It was brought to my attention that one regional newspaper ran an editorial urging support for the NCAA Baseball Regionals being played this weekend at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.
I concur. Folks should go to Norwich and watch UConn, Central Connecticut State University, Oregon and Florida State do battle. In UConn, you have one of the Huskies' better teams and some great local talent. Central had a terrific year. Florida State and Oregon come from two of the best conferences in the country.
But please don't insult the intelligence of baseball fans by saying an NCAA Regional is equivalent to Double-A. I've found that it is generally accepted that top-level college ball can be compared to high Class A, maybe even a shade better when teams like Texas and Florida State are playing, but the Division I midstream is a far cry from Double-A ball.
If it were Double-A's equal, you wouldn't be seeing pitchers like the New Britain Rock Cats' Kirk Gibson, a former Missouri Tiger, starting out in high A. In Gibson's case, he was up to the task in high A so he was promoted here in mid-May. Gibson, however, ranked as one of the better pitchers in the nation.
So I'm all for going to Norwich for some great college ball but I promise you you're not going to see the same quality you'll see day in and day out at New Britain Stadium and around the Eastern League. The bigger issue is that colleges use those pinging aluminum bats, at least until some poor pitcher gets killed, and games with 35 runs scored aren't unusual.