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The Sports Troll: LSU baseball and a Tiger Stadium beer garden

Have you ever put on an outfit that just doesn’t fit the way that you’d like it to?

Sure, each individual item may look nice and everything, but even if just one thing in the ensemble is even a little bit off, you’ll just look and feel uncomfortable all day.

I know it all too well. My favorite t-shirt is an orange AAU basketball shirt. But it’s about a half-size too small. If I get the larger size, it would be a half-size too big. I try to make that shirt fit, but it just doesn’t look the way that I’d want it to look, and because of that, I look and feel like I’m in an ant pile all day when I wear it.

To me, that’s the LSU baseball team right now during their mid-week games.
On the surface, they have all of the right pieces in place to look well-dressed – a team that can win every, single time they take the field.

But when they actually walk out of the dugout and onto the field, it doesn’t take long to see that something just isn’t working, and the pieces aren’t fitting the way they’re supposed to.

And it all just looks … uncomfortable.

The Tigers’ loss against Tulane on Tuesday was a bad one – another tough outing for an LSU team that just can’t seem to consistently beat in-state competition this season.

We are now at the mid-point of the season and LSU is just 3-4 against other Louisiana-based teams.

That’s not good.

But to make it even more troubling is that there’s no consistent theme that’s hampering LSU’s success.

Sometimes, they struggle to score runs. Sometimes they make mistakes on the base paths. Other times (probably the No. 1 midweek problem) they can’t get outs on the mound.

To me, it’s 100 percent mental at this point, and the Tigers have to pay greater attention to detail in those games.

Because guess what? When fighting for a national seed later in the season – or even a Regional seed – every, single game will matter.

Right now, LSU only plays sound baseball on the weekends.

And that’s becoming a bit of a problem.

Baseball Weekend Series

Reminder to LSU fans that the baseball weekend series begins early this week, as the Tigers host Texas A&M for three games at Alex Box Stadium, beginning tonight at 6 p.m.

The Aggies are 17-9 on the season, but just 1-5 in the SEC.

They opened conference play getting swept by Kentucky, then took one game from Vanderbilt last weekend.

Pitching has been the root of the Aggies problems.

They’ve allowed 49 runs in their six SEC games – a numbers that’s buried at the bottom of the SEC.

After losing two out of three games at Florida last weekend and then choking away the midweek game against Tulane, the Tigers HAVE to battle back and take at least two of three from the Aggies.

Anything less, and it may be time to go in the attic and find the panic button.
Pitching matchups for the weekend are below.

LSU – Alex Lange, 3-2, 4.09 ERA, 33 innings, 10 walks, 43 strikeouts
A&M – Brigham Hill, 4-2, 3.16 ERA, 37 innings, 11 walks, 45 strikeouts

LSU – Jared Poche’, 5-1, 0.90 ERA, 40 innings, 8 walks, 25 strikeouts
A&M – Stephen Kolek, 1-1, 5.23 ERA, 31 innings, 9 walks, 18 strikeouts

LSU – Eric Walker, 3-0, 3.69 ERA, 31.2 innings, 9 walks, 36 strikeouts
A&M – Corbin Martin, 2-2, 4.07 ERA, 24.1 innings, 14 walks, 38 strikeouts

The Beer Garden

Before we go, I wanted to chime in this big headline story about a possible beer garden coming to Tiger Stadium for LSU football games.

According to multiple reports, the Tigers athletic department is exploring the idea of alcohol sales in the stadium, which would make LSU the first SEC team to prohibit such sales.

I like it – if it’s done right.

If LSU starts to sell beer in the stadium, I think it will do two things.

First, I think it will curb some of the obnoxious drinking that’s done before the game by folks who want to “get their money’s worth” before entering the stadium.
Second, I think it would keep more people in the stadium for longer stretches of the game, which is a HUGE plus.

Fans leaving Tiger Stadium early is the No. 1 game day problem at LSU – an issue that’s long past embarrassing and is bordering on ridiculous.

Maybe, just maybe doing this will take away the ammo from “I’ll go watch the second half at the tailgate” guy, who likes to have a beer or two while watching LSU play.

One would hope, at least.

But as stated above, if it’s done, it has to be done right.

It can’t just be one beer stand in the stadium.

The lines would be too long, and no one would buy into it.

Or to stick with the theme of the column, it just wouldn’t fit – much like my orange shirt.

Man, I have to lose a few pounds.

Or maybe it’d be better if I gained a few.

At the rate I’m going, that would probably be easier.


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