Vanderbilt Baseball Is The Most Obnoxious Team In The SEC
Just doing a quick search online, and you will find piles of hatred for Vanderbilt baseball. A lot of it has to do with the notorious "Vanderbilt Whistler", but for many of the comments and threads online the "Whistler" was actually just a gateway to hatred.
There are a lot of fans annoyed by the little things they do, and many more annoyed by the bigger things they do. Some of the grievances include:
"they just become relevant, competitive, and basically got a pulse in baseball about a decade ago, and now they think their Texas or something."
"the tacky pinstripe jerseys"
"their little rinky-dink stadium"
"that stupid little helmet Tim Corbin wears"
"the hate for me began watching their pitchers scream after strikeouts & the catchers spiking the ball on home plate"
But now lets add a new one to the mix. One that might follow them around for a while, especially in their most intimate rivalry.
Over the weekend, Vanderbilt was hosting Tennessee. It was not just a big deal because it's an in-state rivalry, but Vandy was ranked #3, and the Vols were ranked #1 in the nation. A huge matchup across all of college baseball, with a lot of eyes on it.
So when one of the most ridiculous scenes in modern college baseball memory unfolds in the first inning, it sets a weird tone for the weekend. In the first inning Friday, just a few pitches into the series, Tennessee's Jordan Beck crushed a home run with two outs for the 1-0 lead. But after Beck got into the dugout, a bizarre thing happened.
Beck ended up getting called out, and a run taken off the board, because of a sticker...
Once Beck was called out, and the run came off the board, Vols Head Coach Tony Vitello came out of that dugout George Brett style...he wanted that bat, and he wanted answers, right now...
According to people who know way more about college baseball than I do, each bat gets inspected before a series starts, and it gets a sticker that says its legal. This sounds like a good idea on the surface, but obviously there's some space for people to exploit this.
There are a few video angles of this specific Tennessee and Vanderbilt issue that shows a sicker present on the bat. But it turns out, it was the wrong sticker.
So the bat was deemed legal this season, but apparently was overlooked during the sticker process for this series. But how did the umpires figure it out? How did they decide to look? Well, its because Vanderbilt's Head Coach Tim Corbin told them to.
Not only did Corbin deploy a shady maneuver to save a run for his team, he also gave new life to the massive hatred for the Vanderbilt baseball program online. Twitter fans weren't pleased with Corbin or Vandy, and neither were the Vols players. After Luc Lipcius launched a home run, he talked to the Vanderbilt bench on his way by, and mocked inspecting his bat for a sticker when he crossed home plate.
But Tennessee wasn't done mocking Vanderbilt at that point, Vols Coach Tony Vitello had some fun with ESPN, saying that it wasn't just the bat. Joking that Beck forged a transcript, and is actually a 35-year-old man...
The Vols got all of the last laughs, because they swept Vandy over the weekend. 6-2 on Friday, 5-2 on Saturday, and 5-0 on Sunday.
I have to be honest, if I had Vanderbilt on my schedule this year, I would ask to inspect every bat of every hitter who gets any hit. Slow each game to a grinding halt, and embarrass them as much as possible.
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