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Baseball Coverage Returns Soon!

...and GABBO is coming!

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAY 26 SEC Baseball Tournament - Alabama vs Vanderbilt Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tomorrow will mark exactly one month—just under five weeks—from the start of the 2024 Vanderbilt Diamond Dores Season. In women’s sports, especially Bowling and Shooty Hoops, our alma mater has both kicked ass and taken names. For the men’s sports, however, 2023 has been a horrid year, and Stack has us all kicking off 2024 with only one source of hope—that he will actually jump off the roof of Memorial Gym when and if we go 0-18 in the SEC (as he previously promised). We have already had to endure an 0-8 SEC season from NoHo Clark and the Feetball Transfer-a-Dores (2-10 overall with a humiliating loss to UNLV; puke), and even though we brought in one of the top transfer classes, I can’t help but think we lost more than we gained, and 1-11 is legitimately on the table for next year’s Gridiron Construction Crew.

However, hope is on the horizon. Baseball is coming.

...as is GABBO!

Seeing as too much optimism (i.e. too much baseball coverage too fast) might give you terminal whiplash, let this post serve as the outline for how I plan to cover the Diamond Dores for the 2024 season (and what is to come in the coming weeks before 1st pitch).

Normal In-Season Coverage

1) Opening up the Mail Bag for submissions on Sundays or Mondays...

2)...and Answering said Mail Bag Questions on Thursdays.

3) Series Previews every week before first pitch on the weekend series—on Friday (or Thursday occasionally, depending on the schedule).

4) Daily Game Threads for every game of the season (though the wealthy people with chair-back seats may not show up until it warms up, we’ll be here to talk about every pitch in every game—even midweek games against the Eastern Kentuckys and Eastern Michigans of the world. Though some may not get up for these matches, we will be seething with hatred for all Teams to the East, and will make sure we all give Bryce Drew claps whilst we decimate Valporaiso on March 26th. Expect that for all weekend series (Friday-Sunday or Thursday-Saturday, depending), and every mid-week game (normally on Tuesdays, but sometimes there are Wednesday games, as well).

*Note that the Series Preview will serve as the Game Thread for Game 1 of the weekend series.

5) Though sporadic and spontaneous, there will be OTHER STUFF, too. No idea what this will be. It could be anything—even a boat. *Note: OTHER STUFF will probably be SEC Baseball Power Rankings, occasional deep dives into position battles, player reviews, heat checks (who is the hottest Vandy Boy Parlagi has a crush on?), emotional post-game celebration threads, and emotionally biased trash talk that reminds us that I don’t hate the other teams, but, like Kenny Powers (slightly amended)...

“Sure, I’ve been called a xenophobe hater of other SEC teams, but the truth is I’m not. I honestly just feel that America Vanderbilt is the best country baseball program and all the other countries baseball programs aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism alumni pride.”

Maybe even bringing back the Let’s Get Weird—All World All Time Best Song Contest (if not in-season, then certainly in the coverage lull that is July and August). We’ve got our full 32 song roster for the World side of the bracket. Do we finally figure out which 32 of our 50 States (not to mention territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam) make the cut (not you, Idaho)?

Pre-Season Coverage (GABBO!) Starting Soon

1) Position Previews. Though the left side of our infield—Diaz and Vastine—is pretty much set in stone, nearly every other position is up for grabs. There’s a lot of talent on this squad, especially in the Freshman class. Will any of Braden Holcomb, Camden Kozeal, or Matt Ossenfort outplay their veteran teammates to nab starting roles by Opening Day? Will 2024 finally be The Year of LaNeve? Who will replace Shockwave in both CF and leading off? What the heck’s up with Jack Bulger taking infield practice???

Though two of three weekend rotation spots are locked in with Rev. Holton Heat and Devin “The Future” Futrell, who amongst the rest of the talented high octane arms—Cunningham, Dutkanych, McElvain, Carter, Horn, et al—will grab the final two spots? What of a Maldonado-less Bullpen? Who’s primed to shut things down in close games?

a) Catchers (Week of 1/15).

b) Infielders (Week of 1/22)

c) Outfielders (Week of 1/29)

d) Relief Pitchers (Week of 2/5)

e) Starting Pitchers (Week of 2/12)

2) Pre-Season Mail Bag. Will open it up on or before Sunday 2/11 and answer it by Thursday 2/15.

3) Non-Conference Schedule Preview (If I get to it).

GABBO!