Vanderbilt Baseball Mail Bag #13: Your Questions Answered

The VandyBoys seem to have their mojo back. In which game (or series) would you like to have another chance this season? It can be a disappointment, a missed opportunity, or just a challenge you want to overcome.

At the top of my head, there are three series contenders (in no particular order):

1) South Cackalacky Penis Game

2) Home against the Chuggers

3) Season-opening home series against The Okie Pokes

By far the most disappointing streak loss was when we let penises take 2 out of 3. It was then, and is even more so now, inexcusable. Then, the following weekend, we suffered the indignity of being swept away by Tony “The Calf” Vitello and his classless, bat-cheating Chuggers.

That said, I’ll go with #3. The Okie Pokes are currently ranked in the top 10 or near the top 10 on all three major rankings, and currently #14 on the RPI…but I just don’t see it. I’ve been to a few Big XII games this year, and the level of competition is just a far cry from the SEC. Now that we have a relatively stable pitching rotation and some of our stars (Bradfield, Jones and Keegan) are playing to their abilities, I think we’re going to run all over the Holliday team. If we’re up against them in Supers or Omaha, I’d love the chance to set the record straight.


With the way things are going, how do you think Vandy is doing in the SEC tournament?

My main hope is that we take the series this weekend against the Gumbo Bengals, and Hoover doesn’t matter to our chance of hosting a regional. That said, it would definitely be fun to get revenge on The Chuggers next week.

Oh, and I’m not even sure The Chuggers is a prohibitive Hoover favorite. Besides us, aTm, Ole Piss and Arky are playing good ball right now. With the chaotic nature of Hooverville, I’d take the field if it was a straight bet.

Of course, it would be pretty crazy to bet on the SEC tournament with all those cowards playing RPI games canceling midweek games lately. These coaches know exactly what they will need to do to get the desired result, and once they achieve it, it looks like they’ll just call it quits. There’s a growing consensus that winning the SEC Tournament could put undue stress on a pitching staff. It’s a concern that neither Corbs nor I share, but again, you see what games these other SEC schools are playing (or not playing) lately.

If we play Tuesday, we should win this one. After that, who knows. Ask again once the support is finalized.


If I remember correctly, it wasn’t a robbery. He tried to hit a ball in the dirt, so it doesn’t count as a steal attempt. I’m sure Andrew will correct me if I’m wrong

You’re right, Johnny ’10, but I like to think I’m more unpredictable than that.


Linked to a conversation on game feed:

Who do you think is more likely to come out of his meltdown: Diaz or Young? And who would you rather be playing right now (assuming Bulger catches and Noland is in 3rd)?

The answer to both questions is Davis Diaz. I would love nothing more for Young to return to the Mighty Carter Young we saw before his shoulder injury last year. However, you can hope in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.

Young needs a hard reset right now, and it’s taking a while. He’s got plenty of talent, but he’s missed solid-footed balls time and time again over the past few weeks. It could be a sight problem, a shoulder problem, or a mental problem (or a combination). It’s at .204/.330/.377 on the year and 4-50 (.080) over the past 30 days.

Diaz, on the other hand, seems to be giving us a comparable level of defense, seems to be breaking through his freshman wall (much easier to do than coming out of a protracted veteran slump), and allowing Parker Noland (who has been really good lately) to stay in range. I’m not sure we’ll see Young save for late-inning defense for the rest of this season.


If we play Arky in the SEC tournament, are we bringing our lucky raccoons?

Metal bats and lightning delays go together like _____

See those footprints in the sand? It was when Raccoon Man was carrying you.

Seriously, no. Please stay away from raccoons. In addition to the obvious threat of rabies, raccoon droppings contain parasites that can directly eat your brain and kill you. Keep the lids of your trash cans tightly closed and call animal control if there’s any sign of a trash panda. That said, I’ll post those Raccoon Man photos and tweets for good luck.

* Metallic bats and lightning delays go together like gender reveal parties and dry forests.


With the emergence of the explosive Doctor Jones, does he risk an early exit from the draft? Wouldn’t he be a super cool corner man in 23?

And can someone reassure me that Shockwave is not eligible for the draft?

And with that failed suicidal push, was it the shortest bunt ever in the SEC?

Shockwave is ours until 2023. In fact, Tennesseeian Beat Writer Aria Gerson wrote a helpful tweet that will answer any questions about Diamond Dore’s draft eligibility (click it, then click the photo to see the whole list):

“Shortest bunt ever” is not something statisticians record. I don’t have an answer to that.

As for Dr. Jones, I assume he will turn professional after this year. He just has too much talent and projection in him not to make the scouts salivate. At this point, I expect his name to come out of the board in the top 75 picks or so, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up in the first round. I mean, I’d take it first. That 3B he hit against MTSU? 113 mph output bike. He could easily be a 30 HR guy in the pros if developed properly. He also showed the most year-over-year growth I’ve ever seen of anyone. If it doesn’t soar on the drawing boards, someone is getting a robbery. He saw Shockwave go home and immediately thought, “Why not try this?” And with his cruelty, the sky is the limit of projections for the good doctor.

It’s a legit prospect of 5 tools, and it cuts through the learning curve. If we were to get him back for his senior year, he’ll peak JJ Bleday next year. You should know that’s the learning curve he’s on right now. He just needs to stop making bonehead games in RF on pop flies.

Oh, and if he’s not successful as a hitter, he could always try his luck as a pitcher.

Yeah… a team will convince themselves to offer him more than a million. There are more reasons to do it than not.


There’s still plenty of baseball to play this year (hopefully), but looking ahead to next year’s campaign, which draft-eligible juniors do you see returning?

Part two here, but specifically what happened to Young’s draft stock? The last time I saw ESPN he had dropped, so what’s the chance he’ll come back?

Just a reminder that I will be putting together a full preview of the Vanderbilt draft at the end of this season. For this question, I’m just going to list the people I’m sure will turn pro and forfeit their senior season. In other words, these are my “don’t count on getting them back” guys, with a caveat that Dom Keegan would have been on this list last year:

spencer jones

Thomas Schultz

Chris McElvain

That’s it. Many more could go, but the people who would have been blocked from making this list last year – Nick Maldonado and Carter Young – just didn’t get the years they wanted. Maldo could still be drafted and signed, as could Young, but they’re definitely in “bet me and come back” territory given their disappointing junior seasons.


Seeing raccoons being caught (and possibly grilled) in the bleachers of Arky’s baseball stadium, what animal would fans at Hawkins field catch? Is there a roster for other SEC teams?

I can no longer strongly affirm that raccoons should be avoided at all costs, and also not eaten. The first Google search revealed this gem:

Is raccoon meat safe to eat?

Historically, the raccoon has been a feature on a southerner’s dinner table, but the creature hasn’t featured much in recent years. You should avoid eating city raccoons as they tend to carry parasites, rabies, and various other diseases due to their eating habits.

As for the animals at The Hawk? I have never seen any. Maybe a squirrel or a bird comes by now and then?

Either way, absolutely no one in our pits grabs a creature and throws it on a grill. We are not the rest of the SEC.

Now if an ortolan falls into a bowl of armagnac and drowns, the wealthy people who sit behind the catcher will surely have it prepared for them whole roasted by their private chefs, and cover their faces while eating to hide their shame at God. This is why they are so often not in their place of subscription at the start of the season.

…but only so.


Help me get through this…I think trying to win the SEC Tournament as a 5 seed or less is detrimental to getting into Omaha. You must play from Tuesday to Sunday before possibly starting the following Friday. Looks like a way to wear down the front arms which is really important. Thoughts?

If you have a deep pitching staff, you can do that. You just can’t follow Dave Van Horn’s method of bringing Kevin Kopps in like the 3rd inning of every goddamn game and pitching him north of 100 pitches. We have, at least in theory, such a team of pitchers to achieve this. LSU would eliminate position players in Game 4.


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