Pat Dooley’s Back Nine (May 22nd)

The Back Nine comes at you after a celebratory weekend because nobody celebrates SEC titles like the Gators. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

10. Watching the videos of the Gator players and coaches celebrating after Arkansas lost and Florida won a share of the SEC took me back to the old days of listening to a game in the press box because we couldn’t write until we knew the other results. Anyway, you don’t care about that, but you should care about this Florida team winning 20 SEC games in the toughest league in America. I know it’s easy to say but these guys seem to like playing with each other.

11. Or maybe that’s part of the equation for success. I know there have been teams that didn’t get along and still won, but it helps when everyone is pulling in the same direction and guys are coming off the bench to get big hits because they never stopped being in the game mentally. I can’t imagine how packed the Condron Ballpark is going to be for regionals.

12. Two stats that show this was a great regular season — Florida struck out 10.8 batters per game and averaged 10 hits a game. The Gators have also scored in 45.8 percent of the innings they have played. This is a really good team, but we all know that it is different in the postseason. Just ask UCLA softball, which was the two overall national seed and went two and barbecue, which was stunning. Sports has no script.

13. It was hardly a surprise that Florida ended its season a little earlier than normal. Once the Gators were sent to Stanford, you kind of knew it would not end well. Give the Gators credit for winning twice in Palo Alto, but this team simply could not be expected to go far because of its pitching woes. Florida finished the season with an ERA of 3.69, which is the highest in school history breaking the mark set back when Beth Dieter was pitching for Florida in 1999.

14. Come talk to me before the next two majors because I am on a roll. I picked the last two correctly and I think the only time I got two in a row right was when I just gave up and picked Tiger Woods every time. Brooks Koepka said he was going to approach this one differently than the Masters and by gosh he just made it a boring final round.

15. I know it happened almost a week ago, but wanted to make sure I gave the proper shoutout to the Florida golf team for digging itself out of a hole to qualify for the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. These boys are special.

16. I did not see these two NBA series coming. I have learned a lot. Nikola Jokic is my new favorite player and Jimmy Butler is the best postseason player in the world. There, I watched a few games and think I know everything.

17. Please enjoy what we have left of Florida Gators sports because the abyss is near and then people just will start talking about how bad the football team will be for three months.

 

18. I need to put together some good playlists because vacations are coming up. I hope. Let’s start with this one:

* “Forgiving Ties” by Deer Tick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RztbEaD6hKE

* “The Mayor of Simpleton” by XTC. Which is kind of an oldie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Da9sc6YDBo

* And so is this one (1995) or not, but “In The Meantime” by Spacehog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCsGRCf8T9Y

About Pat Dooley

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