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Vanderbilt Heads to Palo Alto to Play Some Junior College

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Friday's game has been moved to Thursday, so as not to clash with some dumb-shit TedX Talk about Hooli Nucleus or something. That, or weather.

"See you in hell, Physics test!"
"See you in hell, Physics test!"
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, we play the first in a three game series in the heart of Silicon Valley against some Junior College called Stansbury.  We were originally going to play on Friday-Sunday, but Friday's game got moved to tonight after Jessie Spano OD'd on caffeine pills and was so excited, so excited... so scared of playing us.

It was that, or all their players had to take a Physics test.

To say we have a somewhat charged history with the Leland Stansbury Junior College is downplaying things.

So, let me tell you who's on the mound, who to look out for... but first, let's take a trip down memory lane to a simpler time... February 25th 2014, when I wrote this, my 2nd ever column for Anchor of Gold:

"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."

-Nietzsche

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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c), 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.

Here's a quick run-down of what has changed since that time:

1) We won the College World Series that year, and Stansbury played an instrumental role in that (the role of Super Regional loser).

2) We made it to Omaha the next year, only to lose in game three of the Finals to some Wahoos from Virginia.

3) Cal "Quantum" Quantrill had a season ending physics injury.

4) Very little else.

Stansbury is 6-3 on the year, though their only losses have come against Cal State Fullerton and UT Austin (so they haven't exactly been taking the OOC portion of their schedule easy).  Oddly enough, their last series was still against UT Austin (this time, they split a four game series this time), and the main difference I've noticed from this Stansbury team and the '14 Stansbury team is their hitters are larger human beings than I remember.  I caught most of last Sunday's game (which Stansbury won 11-1), and can tell you that their pitchers are still impeccable coached control forward arms who won't blow you away with gas.  Their hitters, however, have seemingly abandoned the "Stanford Approach" at the plate, and are going for a power game.  We'll have to keep the ball low to keep the meat of their order from racking up extra base hits.  They will be our toughest competition to date, but I have the feeling we're up for the challenge.

On the Mound

Thursday March 3, 5pm CT (I think the Stansbury live stream ought to be broadcasting it for free).

RHP Jordan "Stuff" Sheffield (2-0, 0-75) vs. RHP Tristan "Shandy" Beck (1-1, 2.89)

Saturday, March 5, 3pm CT Pac-12 Network
TBA vs. TBA

Sunday, March 6 , 3pm CT Pac-12 Network
TBA vs. TBA

So yeah... other than Top Sheff v. Tristram Shandy tonight, neither coach is telling us anything.

Allow me to speculate wildly on what this means.  First, with our lone mid-week game getting weathered out, both Freshman studs Patrick "Mad Dog" Raby and Chandler "Day Man" Day have fresh arms.  To say they've been as good as advertised is a lie - they've been better.  Second, Ben Bowden has proven his arm is effective for 4-5 innings tops.  Third, Kyle Wright is still being treated with kid gloves as he returns from an oblique injury (even though he's allowed no runs and has looked in control at all times on the mound).  Here's my guess: Saturday is Bowden for 4-5, followed by Day Man; Sunday is Wright for 4-5 followed by the Mad Dog.  However, this, too could change, depending on how effective Sheffield is tonight - both how deep he goes into the game, and the score of the game could affect Corbs' decision.  As such, I think his TBA is similar to his "Pitcher in the DH" strategy, as it allows for optionality.  Also, we have no freaking clue whether K-Chow or Donny "The Element" Everett is ready for mound action.

Hope you have the Pac-12 Network to find out.  Hell, hope I have the Pac-12 Network to find out.  I honestly have no idea either way.

See you in the comments tonight.

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.

Physics tests be damned.