Baseball, Bourbon, and Bad Decisions II: And This Time, It’s Personal

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"And yet even in reaching for the beautiful, there is beauty, and also in suffering whatever it is that one suffers en route."

-Plato, Phaedrus

"It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge."


Column II: "Revenge."

I'm often asked which colleges I hate the most. In no particular order, I rattle off: Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Duke, and Stanford. The first three people generally understand. Knowing I went to Vanderbilt, they figure my disdain for The Chuggers is natural-in state rivalry and whatnot-and have no problem when I explain my Florida hatred is based both on the SEC Cabal of Referee Conspirators to Reinforce Established Hierarchical Dominance (do I have to remind you of Earl Bennett's end zone "dance" penalty in '05, or the beyond unbelievable pass interference no-call in '12, and on and on it goes...) and the basketball Triumvirate of Assholes-Matt Walsh (You Suck!), Joakim Noah (Is Ugly!), and Nick Calathes (Boo!!!). I only have to say "Kentucky basketball."

With Duke, they assume it's a "Southern Ivy thing". With Stanford, they're puzzled.

This weekend, we play the Leland Stanford Junior College in three sporting matches of based ball. We're 7-0, they're 3-4. We're a prestigious University, they're a Junior College. Granted, for a Junior College, they attract a great deal of academic superstars (last I checked, Tobias Wolff was working there) and seem to produce every spy in the CIA, and quite a few who work for Fulcrum. Like few other Junior Colleges, they do grant 4-year degrees (only Greendale comes to mind as another), and unlike the 100% acceptance rate of most Junior Colleges, Stanford boasts a robust 5%, which is head and shoulders above even the most stringent of Air Conditioning Repair programs at other respected Junior Colleges.

Further, like many a Jessie Spano before us, it is highly likely that a great deal of Vanderbilt alums both applied and were summarily rejected by Stansbury, with their admissions board taking the various Zach Morrises in our stead. I, for instance, applied Early Decision, was deferred into their regular applicant pool, and then, for good measure, waitlisted. Granted, my addiction to caffeine pills might have played a role in their decision (, but when I rejected their offer to put me on the waitlist (out of pride, and as I'd already decided Vanderbilt was the place for me), and they put me on it regardless just so they could send me another rejection letter in August, it became personal. Die Hard 2 personal. Printing this column multiple times to hand edit it only for the sake of ensuring the death of more trees personal.

And here's the thing... this weekend, we get to unleash this revenge on an unwitting group of slightly off-red human-tree-chimeras (no one understands your name or mascot!) with extreme prejudice. Just as the collective Jessie Spanos of Rice did on the first weekend of the season, with Friday and Saturday wins of 10-3 and 5-1 respectively (while then feeling pity for them, and throwing underhand en route to a 12-3 Sunday loss). Just as the Honors College students at UT-Austin willed their team to 9-3 and 4-3 wins (before having to study on Sunday, thus allowing Stanford an 11-5 score in their favor).

We're Vanderbilt. When someone has wronged us, we do not relent after taking vengeance on a mere two out of three contests. To wit, as Cornelius would say, "You have undertaken to cheat me. I won't sue you, for the law is too slow. I'll ruin you."

This weekend we play the Stansbury Junior College Slightly Off-Red Human-Tree-Chimeras. This weekend we RUIN the Stansbury Junior College Slightly Off-Red Human-Tree-Chimeras.

Whisky to pair with watching us beat the Western Kentucky Red Grimaces: Cherry-Infused Moonshine.

Whisky to pair with watching us beat the Evansville Purple Aces: "Aces High Whiskey" from the Mystic Mountain Distillery in Larkspur, Colorado.

Whisky to pair with watching us beat the Stansbury Junior College Slightly Off-Red Human-Tree-Chimeras: Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Pour in a tumbler and add half an ice cube. You'll want to enjoy this.


Vandy 6-WKU 2 (Tuesday, 4pm CT)

Vandy 9-Aces 3 (Wednesday, 4pm CT)

Vandy 12- Stansbury 1 (Friday, 4pm CT)

Vandy 6- Stansbury 0 (Saturday, 2pm CT)

Vandy 15- Stansbury 1 (Sunday, 12pm CT)

*Author's note: "Baseball, Bourbon, and Bad Decisions" will be a weekly column throughout the 2014 baseball season. Andrew VU '04 is a writer, educator, and ne-er-do-well living in the whirlpool of despair (Baton Rouge, LA) and is writing this column based largely on the fact that VandyTigerPhD is a large Italian man threatening his life if he doesn't hold up his end of the bargain. Throughout the season, the writer will use no advanced statistics, whatsoever, and will go purely on what he sees, instinct, and bourbon-fueled bluster. Check in Sunday nights (or whenever I damn well feel like writing it) for "Scouting Report: Something Something, Burt Ward" in which the writer will provide a recap, 2nd guess at least one key decision made by Coach Corbin, and provide a full scouting report on one pitcher and one position player.

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