In a tradition as old as baseball itself, an editor who criticized the Hillsdale College (Mich.) baseball team's putrid record found his front porch decorated with dead animal carcasses, including a shotgunned goat.

Beneath the dead carcasses was a copy of a recent Hillsdale Collegian editorial which called out the Div. II baseball team for its 8-14 record (1-9 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), leading one to assume that certain players were not amused. An excerpt from the editorial:

In the recent past Hillsdale managed to can its women's cheer team, the soccer team, men's swimming and men's golf. God knows what they did wrong. Even more disturbing, the rugby team (4-3) struggles to become a recognized club (despite field success) as the dean of men pushes to bring a Nerf-war club into fruition. What?

Maybe you're next?

Oh, and lose the swagger.

Most of you walk around campus with this chip-on-my-shoulder, badass tempo. How is this possible? It's not enough for you to simply lumber around like the other disappointing athletes? Lose the stride boys.

Hillsdale senior John Krudy, an editor at the paper, lives at the address festooned with the dead animals. A witness across the street, Nathan McClallen, said he saw "figures" placing the animals on the porch with a shovel. Seems like a rational response to an editorial. I would tell you more but no one over there is returning calls.

What little I know about their baseball team is this: It's coached by Paul Noce, who attended the same high school as I did (Sequoia in Redwood City, Calif.), and played briefly for the Cubs and Reds. As for Hillsdale, it produced one of the great all-time directors, Bob Clark (Porky's, A Christmas Story).

Anyway, you'll be happy to know that the newspaper is sticking to its guns. Another recent editorial:

An apology from the editors:

This past week's staff editorial about the baseball team was a mistake, and we can't stand by that expressed opinion. Maybe the right sentiment was there in the beginning, but what we published was poorly written, reported and edited. We now realize there are conditions the baseball team faces, for example a financial disadvantage other teams may not worry about. We kicked a guy when he was down; published an opinion rooted in gossip rather than reported fact.

Especially, we never should have attacked the character of the baseball team or the coaching staff. We understand you do your best to represent the college well. You are supported by the editorial board as one of our Charger teams and we hope you snag a win this weekend.

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Off Campus House Decorated With Animal Carcasses [Hillsdale Collegian]
We Like Baseball, But Not This Kind [Hillsdale Collegian]
Lost In Left Field [Hillsdale Collegian]