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HATE WEEK Series Preview: The Wigsphere Chuggers come to Nashville

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HATE HATE HATE

1982 Knoxville World’s Fair
Wo d f ir.
Photo by Mike DuBose/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It’s tough to get a good read on the 2019 version of the Wigsphere Chuggers. We only know the following: 1) We hate them. 2) They drink with their butts. 3) Their admissions letters begin with: “We regret to inform you that you have been admitted...” (we can only assume).

In this week’s mailbag, Athanatos504 asked: “Have the bUTchuggers finally found a good head coach?” This was my response:

Are you talking about Rick Barnes? If so, yes. If you’re talking about Chugger Baseball coach Tony “The Calf” Vitello... well, there is not even remotely enough data to conclude anything. They were not great last year, talent wise, and Vitello had them at a respectable 29-27 (12-18 SEC). This year, they beat up on non-conference foes (sweeping Indiana was impressive, to be honest), but are 2-4 in conference (20-5 overall), having been swept on the Plains by a post-Casey Mize Auburn team. They bounced back admirably this weekend, though, taking 2 of 3 against the South Cackalacky Game Penises at home. They blew out the Penises 15-5 on Friday, but particularly impressive was the 4 run 8th that propelled them to the rubber match win in a come from behind effort on Sunday. However, the Penises are a flaccid bunch this year, and are not exactly a team with aspirations of Omaha. Ask me again after this weekend’s series. He certainly doesn’t seem to be a complete moron, like Dave Serrano, but again, I haven’t seen enough to conclude anything beyond that.

Then, they went and did this against ETSU on Tuesday (hint: click the top right corner for sound):

Rest assured, I will be playing this on loop all weekend.

Still, there are reasons to be concerned that they might actually be good. To wit, let’s take a gander at the SEC team pitching statistics page...

TEAM PITCHING G ERA W L Sv IP H R ER BB SO

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tennessee........... 26 2.52 20 6 9 229.0 161 72 64 71 259

Texas A&M........... 27 2.66 22 5 10 240.0 185 88 71 79 304

Georgia............. 25 2.75 21 4 10 219.1 141 80 67 90 251

Alabama............. 26 2.89 20 6 6 237.0 196 88 76 78 233

Mississippi State... 26 2.96 23 3 8 234.0 175 86 77 69 306

Missouri............ 26 3.05 17 9 9 230.1 190 103 78 109 255

Arkansas............ 25 3.15 21 4 7 222.2 162 91 78 86 259

Auburn.............. 25 3.42 20 5 7 229.0 203 106 87 84 236

Vanderbilt.......... 25 3.66 20 5 12 223.2 175 101 91 114 276

Ole Miss............ 26 3.91 18 8 8 227.2 222 117 99 89 238

LSU................. 25 4.14 17 8 3 219.1 182 112 101 114 222

South Carolina...... 25 4.44 16 9 7 225.0 217 130 111 90 245

Florida............. 27 4.54 17 10 10 238.0 241 140 120 86 208

Kentucky............ 25 4.86 15 10 2 222.1 203 141 120 106 260

Huh. That is concerning. So, they can pitch. A little better than aTm, even. That is... suboptimal. Can they hit?

TEAM BATTING G Avg AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO SB-ATT

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mississippi State... 26 .327 944 245 309 75 6 26 115 152 41-50

Vanderbilt.......... 25 .324 871 218 282 55 11 24 143 188 27-36

Arkansas............ 25 .295 831 186 245 49 6 26 120 193 46-53

Georgia............. 25 .288 817 180 235 43 6 27 139 176 31-35

Alabama............. 26 .286 879 175 251 53 7 17 165 196 27-36

Ole Miss............ 26 .284 872 213 248 48 5 30 144 170 45-53

Florida............. 27 .282 909 195 256 47 5 27 120 223 25-33

Tennessee........... 26 .280 837 174 234 56 5 24 154 159 49-58

Auburn.............. 25 .275 848 170 233 43 6 19 118 188 41-46

Texas A&M........... 27 .275 910 189 250 42 7 18 118 150 24-31

LSU................. 25 .274 824 178 226 40 3 23 113 166 25-32

Missouri............ 26 .266 861 175 229 35 3 25 147 195 53-66

Kentucky............ 25 .260 838 165 218 49 2 25 123 238 57-70

South Carolina...... 25 .254 843 165 214 53 6 42 101 250 23-30

*Phew. Statistically, they hit just a little worse than the team from Jortsville, and let’s just say we fared pretty well against the Fightin’ O’Sullivans.

On offense, the Chuggers are powered by Franzia two JUCO transfers: the fabulously named SophomoreOF Alerick Soularie (.377/.500/.725) who already has 7 HR and 21 RBI, and Junior IF Ricky Martinez (.370/.442/.478). We’ll probably need to keep an eye on Junior OF Justin Ammons (.329/.473/.471), as well, but that’s pretty much it. Other than those three, UT is not exactly stinging the ball.

On the Mound:

FRIDAY 6:30pm CT SECN+: Jr. RHP Drake “Safari Planet” Fellows (5-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. Jr. RHP Garrett “Kevin” Stallings (5-1, 1.79 ERA)

SATURDAY 8:00pm CT SECN: Sr. RHP Patrick “Mad Dog” Raby (4-0, 0.57 ERA) vs. Jr. RHP Zach “Lingonberry” Linginfelter (4-2, 2.29 ERA)

SUNDAY 2:00pm CT SECN: Fr. RHP Kumar “Rock and Fire” Rocker (2-2, 2.43 ERA) vs. Sr. RHP Will “Looks Surprisingly like Colin Kaepernick” Neely (2-1, 5.02 ERA)

See you in the comments.