Leggett sees 'great things ahead' for Tiger baseball

The Clemson baseball team practices Thursday at Vanderbilt's Hawkins Field in Nashville in preparation for their NCAA Regional opening game against Oregon on Friday - Jack Leggett

The Clemson baseball team practices Thursday at Vanderbilt's Hawkins Field in Nashville in preparation for their NCAA Regional opening game against Oregon on Friday - Jack Leggett

There was nothing unusual about Jack Leggett and Dan Radakovich meeting after the season’s close last week.

But the occasion drew its fair share of attention as results not meeting expectations has become far from unusual for a proud Clemson baseball program.

Radakovich discussed its future with a number of folks on the inside and the periphery and found a “solid” culture where there’s still room to grow and move back up the ranks.

Avoiding a definition of insanity scenario, however, Radakovich and Leggett keyed in on some areas for change, ranging from on-field (practice structure, etc.), to around the field (facilities) and off the field (academic support in a non-full-scholarship sport).

“I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I’m not beyond learning and trying to figure some new things out,” Leggett said on statewide radio Tuesday. “Approach things in a different way here or there. It would be crazy if I was set in stone. I think that’s why we have such a great relationship with our players and they’re loyal and our former players are extremely loyal and coach (Bill) Wilhelm’s players are loyal."

“(Radakovich) asked a lot of questions and I gave him a lot of answers. There’s subtle things that I feel we can do better. That’s something that hopefully we see that on the field and hopefully see some results on the field that’s better. One of the things we have to continue to improve on is academically with the Academic Common Market, facilities and so forth. Certainly some things inside that we can try to do better on the field with our players and practice-wise going forward.”

Radakovich went into more detail Wednesday with a group of reporters, outlining the need for sports psychologists, a player’s council among more smaller changes.

Leggett said he didn’t feel like his job was in danger going into the chats, which set the proper tone for a healthy discussion.

“When we had our first meeting it was man-to-man and it was done with respect on both sides,” Leggett said. “It was a fact-finding, what can we do to make things a little better at the end – what do we do well? These are the things that I know baseball program from his end and these are the things that I know about the baseball program from my end. What we have to do to get to where we want to be at the very end of the season.

“We felt comfortable in our talks. I thought they were done respectfully. I felt we were in the same common goal to make things a little bit better and to improve.”

In the wake of last week’s MLB draft, Clemson has lost two juniors (shortstop Jay Baum signed with Seattle; righty ace Daniel Gossett with Oakland) and one more could follow (C/DH Garrett Boulware).

The Tigers are in line to return their leader in average, runs, doubles and OBP (INF/DH Tyler Krieger - .338/49 R/11 2B/.410 OBP), stolen bases and triples (RF Steven Duggar – 25 SB/3 3B) and walks (CF Tyler Slaton – 42 BB/3 3B). Sophomore lefthander Matthew Crownover is likely to return to anchor the weekend staff after a team-best K:BB ratio (4.5). The key loss out of the bullpen is closer Matt Campbell (19 career saves).

Leggett maintains a united front going forward – fans, players, coaches, administration – will again reap rewards on the Doug Kingsmore diamond.

“The passion of our fans – they love Clemson baseball and they’re committed to it,” said Leggett. “At the same time, it’s really important for all of us to be positive. In the end, it serves the program best. It serves the university and athletic department best. I think we have a really good track record in the past of what we’ve done with players and how they’ve developed and how successful we’ve been.

“I think if we all work together in that vein – there’s a lot of great things ahead for Clemson baseball.”

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Comments » 4

33dtb writes:

....."Leggett sees 'great things ahead' for Tiger baseball".......

could have some of those "great things" this year..

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

There is an old saying that Al Capone made sort of famous: Nobody ever listened themselves into the penitentiary. The position Jack is in right now has him in that spot. The least said by him the better. He doesn't need to tell us how good "they are gonna" be, we want to see them be able to field a ground ball and get a hit every now and then with runners in scoring position. Jack needs to give us all a break when talking about how things are "gonna be". We all saw what they were and it wasn't pretty, especially up in Nashville. The less said by Jack the better off he will be and the team. At this level of baseball they are suppose to know fundamentals of the mechanics of playing the game. As fans of Clemson all we can do is hope he turns the program around to get us back to some Super Reginals and hopefully a World Series every year or two. I think he can and probably will but, it is high time he stop talking about the future and how optimistic we should all be. I am pulling for him due to my love of Clemson not so much for my love of Jack Leggett. Talk is cheap and it's time to quit talking.

lwb1946 writes:

So, Jack has been here going on twenty two years and the way he is talking it's like he's having to rebuild the program. Well, sorry but at this point if Jack is the man we shouldn't be in a rebuilding mode. I think Jack has been here so long he has sort of lost his drive and maybe even the reluctance to change some things. Things like this happen sometimes and the only thing you can do is bring in fresh people who have the drive to get us better. Frankly, I think we are just delaying replacing him just a little longer and we will continue to be mediocre until Jack is replaced. And, I also know people and schools are leery about replacing and changing sometimes especially with someone like Jack who has been here forever but sometimes these decisions to replace someone has to be made and based on the last several years I truly believe it's time for Jack to go. And, we'll get to see who was right because he will be back next year but I think I will be proven right when it's all said and done.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

in response to lwb1946:

So, Jack has been here going on twenty two years and the way he is talking it's like he's having to rebuild the program. Well, sorry but at this point if Jack is the man we shouldn't be in a rebuilding mode. I think Jack has been here so long he has sort of lost his drive and maybe even the reluctance to change some things. Things like this happen sometimes and the only thing you can do is bring in fresh people who have the drive to get us better. Frankly, I think we are just delaying replacing him just a little longer and we will continue to be mediocre until Jack is replaced. And, I also know people and schools are leery about replacing and changing sometimes especially with someone like Jack who has been here forever but sometimes these decisions to replace someone has to be made and based on the last several years I truly believe it's time for Jack to go. And, we'll get to see who was right because he will be back next year but I think I will be proven right when it's all said and done.

I think he has only 2 years left on his contract and it would have cost Clemson $416,000 to fire him. That probably played a big part in letting him stay at least one more year. You are right in what you say.

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