Before we get going, remember we're still looking for some Friday mailbag questions.
Here we go...
Atlanta Braves' Tim Hudson reacts after striking out in the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 18, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Braves' bats busted
When you go to Dodger Stadium, runs are always at a premium. That's a baseball axiom up there with, "Don't try going first-to-third on Ichiro," and "Never throw Jeff Francoeur a fastball," as fundamental truths of the game.
Dodger Stadium is a tough place to hit — especially for teams that rely on home runs — and the L.A. pitching staff is generally among the league's best.
So when James Loney lined a two-out, two-run single through the box in the bottom of the first last night to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead, the 5-at-10 turned the game off knowing that the Braves and starter Tim Hudson were cooked. The 4-2 loss that ensued was far from shocking, but a couple of these might surprise you:
— Nate McLouth had two doubles and raised his average .232. That mark is fifth among Braves' regulars, ahead of Jason Heyward (.222), Freddie Freeman (.224) and Dan Uggla (.197). "Can we have tortoise-ly slow starts for $400, Alex?" (That's "Therapists" you moron.)
— Only one Braves starter (Brian McCann) is hitting over .300
That is how you get to 7-10. The 5-at-10 is still riding shotgun on the Braves' bandwagon, but the lineup needs to figure some things out pretty quickly.
Draft steals to be had
Great story in today's TFP by our college football ace David Paschall, talking to former Calhoun High and UGA receiver Kris Durham about the draft and how the labor unrest means undrafted guys will have to sit and wait. Read more here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/apr/19/durham-dilemma-undrafted-nfl-hopefuls-will-be-limb/.
Anyhoo, that got the 5-at-10 thinking about this draft. We talked Monday about some of the guys that would be steals after the first round. Let's go deeper.
The rosters of great NFL teams are dotted with stars and contributors that were often either undrafted or swiped late in the process. Sure, everybody this side of Gisele knows Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick. So was Matt Hasselback. The Steelers got future NFL defensive player of the year James Harrison off the scrap heap after he went undrafted.
So here are a few names that will not be heard until next weekend (first round is Thursday, rounds two and three are Friday, rounds four through seven are Saturday), but from what the 5-at-10 believes, they will be around for many weekends to come:
— Lee Ziemba, tackle, Auburn
— Anthony Allen, running back, Georgia Tech
— Derrick Locke, running back, Kentucky
— Kelvin Sheppard, linebacker, LSU
— Taiwan Jones, running back, Eastern Washington
(Unless of course our guy Al Davis decides to take one of these cats in the second round. So it goes.)
NBA playoffs have old-school feel
The next line will feel as familiar as, "I don't think the heavy stuff is gonna to come down for quiet a while."
But the Chicago Bulls are winning big games by leaning on a big-time Big-Timer, who is delivering big plays. It's big, right?
Now don't go crazy EC, this is not saying Derrick Rose is as good as Michael Jordan (the 5-at-10 is not cracked — completely — and as competitive as Jordan is, he'd probably comment on here trying to convince us otherwise). But the young Rose is doing work right now for the Bulls, who have had to fight to take a 2-0 lead over the No. 8-seeded Pacers.
Chicago is a legit sidekick (and no Carlos Boozer does not count) away from being the best team in the league, but right now Rose is an entertaining blend of a young Jordan, a young Isaiah and a young Alvin Robertson (Rose may not be the shut down defender Robertson was, but Rose is vastly underrated defensively).
In today's pantheon, LeBron may be the game's most physically imposing presence and Kobe is the game's best player. Rose is somewhere between the two.
Brighter days ahead for college hoops
Maybe 2011-12 will be the year of the college basketball renaissance, too.
Harrison Barnes is coming back to UNC, giving the Tar Heels one of the nation's most talented clubs (and most experienced, which sounds funny at its core since they could very well start two sophomores and a freshman).
In addition to another big-time recruiting haul, Kentucky's freshman duo of Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight may return. Plus, Ohio State expects the bulk of its team to return.
The absence of great teams that created unpredictable tournaments in recent years looks like it will be filled with several star-studded teams from the upper-echelon programs.
Side note: Former East Ridge High and Chattanooga State standout Philip Jurick signed with Oklahoma State on Monday. The 6-foot-11 center averaged almost a triple-double last season (for the love of Bill Russell's Chuck Taylors, dude averaged more than NINE blocks a night).
Side note, part deux: In looking for recruiting news on Jurick this morning, the 5-at-10 learned of the battle raging between Washington and Cincinnati to land juco forward God's Gift Achiuwa. Wow. God's Gift? Really. The 5-at-10 has never been short on confidence, but God's Gift? That's what we're going with?
Yep, the golden days of college hoops may be close to returning.
This and That
— Former UT signee Kevin Ware has decided to play college basketball at UCF, picking the Knights over Georgia and late interest from Louisville. Ware, a top-100 player from Rockdale County outside of Atlanta, asked for and was granted his release from UT after the Vols replaced Bruce Pearl with Counzo Martin. l
— The 5-at-10 is remiss that we did not mention this Monday, but former Baylor School star and Vandy standout golfer Luke List tied for second on the Nationwide Tour last weekend. The 5-at-10 has always thought highly of List and his game, and if he can ever get rolling, the kid has big-time PGA skills.
— Which of these did NOT happen at Sunday's NASCAR race:
a) Auburn football coach Gene Chizik, who was the grand marshal of Sunday's NASCAR after leading the Tigers to the national title last fall, was booed at the track in Talladega, Ala.
b) The guy that gave the invocation before the start of the race ended his prayer with "Roll Tide."
c) An Earnhardt appeared glad to help someone else win the race.
d) Aliens shot out from sky, used their neutron ray guns to make Kurt Busch tolerable and Trevor Bayne irritating.
— From the files of, "Say What?" the BYU dance team was crowned national hip-hop champions. Read that again. From the Deseret (Utah) News story: The Brigham Young University Cougarettes have won their ninth national dance championship, but in a way that nobody saw coming: They took home the title of National Hip Hop Champions (at the annual NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships). The Cougarettes traditionally perform in the Dance Division 1A category but this is the first time the team competed in the Hip Hop category, which was added in 2010. "I just don't think anyone expected the Mormon girls from Utah to bring it like they did," said Cougarettes Dance Captain Brynlee Fielding. "They just see us as technical dancers, but we knew we could do more."
No word whether anyone committed any honor-code violations.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...