BASEBALL: Questions for the blog

There’s a new sheriff in Starkville-town. How does that affect Ole Miss? John Cohen recruited well while at Kentucky, and, frankly, the Ole Miss-Kentucky rivalry was becoming a bit spicy to the point of Ole Miss players expressing their dislike for Kentucky’s style and methods.

New coach, tradition-rich program, instant facilities. How does this affect the in-state rivalry?

Second question.

What does Mississippi State owe Ron Polk, and what does Ron Polk owe Mississippi State?

Certainly State owes him a debt of deep gratitude for a long run of success. Does it owe him the right to name the new coach?

Should Ron Polk expect that right?

I am a fan of Ron Polk for the time and energy he put into growing college baseball.

Polk could continue to be an ambassador for State and for the game, the kind of person who remains around the university, knowledgeable and involved in its programs, even if he’s not on staff.

But it looks like Ron Polk and MSU, synonymous for years, are headed for a nasty break-up.

— PA

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28 Responses to “BASEBALL: Questions for the blog”

  1. bigdraws Says:

    “But it looks like Ron Polk and MSU, synonymous for years, are headed for a nasty break-up.”

    I think this has been expected for awhile. Thanks PA. I’m looking forward to seeing a rebel view of this fiasco.

  2. george devaughn Says:

    polk should be happy they still hired within they got the best coach for the job .

  3. george devaughn Says:

    draws does he think hes owed that much to make that call or does just hate the new ad

  4. djrebel Says:

    Draws, I hope we can look at this from a state of Mississippi perspective and not a Rebel view.

    Obviously Ron is angry. From what I can gather he didn’t like some things Cohen did in pursuit of the job, but I think there was only one hire that would Ron would have deemed acceptable.

    I’m not sure he ought to make that call alone. I think he’s earned the right to have a great deal of influence and say, the right to express his opinion in the hiring process.

    I don’t know how much he was or wasn’t consulted.

    — PA

  5. bigdraws Says:

    I think they prolly all had a meeting or something to discuss it. I know of a former player that is pretty well known. He said former players and current players were consulted about it. Byrne came in at a rough time. I think it took guts to stand up to the face of the university. I hated it had to go that way, but I thought this might happen from the beginning. I think he’s lost his mind.

    PA if I couldn’t take some stabs and jokes about my team I wouldn’t come over here so often.

  6. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Coach Polk has been a great college baseball coach. He lead State and Ga to Omaha, unfortunately State did not get a championship. My congratulation to State on their new coach and to the coach himself. Miss State is a baseball school that brings great talent in. They will be back soon. Again, My congratulation to Coach Polk for a job well done. I don’t care what any you have to say about it. Coach Polk good coach.

  7. va reb Says:

    Since when does a college select his successor. They get paid to coach and choose their staff not annoint their successor. Polk has done a wonderful job but he’s not the athletic director.

  8. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Coach Polk has done a great job at State. I believe that he thinks Coach Cohen will continue to lead this State baseball program in a winning manner. Va reb we both military, retired military. In our experience,we appoint or give our recommendations the names of those we would like to replace us or in other positions. So ,I extend my respect to Ron Polk in any decisions or influence that he has made.

    Coach Cohen could be a thorn in the Rebels’s side should he bring in those long ball heavy hitter that he had at KY.

    Back to Rebel baseball; my belief, Ole Miss may be a better team next season. Just have to wait and seen.

    The best to you Va reb up there in that cool state of Va. Down here in fla the temps nearing 100.. Heat index a bit higher.

  9. bigdraws Says:

    You oughta right a book JB.

  10. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Scot McClellan wrote one, and what an A..hole, he is!!

  11. djrebel Says:

    Draws, you’re right, you could see this coming. Still disappointing though.

    Tough spot for Byrne, but in the end, he’ll have to fire the coach if it doesn’t work out. In the meantime, the respect factor between coach and AD is different if the coach knows the AD made the decision to hire him.

    — PA

  12. cr Says:

    Polk has a right to make a recommendation. He already left them Pat McMahon and that didn’t work so I figure his right to name a successor has been used.

    Cohen is a very good teacher of plate discipline. This type competition will create change for Bianco – one way or the other.

  13. jcdawgman18 Says:

    I think the hiring of Cohen immediatley fans the flames on the rivalry, as he took part in it during his own playing days and will bring a new level of intensity.

    I do feel very grateful for what Coach Polk has done, and what he did yesterday did not change that one bit. However, he should not be able to dictate everything that happens in the baseball program. He recommended Tommy Raffo, he should have stopped there. He should not expect to be able to dictate, as no one person is bigger than my university (I’m a student) or the Diamond Dawgs.

    With all that said, I hope the fences can be mended. Coach Polk did too much for too long for it to all end like this. From John Cohen’s comments today, he is willing to reach out if Coach Polk is willing to soften his stance. I also think there is a possibility that Tommy Raffo stays on at State in some capacity (Director of Baseball Operations, maybe?) if he does not land a head coaching job somewhere else. From Cohen’s comments today, I also do not think he is at all opposed to this thought. Overall, I think Greg Byrne did what he thought was best for Mississippi State and I am excited about the future of MSU baseball.

    Watch out, folks. The Dawgs will be back. It may not be next year, it may not be the year after that, but they will be back.

  14. djrebel Says:

    Thanks JC. Hard for me to believe Raffo would stay though. I’ve got a nephew who is a student at State, and he told me a lot of folks weren’t real excited about Cohen as coach when his name kept popping up as the leading candidate. Has that changed?

    — PA

  15. bc Says:

    PA,
    I think this (Polk’s situation) is a close parallel to the Joe Pa situation at Penn State.It’s gonna be needlessly messy because I don’t think Polk will leave gracefully a-la Paterno.Both are legends at their respective schools. It’s a shame because of what Polk has done for the college game and the college game in Mississippi in particular.If some of my fellow Rebel nation members can’t acknowledge that the reason that Ole Miss baseball has been elevated to its current status is because some influential alumni got tired of being owned by MSU in baseball then they are just delusional.That is apparently what it took to invest in coaches and facilities.

  16. charleston11 Says:

    Take LSU for example. Bertman is AD and can hire and fire coaches. Polk is not and can’t.

    Polks absence will hurt.

  17. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Ole Miss has not done too bad over the years in the baseball world, for example:
    Ole Miss has won six Southeastern Conference championships and has made 12 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Four times, the Rebels have advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Not counting the current season.
    They have put players in starting positions on many ML teams. Tolbert and Delucci, currently, Seth Smith standing in the wings at Colorado. Numerous minor league players at present. Jake Gibbs, standout catcher for the Yankees, Jack Reed also with the Yankees as a starting outfielder, Joe Gibbon, a starting pitcher for the Pirates, Donnie and Keith Kessingers, Donnie an allstar SS for the Cubs, and some others. From what I understand none of these players used steriods trying to better their performance of the game. They performed greatly with their God given talent.

  18. djrebel Says:

    BC that’s a great parallel between Polk and Paterno. I hate to see him break ties with State this way, but this situation will only improve if he improves it. State has made its hire, and it isn’t Tommy.

    — PA

  19. jcdawgman18 Says:

    I think the attitude changed once we got done playing them. People weren’t real happy with that weekend, with all the guys getting hit by pitches and the Sunday situation with both coaches getting tossed. Once the emotion of playing them passed and people started to really look at his resume, people came around to the idea of John Cohen as MSU baseball coach. Then, he won everyone over yesterday at his press conference with his obvious passion and desire. I think this is the right hire without a doubt.

  20. rebelfan38652 Says:

    PA, I have heard a rumor that knowshon moreno of Georgia has been kicked off of the team. I can’t find anything on it though so it leads me to believe that it is just a rumor. Have you heard anything?

  21. djrebel Says:

    Have not heard that. He’s a great back though.

    — PA

  22. djrebel Says:

    JC, everybody has passion and desire on hiring day. I think State has hired a good coach, as CR points out, with obvious differences in philosophy with Mike Bianco. Cohen has recruited and won at Kentucky, and he’s had Ole Miss’ number the last couple of years. The rivalry just got more interesting.

    — PA

  23. VA Reb Says:

    JB, agree that Polk SHOULD give his recommendation. Then like good military folks and anyone else with any sense, get out of the way and let the folks who do the hiring and firing (and take the hit for whatever decision they make) do their jobs. What you don’t do is trash the guy (AD) in charge and the incoming guy.

    By the way….the temperature in Fredericksburg is hitting 104 degrees today (actual temp…heat index about 115). So, Florida may be a good place to be!

    PA, agree, this is only going to ramp up the UM/UK rivalry which is a good thing for all concerned! Larry

  24. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    VA Reb: That’s hot! Could that heat be caused by all those double talking deceitful Washington DC politicians?

    See where you live in Fredericksburg; our next door neighbor at Patrick AFB, retired and moved to Fredericksburg. I think he went to work with gov contractor (or)?. Their last name George. He was an aircrew member on one of the “Snoopy Plane” that flew out of Patrick. I would guess he is fully retired now.

    Try to stay cool and avoid those Washington hypocrites.

  25. bigdraws Says:

    JB’s just all excited bc his boy got the Democtatic nomination.

  26. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    draws, you have just made this the worse day of my life! Thought you to be a friend. Friends don’t say something like that about their friend. Just the mention of democrat nauseates me. Not gona root for that State dawg baseball team again. A good day to you my young friend and I say friend. The Best, JB

  27. bigdraws Says:

    LOL!! Don’t worry…….Be happy!!!

  28. tom francis Says:

    john cohen is a fabulous baseball coach..ole miss was indeed fortunate to get him.greg byrne has a great future in starkville..while i do hope tommy raffo gets a top baseball job.i doubt many people outside of starkville ever heard of him, not that thats bad.as far as ron polk is concerned he has been a outstanding coach and even better person.what a shame for his tenure will have to end in this way.maybe coach can go apologize to mr byrne and in public to ole miss.maybe that will soften the entire thing…do it ron polk.

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