What the Opening Day First Pitches Mean for New Arizona Football Coaches
On Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks had their home opener, and they celebrated a new baseball season by having the state’s new football coaches throw a baseball 57 feet or so.
Sure, why not?
Rich Rodriguez is back to lead Arizona following his brief stint at Michigan and even briefer stint at CBS. Todd Graham has pitched his tent at Arizona State, and never has the word “tent” seemed more appropriate for a man on the go. He was the head coach at Tulsa, then bolted for Pitt last season, coached your intramural basketball team for a few games and now, he’s set to lead the Sun Devils.
Both coaches toed the rubber after being introduced (Graham was booed by a fair amount of the crowd). After that, Rodriguez and Graham made their first public recruiting pitch in the form of a baseball pitch.
A first pitch tells a lot about the man, which is why we will now predict the Arizona and Arizona State football records based on these first pitches alone.
This is the hard-hitting analysis you only get here, and our studies (please don't ask us for proof) show that this event alone could accurately forecast college football in the state for the next decade. It is that important.
Rodriguez was standing on the left side in the video, and it was clear that he was geared up for his toss. His back shoulder dipped, prompting a higher throw, which tells me he did NOT want to come up short on this one.
Is this the same cautious mentality that he will use leading the Wildcats? Is this foreshadowing some bumps for the Arizona QBs as they adapt to his unique system?
He had a fair amount of speed on his throw, which is a good thing, although he was clearly in the “get it over” situation. This tells me that he will approach the 2012 season with reserved expectations.
Not bad, by any means, especially in the grand scheme of first-pitch performances.
Anticipated record based on first pitch: A solid start at 7-5, which will only mean bigger and better things soon enough for Arizona.
As for Graham, well, this man clearly has a baseball background. His small leg kick reminds me a lot of the pitchers in the 1930s and '40s that minimized motion and hid the ball well.
We certainly know that deception is in this man’s repertoire.
The pitch itself was absolutely perfect. It caught the inside corner and was framed brilliantly by the catcher filling in. Looked like a two-seam fastball to me that screams confidence, arrogance perhaps, and a sense that the Sun Devils will absolutely carve up opponents with Graham’s new offensive system in 2012.
Anticipated record based on first pitch: It would be impossible to go any lower than 10-2 based on that first pitch, and Graham will turn this rapid success into more money and will become the head coach of Tennessee in December. Act surprised.
A good fastball can go a long way...
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