Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Commodore Banter (5/21)

Tuesday was an exciting day for Vanderbilt coaches, players and fans alike as the university announced its plans for a five-year, $55 million upgrade of athletics facilities.

Highlights of the project, which will be self-funded, include:

-Renovating Vanderbilt Stadium, including the addition brick walls around the lower portion of the exterior that will resemble Hawkins Field, increased signage and a revamped concourse area.
-Expanding Hawkins Field's seating capacity to 3,700 by adding permanent seating in the outfield and along the first-base line.
-Construction of a Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame in McGugin Center

Brett Hait of The Nashville City Paper discusses how the improvements will impact recruiting.

Maurice Patton of The Tennessean talks with recruiting analysts and comes to the consensus that Vanderbilt couldn't make a better move than to do this.

Meanwhile, columnist David Climer finds himself at a crossroads.

In baseball news, the Commodores begin their SEC Tournament title defense today (1 p.m. CT) when they take on Florida in Hoover, Ala. Losers of five straight, Vanderbilt will try to regain its swagger and I'm confident that it will.

As Ryan Schulz points out, the Hawkins Nine may be down, but far from out.

Senior catcher Shea Robin is quietly having a terrific season and was recently named one of 12 semi-finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation's top collegiate catcher.

Meanwhile, five of his teammates earned All-SEC honors, highlighted by Pedro Alvarez and David Macias. How Robin was not one of them is beyond me.

And finally, in football news, the New Orleans Saints recently signed former Vanderbilt offensive tackle Brian Stamper. Congrats, Brian.

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