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Texas Tech Baseball 2008 Season Preview

Texas Tech Baseball:

LAJ's George Watson has been working overtime because he's got a ton of articles and previews of Texas Tech and Big 12 baseball.

First up is the an overview of the changes that took place over the offseason, which includes the hiring of Oregon State's pitching coach Dan Spencer and New Mexico's Trent Petrie. How about this for dedication and for accountability for this 2008 squad:

The coaching change seemed to have had an effect on the players' attitude, too.

Part of that can be attributed to a deeper commitment the player made, most notably in the 6 a.m. fall workouts. They also demonstrated better effort and communication into a longer fall-workout period caused by new NCAA rule. The rule limits teams from starting spring workouts before Feb. 1.

Spencer quickly went about instilling a sense of competition and accountability in his pitchers. He promised when the fall began his pitchers would compete and be aggressive every time they took the mound. Petrie promised if his players in the field made errors, it wouldn't be because they were out of position or hadn't been put in certain situations before.

Personally, I am most interested in what Spencer can do for this beleaguered pitching staff and it sounds like Spencer has a good idea of how to create high expectations:

"There are some basic components here like what were in place in 2004 (at Oregon State)," Spencer said. "We just have to grow up in a hurry on the mound. In the grand scheme of things you have to have players who are going to respond to you. We have good players and they have been responding. But you have to learn how to win and that has to start, and should have started in the spring, and it has."

And talk about high expectations:

"Will we get better? Yes," Spencer said. "Will we get better immediately? Sure. But going from 10th to say third, can it be done? Yes. We're not in the business of trying to finish third. We're in the business of trying to win the league. I think expectations are great. I think expectations are what drive guys. But I think that the expectation world and the fantasy world and the reality world are not the same, and when they collide, people become frustrated.

"Can we make a move? Yes, definitely. Will we get to the point where the road through the Big 12 runs through Lubbock? Yes. I would sure like it to happen this year. There are too many good things about Tech with the personnel and Coach Hays and Lubbock and the sunshine and the league that we can't get back to winning."

Next up, Watson takes a look at each position for the Red Raiders. This is an excellent breakdown of each position and should give you an idea as who who is going to play. Watson also does an outstanding job of previewing each of the other Big 12 teams.

Here's the Watson's breakdown of the roster and the official schedule and you'll note that the Red Raiders start the season against Northern Illinois. Those games will be played as scheduled.