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Men’s Baseball Season Preview

The amount of times women on campus have apologized for unnecessary reasons is alarming. Apologizing for things such as interrupting someone, for bumping arms with another, or even apologizing for apologizing seems to be a trend on PLNU’s campus.

July 2018 was a month of drastic change for the PLNU men’s baseball team. After 11 seasons of success under head coach Joe Schaefer, an opening at Northwest Nazarene became the first domino in what would be an offseason of major transformation.

“I feel that Point Loma and all the people working there have shaped me as a person and as a man,” said Schaefer on his departure. “It is really, really hard for us to go, but lately through tons of prayer, we have felt the Lord leading us in a different direction. The opportunity at Northwest Nazarene is a great opportunity for our family.”

One week later, new head coach Justin James, the former lead assistant coach of the Sea Lions (2010-16) and pitching coach of UC San Diego (2017-18) was selected to replace Schaefer, who he had worked with in the past. James spoke highly of Schaefer and showed excitement in what the future held for the PLNU baseball team.

“When Coach Schaeffer took the job at Northwest Nazarene, the athletic director Ethan Hamilton gave me a call and asked if I would be interested in interviewing for the job,” said James. “Being an alum, ex-player and coach here for so long, and knowing how special this place is, it was kind of a no-brainer.”

Despite a new coaching staff, a new system and a new culture, James believes that the team is still expected to perform at its usual level of success.

“Expectations are through the roof,” said James. “There’s a lot of key pieces that left, but there’s also a lot of key pieces that either came back or that we added. We’ve been good for 20 years in a row, give or take, so this isn’t new territory. That’s also why this place is pretty special, it’s known for its baseball.”

UC San Diego went to back-to-back World Series under James’ tenure as pitching coach and lead assistant. His pitching staff was ranked in the top 10 in several key statistics, including earned run average, walks and strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“I learned a lot over there, what I liked and didn’t like,” said James. “Molding it together into our own culture has been really smooth and beneficial so far. I learned a ton going somewhere else for a little while.”

Senior outfielder and pitcher Ryan Casper, who has been with the team for four years, feels that this team has the potential to be the best of his college career.

“Win conference. That’s probably the first expectation,” said Casper. “I think we have the team to do it. This is my fourth year, and this is probably the best team I’ve been on. We’re well-coached, and I think we’re prepared mentally and physically to go all the way to June.”

When asked which of his teammates would stand out this season, Casper had several names to mention.

“Micah Pries won preseason conference of the year. Travis Takata is on preseason first team, same with John. Zack Noll is going to be up there once everyone realizes who he is, same with Stirling Strong. Otto Kemp is the future of this program. We’re really diverse from offensive to pitching. It’s going to be a good year.”

Of course, leadership to go with the talent is important, and junior infielder Travis Takata believes that James will deliver.

“The mix of experience and young talent that we have on this team, I think we’re going to be able to put those two together with Coach James leading,” said Takata.

The regular season begins with a 2 P.M. matchup on Friday, Feb. 1 at home against Montevallo, the first matchup of a three-game series.

Many of us don’t recognize the number of times we say, “I’m sorry” on a daily basis. “There are a lot of power dynamics going in this conversation, one of them being the unconscious pressures for women to remain in the background of society at all times,” says senior Bailey Taylor, a history major minoring in women’s studies, explaining why she thinks women over-apologize. “At the foundation, demanding the acknowledgment of a female’s presence, regardless of the inconvenience that may cause, is an insult and deconstruction of traditional masculine values. Chronically apologizing for just being is one of the many small habits adopted by women that result in the larger subordination of ourselves as a group.”

There aren’t enough studies to claim why women apologize more than men, however, there are studies that show some evidence. In a test from 2010, for the Psychological Science journal, 33 university students (both men and women) recorded the number of times they apologized and had someone apologize to them, for 12 days.

The journals said that women were more prone to apologize when they believed they committed wrongdoing. Ross Oakes-Mueller, a Point Loma professor of psychology, explains, saying that “women apologized about 25% more than men did.”

Oakes-Mueller also examines that there could be factors in our emotions as to why one gender may apologize more than the other. He says that there is a difference between primary and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are what we feel first as a response to a certain scenario, such as immediately feeling happy or sad, whereas secondary emotions are a feeling about a feeling.

“It’s going to take girls realizing that their voices are just as important as those of men and that they are not a burden and [not] responsible for everybody’s well being,” says Jill Butler, a sophomore and a history major. Though it may take time to catch oneself for apologizing for unnecessary things, there are techniques to help better your apologetic reasoning.

Senior political science major, Elina Mendoza says, “A great strategy that has worked for me is to replace my unnecessary ‘sorry’ with ‘thank you’ instead. It eliminates the need for others to provide their assurance to me, and instead willingly gives loving appreciation to who I’m communicating with.”


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Griffin Aseltine

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