The SEC Tournament starts today in Hoover, Alabama. The town of Hoover really does this thing right—each team stays in the Wynfrey Hotel, which is connected to the Riverchase Galleria Mall. We have easy access to food, a mall and a pool. We also get police escorts to and from each game at Regions Park, the Birmingham Barons AA stadium. Now if they could only hook us up with free WiFi in the rooms…
The SEC coaches announced their annual baseball awards yesterday, naming Florida’s Mike Zunino the SEC Player of the Year and Vandy’s Grayson “the real John Olerud” Garvin as the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Other awards announced include 1st and 2nd Team All-SEC, All Freshman Team, and the All Defensive Team. Yet the most prestigious of awards are announced today—the 2011 Drew Fann & Anthony Gomez SEC All-Swag Team. This is the second annual SEC All-Swag Team. It started at the SEC Tournament last year when Gomez and I were bored in our hotel room. We decided to name a SEC All-Swag Team, a team that consists of players who best exemplify the rare combination of confidence, style, appearance, apparel, and talent. What started as a conversation last May has turned into a huge deal. We are even giving out a prize to go with the recognition, which is second to none.
Without further ado, here are your award members. Along with our combined commentary, if there was a difference in opinion, Gomez’s choice is also mentioned. Congratulations to each player! You can pick up your award—a 24k gold chain—from either Gomez’s room or mine at the Wynfrey.
2011 All-SEC Swag Team:
C: Mike Zunino, Florida
– Anyone who puts up the type of numbers Zunino put up has to have swag. It’s a law or something.
1B: Christian Walker, South Carolina
– Walker’s hitting song is the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Belle Aire, and the Gamecock fans move their arms left and right to the beat of it. That’s swag. Eye black never hurts, either. Also, our first baseman Aaron Westlake finished a close second, mostly in part by refusing to wear three-quarter sleeves for most of our games this year.
2B: Khayyan Norfork, Tennessee
– Norfolk showed out with some orange-framed sunglasses, along with wristbands and tape. Anytime you can make the color orange look good, that’s swag.
SS: Anthony Gomez, Vanderbilt
– Gomer won’t vote for himself, so I’ll do it. Eye black? Check. Wrist tape? Check. TV Beard? Double check!
(Gomez’s vote: Taylor Black, Kentucky. He wore pink wristbands on Mother’s Day.)
3B: Jason Esposito, Vanderbilt; Adrian Morales, South Carolina
– These guys are too close to separate one from the other. Espo does it with the hair and Evo Shield ankle guard; Morales does it with the beard and a chain. Two separate looks,but swag either way.
OF: Mike Yastrzemski, Vanderbilt
– Yaz wears the eye black, arm sleeve and three-quarters sleeves. Plus his grandfather is a Hall of Famer. Plus he would probably kill us if we didn’t put him on here.
OF: Zack Cone, Georgia
– Some of our freshman teammates asked us if Cone plays football for the Bulldogs. If a person gets confused for a football player, he’s got swag.
OF: Jackie Bradley, South Carolina
– Even though he’s injured, JBJ has to make the team. Sunglasses, facial hair, necklaces—everything a person needs for the All-Swag Team.
DH: Kevin Patterson, Auburn; Dan Gamache, Auburn
– Rumor has it that when teams play against Auburn, they get to the field early to watch Patterson take batting practice. We once saw him slash a ball off our batter’s eye at Vandy. That kind of power = swag.
– Rumor also has it that Gamache takes hitting lessons from Youtube sensation Domingo Ayala, the person who may have coined the term “swag”.
Pitcher: Alex Meyer, Kentucky
– He throws 100 miles per hour. Gomez also refers to him as the “Right Handed Big Unit.”
Gomez’s Honorable Mention: Anyone in the SEC from New Jersey
So there you have it, folks. The 2011 SEC All-Swag Team. For those who feel snubbed, there’s always next year.
Until next week—Go ‘ Dores
Drew Fann and Anthony Gomez