May 17, 2000
Here are Jack Leggett’s answers to Ask The Tigers questions submitted by fans. ClemsonTigers.com would like to thank the fans who submitted questions and Jack Leggett for answering them.
Next week Jeff Baker, a freshman on the baseball team, will be the featured guest on Ask The Tigers. Submit questions to Jeff here.
Solomon Alam II, Spring, Texas I am a senior at Spring High School in Spring Texas. I am a left handed pitcher with a fast ball of 90 mph with a lot of movement on it and a viscous 78 mph curve ball. I have not pitched a lot as I am the 3rd pitcher and the first 2 pitchers have been doing good, I still have pitched a few innings in relief. My ERA is 0.00. I also play 1st base. I want to play for the CLEMSON TIGERS. How can I go about doing this? I’d love to go there and tryout for you if you can give me a chance to show you my talent.
Jack Leggett’s Answer I would advise any recruit to work hard and stay confident. Continue to play ball this summer and send us information on your abilities and maybe have your coach follow up with a recommendation and we will keep track of your progress.
Giles M. Schanen, Athens, Ga. Having played college baseball, I am aware of how important it is for a championship-caliber team to have players who provide leadership both on and off the field. Often, such leadership doesn’t come from the obvious sources, but instead comes from quiet leaders. For example, a recent Tiger who seems to have been an excellent leader, although not necessarily a superstar player, was Derek Borgert, who graduated last season. How would you characterize the leadership present on this Tiger team, and from which players does it primarily come? Thanks for considering my question.
Jack Leggett’s Answer We have seven captains on our team, kids who are well respected by their peers. Brian Ellis and Mike Calitri have been good leaders by example. Every team needs more leaders. This team is no different. I would hope that other players will step up in order for us to be the best we can be. We need intra-team leadership in order to win and get to Omaha.
Michael E. Dunigan, Easley, S.C. What are some of the changes going to be to the stadium? And do you expect more seating to be added?
Jack Leggett’s Answer We are still in the preliminary stages of figuring out what funds will be available and what each improvement will cost. We are working with the architects and putting together a priority list as well. The back of the stadium will have a brick and wrot-iron facade and plaza. Hopefully a roof and a new press box and new dugouts will be added. I want to make the outfield fence a solid fence. There’s also a possibility that we will bring the fences in and create a warning track. The field now plays extremely long because of the size, wind, and bats being scaled down. Our batting cages need a great deal of work too. Our sound system and scoreboard needs to be improved upon as well. As far as adding seats, we are looking to possibly adding some seats down the left field line.
Tim Clayton, Columbia, S.C. What, if anything, can a coach do to prepare a team to close out a close game, particulary if you have the lead. Two examples that come to mind is the Texas A&M game last year when the Tigers only needed three outs to go to Omaha and the USC game in Columbia this year when the Tigers only needed three outs twice to win the game, only to lose both.
Jack Leggett’s Answer We work in practice on close situations on how to do the little things that make the difference in the end of games. We also work with pitchers in practice with the little things. But, it is difficult in practice to create an atmosphere like there was at College Station last year and Columbia this year. We have had good success in the past in close games, and some times they even out. But, we have a lot of confidence that we will find a way to win. We are 7-2 in one-run games this year, so I feel good about our ability to win close games.
Shannan Cloutier, North Augusta, S.C. Why doesn’t Kevin Lynn receive more playing time? Do you think we may see him on the mound more often next season?
Jack Leggett’s Answer It took Kevin a while to delevop in the fall in terms of consistency and concentration. In the opportunities he was given early in the season and in practice, he had not performed up to expectations. But given a chance against South Carolina at home, he performed very well. He has been given more opportunities since then and has been much better. We have confidence in him and he is improving.
Lisa A. Sarnie Is Steve Reba’a arm pain free now? Who is your favorite Major League team? When did you know you wanted to be a coach?
Jack Leggett’s Answer Steve’s arm is pain free now, and we are working on improving his endurance and strength.
The Boston Red Sox are my favorite team, thanks to my New England roots. I also enjoy following the Pirates and Blue Jays because of Kris Benson and Billy Koch.
I wanted to coach because my father was a coach. I was always around sports since I was very young. I always had it in my mind if I couldn’t continue to play, I would participate by coaching.
David Weathers, Spartanburg, S.C. How far do you think you’re top-10 Tigers will go this year through the tournament? And do you think (Scott) Berney will have a big impact, like he has so often this season?
Jack Leggett’s Answer I hope we keep winning and win the last ballgame of the year. We also hope that Scott has a big impact. If he and our other starting pitchers pitch well, we have a chance to do that. He has pitched well up to this point, he is a good kid, and been a valuable part of our success so far.
Leif Demmink, Midlothian, Va. Hey Coach Leggett, I’m Herman Demmink’s brother!! And my question is, do you think your team is capable of winning the National Championship?
Jack Leggett’s Answer We go in to every season with that in mind. I think we are capable, but we must play very well down the stretch and be extremely tough mentally. Things must fall into place, and I think that is possible.
Garth M. Blumberg, Aberdeen, Wash. Do you like the chances of you’re standout closer Nick Glaser who is on the brink of the record books, getting drafted and playing pro baseball in the future?
Jack Leggett’s Answer I think Nick will break the save record this year. We expect him to come back to school next year as well. He has a chance to be valuable asset to our team. If he doesn’t get drafted, we will certainly welcome him back.
William F. Dorsey, Birmingham, Ala. It seems that Clemson always gets off to a roaring start, but there is a tendency to fade near the conference and NCAA tournaments. Is this just my imaginaton, or do the pitchers get arm tired at the close of the long season? Go Tigers!
Jack Leggett’s Answer It’s true that we’ve gotten off to some great starts, but we’ve also had some great finishes. We’ve done well overall in the ACC Tournaments. We’ve been in the finals many times and have been in regionals every year. We’ve been hosting regionals in five of the seven years I’ve been here. We’ve been to Omaha twice and it’s difficult to see how many teams have been to Omaha that many times in the last six years. I don’t think the pitchers get arm tired because we utilize our pitching depth early in the season so that they have the stamina at the end of the season.
Ben Wagener, Midlothian, Va. How are we doing in recruiting for 2001? How Is Patrick Boyd handling this season when he knows this isn’t his type of stellar talent?
Jack Leggett’s Answer We have had another good recruiting year. Our needs include replacing some players in the outfield and getting a catcher, because we lose Brian Ellis. We are always looking to improve our pitching staff. We feel like we are doing well with the combination of junior college and high school players.
Patrick’s been a little frustrated with his season to this point. But he works extremely hard and is handling the pressure of being a potential top draft pick. It’s been tough for him and we’re looking for him to have a big postseason. We still have a lot of confidence in him. His ultimate goal is to go to Omaha. We’re hoping he can help us get there down the stretch.
William H Clayton, Seneca S.C. I don’t have any hidden motives but wondered why there is a lack of minority players on the Clemson team or for that matter on most college baseball teams?
Jack Leggett’s Answer We have two African-American student-athletes on our team, Justin Singleton and Henri Stanley. We welcome any others that are as talented on and off the field as Singy and Henri are. Both have done tremendously well in the classroom, as both have better than a 3.0 GPA. We continue to look for the best student-athletes regardless of race. Hopefully, we can recruit more players the caliber of Singy and Henri.
Lee Hanks, North Augusta, S.C. Would you have done anything different in the second usc game to get the win?
Jack Leggett’s Answer I wouldn’t have done anything different. We had the players on the field and mound who have been doing it for us all year. We scored the runs we needed, but got burned on a couple of pitches. South Carolina has been playing well all year long and has alot of confidence at the end of games. They’ve been coming back all year as well. There was nothing strategically we could’ve done different. We have had success against them in the past, as we have won 12 of the last 16 meetings. Maybe we will see them again this season.
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