John ("The Bossman"), Coach Buckley, and Paul Slater ("The Chosen One")
What is a LBSU Dirtbag?
In case you missed it, here's a highlight video of our interview with Long Beach State Dirtbag coach Troy Buckley. He talks expectations this season, teaches us what it means to be a Dirtbag, and how that relates to the movie 8 Mile.
We sat down with Long Beach State Dirtbags coach Troy Buckley at EJ Malloy's to talk expectations for this year's club. We also played a game called 'Are you a better coach than...?'(14:50-47:32). Shoot Your Shot continues to be the official podcast of the countdown to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles (2:30-7:20). In 'Iron Sharpens Iron' we talked about Long Beach State basketball and its recent win over Cal Poly (7:50-9:26). We talk about what's been really making us angry in 'Grind My Gears' (10:27-42:38). Happy Valentine's Day! In our very first Cutest Couple Valentine's Day segment we power ranked some of our favorite couples of all time (45:30-48:23). As always we ended the show with the 908 Athlete of the Week. This week is Long Beach State softball player Cielo Meza (53:50-55:22).
Q & A with Troy Buckley
Q: Can you describe what a Dirtbag is?
A: I think there is a sense of spirit about the player. There is personality that is able to be shown through while he is competing. I think a competitor, a guy who has a lot of respect for all things around him, the game, the umpires, the opponent, the coaches, himself, his teammates and just a guy, even if his day gets off to a really bad start you’re never really going to know that and he just continues to play. I think it’s a really positive connotation and I think all of our goals when we go through recruiting is if you’re in the stands and look out onto the field and you say that guy belongs on our field then that’s a good testament to getting the right makeup of the kid. We are talking about making just as much as the kids pure ability.
Q: These guys you have to recruit; do you see that in them or do you have to instill that in them along the road?
A: I think a little bit of both. I think sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to see everybody a lot before we actually do and recruit them or commit them. So it’s a little bit of both and you rely a lot on other people for their insight on them, their evaluation of their counselor, a teacher, a high school coach, junior college coach, anybody, we don’t want a bunch of Eddie Haskell’s running around out there.
Q: Let recap that Texas series. Best series of all-time right?
A: Within the top three, four, five. To have that energy from the community and the support that we had and what they brought to the table I mean I could never say enough about having a huge home field advantage for us.
Q: What are the expectations coming into this year?
A: I think they are always high. Regardless of experience and so on and so forth, we have a lot of guys coming back. We have gotten bit by the injury bug and I never like commenting on it.
Q: Do you think your guys are going to step up?
A: Yea I do. We have some growing to do, we have some maturing to do. We have some things we have to work through but they are all capable, there is no doubt and I think we do have enough pieces where we can move people around so we don’t put guys in a situation where they can’t be successful.
Q: So it’s Bohl Diamond now but it is still Blair Field, do you know who Blair was?
A: He was a journalist I believe.
Q: Why are you such a good pitching mind?
A: I’ve been around some unbelievable baseball people that trained me in that arena. My training is in pitching but I would like to think I am a very well rounded baseball person. I was a catcher so I at least had a relationship with pitchers and not all position players want to have relationships with pitchers unfortunately.
Q: Do you think it is necessary to shift outfielders on every pitch?
A: Mainly with leverage counts and two strikes. Depending on what type of hitter you are based off of spray charts and other teams playing you and all the data. There is trend on what you do and sometimes that trend is different against our arms versus Texas A &M’s arms. So you got to kind of balance all that out.
Q: If you were recruiting us what would your pitch be?
A: I would probably bring in our young guys to say how great campus life is. You really don’t care much about baseball.
Q: Who is the best Christmas caroler that has ever came to your house?
A: That would be you by far. That was classic.
Q: What is your favorite promotional series during the season?
A: I don’t know them all off hand. I have a high affinity for all our ex-players so they are doing a Vargas bobble head night so that’s going to be cool. I have a lot of respect for our ex-players because they created the program into what it is now.
Q: Do you have all of your players on speed dial?
A: I saw Weav last night down on 2nd street at Riley’s.
Q: What are the pros and cons of playing college versus minors out of high school?
A: It is a little bit more of a job in professional baseball. Professional baseball adds more reps so if you want to just major in baseball then sign but most guys aren’t ready emotionally, maturity wise and their not talented enough physically or mentally to do that on a daily basis.
Q: What is your favorite road trip of the year?
A: Probably A&M, I’ve never been to college station.
Q: Would you rather sit on a bucket or lean against a rail?
A: Sit on a bucket.
Q: What would your walk-up song be?
A: The song that is playing right now. Elton John.
Q: David or Spitz?
A: Probably Spitz.
Q: What is your favorite sports movie?
A: Love “The Natural,” love “Miracle,” love “Remember the Titans.”
Q: What is the best home series this year?
A: I think they all are going to be pretty good. Mississippi doesn’t usually come west so that is going to be cool.
Q: Do you have a nickname besides “Buck”?
A: Not really.
Q: How many games last year did you wear long johns?
Q: Manual or electric toothbrush?
Q: What is the best place to eat in Pittsburgh?
A: That question I cannot answer.
Q: What is your jersey number?
Q: How much do you hate Fullerton on a scale of 1-10?
A: I don’t hate Fullerton. I respect Fullerton.
Favorite Couples of All Time
Happy Valentine's Day 908! In Shoot Your Shot's very first Valentine's Day segment, we list a few of our favorite couples of all time.
Chloe Kim is NOT from Long Beach
'Shoot Your Shot' is the official countdown to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. There are 3,806 days and four hours until the opening ceremonies and they share some of the things they're looking forward to most. Also Chloe Kim is NOT from Long Beach.