After starting the week with a 10-3 victory over UT-Martin, we packed the charter bus on Thursday and headed to The Plains of Auburn, Alabama for a three-game series. Each of the games was close until the later innings, when we were able to string together some clutch hitting to distance ourselves from the Tigers and win all three games.
On Friday night we won 11-6 thanks in large part to Tony Kemp (SEC Co-Freshman of the Week), Anthony Gomez and Riley Reynolds, who had four hits each. Saturday’s 11-2 victory was highlighted by an eight-run eighth inning, with all eight runs scoring with two outs. On Sunday, with the score tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, Will “The Weatherman” Clinard entered the game with bases loaded and one out, and forced a strikeout and flyout to get us out of the inning. We were able to scratch four runs across in the seventh and Clinard, Mark Lamm and Navery Moore finished off the 6-2 win.
Over the weekend, Anthony Gomez pushed his hit streak to 24 consecutive games, and Curt Casali (Mr. President himself) had three multi-hit games. Why do we call him Mr. President? Well, its just because we think he looks like one. It’s definitely a step up from the Tom Selleck/Mr. Baseball references he used to get!
As I’m sure ya’ll (or you all, for the Northerners) know, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day was last Thursday. And since our bus is hooked up with DirecTV, we definitely watched the games. However, there was almost an early version of WWE’s Wrestle Mania about which game to watch.
On one hand, we had the Yankees-Tigers game. Sabathia vs. Verlander. A-Rod vs. Cabrera. Girardi’s sunglasses vs. Leyland’s cigarettes.
But on the other hand we had the Braves-Nationals. Lowe vs. Strasburg Hernandez. The J-Hey kid Jason Heyward vs. the J-Paid kid Jayson Werth. Fredi Gonzalez’s first game as Braves manager.
However, the choice of games goes much deeper than the players on the field. We all have allegiances to our favorite baseball teams—allegiances that are not easily broken. There are the Yankees fans, led by Jason Esposito, Anthony Gomez and T.J. Pecoraro. Navery Moore and Bryan Johns are also fans of the Pinstripes, but somehow they always seem to be fans of the good teams—nevertheless, if they want to be part of the Evil Empire, so be it.
Then you have the good guys—the Braves fans. When you sit back and think about it, it’s actually really hard to not like the Braves. They have Hall of Fame coaches (we’ll miss you Bobby!), Hall of Fame players (please stay healthy this year Chipper!), and the young guns (Heyward, Freddie Freeman, and our former Vandy teammate Mike Minor). The three oldest wisest guys on the team, Mark Lamm, Curt Casali and myself, are all diehard Braves fans. Corey Williams, Will Clinard and Grayson Garvin round out the Tomahawk Chop club. Needless to say, we outnumber the Yankees fans.
We also have a large Red Sox following, headlined by Coach Corbin and Mike Yastrzemski. I heard Yaz’s family is huge Yankees fans, so I’m not really sure why he likes the Sox…his choice I guess. Kevin Ziomek and Regan Flaherty are also Red Sox fans. By the way, the Sox are on pace to go 0-162 on the season.
There’s also Joe Loftus, a native of Savage, Minnesota, and huge Twins fan, who has already decided to name his firstborn Joe Mauer Loftus.
Taylor Hill cheers for the Detroit Tigers, and has offered to give Miguel Cabrera a ride home anytime he needs one.
Connor Harrell and Sam Selman are DisAstros fans, and for anyone who missed it, last night Connor tweeted (@ConnorHD20) “@drewfann Save it, Astros 159 game winning streak starts today.” At least he’s loyal!
Last but not least (but definitely least) is Aaron Westlake, the San Francisco Giants fan. Ever since Westy, Curt and I went to Game 4 of the Braves-Giants NLDS in Atlanta last October, when the Giants eliminated the Braves, we have heard non-stop banter about Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey and Brian Wilson’s shoe-polished beard. We’ve all turned the page on 2010 except for Westy, which may be a good thing since the Giants have started 1-3. But the way Westy has been hitting for us, I hope he doesn’t change a thing.
For those who are still wondering which game we watched, it ended up being Yankees-Tigers because we couldn’t find Braves-Nats on TV. But that’s not the point—we definitely would have watched the Braves if we had found the channel.
We host Middle Tennessee State today at six and then Alabama comes to Nashville this weekend for a three-game series. As we left Plainsman Park on Sunday, the Auburn fans told us to “take care of business” for them this weekend. Who would have thought that Auburn and Alabama fans wouldn’t like each other?
Until next week—Go ’Dores