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Who should replace Delmonico? A few suggestions...

If you haven't heard by now, UT baseball coach Rod Delmonico was released Sunday after 17 years and 699 wins as a Vol. Gentry Estes of The Chattanooga Times-Free Press writes Delmonico's career obit nicely:

Delmonico will be remembered for directing the Volunteers to College World Series appearances in 1995, 2001 and 2005. But his legacy also will include feast-or-famine seasons that thinned support for the baseball program, which missed the NCAA tournament seven of the past 10 years.

This included a 2007 team that fell far short of expectations. A 34-25 season featured losses to Bethune-Cookman, Illinois-Chicago and Wofford. It ended without an NCAA bid after a 1-2 finish at the Southeastern Conference tournament. In-state rival Vanderbilt, the nation's top-ranked team at the time, handed the Vols a 15-2 whipping in what would be Delmonico's finale.

In addition to its poor performance on the field, baseball was the only sport at UT open to penalties as a result of low APR scores -- a measure of academic performance for student-athletes.

Most Vol baseball fans have had an opinion on Delmonico for some time now. Personally I've never been a big fan of the guy. I've felt sorry for players I think he misused (like R.A. Dickey, whose arm is now held together with duct tape), but mostly I've never felt like Tennessee baseball -- even in the good years -- was fun. And if you can't look forward to enjoying a day at the ballpark, something's wrong.

Anyway, the task of finding UT's next manager is now on Mike Hamilton. I'm sure the guy who brought us Bruce Pearl can handle it, but I'd like to offer a few names myself...

Morris Buttermaker

  • Pros:
  • Good recruiter (got Kelly Leak to play)
  • Experienced pool cleaner, so in the offseason he could help out at the Aquatic Center
  • Has an in with Chico's Bail Bonds, which could come in handy for the whole athletics department
  • Cons:
  • Raging alcoholic
  • Willingness to provide alcohol to players during and after games might necessitate the Chico's Bail Bonds ties
  • He's fictional
C. Montgomery Burns
  • Pros:
  • Won a championship as manager of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team
  • Also a good recruiter, signing many top players in the process (though he did miss out on Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown)
  • Could use multi-billion dollar worth to renovate Lindsey Nelson Stadium
  • Cons:
  • Aging (though seemingly not rapidly) at somewhere between 81-118 years old
  • Unorthodox management style, such as benching Darryl Strawberry for Homer Simpson (though that did work out for him...)
  • Also fictional. Also a cartoon.

Bruce Pearl

  • Cons:
  • Already busy building championship program
  • Would get really, really sweaty in a baseball uniform around May/June
  • Though not fictional, also not a baseball coach

Those are just a few ideas to get started with. So Mike, if you need me on the search committee, you know where to find me.

Go Vols!