Former World Series MVP has harsh criticism for Tennessee Vols baseball

A former World Series MVP had some harsh criticism for the Tennessee Vols baseball team this week.

Former right-handed pitcher Curt Schilling, who played 20 seasons in MLB and was elected to six All-Star games, sent a message this week, via Outkick.com, to the Vols after their disappointing loss to Notre Dame in the Super Regional last weekend.

Here’s what Schilling had to say:

So this goes out to the Tennessee baseball team. First off, you guys are far too talented to be going home. But let me give you a little piece of advice, as someone who played the game for a little while.

When you act the way you act on the field, and you give every team in the country extra incentive to kick your ass, you generally don’t go all the way. That’s the way it works. The game’s hard enough. Acting like you’ve hit the biggest home run in the history of college baseball, every single time, it’s going to make people beat you. You guys should be going to College World Series. But when you give somebody else extra incentive to kick your ass, it generally tends to burn you — and you already are ranked No. 1. So you have everybody coming in to give you their best game. Now you’re going to give them an extra reason to beat you. It’s going to happen, guys. But just remember. Good luck next year, make it work.

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Tennessee’s Max Ferguson (2) celebrates a home run hit with Tennessee’s Drew Gilbert (1) at the NCAA Baseball Tournament Knoxville Regional at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Friday, June 4, 2021.
Kns Regional Opener Flights

Schilling’s advice, at first glance, appears to be coming from a good place. He’s trying to give the Vols some helpful advice.

But if you look a bit deeper at Schilling’s comments, it feels like a thinly veiled way to throw shade at Tennessee’s brash playing style — which isn’t a surprise, the Vols have heard those types of comments many times this year.

Schilling’s advice isn’t going to be helpful to the Vols. Tennessee didn’t lose because they celebrate after home runs. If Schilling spent time watching other college baseball teams play, he’d realize that Tennessee’s celebrations, while unique in content, weren’t unique in frequency. We’ve seen this type of stuff from college baseball teams for years.

In fact, Notre Dame, the team that knocked out the Vols, had their own similar celebrations.

Tennessee’s playing style just got more attention this year because they were winning games at a historic clip. If the Vols were a middle of the road team, no one would’ve blinked an eye at their antics. UT didn’t lose to Notre Dame because they like to celebrate. They lost because that’s just how it goes in baseball. It wasn’t their weekend. The breaks didn’t go their way. It happens. It’s a tough sport to play.

The Vols are going to be just fine moving forward. And they don’t need to change a thing, despite what Schilling says.

Featured image via Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK

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