Vanderbilt Athletics



APRIL-MAY 2007 ARCHIVE

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THURSDAY, MAY 31- 6:02 PM

We just added some new content from Thursday's practice. Check out Neil Brake's photo gallery plus video interviews with Coach Corbin, David Price, Dominic de la Osa, Shea Robin & Pedro Alvarez -- click here.



One side note from practice... Tennesse junior catcher J.P. Arencibia was on hand to watch the Commodores prepare for their NCAA Regional. As you may know, Arencibia played on Team USA last summer with Pedro and Price and remains good friends with some of the 'Dores. You'll see him in some of my photos posted in the gallery below (He is the guy wearing the Cardinals hat). And in cased you missed it back in mid-April, Will Matthews wrote a great feature on the relationship of these rival athletes. Click to read

So, here are some pics from earlier today... you'll also notice some shots of the scoreboard and the right field bleachers. Barca Blog -- View New Photos





THURSDAY, MAY 31- 9:52 AM

Only have a minute to write before heading over to Vanderbilt's Thursday baseball practice.

I have received a couple of emails from out-of-towners about the right field bleachers that were added to Hawkins Field for Regionals as well as the new scoreboard. I posted pictures in the blog last week during construction (scroll down to previous posts to view). Last night, I shot some video footage of these two new features in the stadium.... here's the footage.

Video -- Right field bleachers and scoreboard

Also, we added three new desktop wallpapers highlighting the 'Dores winning the SEC Championship in Hoover.... download them onto your computer today! --- SEC Champs Wallpaper

Oh, and check out this great feature by Will Matthews on catcher Carter Hawkins --- Feature



WEDNESDAY, MAY 30- 1:15 PM

Well, only two days away from the first ever NCAA Regional at Hawkins Field.... and the excitement continues to grow.

One thing I am asked a lot about concerning the baseball team ---- their inbetween innings calisthenics that take place in the outfield.



You've probably seen this before if you've been to a game at Hawkins Field. All the reserves will sprint out of the dugout to engage in group stretching activities.... so they can stay loose in case they are substituted into the game. Senior Casey Weathers is the ringleader of the group.. so I thought it would be cool to talk to him at practice yesterday about how it all started, where the inspiration came from, and so on. Thanks to Casey for taking the time to let us into their world. Hope you enjoy the footage!

Casey Weathers' Instructional Video

And here's a fun outtake with the guys in the dugout talking about their routines.

Team Outtake on Calisthenics

And by the way... I enjoyed looking for music to use in the video. Some of these songs made the cut and some didn't. But let me tell you.... the list of songs I am about to drop on you may compile to be one of the best mix CD's I've ever created. If this doesn't get you fired up, nothing will.... and thanks to WJ for the help with the selection.

THE ULTIMATE MIX CD
1. Bonnie Tyler -- I need a hero
2. Irene Cara -- What a feeling
3. Kenny Loggins -- Playin' with the boys
4. Elton John - I'm still standing
5. Billy Idol -- Dancin' with myself
6. Black Box -- Strike it up
7. Men without Hats -- Safety dance
8. Lionel Richie -- Dancin' on the ceiling
9. Wham -- I'm your man
10. Ginuwine -- Pony
11. Huey Lewis -- Workin' for a livin'
12. Olivia Newton-John -- Let's get physical
13. Pointer Sisters -- Neutron dance
14. Stevie Wonder -- Part time lover
15. Technotronic -- Pump up the jam
16. Weather Girls-- It's raining men
17. Frank Stallone -- Far from over



TUESDAY, MAY 29- 3:14 PM

Sorry it's been a few days since writing... I'll be honest -- it has been crazy since we won the SEC Tournament. I arrived in Nashville in the middle of the night Sunday and woke up early Monday to get ready for the ESPN selection show over at the Holiday Inn Select on West End.

And what a turnout by our fans! This was just another moment that made me realize how much the program has expanded from year to year... another great example was the number of Commodore fans in attendance in Hoover Sunday... seeing our fans outnumber the Razorback nation was something special in my book.



Anyway, here are a few photos from the selection show. It was definitely down to SRO (standing room only).

Barca Blog -- View NCAA Selection Photos

And here's an interesting outtake of the ESPN producer explaining to everyone what was going to take place on the telecast. he explained the broadcast delay, when he needed everyone to cheer for tv and when to be silent, etc... I thought it was interesting, so here it is:

ESPN Selection Outtake

Oh, we posted some other official video footage from the show late last night.. just in case out of town fans were wondering what the atmosphere was like. The first video on the page follows the team into the event... as fans gave them a rousing ovation for their success this year. Definitely another nice moment. click here for more.

And finally, Carter Hawkins decided to have fun at my expense before the seeds were announced. I am usually the guy behind the camera grabbing video... but this time he decided to turn the tables and put the spotlight on me. And let me tell you, it's not easy being in front of a camera when it's in your mug. It was tough. Really tough. Especially when he grilled me with some hard hitting questions that most reporters won't even dare to ask. I did everything but cry. Plus, I responded to one question with the worst quote of the year... it just absolutely makes no sense at all... "I'm definitely more personable... and have a better personality..." See what I mean!!!!! Pressure! I guess that's what happens when the bright lights are on. Hope you enjoy this random segment.

Carter Hawkins Takes the Mic

Have a great day... can't wait for Friday night. It's going to be something special to see -- especially since 3,700 tickets have been sold for the event!



SUNDAY, MAY 27- 11:55 AM

Oh, what a night!

It was a long, exhausting 24 hours at Regions Park... but well worth it.

I don't know how to even explain the last two innings of our thrilling 7-6 comeback win over Ole Miss.

My words really won't do it justice.



Looking back this morning, there were so many great story lines.... but the biggest had to be the emergence of former team manager Jason Cunningham. I am sure there was a buzz across the Commodore Nation when Coach Corbin replaced starter Ty Davis with the crafty left hander who only had pitched 2.2 innings in three appearances this year. Some were perplexed by the move especially since Coach still had several fresh arms in the pen. But Coach knew something a lot of us didn't -- Ole Miss has struggled at times against lefties. Southpaw Cody Crowell was almost unhittable earlier in the day against the Rebs, and Cunningham was the only lefty remaining in the dugout who was able to go. After some early jitters, Cunningham routinely retired Ole Miss batters one after the next by keeping them offbalanced at the plate. I kept thinking in the press box about how great of a story was unfolding in front of my eyes... while wondering at the same time how long it could really last. After 4.2 innings of two-hit ball, he exited the game to a thunderous standing ovation and proved to the rest of us that didn't already know just how truly valuable he is on the squad.

With that being said.... this next video should sum up just what it means to be a Commodore. Setting the scene --- Cunningham was the last person out of the post-game press conference as the team waited to return to the hotel... and when he arrived to the bus, he was greeted by some familiar faces...

MUST WATCH -- Jason Cunningham's Walk to the Bus

And some more photos I took post-game...

Barca Blog -- View New Photos

Also, here's another video I shot in the press box during the first Ole Miss game Saturday. Joe Fisher was kind enough to let me film a little behind-the-scenes stuff in the press box for half an inning. I thought some of you might enjoy seeing it.... plus, he has a speial guest in the seat next to him.

Joe Fisher Behind-the-Scenes with a Special Guest

Hope you've enjoyed our coverage so far during the tournament (Click for SEC Central). We've tried really hard to go above and beyond on content, especially for fans that can't be at the event. If you ever have comments or suggestions, feel free to email me at brandon.barca@vanderbilt.edu.

And by the way... our guys aren't content with just reaching the finals. Coach and the rest of the squad know they came to Hoover to win the tournament. Period. And it's been said all week long.... even though each win is nice, the ultimate goal is to win another title today. Good luck, guys. We're behind you.



SATURDAY, MAY 26- 2:55 PM

Through four innings of play, the Commodores hold a commanding 8-0 lead over Ole Miss. The "thunder" (as Alex Feinberg coined it in post-game last night) from our bats carried over from yesterday's 15-2 demolition of Tennessee. Cody Crowell is putting up numbers similar to his start in last year's SEC Tournament, where he went seven innings and only allowed one run in a game that the 'Dores enforced the ten-run rule on the Bulldogs.

Also, Parker Hanks has provided some extra pop in the lineup since getting the start yesterday... he collected three hits against UT and has already added a three-run blast over the left field fence today. Plus it looks like it's almost impossible to keep Pedro off the bases. The sophomore slugger is seven for his last eight with six RBI and four runs.



I took some video this morning of the team arriving at the ballpark. SECsports.com had some good tournament videos highlighting behind-the-scenes stuff at the tourney... so I thought it would be cool to take a page out of their book and shoot some stuff today.

The first video shows the team getting off the bus.... followed by some footage of the guys taking the field after Arkansas defeated South Carolina this morning.

If you enjoy this kind of stuff, let me know. Have a great day and let's hope the "thunder" continues.

Team Arrives at Regions Park

'Dores Take the Field



FRIDAY, MAY 25- 8:24 PM

Sitting at Regions Park as our top-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores are fighting to eliminate Tennessee from the SEC Tournament. So far, so good... we hold a 5-0 lead in the fourth... Freshman starting pitcher Mike Minor has shrugged off some early jitters and is in control of the Vol offense as I type.



I was able to take some pictures of the team at the ballpark tonight as they waited for the Florida / South Carolina game to end. One of the cool things to witness is how fans from all schools gravitate to these student-athletes for their signatures. Our guys were more than happy to pen their names for people of all ages..... while making some new fans at the same time.

And once USC defeated Florida, Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" blared over the stadium speakers as the 'Dores walked down to the field.... Mr. Diamond's hit has become sort of an eighth inning tradition back home thanks to Coach Corbin... and you could tell the song was music to his ears. Definitely a good omen. (By the way, I enjoyed it at the LSU series when some fans changed the lyrics to Sweet Commodores.. very creative).

Well, they just started playing the video of the Chick-fil-A can-can dancing cows on the jumbotron between innings.... gotta get my dance on. You know the words -- "Eat more chicken ... don't eat burgers!" (if you've been to a game in Hoover, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. It will be stuck in your head for exactly 3.2 days ... no more, no less.)

Enjoy the gallery... I'm hoping we finish off the Vols. I definitely want to stay here for the long haul.

View Friday's Photo Gallery



THURSDAY, MAY 24- 12:04 PM

Back at Regions Park for another day of action. We were all hoping that we wouldn't be playing this early today.... but you know what.... I am just glad to be able to say that we are in fact still playing baseball, no matter how this SEC tournament finishes. Some teams don't have that option (like LSU) or some teams are sitting on pins and needles wondering if they will play beyond this weekend (see a lot of teams in the SEC).



Last night's loss did sting a little... probably more than normal since it was at the hands of in-state rival Tennessee.... but don't get down too long... remember, this team has shown time and time again the ability to rebound... they haven't lost consecutive games all year (well, except those midweek blips to Lipscomb and MTSU in mid-April)... and in the grand scheme of things, we still expect to host a NCAA Regional next weekend at Hawkins Field for the first time ever.

Now, no one was more dissapointed last night in the loss than Coach Corbin... our team doesn't like to lose.... period. Even more so than the rest of us. And with a gamer like Price on the mound today, expect some anger to pour out onto the field.... and Mississippi State could end up feeling the brunt of it.

Anyway, it's been a lot of work around the clock but these tournaments are what I love to be around the most -- more than anything. Just hanging around to watch the Ole Miss / Mississippi State game last night was a pure treat... talk about a rowdy back-and-forth crowd... it was unreal. And in the end, that's what it's all about. Good fun competition with the hope to always hold bragging rights in the end. Plus, there's still a lot of ball left to be played.

Finally, here are some photos from yesterday's practice over at Hoover high. Not the best quality (can't figure out some of the quirks on that darn device). Enjoy!

View Photos from Wednesday's Practice



WEDNESDAY, MAY 23- 5:22 PM

Just arrived at Regions Park for Vanderbilt's evening contest with Tennessee. The game was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. CT, but the South Carolina / Florida game extended into extra innings and just finished. So I expect our game to be delayed until at least 5:40 p.m. CT.

As some of you may know... we expect to host a baseball regional at Hawkins Field starting next weekend. A new scoreboard is currently being installed as well as bleachers in the parking lot behind right field. Here are a couple of snapshots for those interested.

Right Field Bleachers



New Scoreboard



Top of New Scoreboard





WEDNESDAY, MAY 23- 8:52 AM

It's Wednesday morning in Hoover, Alabama and I thought I'd share some photos from Tuesday while traveling with the baseball team at the SEC Tournament. In true Barca Blog fashion, I have been given the A-list treatment.



Tuesday's word of the day had to be relaxed. Even though every team here wants to knock our guys off the top of the hill to get that coveted tournament crown, you could never sense of our squad being uptight during yesterday's sessions. It just wasn't there yesterday. There's no added pressure on the 'Dores right now, where in years past some may have put them team in the bubble category for post-season play, adding to the importance of every pitch. It's almost like we're playing free baseball, and the guys can put all the stress aside and play the game they love to play... which could make us even more dangerous.

An all of this is not to say that the Commodores don't care about what happens in Hoover. Every player that talked to the media Tuesday clearly defined this trip as trying to accomplish another preseason goal... to be the one team standing at the end. And SEC Coach of the Year Tim Corbin has preached that same fire to win it all and not settle for anything less.

So, with that being said, here's a photo gallery from Tuesday with some quick notes about the day.

View 50 Photos from Tuesday

We started off the morning by boarding the team bus and traveling to Regions Park... except, the opening 45 minute workout session was on a practice field behind the stadium. Carter Hawkins led the team in some stretches, and then everyone split into partners to loosen their arms. The last 15 minutes of this session included different breakout games.... circles formed with the teams juggling multiple baseballs in the air while everyone tried to keep the ball from hitting the ground. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what this exercise is called... but I do remember it from little league days. Look at the picture gallery posted above to see what I'm talking about.



After the warmup, we headed over to the Hoover Met (errrrrr, Regions Park) for some batting practice. One of the first things pointed out to me was that our team banner displayed in the stadium misspelled Commodores. Nothing like a little extra motivation for this trip. On the field level, it was pretty hot, but not nearly as blistering as last year. And thankfully we have a night game to start things off this year.

As practice ended, South Carolina approached the field. USC head coach Ray Tanner was quick to greet Coach Corbin and congratulate him on his coach of the year award. It's easy to see how Coach was a unanimous selection from viewing this interaction.

Also, with the help of Mike Calitri, we shot a fun one minute video with Price and Pedro as we walked back to the team bus... see my blog entry from last night to watch the clip.

When we boarded the bus, there was a small break of action as we waited to travel to Samford for an afternoon workout. And with the bus having an intercom system, you knew some good stuff was about to happen. Brian Harris did his best Harry Caray impression to keep the mood light, while Blake Allen followed with a riveting karaoke rendition of Dixieland Delight. Coach Corbin was greeted on the bus with an congratulatory "coach of the year" title, leading to a big round of applause.. followed by a few jokesters chanting overrated.

Next, we arrived at Samford University for the afternoon workout session. I have to say, Samford has a really nice athletic facility. An by the way, watching our guys work out made me realize even more how much out of shape I am. Heck, I was out of steam half way on the walk to the gym. I threw some good shots in the photo gallery of the workout as well.

We closed the day by heading back to the Wynfrey Hotel.. the team had the rest of the afternoon off to relax.. which gave me a chance to catch up on my work.

I can't wait for tonight's game at 5 p.m. If you can't make it to Hoover, you can watch it live on CSS or listen to Joe Fisher's broadcast on 560 AM. You can view all of our tourney content at our SEC Central page --- click here





TUESDAY, MAY 22- 8:44 PM

Hello from Hoover, Ala. It's been a fun trip so far... Spent some time with the team throughout the day and plan to share some photos later tonight (possibly early morning).

And make sure you stay updated by bookmarking our SEC Tournament Central site.. which is where we'll put all of our content during the week --- SEC Tourney Central. We plan to provide a lot of good web material for Commodore fans all week long... so stay with us.

We just posted a video interview with Coach Corbin after today's practice. You can find it at the SEC Central site in the video section on the right side of the page.

Also, here are a few fun videos that you can only find in the blog...

First, Coach Corbin comments on how Vanderbilt's SEC stadium banner in Hoover was misspelled... (look for Will Matthews' feature on the SEC page later tonight with a picture of the banner). Rodney Dangerfield

Second, David Price talks about what his role will be on the team during Wednesday's game... while Pedro Alvarez is speechless. Price and Pedro

And finally, Pedro Alvarez talks face-to-face with his infield co-hort, Ryan Flaherty. Pedro and Flash

Check back later for more content.



MONDAY, MAY 21- 4:32 PM

Good article on GolfWeek.com on Vanderbilt's men's golf team, who just advanced to the NCAA Championship for only the third time in program history this past weekend.

In Saturday's final round, the Commodores shot an impressive 21-under 267 -- the low round of the tournament -- to secure a Top 10 spot and advance to next week's final in Williamsburg, Virginia. Congrats to first year coach Tom Shaw and his squad! Read More -- Vandy Impresses.



MONDAY, MAY 21- 6:18 AM

Good morning. I finally had a chance to upload some of the photos I took immediately after Vanderbilt swept LSU Saturday. There are some fun family pictures as well as a series of shots showcasing the RPS showdown between David Price and Pedro Alvarez. If you don't know what RPS stands for, then see if you can figure it out after viewing the pictures. I was unfamiliar with the term until former Commodore tennis player Lewie Smith brought the official rulebook to our office... from there on out, RPS became a way of life.



I will try to grab more shots from the road starting tonight when we leave for Hoover for the SEC Tournament. Here's Saturday's gallery:

View Web Guy's Photos After LSU Sweep

WEEKLY BASEBALL NOTES FROM THE SID OFFICE:

Vanderbilt (46-10, 22-8 SEC) captured its first ever regular season SEC crown and fourth league title (1973,1974.1980) in school history this weekend ... The Dores swept their third straight conference home series against LSU this weekend and finished the year with eight consecutive SEC series wins ... They captured nine of 10 with the only blemish a 2-1 series loss at Arkansas (SEC West Champs).

VU finished the regular season on a roll going 14-2 in its last 16 games ... With Sunday's regular season finale win, the Commodores broke the single season record of 45 victories set by the 2004 NCAA Super Regional team.

The team finished the year as the SEC leader in batting average (.329) and finished second in team ERA (3.57) ... The Commodores hit .333 with three homers and 16 runs scored in the LSU series, with the pitching staff giving up just five runs (1.67 ERA) with 31 strikeouts and eight walks in 27.0 innings.

Ryan Flaherty extended his hit streak to 24 games over the weekend and is just three shy of tying the single season school record of Greg Thomas set in 1991 ... Warner Jones had a 32 game hit streak over two seasons in 2003-04 ... Dominic de la Osa closed out the regular season going 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two-game winning homers and three RBI ... He closed out the regular season as the team leader in batting average (.387), HRs (17), 2Bs (20) and stolen bases (18) ... He is one of just seven players nationally to have 15 HRs and 15 stolen bases.

Alex Feinberg went 5-for-9 (.556) in the series with a double and three runs scored and made the play of the series in the eighth inning of the series finale against LSU ... His diving stop of a ball ticketed for the outfield with a runner at third avoided the Tigers the opportunity to tie the game up as he got the runner out at first to end the inning ... Flaherty was also 5-for-9 (.556) with two doubles in the series ... Pedro Alvarez went 4-for-10 with a double and two RBI against LSU.

David Price struck out 15 and gave up just one run on four hits with three walks in 8.2 innings to move to a perfect 10-0 on the year ... He became the Dores first 10-game winner since Jeremy Sowers in 2004. His 15 strikeouts gives him 164 for the year, shattering his single season record of 155 set a year ago ... The Murfreesboro native heads to the SEC tourney with a 10-0 record and 2.76 ERA in 15 starts, including four complete games (an SEC high).

Casey Weathers closed out two of the three wins over the Tigers to record his sixth and seventh saves ... He allowed one hit over 1.2 innings with a strikeout and finished tied with Price as the league wins leaders with 10 ... Mike Minor returned to form against the Tigers, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 7.2 innings in Friday night's win ... The true freshman finished the regular season with a 8-1 record and 3.15 ERA as the No. 2 man in the weekend rotation,

Cody Crowell closed out the strong weekend for the starters, scattering seven hits over seven innings while allowing just one run in the 6-2 series finale win ... He struck out five and walked two to improve to 3-1 on the year. Ty Davis pitched 1.1 innings of hitless relief on Friday against LSU to pick up his first save of the year and second of his career ... He has given up just one run in his last five appearances and is 2-0 in 19.1 innings with 18 strikeouts and just two walks and five hits allowed.

The Commodores finished the regular season with a 31-2 mark at home, the lone losses to Ole Miss and Alabama in SEC play ... VU heads down to the SEC tournament this week with the goal of trying to become the first team since Alabama in 1996 to win both the regular season and tourney championship.



SUNDAY, MAY 20- 6:40 PM

My brother Nick emailed out a list of the greatest music videos of all time, so I thought I'd post it with some comments of my own.

So here we go... there's some classic stuff here... you can thank me later.

NICK'S LIST OF GREATEST MUSIC VIDEOS EVER:

4. Frank Stallone - Far From Over


From the underrated Frank Stallone --- who was always overshadowed by brother Sly. "Far from Over" is considered his biggest hit on the charts (the track appeared in John Travolta's movie "Stayin' Alive").

It was also used in a Saturday Night Live skit with Martin Short, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest on synchronized swimming (Hey you... I know you, I know you).

In my opinion, "Far from Over" should be the theme for the rest of the baseball season after the 'Dores clinched the SEC regular season title..... "It's Far from Over!" ... I'll see if I can get Coach to agree to let the team run out to this for the remainder of the year.



Oh, and here's a clip from that SNL skit --- Men's Synchronized Swimming (although, they changed Stallone's music in this version)



3. Matt and Becky - You're the Inspiration

Even though Peter Cetera made this song famous, you have to look at the original video to see where it all started. Amazing stuff, Matt and Becky.



2. Journey - Separate Ways

One reason I love this song... former Cincinnati Red Sean Casey ("The Mayor") used this song as his batter intro back in the day.

Plus, the video has plenty of Steve Perry... and a really cool guy in a jean jacket with a popped collar.



1. Aha - Take On Me.

I agree with Nick... the greatest video of all time -- bar none.

Also, it's my favorite song to car dance to on road trips. You can't not dance to this when it plays over your speakers (you just can't -- I dare you). My friend Christian and I spent one summer during college trying to make car dancing an Olympic sport. Even though we failed, we still have high hopes.

And the best part to car dance to is the keyboard solo in the middle.



If you disagree with this list, let me know... or maybe there are some other videos that need some attention. If so, shoot me an email at brandon.barca@vanderbilt.edu.



SUNDAY, MAY 20- 2:05 PM

Some quick notes.....

First, there are two television features airing tonight in Nashville ....

Tim Corbin will be on Channel 5's Sports Show

Rudy Kalis will have a feature on David Price airing on Channel 4

Second, here are two good newspaper articles....

Jenn Menedez of the Portland Press Herald was in Nashville this weekend to write a feature on Ryan Flaherty, Andrew Giobbi and LSU's Charlie Furbush --- all products of Portland, Maine. A voice of Maine in the Music City

Glenn Guilbeau produced an article on the current state of the athletic department. VU's success unique

Finally, I took some fun fan shots of the team after yesterday's win.. I'll try to post them by the end of the night.



SATURDAY, MAY 19- 2:10 PM

Sitting here at Hawkins Field as we hold a 3-1 lead over LSU in the sixth. Could hear Vandy Lance from all the way up in the press box proclaim "We're a Baseball School" ... Gotta love it!

I was able to grab some good sound bytes from Coach Corbin's Friday press conference that weren't posted in yesterday's post-game recap. He had some great things to say about our seniors, who were honored during a pre-game ceremony earlier today. Here are a few snippets:

One Key to Team Chemistry

Who Corbin Sees as a GM One Day

Hawkins - That Type of Kid

Weathers - Leader of Charades



FRIDAY, MAY 18- 5:50 PM

What an incredible 24 hours. We all knew something special was going to happen... and it did.

It was an electric atmosphere at Hawkins Field throughout last night's game. Once we approached the seventh inning, we figured we were in good shape since Price was on the mound with a couple run cushion... but the only problem was that the Ole Miss/Arkansas contest was running a few innings behind. If the team was going to accomplish something that had never been done before on the diamond in Vanderbilt history, it could mean staying into the late hours with the hopes that we could all share the excitement of the championship with the team.



Late in our game, Thomas from our SID office had a great idea... With a possible outright SEC Championship on the line based on the outcome of the Razorbacks battle with the Rebels, he looked into finding a way to pipe in their play-by-play so fans could listen to the outcome following the firework celebration. We were able to find a Yahoo! log-in to get the subscriber's content.. so we were set. Or at least we thought we were. The next step was to figure a way to get the audio over the sound system. Without the proper gear, he determined that it would be easiest to put the PA microphone up to the computer speaker... and bingo! we were in business.

It was really cool to listen to the final inning as we kept our fingers crossed with the hopes of making history. And it felt like one big family hung around to hear the outcome. Some of the die-hards were stationed on the third base line and cheered after every pitch. These are the same fans that filled the seats back on those cold, frigid February days during Corbin's first year when Coach had to tooth-and-claw to get anyone to come to the games.

At the same time, it was almost like a field day in left field, as some of the players --- already in their street clothes -- tossed the football around and entertained the "youngins." Seeing the youthful side of our guys as they interacted with the next generation was refreshing and well deserved...... I can't begin to imagine the stress of being the top-ranked team for almost the entire season and the expectations that come with that.

And after the Rebels secured the win, it became another special moment in a year full of great memories.

I've been here for four years and there have been several instances that stand out.... but this year tops it as a unit.

Just thinking to last fall when I walked between the hedges in a silent stadium full of 90,000 dejected UGA fans after Bryant Hahnfeldt booted his winning kick through the middle of the uprights... and to then walk to the locker room and see the celebration of the black and gold and hear Coach talk to the team... it was amazing... and surreal.

Throw that in with being on the women's basketball team bus following their third SEC Tournament title in six years, and also the emotion of the men's team making another Sweet 16 run after a draining double overtime thriller against Washington State in Sacramento... and man, it's been an unbelievable ride.

I really look forward to traveling to Hoover next week and following the 'Dores during their post-season run. I have no expectations for the remainder of the year. None. I just want to pull for these guys through the thick and thin and hope for more terrific moments -- come as they may. I mean, this is a squad that celebrated a title at Hawkins Field late into the night, and then joined as a team earlier today at the Student Life Center to support the graduation of their fellow seniors. In case you didn't know, Chancellor Gee has an additional ceremony every year for senior student-athletes that can't make the official event due to team traveling obligations (Baseball was playing at Auburn). This just shows that this team is in fact a team of "brothers" ... just as Pedro coined it last night.

Oh, and you can watch video highlights of the post-game hoopla here.

Finally, as I type I am relaxing at Hawkins Field. Here are two pictures from this beautiful day.. first is the field, and the second is a banner hanging just outside the stadium. Have a great day and Go 'Dores!







THURSDAY, MAY 17- 7:33 PM

Crazy day so far.... Just settled into my seat in the press box at Hawkins Field. Packed house as I type, which is great to see on a Thursday night. Actually, just found out --- it's a record crowd, and we're only in the second inning.



I spent the majority of the day on the golf course. No, I wasn't hacking with some buddies.

First, I had the pleasure of visiting with the women's golf team at Legends in the morning to help film an interview with senior Kristen Svicarovich ((which will be posted at the start of next week as a preview for the NCAA Championships in Daytona Beach)). Let me tell you, it was a beautiful day on the course. I picked a great day to get some sun. I forgot to bring my jams, flip flops, and half-cut Hawaii '88' shirt... but I didn't let that keep me from enjoying the conditions. I do need to find a way to get a permanent desk outside for days like this. Quick --- where's my agent? Oh, and we'll talk about Women's Golf more in a few days.

In the afternoon, I went to Gaylord Springs Golf Links with two other SID's to visit former Commodore golfer and current PGA Tour professional Brandt Snedeker. Brandt was in town for the day and allowed local media to spend a good amount of time with him at the driving range. Since making the Tour, it would be easy for someone like him to get a big head, but he showed no signs of having an ego. He engaged the media in friendly conversation for over an hour and allowed everyone to film what they wanted as he practiced.

Here's web guy's photo gallery from the practice session --- Brandt Snedeker Gallery

Also, Virgil Herring -- the Director of Instruction at Gaylord Springs Golf Links (and also one of his coaches) -- gave us some insight on the technical side of Brandt's game. And we captured it on film. Here's a MUST WATCH five minutes of video --- very informative for the die-hard golf fan. Video: Snedeker Coaching Session

And check back in the next few days as we'll post his official press interview. We have about ten minutes of footage with some great quotes about life on the Tour... plus how his experience at Vanderbilt benefited his thriving career.

He also confirmed that he'll be playing in the Stanford St. Jude Championship from June 7-10 in Memphis, Tenn. This will be a great chance for Commodore fans to see him in action. Thanks again to Brandt for allowing us the opportunity to observe his practice.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 16- 12:02 PM

Some quick notes:

One question I've received is if the Commodore baseball team will still be considered Co-Champions of the conference if they end up in a tie with Arkansas at the end of this weekend, even though the 'Dores dropped a series in Fayetteville earlier this season. The answer is yes, but I can tell you that after listening to Coach Corbin's Monday press conference, the team is focused solely on an outright championship with the current Eastern title meaning nothing in terms of goals set at the beginning of the year. LSU will be playing for their post-season lives this weekend, which should set up for a great series. Right now, only Vanderbilt and Arkansas have clinched a SEC Tournament Berth, with Auburn being the lone team officially eliminated.

LSU BASEBALL TICKET UPDATE:
Only general admission tickets remain for Vanderbilt's baseball series with LSU, which starts Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Hawkins Field. General admission tickets go on sale starting two hours prior to each game at the Hawkins Field Box Office. I would suggest arriving earlier than two hours though, just so you can make sure you secure a ticket for what could be a special weekend in Vanderbilt history. If you have ticketing questions, call 322-GOLD.

CORBIN MEDIA ALERT
Coach Corbin will be appearing on 104.5 the Zone today around 3:40 p.m. He is also scheduled to be on Channel 5's Sunday sports show.

SUMO SET?
I was also informed that the Team USA baseball sets are now available in hobby shops around the country. The set includes cards of Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin, David Price and Pedro Alvarez. I received an email from Trent telling me he already has a set and that it's a nice collection.. plus it includes a card of Price and UT catcher J.P. Arencibia in sumo wrestling suits. Here's the official press release:

USA Baseball announced today that the USA Baseball National Teams Box Set, featuring the 2006 USA Baseball National and Junior National Teams, is now available in hobby stores throughout the country.

The 2006 USA Baseball National Team included such top prospects as David Price (P, Vanderbilt), Daniel Moskos (P, Clemson) and Ross Detwiler (P, Missouri State). All are included in Baseball America's Projected Top 10 2007 Draft Picks. Two underclassman who also made their presence known on the squad, Pedro Alvarez (IF, Vanderbilt) and Brandon Crawford (IF, UCLA) are among the projected Top Picks in the 2008 Draft. Overall the team included seven college freshmen, 13 college sophomores and three college juniors. Of the draft eligible players, 9 are in Baseball America's 2007 Draft: Top 30 Overall Prospects.

The USA Baseball National Teams Box Sets carry a suggested retail price of $49.99 per set. Collectors will receive an average of four 2006 USA Baseball National Teams autograph cards per set; two 2006 USA Baseball National Teams autograph jersey cards per set; and one additional autograph card per set.

For more information on USA Baseball please log onto www.usabaseball.com.

VIDEO OF THE DAY





TUESDAY, MAY 15- 5:38 PM

Here are some friendly notes and reminders from our facility operations staff about the LSU baseball series starting this Thursday:

*Event Notice: Since the Special Olympics will be taking place on campus this Friday and Saturday, one traffic lane will be closed on 25th Avenue so participants can move from one side of campus to the other. To adjust for this activity, driving lanes will include the middle turn lane and the northbound lane.

*Parking: As usual, people will be directed primarily to the Medical Center lots along Natchez Trace as well as the Central Garage on 25th Avenue. Lot 71 and Mcgugin will be open for parking on Thursday and Friday nights.

*Thursday and Friday: Post-game fireworks are scheduled for both nights. Vehicles parked in the end spaces of Lot 71, as well as Lot 64, will be towed. When parking for these games, please be aware of all signage so you are sure your vehicle isn't in a spot that will get towed. Fireworks cannot go off unless those areas are cleared.

*Saturday: Jess Neely Drive will be closed at 8:00 a.m. through the 5th inning of the game for Vandyville activities

*For ticket information, please call 615.322.GOLD. A limited amount of General Admission tickets ($5) will be available the day of the game at the Hawkins Field Box Office beginning two hours prior to first pitch.



MONDAY, MAY 14- 12:48 PM

Good afternoon... Posted at the end of this entry are some weekly baseball notes from Thomas in our sports information department.

Also, we'll work to grab video footage of Coach Corbin's press conference today. We'll also look to interview women's golf head coach Martha Richards sometime this week to talk about her squad advancing to the NCAA Championships. Plus, we'll have other good content coming, so check back with us on a daily basis.

Before I get to the notes, a quick reminder about this weekend's baseball series against LSU starting on THURSDAY due to the SEC Tournament next week in Hoover, Ala. For ticket information, please call 615.322.GOLD. This could be a very special weekend (and you won't want to miss it). With our students being out of school, we need the Commodore contingent to pack the stands.


And if you're wondering who that is pictured to the right, it's none other than Volunteer Baseball Assistant Coach Blake Allen. Why does the playing field at Hawkins look so good? This man is the reason. Blake's in his third year with the 'Dores and primarily works with the catchers and hitters. He played college ball at DePauw and also Blackburn College. One of my favorite moments of the year was when Kentucky was broadcasting one of our games up in Lexington, and every time they mentioned Coach Corbin, there was a live shot of Blake. After his heightened popularity from that appearance, we figured we had to find a way to throw him into the blog. So there.

WEEKLY BASEBALL NOTES:

Home Games This Week
Thursday, 5/17 LSU @ 7 p.m.
Friday, 5/18 LSU @ 7p.m.
Saturday, 5/19 LSU @ Noon

Vanderbilt (43-10, 19-8 SEC) captured its seventh straight SEC series after taking two of three at Auburn over the weekend ... VU has won 11 of its last 13 games and currently has a two-game lead in SEC overall standings with three games remaining. They have never won a regular season crown since the conference began to recognize it 1993. The team has three SEC titles; all via tournaments in 1973, 1974 and 1980.

Vanderbilt captured its first SEC Eastern Division Crown since 1974 on Saturday ... The team won four of five SEC road series this year and finished with a 9-6 record ... The 43 wins is tied for the most in the country (Florida State) and is two shy of tying the school record of 45 set in 2004.

The team leads the SEC in hitting with a .329 average (best in school history) and is third in ERA (3.67) ... VU hit .319 as a team with five homers and 20 runs scored in the Auburn series ... Pedro Alvarez was 6-for-12 (.500) with two homers and two RBI in the series ... Dominic de la Osa was 6-for-13 (.462) with three doubles, a homer and three RBI. He currently leads the team with a .383 batting average overall and .380 in SEC play ... Shea Robin went 5-for-11 on the week with a homer and four RBI. It was his first homer since the first game of the year against Rice (2/9) ... Ryan Flaherty went 5-for-12 (.417) on the week and currently rides a 21 game hitting streak into the weekend. The Vanderbilt single season record is 27 set by Greg Thomas in 1991. Warner Jones had a 32 game hit streak over two seasons in 2003-04.

The Commodore pitching staff had a 4.67 ERA against Auburn with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 27.0 innings ... Ty Davis pitched 3.1 innings of one hit relief on Saturday against Auburn and has given up just one run in his last four appearances. During that span, he is 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA in 18 innings with 15 strikeouts and just two walks and five hits allowed ... David Price picked up his ninth win of the year against Auburn on Friday, tying his single season win total of a year ago. With six strikeouts against the Tigers, he now has 149 on the year, six shy of his school record 155 set a year ago.



SUNDAY, MAY 13- 7:13 PM

Why do we love our moms?

Win or lose, mom is always behind you.

Succeed or fail... there's mom to lift you up.



No matter what the scenario, mom is always there in the end.

And that was true today while attending Vanderbilt's NCAA Lacrosse game against Syracuse.

You see, the stakes are always high in the post-season... and with NCAA regulations requiring that the environment be a neutral atmosphere in regards to music and entertainment, an extra lift was needed to excite our fans.

Pam Lemons (pictured to the right) and Robin Thrift, both mothers of student-athletes on the squad, were up to the task, and spurred on the Commodore crowd with cheers throughout the game, even when the team fell behind midway through the second half.

Other players' parents, as well as friends and family, joined in to add to the loudness of the chant "Vandy, Vandy, Vandy!"

And it wasn't just today that this spirit showed ... it had been happening all season long. It just seemed to ring home with me on Mother's Day.

And as much as today's loss stings, especially to our departing seniors, nothing can take away from the relationships we build with the ones we love.

I wasn't able to be at home with my mom on her day... but just seeing the affection displayed by the lacrosse moms, I felt right at home.

Happy Mother's Day to all (especially you, Mom!)



SUNDAY, MAY 13- 1:14 PM

Nice article by PGAtour.com on former Commodore Brandt Snedeker... Snedeker fired a 4-under-par 68 on Saturday at the Players Championship and was tied for 16th heading into today's final round.
Read Snedeker Article | Follow Sunday's action via PGAtour.com



SUNDAY, MAY 13- 10:33 AM

We just added Neil Brake's photo gallery from Friday's Commencement. With all the great success on the field, there are even greater successes happening every day inside the classroom. Congratulations to this year's graduates and good luck with whatever dreams you pursue down the road.

And a big thanks to Neil Brake for capturing images from this memorable day.

Click to View Photo Gallery



SATURDAY, MAY 12- 8:14 PM

I had the pleasure of working the NCAA Women's Tennis 1st and 2nd Rounds at Vanderbilt on Friday and Saturday. What better way to advance to the Round of 16 than by dominating in-state rival Tennessee 4-0 in front of a rowdy Commodore crowd at the Currey Tennis Center.



The Commodores are finally running at full steam after struggling earlier in the year due to injuries. The team I witnessed today definitely matched the preseason hype. Next up --- top-ranked Stanford in Athens Friday. The 'Dores may have lost to Stanford 6-1 on February 1, but that team was without starters Amanda Fish and Courtney Ulery.

Also, I was able to grab Coach Macdonald and junior Amanda Taylor after the match to get their thoughts on the win. You can watch the interviews here.

We also had a funny moment during the Macdonald interview... While asking him about his team starting to peak at the right time, Coach was almost pelted by piece of candy. It took a few seconds until we noticed that the candy was thrown intentionally from someone in Amanda Fish's group about thirty feet away.
Watch how it all unfolded --- Click Here


((who knows, maybe revenge is on the way... we'll try to get video footage when it happens))

Some Other News:

Jacqui Concolino capped a terrific NCAA Central Regional by winning medalist honors Saturday in Ann Arbor -- something that has NEVER been done by another Commodore women's golfer in post-season play. Should this surprise you, though? The "Year of the Commodore" just keeps breaking barriers of old... with time still left to add to the long list of milestones already accomplished during 2006-07!

And the team's sixth place finish secured their spot in the NCAA Championship May 22-25 in Daytona Beach, giving Vanderbilt another shot at winning a national championship this year. And don't count them out because it's a real possiblity... Coach Richards' squad has had a lot of success against top competition all year long including winning two tournaments in the fall. Can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Also, the Vanderbilt baseball team just defeated Auburn 6-5 in 10 innings Saturday... with the win, the Commodores claimed at least a share of the SEC Eastern divison crown... The 'Dores have also now won their last seven SEC series, as well as 4 of 5 series on the road in conference. Just a great season all the way around (with more good things still to come). It's hard to believe we still haven't reached double digits in the loss column (43-9). Just think of what it will be like to host a Regional in a couple weeks (keeping my fingers crossed).

Finally, the women's tennis team had a great crowd of Commodore faithful Saturday to assist them with their shutout of Tennessee. Let's do the same for the women's lacrosse squad, who will be hosting Syracuse Sunday at 1 p.m. CT in the first round of the NCAA tournament (another first this year.. we've never hosted a post-season LAX game). Here's all the info you need to know.

We'll see you at the Lacrosse Complex Sunday!



FRIDAY, MAY 11- 5:10 AM

Just a quick rundown before the start of a busy weekend in Commodore Athletics... lots of NCAA events going on plus other great news... Stay updated on the NCAA action by visitng our event tracker on the front of VUcommodores.com...

First, today is a special day on campus.... The Vanderbilt senior class will receive their diplomas in a ceremony scheduled to take place on Alumni Lawn. Congratulations to all our student-athletes, their parents, families and close friends. I know it's been said time and time before... but earning a degree is a huge accomplishment... one of the things that makes working at Vanderbilt a wonderful experience is the dedication of these athletes to not only compete on the playing field, but to succeed in the classroom. These young adults will definitely make an impact in the world, whether it's in sports or the not. Once again, congratulations!

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has a nice article detailing last night's Commodore Caravan event in Memphis... free registration is required to read. Alumni in Good Cheer

I LOVE GOLD!!!!!!

The Nashville City Paper printed a piece on women's tennis senior Amanda Fish as the Commodores prepare to host Friday's NCAA first round match against Murray State at the Currey Tennis Center. The 'Dores are scheduled to start play at 1 p.m. CT (following Tennessee and Tulsa). Friday's winners will meet Saturday at Noon for the right to advance to the final sixteen. Emotional Weekend | NCAA Central

What a day for Jacqui Concolino of the women's golf team... she fired her best single-round score of the season, a 4-under par 67, on Thursday to lead the field after the first round of the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor. The Commodores are currently in fourth place -- just seven strokes behind Southern Cal. The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. Vanderbilt tees off Friday at approximately 12:10 CT.
Day One Recap Plus Live Stats

Baseball gets ready for another road series --- this time at Auburn. None of the games will be televised, but you can listen to Joe Fisher's radio call online for free (or tune into 560 AM locally). Also, you can purchase a live webcast at Auburn's official website, www.auburntigers.com. VUcommodores.com Preview

We also added two more video segments of Tim Corbin's Winning Baseball DVD in All Access.

Patrick Ebert writes a good story on the success of Commodore baseball -- Head of the Classes.

And Vanderbilt junior second baseman Alex Feinberg has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team in district four -- Honor.

Garnetta Holloway, the reigning Southeastern Conference heptathlon champion, is fifth overall after the first day of activities at the SEC Track and Field Championships. SECs continue today in Birmingham -- Track Tracker

Ian Duvenhage and the VU men's tennis team will be competing in the first round of NCAAs at 1 p.m. today in Baton Rouge as the 'Dores will battle Tulsa at W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium -- Preview.

And don't forget, the women's lacrosse team will host their NCAA first round matchup with Syracuse Sunday at 1 p.m. CT at the VU Lacrosse Complex (behind the McGugin Center). This is the first time in school history that the 'Dores have hosted a postseason contest, so we need a big crowd of black and gold! We set up a NCAA central page with all the links you need to get ready for the game -- Check it Out

Finally, I mentioned Brandt Snedeker's opening round results at The Players Championship... see previous post below. Fans can follow Friday's second round at PGAtour.com.

Have a great day and remember --- It's Good to be Gold!



THURSDAY, MAY 10- 11:30 PM

Brandt Snedeker finished even par (72) after the opening round at The Players Championship Thursday.

He ended with 13 straight pars.... and made a lone birdie and bogey on his front nine.

He stands in 17th place --- tied with 10 other pros -- heading into Friday's second round, just five shots back of co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini.

PGAtour.com's Dave Shedloski explained that high wind gusts plus a renovated course led to a field average of 75.403 strokes, making Thursday the second-hardest opening round and the fourth hardest since the event moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982. Read the rest of the article here.

Brandt will tee off at 7:41 ET Friday morning as he competes to make the weekend cut.

Click for First Round Final Scores.



THURSDAY, MAY 10- 5:01 PM

After reading about the amazing month of April for men's basketball signee A.J. Ogilvy (read more), it brings up the question.... Which Austrailian basketball player has made more of an impact playing American basketball ----- Luc Longley or Andrew Bogut?

To me, Luc Longley would be the obvious choice without looking at their profiles... Let's go to the stats from NBA.com....

THE LUC LONGLEY FILE:



*First Austrailian player in the NBA.

*Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 1991 NBA draft.

*Appeared in 87 career NBA Playoffs games, averaging 6.6 ppg and 4.3 rpg.

*Member of three consecutive Chicago Bulls NBA championship teams from 1995-98.

*Established career-bests on Bulls in 1997-98 with 11.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 2.8 apg.

*Play ten seasons in the NBA --- averaged 7.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .97 bpg, 46.2 FG%.

*Represented Australia in the 1992 and 1988 Summer Olympics basketball competition.

*Attended New Mexico during college... In four collegiate seasons, averaged 13.4 ppg, 7 rpg and 2.6 bpg.

*Senior year (90-91), averaged 19.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, 3.2 bpg.

*If he was not playing professional basketball, he would be a marine biologist (bonus Costanza points).

*Enjoys the music of Eric Clapton and Midnight Oil

THE ANDREW BOGUT FILE:



But don't forget about the great collegiate career of Bogut which concluded with him being selected number one in the NBA Draft two years ago...

*During college at Utah, named Consensus National Player of the Year in 2004-05, and winner of the Wooden, Naismith, Associated Press, USBWA, NABC, Basketball Times, ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated Player of the Year Awards.

*In 2004-05, ranked 19th in the NCAA in scoring (20.4) and second in rebounds (12.2) ... led the nation with 26 double-doubles ... scored at least 20 points on 22 ocassions ... started all 35 games, leading the Utes to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

*Played in the 2006 FIBA World Championships as a member of the Australian National Team ... helped the Boomers reach the round of 16 after averaging 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.3 minutes per game (over six games).

*Named the MVP of the 2003 FIBA Junior World Championships in Greece in July after leading the Aussies to the title; had 22 points and 18 rebounds in a 106-85 win over the USA in the quarterfinals of the medal round.

*Played for AIS in the South East Australian Basketball League in 2003 ... averaged 22 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in 31 minutes per game. ((note: this is the same team Ogilvy played for during his player of the month selection in April)).

*Was selected first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2005 NBA Draft.

*In his first year in the NBA (2005-06), led all rookies in rebounds (7.0), blocks (0.83) and FG% (.533) ... his 53.3% FG touch was 5th in the NBA ... finished 5th among rookies in points (9.4) and 7th in assists (2.3).

*Finished third in the NBA rookie of the year ballots, bhind Chris Paul and Charlie Villanueva.

*In year two of NBA, averaged 12.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, and apg 3.0 before getting injured in March.

*His favorite foods are: soup with noklice (simolina dumplings), cevapi (small grilled rolls of minced meat), burek (a pastry filled with meat, cheese and vegetables) and mum's chicken shnitzel and potatoes.

FINAL DECISION:

Well, I'll leave it up for you to decide... Longley started the wheel for Austrailians in the NBA, but had a mediocre pro career that included a couple of rings courtesy of Jordan, Pippen and Perdue (Vanderbilt love). Bogut, on the other hand, is the more decorated played in the collegiate ranks and has had some early success in the pros.... This one may be too close to call.

So, email me your decision at brandon.barca@vanderbilt.edu... I may post a few responses.



THURSDAY, MAY 10- 11:06 AM

Forgot one thing.... the Commodore Caravan will stop in Memphis Tonight at the W.C. Handy Performing Arts Park at 6:30 p.m. (located at the corner of Third and Beale). Let's hope for another great turnout!
Click for Caravan info.



THURSDAY, MAY 10- 10:55 AM

A couple of quick notes.... First, we just posted Rod Williamson's latest Commodore Notebook entry... which contains a few interesting tidbits you might like to read --- Exciting Times

Second, our women's golf team is currently in action in day one (of three) at the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor. The top eight teams in this region will advance to the NCAA Championship, as well as the top eight squads from the two other sites in Louisiana and Utah. The Commodores have made the Championship on three previous ocassions --- 2002, 2003 & 2004 -- each under current head coach Martha Richards). The finals will be played in Daytona Beach, Fla., May 22-25 (I may have to sneak in someone's luggage to catch some golf and sun). Follow all the action via Live Stats.

And don't forget, the women's tennis team will be hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on campus starting Friday at the Currey Tennis Center. The first match -- Tennessee and Tulsa -- starts at 10 a.m. CT, followed by Vanderbilt and Murray State at 1 p.m. The winners of each match will square off Saturday at 12 p.m. for the right to go to the final 16... and if everything goes as planned Friday, we could be looking at a second round match with the Lady Vols. In case you don't remember, Vanderbilt won in Knoxville this year for the first time in 20 years ... so you know UT will have a chip on its shoulder. Let's have a big crowd on Friday and Saturday to give our team an extra push during post-season play. If you're out-of-town, you can track the action at NCAA Central

Also, we'll try to add one or two more segments from Tim Corbin's Winning Baseball to All Access.

Good Day!



THURSDAY, MAY 10- 1:30 AM

Current PGA Tour professional -- and former Commodore --- Brandt Snedeker will be playing in The Players Championship starting Thursday in Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.

Snedeker will tee off at 12:40 ET on the first day and is grouped with Anthony Kim, one of the tour's hottest players, and Briny Baird. A threesome including two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen will follow Brandt's group.

He has been one of the Tour's most successful rookies, currently standing at 58th on the money list. At season's end, the top 125 will automatically earn their 2008 Tour card.

How well has Brandt played? He has risen 100 spots already this year on the PGA Tour Official World Golf Ranking, currently standing at 143rd on the list.

To follow him this weekend in The Players Championship, visit PGAtour.com.

And if you're looking to see Brandt play in person... I would bet he'd be entered in the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis June 7-10.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9- 7:21 PM

We are doing something that has never been done on Barca Blog....

Now to think of it..... it hasn't been done ANYWHERE.

What you're about to see may change your life forever.



Let me be the first to tell you that VUcommodores.com is the only sports website to offer you this....

The Ryan Roberts photo gallery.

Yes, that's right. The Ryan Roberts photo gallery.

Who is Ryan Roberts, you might ask? He's a senior on the baseball team....

Don't see him on the official roster?

That's because he serves as one of the team managers... You know, the guys that get no glory.

So I decided to make a movement today and give some respect back.

And here it finally is... roll out the red carpet.......

View the EXCLUSIVE Ryan Roberts Photo Gallery

Be on the look out for future galleries of Jens Herman and Steven Goldburg... when you least expect it!



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9- 5:51 PM

We just added 104.5 the Zone's radio interviews with Tim Corbin and Pedro Alvarez from earlier today. Listen to the segments for free in Commodore Nation All Access --- Corbin | Alvarez.

In one part of the Corbin interview, 104.5 asked him about his thoughts on Roger Clemens' return to the Yankees and his traveling situation:

I'm a Roger Clemens fan, even though he left the Red Sox. I've always admired him because of his longevity ... You know, he's my age for crying out loud and I have enough trouble getting out of bed every morning and I'm not an athlete. He's busting it every day to stay in shape and gets himself ready to pitch. The part where teams are giving him the concession to pitch when he can and then be with his family .... there's something admirable about that. I think he's better in the game than not being in the game because people want to see him... which means the better for all involved.

In the Alvarez interview, Pedro was asked how his collegiate career at Vanderbilt has been since turning down a contract with the Major Leagues:

I feel like Vanderbilt is the best place for me. You have a coaching staff that's the best in terms of coaching and people. The coaches are like father figures, as brothers, and as family and not just coaches. And then academically, Vanderbilt is one of the top schools. Education was so important to my family and we knew we wanted to balance things out between academics and baseball ... it just shows that I think I made the right choice and I can't say how much I'm loving it here ... This is a situation that money can't buy.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9- 2:25 PM

RADIO ALERT: 104.5 the Zone will air an interview with Vanderbilt baseball sophomore Pedro Alvarez at approximately 3:25 p.m. CT today. Out-of-Towners can listen at their official site.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9- 11:17 AM

Just came across another good article, this time by Jimmy Trodglen of the Leaf Chronicle in Clarksville, who attended last night's NCC event in Clarksville. Check it out -- It's Good to be a Commodore



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9- 9:30 AM

I was able to attend last night's National Commodore Club event in Clarksville.... and what a great turnout by Commodore fans! There are a lot of people to thank for making it possible.... first, J.R. and Charles Hand for hosting the outing at the Budweiser Barn (a really cool place) as well as the Hand family's continued support of Vanderbilt athletics. Also, sponsors F&M Bank and the Leaf Chronicle, as well as Ted Moats and Golden Rule Barbecue for providing the dinner. Special thanks to emcee Chip Hoback. And finally, a huge thanks to Bobby Johnson and Kevin Stallings for supporting last night's function... and also for taking the time to speak about the state of their programs.



The Commodore Caravan will next stop in Memphis this Thursday at the W.C. Handy Performing Arts Park at 6:30 p.m. (located at the corner of Third and Beale). Let's hope for another great turnout! Click for info.

Here's a listing of what else has been going on in the world of Vanderbilt Athletics:

The Women's Bowling team is headed to the White House -- Champs

Nice piece by Bryan Mullen in this morning's Tennessean on Joe Fisher -- Time Out

Former women's basketball standout Hillary Hager was honored in her hometown of Franklin, Penn. -- Key to City

Basketball signee A.J. Ogilvy was named the SEABL Player of the Month after averaged 29.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in April -- Honor



TUESDAY, MAY 8- 3:17 PM

Want to catch Tim Corbin on local media outlets? Here's the tentative schedule for the next few days:

Tuesday (Tonight) at 6:45 PM: WSMV Channel 4 Feature
Discussing leadership qualities and what makes a leader

Wednesday at 8:10 AM: 104.5 the Zone Interview

Sunday Night Sports: WSMV Channel 4 Extended Feature

Also, check out this article from Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com on the baseball program - Read



TUESDAY, MAY 8- 1:22 PM

We just posted 106.7's interview with Tim Corbin from Monday night. Click here to listen.

Some news from ESPN.com... first, David Wells decided to give his opinion about Roger Clemens and his travel schedule with the New York Yankees. Whether you agree with Clemens or not, why is David Wells always the guy that the media goes to for quotes on these issues (steroid usage was a previous topic he commented about). Is he the voice of baseball? Does anyone really care at this point what David Wells' opinion is? I don't. (Read the article here). He may want to concentrate on his own issues... like pitching for the Padres... his ERA is just above six -- not too shabby. Clemens could put those numbers up when he reaches his sixties.

Also, some sad news in the boxing world.... Former two-division world champion Diego Corrales died in a motorcycle crash on Monday. Corrales will be best remembered for his epic battle with Jose Luis Castillo two years ago. That fight was one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. If you haven't watched it (and you're a boxing fan), then do yourself a favor and find a copy online (the first fight, not the rematch)... It had everything that the Mayweather/De La Hoya fight didn't... two guys willing to go toe-to-toe and put it all on the line... It was a fight that seemed like it was straight out of the Rocky movies. Not much defense, but just a pure slugfest with back and forth rallies... and the final round will go down as one of the most memorable in championship history. Click for article

Finally.... to the right, I posted a scene from the movie "The Break-Up" starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. This clip is probably the best part of an average film.... If anyone knows how I can join the "Tone Rangers" ... then please let me know. I'd be more than happy to play the kick drum.



TUESDAY, MAY 8- 8:10 AM

In case you missed it ---- Just a quick recap of the content we've added in the last 24 hours and a few other links.... there were so many things happening yesterday, you may have missed some of the great news involving the Commodores (including some new video and audio).

Here's the rundown:

Lacrosse to Host NCAA First Round -- Video

Men's Golf Heads West for NCAAs -- News

Baseball's Monday Press Conference with Corbin, Davis and de la Osa --- Video

Baseball Stays Number One -- view each poll on the baseball homepage (linked to the far right).

Commodore Caravan in Clarksville Tonight at 6 p.m. -- Attend

104.5's Radio Interview with Bobby Johnson -- Audio

Concolino to Represent America at USA-Japan Golf Matches -- News

Joe Fisher's Monday 104.5 Sports Update -- Audio

Nashville City Paper's Feature on Ty Davis -- News

Sporting News Article on David Price --- News

Also, we'll work to upload 106.7's Monday interview with Tim Corbin sometime today. Have a great day and remember... It's Good to be Gold!



MONDAY, MAY 7- 9:12 PM

Crazy day around here with work still to be done. In case you hadn't heard, the women's lacrosse team not only made the NCAA Tournament, but are hosting the opening game at the VU Lacrosse Complex for the first time in school history! Their first round opponent Sunday is Syracuse... Read more about this big accomplishment plus video reaction from Coach Swezey and Jennifer Tapscott --- WATCH.

We also posted late this afternoon 104.5's Monday radio Interview with Bobby Johnson. Johnson promoted Tuesday's NCC Caravan stop in Clarksville with Kevin Stallings (Caravan Event Info).

In a light part of the interview, Coach Johnson discussed his relationship with fellow VU coach Kevin Stallings:

I enjoy Kevin's company and we pull for each other ... It will be fun to join him on the Caravan... He's a good guy to be around... and has a whole lot of personality... plus he's funny.

Johnson went on to talk about the recent struggles of the New York Yankees -- his favorite baseball team -- and offered his services as general manager for a week. Listen to the entire 104.5 interview



MONDAY, MAY 7- 5:15 PM

BREAKING NEWS --- Head Coach Tom Shaw and the Vanderbilt Men's Golf team just earned an at-large bid (13th seed) into the 2007 NCAA Championships. The 'Dores have been placed in the West Regional hosted by Arizona State. Check back later tonight for the official release. Congratulations!



MONDAY, MAY 7- 4:52 PM

Oh, forgot to post this reminder....

Vanderbilt's midweek home game against Middle Tennessee, originally scheduled for this Tuesday May 8th, has been cancelled since the Commodores are expected to reach their 56-game regular season maximum (NCAA rule). You can still catch the 'Dores in the regular season home finale against LSU the weekend of May 17-19 (note: this series starts on a Thursday).



MONDAY, MAY 7- 4:44 PM

Here's an article on former Commodore tennis star Bobby Reynolds. Reynolds upset Robert Kendrick (7-6, 6-4,) to win the Naples ITG Challenger Sunday afternoon in Naples, Fla. Read Article



MONDAY, MAY 7- 3:10 PM

Two side notes from today's baseball press conference at Hawkins Field (click to watch Monday's free video).

Ty Davis was asked to reveal something about Dominic de la Osa that people might not be aware of... here was his response:

"Dom has a younger brother that's four years old... He's the best baseball player I've ever seen at that age... The kid hits the ball farther than I can."

Don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another de la Osa in the lineup... sometime around 2021.

Tim Corbin also mentioned that he woke up the neighbors this morning mowing his lawn at 5:30 a.m. He stated that it was the only time he could get it done.

Gotta love Coach Corbin and his passion to win. He's always a step ahead of the competition... even if it means working at all hours of the day. Glad he's on our side.



MONDAY, MAY 7- 10:15 AM

Oh, forgot to mention a couple of things on the radar...

First, we'll try to get video reaction from Tim Corbin's Monday press conference after Vanderbilt claimed its sixth straight Southeastern Conference series with two wins in Athens this past weekend. Coach Corbin also usually appears Monday afternoon on 106.7 the Fan.

The wait will finally be over as our No. 10 Women's Lacrosse team will find out their postseason fate tonight at 7 p.m. Keep your fingers crossed on a NCAA Bid. Check back later tonight for the official release.

The NCAA Men's Golf bids come out tonight, too. Eighty-one teams --- divided into three, 27-team regional sites --- plus 18 individuals will make the field. Good luck to coach Tom Shaw and his squad.

Finally, the NCC's Commodore Caravan kicks off in Clarksville Tuesday and will conclude in Memphis Thursday. If you live in the area of these events, I encourage you to support the Caravan as Bobby Johnson and Kevin Stallings are scheduled to meet with fans. Click for more info



MONDAY, MAY 7- 9:41 AM

Here are some weekly baseball notes courtesy of Thomas from Vanderbilt's sports information department.

One thing I noticed when looking over the season stats.... Casey Weathers' numbers this year are ridiculous. In 32 appearances, Weathers' record is 9-2 with a 1.49 ERA. The thing that stood out to me, though, was that he's only allowed 11 hits in 36.1 innings of work and none of them have been for extra bases. Throw in that he's struck out 54 and opponents are batting only .098 against him... and if my calculations are right, his WHIP (walks & hits per inning) is 0.80. Amazing stats across the board.

Now to the notes:

Vanderbilt (41-9, 17-7 SEC) captured its sixth straight SEC series after taking two of three against Georgia in Athens over the weekend. VU has won eight of its last nine games currently sit atop the SEC overall standings.

The Commodores have a four game lead in the Eastern Division with six remaining and have a one game lead over Arkansas (16-8) for the No. 1 seed in the SEC tourney. VU is attempting to win its first SEC division title since 1974 and first SEC championship since 1980 (the champion was decided in a tourney). The team's magic number is two to clinch at least a share of the division crown.

The Commodores reached the 40 win plateau for just the second time in school history on Friday and for the first time in the regular season. They are four wins away from tying the school record of 45 set in 2004 when the team reached their first ever NCAA Super Regional. The 17 SEC wins are the most in school history, besting the 16 won in both 2004 and 2006.

VU banged out a season high 23 hits in Sunday's win over Georgia. The team is now batting .330 as a team, tied for the lead with Mississippi State in the conference. VU hit .330 in three games against Georgia with three homers, seven doubles, two triples and 23 runs scored.

Dominic de la Osa is making a charge for All-SEC and All-American honors after a 6-for-13 (.462) weekend with two doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI. He had five RBI including a bases clearing three-run double in the top of the ninth of Friday's game that broke a 5-5 tie. He now leads the team with a .378 batting average and homers with 14 and is second in RBI with 47.

Ryan Flaherty also ripped the ball on the weekend going 7-for-14 (.500) with two doubles and three runs scored ... Second baseman Alex Feinberg led the hit parade on the weekend going 7-for-11 (.636) with a 5-for-5 day with a career high six RBI in Sunday's win. He also belted his third homer of the year and added a couple of doubles on the weekend.

The pitching staff sported a 4.15 ERA with 22 strikeouts and nine walks in 26.0 innings ... Ty Davis led the pitching contingent with 6.2 innings of no hit, no walk relief in Sunday's series clinching win. He struck out four to move to 2-0 on the year and has given up just one earned run in his last 13.2 innings ... David Price struck out eight in the no-decision on Friday after giving up a career high 12 hits (all singles) in seven innings. He now has 143 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 97.1 innings this year ...

The Commodores play their final road SEC series of the year against Auburn this weekend. The Tigers are in last place in the SEC West and are 28-22 overall and 7-17 in league play after getting swept by Mississippi State.



SUNDAY, MAY 6- 1:45 AM

Well, I just finished watching the Floyd Mayweather/Oscar De La Hoya fight for the junior middleweight championship on pay-per-view. Here are some random thoughts on the event:

*The undercard got off to a good start when Sergio "Rocky" Medina came out to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

*Scratch that thought... No one should ever (ever) come out to "Eye of the Tiger" again. It's a song that you just don't touch. I was so hyped up when I heard the song over the loudspeakers that I can't even imagine the adrenaline that was running through Medina's veins when the chorus kicked in. Safe to say it had the reverse effect... this match was over before it started. Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista dominated "Rocky" to earn the unanimous decision in the junior featherweight title elimination matchup.

*We had another "Rocky" in the second fight of the night as Rocky Juarez squared off against Jose Hernandez. This Rocky had better luck, outpointing Juarez in another lackluster bout. Maybe I'm having second thoughts about my Saturday morning post that stated it didn't matter if it was a disappointing night.

*Most uncomfortable moment of the night goes to HBO analyst Larry Merchant's interview with Mayweather's father during the undercard. The conversation seemed to last forever and detracted from the Jaurez bout. It was obvious that Mayweather senior has taken way too many punches in his lifetime... also, his back-and-forth conversation with Merchant reminded me of the tv show "The Osbournes" where you spent half the episode trying to understand what Ozzy was actually saying. I still don't know.

*I also spent portions of the undercard trying to figure out what celebrities were sitting ring side.... from the tube, it was easy to spot Tommy Lasorda, Leo DiCaprio, John McCain, Jennifer Lopez, and so on. The award of the day goes to Jenny McCarthy. She was spotted at the Kentucky Derby earlier in the day, and then magically appeared in Vegas for the big fight. I'm jealous on so many accounts. You think this blog will get me my own private jet to get from place to place?

AP Photo

*It was time for the fight with all the hype.... Mayweather v. De La Hoya. The flamboyant Mayweather played up his bad boy image by coming out in a sombrero while he and the rest of his staff were wearing Mexican colors --- playing off Cinco de Mayo... but also an obvious pre-fight jab at De La Hoya (were the "Mexico Loves Mayweather" shirts really necessary?). The pro-De La Hoya crowd at MGM Grand responded with a resounding chorus of boos when Mayweather's outift was shown on the jumbotron right before his introduction. Mayweather knew what he was doing... stirring the crowd up while further making him public enemy number one to the millions watching from home (as Michael Buffer would say). In a sport that currently lacks personality, I credit Mayweather for at least generating some emotion, even if it was negative.

*Mayweather had a special guest sing his intro live as he walked out to the ring... he was accompanied by none other than 50 cent. Nice touch to give his intro more life. Some pyro could have been cool, too.

*While walking to the ring, De La Hoya must have flexed his jaw about 2,000 times. Not sure if this is a sign of being nervous, or just a pre-fight ritual... but it is a little disturbing.

*Credit De La Hoya for being the agressor throughout the match. Mayweather was the smarter tactician, but spent most of the fight countering De La Hoya, which led to very few "jump out of your seat" moments that many of us were expecting (or at least hoping for). De la Hoya had Mayweather cornered in the ropes several times, but was unable to successfully connect on his power punches. One of the best flurries of the night came in the last ten seconds of the final round.... too little, too late.

*Mayweather deserved to win the title Saturday night. Based on the judging system, he was the more efficient boxer. But I do have a problem with Mayweather hyping the matchup for months by stating it would be a "massacre" ... if it was going to be that way, I think he should have been more physical in the ring and initiated more contact. He knew, like everyone else, that this fight put the sport back in the limelight for one night ---and his boxing display did nothing to win over the casual fan (and hardly matched his rough persona).

*Merchant closed his portion of the broadcast with his typical Jerry Springer-like "Final Thoughts" segment. The boxing purist disagreed with the national media for trying to bill this contest as "the last big fight" and stated that boxing will always be boxing. I agree to a point, but when your sport has seen a major drop in public interest, then yes, there is an issue. Plus, if Mayweather had been squaring off against someone other than De La Hoya, I doubt this battle of the champions gets much pub at all. How many casual boxing fans knew a lot about Floyd Mayweather prior to this fight. How many heavyweights can you name right now (in fact, who are the current title holders?). Probably don't know, and I honestly can't keep up with it myself. I hate to compare boxing to wrestling, but after attending Monday Night Raw at Nashville Arena earlier this week, you can see why the WWE keeps bringing back the veteran entertainers into the ring... because they get more crowd reaction. Ric Flair and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan received two of the loudest "pops" Monday because people enjoy rooting for athletes that they once had a bond with. Fighting De La Hoya was the best thing for Mayweather.

*A couple of other HBO commentators took a few shots at the UFC near the end of the broadcast by questioning their athletic ability and technical skills. Whether you agree or not, credit Max Kellerman for stepping in and defending the UFC against the rest of the commentators... It seemed out-of-character for HBO to use this high-profile forum to express why boxing is the superior sport ... just another sign that boxing has lost it's dominance because this issue would have never been addressed during it's prime... they would have just ignored their competition. Boxing should spend more time focusing on itself, rather than nitpicking on other organizations.

*In closing, I give the actual pay-per-view a 5 out of 10. I enjoyed the fight, but neither Mayweather nor De La Hoya did anything to "wow" me into selling boxing to other potential fans. In fact, not sure if I'd want to see a rematch.



SATURDAY, MAY 5- 11:15 AM

It's weird sometimes to wake up on a Saturday and not have to go into work. As much as I love being around the collegiate atmosphere, it's nice to have a break every now and then.

That being said, today is the perfect day to have off. There's a great lineup of sporting events that are scheduled all the way into the night.

I will start the midday by listening to Vanderbilt's baseball game against the struggling Georgia Bulldogs as the Commodores look to clinch another SEC series at 1 p.m. CT in Athens. VU holds an impressive 10-1 record on Saturdays this spring. And with last night's dramatic 8-5 win (recap) combined with Arkansas' loss to LSU, the top ranked 'Dores are in sole possession of first place, holding a one game lead over the Razorbacks with eight games remaining in SEC play.

Then, once the clock hits 3:30, I will turn the tube to NBC to watch the coverage of the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Last year, I had the pleasure of making my first trip to Churchill Downs to see Barbaro runaway from the field, winning by 6 1/2 lengths --- the most since 1946 (Assault). Oh, and let me clarify something in that last statement --- I didn't really see Barbaro win it. You see, I wasn't in the grandstand, but rather in the infield with the masses after purchasing the affordable $40 ticket. All I could see of the race were the live feeds on the raised jumbotrons around the inside of the track (similar to the big screen in Vandyville).

Dodgeball anyone???

When you think of the Derby, you imagine fancy hats and dresses and all that other spiffy attire.. but not in the infield. The infield experience is more of a "Woodstock" affair for the younger generation. Only way to describe it would be to say that it was similar to the recess breaks I had in school back in the day ... except there are over 70,000 people at this adult recess in Louisville... just big areas of grass for people to roam and mingle and play.. except, you won't see kickball or dodgeball games going on (although, one group dressed up like Peter La Fleur and the Average Joe's last year). You can read more about the infield experience here. I won't lie though, it will be nice to watch the event this year with a clear view of the action --- from my recliner.

And to cap it all off, I've ordered tonight's Oscar De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather boxing pay-per-view which will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. These big time fights usually tend to be a let down, but that never bothers me. I think the anticipation and build up of the battle is sometimes more exciting than the actual match --- which is fine in my book..... I think it's healthy to get excited about something no matter what it is, even if it does end up being a bummer. Plus, you always have the undercards to save you.

I enjoyed watching the 24/7 series on HBO that chronicled the two boxers as they prepared for tonight's junior middleweight showdown. I won't get into all the subplots... let's just say these guys genuinely don't like each other... Mayweather (37-0, 24 KOs) has been branded as the trash-talking bad guy (which every fight desperately needs for hype) while De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) fills the role of the camera-friendly glamour boy.

Mayweather may be the heavy favorite (rightfully so --- he's faster, younger, undefeated and billed as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world) --- but never count out a storied champion like De La Hoya. This is what makes sports fun... the anticipation of seeing how it all unfolds. Can't wait.

Enjoy your Saturday ... and Happy Cinco de Mayo!



FRIDAY, MAY 4 - 3:12 PM

Just revisited USAbaseball.com... it looks like they sold out of their USA Baseball National Teams Box Sets wiithin an hour of going on sale to the general public. Not sure if more will become available in the future.

Also, for all you out-of-towners that missed last night's Fox 17 feature on "The Day in the Life" of Tim Corbin, you can now watch it on their official website. Here's the link. You'll find their video section in the middle column, beneath the Fox feedback poll.

It's definitely worth the watch. Thanks again to Paul Jones for the great feature!



FRIDAY, MAY 4 - 9:44 AM

Quick note: A limited number of upcoming USA Baseball National Teams Box Sets will be made available for sale via the USA Baseball website (www.usabaseball.com) beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m. CT today. The price for the Box Sets will be $49.99 + $6.95 per set shipping/handling.

2006 Team USA members Pedro Alvarez, David Price and Casey Weathers each have a card in the set. Tim Corbin is featured on the 'coaches' card with three other staff. There is also a card in the set that features all four Commodores together.

Box Set purchases will be limited to one (1) Box Set per customer per name/address. Based on the interest they have already received, it is expected that these sets will sell-out very quickly. Sets will begin shipping to customers on Monday, May 7, 2007.

I personally have not seen the cards, but thought fans might be interested in this unique item. Thanks to Trent for the heads up and David at USA Baseball for additional info. And a reminder, if you have any interest in purchasing this product, you may want to be ready to buy it right at 1 p.m. CT due to the limited availability.



THURSDAY, MAY 3 - 6:37 PM

After watching armwrestling on ESPN2 the other night (see previous blog posting), it brought back my affection for the movie Over the Top. Yeah, I know it's a two star movie at best (IMDB's user rating is a solid 4.1 out of 10) but it has possibly the greatest actor of our time (Sylvester Stallone) with one of the best character names in cinematic history --- Lincoln Hawk. Throw in another standout performance by the underrated Robert Loggia (as bad guy, Jason Cutler) .... and top it off with some scenes with former wrestler Terry Funk as Ruker, one of Loggia's henchmen, and you have a classic that will be handed down from generation to generation.


We Want the Wolf!
The great thing about Over the Top is that it's another cheesy sports movie from the 80's with a killer pump-up song during the final scenes (Sammy Hagar's "Winner Takes It All"). This had me thinking about other music from sports movies in the 80's.

Now, I don't think the Rocky movies qualify in this debate because most of them are respected as actual sports films (plus the first two came out in the late 70's). So, I am going to compare music from three classic movies that I have a guilty pleasure for --- Over the Top, Teen Wolf and The Karate Kid. To be fair, I really think The Karate Kid is a legitimate movie, at least more so than the other two..... but the music is so dated that I couldn't leave it out of this discussion.

SPORTS MUSIC CHOICES:

Over the Top (1987): Sammy Hagar's "Winner Takes It All" Listen
The Karate Kid (1984): Joe Esposito's "You're the Best" Listen
Teen Wolf (1985): Mark Safan's "Win in the End" Listen

When you listen to these songs... a couple of quick tips that you'll thank me for later.

One, let it sink in --- stop everything you're doing to feel the true impact of these tunes.

Two, do not operate any heavy machinery for at least four hours after listening to the music (for the safety of mankind).

And Three, hide your wallet for at least 24 hours so you don't make any ill-advised purchases on ebay, or spend any money that you don't already have.

I mean, look at me... after hearing Hagar's song the other night, I was tempted to run to Target at 9 p.m. to pick up a copy of the DVD (if it's not on DVD, VHS was an option I was willing to take). Not knowing if they carried the movie -- or if it was in such high demand that they were out of stock -- I decided to call Target in advance before getting my hopes up and ruining the rest of my night.

Here's how the phone conversation with Target went:

Target: This is Target, how can we be of service today.

Me: Okay, I know this is a random question, but please make sure I talk to someone who is 100% positive with their answer.

TG: Yes, sir. Not a problem. What can I do for you?

Me: Alright, I am trying to see if you have a copy of the movie "Over the Top" with Sylvester Stallone?

TG: You mean the movie about armwrestling and a man's fight for the custody of his only child?

Me: Look lady, I don't need your commentary.. this is an emergency and we don't have time.

TG: We're open 24 hours.

Me: Whatever... look, I know this movie is in high demand.... do you have any copies left, or are you out of stock (fingers crossed).....

TG: Let me look it up....... (one minute phone pause as the sweat drips from my forehead into my cell) .... Sir, we do have it... one copy has been on the shelf........... for almost two years.

Me: Wonderful... Can you hold it for me? I live two miles away and would hate for someone else to have what is rightfully mine.

TG: We can't hold the item for you, sir... I don't think this copy is going anywhere except maybe the $4.99 rack.

Me: That's even worse, I'm in the car right now.


Alright, so I am a little off subject.. back to focusing... the point of this blog is to determine which of these three movies had the best closing pump-up song... Let's analyze the flicks quickly.... good and bad:

TEEN WOLF:

Pros: Thankfully, they didn't waste Safan's "Win in the End" on Jason Bateman's sequel.... Styles wore t-shirts with bold statements, contributing to the cool factor (or not so cool looking back), plus he made big bucks off merchandising before Zack Morris was even alive.... the wolf dance is the best dance scene of the three movies by far .... Always wondered if Coach Finstock received a contract extension after the big win (or at least an endorsement from KFC) ... the star power of Chubbs - plain and simple.

Cons: Michael J. Fox couldn't shoot a free throw without jumping off the ground and we're supposed to believe he could take games over? He also couldn't dribble with his left hand and only drove to his right. Chubbs and Finstock were reduced to being in the sequel with Bateman (can you blame them, really?). By the way, the movie tagline for sequel was "High school was easy. But college is a whole different ANIMAL." Riveting. Simply Riveting.

Quotable: Coach Finstock --- Look Scotty, I know what you're going through. Couple years back, a kid came to me much the same way you're coming to me now, saying the same thing that you're saying. He wanted to drop off the team. His mother was a widow, all crippled up. She was scrubbing floors. She had this pin in her hip. So he wanted to drop basketball and get a job. Now these were poor people with real problems. Understand what I'm saying?

Scott (Pre-Wolf) --- What happened to the kid?

Coach Finstock --- I don't know. He quit. He was a third stringer, I didn't need him.

THE KARATE KID:

Pros: Solid soundtrack including Young Hearts, Cruel Summer and Survivor's Moment of Truth ... the best overall movie of the three, which fuels "You're the Best" even more in the final montage. Bad guy's Kreese and Johnny are a class ahead of Over the Top's Bo Hurley and Mick from Teen Wolf. Throw in that Elisabeth Shue as Ali edges the combo of Pam and Boof from Teen Wolf as the best love interest of the main character... You also have the crane... the bonsai.... Miyagi.... wax on, wax off.... LaRusso's shower curtain costume, his banana-colored car, Kreese and no mercy.... The list goes on and on.

Cons: Hilary Swank took Macchio's place in Karate Kid 4, forever tainting the series in my opinion.

Quotable: John Kreese --- Sweep the Leg.

OVER THE TOP:

Pros: It was a movie about armwrestling.... Only song of the three that I've actually heard of the artist (Hagar).... coolest lead character name (Lincoln Hawk) .... Kenny Loggins' song "Meet Me Halfway" is the best ballad between the three .... Always get fired up when Hawk turns his hat around to flip his mind switch to armwrestle.... the constant reminder that it's a double elimination tournament... Hawk throwing Ruker through the glass door after Cutler tries to buy him off.... there's so much more on the line for Hawk going into the armwrestling tournament when compared to the other two films... the classic slo-mo shots of Sly during the heat of competition.... his weightlifting regiment while driving his truck..... and when they bring out "the strap" to make sure a winner is determined... you get the picture.

Cons: It was a movie about armwrestling. Also, the kid that played Stallone's son gave a terrible performance that severely damaged the overall movie.... right down there with the child in Ed O'Neil's comedy "Dutch" and Sly's real life son Sage in Rocky 5.

Quotable: Lincoln Hawk --- The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it (This pretty much contradicts Loggins' song... I'm confused).

FINAL OUTCOME:

Alright, based on all that logic and hours of internal debate..... I have to decide which song is the best.

Tough decision..... but I will have to go with The Karate Kid's "You're the Best" in a nailbiter. The Karate Kid came out before the other two films, so it set the bar for the rest to follow. Teen Wolf and Over the Top's songs are too similar in style (though I still love them),... and if you asked anyone on the streets which one they remember of the three, The Karate Kid would win hands down.

Email me if you think I am dead wrong (or have lost my mind). Thanks for reading.



THURSDAY, MAY 3 - 12:55 PM

Back by popular demand (okay, I just made that up).... I bring you last weekend's video of Frank the Dancing Dog with Commander Ketchup and Musta Rhymes as they perform to the classic tune of Thriller.

These guys have no talent at all, but you gotta love 'em! If you have any suggestions for a dance routine for the upcoming LSU series, let me know.. I'll make sure your suggestion gets to Frank.

Video: 'Cause this is thriller, thriller night



THURSDAY, MAY 3 - 9:12 AM

Good Morning. It's been sort of a slow week for events.... but we have a few things to look forward to this weekend.

First, the ninth-ranked Commodore women's lacrosse team (11-4) will compete in the inaugural American Lacrosse Conference Tournament starting tomorrow ... The second-seeded 'Dores will face Johns Hopkins at 7:30 p.m. ET at Baltimore's Homewood Field. The championship is Sunday and the winner will receive an automatic NCAA berth. To my knowledge, we are all but guaranteed a spot in the post-season NCAA tournament regardless of the this weekend's outcome.

Vanderbilt defeated Hopkins 11-10 in a double OT thriller earlier this year in one of the most exciting Commodore sports outcomes during the 2006-07 athletic season --- click to read recap. It appeared the Bluejays had scored the winning goal with only four seconds remaining in regulation.... that's when VU head coach Cathy Swezey called for a stick check..... Officials then deemed the stick illegal, voiding the game-winning goal and pushing the game into OT.... and then Kendall Thrift's goal in the second extra time sealed the victory.

The Commodores have recorded 11 wins in the regular season for the first time in school history and are one win away from tying their all-time season high for victories (set during the 2004 run to the NCAA Final Four). Good luck to Coach Swezey and the rest of the team this weekend.

The No. 1 Vanderbilt baseball team (39-8, 15-6 SEC) hits the road Friday to take on Georgia (8-8, 7-14) in Athens. The Bulldogs may be in the cellar of the SEC East, but no road series are a given in conference play. Georgia's offense has heated up, scoring 55 runs on 86 hits in the past six games going 4-2, however the pitching staff has surrendered 44 runs.

One player to watch for UGA --- sophomore starting pitcher Stephen Dodson. Dodson (4-4) leads the SEC with a 2.00 ERA (Note: Minor is third at 2.41 and Price is fifth at 2.69). In 63 innings this season, Dodson has allowed only 14 earned runs with 41 strikeouts and 15 walks. It should be a marquee matchup Friday night when he faces off against Price at 5 p.m. CT at Foley Field.

The Commodores have swept their last two SEC series (Florida and UT) --- the first time VU has ever swept back-to-back three game conference series. VU has also won six of their seven SEC series on the year, only dropping two of three at Arkansas in late March. Arkansas and Vanderbilt are tied atop the standings with nine games remaining... so every game still counts as we try to secure a regular-season championship.

Also, set your Tivo boxes for tonight ---- Tim Corbin will be featured at some point in Thursday night's FOX 17 newscast (airs from 9-10 p.m. CT). "A Day In The Life" with Coach Corbin will give people a behind the scenes look on how he prepares on game day. The footage was shot the day of the Commodores contest against Tennessee Tech on April 25. Paul Jones and the staff at Fox 17 always do a great job covering Vanderbilt athletics... so this should be a good piece to see.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 - 7:03 PM

What I've Been Listening To.... From time to time, I'll mention some music that has been playing on my stereo. I'm not going to review them, because quite frankly, I am not an expert, and really don't want to strip down every piece of music. This is more about tunes that I like to pop into the player for pure enjoyment, no matter if it wins record of the year or not (and no, I won't refund your money if you don't like it --- ha!). Here are two albums to consider. For Paolo Nutini, I believe this is his first album --- at least in the United States. And I had never heard of The John Butler Trio .... we have a record company that sends us samplers at work and this CD was one of them, so I gave it a chance and ended up liking it. If the JBT has better stuff out there, let me know... Also, email me if there's a CD I need to check out.



The John Butler Trio's "Grand National"
Official Site | Listen at Amazon.com
AllMusic.com says: It's been a few years now since John Butler and his trio first cracked the American market, but he's never had quite the same success in the U.S. as he has had in Australia, his father's homeland, and his own residence for the past 20-odd years. Butler, however, should feel confident that he can hold his own against any of the Dave Matthewses, Ben Harpers, or John Mayers (all three of whom he can be easily compared to) out there. He's playing pop music, with all the sentimental, occasionally trite lyrics and clean major chord phrasing that accompany that style, but it's pop music done well, with impressive musicianship from Butler (on banjo, lapsteel, and acoustic and electric guitar), percussionist Michael Barker, and bassist Shannon Birchall. Nearly every song on Grand National features at least one instrumental solo, the kind that rolls and sings and grooves and would make Robert Randolph proud, moving close to jam band territory without immersing itself fully in it.



Paolo Nutini's "These Streets"
Official Site | Listen at Amazon.com
AllMusic.com says: It's easy enough for a teenager to write songs about heartbreak and falling in love and all those difficult places in between, but it is much less easy to do so without coming across as whiny or melodramatic. Paolo Nutini, who was still a teenager when he recorded his debut, These Streets, manages, for the most part, to successfully convey his (barely) post-pubescent feelings of love (which are often interchangeable) fairly convincingly. He certainly has some help -- every track has at least one other co-writer -- but Nutini, with his prematurely world-weary gravely voice, does his part to show honest emotion.





WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 - 3:28 PM

We just posted two segments in our Commodore Nation All Access section from the DVD "Winning Baseball with Tim Corbin." It's a great introductory video for youth baseball players and the entire program can be purchased through the Vanderbilt DVD store. Corbin gives his winning philosophy on baseball and teaches the fundamentals of the game along with key drills that he utilizes with his team --- Click here to watch clips.

Oh, and read this article from ESPN.com about the legendary baseball instructional video....
Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills.

Unfortunately, Fred McGriff does not make an appearance in Coach Corbin's DVD.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 - 9:44 AM

Good morning. Something we regularly do in the marketing office is send emails to each other with links to articles that deal with our profession. I was sent a good story this morning documenting a father's experience with his 5-year-old son at a Mets baseball game --- click to read.

One thing we really focus on at baseball games in Hawkins Field is to make sure our fans have a fun experience when they are in the stands- especially for families. We want you to not only come to the ballpark, but to then tell someone else you know about it afterwards, with the hope that they will come, too. This is a key ingredient in building a fan base, especially with everyone in town fighting for the same entertainment dollar.

With that being said, we always hope you've had a terrific time at Vanderbilt sporting events. We have an online survey where fans can give us their feedback. If you had a great time, let us know --- by the way, we love compliments! --- but if something was not up to par, tell us that, too. CLICK HERE to take our fan survey.

Here are some other Vanderbilt-related bullet points from the last 24 hours:

TENNIS NEWS
The Vanderbilt men's and women's tennis teams are headed to the NCAA Championships, marking the seventh year in the program's short history that both squads have earned an invitation to the tournament. (Note: The Women's team will be hosting the opening rounds at VU next weekend, so come out & support your 'Dores)

MEN'S BASKETBALL NEWS
Sign-up for Commodore Nation All Access (FREE) to watch two new videos with Derrick Byars as he discusses his preparations and general plans leading up to the 2007 NBA draft in June.

BASEBALL NEWS
USA Baseball announced that third baseman Pedro Alvarez and pitchers David Price and Casey Weathers were named semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Vanderbilt had the most players named to the 50 man list for an award that honors the nation's premier amateur baseball player.

And finally. I'll close this morning with a fun movie quote of the day.... can you guess which film this is from?

Person A: Did you hear I finally graduated?
Person B: Yeah, and just a shade under a decade too, all right.
A: You know a lot of people go to college for seven years.
B: I know, they're called doctors.



TUESDAY, MAY 1 - 11:44 PM

Well, Golden State was less than three minutes away from one of the bigger upsets in NBA Playoff history and then proceeded to blow a nine point lead as Dallas ended the game on a 15-0 run to drop the Warriors (Recap Link: Dallas 118 Golden State 112).

Dirk hit some huge threes to cut into the late deficit, plus Devin Harris made some good plays on both sides of the ball down the stretch. Dallas still trails GS 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Of course, the NBA Finals won't be played until October at the pace the series are moving now.

I'm pulling for Golden State... They haven't appeared in the playoffs since 1994. The Warriors were my team growing up... back when the had Run T-M-C --- Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin.

In post-game interviews, Mavs head coach Avery Johnson said the pressure is on G-State now to win. I really don't buy into all that psychological mumbo jumbo ... State is still up 3-2 as the underdog and will be playing in front of a home crowd that will be ready to explode in game six Thursday night. It's anyone's series to win... and there's pressure in every game this time of the year.

Warriors head coach Don Nelson scolded Stephen Jackson for getting tossed in the last few seconds after Jackson clapped towards an official following a foul ... Not sure if that will carry over as a suspension next game, or if it will just be another fine.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley disagreed with the refs for ejecting Jackson and said they should have turned the other cheek with the game winding down, while Jackson said he was being singled out unfairly and didn't appreciate the lack of respect.

By the way, the TNT post-game show is sometimes more entertaining than the actual games. Always love to see Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Barkley clowning around on the set while also giving their take on the action (Sports Guy Article). I don't follow much of the NBA during the regular season, but really enjoy watching playoff basketball.

So Anyway --- Mark Cuban, Avery Johnson and the Mavs live another day.



TUESDAY, MAY 1 - 10:34 PM

And we're back..... Live from Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

Well, I was able to watch the PAC Final 4 for the 155 to 176 pound weight division. I have no idea what year this event was actually filmed, but I'm treating it as if it were being televised live.

In this thirty minutes, the broadcasters tout a 50-year old maniac named Allen Fisher. Le'ts go to Allen to get his thoughts before facing Anthony Kitowski in the final four:

I mean, some people actually think I'm crazy... demon possessed... but that ability to bring that out even at the age of 50 (serious chuckle) is imperative. I mean that would give me 25 percent more ability to win a match. For me, I'll able to pull in my adrenaline and get my mind buzzing to the point where I can't see straight, so it's something that I have the God-given ability to just bring up.

((Editor's Note: Fisher looks like a dead ringer for Jim Carrey's "Fire Marshall Bill" character on In Living Color.... this guy is all jacked up on Mountain Dew))

Kitowski responds to Fisher's mental edge...

I never look the opponent in the eyes ... just concentrate on the hand, the wrist, the grip .. the finger strength... just the match.

((Note: Kitowski has no chance....... NONE.))

The greatest -- and only -- movie on armwrestling

Each armwrestler jockeys for position just before the match... After a few breaks, I'm almost certain Kitowski has no chance, and I've been watching this sport for only five minutes.

Finally, the moment of truth.. they're locked in........ and Fisher wins in less than 5 seconds. Wow, that was anticlimactic. Maybe the finals will be better.

Announcer just gave us the "Key to Victory" in Fisher's semifinal win --- "Brute horsepower won it. Horsepower all the way."

He was serious.

Now, Fisher will face Roman Tsindaliari in the finals... let's get his thoughts...

You just saw a preview of my intensity in the semifinals. I will go through the finals faster and stronger and with more focus.. I'll be on my game. I'm out there pacing like a lion. When they call my name, I'll explode.

Tsindaliari responds:

I've heard of Fisher my entire life.. and don't hope to go face to face with him, but here I am.

Announcer gives the "Key to Beating Fisher" ----- Stay out of his hand!

((Note: Not sure what this really means.. but I thought armwrestling had to involve a hand of some sort.))

Fisher shakes the table before the title match like the Ultimate Warrior rattling the ring ropes at Wrestlemania.

((Note: They need intro music when each athlete comes out.... it would give them even more personality. Plus they need the titles to resemble boxing and rasslin' belts.))

Alright, here we go... (Blink my eyes) ... Fisher wins the championship in two seconds. Wow. I though the five second semifinal was quick, this one didn't last half that. This was no way like the marathon finale in Over the Top between Lincoln Hawk and Bo Hurley. Glad I didn't spend 50 bucks on the pay-per-view.

So after watching this sport on the Ocho... Here are my questions:

After seeing Fisher's rage... do they have steroid testing?
Why was the championship in Connecticut of all places?
Is there a waiting list for tickets... can I attend next year?
How great is it when the refs bring out the strap to keep the guys tied together so there are no breaks?
Is Over the Top currently On-Demand on digital cable?

Anyway, that's it.



TUESDAY, MAY 1 - 7:20 PM

NEWS ALERT: Live from Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

The Professional Armwrestling Championship is on ESPN 2 right now... that's channel 29 for folks with Comcast in Nashville. I'll comment on it a little later.

Here's all you need to know right now. Visit the official web site (click here) for basic info. They are showing the tournament until 9:30 p.m. CT tonight.... Each 30 minute segment spotlights a different weight class..... These are double elimination tournaments (that's right, double elimination, Lincoln Hawk).

Here are some PAC (Professional Armwrestling Conference) rules: Double elimination ... 1 finger in grip before "Go" ... Shoulders must be square ... Do not lift elbow off pad ... 1 false start warning before foul ... Forfeit match with 2nd foul ... Win by touch pad or parallel pin ... Maintain contact with peg during pin.

There..... now you're ready to watch.



TUESDAY, MAY 1 - 10:50 AM

Here's a sneak peak at our NEW baseball desktop wallpaper page that will be added to the fan zone section of VUcommodores.com in the next day or so. You can only link to it from here for the time being. Big thanks to our photographers -- Neil Brake and Paul J. Levy -- for providing the outstanding images used in the designs. Enjoy! Click Here

Also, I receveived an email to post the link for the baseball mascot dance routine from the Tennessee baseball series two weeks ago featuring Frank the Dancing Dog, Commander Ketchup and Musta Rhymes. The music is by SugarHill Gang (Apache) --- Jump on it!

Oh, the television show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air provided the inspiration for the routine. Always get a kick out of watching the video clip posted to the right. The mascot troupe also appeared this past Friday night against Florida to the beats of Michael Jackson's Thriller. I'll look to see if there's any video footage available on that as well.

Speaking of MJ, I recently re-purchased his 1979 solo album Off the Wall. Man, those were the days when MJ was the coolest person on the planet. We now know the story of how it all went wrong..... but I was still the kid that grew up on the Thriller behind-the-scenes special and also the movie Moonwalker (wore that tape out on the VCR ... and we even had the video game on Sega), so I will always be a fan of his early recordings.

Anyway, read about the Off the Wall record at one of my favorite music sites --- Allmusic.com. I recommend this CD.... the first five songs will have you tapping your feet. Tap-Tap-A-Roo.



TUESDAY, MAY 1 - 8:38 AM

Good morning. I survived wrestling at the GEC (errrr, I mean Nashville Arena) last night. May jot down a few notes later today. Here are some things on the radar.

*We'll try to get some video footage of Derrick Byars' later today as he discusses his preparations and general plans leading up to the 2007 NBA draft in June.

*Just posted an interview with Tim Corbin courtesy of 106.7 - Listen

*Several good stories came out in the last 24 hours:

WOMEN'S GOLF NEWS
The Vanderbilt women's golf team has received a No. 2 seed at the NCAA Central Regional and is scheduled to compete at the three-day 54-hole event at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor on May 10-12, the NCAA announced on Monday.

MEN'S GOLF NEWS
Luke List and Jon Curran were recognized on the 2007 All-Southeastern Conference team, decided Monday by a vote of league coaches. List, a senior, was a first-team honoree for the fourth time in his collegiate career, while Curran, a sophomore, earned his first all-conference designation on the league's second team.

BASEBALL NEWS
After a torrid four-game stretch last week, the Southeastern Conference office tabbed Vanderbilt junior outfielder Dominic de la Osa as its Hitter of the Week today. De la Osa was 11-for-17 (.647) with five doubles, three homers, nine RBI and 11 runs scored in the four games.



MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 4:33 PM

Forgot to mention.... tonight is a big night. Yes, the WWE is rolling into Nashville for Monday Night Raw. You're probably thinking to yourself why on earth is a grown man going to watch men in tights? He must be taking his children, right? First, I don't have any kids. Just going with my brother and his wife. We scored some free tickets and figured it would be a fun event to attend. Second, I do watch wrestling most Monday nights thanks to TIVO (I can watch the two-hour program in about 25 minutes by fast forwarding past the bad storylines and matches, etc.).

Wrestling is for the most part a male soap opera. It doesn't really matter to me who wins or loses.... I follow it now for the pure entertainment (although Vince McMahon can go too far with "shock material"). The actual wrestling has deteriorated plus you don't have many people that can control the microphone like back in the day. My dad ordered Wrestlemania III when I was young and I've been hooked since (you know, the one where Hulk Hogan slammed Andre the Giant). Of course, Hogan was never really that good of a technical wrestler... and was probably the catalyst for the change from actual wrestling to entertainment. ((Watch the video below to see two of the greatest on the mic))

So the techincal side has decreased ... but I also think the personality of the wrestlers has slipped the last few years as well. That's why they keep bringing back guys like Stone Cold, the Rock, Ric Flair, etc., because they could captivate an audience with every word. Now you have guys like Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley who can barely finish their own sentences.

John Cena is the current champ ---- not a big fan of his... I think he has had the belt for way too long.. realized it was going to be a long reign after he was being promoted on Subway commercials with Jared. But I will give Cena his due because he can deliver some good backstage interviews from time to time which is a lost art (has his moments though where he reduces his language to kindergarden humor which kills his personality and makes me dislike him even more). Personally, I pull for the bad guys (the heels), so good guys like Cena never have a chance to win me over.

If you're a fan of wrestling, you've probably noticed some tunes played at our events... The Undertaker's theme for starting lineups for the visiting team in Memorial Gym, plus Cena's intro as well as even Hogan's song at baseball this past weekend. If you hang around McGugin, you may have run into the Undertaker before. He's visited a couple of times when WWE is in town. Here's a link to a picture taken with him from a few years ago - CLICK HERE.

Anyway, that's enough on rasslin. My readers have probably dropped from 8 to 2. Thanks Mom and Dad for sticking with me through the good and the bad. Also, props to Jay for alerting me that there's a time change to 7 p.m. CT (there, you made the blog). Got to get ready for the ball, Cinderella. Oh, and look for me on tv tonight (USA channel)... I'll be the guy in the crowd holding up the big sign.



MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 1:31 PM

A few requests came in for me to list some of the music played at Hawkins Field ... My personal favorites at the moment --- the crowd doing the foot stomp to Flaherty's theme, plus the build up of Weathers' intro. If I had my own plate theme, not sure what it would be... that's something to think about. Anyway, here's what I was able to recover. If you want to add to the list, shoot me a line.

BATTER INTROS
Macias: The Killers -- "Somebody Told Me"
Feinberg: Tom Petty -- "Runnin' Down a Dream"
de la Osa: The Offspring -- "Self Esteem"
Pedro: Not sure of the name of it.. help anyone?
Robin: Nelly -- "Boom" (from the remake of The Longest Yard)
Meingasner: Guns N' Roses -- "Welcome to the Jungle"
White: Nelly -- "Nobody Knows"
French: Marilyn Manson cover -- "Tainted Love"
Giobbi: Young Jeezy -- "Go Getta"
R. Davis: 2pac -- "Ambitionz az a Ridah"
Price: Dead Prez -- "Hip-Hop"
Flaherty: Dropkick Murphys -- "I'm Shipping up to Boston" (from The Departed)
Weathers: Charlie Clouser -- "The Final Test" (from Saw III)

SITUATIONAL
Lineup Cards Exchanged: Fatboy Slim -- "Right Here Right Now"
Top of the 1st: Valkyrie Missle -- "Angels and Airwaves"
Home Run 1: Gap Band -- "You Dropped A Bomb On Me"
Home Run 2: Joe Pernice -- "Moonshot Manny" (from Fever Pitch)
Middle of 7th: John Denver -- "Country Boy"
Middle of 8th: Neil Diamond --- "Sweet Caroline"
Bottom of 9th, 2 Outs: Metallica --- "For Whom the Bells Tolls"



MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 12:43 PM

By the way, I've received several emails about creating baseball wallpapers ... we will launch them on VUcommodores.com sometime this week ... Stay Tuned!



MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 12:40 PM

I am watching a replay of yesterday's 13-5 dismantling of the Florida Gators (click for recap, audio and more) ... an edited version is being aired on CSS as I type.... or you can watch the replay in All Access for free. Anyway, congrats to the 'Dores for completing their second consecutive SEC sweep. It was an incredible week for VU on the diamond.... here are some notes from our Sports Info department:

Vanderbilt (39-8, 15-6 SEC) went 4-0 during the week and has won seven straight games, the longest active win streak in the SEC ... The 40 runs scored on the weekend against Florida was the most ever for the Commodores in a three-game SEC series ... The sweep also marked the first time VU has ever swept back-to-back three game conference series ... With the win on Sunday, Vanderbilt picked up its 39th win of the season, the second best mark in school history (45 in 2004). The victory surpassed the 38 Vandy won a year ago ... VU hit .429 as a team with 17 doubles, seven homers and 45 RBI in the four games ... The 3-4-5 hitters (Dominic de la Osa, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty) combined for 10 doubles, five homers and 26 RBI in the stretch ... Junior David Price continued his undefeated season with a 13 strikeout, one walk performance on Friday and has 27 strikeouts and just one walk in his last 16 innings.



MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 11:22 AM

I am working from home this week, so get ready for Barca Blog-- the home edition! Trying to take a little time off and work at the same time - a deadly combo. Since I usually don't have much free time, I may need your help this week... topics may include which movie I really need to see in the theatre to a television show that is a can't miss. If you need a starting point, the last movie I saw was Rocky Balboa (several times.. best part was after the movie when the ushers entered the screening and started running up the theatre steps imitating the great one from Philly). On the tube, I regularly view the Office, Scrubs, 30 Rock, Real World, WWE, Saturday Night Live (even if it's a bad episode, I still watch - it's a tradition I can't seem to break), Best Week Ever, Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, Entourage, South Park and so forth. So anyway, what am I missing out on? I recently acquired the greatest invention ever --TIVO -- so I can skip, rewind or delete at my leisure! Email me your suggestions - click here.

By the way, you can read my archived blogs from the road during the men's and women's basketball post-season run... here's the listing:
March 22- MBB New Jersey Entry 1
March 20- MBB Sacramento Entry 3
March 16- MBB Sacramento Entry 2
March 14- MBB Sacramento Entry 1
March 8- MBB SEC Tournament 1
March 4- WBB SEC Tournament 5
March 3- WBB SEC Tournament 4
March 2- WBB SEC Tournament 3
March 1- WBB SEC Tournament 2
Feb. 28- WBB SEC Tournament 1




MONDAY, APRIL 30 - 9:06 AM

Hello Commodore fans and welcome. A little background on myself... I've worked for Vanderbilt Athletics for the last four years - both in marketing and media relations. It has been a great experience --- the best part of it is interacting with our loyal fans and hard-working student-athletes. I'm in my late 20's and have an undergraduate and graduate degree in sport management... which means I pretty much read the sports section in class every day, wrote papers about it, and was handed two degrees. Pretty cool, right?

I'll try to update this area on a regular basis. It may include some stuff on athletics, but also other topics of interest (pop culture, etc.)... I am in no way an expert, so if you're looking for that sort of material here, then you may want to discontinue reading (no.... wait.... don't go!). This space will be really random. I'd love to hear your comments, so if you got 'em, feel free to email me at brandon.barca@vanderbilt.edu. We'll post some of them as well, so check back regularly! Hope you enjoy it and good day ----- BB




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