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JONFINEPRODUCTIONS.COM NEWSLETTER   6/15/17 Newsletter
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THE WIZARDRY OF OS
By Scott Osborne
Assistant Basketball Coach and Head Swimming Coach at Central High

        The regular season doesn’t matter.  If you have paid any attention to major sports recently, you have heard this sentiment.
        It makes sense.  Just look at the NBA.  The Warriors won a record 73 games last year, but did not win the title.  This year the Cavs didn’t concern themselves with defense or gaining the top seed in the East and walked into the Finals undefeated.  We all knew the Cavs and Warriors would meet in the Finals this year, and they did.
LSU baseball was bad for 5-6 weeks.  When the offense scored runs, the pitchers didn’t throw strikes and gave up runs.  When a pitcher had a good start, the offense couldn’t score.  It seemed like defensive innings for LSU were never 1-2-3, and lasted forever.  Meanwhile, LSU’s offense would only put pressure on the opponent in an inning or two, rarely throughout the game.
Despite all that, LSU won the SEC West, tied for the SEC Overall Championship, won the SEC Tournament, a Regional, and Super Regional.
LSU crowds know the regular season doesn’t matter.  The regular season crowd are terrible.  No energy in the stadium and tons of empty seats.  Look at the Super Regional though.  The games lasted until midnight and the Box was rocking and filled all night.
Clearly, the regular season doesn’t matter.
But, the Warriors had home court due to their regular season record and that definitely mattered.  The Cavs should have won both games at home, and that would have been a very different series if the Warriors were down 0-2 or tied 1-1 after the first two games.
The Warriors had to go through the process of learning Kevin Durant and Durant learning his teammates.  Durant had to come to understand that Draymond Green and the other Warriors expect, no demand their teammates to shoot on time when they are open.  The Warriors peaked at the end of the season, and that would not have been possible without a regular season.
LSU was able to host the Super Regional and was not matched up a national seed and that matters.  In addition, through LSU’s strong regular season finish, the Tigers had possibly the weakest Regional which definitely mattered when LSU did not play its best.
In the regular season, coaches are learn about their team, players learn about their coaches and their teammates.  Furthermore, players learn about themselves.  Kramer Robertson learned that he can hit .250 with power or hit .350 with occasional power.  Young players like Jake Slaughter can start strong, slump, learn, and grow up.
Most of this growth takes place in practice, in meetings, and through failure in the regular season.
I guess the regular season does matter.
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HEY REF
BY DENNIS DEARIE
VETERAL LOUISIANA HS REFEREE

        And here we go, LSU is back where they belong; in Omaha as part of those teams still fighting for that cherished national title. Fans will have many choices on where they can get the latest news, interviews, stories, etc. on the Tigers. I won’t add to that long list and will instead focus on what I believe is an unacceptable time for Major League Baseball to conduct a draft of collegiate players while their season is still being played out.
        Any and all playoffs, no matter the sport, require players to devote 150% of their time and concentration to what’s at hand. The majority of the time success demands getting “out of the blocks” clean so you’re not dropped into the loser’s bracket. Only half of the teams will of course win that first game and wining the first game must be placed on the top of the list of things that need to be done.
        LSU is on a roll and playing its best baseball in what seems to be decades to all of us that eat, sleep and live baseball. I don’t know of a single reason why the draft has to be done now instead of waiting just two more weeks down the road. If anyone does then please feel free to educate me on the reason(s) for the draft to be conducted before the colleges finish playing. Some say it’s a small distraction while others, like me, feel any distraction is a huge one when some schools are still on the diamond trying to secure the national title.
        My hat’s off to all of the players that decided to return for a chance at getting to Omaha. It just shows that this Tigers team has class built in and knows the millions will come their way but a shot at history is worth much, much more. I found myself searching for a four leafed clover today hoping it’ll bring some much needed luck for our Tigers to come home with the trophy and title “CHAMPIONS”!
        I want to share with everyone a joke I was told many years ago when Skip Bertman was leading LSU to National Championships and it goes something like this; a man went shopping with his wife while in Omaha for a souvenir jersey of their favorite team. He reached into his pocket and started writing a check. He was told the establishment didn’t accept checks. So he took out his credit card to pay for the items they’d just picked out.
        In the line next to him was another couple wearing purple and gold LSU shirts. The man reached into his pocket and began writing a check but he wasn’t stopped or told this establishment wouldn’t accept his check. They picked up the bag with the jerseys, said “Thank You” then went on their way.
        This didn’t sit very well with the customer who was told his check wouldn’t be accepted. He thought for a second then asked why the LSU fan’s check would be accepted and the reply that came back was “BECAUSE WE KNOW THEY’LL BE BACK NEXT YEAR”! It would be very nice to have LSU once again making the trip to Omaha a yearly tradition but when you lose as many players as LSU did this year it’s going to be one Hell of a job to repeat. LSU has done it on many occasions in Skip’s era and with a little luck, hard work and committed players there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect to make Nebraska a second home at the end of the college baseball season.
    Till next week…..
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