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The Sports Troll: Mailbag full of LSU baseball-related questions

Well, LSU baseball is in the Final Four!

The Tigers lived to play another day on Wednesday, trumping Florida State in Omaha to advance further in the College World Series.

With the win, LSU is now one of just five teams left. By the time they play again, the field will be cut down even further to four.

For LSU to advance any further than that, they’ll have to do a seemingly impossible task. They’ll have to beat No. 1 Oregon State twice in a span of 48 hours – something that hasn’t been done all season.

Won’t be easy, but crazy things tend to happen in baseball.

Crazy things happen in our mailbag, too, so let us dive right in!

Q: What percent chance do you think LSU has to beat Oregon State twice? (Asked by Luke, New Orleans)
A: Not much. Something like 15 percent or so. It would be lower than that if not for the way the pitching has lined up. For LSU to get to the Championship Series, the Tigers will need Alex Lange to be magnificent on Friday, which he’s capable of doing. From there, the Tigers will need a quality start from Caleb Gilbert and then a Herculean effort from Zack Hess. A lot of dominos need to drop, yes. But they’re all quality dominos, so it’s not altogether impossible.

Q: Why does LSU bunt so much? They give away too many outs. (Asked by Mike, Luling)
A: I don’t know how to answer this, Mike, because I agree with you 100 percent. I think LSU gives away entirely too many outs during the game, which limits its offense. There is a place for bunting in the game of baseball. The Tigers executed a beautiful one in the ninth inning, which moved a runner over to third, which helped him score. But by and large, I think playing for just one run against amateur pitching is overrated.

Q: Your thoughts on Kramer’s hair? (Asked by Jason, Shreveport)
A: I don’t like it. I think it sets a bad example and brings unnecessary attention and pressure onto a guy who, frankly, isn’t good enough to battle past such a bulls-eye. It was fine when it was just the broadcasters showing his mom all game. But now that it’s the mom, the revolving door of cleats and now the hair, it’s becoming a bit much. Attention goes to those who consistently hit the baseball hard and get base hits. I’d like my senior to focus on doing that.

Q: If Lange goes Friday and Gilbert goes Saturday, who goes Monday? It’d be too soon for Poche’, I’d think. (Asked by TigerTom, Kenner)
A: I don’t think even Paul Mainieri knows the answer to that question yet. But guess what? I guarantee you that he’d be happy to cross that bridge, because it’d mean that LSU beat Oregon State twice and got there. My best guess would be All-Staff in Game 1, Poche’ in Game 2, then Lange in Game 3. But, that would be a lot of tax on all of those arms.

Q: Who is your favorite LSU baseball player of All-Time (Asked by Matt, Slidell)
A: I hate to be a prisoner of the moment, but it’s Zack Hess. I love mean, hard-tossing relief pitchers. They bring so much energy to an energy-less game. It’s so refreshing. Hess is a lunatic out there on the mound. He’s absolutely nuts. He’s can’t-miss TV in a sport where fans can afford to miss a lot of things because of the slow pace of play. My second favorite is Chad Jones. I absolutely loved watching the Dreadlocks of Doom work on the mound.

Q: LSU football was picked as the second-best SEC team last week. Do you agree (Asked by Tom, Galliano)
A: Do I get to see the quarterback play before giving my answer…? Jokes aside, I think they have a chance to be really, really good this fall, assuming Matt Canada has the same first-year impact on the offense that Dave Aranda had on the defense last year. I’m hopeful. I will answer this question again next week after watching Etling throw a little bit over the weekend at the Manning Passing Academy.

Q: LSU basketball is piling up commitments. This Will Wade is something serious! (Asked by Reese, Monroe)
A: He really is! The Tigers are getting high school guys, transfers and everything in between. I have no idea if Wade’s on-court philosophy will work in the SEC, but I do think he will elevate LSU’s talent, which, in turn, will likely make his style translate into wins. I think LSU basketball’s ship has gotten out of the icebergs and is heading toward warmer, calmer waters.

A few non-LSU questions today on this LSU-filled day.

Q: Is LeBron James really going to leave the Cavs again? (Asked by TheKing23, Houma)
A: He can’t leave this offseason because he’s under a two-year deal. But after next season? I can absolutely see it happening. I think the Cavs are a mess financially and they are going to slowly drift into being a non-factor unless big, big moves are made. LeBron knows that. He also knows that he doesn’t have many prime-time years left. Barring something crazy happening, I think he goes to a situation where winning is more certain than it is now. The Cavs in their current form can’t beat the Warriors in a series.

Q: Give me an exact end to the Mayweather/McGregor fight? (Asked by Ruth, Belle Chasse)
A: An exact ending? Goodness. I didn’t realize the crystal ball would be in play today. I think Mayweather pummels him for five rounds, Conor gets frustration, refuses to stop in a clinch and then cheap shots Floyd for a disqualification. An alternate ending if you press button No. 2 will be Floyd dominating Conor for six or seven rounds before the referee stops the fight.

Q: I enjoy the food questions. What’s the best thing to eat down in your neck of the woods in Lafourche Parish? I’m going down there a lot for rodeos in Grand Isle. (Asked by Bob, Gonzales)
A: Thanks for the question, Bob. I work a lot of rodeos on ESPN Radio, so email me at gisclaircasey@gmail.com and we can maybe have a beer. To answer your question, I’d go on down to Me-Maw’s Cajun Cuisine in Golden Meadow and order the seafood pasta. It’s absolutely amazing. Or, if you’re looking to get away from Louisiana-style food, order the loaded French fry.

Q: What’s the best beer for a hot day after working in the yard? (Asked by Reed, Morgan City)
A: A cold one! But if getting more specific, my go-to is a good, ol’ fashioned Abita Strawberry. If out of season, an Andy Gator works just fine, too. If looking for cheap beer, give me Coors Lite.


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