Fighting words

Keith Cordero Jr.

Cougars can handle it

The MLB draft is over, and although Wes Musick and Michael Goodnight were drafted, I believe both pitchers will play college baseball.

I have personally talked to Goodnight, and he is telling me he will probably go to Houston and not the Cleveland Indians, by whom he got drafted in the 27th round. The righthander can throw gas and hit the baseball with great power.

The lefty, Musick, went in the 24th round to my favorite team, the San Francisco Giants. It was a great year for Musick, who went 8-4 in 97.1 innings with a 4.35 ERA, which landed him a Conference USA second team spot. Musick may feel like making the jump to the big leagues with a quality sophomore year now under his belt.

As for next year’s pitching rotation, the Cougars should be fine with the addition of Goodnight, and if Musick returns they will make another postseason run. The rest of the team will have an entire offseason to improve their game and the team will be exciting once again in 2009.

Ronnie Turner

He’s good, but not great

Keith, were you drunk when you wrote that Wes Musick had a great season in 2008? Since when does an 8-4 record with a 4.35 ERA constitute a great season? Dude, those numbers wouldn’t be considered great for a high school pitcher, so we know they aren’t great for a Division I pitcher.

You obviously meant to say Musick had a good season, which he did. He tied freshman closer Chase Dempsay for the team lead in wins, and he struck out a team-high 87 batters. He even got off to a scorching 7-1 start.

However, things fell apart afterward for Musick, who went 1-3 with a 6.26 ERA over his last seven starts. He would do well to return for another year of seasoning.

But make no mistake: Musick is still the ace, and he and Goodnight would make a great 1-2 combo. Dempsay will be the backbone of the bullpen, and freshman infielder Ty Stuckey, freshman pitcher Jared Ray and sophomore pitcher John Touchton have the potential to be solid starters. That would be a nice foundation for the Cougars’ pitching staff.

Rodney Leonhardt

Musick or no Musick, Cougars can make it

You have to give Musick a little more credit than that. I agree that a 4.35 ERA is nothing to go gaga over, no matter how much one has been drinking. However, consider the fact that in 12 decisions the lefty collected eight wins. Musick only appeared in 18 games, 15 of which he started.

This isn’t going to win him any pitching titles, but when it comes to winning a conference championship, reaching Regionals or punching that ticket to Omaha, a winning percentage such as Musick’s is vital for success.

Whether he decides to return, the Cougar pitching is in good hands. Freshman pitcher Chase Dempsay proved to be solid in a season in which he recorded eight wins himself while sporting a 2.53 ERA.

If Michael Goodnight’s soft-verbal agreement with Keith carries out (as I personally hope it does), then the young pitcher/hitter will be a great addition to the Houston arsenal. With our returning starters and their experience in the conference and playoffs, Houston could be well on its way in 2009.

Judge Dredd

Slams mean success

That’s what Judge Dredd is talking about, Ronnie. It was by far not the best insult ever dished out on Fighting Words, but your little insinuation suggesting Keith was under the influence was the first putdown Judge Dredd has read in a while.

It takes Judge Dredd back to 2005, when he created this forum so young journalists could share their sports knowledge while dishing out insults on their fellow participants.

The key is to be able to do both. Just a little hint: Judge Dredd rewards more for smack-talking than just spitting stats.

Say for instance, if Rodney had said, "Ronnie your response was as played out as a Brett Favre’s comeback story."

Or if Keith would have taken initiative and called Rodney a girly-man. That would have been pretty random and exciting, just how Judge Dredd likes his ladies.

Verdict: Ronnie wins. Realistic goals for the baseball team are always nice and Judge Dredd gave extra points for the put-down.

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