Open letter to Coach's Holder/Holliday/Walton from a fan who wants to be a FAN

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PJCB67

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Jul 1, 2004
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North Central Okla
#1
I would like to be a fly on the wall when the Baseball program gets its year end review. I would hope that there is a very healthy dose of "What the heck are you doing to for me now" served up by Coach Holder. In my opinion the program is floundering and has been for a couple of years in ALL phases of the game, pitiful pitching, embarrassing defensive play and inept batting approach at the plate. It's time the staff take responsibility for putting a poor product on the field. This off-season should be a do or die year for this staff. The current program does not deserve to move in to a new facility if the on field product quality is not significantly better.

To this fan, Coach Holliday need to be responsible for the whole program, not everything except pitching. From this fan's perspective, Coach Walton can handle off-field pitching matters, mound visits, and make recommendation but Coach Holliday needs to be the one making the decision. Also, why do we have a Division 1 Baseball program with no apparent full time hitting coach. The batters all think they can only try to put the ball over the fence with every swing. No discipline at the plate is evident, for multiple years now.

From a fans perspective, the fan base is underserved in the area of radio and television distribution to the point that it appears that the program doesn't want to build it's fanbase past those few who live close enough to see the live product.

Just saying.
 
Aug 31, 2008
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#2
Some of you guys are a bunch of spoiled cry babies. we have been to a regional 6 years in a row and were one game away from playing a 3 game for the national championship. Josh is here to stay and i am glad we have him. Once that stadium is built, recruiting will get a lot better and then we will be a fixture in the college world series. Sometimes things dont go your way and the last two years have been rough on our pitching staff but we still made a regional both years.
 
Aug 24, 2015
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#5
It is people like this guy that drives me crazy, everyone other than him apparently knew that this was a young team with a lot of new pieces and that this year was going to be a struggle. Also the injuries and depletion of the pitching staff was unreal, when 3 guys that are brought in to basically be your weekend rotation are out all year what do you expect. NO one and I mean NO one can control arm injuries they happen. So what Rob and Josh were able to do with a make shift pitching staff was next to incredible. It goes to show how out of tune you are that people nationally have said this was one of josh's best coaching seasons with everything he had to deal with. I will agree with you one ONE point they need to do something about hitting, Vilade may need to be gone. I know they brought him hoping that his son would wait on going pro and show up on campus but it didn't work. So maybe we should start looking for someone else. For you to say next year is do or die for this staff is just plain stupid, we have yet miss a regional since Josh has been here we were one game away from playing for a national championship 2 years ago. You need to quit over reacting and calm down.
 
Apr 14, 2017
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#6
Things are not trending upward. They barely got in the tournament the last two years. Recruiting and retention is average, hitters who clearly lack good coaching, injuries for pitchers (is it conditioning or walton’s teaching), complete lack of fundamentals in all phases of defense.

Getting smoked the last two years in regional play by such powerhouses as Stetson, Missouri State, and oral Roberts is not a sign things are improving.

Josh is still the guy for the job but staffing changes should be considered. I’m not sure what villade offers. Hire a freaking hitting coach is a must. I watched numerous other regional games and teams like Troy have great approaches at the plate compared to OSU. We should be an attractive job for an assistant who specializes in hitting.
 

tony6777

Anthony
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Aug 10, 2009
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Tulsa, OK
#7
For this season, we were in bad shape pitching-wise, several of our starting pitchers were injured. Good grief, cut em' some slack. I think they've done very well this season, all things considered. Before you go harping on the coaches like you just did... Hey man, have you done your part and ponied up some serious $$ to contribute to the new baseball stadium? Last I checked, our coaches have been doing amazing things to pull in the level of talent we have had. In typical OSU fashion, we've been doing much more with much less. When our new stadium is erected, I think we see a significant boost in talent and performance. OSU baseball will be back in Omaha and all eyes will be on what we've got in Stillwater, OK! Relax dude.
 
Oct 30, 2007
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#9
If Coach Holder asked Coach Holliday what he's done for him lately, his answer would be that he finished 2nd in the conference despite a multitude of injuries and having the worst facilities in the league to recruit to. Then he would turn it around and ask Coach Holder why it took a decade to raise the money for the baseball stadium after he lost it when the hedge fund collapsed.

Coach Holliday has done a great job. He's been a great leader of this program and a great ambassador for the university. I heard him doing a season recap this morning. He was holding back tears talking about how proud he is of this team and talking about the seniors. I wouldn't want anyone else leading this program.

Coach Walton did a great job with all of the injuries he had to deal with this year. He's also shown that he's capable of putting together one of the best staffs in college baseball. We don't make the CWS without the dominant staff he built. I'm really glad we didn't lose him after that season to another head coaching job.

The one spot that has been underwhelming is offense. We finished ranked 200th in the country in team batting average. That isn't acceptable regardless of how young you are. I'm a casual fan and I'm not sure why we've struggled offensively the past few years. I'm not sure if we've been devoting more scholarships to pitching, struggling in recruiting, or struggling to develop the talent once they get here. This is something Coach Holliday is going to have to figure out. He knows this program better than anyone and he's going to have to decide whether or not Coach Vilade has what it takes get us to where we want to be.

The last month and a half has been tough to stomach, but the future of this program is really bright. I can't wait to see the stadium built. GO POKES! :thumbup:
 
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Feb 14, 2014
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#10
Some of these clowns are no different than the dads that sit in the stands during little league games using the benefit of hindsight to tell us "What we shoulda done..."

Sorry, but I will follow where Holliday and Walton lead us (You know, the guys who actually are involved in practice, who have scouted the opposition and actually coach for a living) rather than you keyboard geniuses.

Go do something productive with your energy. It seems you could stand to blow off a little steam...
 

Takeout Slide

Hardcore Troubadour
Nov 10, 2009
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#11
yeesh

and I thought it was just our football fans that were unreasonable. Our baseball program is just fine dude. Step off the ledge.
I think our football fans are far more reasonable. Most of them seem to understand that sans Mason Rudolph, the wins may be harder to come by this year.

Baseball team loses their Rudolph and Hill and half their offensive line and still finds a way to finish in the top 32 teams in the country, but folks think it's time to put the coaches on the hotseat.

A word of caution to those ready to jump off the bandwagon. Depending on the draft, next year's team has the potential to be one of the best yet under Holliday. Might be worth hanging in there to see how things go once everyone is healthy again. I have a hunch you'll be much happier this time next year than you are today.
 

PJCB67

Wrangler
Jul 1, 2004
238
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North Central Okla
#12
Wow guess I touched the middle rail here, ouch! I can give you the comments on the pitching but it's been three or four years since we have had a good hitting team. By good hitting, I'm saying attempting to put the ball in play instead of all nine trying to occasionally hit one out, but mostly striking out. The other area we have shown great weakness the is fundamental defense. That and hitting have very little to do with how many pitchers are out with injuries.
 

AshlandFlash

It seemed like a good idea at the time
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Aug 24, 2007
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#13
Wow guess I touched the middle rail here, ouch! I can give you the comments on the pitching but it's been three or four years since we have had a good hitting team. By good hitting, I'm saying attempting to put the ball in play instead of all nine trying to occasionally hit one out, but mostly striking out. The other area we have shown great weakness the is fundamental defense. That and hitting have very little to do with how many pitchers are out with injuries.
Your grasp on reality is a little loose. You base too much on only bad result, and miss out on good result.

A .300 hitter (not a bad average) gets put out 70% of the time. (Excluding walks, hbp, sacrifice, etc.)
 
Nov 14, 2010
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#14
I think our football fans are far more reasonable. Most of them seem to understand that sans Mason Rudolph, the wins may be harder to come by this year.

Baseball team loses their Rudolph and Hill and half their offensive line and still finds a way to finish in the top 32 teams in the country, but folks think it's time to put the coaches on the hotseat.

A word of caution to those ready to jump off the bandwagon. Depending on the draft, next year's team has the potential to be one of the best yet under Holliday. Might be worth hanging in there to see how things go once everyone is healthy again. I have a hunch you'll be much happier this time next year than you are today.
I don't disagree, however, I would prefer to keep the "Wait until next year" mantra for football.

While there were major injuries to the pitching staff, Teel Lienhard Varela, Basso, Battenfield, Aleaziz should have been a better staff than they were.

Our defense should have been better, and we have good offensive players in our lineup that should have been better as well.

The pitching staff injuries are a good reason why we didn't win the Big 12 or a regional, but they are nota good excuse for why it was so ugly at times.
 
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Takeout Slide

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#15
Wow guess I touched the middle rail here, ouch! I can give you the comments on the pitching but it's been three or four years since we have had a good hitting team. By good hitting, I'm saying attempting to put the ball in play instead of all nine trying to occasionally hit one out, but mostly striking out. The other area we have shown great weakness the is fundamental defense. That and hitting have very little to do with how many pitchers are out with injuries.
Yes and no. Despite the strikeouts, this team still averaged almost 6 runs/game, which was good for second most of all of Holliday's teams (slightly behind the 2014 team). On the other hand, this pitching staff had an ERA almost 2 runs/game higher than the average Walton pitching staff. Walton's worse ERA prior to 2017 was 3.25. An ERA even close to that would have won this team a lot more games. In fact, they might still be playing.

If you come into a season knowing that the pitching is going to be a struggle, you might well be thinking that I've got to put guys out there who can put runs on the board with one swing. It's the same reason that every football fan expects that our success or lack thereof in the upcoming season is going to depend a whole lot on how good Justice Hill can be. When you are limited in one area, you have to make up for it somewhere else.

I've said several times on these boards that I'm not a fan of this boom or bust approach that is becoming more and more en vogue across baseball. I sincerely hope that we are not planning to make that our style as it's not a recipe for success in the college game, and it's doomed to fail in the end at least as long as the CWS is played at TD Ameritrade. But I'm willing to withhold judgment until I see us underperforming in a year when we should be better. This was not that year, nor was last year. Next year should be.

Regarding defense, I agree to an extent. And that's where James Vilade is responsible, not the offense like some on here have implied/stated. But again, a team's defense often goes hand in hand with it's pitching. When a pitcher struggles to find the zone, works slowly, puts free runners on base, etc., the defense falls asleep. Best defense we saw all weekend was when Heasley pitched. Why? No walks until late, worked quick and let his defense do the work.
 
Nov 14, 2010
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#17
So you agree but you don't agree?
Correct

I agree that injuries really hampered our chances at winning anything significant, but I don't agree that they are an excuse for striking out 19 times in a game or playing such bad baseball at times this year.

This program has not shown any grit, in my opinion, since Donnie Walton graduated.

I am a huge Josh Holliday fan and I think a lot of the issues that are hampering this program right now snuck up on him, so I do think he will get this fixed.
 
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Oct 30, 2007
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#18
Regarding defense, I agree to an extent. And that's where James Vilade is responsible, not the offense like some on here have implied/stated. But again, a team's defense often goes hand in hand with it's pitching. When a pitcher struggles to find the zone, works slowly, puts free runners on base, etc., the defense falls asleep. Best defense we saw all weekend was when Heasley pitched. Why? No walks until late, worked quick and let his defense do the work.
TIL. I thought Vilade was the hitting coach. Is Josh in charge of hitting or is it a group effort by the entire staff?
 

Takeout Slide

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#19
Correct

I agree that injuries really hampered our chances at winning anything significant, but I don't agree that they are an excuse for striking out 19 times in a game or playing such bad baseball at times this year.
I quoted your original post before you edited it. Thanks for clarifying.

I don't disagree. I'm not a fan of the approach, but I'm also not certain that the staff felt that this "jumbo lineup" as they called it wasn't our best option to try and make up for the pitching struggles they knew we were likely to endure.

Anyway, I've already waded further into this thread than I wanted to, so I'll just say this. I'm not trying to sound like Baghdad Bob here. Maybe the infidels really are at the gates and things are crumbling all around us, but I just have a hard time believing that this coaching staff that was so good (in everyone's opinion) up until 2016 suddenly forgot how to coach at the exact same time that our pitching staff became a MASH unit. Some seem to have become convinced of that. I'm just saying that next year, when the injuries should no longer be an excuse, will be the better litmus test.
 

Takeout Slide

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#20
TIL. I thought Vilade was the hitting coach. Is Josh in charge of hitting or is it a group effort by the entire staff?
I've been to more practices than I can count - during Lees' time and Vilade's time - and I've never seen anyone but Josh coach hitting. I can't say what goes on behind the scenes, but I've always understood that Josh is the hitting coach and that JV (and ML before him) coached the defense and coordinated recruiting. Others who are closer to the program might know better and correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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