Opinion

WVU baseball coach tossed in effort to break slump

A column by Dave Hickman of The Charleston Gazette

Charleston Gazette courtesy photo WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey
Charleston Gazette courtesy photo
WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It retrospect, even Randy Mazey would probably admit that it was a silly thing to do.

Baseball players and coaches are, of course, among the most superstitious of our species. You don’t talk about no-hitters. You wear your rally caps backwards or inside-out. You don’t change socks or shorts or whatever the lucky charm might be in the middle of a winning streak. You change it all when you’re losing.

Oh, and you don’t say things like, “I’ve never been thrown out of a contest yet.’’

As if things weren’t going lousy enough for Mazey and his West Virginia baseball team already, he can no longer boast that he’s never been tossed. He did so the very day the Mountaineers were to begin a three-game series against TCU and somehow managed to get through two of the three games before fate caught up with him in Sunday’s third game.

Not that Mazey was complaining, mind you.

“There’s times during a season that the team needs to know that I’ve got their back,’’ Mazey said. “I wanted them to know that I have their back and I believe in what they’re doing and I’ll fight tooth and nail until they throw me out of here.’’

There are, however, consequences. A day afterward, the NCAA came down pretty hard on the third-year WVU coach. The organization suspended him for two games because of his ejection, meaning he’ll miss tonight’s non-conference game at Virginia Tech and the opener of a series at Oklahoma State this weekend.

All in all, it seems pretty harsh for a guy who says he was just trying to let his players know he has their backs. But the rule book says you can’t engage in “prolonged arguing or unsportsmanlike conduct following an ejection…

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