Team: This one’s the easiest. Turn the page on last year and focus on winning in 2020. The last time Vandy won the CWS (‘14), they returned stronger, focused, and made it all the way to the CWS Finals against UVA in ‘15. Save for the coin flip variance of a 3 game series, we go back to back. Though this team (‘19) lost a great deal of offensive talent and senior leadership, they return even stronger on the mound. Seriously, there are at least 4 guys who would be Friday starters on most other SEC teams in Rocker, Hickman, Leiter, and Brown—it can be argued that a 5th, Jake Eder, would start on Fridays or Saturdays for many. Beyond that, in addition to Jack Leiter, there are two other incoming freshmen—Sam Hliboki and Michael Doolin—who have shown future ace potential in fall ball. Though this team will have to break in many talented, yet largely untested freshmen and sophomores on offense, that pitching staff is going to keep us in every game, no matter what the bats do. Resolution: Get back to the CWS Finals and win the whole damned thing.
Tim Corbin: Do the same exact thing I have done every year. Have the veterans teach the newcomers the Vanderbilt way—everything from the Omaha Challenge in fall ball to the proper way to brush one’s teeth. This is a machine, and there is only one way to run it.
Austin Martin: Win the Golden Spikes Award, CWS Most Outstanding Player, and go 1-1 in the 2020 MLB Draft. No reason not to set my sights on literally everything, as I am the sport’s best player. Of course, my real resolution is to win the CF job, as I play for the one school in the country where the best baseball player in the land will still have to win a starting job based on the strength of his defense in practice.
Kumar Rocker: Same goal as last year: “I want to be the best teammate Vanderbilt baseball has ever seen.” Though you’ll never catch me saying it on camera, I know I’m the best pitcher in baseball, and have the potential to go undefeated on the mound with a sub 1.00 ERA. I resolve to be the National Pitcher of the Year.
Team: Avenge last year’s runner up disappointment, get that 3rd Natty, destroy McKendree, chug a beer, and smash the can to dust on my forehead.
Team: Try to keep it all together when everything is on fire. Pretend everything is not on fire. This is fine.
Derek Mason: Keep cashing that sweet “you don’t want to pay that buyout” money. Beyond that, I want to spend most of the offseason thinking up nonsensical things to say after we get our asses handed to us by lesser teams. You know, my process.
In ‘14 after The Het Wettening I vs. Temple:
“At that point in time, man, we just felt like, we just felt like, man, we just needed to... you know, maybe establish, you know, a different type of rhythm. We needed to... uh, we needed to find ourselves in a situation, uh, where... where, where we were just trying to uh you-know-I-mean jump start, um, or cardiac our offense a little bit. You know, just in terms of what it was because we had, you-know-I-mean, gone through that process... uh... you-know-I-mean I thought Patton you-know-I-mean missed a couple of throws early, you-know-I-mean was under duress a little bit... uh, they pulled his eyes down a couple times... but this... this isn’t about one guy.” (*Plays musical chairs with 4 QBs, including Stephen “Chest Pass” Rivers.)
In ‘19, after The Het Wettening II vs. UNLV:
“The schemes are good schemes. I think we’ve got good players, and we’ve got good coaches.” (*Fires both coordinators.)
I was born for this.
Todd Fitch: I resolve to use this year’s low expectations on offense as a launching point to a better job in ‘21.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn: (blocks Anchor of Gold on Twitter again)
Team: Keep doing what we’re doing. Develop young players, give good effort on defense, establish an offensive identity beyond “Get it to Nesmith,” and do better than 0-18 in conference play. Maybe get the NIT people to cast a glance our way.
Jerry Stackhouse: Recruit to the point where players as good as I was in high school will want to come to Vanderbilt. Preach intensity. Keep my badass Anton LaVey goatee.
Aaron Nesmith: Average at least 20 ppg in SEC play. Hit the 50%-40%-90% mark on FG-3ptFG-FT percentages (currently 52%-50%-86%) by the end of the season. Achieve my true destiny as a “knee smith” and manufacture the world’s greatest knee replacement.
Matthew Moyer: Shoot more threes. Shooters gotta shoot (currently 28%-12%-36%).
Josh Henderson: Dust off that last year of eligibility and get back on the court (ACL explodes audibly).