Tag Archives: ray tanner

Inside the Roost Tonight

Tune into “Inside the Roost” tonight on 107.5 FM as host Derek Scott and Athletics Director Eric Hyman discuss issues related to Gamecock Athletics from Staybridges Suites on Huger Street in Columbia. Tonight’s guests will be baseball coach Ray Tanner and former Gamecock and Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers.

If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask anyone on the show, send an e-mail to roost@ispsports.com, call locally at 404-6100 or 1-866-667-1075. You can also submit your question in the comments section of this post and we’ll get it over.


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Ray Tanner Home Run this Saturday

If you’re not making the trip to Alabama this weekend for the football, support a good cause through Coach Tanner’s Home Run, a running and walking event bringing together people of all levels to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children and their families through the Ray Tanner Foundation, while promoting the benefits of healthy and active lifestyles.

Held on Saturday morning, the event includes a 12K, 5K, Fun Run and Walk for all types of runners to enjoy the event.  The race finish line is home plate at Carolina Stadium. So far, over 500 people have entered the event. You can click here for the race flier and click here to register online.

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The Closer: Ray Tanner

Did you know? With Alabama’s Jim Wells announcing his retirement last week, South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner is now the dean of the SEC.  Tanner is entering his 14th season at the helm with the Gamecocks and his 23rd year as a collegiate head coach. Tanner’s career record is 975-439-3 (.689) with a 580-266 (.686) mark at South Carolina. The .686 winning percentage is third highest in SEC history.


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Decision to Return Bodes Well for Next Season

When looking for the word to describe his emotions on Tuesday afternoon, head baseball coach Ray Tanner went with “giddy.”

“It would be an understatement to say that I’m happy that these two guys flank me,” said head baseball coach Ray Tanner as he addressed the media on Tuesday with junior Sam Dyson and senior Nick Ebert. “To be honest, I’m a little bit giddy.”

Dyson, Ebert and junior Parker Bangs put their professional baseball careers on hold by choosing not to sign with a Major League Baseball team by the midnight deadline on August 17.  Their decision to stay provides good reason for optimism for the upcoming season.

Dyson, a nine-game winner last season and the regular Friday night starter, leads a pitching staff that will return 30 of its 40 victories. All three weekend starters will return.  Ebert, a first baseman who burst into the spotlight after hitting 23 home runs last year, is the 2nd highest home run hitter in the country to return.  Returning players for the Gamecocks account for 69 of the 109 home runs hit by the team last year.

Sam Dyson

Sam Dyson

“There were a lot of questions going into last year,” said Tanner.  “I’m excited to see new players, but you can’t put a price on veteran experience. I love the veteran guys coming back because they are mature.”

For Dyson and Ebert, the decision to come back for another season was not hard.

“The reason we came to school was to make it to the College World Series and eventually try to win it,” said Dyson. “We both want to get there; we’re excited to play with our teammates and reach our goal.”

“Getting the opportunity to play at South Carolina for another year and the chance to just get to the College World Series is enough of a reason for me,” Ebert said.  “Honestly it wasn’t difficult at all. The players we got coming back, the whole rotation returning; it’s a win-win situation and I’ll get my degree.”

Nick Ebert

Nick Ebert

MLB draftees must weigh a number of factors, both long- and short-term, when deciding whether to return to school or sign with the professional team.  Almost 1,500 players are drafted each year and only a small percentage of players ever reach the major leagues.  For example, the entire first round in the 2007 draft (67 players total) only totaled one inning of major league playing time by the end of the 2008 season.  Statistics have shown that less than 20 percent of players drafted reach the highest level of professional baseball.

Tanner believes that players leaving school early need to make their decision with long-term financial stability in mind.

“Unless a player is in the $1.4 million or $1.5 million range [in terms of signing bonus], I just don’t think it’s a good situation. You have to assume if you leave school, you’re not going to finish school,” he said. “If you don’t net a million dollars, it’s not easy to make it. A million is kind of the minimum that will protect you. You’re going to make more with a college education than with your signing bonus if you don’t get more than a million.”

Tanner was confident that Dyson and Ebert would make their decision with the right frame of mind.

“Going into the draft, I felt like I knew both of these guys.  I didn’t think it was a “draft me and I’m gone” type of situation,” Tanner said. “It was going to have to be very good for them – they value their education and they value their experience here.”

Junior Sam Dyson, head coach Ray Tanner and senior Nick Ebert adress the media on August 18, 2009.

Junior Sam Dyson, head coach Ray Tanner and senior Nick Ebert address the media on August 18, 2009.

Dyson said his decision was centered on thinking about his long-term options and not about the emotional appeal of playing professional baseball.

“I wanted to set myself up in a situation where if I did leave, I was set for a good amount of time. Without a college degree, you’re not setting yourself up very well,” he said. “I’ve already been here for three years and I’ve made some promises to people on the team. In my decision, I based it off what’s best for me and coming back here was a better situation.”

Ebert said he was straightforward with the Yankees about what it would take for him to become a professional.

“I was pretty set on coming back to school,” he said.

While confident about the futures of his players, Tanners said their attitudes about making informed life decisions bodes well for the entire team.

“The chance of playing in the big leagues no matter how good you are and how many home runs you hit is hard. They’ll take their shot and hopefully they’ll get an opportunity but they’re realistic,” he said. “All those characteristics and that maturity make our team better.”

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