After being swept by No. 10 Arkansas with a 13-3 loss today, MSU falls to 16-16 on the year and 3-9 in SEC play. During the postgame talk with second-year coach John Cohen, it was clear he was having trouble containing his frustration and his emotions.
"I'm embarrassed. Not by our players, I'm embarrassed by where our program is right now," he said. "There are others who should be embarrassed as well. I'm not going to list them. That's where we are. I'm a proud alumni, this isn't where our program needs to be. I know where it's going to be, but I've been here before."
I'll leave it to you to guess who those "others" might be. Clearly, Cohen believes MSU baseball never should have reached such depths. The Bulldogs are working on a third consecutive last-place finish in the SEC, the first coming in Ron Polk's final season.
"I apologize to our fans for having to watch this. Believe me, it's more difficult for our players and coaches than it is for our fans," Cohen said.
And yet Cohen maintains a positive outlook for the long term. He fully expects to get MSU back on top, and very soon.
"I know we're going to get better. I've been here before – this is exactly where we were at Kentucky. Exactly."
Here are some other comments from Cohen.
• On Arkansas LHP Randall Fant: "I thought he's an average SEC freshman left-hander who really picked up a lot of momentum when we took horrible swings."
• On getting just four hits: "It's going to have to get better in a hurry, because the league doesn't give a crap whether we can discern between balls and strikes."
• On holding himself responsible for his team's failures: "When I was a child, I would watch a TV show every Sunday where a guy said, 'If we lose, it's my fault.' That was Paul Bryant. I'm not a Paul Bryant, but that's what I'm going to do."
• On injured LHP Nick Routt: "I'm getting a lot of jumbo about how far he can straighten his arm out. Either he can pitch or he can't. We'll ask him that question in the middle of the week. That's not science, that's looking a young man in the eye and saying, 'Can you and do you want to pitch?' We'll find out. It's all in Nick Routt's corner. 'Can you and do you want to pitch?' Half of that is science I guess, medicine, the other half is does he want to pitch. And my assumption is, knowing Nick, that he does want to pitch. If that's the case, then we'll get out there, and hopefully he'll have a chance to pitch."