Monday, June 9, 2008

Manager meltdown

Ron Polk is Mississippi State University baseball. He's been a part of the program since 1976. He's the winningest coach in SEC history in any sport. He's the "Polk" in Polk-DeMent Stadium, home of the MSU Bull Dogs. And since retiring from the University he has left every bridge in a blaze of glory behind him.

According to the Clarion Ledger, a paper in Mississippi, Polk had thought long time assistant Tommy Raffo was the guy in line to take over the baseball program upon his departure. But incoming MSU athletic director Greg Byrne had other plans.

Byrne is bringing in now ex-Kentucky coach John Cohen to take over the reigns. And how does Polk feel about it?

"I just got slapped in the face, punched in the stomach. All my coaches have been slapped in the face, punched in the stomach by a young athletic director who has absolutely no clue what he's doing."

Sooo... I'm assuming he doesn't like the move? He's retiring anyways, what can he really do about it? Nothing a simple letter of disapproval can't express, right? You'd think, except this is what Polk is demanding in said letter:

"within 48 hours, my name comes off the stadium, comes off the centerfield fence, the banner off the concourse comes down. It will remain down until (Byrne) gets fired or somebody runs him off. Now he's got me on the warpath and all I can do is hurt him. I'm going to do everything I can to make his life miserable."

A real team player, that Ron Polk. Way to help the transition go as smoothly as possible. Not only has he thrown the new A.D. under the bus, he's made things as uncomfortable as humanly possible for the new coach.

It is worth mentioning that Cohen (the incoming coach) played under Polk between 1987-90, along with "snubbed" candidate - and still an assistant as of today - Raffo! Um... awkward! Oh, to be a fly on the wall at that first coaches meeting...

Polk has also informed his former player that he does not give his support in any way, and finished his complaints by stating that he will now remove MSU from his will.

You're retiring, coach, so you've been around long enough to know that you don't always get what you want. Take some of your new-found free time and grow up.

In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night in the "big boy" league...
There's no crying for these guys; Mariano Rivera lost his second game of 2008 after allowing a 9th inning homer to Jose Guillen of the Royals ... Tigers starter Dontrelle Willis was rocked by the Indians; he lasted just an inning and a third, allowing 8 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks. Is that the complete opposite of efficiency?

And finally, in "other sports on occasion" bad news, the Bears have released Cedric Benson after his weekend DUI. No worries in Chicago, though, as this likely improves their team.

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