Michigan State Baseball Coach Jake Boss Answers Your Emails





The Head Coach of the Michigan State Spartans Baseball team Jake Boss Jr. made another guest appearance on Spartan Nation Radio. Listeners sent in questions to be answered, and Coach Boss gladly answered them.


Pat: “Coach, I love listening to you on Spartan Nation Radio every Monday night with Hondo. I wanted to tell you something great. My son and I, because of gas prices, just don’t have enough money to get up to East Lansing. We were thrilled that we were able to see the Spartans at Comerica Park. It was a great time; I don’t care if it was cold. Please think about coming back to Detroit…for those of us who live in “The D”.


Coach Jake Boss: “Pat, I appreciate that. We had a great time down in Detroit. We’d like to make it an annual event if we can work out some of the details. It was a real thrill for myself, for my team, for my family. It was a great night all in all. It was fortunate that we played really well.”



Tony: “Coach, after watching the reports at Comerica it seems to me that you have another great pitcher in [Andrew] Waszak”


Coach Boss: “Andrew is throwing well. He was in the top three at the beginning of the year. At no fault of his own, he kind of slid out of that: he was edged out by Dave Garder, a right-handed freshman for us. Andrew is an outstanding kid, he’s hard-worker, and he’s a leader. I would expect him to get a start this weekend at Penn State.”



Jason: “I love the job you’re doing with Michigan State. Congrats at the big win at Comerica Park. Wouldn’t it be fun to play Michigan there?”


Coach Boss: “It would be: we actually talked about that this year. We tried to set something up, but our schedules along with the Tigers’ really didn’t coincide. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to happen. There are a lot of other factors and variables that come into that. Unfortunately we couldn’t work it out. But that certainly would be a lot of fun down the road.”



Adam: “Coach, you’re doing a good job at Michigan State. Is the rebuilding process farther along than what you thought when you took over?”


Coach Boss: “Well, I don’t know Adam. I think we’re getting there. I don’t know if we really had a timeline when we took over. I think the first and most important thing was changing the attitude and changing the culture. I think we’re well on our way. I think our kids genuinely believe that they have a chance, which is more important than talent, to be quite honest with you. I think we’re getting closer from a talent perspective. We’ve got a couple big weekends coming up when we have a chance to prove ourselves. That will speak for itself. I think we’re on our way, there’s no question in my mind.”



Michelle: “Coach, I was out to eat at Applebee’s with my kids and I met a couple of your players, who were such great young men. They couldn’t stop talking about you and the job you’re doing. Tell me, is this just a couple of good kids I met or are all your kids such high-character young men?”


Coach Boss: “I appreciate that, Michelle. That’s something we really look for when we recruit. I was fortunate to have inherited a great group of kids when I got the job three years ago. I don’t know who those two young men who were you ran into. But the majority of our kids, really all, of our guys are high character kids. They work hard; they handle themselves the right way. They’re certainly not perfect, as none of us are, but at the same time they’re kids who I’m proud of and I’m proud to be associated with [them].”



Phil: “Coach, I noticed that during the Clash at Comerica Park, the pitcher had a rough first inning. The youngster came walking into the dugout and your dad [Jake Boss Sr.] was the first one to greet him with a smack [on the rear end]. How much of a calming influence is it on the players to have an older coach there like Mr. Boss to help?”


Coach Boss: “That’s important. That’s one of the reasons I have him on our staff: it wasn’t just for selfish reasons. He’s a great coach. He’s been doing that an awful long time. He can give us a different perspective sometimes. That’s extremely important to have around when we have a lot of things going on and when I’m trying to make decisions based on the entire ball club. It’s good to have a calling force in that dugout.”



Yen: “Coach, I notice you let your pitchers pitch out of jams. You let them go and don’t go to the bullpen too quick. Does that help you in recruiting that you trust your pitchers and let them pitch out of jams?”


Coach Boss: “I think that’s a philosophy that I have along with my pitching coach Mark Van Ameyde. I think it’s good for their development when they get into those situations to see if they can get out of it. Certainly conference games are going to be different than non-conference games. In general, I prefer to let those guys really compete and find out what they’re made of, especially early in the ball game. If they get tired or if it’s a physical thing or if he just doesn’t have it that day, obviously we’ll have to go to the pen. I’d really like to give him every opportunity to get out of it. I think it’s good for them and their future.”



Chris: “I live in Urbana, Illinois. It was great to watch the Spartans this weekend. Coach, you may remember me: I did my own version of “Go Green, Go White”. I don’t care you lost two out of three. You’re the leading the Big Ten right now. It was great, as a Spartan, to have another reason to root for the Spartans in Illinois country.”


Coach Boss: “Chris, I appreciate it. I heard you out there. I didn’t necessarily see you, but I heard the “Go Green Go White”. It’s always good to have some familiar faces. We see a lot of green and white when we go on the road. I think we learned a lot about ourselves this weekend. We had some chances. We played really well in game one and had some opportunities in games two and three and we were a little disappointed. But like you said we’re still in first place in the Big Ten and we’ve got it all in front of us. We still control our own destiny. We’re excited about what the next couple weeks are going to bring.”



Rick: “Coach, I watched a Michigan State baseball game on the Big Ten Network. Maybe it’s just me, but I got the sneaking suspicion you’re a coach that leads more so from a positive standpoint than a negative one. Even when your guys made some mistakes in the game, you were always cajoling, always cheering. I love your upbeat attitude.”


Coach Boss: “I appreciate that. I certainly don’t want to rub anybody’s nose it. Our guys know when they make mistakes. At the same time, I think can get a little fired up sometimes, which is okay. You need a little fire sometimes. Baseball is a game unlike football or hockey, where you can go out and take your frustrations out physically. Our sport doesn’t work that way. A lot of times the best way to be effective is to calm down, forget what just happened, and try to go forward in a positive direction.”



The Spartan baseball team controls its destiny.  Michigan State has a great chance to take control of the Big Ten race. In his third year as head coach, Boss has his players confident and Spartan Nation hopeful for a long postseason run. With a great coach like Jake Boss Jr., the idea is certainly within the realm of possibility. 


Coach Boss joins Hondo every Monday on Spartan Nation Radio. Email any question you would love to ask him to SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line Coach Boss.

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