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Anchor Drop, April 21, 2023: Hate Weekend

Honestly, I can’t think of a better time to burn Knoxville to the ground.

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Syndication: The Tennessean Nicole Hester / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Good morning.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Vanderbilt baseball opens a three-game series in Knoxville tonight at 5:00 PM CT on the SEC Network, and really, this was the season we all hoped Tennessee would have: the Vols are 5-10 in the SEC and in real danger of missing the NCAA Tournament, just a year after Tennessee fans suddenly discovered they have a baseball team confidently predicted that Tennessee had finally relegated Vanderbilt to its rightful place as little brother.

Yeah, about that: Vanderbilt currently sports the best record in the SEC and is ranked fourth in the country.

Or, as Gentry Estes wrote at the Tennessean earlier this week: Last season’s Tennessee baseball team wrote checks this year’s Vols have been unable to cash.

Yes, that’s a real headline in the Tennessean. That is not something you ever want to be a real headline in the Tennessean. It’s true that Tennessee baseball appeals to the kind of people who think Tim Corbin’s Vanderbilt is too stuffy and uptight, the sorts of people who enjoy watching players taunt the opponent after a big play — you know, the kind of thing that used to not happen when the pitcher would respond by throwing a 95 mph fastball directly at your head. Chris Lee and Chip Fridrich had a great podcast this week about the differences between Tennessee and Vanderbilt baseball.

(In other news: get off my lawn.)

It turns out, of course, that you had better be good if you intend to engage in these sorts of shenanigans, because otherwise the opponent will just get extra enjoyment from beating the hell out of you. You really hate to see this happen to Tennessee.

In other news, Vanderbilt men’s golf finished yesterday’s second round at the SEC Championship with a 2-under score and in fourth place in the overall standings; the top eight teams advance to match play.

Women’s tennis advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, beating Alabama 4-2 on Thursday. The Commodores will face top-seeded Texas A&M at noon CT on Friday. The men’s team fought hard but bowed out to Texas A&M, 4-3, which probably ends their season and the Ian Duverhage era at Vanderbilt.

And finally, super unrelated to Vanderbilt athletics, but as somebody whose 7th birthday party was at the Oakland Coliseum — and who watched Rickey Henderson break the all-time stolen base record there a few days before that — holy shit, really? Las Vegas? The raw emotion of this piece at Athletics Nation (the original SB Nation blog) is something else.

I viewed the stadium issue as the one thing standing between the A’s and immortally Oakland. Turns out the Oakland A’s were very, very mortal. They will now be the Las Vegas A’s, transforming from quirky, plucky, left field drummers, white shoes, a mule for a mascot (bad choice, Charlie), mustaches, the Bash Brothers, the Big Three, Rock Star G, Miggy, massive foul territory, dollar dogs for soulless, retractable roofed, gambling-hangover-addled crowd, mostly made up of out-of-towners who want to see the Yankees or Red Sox or Mets when they go on vacation to play the slot machines and blackjack table. Maybe it’s a win for the rest of the country who have been itching for that trip to the desert to take their chance with lady luck. Canadians fly into Vegas, catch the Jays and Las Vegas A’s during the day with the roof closed (it will likely be 118 degrees that day - remember the Raiders play during the fall season, not in the heat of summer) and then play five-card draw all night. The A’s might’ve been rooted in Oakland, but turns out those roots were never firmly in the ground. Twas easy enough to tug that tree, knock it over and put it on a Mayflower moving van and set up shop in a terrarium in Vegas.

This, I feel, is how I will write about college football if and when the Super League actually happens. (I’ve already been pretty much on “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” mode with the non-Vanderbilt portion of the sport for a couple of years.)

Sports on TV

All times Central. SEC baseball schedule here.

  • 1:00 PM: MLB: Dodgers at Cubs (MLB Network)
  • 2;00 PM: PGA Tour: Zurich Classic, Second Round (Golf Channel)
  • 6:00 PM: NBA: Celtics at Hawks, Game 3 (ESPN)
  • 6:00 PM: NHL: Hurricanes at Islanders, Game 3 (TBS)
  • 6:05 PM: MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees (Apple TV+)
  • 6:20 PM: MLB: Astros at Braves (Apple TV+)
  • 6:30 PM: NHL: Bruins at Panthers, Game 3 (TNT)
  • 7:30 PM: NBA: Cavaliers at Knicks, Game 3 (ABC)
  • 8:30 PM: NBA: Nuggets at Timberwolves, Game 3 (ESPN)
  • 8:30 PM: NHL: Stars at Wild, Game 3 (TBS)
  • 9:00 PM: MLB: Cardinals at Mariners or Padres at Diamondbacks (MLB Network)
  • 9:00 PM: NHL: Oilers at Kings, Game 3 (TNT)
  • 9:15 PM: MLB: Mets at Giants (ESPN+)


SEC Baseball: Georgia 6, Arkansas 5 ... South Carolina 13, Florida 3.

MLB: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 ... Yankees 9, Angels 3 ... Pirates 4, Reds 3 ... Rockies 5, Phillies 0 ... Dodgers 6, Cubs 2 ... Padres 7, Diamondbacks 5 ... Mets 9, Giants 4.

NBA: 76ers 102, Nets 97 (76ers lead, 3-0) ... Warriors 114, Kings 97 (Kings lead, 2-1) ... Suns 129, Clippers 124 (Suns lead, 2-1.)

NHL: Maple Leafs 7, Lightning 2 (series tied, 1-1) ... Rangers 5, Devils 1 (Rangers lead, 2-0) ... Avalanche 3, Kraken 2 (series tied, 1-1) ... Golden Knights 5, Jets 2 (series tied, 1-1.)