As many of you know, my buddy Al and I will be traveling to the South Eastern Conference Baseball Tournament in Hoover, Alabama next week. Actually, I’m flying down to Florida on Friday to meet up with him, and then, we will hit the road come Sunday.
The SEC is the best baseball conference in the country and we had made plans to attend in 2020, when Covid, and the country’s response to it, disrupted everything including our plans. In any case, rather than get all basebally on everyone, I thought I would make a few general predictions about the tournament and the trip:
It will not rain. . . . Actually that’s more of a prayer than a prediction.
We will, however, have at least one lightning delay. The NCAA has seen fit to install lightning detectors at every ballpark. Very sensitive lightning detectors. Look for Al and me to be sunning ourselves on the left field berm because lightning was detected down in Mobile.
As we will be in Florida for four days coming and going, and in Alabama for six days, I’m setting the over/under at eight meals at some barbecue shack or another. (My advice is to take the over.)
If we’re anywhere near a Buc-ee’s we’ll stop whether we need gas or not.
We will not catch any balls hit into the stands. We might pick one up, but no more barehanded catches of balls hit by 20 year-olds. (We have learned a little something in all these years.) And if I do pick one up, I’m not giving it to any kid. He can wait 66 years as I have and then pick up his own ball. Actually, I have picked up three or four balls in my time, but that was usually at a Hagerstown Suns game late in the season, when the crowds were so sparse that practically everybody in attendance got a ball, so that doesn’t count.
If you have followed our trips before, you know that Al and I will find at least one really cool park or historic site. We just have a knack for coming across that stuff.
Finally, I’m going out on the longest limb here and predict that Florida is going to win the tournament. They’ve got the starting pitching depth and that is crucial in tournament play. Kentucky is my dark-horse candidate for tournament champion.
I promise a full report after we return!
The Florida Gators hosted the LSU Tigers last year at Condron Ballpark. They will be two of the top teams at the SEC Tournament this year (as in most years). That happens to be LSU’s Dylan Crews at the plate. Crews is predicted by many to be the first overall pick in this year’s major league draft.