Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rocky Ward

McKinley Boston said that he would meet with Rocky Ward on June 13 to discuss the coach's future with the team.

Ward just completed the final year of his contract. The Aggies had a better year this season under Ward but it wasn't a standout campaign. They finished under .500 but still qualified for the WAC Tournament where they were eliminated following consecutive losses in the first round.

Offensively, the team put up runs. Still, defense and pitching was a constant problem for NMSU. Those two elements dictate if you win in baseball. Good pitching keeps you in just about every contest even if your offense is sputtering. And when you boot the ball around, it leads to unnecessary runs for the opposition.

The team did battle and did get better. They were an improved conference team. The fact that six of seven teams in the conference make the tournament seems too open ended. But NMSU finished in last the two seasons prior so a fifth place group was an improvement.

I think Ward should be brought back. He is a passionate coach who will talk about baseball for hours on end. He lives and breaths the game. The WAC underachieved this year on the diamond but it still is a strong conference. It's a tough hill to climb for the Aggies. I do believe Ward should continue to try and bring the program back to respectability.


Anonymous said...

You guys are forgetting that he inherited a heck of a program from his daddy, and has had three straight losing seasons.

The guy is toast!

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong, and that the Aggies should try a new direction and coach. If you look at the statistics on the Aggie baseball web site, I totalled up some offensive and defensive ones to see if in 2008 there was an improvement in the last 5 years. The results do not indicate there has been an improvement. We improved in hitting over 2007, but the only category of hitting that we were the best in the last 5 years was runs scored. Stolen bases is more an indicator or team speed and 2008 was the worst in the years 2004-2008. On the defensive/pitching side, 2008 was the worst year in 5 years in Fielding %, ERA, opposing team's batting average, and opposing batters hit by pitch.
If you look at national statistical ratings, again it is confirmed that we were one of the best offensive teams in the country. 286 universities play division 1 baseball. The Aggies were 3rd out of 286 in runs and 4th out of 286 in home runs. But we were 278 out of 286 in stoten bases,270th in ERA, 265th in hits allowed, 276th in Fielding %. It shows that the offensive approach is not good enough and hasn't been good enough for a long while. In the WAC tournament that we finally made, we were the first team eliminated. By following the same approach in the future, it is not going to get much better than perhaps making the tournament and then going out early. I think we need to try a different way.

Anonymous said...

Rocky should be given a chance to build. Boston isn't going to make that change because he would have to put up more money to hire a new coach. We don't have the money for that. So, he keeps Rocky and puts some goals and incentives in front of him and looks for better things out of the program.

One would think it should be easy to build a program in a warm weather place like Las Cruces. There are other warm weather schools who have quality programs and their facility (ball park) puts ours to shame. We have probably the worse ball park in the WAC and you know the hurts in recruiting.

Having said all that and supporting Rocky, I will say he needs to step up and prove he can do it and it isn't all what his dad can do. Maybe he needs to not have his dad on staff and try to get it done on his own. Cut the cord.

Anonymous said...

Some of you people don't understatnd what Coach Ward has to fight through to even be competitive in the WAC. NMSU has the worst playing facility in the WAC. (Check out the stadiums that Fresno State, Hawai'i, Nevada, and Louisiana Tech play in. San Jose State's is better, and although Sacramento State does not have lights, it is still a better baseball field). NMSU has 4 junior colleges with baseball programs within a four hour drive, all of the California schools have 4 within 30 minutes and 15 within four hours. This simple fact proves that NMSU has to work much harder in recruiting. Some people do not understand that the Aggies just made their 5th conference tournament in the history of the baseball program, all under a Ward. To win nine more WAC games in 2008 than a year ago is a very good turn around. You may say the 5th is not that good, but it was only 2 1/2 games out of a second place finish. The Aggies could have finished as high as second very easily. Some of you people don't understand college baseball including maybe Teddy, but let's take a whole look instead of the past 3 or 4 years. Recruiting coordinator Chase Tidwell just signed the largest class in NMSU history and the other "assistant coach" Gary Ward is a Hall of Famer. Let's give them 4 or 5 more years with equal budgets, and maybe the administration will improve the facilities and I have no doubt that Rocky will be as successful as anybody in the WAC year in and year out.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if any of you have seen the NMSU master plan, but a new baseball stadium is in the plans.

Anonymous said...

Of course Rocky can coach the game of baseball. Yes he should be given a chance to continue on his path. Good luck Rocky.

But, to the person who stated they have it so tough in recruiting; isn't that the case with all our sports teams? Yes!

It is very difficult recruiting to NMSU and Las Cruces. All facilities here are WAY behind other mid-major programs in the country. Yes, even the Pan Am center. The only thing they did to the Pan Am was built locker rooms, add offices (much needed) and a practice gym. People keep talking about the renovations of the Pan Am. What? They added an outer concourse walk way. Big deal! How does that help coaches recruit? It doesn't. Have you seen how pathetic the playing floor is in their or how bad those plastic seats are and the ugly blue, YELLOW and red colors? The football stadium looks like, well a Pop Warner team field. Moorpark junior college in California has a football stadium that looks just like ours. Why not add a nice brick looking outside to the football stadium so it would attract more fans and recruits? The baseball stadium is bad and in need of major renovations. Be careful walking on the little league type bleachers they put in there.

Again, yes it is difficult for all our teams to recruit. There aren't a lot of top recruits willing to DRIVE all the way to Las Cruces for an unofficial visit, which means our coaches have to use up their official visits and they only get so many of them.

We have it tough all the way around, so don't make it sound like its only a baseball program problem. Last time I checked this is a warm weather state and I think we play pretty good high school baseball here.

Rocky should stay, Rocky will stay.

Anonymous said...

Mumme got a one year extension.

I say give him a two year contract and let's see what he can do.

Anonymous said...

Rocky is a good family man who also knows how the game of baseball.

Boston is stuck on the number "3" when it comes to contracts, so he will give Rocky a three year deal with some incentives, but won't give him a raise of any kind.

If Boston wasn't going to keep Rocky, he would have met with him earlier so he could've started the search process by now. The main goal for the program this year was to make the WAC tournament. Rocky did that, so let's move on.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about this years baseball camp but, even coach Ward doesn't know if he's going to be around.

We'll see a week from today.

Anonymous said...

I saw you article on FB attendance.

You mentioned all home games are on Saturday.
I went to the NMSU web site and Nicholls St. is scheduled for, Thursday, 9/4. Has the game been changed to a Saturday?

Attendance will be key and so will wins this year, if the program is to move forward.
I honestly think we need to be 3-1 by the time we open conference play. That means beating UNM and Utep!

Win those rivalry games, a couple of early WAC wins and we will get 20,000+ fans!

2-2 into conference play and we get 16,000 fans.

1-3 (lose to UNM and Utep, hugh) the fan base will drop off.

Bottom line?
People are excited when the season start and the FB team needs to build into that excitement.

Whats more exciting than beating your rivals to start the season?!


Anonymous said...

Rocky Ward should be given certain incentives and a new 3-4 year contract for a role he has shown improvement on showing dedication to his players and coaching staff. There has been a lot of close games this past season and of course baseball can be where you win some, you lose some. Mr. McKinley-Boston is a strong athletics director and he should realize the importance of a coach's experience and committment to the team and education of their players. Rocky Ward is a faithful family man and works very hard with the resources he is given through the NMSU's "operational" budget. I support our NMSU baseball team whom has a few good hitters and consistent players who are there to win with Rocky Ward to still be their coach this next few seasons. The team is headed in the right direction and I am sure we will be a higher seed in the WAC tournament coming next year to surprise us all in the NCAA baseball league. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Either the Aggies have already left the WAC, or the MLB scouts do not think much of Rocky's players. Here is the list of WAC baseball players drafted:
WAC Players Selected
Rd.-Pick, Name, Pos., School, Team
2-48, Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Fresno State, Pittsburgh

5-144, Justin Wilson, LHP, Fresno State, Pittsburgh

10-319, Gabe Jacobo, 3B, Sacramento State, L.A. Angels

13-399, Matt Daly, RHP, Hawai‘i, Tampa Bay

13-407, Erik Wetzel, 2B, Fresno State, Colorado

14-432, Luke Burnett, RHP, Louisiana Tech, Seattle

15-457, Albie Goulder, 1B, Louisiana Tech, L.A. Dodgers

15-471, Jason Rodriguez, 3B, Nevada, Cleveland

16-483, Justin Miller, RHP, Fresno State, Texas

18-542, David Flores, 3B, Sacramento State, Houston

19-586, Steve Susdorf, OF, Fresno State, Philadelphia

20-611, Jericho Jones, OF, Louisiana Tech, Chicago Cubs

21-651, Ryan Blair, OF, Sacramento State, Cleveland

21-652, Jonathan Hee, 2B, Hawai‘i, Boston

23-706, Brandon Haislet, OF, Hawai‘i, Philadelphia

24-723, Adam Cobb, OF, Louisiana Tech, Texas

27-817, Clayton Allison, RHP, Fresno State, L.A. Dodgers

31-947, Rod Scurry, RHP, Nevada, Colorado

36-1076, Daniel Eastham, RHP, Nevada, Baltimore

38-1134, Alan Knotts, RHP, Louisiana Tech, Pittsburgh

48-1440, Dylan Moseley, RHP, Louisiana Tech, Chicago Cubs

49-1462, Matt Bowman, 2B, Nevada, Oakland

50-1496, Landon Hernandez, C, Hawai‘i, Detroit

No Aggies drafted.

Anonymous said...

As someone close to the aggie baseball program heres my opionion. The facilities are absolutely terrible. Although they have improved, they are still 10-15 years behind most mid major schools. so this is a huge factor in recruiting. if an 18 year old comes and visits nmsu then visits say hawaii or fresno state they would probably laugh at nmsu. As for rocky, many changes need to be made. yes they can hit but anyone who knows baseball knows good pitching will always beat good hitting. example, two and out in the conference tournament. This program will not survive without his daddy being here. Rocky has proven he cant do with without daddy so the AD must insure if he is going to keep rocky he must keep daddy here. because if not, this program will fall even further!

Anonymous said...

I think personally you guys are all ignorant when it comes to baseball and NMSU. Rocky is a good coach who is willing to take a pity salary and has done a great job in bringing in players. Like everyone has stated the facilities suck. Schools in the mid west have better stadiums than NMSU and thats a problem. You also got to realize that its not all about the coaching either its about both on and off the field. His players have been improving academically as well which in real life matters more than baseball unless your one of the select few that makes it in the "Big Leagues". About the guy who posted that there were so many players recruited. Write down all those names and follow up on them, I bet 2 out of every 5 is out of the minors after the first year. Give it time, he has built a program with what little help he gets from the school.