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Anchor Drop, June 12, 2019: 80 Days to Kickoff

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Hey, it’s Jared Pinkney Day!

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

Today marks 80 days from Vanderbilt football’s season opener against Georgia. Today’s Commodore is Jared Pinkney, who is surprisingly still #80 for the Vanderbilt Commodores after turning down the NFL for a chance to beat Tennessee four times. As a junior, Pinkney caught 50 passes for 774 yards and seven touchdowns, and got named second-team All-SEC in the process.

And, uh, that’s about it. But we did pick up a long snapper yesterday!

Off the West End

So, you might have heard that the U.S. women’s national team beat Thailand 13-0 in the World Cup yesterday.

Now, I’m not normally one to bash the so-called “participation trophy” culture. On the other hand, Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports has a good take about this: this is the World Cup. It’s one thing to get offended by, say, a youth rec league team running up the score on a hapless opponent. I can even understand the complaints about high school or college teams running up the score (since, more often than not, the sorts of games where this would come up are between teams that frankly aren’t intended to be competing with one another.) But the World Cup? We really going to go here?

Look, aside from the obvious point that goal differential is actually a factor that influences whether you move to the next round (meaning there’s an actual incentive to run up the score), this is the World Cup. This is supposed to be the highest level of competition in the sport. You are supposed to be a team capable of not giving up 13 goals in a match, and if you are, get better. It’s also why I’m coming around on the idea that UConn blowing teams out is not bad for the sport of women’s basketball. Yeah, noncompetitive games are not great for the sport, but on the other hand — having a large number of teams that play the sport but don’t take it seriously enough to keep the game within 70 against UConn, or within 10 against the USWNT, isn’t great for the sport either. (NOTE: This also applies to college baseball.)

It all reminds me of the story I read once about how Adolph Rupp would continually run up the score against other SEC teams in the days that most of them had an assistant football coach on the team double as the basketball coach, because this was literally the only way to convince the rest of the league to take the sport seriously. And it sort of worked, eventually.

Scoreboard

MLB: Yankees 12, Mets 5 (Game 1) ... Orioles 4, Blue Jays 2 ... Mets 10, Yankees 4 (Game 2) ... Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 4 ... Indians 2, Reds 1 ... A’s 4, Rays 3 ... Rangers 9, Red Sox 5 ... Cardinals 7, Marlins 1 ... Braves 7, Pirates 5 ... Astros 10, Brewers 8 ... White Sox 7, Nationals 5 ... Twins 6, Mariners 5 ... Royals 3, Tigers 2 ... Rockies 10, Cubs 3 ... Giants 6, Padres 5 ... Angels 5, Dodgers 3.

FIFA World Cup: New Zealand 0-1 Netherlands ... Chile 0-2 Sweden.

World Cup Qualifiers: Brunei 2-1 Mongolia (Mongolia advances) ... East Timor 1-5 Malaysia (Malaysia advances) ... Bangladesh 0-0 Laos (Bangladesh advances) ... Pakistan 1-2 Cambodia (Cambodia advances.)

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Kazakhstan 4-0 San Marino ... Azerbaijan 1-5 Slovakia ... Albania 2-0 Moldova ... Andorra 0-4 France ... Belarus 0-1 Northern Ireland ... Belgium 3-0 Scotland ... Germany 8-0 Estonia ... Greece 2-3 Armenia ... Hungary 1-0 Wales ... Iceland 2-1 Turkey ... Italy 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina ... Liechtenstein 0-2 Finland ... Russia 1-0 Cyprus.

Today: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals! From Boston at 7:00 PM CT on NBC.

Women’s World Cup! Nigeria-South Korea at 8:00 AM CT; Germany-Spain at 11:00 AM; France-Norway at 2:00 PM.

And, your usual MLB action.