published Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

5 at 10: Braves, College Blitz and an old friend drops by for an interview

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. From the "Shapiro Stinks Studios," here we go...

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    Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens comes out of the baseball game during the sixth inning after loading the bases against the New York Mets, June 14, 2011, in Atlanta. New York won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Braves still rollin'

Your Atlanta Braves have not allowed a run in 26 innings. They've won five in a row and seven of eight. Jair Jurrjens looked like the pitcher that was the Cy Young front-runner in the first half of the season in Monday's 3-0 win over the cute Cubbies (they're so lovable).

Dan Uggla hit homer No. 30, which is noteworthy for three reasons: First, when he was hitting about .170, who thought this was possible? Second, Uggla is the sixth Braves player to hit 30 or more homers in his first season with the club. He joins Wally Berger (1930), Davey Johnson (1973), Jeff Burroughs (1977), Andres Galarraga (1998) and J.D. Drew (2004). That stat was courtesy of the Elias Sports folks, who do a bang-up job. Third, Uggla now has five seasons with 30 or more homers. No other second baseman in baseball history has more than three.

It's pretty much rolling in Braves country right now. The wildcard lead is at 8 1/2 and they let Craig Kimbrel have last night off to rest his golden right arm.

That said, and not to be 5-at-10 pessimist, anybody got any idea what happened to Jason Heyward? Seriously? Any ideas? Bueller... Bueller?

Did we ever think that losing George Constanza to an ankle injury and replacing him with Jason Heyward would be a cringe-worthy type of deal? Didn't think so.

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    This April 16, 2011, file photo shows Sebastian the Ibis, the Miami Hurricanes' mascot, leading the team on to the field for a spring NCAA college football game, at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he provided extra benefits to 72 football players and other athletes at Miami from 2002 to 2010. His claims involve several current players, but coach Al Golden said it was too soon to take disciplinary action. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan, FIle)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

College football

The TFP sports department is now done with all of our preseason preview magazines. The Prep Blitz ran last Friday, and we want to thank everyone who complimented it. The College Blitz will print later today and will be in Sunday's TFP. It was a lot of work, but now it's done.

Which means we can start talking college football. We're genuinely excited, and we'll have a regular spot among the 5-at-10 for the next three-plus months for crazy predictions, analysis, updates and pretty much whatever from the world of college football.

Here are three predictions for the first weekend of the season.

— As Miami's athletic department looks into the eligibility of 15 current players that Nevin Shapiro claimed to have given money and benefits in the Yahoo! Sports story last week, the status/future of those players is clearly unknown. If those 'Canes in question — a group that includes several starters including stars Jacory Harris, Marcus Fortson, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Sean Spence — do not play in a week 1 trip to Maryland, Miami better fear the Turtle.

— Keep an eye on LSU this week as the fallout continues from last week's bar brawl or a Pier 6er as some would like to call it. Receiver Jarvis Landry and quarterback Jordan Jefferson were among those involved. Remember, the No. 4-ranked Tigers have the toughest opening weekend test against No. 3-ranked Oregon, which also has had to deal with some legal issues this summer. Is that game sponsored by Chico's Bail Bonds?

— Isaiah Crowell goes nuts, Nuts, NUTS on Boise State. Fast surface. Big stage. Overflow partisan neutral-field crowd. Hey, we're not Boise State haters. They play the teams they can and beat those teams at a stunning rate. In fact, we're not ready to predict the final outcome of this game. We're just saying the Crowell will be the Week 1 breakout star.

Terrelle Pryor goes in third round

The 5-at-10 loves the draft. You know this.

Monday, our old friend Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders used a third-round pick in the supplemental draft on Terrelle Pryor. Of course they did.

Here's the good news for Raiders fans: At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Pryor reportedly ran a sub-4.4 40 last weekend. That's hauling, and if he moves to receiver, physically that combo is Randy Moss speed with T.O.'s size. Nice. Plus, after a recent run at Ohio State, contract negotiations should be easy because Pryor is already flush with cash (Kidding, kidding).

Here's the bad news for Raiders fans: Oakland now does not have a second-, third-, or fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft. Ouch. Plus, there are reports that the Raiders are going to use Pryor at quarterback, and at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds with questionable accuracy and decision making, the first comparison that comes to our mind is JaMarcus Russell. Double Ouch.

As a special bonus, let's go to the phone for a quick chat with one of our original friends of the show, Pretend Al Davis.

5-at-10: Pretend Al, thanks for taking the time to join...

Pretend Al: Stick it. What do you want kid?

5-at-10: Why did you take Terrelle Pryor that high?

Pretend Al: If we didn't take him in the third, I know the Bears were looking at him. That Ditka knows what he's doing. DITKA.

5-at-10: Uh, Al, Mike Ditka is with ESPN now.

Pretend Al: Exactly.

5-at-10: OK, let's move along. What did you like about Terrelle the most?

Pretend Al: The kid can fly. Have you seen 235 pounds moving at sub-4.4 speeds?

5-at-10: Yes sir, we've been to a Golden Corral on a Sunday.

Pretend Al: OK, then you know what I'm talking about. Plus, he's got be able to keep the locker room laughing. He's got to be funny — Richard Pryor was a genius.

5-at-10: Uhhh, Pretend Al, Terrelle and Richard are not related.

Pretend Al: What? Really? Are you sure? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Where was I? Somebody get Hue Jackson on the phone. Hey, 5-pants, did you know we hired Hue Jackson as our coach. That's right, we've got Wolverine on the sideline. WOLVERINES!

5-at-10: Pretend Al, thanks again for joining us...

Pretend Al: Stick it.

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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)

This and that

— Lots of huge deals in the NFL now that the labor issues have been settled. Larry Fitzgerald got paid. So did Lawrence Timmons and Joe Thomas. Still amazingly quiet on the Chris Johnson front. It's easy to see why this is at such an impasse too. Johnson is an uber-talented speed back and wants a huge contract because he knows one not-even-major injury will change his game and his effectiveness forever. The Titans don't want to give him a huge contract because they know Johnson is an uber-talented speed back who is one not-even-major injury away from having his his effectiveness and his skills changed forever.

— Hey, how about that Kenny Britt? He's headed to meet with NFL commish Roger Goodell about his river of run-ins with the police, including a series of traffic violations. Britt likely will have some suspension time to serve, and here's hoping he's not driving to meet Goodell — who knows what could happen next.

— Hey, we're all for saving gas (granted we do drive a rather large U.S.-made SUV, but to each his own). But this feature story on the Vanderbilt Fonzies is less than intimidating. Check it out here.

Today's question

When Uggla hit homer No. 30 last night, he hit it out of Wrigley Field. As is tradition with Cubs fans, when an opposing team hits a homer, they throw the ball back onto the field — even the person who caught the ball on Waveland Ave. threw it back last night.

We think that's cool.

What is the best baseball tradition-custom-superstition that you can think of? And yes, not talking to the pitcher during a no-hitter counts (and is pretty cool, too).

about Jay Greeson...

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
bigbearzzz said...

one of the one that i see all the time is the "dont mess the pretty white lines/step on them before the game begins" tradition. And i would like to say thank you for the mad props you're giving GA on that first game...I'm looking forward to seeing if that holds true! If it's gonna be the start of a pretty good year.

August 23, 2011 at 1:10 p.m.
patrickd said...

Good luck in that game, oso. Screw the pooch and Georgia will immediately be seen as the Ole Miss of the East for the remainder of the year.

August 23, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Dogs could be this year's South Carolina but PDavi's right, the dye will be cast early.

If Richt's Bulldogs drop those first two, the natives will be going nuts.

Like the white line rule — and we never stepped on it crossing onto the field. We also like the "Silent" treatment after a home run where the rest of the team pretends like nothing happened before celebrating.

August 23, 2011 at 2:24 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Maddux was a big follower of the not stepping on the white lines rule. Big time.

Love the silent treatment for a guy's first homer. That's always good stuff when the kid gets back to the dugout and just starts high-fiving air.

The biggest though is the taboo (also found in a riveting episode of "The Brady Bunch" when they went to Hawaii, but I digress) of discussing how quickly a game is going. It does not, repeat, does not work in reverse. Many years ago, at a college baseball game that took about 45 minutes to play the first four innings, something that happened on the field that stalled play for a good 20 minutes. I darted up the ladder to the press box and poked my head in to yell, "Who said it? Who said how fast the game was moving along?" Everyone, including the radio crew, pointed to the official scorekeeper, who then sheepishly admitted she should have known better. A typical snail's pace college baseball game ensued from that point.

August 23, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy —

The jinx/taboo rule works in baseball more than any other.

The no-hitter jinx; the "this game's moving right along" jinx; the "hey, this guy's really throwing strikes" jinx.

Worst moment in jinx history:

NLCS in 1985. Dodgers vs. Cardinals. Series is tied at 2 and Game 5 is tied at 2 in the bottom of the ninth. Ozzie Smith comes to the plate against Dodgers righty Tom Niedenfuer. Across the TV screen under the images of Ozzie taking practice swing was something along the lines of "Ozzie Smith has never hit a home run left-handed in 6,000 major league at-bats.

Yep, three pitches later Smith golfs a shot down the right-field line for the game-winner and Jack Buck screams, "Go craz, folks. Go crazy."

As a 15-year-old Dodgers fan, that day stunk. Stupid jinx.

— 5-at-10

August 23, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.
chas9 said...

I thought George Constanza was with the Yankees' front office, but if he's with the Braves now, maybe he could get Kramer to join the organization, maybe replacing Fredi Gonzalez. His energy would have to be good for 'em. And the Soup Nazi could run the clubhouse food operation.

August 23, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.
jgreeson said...


It was not a blockbuster type-deal, but the Braves have added Constanza, and Kramer's energy may be better suited as hitting coach (he can't do any worse that Parrish). If the Soup Nazi is handling the buffett, we need Kramer's lawyer (name escapes us) to negotiate all new deals, we need Puddy to take care of the team's vehicles (and be a season-ticket holder since he's a chest painter) and you know Mr. and Mrs. Constanza are watching every game on the Superstation bellyaching at each other and the umps.

— 5-at-10

August 23, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Tom Niedenfeur ... married to one of the Landers' sisters (I think it was Judy. Though Audrey was also right easy on the eyes). As a Dodger hater (funny, I liked them in the mid 70s, but then Lasorda got on my nerves), that was a great moment.

Wasn't 5 at 10's Pop (at once and for always, a great dude), a Cardinals fan?

August 23, 2011 at 4:22 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Oh! And you NEVER, NEVER, NEEEEVER talk about a "No Hitter" when the pitcher is on his way to pitching one! NEVER! And as an umpire you NEVER call the guy safe at first with two outs in the 9th with a pitcher wrapping up said no hitter.....stupid ump...i dont care how close the play was..he's out all day long!

August 23, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
chas9 said...

And what was the name of Jerry's girlfriend that rhymed with a female body part?

August 23, 2011 at 5:41 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy —

Pop 5-at-10 grew up a Yankees fan like almost everyone else his age. But he did love Stan "the Man" Musial. we don't care if Niedenfuer was married to Brock Landers or Ned Flanders, that was a painful moment.

Oso —

Spot on, you don't talk about it. We were lucky enough to throw a no-hitter in high school and we never knew it until the game was over. Seriously.

9er —

Was it Mulva? Maybe Bovary? We're stumped.

And yes, any and all Seinfeld reference is always welcomed here.

— 5-at-10

August 23, 2011 at 7:23 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Whats the latest on some MMA coverage in the TFP? Got a huge UFC this weekend!

The Atlanta Braves are Kim Kardashian's backside hot right now! How awesome is it that they can sit their Lights Out closer and still have another lights out closer close the game ?? its awesome!

Is anyone suprised that the Oakland Raiders took Pryor in the 3rd Round of the 2nd Round of NFL Drafts... does Jason Campbell deal with this ? something tells me he throws a pick 6 asap.. Pryor is fast..4.3 speed is fast..super fast...but the best Wideout in NFL History...Mr Jerry Rice didnt run that fast...but anyways....

Best Baseball Tradition...oh thats a good question... well for starters the rally cap is straight up me some rally about the 7th inning stretch and Harry Caray signing take me out to the ball game...thats pretty class...(Stay classy San Diego)...singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park...but the number one Baseball Tradition?? about the fact that no matter where you sit...whether it be behind home plate...down the 3rd baseline or in the nose bleeds where only Reggie Jackson in October can hit it...People bring their ball gloves! Talk about awesome!!! ...sidenote...Pies in the Face during POstGame interviews won honorable mention

Later Amigos!

August 23, 2011 at 10:07 p.m.
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