Braden, Hargrove and Davis Are Ready for Red Raider Alumni Tilt
This is a long shot, but I had an idea for Texas Tech baseball since they dropped a pivotal non-conference series with UIC this weekend due to UIC COVID-19 issues.
First things first, Texas Tech needs to play a game or series this weekend to keep sharp. The game of baseball is about routine and rhythm. Throwing out a series late in the year isn't a positive, regardless of how much pine tar you use to spin the story. Booking a legit series with three days notice is going to be a monumental task. I'm not saying it's insurmountable, but the odds are stacked -- like down six runs with two outs in the bottom of the 9th stacked.
So what's the fallback plan if a series can't get scheduled?
We get the Red Raider alumni gang back together.
The plan was originally hatched with the tag on Twitter, "Can Tadlock round up an alumni team to play a series?" Obviously, I was joking, but former Big 12 Player of the Year Hunter Hargrove chimed in, saying, "I can throw on a uni and come embarrass myself for the sake of the squad."
Hargrove was a team player when he was in Lubbock on the diamond, and he's a team player now.
I quickly reached out to both Cam Warren, who's been broadcasting games for the Red Raiders this season, and Michael Davis, who Tim Tadlock always described as a guy who loved to "play catch." Davis responded immediately, "I'm in."
Was there ever any doubt?
I also looped in the owner of a Major League perfect game Dallas Braden, who responded, "I'll throw a bullpen today." No doubt in my mind he'd be ready to give Larry Hays 4.2 innings on Saturday afternoon.
I haven't reached out to Hays yet (he's probably busy with Colorado Christian softball), but how epic would that be? Maybe Gary Ashby or Dan Spencer are available?
Of course, there are hundreds of names potentially available within the annals of Texas Tech baseball history that could at least give Texas Tech a look. I don't know if the guys can still swing it, but I'm sure they could take a couple of hacks as good as the next guy.
It would also be great to see names like McGruder or Dillon back in a Red Raider uniform. I don't know what Clint Bryant is doing nowadays, but I bet if you put a bat in his hands he'd look like a baseball player again. Maybe Bryant's past his prime (don't tell him I said that), but one of the best Red Raiders of all time is in the dugout as an assistant right now, so we know Eric Gutierrez will already be in the park.
Beyond that, there are several recent stars that have wrapped up playing careers and won't be in AA or AAA parks this weekend. Stephen Smith and Tanner Gardner? Bring them on. Can Ty Damron still throw a couple of balls down the pipe? I bet he can.
Heck, Patrick Mahomes could redeem that infinity ERA if he wanted to.
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