They say returning to an old habit is just like riding a bike.
Well, I’m here to tell you the last time I was on a bike I ended up with a wrist injury not anticipating a curb to be a curby as it was, this also happened at the end of a night of birthday celebrations, read into that as you wish.
It seems for me, I can replace “like riding a bike” with “like writing on Big Ten baseball”, we’re back and it feels pretty natural.
It’s been a while since 10 Innings was full of consistent and quality insights. A whole pandemic in fact. The weekend before the world shut down, I was in Malibu watching Michigan’s weekend set against Pepperdine. The high of watching the College World Series runner-up against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, texting scouts to see how the battery of Seth Lonsway and Dillon Dingler looked, a weekend after being in Minneapolis as Max Meyer put to rest any doubt he was worthy of being a top three draft pick, with a dominant outing against North Carolina. Things felt great.
Then it all stopped.
The 2020 season was canceled. The 2021 was something and at that point the same desire and energy just wasn’t there.
Well, the desire has returned and what a time for it to do so.
It’s hard to believe but there are five new Big Ten coaches since the end of that shortened 2020 season. While some are familiar faces and known names, Maryland’s Matt Swope, Michigan’s Tracy Smith and Northwestern’s Ben Greenspan, there’s Penn State’s Mike Gambino and Ohio State’s Bill Mosiello, that I know nothing of or the type of program they lead. There will be fun in seeing what’s ahead of these new leaders. And that’s before those five will have another four new coaches with the addition of Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington, though friend of site Mark Wasikowski returns with the additional of the Ducks.
The Big Ten is coming off of a banner year of producing premium prospects. Nine players were selected in the first five rounds, including three shortstops in the first 42 picks. Now there’s a year where it’s not out of the realm Iowa has three pitchers among the first 100 picks.
More and more national outlets are dedicating a column or writer to things in the Big Ten. Hopefully the new television deals where CBS and NBC were added as broadcast partners provide more games that are presented to the masses. Hopefully whatever mess the current state of Twitter/X is doesn’t make it too chaotic to keep up and engage in conversation. Hopefully this site can be a good thing again.
There’s going to be some catching up to do. It’s easier for me to recall every Big Ten Player of the Year from 2009-2019 than the last three. I really don’t have much feel for rosters right now, except from having a televised looked at Indiana, Iowa and Maryland in their NCAA runs. And I think I need added back to 10 email distribution lists.
But all of that will come, and I hope there’s a few that will come back and be along the ride. -Chris Webb