From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...
Tons of NCAA "official" news
The NCAA is looking at major reforms. Quick recap: Prez Mark Emmert in an effort to turn the conversation from all the NCAA shenanigans (great word, by the way) has embarked on a reform/overhaul process that is more about the NCAA's image than the NCAA's policies. "Cost of attendance" is the current buzz phrase that sounds clever and great but has much too many holes. Now Emmert wants to tie APR performance to postseason participation. What's next? Well, maybe Emmert will try to see if the NCAA can find the Loch Ness monster. Or maybe Emmert and his board if control will try a real-life version of "Messin' with Sasquatch." Maybe they'll find a unicorn. Sky's the limit, boys.
Next, while they are flinging jazz hands and spirit fingers at every major problem, the NCAA sent another letter of inquiry to THE Ohio State University, which will appear before the NCAA on Friday. It's hard not to think of Emmert's pursuit as more than a little Don Quixote-esque.
While this is happening, the governor of Texas says he's hearing that Texas A&M is in talks with the SEC about joining the world's most powerful football conference.
It's hard not to think of Emmert's shenanigans (great word, by the way) as a silly combination of a rope-a-dope, an attempt to make college presidents smile, a kind-hearted but empty attempt to pretend to be about the players and a last ditch effort to keep the power conferences so happy they won't look at the option of forming their own group.
Atlanta Braves player Martin Prado hugs Dan Uggla (26) after the second inning of a baseball game against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. Uggla hit a single in the first and second innings to continue his hitting streak to 31 games. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Uggla's at 31
The Braves swept the Marlins as Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 31 games.
This has to be the most unpredictable 30-plus game hitting streak of all time, right? Where will it end? How far can it go?
Well, if he can get into the 50s Uggla can get into the MVP talks. Seriously. Don't forget that in 1941 when Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight, he won the MVP. Yes, he had a good season, leading the league in RBIs, but his hitting streak was the big one considering that was the year Teddy Williams hit .406 and led the AL in homers.
And Our Sweet Mother of season bests, Uggla's 3-for-5 showing last night lifted his average to .224. That's the highest it's been all season. After going a combined 33-for-195 in the months of May and June, Uggla's charge to a bad batting average has been amazing.
And now ladies, gentleman and BIspy, Dan Uggla does not have the lowest batting average among Braves' regulars. That's right, one Jason Heyward has dropped to .218 after going bagel-for-5 with three Ks last night.
The PGA Championship is barely a major. We know this.
This PGA Championship has an overflow of major storylines, though. And anyone not named Adam Scott or Stevie Williams who says they don't want Scott and Tiger Woods paired this weekend is fibbing. Plus, which youngster will make his charge as generation next continues to grab golf by the grip.
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. Here's the entries so far (we need to check the e-mail at work, but more than likely this is it):
BIspy4 — Ricky Barnes, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy Adam Scott, Steve Stricker
EC — Ricky Fowler, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Dill Pickelson and Tigger Woods
BlueOval — Scott, Mickelson, D Johnson, Stricker and Donald
Oso — Arnold Palmer, Woods, McGavin, and Pretend Al Davis
SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all): Rory, Adam Scott, Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Watney SportTalk's Quake: Adam Scott, Rory, Stricker,
Dustin Johnson, Westwood SportTalk's Cowboy Joe (he's a cowboy after all): Tiger, Watney, Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald, Rory
McPell — Immelman, Goosen, Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sorenson
TFP Golf writer David Uchiyama — Lee Westwood, Jason Day, Ryo Ishikawa, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore
5-at-10 — Westwood, Rory, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Mickelson
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Westwood, Day, Rory
OTWatcher — Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson, Phil, Davis Love III, Rory
ThatIDoKnow — Rory, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Westwood, Watney
Striker — Stricker, Fowler, Kaymer, Dustin Johnson,
33wannabe — Mickelson, Watson, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Bo Van Pelt
Weena (chicks dig the long ball) —Bubba Watson, Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods
AUbacker —Dufner, Westwood, Tiger, YE Yang, Ryo
Prowler — Donald, Fowler, Sergio,
JordanRules — Tiger, Glover, Cink, Casey, Anthony Kim
Tiger — Tiger, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera, Mickelson, Charl Schwartzel
Believer — Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Jason Day, Rory
Right in the Birdie Maker (great name by the way) — Donald, Westwood, Fowler, Rory, Day
CelticVol — Mickelson, Watson, Rory, Choi, Stricker
This and that
— That bright glow from the North part of the county this morning was the smile on Oso's face when he saw that UGA freshman Isaiah Crowell was lights out in Georgia's scrimmage Wednesday. That said, preseason scrimmages are good for judging the kicking game and a QB's accuracy. Everything after that is at best a glass half-empty kind of thing. If the offense goes nuts, then the defense was bad. If the defense dominated, then the offense struggled. But Crowell sounds like the real deal.
— Some of the guys in the office were enthralled with the U.S-Mexico soccer match. Yawn. It's soccer. And it was a practice game (or as they call it "A friendly"). Let us know when the next World Cup — and the next accompanying U.S. disappointment — is and we'll pay attention for a couple of weeks.
— Gang, there appears to be no way to catch the Phillies. The Phils trailed the Dodgers 6-0 after three innings Wednesday and won 9-8. So even when they trot out Vance Worley, who has been good, but he's not a partner in the shutdown law firm of Halladay, Lee and Hamels, and get in an early hole they are finding ways to win. Sorry, EC, this does not look good.
We asked this at the end of yesterday, but wanted to give everyone a chance to respond.
Here were a couple of our proposed rule changes:
— 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 go. Baseball fights (with the exception of Nolan Ryan of course) are big "Hold me back, Hold me back... I'll knock you out," affairs that are more synchronized swimming than anything else.
— Let's get back to the strike zone that's in the rule book. Like today.
— Steroids. One and done. Caught and you're out. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 million (A-Fraud). That would end it pretty quick, huh?
That caused us to ask, "Top 5 pitchers that you better think twice before charging?"
Here's our lists — 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, and the Pirates' closer, who looks a little "out there."
Who you got?
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 ...