Tuesday and Wednesday night saw the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who have been a fairly consistently relevant program since the 1980s, finally win their first College World Series title.
Congratulations to head coach Chris Lemonis and his very talented team, many of whom will be heard from again on the major league level.
State absolutely crushed Vanderbilt in the final series after losing the first game by an 8-2 score on Monday night. The Bulldogs bit back with a 13-2 wipeout on Tuesday, and then carried that momentum to a 9-0 victory Wednesday night. Will Bednar and Landon Sims, both of whom look like sure major-league pitchers, combined for a near-perfect game, giving up only one late-inning base hit and retiring every other Commodore batter on the way to the title.
Followers of SEC baseball, particularly those with affinities for other teams in the league, may harbor a bit of reservation in their congratulations to State. For a long while, the Bulldogs have been those lovable also-rans when it came to the College World Series. They’ve made 12 trips to Omaha, the previous 11 ending in defeat.
But not anymore. And with this week’s victory State has escaped another dubious distinction, that of the only SEC athletic program never to win a national championship in any sport. Now it’s down to Virginia Tech and Kansas State among Power Five conference teams who’ve never grabbed the brass ring.
But State’s championship performance obscured something else.
The magnitude of Mississippi State’s domination in the final two games of the championship series really pulled the NCAA’s chestnuts out of the fire, because had Vanderbilt managed to win one of those two games or even lose a close contest, this year’s title would have come with an asterisk.
Why? Because some COVID Karen clown in the NCAA office decided to disqualify North Carolina State from competition in the semifinal round due to “COVID protocols” that bear zero resemblance to real life.
NC State had beaten Vanderbilt once. The Commodores needed to win two games over the Wolfpack to advance to the final. All of a sudden, eight NC State players tested positive for the “highly contagious” Delta variant of COVID but had no symptoms. Four of the eight had been vaccinated.
Nevertheless, the NCAA cut NC State’s roster in half and forced them to play a game against Vanderbilt with just nine position players, five of whom were starting in positions normally filled by someone else, and four available pitchers. They reverted to essentially being a travel ball team against the defending national college baseball champion. Vandy only won the game 3-1. And then the NCAA sent NC State home from a double elimination tournament with only one loss.
And nobody on the team was sick.
Mississippi State torching Vanderbilt, including their batters lighting up Vandy ace pitcher Kumar Rocker, who might be the first player taken in the major league draft on Wednesday, redeemed something that very well could have been a disaster and in many respects remains so.
This had better never happen again. COVID-19 doesn’t pose a significant health threat to college athletes. No more so than the flu does, and there have been flu outbreaks on college sports teams many times in the past. There has even from time to time been a chicken pox outbreak. The kids who are sick sit out, same as if they had sprained an ankle, and the healthy ones play. That’s how it’s always worked, and there is no reason COVID should be any different.
But one thing this virus has made very clear is something we’ve all suspected, which is that our current culture is abjectly devoid of leadership. We’re amid a famine of public courage in America. And the NCAA is a glistening example of just how bad things are.
June was “Pride” month, and, as the Good Book says, pride goeth before the fall. So since it’s now July, I’d like to invite you all to join me in celebrating Super-Straight Appreciation Month for the next 30 days.
In this space we talked about why it’s Super-Straight and not just regular straight back in March, when a young man on TikTok invented the Super-Straight sexuality in response to the ludicrous claims by the cultural Left that straight people are required to include trans people in their panoply of romantic choices or else be attacked as bigots and “transphobes.” The video he produced on the subject was a brilliant bit of trolling with a spine of truth to it: adopting the Super-Straight sexuality is not just a rejection of the lunacy that a straight man would only reject a homosexual relationship with another man pretending to be a woman out of bigotry but also a laying of claim to the faux civil rights mantra that those demanding acceptance for all kinds of deviant behavior have arrogated to themselves. Two can play that game, you know.
But Kyle Royce, the young man who produced that original TikTok video, ended up taking it down after he received literal death threats from loons assailing his “transphobia,” and others who had gleefully adopted the Super-Straight identity also received similar treatment — something that pretty much confirms the point many of us have made, which is the trans community is made up largely of the mentally ill.
But for the last month these people, and the more militant members of the gay community, have bullied America’s major corporations and marketers, not to mention local, state, and federal governments and all kinds of others subject to the current “woke” moral panic, into forcing rainbow flags onto the public. Lewd parades have been held. Pieties have been shrieked at microphones. And the American public, which generally has nothing against gay people but would rather not be subjected to such displays or forced to proclaim its support for lifestyles they themselves have rejected, has politely stood by waiting for the whole thing to go away.
This includes a large number of gay people, by the way. Perhaps a majority. Because Pride Month isn’t about sexuality; it’s about power. Most people of good will have little use for those kinds of games.
Which applies to Super-Straight Appreciation Month. Straight people don’t need a month to proclaim that their lifestyle is OK and that they don’t have to apologize for it (and, by the way, neither do gay people). But since this is what we’re all doing, why miss out?
If nothing else, can we at least recognize that while members of all of these other lifestyle groups may have value in their own right, society had better have lots and lots of Super-Straight folks in it, or else it’ll just die out within a generation or two. It takes 2.1 children per adult female to keep a population stable; the fewer Super-Straights you have, the higher that number climbs.
So you’d better appreciate the Super-Straights, because without them you’ll get awfully lonely.
Let’s do something nice and short here. We’re on the right, which means we can keep things pithy — the Left can’t do that, because it takes a lot of words to sell lies.
Which is this: having a wall doesn’t mean “you can’t come in.”
What it means is “use the door.”
There was a good bit of consternation expressed when PayPal/Tesla/SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk sent out a message congratulating the Chinese Communist Party on its 100-year anniversary this week.
“The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves,” said Musk.
It’s a factual statement, though one depressing in many ways.
Of course you can build lots of nice airports, rail lines, roads, and harbors when one entity controls all the money in a large economy. And when you’re starting largely from scratch, as China has given that 50 years ago the country had what was more or less a medieval national infrastructure, sure you can make great strides.
When a government has the power to evacuate and flood entire villages and cities, as the ChiComs did when constructing the Three Gorges Dam, it facilitates all kinds of progress.
But here’s an off-the-wall interpretation of Musk’s comment. I think this was a very subtle slam of the Chinese communist regime. I think his invitation to people that they go and see China for themselves is intended to promote folks seeing China as it truly is — sure, they might have a nice new airport, but the pollution, the oppressive government, the human misery, the injustice of that regime can’t be denied when seen up close.
Maybe this is giving Musk the benefit of the doubt. But he is certainly a lover of liberty, and he’s a bright guy capable of industrial-grade snark. So it’s quite possible he was short-circuiting the censors rather than sucking up.
Yes, yes — we’ve reached the point in this column where I shamelessly shill for my other endeavors.
This weekend we’re about to reach a nice little membership milestone of The Speakeasy, which by the way is free to join and a lot freer platform than those awful ones Big Tech is using to oppress and censor half the country. You know this to be true if you’ve received loud warnings from the Facebook nannies telling you that you’re being exposed to hate speech. None of that garbage will ever happen at The Speakeasy. Instead, we talk about everything under the sun politely and with great insight.
It’s better than GETTR. There. I said it. See for yourself.
Also, I’ve got something else to peddle, which is that I’m offering fully signed sets of all three of my “Tales of Ardenia” novels — Animus, the second edition of which has just been released, Perdition, and Retribution. The series is set in a world similar to our own, and it’s really quite amazing to see how current events have begun rhyming with things in the epic saga of the Ardenians, who to this point have not needed a Super-Straight Appreciation Month and probably will not. But if you’re looking for some summer beach reading, particularly something to sink your teeth into and escape the frustrations and low comedy of the real world, this set is the deal you’re looking for. Get the whole thing for just $59.99, including shipping and handling, by ordering here. (But if all you need is the e-book versions, here’s an Amazon link).