published Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

5 at 10: Uggla rolls, Vols stumble and a major contest

From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...

Braves win in 11; Uggla keeps rolling

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    Atlanta Braves' Dan Uggla follows through on a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-3. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Dan Uggla's infield single Tuesday stretched his hitting streak to 30 games — the second longest in Atlanta Braves history. Well played indeed. That said, Uggla is still banging his head against the .220 ceiling. So it goes.

As for the game, the Braves won 4-3 in 11 innings and continued to lean on a rock-solid bullpen — the accounting firm of O'Flaherty, Venters, Sherrill and Kimbrel did not allow a hit in four scoreless innings.

Two things off the top of our head about these Braves (68-49): One, somebody needs to throw a complete game. C'mon guys somebody needs to give the bullpen a day where they can play jacks and giggle and rest those arms. Second, the 5-at-10 thinks it's pretty cool that Jose "George" Constanza is making such a big impact with this club. Who knew this club would take to speed and manufacturing runs.

—————

Vols scrimmage = cause for concern?

A couple of the longtime friends of the show that are devoted Big Orange followers believe UT is bound for an 8-4 season and are expecting big, Big, BIG things from sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray.

Each of those things are possible — and the latter will have a lot to do with the former. That said, the Vols held their first preseason scrimmage Tuesday night and the reviews were less than stellar. Our UT ace Patrick "Downtown" Brown has it completely covered here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/10/bray-struggles/ and here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/10/freshman-linebackers-johnson-maggitt-shining/?sports.

Here were a couple of quotes that jumped out at us:

From Derek Dooley: "Tempo was poor, lot of delay-of-game penalties, never really got in sync, but he makes some throws. That's what he did. But the consistency is nonexistent. It's enough to drive you crazy."

Translation for Johnny Vols Fan: This is a scary deal, because everyone knows Bray has crazy physical skills — dude can make almost every throw. But the non-physical part of it — especially the consistency — is the biggest question mark for Bray. Remember, the last time he was in uniform his emotional swings went from doing the "Loco" dance to doing a throat slash to crying on the sideline. All in one game. So yes, consistency should be high on his to-do list.

From Dooley again: "He's never shown an ability to play consistently well. He didn't do it last season. Y'all act like he had these five games: He was all over the place last year, and so that's all I've been harping on."

Translation: Bray has been hearing — and maybe even listening to — all the preseason talk. Time to get the sophomore's ego in check.

On the bright side, at least there's no QB controversy. Bray was an inconsistent 13-for-29 for 165 yards and two scores according to the stats UT provided; back-up Matt Simms was 3-of-12 and was picked.

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    New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle (26) defends Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) during the second quarter of an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Titans won the game 29-10. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Chris Johnson holds holdout

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is the fastest player in the NFL. Well, he used to be the fastest player in the NFL. Now, he’s arguably the fastest man not in the NFL. Let’s explain.

Johnson let it be known that nothing short of bigger paychecks will stand in the way of continuing his now 15-day holdout.

Tuesday was the deadline for players to report to their team if they were to get credit this season for completing a year toward free agency. Johnson only had two years left before becoming a free agent but even that wasn't enough to get him to sort out whatever hang-ups are keeping him from joining his team. He's effectively pushed becoming a free agent to 2013 in order to let the Titans front office know that he wants a long-term deal now, and he wants it to reflect that he's the only player in NFL history to go over 2,500 yards from scrimmage in a single season -- Ever.

Johnson stands to make $800,000 this year in base salary — which if we're comparing, would make him something like the 15th highest paid coach or coordinator in the SEC this coming year and something like the third-highest-paid Auburn Tiger.

If we could speak directly to Mr. Johnson for a moment. Mr. Johnson, it seems you signed a contract you thought was fair for a player that plays good but not great. That you're playing better than you expected doesn't make the amount of money you agreed upon unfair. Owners expect their players to play great, that's why they make them millionaires. That's why they made you a millionaire. Go back to camp and work on making a monster payday when you actually become a free agent instead of acting like one in year three of a five-year contract.

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This and That

— The Patriots' newest receiver Chad Ochocinco recently tweeted that he's decided to pick a random season-ticket holder to live with until he can find a place to live in Boston. Ochocinco says the person must have the internet and an Xbox. Judging from the constant distractions Chad causes everyone around him I see marriage counseling followed immediately by divorce court in one lucky Patriot fan's future. There's an entire building of Reality-TV producers making their way to the greater-New England area as we speak.

— Talks of conference realignment in college football reemerged from it's nearly 13-month hiatus by taking to twitter with a vengeance. The internet world produced over 20,000 tweets suggesting Texas A&M will be headed to the SEC sooner rather than later. None of the tweets happened to be sent from the computers of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive or Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin.

— The NCAA met in an effort to change its rules. Our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer took his swings at the pitched possibilities of increasing the "cost of attendance" money afforded athletes here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/10/emmerts-retreat-cant-fix-ncaas-tough-issues/. We've said it before, and we'll say it again, until someone with "esquire" on his business card says this is Title IX groovy, we're not overly interested.

— It looks like everyone involved wants to put the caddie incident behind them. First, can we agree to a name for this — and we're staunchly against Caddie-gate; why must every scandal be blah-blah-gate? Let's go with Caddie-tastrophy. Now Adam Scott has said the comments made by Stevie Williams, the former caddie of Tiger Woods, in no way overshadowed Scott's impressive victory last week at the Bridgestone Invitational. Sure, Adam. And we guess thousands of golf fans checked PGA's group listings Monday to see if Scott and Woods were going to be paired together to start the PGA Championship because they're simply fans of Adam Scott's short game. And the only story in golf for the last 48 hours has been about Williams, but it's not like we're heading into a major championship... oh wait, strike that.

— That said, remember the PGA contest. We'll call it the "Major contest for the least major major." You know the drill: Five golfers, final finish equals the number of points (Finish first = 1 point; finish 13th = 13 points; miss the cut = 100 points), throw out the highest score and the lowest score wins. Who's in? We'll give away tickets to some sort of sporting event in or around the area in the coming days.

Today's question

Question

EC made an excellent point Tuesday about changing baseball rules to state that players who do not run hard on ground balls will count as two outs.

Today's question is if you were the commissioner of any sports league, what's the first rule you change? It can be something as straight-forward as college football changing defensive pass interference to a spot foul or something as crazy as EC's Albert Belle-honored ground-ball run-out rule.

Whaddaya got?

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bigbearzzz said...

it was a caddieclysmic caddietastrophy what happened last weekend but im glad to see that issue is behind us. Thats an easy one: After every goal in female soccer, shooter loses the shirt. Although this could have serious negative effects as well depending on the shooter. No in all seriousness, the stupid celebration rule in College Football that cost my Dawgs the game last year against LSU...what a stupid call that was!! Lose that crappy rule. You already have an unsportsman like penalty in the game...lose the excessive celebration rule. If it gets outta hand nail em for unsportsman-like conduct. And i believe you should be able to tackle a baserunner in baseball as long as you have possession of the ball. I mean full on Goldberg spear tackle somebody....it would make the game more entertaining. And yes definitly implement the non hustling penalty. The penalty could be a one month required workout session three times a week with Richard Simmons on the importance of running and staying healthy.

August 10, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

First and foremost lets put into play the rule of Hussle! These guys are getting paid BIG money.. MC Hammer money to play a game...so play hard! If a player does not run out an infield ground ball out or a Fly Ball out..then that player should be forced to sit out his next out bat..resulting in an automatic out... how fast would Ozzie Gullien blow a gasket if say... Adam Dunn was the third out in the bottom of the 8th with runners in scoring position because he didnt wanna run out a fly ball out ???

All this Conference realignment talk is really hurting my head...the BCS is confusing enough for me...do we have to add more confusion for me??

if there is one word in the NFL i hate to hear...its Holdout...forget the Lockout...I can handle that..afterall it brought us the Free Agent Frenzy of 2011...which has been awesome! but Holdouts do nothing but hurt the team...

August 10, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Don't know about the not running hard to first rule. What if your backup catcher is in the game in extras, having already burned your starter, and he hits a six-hopper to third on a hot August night? Or your pitcher, hitting for himself in the fifth inning on a hot day, taps one on the infield?

I think the clubhouse has a lot of ways to deal with guys not busting it down the line. The kangaroo court is a tough panel.

August 10, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
Blueoval said...

First time caller to the show.....and love the 5/10! Excellent work!

Like the idea bigbearzzz of tackling the baserunner if you have the ball. That's awesome and I would love to see that! Agree with EC, I hate holdouts. Make your deal going in and honor it. If players are allowed to change their contracts before it's up then owners should be able to do that as well, ie...if a player signs a 5yr deal and doesn't play up to the potential owner/GM thought he would then he gets less money for the remainder of said contract. It goes both ways.......

August 10, 2011 at 12:23 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

The last two winners of majors at the AAC were not known for their length but were known as super nice guys. That means ... you are not in the mix, Mr. Woods.

My five: Ricky Barnes Luke Donald Rory McIlroy Adam Scott Steve Stricker

August 10, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I believe Cinco you should offer a referal incentive for every friend that we introduce to the Five N Dime.....Like a free lunch at Wally's for every five friends we bring in....what do you think. Oh and Chris Johnson is a punk. Still waiting for the Falcons to trade for Stafford and Moreno, then straight offer AJ Green a ton of money...could you imagine a QB throwing to both Julio and AJ?!?! Good googlie goo...

Welcome Blue, a couple of things you need to do as much as possible. First any time you can add to the argument that LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan it would be greatly appreciated by all. Next 7UP is the drink of choice for Cinco A Laz Diaz so if you could send him a 6 pack a week that would be great. Lastly, EC hates, hates, HATES MMA....dont even bring up the subject to him...he gets very emotional when you do.

August 10, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

my Five - Ricky Fowler, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Dill Pickelson and Tigger Woods

Bispy4- I can agree to disagree on the Hussle (respect and loyalty..you can see me) Rule..all I would like to see is 110% given on every given play...that goes for my Ace of Aces that is throwing a 2 hit shutout...and my back up catcher who has bum wheels...speed is not what im looking for...I wanna see effort...Im also sick of seeing guys who bust their Louisville Slugger after connecting with an inside heater and think its ok to examine the bat before taking off for first...that just blows my mind!

Oso Grande- Give it up man... The Dirtybirds are not signing /trading for Stafford...but Lions may let him go if he doesnt stay healthy!

August 10, 2011 at 12:42 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Stop raining on my parade EC. You heard Dana White's retiring right?

August 10, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

haha..what ? Thats nonsense !

August 10, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

LOL....YEAH BUT IT MADE MY DAY.....

August 10, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.
Blueoval said...

Scott, Mickelson, D Johnson, Stricker and Donald

Thanks BigB, 7-up for everyone!

August 10, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Sweet Peppers A guy goes to lunch and the conversation takes off.

BlueOval,

BlueOval loves Andicott Steel. Welcome to the show and thanks for the kind words. Pull up a chair and stay awhile.

BIspy —

Yes, the Kangaroo Court can be hars, but you're dealing in semantics "on a hot August day" in extras and with pitchers and back-up catchers. Let's not forget that the major league average is in excess of $3 million, it's not too much to ask these chaps to at least appear to hustle. Maybe not two outs at the same time as much as if you don't hustle, you're out that at-bat and then you're next at-bat. Then you get the added bonus of some stra-teg-ery. Of course that would confuse every AL manager to the point that the games would then last 4-plus hours. Alas.

Oso —

We know your love for former UGA skilled guys runs deep, and while he's unbelievably talented, Stafford has a ways to go before he can be mentioned in the same sentence as Matt Ryan. P.S. Nice attention getter with Dana White line.

As for the Wally's deal, that's strong idea. A membership drive, huh? Let's kick it around.

EC —

Holdouts stink. Plain and simple. Yeah, we know it's a business and guys have to make bid-ness decisions, but depending on the player, a holdout can bag an entire season for some clubs. And if you think, "Well, the team should handle it," well a bad contract can bag several seasons for most clubs — especially in the salary-capped NFL.

As for the rules I'd change:

The first thing we'd address is any penalty that allows a team/player an advantage by committing said penalty. Pass interference has to be a spot foul; half-the-distance penalties are out (if a defense jumps offside on 1st-and-goal from the 5, then it's 1st-and-goal from the inch line), etc.

As for some others:Treat baseball brawls like hockey fights. If a pitcher wants to throw at someone, the two guys can go at it as long as the teams don't jump in. Let's quit this dancing stuff and dance. Baseball fights (with the exception of Nolan Ryan of course) are big "Hold me back, Hold me back... I'll know you out," affairs that are more synchronized swimming than anything else.

Plus, let's get back to the strike zone that's in the rule book. Like today.

Steroids. One and done. Caught and you're done. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 million (A-Fraud). That would end it pretty quick, huh?

— 5-at-10

August 10, 2011 at 1:35 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Once again, it's my chocolate factory, I can drink from the chocolate river if i want too. Totally agree on the baseball rules. If you get beamed by the pitcher you should be able to charge the mound, just not against John Rocker...bad idea. And yes on the roids, one and ur done, period.

Once again I'm gonna sit out on this contest. I'm so outta touch with golf my list would look like the hall of fame of golf list: I'll take Arnold, Palmer, Woods, McGavin, and Pretend Al Davis...i miss pretend Al....

August 10, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Pretend Al called just last week. Now that the lockout is done and the Raiders are back to being the stink-pants Raiders, he said he's more committed to swinging by the show every now and then.

And you're list has been submitted, and somewhere Tiger thanks you because that's the only list put together that he'll be able to finish at the top. (Although Shooter has been playing well of late.)

Top 5 pitchers that you better think twice before charging? Go.

Retired category: Nolan Ryan, John Rocker (especially if you're a minority), Goose Gossage, Lee Smith and Pedro Martinez (if you're Don Zimmer).

Current category: Verlander, Brian Wilson (dude is nuts), Heath Bell, Carlos Zambrano, the Pirates close who looks a little "out there"

— 5-at-10

August 10, 2011 at 2:20 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Roger Clements (as long as he's carrying a broken bat), Rocker of course, Nolan Ryan, Wilson, and Zambrano.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Colon, just cause of his size, Sabastian, and Smoltz in his prime.

That list was supposed to be Nicholas, Palmer....but i like it as Arnold, Palmer,.......keep it that way!

August 10, 2011 at 2:44 p.m.
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