Why do we sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” when we’re already there?
The answer to this corny old joke is simple. Because we do, and not everything in baseball has to make sense.
The University of Virginia’s very strange season has somehow taken them to the championship of the College World Series this week and that doesn’t really make sense either.
I’ve been calling it improbable. But, then so has everyone else.
(And, by improbable, I don’t mean that they don’t deserve to be in Omaha, only that, had you asked me four weeks ago … well, fortunately, no one did.)
The post-game announcers on ESPN on Saturday night were so unprepared for Virginia’s win over Florida that they had nearly no statistics or background info on UVa ready to air after the Hoo’s win. The best they could come up with was to joke that Vanderbilt is such a prohibitive favorite and the odds are so long against UVa in this week’s championship, that Las Vegas oddsmakers have probably closed the book on the series.
Dear ESPN, If you’re going to tell a baseball joke to fill airtime, why not make it a good one? Like this …
Which takes longer: to run from 1st to 2nd base or to run from 2nd to 3rd base? It takes longer to run from 2nd to 3rd base because there’s a “short stop” in the middle.
Fun Fact: Since the post-season began on May 29, the Hoos are 8-1. They have scored 49 runs over those nine games; 25 of them have been scored in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.
Funner Fact: The Hoos have scored the go-ahead runs in the 6th inning or later in all eight wins.
Here’s to the Hoos! They play Game 1 against Vanderbilt tonight in a best-of-three series. 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN
Daniel Pinero, Shortstop & Ernie Clement, 2nd Base
As ESPN was about to cut away following Virginia’s win over Florida on Saturday, their cameras took one last sweep over the Virginia players, huddled around their Coach Brian O’Connor. Just before they cut to commercial you could hear Coach O’Connor tell his team:
“Continue to have fun and enjoy it.”
“We just go out there and do what we have to do. … We know nobody looks at us like a team that should win it all or can win it all. But everyone in our locker room thinks we can.” ~ Matt Thaiss, Catcher
From Sunday’s Roanoke Times:
Clement was asked what comes to mind when he hears the word ‘Vanderbilt.’ He looked quizzically at the reporter.
‘Are we playing Vanderbilt?’ he said.
The reporter paused to give Clement a chance to reveal he was joking. The lack of words suggested the freshman was not. Why, yes, Ernie, your opponent in the College World Series finals would be Vanderbilt. You know, the team that’s been all over SportsCenter the past few nights? The defending national champions? The baseball powerhouse that UVa met at this same stage last year?
‘Oh, I didn’t even know that,’ he said. ‘I just know we’re there. I can’t wait to play.’
Photos: Davenport Field, the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 2015 Season. © The Baseball Bloggess
Congrats to UVa, I’ll be rooting for them in the CWS. Great joke by the way, lol!
Now I understand why, when watching the ESPN recap yesterday, the speakers and the video clips all focussed on Florida’s plays and players and said almost nothing about Virginia. I had chalked it up to bias rather than disbelief, in any event, how exciting is all this for the Virginia fans!?!
ESPN has partnered with the SEC (Southeastern Conference), a financial arrangement that allows ESPN to air a good number of SEC games (across all sports). Both Vanderbilt and Florida are SEC teams. So, I guess it stands to reason that ESPN knows more about Florida and Vanderbilt than Virginia. But still … can’t these guys take five minutes to cobble together a fact or two on the other teams?
Still, no shame in being the underappreciated, underdog. Go Hoo’s!
Who is UVa’s third baseman who stepped in front of a one-hopper to short and, with Clement, turned a sparkling double play out of what might have been just a one-out force play? There have been some awesome defensive plays in this College World Series. The reasons the Cavaliers and Commodores are back in the finals again are 1) they are the most fundamentally sound defensive teams and 2) they’re having fun.
That would be Mr. June … Kenny Towns. Third Base. Senior. Drafted by the Angels. And, he’s Mr. Clutch: this season he’s 7-for-8 with 17 RBI with bases loaded.
With freshmen starting at 1st and 2nd this season, it took awhile for the Hoo’s to find their infield groove. But, they’re much sharper now — and you know how I love awesome defense! :)