Jon Mueller is entering his sixth season as head coach of the Great Danes. A year ago, Albany posted a program-best record of 37-14, including 14-7 in the America East Conference. Mueller, the 2004 America East Coach of the Year, will be checking in each week of the 2005 season.







May 13, 2005

A Seawolf, a Bearcat, Coney Island and a Ray of Hope


We entered Long Island with a firm stance on the goal at hand. We needed to go down and get two out of three to get ourselves back in form.


At the end of the day Saturday we were down 2-0, and I was left gasping for air.

Stony Brook got some big contributions from the bottom of its order, and got it done. It was a long day for the Danes, but we needed to bow our necks the following day…

Sunday came, and the offense exploded for runs in bunches, and we went home with a small fruit for our labor.


Our non-league game was vs. St. Francis down on Coney Island.


The winds were blowing out 40 mph, and their lead off hitter left three times. The last one was a nice shot off the top of the scoreboard. It even rolled around a little bit before it found a resting place. We had a 7-0 lead after one-half inning, and we were down one by the 7th?


What a beautiful game this is.


We held on for a one-run win, and left Coney Island, Nathan’s Hot Dog stand, and the city that never sleeps behind.


Our next test was Binghamton. Looking at the stats preceding the weekend, we needed to keep guys off bases, and pitch it pretty good to stay close. We put up double-digit runs two times and lost the rubber match on Monday. It was a great weekend for the Bearcats, and one which will be difficult to recover from.


We have lost two out of three the first four weekends in conference play, and I am trying to estimate how much of a role I have played in our current status. Maybe I should have brought our closer out of the pen?? Maybe I should have played a younger guy? The line-up is a way to shake up a ball club if done properly. Bottom line is: We are in sixth place with A LOT of work to do.


I look at the young guys, and they are a little dazed. The seniors are feeling their time coming to an end, and I want them to enjoy these last few weeks together. It is not just about one spring, it is about four years together as a family. Roles on the team can change, but the relationships you have with your teammates will remain.


We headed to Hartford knowing we needed to sweep to have any chance. The first game followed our plan, but the 7-inning middle game turned into a 4-hour, 45-minute war, which lasted 12 innings and had to be halted due to a town ordinance. The following day we came out and finished the job, and left Connecticut with a ray of hope.


UMBC comes to town this weekend, and the guys know what has to happen if they want to extend their season. It is no mystery, it doesn't need to be driven home with a hammer.


Matter of fact, I told the guys before Sunday's second game, "Don't put any pressure on yourselves, if you lose your eliminated today."


Some of the guys looked at me with crossed eyes, some laughed it off. It was a shot at loosening the guys up before another big tilt. Sometimes you have more talent and can still lose series. We have done it in the past, and will probably do it again. Important thing is learning from your screw-ups.


Recruiting is in full swing, and the ears are ringing when the phone isn't. Trying to get two more biggins, and an arm or two is never enough.


Summer school, summer baseball and some time at The Racetrack in Saratoga in August are on the docket. Hope to find some kids who want to do it in the Northeast. Look forward to exchanging stories with my friends in the coaching profession over some games and some bad meals.


Lots of mud, lots of hot dogs, and lots of protein bars for the travels. Good luck to the teams on the fringe, and to those who have already got it done. Heck of a job at North Carolina A&T. Good ball club.


See you soon.




Previous Entries

Back Where I Come From (4/21/05)

Clear Skies, New Pearls, Tabula Rosa (4/11/05)

It's a Great Day to be Alive (3/31/05)

Beginning to See the Grass (3/17/05)

Opening Day is Here (3/8/05)

For Those About to Rock, We Salute You (2/18/05)

The Waiting is the Hardest Part (2/9/05)


(photo courtesy of Albany Media Relations Office)