Seven Questions With Head Baseball Coach Ed Sprague
Feb. 24, 2010
Stockton, Calif. - Ed Sprague is in his seventh season as head coach of the baseball team. He talks about how the past seasons have gone and what he expects in the future.
1. With six seasons completed as head coach at Pacific, you are third with most wins amongst Tiger coaches. Are you pleased with the progress of the program?
No, I think that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. The last couple years have been difficult but I think the overall attitude of the players and the direction of where they want to be has improved. I think they have more pride in themselves, so that part I am happy with. I am not happy with the wins and losses.
2. You had much experience and success as a player, but what do you like best about coaching?
I think just passing on the knowledge that I have collected over my career. And each player is different individually and how you are going to help them accomplish their goals. I think that is a big challenge.
3. Last season you finished 21-32, this year you have seven returning starters and have added pitching. What is your outlook for the 2010 season?
I think we are a much improved team. I think we have high expectations. I think we believe in ourselves quite a bit. The main goal for us is to have the same belief at the end of the year that we have right now.
4. Being involved with baseball over many years, how have you seen or experienced the game changing?
I think there are a lot more younger players that are advancing quickly through the minor leagues. I am sure a lot of that has to do with signing bonuses that are happening. It is probably the number one thing that you see a lot more mistakes at the major league level than you would have seen 20-30 years ago, just because guys do not have the number of experience of games played. So you probably see more a few more mistakes in that aspect at the major league level. But the fundamental part of the game is essentially the same. Although with the smaller ballparks, players have a tendency to try a little more for the long ball than in years past. I think the pitching also because you see more specialty guys and relief pitchers, way less complete games, because of the number of dollars invested in each guy.
5. What do you think is the most important aspect of baseball?
The most important aspect is the mental side. A lot is going on before the pitch is ever thrown. You have to think about the situation, what type of pitcher you are facing, and where to put the ball in play. The slower the game, the more mental it becomes. Baseball is just behind golf in the mental component. It is a constant game of adjustments.
6. What do you see for Pacific baseball in the future?
Hopefully a lot more wins. That is part of the plan. We want to win a lot more games and we want to be more consistent. Being at a small private school, we don't have a lot of depth, so we want to create that depth. We are moving in the right direction. We need to continue to push forward and get good players and have them play good baseball.
7. Where do you keep your Olympic medals? World Series rings?
They are framed in the house. My rings are in a box in my room. I wear them occasionally, maybe once a year, if I am going to a speaking engagement or where I am really dressed up.