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January 16th, 2014 Comments off
The original Franklin advertisement.

The original Franklin advertisement.

On Thursday, January 16, James Franklin took out ads in the Vanderbilt Hustler and The Tennessean to thank Vanderbilt officially. In his introductory press conference the prior Saturday, he had made some thankful overtures toward David Williams, while ignoring the Vanderbilt community and fan base at large.  The ad itself was lambasted by many as a hollow gesture given his questionable behavior in the week leading up to his departure and a spate of commitment poaching.

As a result, under my Twitter nom de plume, I launched the short-lived meme of #UnpublishedFranklinAds.  Some others pitched in with ideas of their own.  They are presented for your amusement after the jump. Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 5/16/13

May 16th, 2013 16 comments
Commodore players salute the large Vanderbilt fan contingent that traveled to Lexington, KY to watch Vanderbilt clinch their third SEC title in seven years. Photo:

Commodore players salute the large Vanderbilt fan contingent that traveled to Lexington, KY to watch Vanderbilt clinch their third SEC title in seven years. Photo: Jimmy Jones via

Another day, and it’s another long blog post. OK, so this one is a little delayed in the making, but I’m allowed a social life every once in a while. Because I wrote this one rather quick, you’ll have to forgive me the somewhat jumbled nature of the opening segment, which discusses the number one ranking achieved by the Dores this week, as well as the series of records that they have tied and are on the cusp of breaking.

What I lack in numbers of posts, I make up for in substance, I promise.

Click through to keep on reading. Read more…

WISM Special: The Greatest VU Baseball Team of the Corbin Era

May 1st, 2013 9 comments


As we head into the stretch run of the 2013 season, one of the more interesting questions for fans looking for something to ponder in advance of the big weekend series at South Carolina is comparing the three greatest Tim Corbin squads at Vanderbilt.

The three Commodore teams that have held the #1 ranking in one poll or another have been the 2007 Nashville Regional squad, the 2011 College World Series team and this current crop of Dores. The 2007 team headed by All-Americans David Price and Pedro Alvarez held down the consensus #1 ranking for most all of the season, before faltering in the Nashville Regional. The 2011 squad led by Sonny Gray and Aaron Westlake was in the top 4 of all the polls for most of the season, alongside SEC East rivals South Carolina and Florida (who vanquished the Dores in Omaha). And this year’s Commodores, led by Kevin Ziomek and Tony Kemp, are just now starting to jump from the #2 spot in the polls to the pole position after a record setting 19-2 start in SEC play.

A comparison of the three is made difficult in that each is a fundamentally separate cohort participating in different baseball eras; a fact that is true even for the 2011 and 2013 squads which were comprised of several common key players. In this blog post, I’ll try not to get lost in a bevy of data and will endeavor to make an argument for the team I think, at this moment, is the best in Vanderbilt history.

Click through to read my perhaps too extensive analysis thereof. Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 4/22/13

April 22nd, 2013 Comments off


Another thrilling week of Vanderbilt baseball is in the books, though the four games did see two contests end in a bit of frustration. That said, the week saw the Vanderbilt bats continue to stay relatively hot, outscoring opponents 30-18, while walloping eight home runs. The week saw two multi-homer games (Rhett Wiseman on Tuesday and Zander Wiel on Saturday), a feat performed only by Connor Harrell over the past years (Stanford in 2012 and Missouri in 2013).

While I’d like to spend some time discussing Zander Wiel and his spectacular SEC starting debut on Saturday and Sunday, a couple of other issues have taken precedence, namely an homage to Tony Kemp and the need to address a question I received on why Vanderbilt inserts a pitching ace in the starting lineup as designated hitter.  I’ll discuss those two topics, preview the upcoming week and remind folks that dropping a pair of games in a row is no big deal.

Click on through to read. (Header photo credit: Don Boyles) Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 4/9/13

April 9th, 2013 Comments off


Another week down and another series win for the Commodores. Vanderbilt has won all eight of its weekend series (five by sweep) and is off to a program best 11-1 start in SEC play. So what is there to talk about this blog post? How about GameDay Grass?

I’ll get into my thoughts on the GameDay Grass, look at the top performers from last week (including your poll), and have a gander at our opponents this week.

Click on through to keep reading. (Header photo courtesy, Mike Rapp of Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 4/4/13

April 4th, 2013 Comments off


Not looking to do a full post today, but did want to note that, as the half-way mark of the season has passed, we’re starting to get more reliable projections of the NCAA brackets emerging. In this blog, I take a gander at those predictions revealed by Baseball America, SEBaseball and CBDaily.

I’ve also got a few quick thoughts about MTSU, a couple of records that could fall and a poll on which former Commodore will be next in the bigs. Click on through to read. Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 4/2/13

April 2nd, 2013 Comments off
Connor Harrell, Jared Miller and Mike Yastrzemski all played a big role in Vandy's Sunday win over Tennessee. Photo: Joe Howell,

Connor Harrell, Jared Miller and Mike Yastrzemski all played a big role in Vandy’s Sunday win over Tennessee. Photo: Joe Howell,

Another week in the books and the Dores are streaking, having won six straight. As has been the case of late, the team has not exactly played to its highest level, but has managed to take some punches (or in Xavier Turner’s case, fastballs to the chin) and recover for wins. With the Commodores preparing for what may be their toughest test of the season (a trip to Ole Miss in Oxford), a slightly higher caliber of play may be needed to stay on top.

As is the case with the new blog format, I plan to simply spew out my thoughts without any real care for form or formality. While it may not read quite as cleanly, it makes for much more form friendly writing. This post will discuss the sweep of Tennessee and the domination of Dramamine Miller and start with some basic national standings rundown.  There’s also a little anecdote about the left-handed righty pitcher on the staff. Click through for more.

Read more…

Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers – 3/29/13

March 29th, 2013 Comments off


So, work and life have made completion of my season preview difficult for the second year in a row. Furthermore, it’s no longer realistic to go through the complete “Week Behind, Week Ahead” process. As a result, I’m going to go with less structured “Thoughts from Beyond the Bleachers”. I’ll post when I dang feel like it (but usually Sundays or Mondays) and try to get thoughts down on paper.

I’ll kick off this one with some general thoughts and a recap of my weekend in Nashville for the series win over Florida. Without further ado, time to get into it. Read more…

Triple Stealin’: Who did it best?

March 27th, 2013 2 comments

King of all Vanderbilt Baseball visual media, Will Hinson (AKA @TheVUCount) Vanderbilt media, Brandon Barca (@BrandonBarca), delivered this morning with the Youtube clip for Vanderbilt’s triple steal against.  The video raises the question of “who did it best” between the Xavier Turner-led called triple steal against Lipscomb or the Anthony Gomez-led “go if you got it” steal against Florida 10 months ago.

The triple play is something you don’t see every day. It has only occurred twice on the Major League level in the last 26 years, and even then the last instance (by Cleveland in 2008) was on a blown pickoff pickle in which the runners merely beat the throws. So let’s take a look at the two times Vanderbilt pulled off the feat (intentionally, at that).

Jump inside for thoughts and to vote.

Read more…

A Guide To Recognizing Your Commodores

March 1st, 2013 4 comments

I’ve been otherwise preoccupied the last couple weeks, but the final portion of my season preview (which you can read here) and the Week Behind, Week Ahead series will continue soon. In the meantime, I received a special treat from America’s top Baseball Ops guy, Drew Fann. Fann sent over the definitive list of walk-up songs in use for the 2013 Vanderbilt Baseball season. In conjunction with some requests I’ve received to provide a primer to the Twitter hashtags associated with each player, I present a guide to recognizing your Dores.

Click on through to give a read. Read more…