Jun 25, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach John Cohen (11) prepares in the dugout before game 2 of the College World Series finals against the UCLA Bruins at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Unless your only experience watching baseball has been entirely John Cohen coached teams, odds are you’ve had beef with many of his decisions. Coach Cohen is one of a kind. He’s completely non-traditional. He will try anything to see if it will work. He’s a baseball head coach with the intensity of a football coach. He’s good; but he’s bizarre.

Last spring I was so enraged by Cohen’s decisions that I posted a column called “Second Guess Cohen” on FWtCT.

  1. lineup and in-game decisions vs. LSU
  2. pitching staff decisions vs. Arkansas
  3. more bullpen decisions questioned vs. USC

But after we made it through the Regionals, the Super Regionals and to Omaha; all the way to the national championship series and Cohen’s decisions paid off time and time again I told myself that I was the guy who didn’t know what he’s talking about and I was through second guessing his decisions. Even if he wants to start a guy like Luis Pollorena in the outfield for two games in the Regional (2012) despite him having only seven at-bats during the regular season – I’m cool with it.

So I’ll just call it “Cohening”.

Here are a few examples of Cohening this year…

  • taking a pitcher out of the game in the middle of a count (he has done this many times every year, and continued this year)
  • replacing the catcher at the time of a pitching change (a complete battery change has been done at least 3 times this year)
  • bringing in your closer in the 2nd inning (this worked and led to a victory vs. Arizona – it also worked last year vs. OM)
  • Ross Michell starting vs. UGA (just an example of head games – that was really out of nowhere)
  • starting Kyle Hann at DH vs. UGA (not SS, not 3B, but DH – a guy hitting .100 at DH)
  • Friday night vs. OM Wes Rea hitting 7th (Rea hadn’t hit anywhere but 3rd or 4th all year)
  • Putting in Lindgren in 5th vs. OM on Saturday (Fitts hadn’t given up a run yet, but after an infield single Lingo comes in – OM scores two runs that inning; considering it’s Game 2 and not Game 3 it was surprising to go the the ‘pen that early)
  • 37 lineups in 37 games

I’m sure there are many other examples of head-scratching moves made (or not made) by the head man. But to his credit, they work most of the time…especially bringing in a new pitcher in the middle of an AB. I’m still trying to figure out why Derrick Armstrong isn’t leading off, but whatever. I’ll trust Coach Cohen knows what he’s doing. He’s earned that trust.

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