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Bummer: Erik Bakich Leaves for Michigan, and Maryland Baseball Faces Another Challenge

Aw, fooey. Not the first we've heard of this, with a hat tip to ossuck in the FanPosts, but I was hoping Maryland would swoop in with a big last-second offer and keep him.

I'm not plugged into the baseball world, so maybe Bakich simply looked impressive and had some underlying failures. He's a bit ... overpowering, say, and I could see how that could be problematic. But I remain 100% sure that he was the perfect candidate for Maryland when he was hired - this program was dead, and needed someone with gumption to revive it. Bakich did not lack for gumption.

Sadly, he wasn't the "I'm going to build something here at all costs" type, apparently, at least not when faced with something like four times the cash in Ann Arbor. (Then again, how many of us are? I'd become a Duke blogger for a couple grand a month.) Landing that type - a Beamer or Krzyzewski - is always Plan A. It just didn't work out here.

Shame, because when Maryland kept baseball as a sport, it was pretty clear at the time that keeping Bakich, too, was a critical task. (Or at least I thought so.) I'm convinced that if the program wasn't showing signs of life when it was, it'd have been cut. That wouldn't have been an easy decision, but it would've been a logical and economical decision. Not to be too negative here, but it'd be damn near poetic if the program descended back into irrelevance, and their two average seasons in a 30-year span came at the absolute perfect time. (For them, at least.) Sad, but poetic.

But that's done; track and swimming are gone, and baseball is here to stay for hopefully a very, very long time. So now we test Kevin Anderson's non-revenue hiring mettle. Maryland baseball is the Duke football of baseball jobs, which means finding someone isn't going to be an easy task, but at least now there's some promise to be sold. Go Xavier basketball on this: get another hungry up-and-comer who doesn't mind dirty work, will build on this, and when he leaves for greener pastures you bring in another. Eventually, you're a postseason regular and a destination job.

Sounds good, anyway. Baseball fans, fire away with your dream hires.