It’s no secret that Tony Vitello and his Tennessee Volunteers Baseball program quickly became the most hated College Baseball program in the history of the sport. Some of the hate is derived from the pure jealously of one of the greatest College Baseball teams ever to step foot on the Baseball diamond, and some of it comes from the bluntness that the Volunteers go about doing their business.
Either way, is the hate that Tennessee Baseball receives daily deserved, or; is the sport of College Baseball not prepared to have a team who is both good enough to win a National Championship but has the confidence to back it up?
Honestly, when you look at College Baseball as a whole, you will see a mixture of both.
For starters, the establishment of College Baseball hates to see a new program with a young coach do what the Volunteers have done. By no imagination whatsoever is Tennessee Baseball your traditional College Baseball power. Sure, they had a few good years where they made it to the College World Series, but in comparison to Mississippi State, LSU, Texas, and others, there’s no comparison. Tennessee understands that, yet, the Volunteers have created a monster and arguably one of the greatest College Baseball teams of all time.
Not to mention, Tennessee Baseball has a confidence level that has never been seen before in College Baseball history. Fans and media members from across the Baseball footprint have mistakenly confused the confidence of Tennessee for cockiness. That mistaken identity has also caused Tennessee to become viewed as the villain of College Baseball. Last week, we saw a veteran ESPN broadcast accuse Evan Russell of Tennessee of taking PEDs and cheating the sport of College Baseball. The broadcaster was wrong and issued an apology. The College Baseball world got mad at Tennessee last weekend for a Volunteers player flipping off the camera after a home run.
It makes no sense as to why we must spend all our time judging a once-in-a-lifetime College Baseball team instead of enjoying every second of watching this Tennessee Baseball team do their thing as they try to earn a National Championship trophy for the folks in Knoxville.
Sit back, and enjoy the show! A team like this doesn’t come around often.
Tennessee will return to action on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Field as the Volunteers look forward to hosting a Super Regional matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.