To get inside the players’ lounge at Disch-Falk Field, you have to walk past the trophy case, which fills up the entire hallway. Sit down at one of the tables, and photos of Roger Clemens and Huston Street surround you.
The weight of the Texas baseball program can be crushing at times. As some players discovered last year, just putting on the uniform doesn’t make you bulletproof.
Texas coach Augie Garrido, the all-time leader in Division I victories, left no doubt about the state of his program. The Longhorns finished dead last in the Big 12 last season, and “It isn’t acceptable and we know that.”
“We spent all fall attacking what I think was our No. 1 problem from last year, and that’s the word entitlement,” Garrido said Friday, the first day of baseball practice. “I think we have taken real important steps forward in changing the attitude of being entitled and recognizing who we are and changing that to what are we going to do to help the team.
“We didn’t spend as much time playing catch or taking batting practice as we did the mental parts of it all and getting them focused on how to serve the team, how to be a great teammate and what it takes to be mentally tough.”
That one word – “entitlement” – seems to be a recurring theme on campus these days.
Garrido felt like the baseball staff did its part during the offseason to cure the problem. When looking back at the 2013 roster, there were seven players with eligibility remaining that didn’t return in 2014. That doesn’t count those who were drafted, either.
Starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill was taken in the 24th round by the Astros but chose to come back for his senior season.
“One thing about coming back, the offseason was really hard on us but that’s what it takes,” Thornhill said. “We need to get rid of the entitlement that comes with being here. The fact we earned our way in the locker room and put in good work in the fall, I have a good feeling about this year for us.”
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