"We're not like pro baseball, which picks and chooses its players and pays certain guys whatever he wants so you can get him," Mazey said. "When we go recruit, we identify good players. We get some of them and we don't get some of them. But it's not like I can take the guys who have a good OBPSPB or whatever you call that."
I have no idea what OBPSBP is - on-base plus stolen base percentage? - and I'm pretty sure Mazey made it up for the purpose of the conversation, though I'll hedge slightly because for all we know he does value OBPSBP as a key to his team's success and doesn't want anyone else to discover it.
More likely, Mazey is purposefully oblivious to it all, but still aware of certain things. No way he is where he is without grasping OPS - on-base percentage plus slugging percentage - but he chooses not to fixate upon it. This is a coach, though, who has been at Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee and TCU as an assistant and who has been the head coach at East Carolina and Charleston Southern and thus charged with being on top of the things that help his team.
He's worked with certain technologies and he's formed his opinions.
"When I was at TCU, we had a pretty intricate video system and cameras set up in four different spots in the stadium and you could download it to a computer and have a split-screen that showed how a guy swings and you'd draw lines on it," Mazey said, entirely unimpressed. "There was video analysis of pitchers similar to that and everyone had their system there using all of that.
"We don't have anything here yet. We're building a new facility. I didn't want to do anything permanent until we had a new facility for it."
WVU's new ballpark will probably have something like what Mazey described at TCU and the Mountaineers will certainly benefit. They will not obsess, though.
"I'm kind of old school and I was taught by an old school guy," he said. "I don't like to rely too much on video. I know it's something a lot of kids like to use, but it can be a crutch. Every time you have a bad game, you want to go right to the video, but the actual swing itself it probably less than 50 percent of being a hitter. Kids want to look at it all the time, but that's not something they need to rely on all the time."
Mazey's fear is that players get too analytical, too technical and turn a little slump into a big riddle. Sometimes players look for solutions and produce excuses. All that time spent in front of a laptop could be spent with a tee or a pitching machine. The truth is there are a lot of ways to inspect, critique and alter a swing or a pitch, but only a few things that can go wrong or right. Too often coaches and players get fancy with fundamentals when, in reality, the game is easy. See the ball/glove, hit the ball/glove.
"We're never going to get too technological," Mazey said.
That's why baseball is a little different from the other sports. It doesn't have the constant variables found and manipulated in football and basketball. A pitching rotation is much different than a volleyball rotation. You don't matriculate a baseball to the catcher's mitt like you do a soccer ball to the goal.
"I tell my assistant coaches all the time baseball is not rocket science," Mazey said. "Everyone's hitting approach, to a certain extent, is basically the same. Nobody varies from it too much. Everyone kind of knows what to teach. The key to coaching is to get kids to do it and that's when relationships come in with them. You can be the smartest coach in the whole world and have the most knowledge of any coach out there, but if you can't pass that off to kids, you don't have much."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.