Sunday, June 3, 2007

Cut-throat SEC claims another victim

In his 18 years at Tennessee, Rod Delmonico helped put Volunteers baseball on the map.

He groomed future major leaguers such as Todd Helton, R.A. Dickey and Chris Burke. He led Tennessee to three College World Series trips.

And, on Sunday, he was ushered out of his job. The Volunteers advanced to the SEC Tournament, but not to the NCAA Regionals.

Of course, seeing Delmonico and the word fired in the same sentence isn't all that surprising. The SEC remains one of the deepest baseball conferences in the country and, sometimes, it means staying competitive no matter the cost.

In 2004, I was in the same elevator as Helton and I asked him what he thought about Delmonico's job security. The response: He had better get to Omaha (in 2005).

Delmonico did, thanks in large part to pitcher Luke Hochevar, who become the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2006. But, in what has become treacherous turf, Delmonico was always on shaky ground the last seven or eight years.

Now he finds himself having to start over after giving nearly two decades of service to the university.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home