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Anchor Drop, June 16, 2020: 81 Days to Kickoff

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Ty Duvall signs, and Vanderbilt has a date for starting in-person classes.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning.

We’re down to 81 days from Vanderbilt football’s scheduled season opener against Mercer. #81 for Vanderbilt is James Bostic. The 6’3”, 218-pound redshirt junior wide receiver hadn’t done much in two-plus years on campus before the UNLV game last season, when he randomly got the ball thrown his way ten times and had a career-high four catches. For the season, he caught 11 passes for 112 receiving yards.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Chris Lee of VandySports reported yesterday that Vanderbilt plans to have in-person classes in the fall, with a start date of August 24 and ending at Thanksgiving.

Two things about this. One, everything is always going to be subject to change. There’s probably a bit less of a reason to hedge now than there was two months ago — when high school seniors were putting down deposits — but I still think that if COVID-19 cases continue spiking, some schools are probably going to rethink having in-person classes. And two, as our friend PodKATT put it so eloquently:

Yeah. Pretty much. If you were wondering what cancelling fall break and ending things at Thanksgiving is about, that’s what it is, but in 2020? This doesn’t make sense.

It’s good news that Vanderbilt isn’t sitting here in the middle of June saying that they’re not going to have in-person classes in the fall, I guess. I’ve made the point multiple times that I see no argument for colleges having in-person classes this fall but also not playing sports. (I mean, if we’re gonna half-ass it anyway, why randomly decide that sports are the one thing we aren’t gonna do?) But, again, subject to change, yadda yadda.

Vanderbilt catcher Ty Duvall signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Seattle Mariners. (As someone pointed out in the comments the other day, undrafted free agents are limited to $20,000 signing bonuses, but that’s pretty much what a senior sign — which Duvall and Harrison Ray are — would be getting either way.)

Updated: When are sports coming back?

LOL

On Saturday, MLBPA sent the owners a letter indicating that they just want to play and for MLB to tell the players when to show up. Today, MLB (meaning, the owners) said that there won’t be a season unless the players waive their right to file a grievance against MLB for negotiating in bad faith. If you don’t know what all the legalese means, here’s a short translation:

I admit my initial skepticism about the owners in this fight is just because MLB’s owners have repeatedly shown that they don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt in any dispute with the players, because MLB team owners specifically want to nickel and dime the players just for the hell of it and that’s been true going back at least to the 1980s when the owners were colluding to hold down player salaries. (It’s why every MLB team just happening to have a “data guy” on the payroll who says that signing free agents to big contracts is bad is probably not a coincidence.) It seemed from pretty early on that the owners’ goal was, essentially, to just stall long enough that the players would have to agree to a shorter season than they wanted.

And then the players called their bluff, and the owners decided that now was the time to just give away the game. Oh, yeah, and MLBPA is on to this as well:

(I mean, I’m sure that’s true, but it’s certainly convenient that that information leaked to the press when it did.)

Anyway, Jeff Passan has the breakdown.

Actual Sports on TV

Oh, just a couple of Bundesliga matches: Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsburg at 11:30 AM, followed by Werder Bremen v. Bayern Munich at 1:30 PM CT, both on FS2.