hate and jealousy is scary and there is a special place in hell for people that act like this.  Spreading hate is not good for the soul and can cause some really bad karma.  I just hope you do not have children to pass this behavior to.  This type of obsession and hate is not healthy.  There is more to life than hating another, but I suspect it may be to late for you to realize that.  On your death bed when you look back at your life is this going to be your legacy? Do you think it will help you on judgement day?  God bless.
I now feel like I have truly made it. 8 full days in and I have a complaining email from the Ole Miss Athletic Department and now some good ole fashioned hate mail. Let’s break this down:
Why do you worry so much about Ole Miss? I don’t Trent. I could care less if they do or don’t get in any trouble. Most of my readers have some connection with Mississippi and this is a story that people want to read and my numbers prove it. Playing the hits.
Your hate and jealousy is scary and there is a special place in hell for people that act like this. I am truly sorry you were scared by your perception of me as a person, even though innacurrate. What church do you attend that teaches this doctrine? Interesting…
 I just hope you do not have children to pass this behavior to. I don’t yet but am getting married soon. I’ll be sure to warn my fiance that I breed hate mongers. I know you’ll be rooting for me Trent.
This type of obsession and hate is not healthy. I ate at Subway today and am heading to the gym soon after publishing this but I do appreciate your concern for my health Trent. Thank you.
There is more to life than hating another, but I suspect it may be to late for you to realize that. Are you sure you aren’t Mahatma Gandhi?
On your death bed when you look back at your life is this going to be your legacy?   I envision that my last words will be “I should have listened to Trent Jackson, gasp…”
 Do you think it will help you on judgement day?  God bless. You know, the whole time I thought you were telling me I was a hate monger going to hell but that “God bless” at the end changes everything.
In summary, I truly do apreciate any feedback I get to the site including this one from Trent Jackson. I’ve been having a rough night tinkering with regression anaylsis from job satisfaction surveys and I needed a good chuckle. Thank you for your encouraging words Trent, they were needed and made an impact on my night. God bless.

Is UGA Posturing at Ole Miss?

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The most talked about recruiting battle after National Signing Day has been that of Laremy Tunsil of Lake City, Florida. The behemoth tackle has coaches drooling over his projection to be the next Michael Oher at Ole Miss.  His recruitment was a strange one.  He was long thought to be headed to Georgia and had a change of mind at the end that has fueled speculation and a ton of anger from UGA fans and possibly even their administration. Does the current news of Georgia president Michael Adams stepping down play into this?

Adams plans to step down after 16 years at the helm of the state’s flagship university. Adams did a great job growing UGA and its enrollment by nearly 6,ooo students of its total when he started. I’m sure you are wondering why this has anything to do with Laremy Tunsil. It was announced that Adams is 1 of 8 new members on the NCAA infraction committee. In Craig Powers article on SBnation he said, “The NCAA says the move is to allow the committee to handle more cases and process more efficiently.” Powers went on to add, “Many are likely hoping this will be a step towards a speedier and more consistent process in the future.”

This development adds a very interesting twist to rumors that Tunsil’s recruitment was not on the up and up and UGA has filed complaints against Ole Miss. At this point nothing has been proven and a lot of the rumors are speculation but there has been plenty of wind to fan the flames. Tunsil’s high school head coach Brian Allen made headlines when he was quoted in an interview with ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

“Once you start getting a lot of people with their hands in the cookie jar, it’s hard for the kid to make a good decision,” Allen said. “A lot of the parents have no clue with what’s going on with football and recruiting. They’ve never had a kid who had a chance to get a football scholarship. They go to anybody with an opinion, whether it’s Joe Blow, Joe the Mechanic or Joe Public. They get involved in situations that can get the kids in trouble or a school in trouble at the end.”

Allen’s comments set of shock waves in the south due to the boldness of the statements and who they were allegedly aimed at. Another instance that drew the ire of UGA fans was the weekend of Tunsil’s visit to Ole Miss, January 25th-27th. Ole Miss had perhaps the biggest official weekend in school history with most of the top talent in America in Oxford at the same time. There were reports of huge parties on the square in Oxford and many of the prospects were keeping us informed via twitter. Once again, social media raised more eyebrows.

That recruiting weekend everyone witnessed many tweets and pictures from current Ole Miss players like Denzel Nkemdiche. We also saw much of the same from prospects like Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkenmdiche. There were also pictures of all the players on stage at The Library (a popular bar) posted by Clarion Ledger employees. The strange thing is that nearly all these tweets and pictures have vanished. It seems as if all the players, prospects, and some media that were in attendance deleted these things from their accounts. Why would they do that?

To be completely honest, those tweet deletions may not mean anything improper happened. They may not mean much of anything. Even with the insistences by Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork and Hugh Freeze in recent interviews that nothing improper of substance has happened, it is clear that Ole Miss Compliance has worked feverishly.  That said, it was another instance where UGA fans took the opportunity to perceive it as something to get upset about.  No one instance alone is enough to infer anything but the repeated smoke from multiple directions could mean that UGA fans are putting the alleged pieces together and assuming improper behavior.

Let’s look at this piece by piece. Tunsil’s high school coach gives a damning quote to ESPN of improper benefits in his recruitment. Nearly all accounts of the official visit weekend that Tunsil attended has been deleted  from social media.  Rumors are everywhere that UGA has filed a formal complaint or “turned in” Ole Miss. I received an email from an Ole Miss AD nitpicking about a post to my new blog that at the least shows they are in hyper defense mode and extra chippy now. Now add the bombshell that the UGA president, Michael Adams, who was sitting during these alleged transgressions, is transitioning to the NCAA infractions committee “to allow the committee to handle more cases and process more efficiently”. That could mean that UGA could bypass Slive and the SEC rules that prevent member institutions from turning one another in. I will end this saying I do not know if anything happened regarding the recruitment of Laremy Tunsil. What I do know is that if anything did happen, the worst case scenario just happened for Ole Miss.

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2013/1/22/3903586/ncaa-infractions-committee-members-lloyd-carr

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/uga-president-adams-is-stepping-down/nQTWY/

Caution: Tweet at Freeze (updated)

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Yesterday I ran a story concerning a fans account of what happened when he tweeted negative things to Hugh Freeze. Apparently, I kicked a hornet’s nest as well. After the post had been up for about 6 hours I received an email from Ole Miss Associate Athletic Director Kyle Campbell concerning some parts of the post he classified as “inaccuracies”. First off, let me state that I’m not posting this as a bash Mr. Campbell rebuttal. He contacted me in a professional manner and cleared up at least 1 thing to me and I will go on to address his concerns item by item in this update. I cannot post the email since it is confidential and contains privy information so yall just have to trust me. I am shocked that I heard from Mr. Campbell considering my blog was only 4 days old and barely at 1k views. Nonetheless, let me clarify his concerns.

Concern #1– He took issue with part of my post that said, “NCAA had come down on Freeze when he was recruiting coordinator at Ole Miss.” He went on to explain that there were only 2 minor secondary violations involving Coach Freeze during his time as recruiting coordinator. First off, those statements were taken off of an email that I obtained which are bolded and I state that those are not my words. Nowhere did I address or publicize the 2 secondary violations in my post. I’ll be completely honest. Secondary violations can be given out for almost anything. I do not care that he got them nor do I think that implies anything about the character or recruiting strategy of Hugh Freeze.

Concern #2– He took issue with another excerpt out of the email, which again are not my words, containing the phrase “Freeze’s lawyer”. Mr. Campbell was emphatic that neither Freeze’s lawyer nor anyone representing Ole Miss contacted any fan regarding anything on twitter. My language in the end of the post states “if” that happened and did not present this email as fact. I take Mr. Campbell as an honest man and I 100% believe what he told me to be true.

My take on his concerns- I respect Kyle Campbell and appreciate his email to clear the air regarding my post. I think everyone should believe what he said and take this update into consideration when referring back to the original post. In my opinion his biggest issue was the title but anyone would know after reading the post that the title was meant to generate interest and was not an implication that Hugh Freeze is suing people. His second concern did clear up something but it opens up and entirely new, chilling can of worms.

I’ll be honest with yall. I’m a bit uneasy writing this but it I feel like it needs to be documented since I am now on the radar. When I took Kyle Campbell’s words as truth I almost had a sinking feeling when I realized what it meant. The gentlemen in the original post had 2 different family members contacted by someone who WAS NOT an official legal representative of Ole Miss. We all know how powerful many of the big boosters at Ole Miss are. This means there are people who are taking it open themselves to impersonate Ole Miss officials and legally threaten MSU fans because of their post on social media and the internet. There is nothing more frightening than rich, powerful men threatening you from the veil of darkness.

The even more terrifying thing is that this is not the first time this has happened and it’s turning into a trend. On January 2, 2013 MSU internet persona Coach34 posted a chilling private message he received. Let me state that I’m not condoning all of Coach34’s thoughts or post. He has made a name for himself on message boards ruffing feathers, which I think he enjoys, but no one deserves to be threatened like this:

“I have no personal problem with you, so take what I am about to tell you, and do what you choose with it. If you don’t stop some of the stuff you are saying regarding Ole Miss, there are some people that are ready to ruin you. They have info on you and (my wife). They have info about your time @ Coffeeville and Grenada. They have info about your current job, who that company does business with, etc. Im on a private board that allows me to be privy to this stuff. Again, I hope you take this info and do something productive with it. They have also gotten info from teachers, coaches, and students you had @ . Again, Im telling you these are folks that can ruin you. Don’t let your internet persona get the best of you, man. It’s not a road you want to go down. it’s going to get ugly for you. No one cared until they perceived you were flat lying and trying to get more involved with that stuff. Again, I hope you take me at my word on this. I would hate to see their lives ruined over trivial stuff.”

It doesn’t stop there either. Make It Rain Sports radio host Jake Wimberly whose show is on Bulldog Sports Radio and Rebel Sports radio made some comments on twitter regarding Hugh Freeze. Anyone that knows Jake knows he wasn’t being serious. After his comments were responded to by Hugh Freeze on twitter Jake was harassed on multiple websites including people posting pictures of his wife. It gets worse. He received death threats. You read that right, death threats. These threats culminated in multiple individuals daring him to come to Oxford for the Egg Bowl.

Bottom line is that sports and emotions in the south get intertwined together and fans often lose sight that it is a game. Regardless if you cannot stand another blogger, tweeter, or message board poster, they do not deserve to be threatened. At the end of the day people are people. They have mothers, fathers, sister, brothers, wives, and children. There is no room for threatening people’s careers, families, and making death threats. Even if we root for different teams, we are much more alike than different.

5 Official Visits: Where to go?

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Recruiting season just finished and many fans across the country obsessed over what prospects they would sign.  We all selfishly want all the top targets to sign with our schools and cannot conceive anywhere else they would rather go. If you stop and think about it for a minute, it’s an unbelievable position for a 17 year old high school senior to be in.  I cannot imagine making a decision of that magnitude at that age.  The thing that irks me the most is when a school has a kid committed or heavily favoring their school and their fans go into a rage about them visiting other schools. If you were 17 and in their shoes, wouldn’t you want to take full advantage of 5 trips? I know I would. Put your fandom to the side and think where you would go (this will be hard for Ole Miss fans since they truly believe Oxford is the best place on earth).   I put myself in this situation and tell you the 5 places I would visit before committing to MSU of course.

1) Hawaii- There is no doubt this is 1 of my stops.  I would try to take it late in the process when the weather was at its worse. I have never been there and it would be an experience within itself.  I would also give them an honest look. They have a total enrollment of over 60,000. It is a huge diverse school located in paradise. They also offer almost any major you can think of since they are so isolated. Only problem would be identifying myself as a Rainbow Warrior.

2) UNLV- Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Another place I have never been that I would definitely have on my list. You hear it all the time, “What is there to do tonight?” I guarantee you that this is never an issue if you go to school here.  It’s a little bit bigger than MSU or Ole Miss with 28,000 students. Big but not too big. UNLV also boost a student makeup of 55% women so you have to like that number.

3) LSU- After the first two, this one may seem out of place but it belongs.  I have been here so I can vouch for it on the list. We saw how Robert Nkemdiche’s visit went: hang out with Shaq and a Wale concert.  The campus is not the most beautiful but let’s be honest, who cares? Tons a beautiful women and an energy only Louisiana can have. Go to Tiger Land and party like a rock star. I would try to visit during a big game such as Bama or Florida because there is not a game day experience in America like Death Valley at night.

4) Miami- Even though it hasn’t been the same lately, I would visit the U. Coral Gables is another paradise-like location. Miami isn’t near as big as the other (around 15,000) but has better academics than anyone on my list. Great education at Miami.  In 2012, U.S.News & World Report ranked UM as number  44 in its “Best Colleges” list. Can you imagine being an athlete at Miami and walking down South Beach? I could definitely see how that could influence a teenager.

5) Arizona State- As a teenager I would visit ASU for a couple reason. They are consistently ranked as the #1 party school in America by party frog.  Second off, they have an awesome mascot, The Sun Devils. It’s a huge school with total enrollment of over 72,000 and almost 60,000 at the Tempe campus alone. Great location for road trips being about 5 hours from Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

Welcome

I want to welcome everyone to my new blog.  I hope you enjoy me sharing my thoughts regarding to Mississippi State, SEC, and other various topics that come to mind.  One thing I want everyone to remember is that I am not a journalist.  I would consider myself as a fan with a hobby. Perhaps even a voice.  Any feedback is appreciated and I sincerely appreciate your visit to 3rdAnd57.

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