published Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

5 at 10: Atlanta Braves huge win, Derby contest and fast week

May 3 is a strange day. Washington was incorporated as a city 210 years ago today. (And look how that turned out.) West Virginia became the first state to legislate a broad sales tax on this day in 1921. (Stupid West Virginia.) The Derby was televised nationally for the first time 60 years ago today. (Although it was the fast three minutes in sports then, you know things moved at a slower pace back in the old days.) Bobby Allison's crash on this day 25 years ago in Talladega pushed NASCAR toward restrictor plates at its Superspeedways.

From the "Talk too much Studios" here we go...

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones (10) celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning, two-run home run in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Atlanta, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Atlanta won 15-13. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HUGE win

Sweet buckets of baseball breath-taking bats and balls. Wow, the Atlanta Braves rallied for a stunning 15-13 win over Philadelphia on Chipper Jones walk-off two-run homer in the 11th.

It was stunning. Seriously. Consider the following:

Phillies starter Roy Halladay and his two Cy Youngs had a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. He lasted only four more outs and trailed 8-6 with one out in the sixth.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz drove in seven runs. Seven. You're supposed to win when your No. 7 hitter drives in seven runs. It may even be in the baseball rule book.

Jones said after the game that is was his 500th professional homer, counting his time in the minors. Cool moment.

The Braves had lost eight straight games to the Phillies and those type of streaks and numbers have a way of taking on a life of their own. That is until you kill them by coming back from 6-0 and 12-8 to win in extra innings.

And while some of the old reliables in the bullpen falter — Eric O'Flaherty was rocked and Craig Kimbrel blew a save — the ancient reliable continues to impress. Yes, Livan Hernandez pitched another scoreless inning — his third consecutive appearance without allowing a run. And while the interweb shows he's 37, we're not buying it.

Great win. The only thing that could have made it more expected was if it was on May 3, right?

————

  • photo
    Kentucky Derby hopeful Daddy Nose Best yawns as he gets a bath outside Barn 38 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, April 30, 2012 following his training. The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 5. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Derby contest

It's as you would expect on the First In/Last In Derby challenge. Here's a recap:

The rules are simple: Give us the winner and the horse that you think will finish dead last. Each is worth two points. (If no one picks the winner, we'll award one point to the highest-finishing picked horse.) The tie-breaker will be after the fact and it will be a paragraph essay contest on whether there is a drink out there that's worse than a Mint Julep, which sounds as tough as kittens but can be as painful as an IRS audit. Seriously, a Mint Julep is a mint leaf, bourbon, sugar and water, and maybe we have never had a proper one, but we know we've never had a good one. And we like bourbon. (Bourbony, bourbon, bourbon. Here it goes down, down in my belly.)

Yesterday we covered 10 horses that won't win the derby and added Underdeveloped Human Carrier (shout-out to Mr. 962) as another fleabag with no shot.

Here's the field of horses that actually may win:

1) Daddy Long Legs — 30-1

2) Optimizer — 50-1

3) Take Charge Indy — 15-1

4) Union Rags — 9-2

5) Dullahan — 8-1

6) Bodemeister — 4-1

7) Rousing Sermon — 50-1

8) Creative Cause — 12-1

9) Trinniberg — 50-1

10) Daddy Nose Best — 15-1 (this is of course our personal favorite)

11) Alpha — 15-1

12) Prospective — 30-1

13) Went the Day Well — 10-1 (Not sure about this name, but like it way better than his younger brother "Wet the Bed Well")

14) Hansen — 10-1 (If it's from the brothers in "Slapshot," it's a great name; if it's for the hair band brothers, it's a terrible name)

15) Gemologist — 6-1

16) El Padrino — 20-1 (If the rain comes as expected, here's an upset pick to watch)

17) Done Talking — 50-1 (You know how we feel about this bag o' bones; hate it)

18) Sabercat — 30-1 (Bad name)

19) I'll have another — 12-1 (This is more than name, this is a life choice; second on the chart behind Daddy Nose Best)

20) Liaison — 50-1

21) AE. My Adonis — 50-1 (If this Underevelopment Human Carrier does not enter the track with a spin-off version of the Run DMC classic "My Adidas" then someone has some 'splain' to do)

Send us your picks, and you could win some Braves tickets. Bring it.

————

Where did the week go?

Wow, somehow this week flew right by, right. Whole ton of stuff going on that we really have undercovered. Try some of this on for size (and there will be more on some of these topics in Friday's mail bag, which has an opening left if you want in.)

— Talladega is this weekend, and here's saying that Junior will win. Hey, we've been as big of critic of Junior's as almost anyone, but we got a strange feeling.

— The Eric LeGrand story that someone tossed out there Wednesday is awesome. Period. In fact, in times of superstars punching fire extinguishers and billionaire owners feuding with millionaire players as ticket prices soar, it's stories like this one that remind us all why we came to love sports in the first place. (You can catch-up on it in ace columnist Mark Wiedmer's view here http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/may/03/good-bad-sadly-ugly-parts-of-nfl/).

— The NBA playoffs are going full speed. (Wow, how good did San Antonio look last night?) Nice win for Memphis, and Grizzlies Fan No. 1 — our very own Downtown Patrick Brown — says Memphis is going to handle the series. We trust him.

— We have heard rumblings that the NHL is having a postseason-type tournament, but we're not convinced. We've even heard that a semi-area team that may or may not sound like the Fedators may or may not still be in said tournament. We are going to do everything in our power not to jinx said Feds, who may or may not have won 2-0 with our boy Rinne doing work in the net and a defense in front of him that realized the seriousness of the moment. So we have nothing to say about that.

— Jared Weaver tossed a no-hitter last night. There are few things as unpredictable and attention grabbing as no-hitters. In that aspect they are the car wrecks of sports — never know when they may happen and can't help watching. (Side note: Weaver is right there with Tim Lincecum behind Justin Verlander as the guys that have the type of stuff that a no-hitter is possible at any given time. That would a be cool group to be a part of.)

————

This and that (May 3 edition)

— Earl Woods died on this day six years. After our discussion about the state of Tiger Woods earlier this week, it's hard not to wonder how things would be different if Earl Woods — apparently the only person on the planet, including Tiger Woods, that seemed to be honest and direct with Tiger Woods — was still alive.

— Eric Church turns 35 today, and for those of you who don't know Church, well, he's one of the few throwback country music stars of today. (His "Put a Drink in My Hand" is the best new country song in arguably a decade. Seriously. Willie or Waylon would have recorded it. And now that he really needs the coin, Willie would be honored to do a reggae version of it. We have a few rules in life, and one of them is that male country music singers and baseball players should show up for work with a hat on.)

— Bing Crosby and James Brown each were born on May 3. Each of those dudes could flat go. Period. And while styles and tastes change through time, each of those cats' genre — Crosby and crooning; Brown and his version of Rock and Soul and Blues — has never truly recovered from losing the two uber-stars of that field.

————

Today's question

Today's question is in honor of May 3, when Joe DiMaggio made his big league debut 76 years ago.

We contend DiMaggio may be the most overrated baseball player of all-time. This is not to say DiMaggio was not a star and probably deserved to be in the Hall; but for the love Willie Mays cleats, DiMaggio was voted on the all-Century team. Puh-lease. (Another star of NYC, Joe Namath, is the most overrated pro athlete of all time in our view.)

For the regulars around these parts, we have the All-Tim Duncan Team, a collection of players who are viewed as very good players but still do not get the credit they deserve (like Duncan, who is an all-timer in NBA history even though no one will admit it). This is the reverse of that — star players who were wickedly overrated.

Who is on your Rushmore of Overrated Stars? We'll go Namath, DiMaggio, Scottie Pippen, Evander Holyfield.

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 ...

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chas9 said...

Say ow. Say ouch. Say this one really hurts.

Junior seems to have been a man of constant sorrow.

It's always a mistake to overgeneralize from one incident, from one life, but it's time to ask whether the pleasure we get from the game is worth the pain inflicted on its warriors. The number of lives lived out in pain and early deaths mounts, and one wonders how long we can put it out of our heads.

The game's not going away. It's too much a part of our culture, there's too much money at stake, and it's too much fun. And yes, of course, lots of fun activities involve risk. Wouldn't want a world where we always have to play it safe.

But morally speaking, can we justify the brutal price so many are paying? At least let's be very up front with our kids about the price to be paid.

May 3, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

We were driving in to the office and thought," Oh crud, we forgot to mention Junior Seau."

It apparently was a good decision because it opened the door for you to drop an outstanding post and some serious depth.

Not sure what Seau's situation was, so this is not as much about his situation as the act in general.

There is no doubt that the price is high physically, especially for footballers. But the mental switch — going from being the center of attention, the BMOC to nada and shadows can be tough. And if you add financial problems, living like normal folks can be a tough adjustment for former All-Stars.

Sad stuff all around.

— 5-at-10

May 3, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Seau's tragic death just put mcpell's jrs chances of ever playing football way out of reach per mrs mcpell, and I am not going to argue that one at all. As a slightly over developed under developed human, I had my bell rung way too many times.

Put me in the contest coach - I like seeing other people win my stuff...Take the Charge Indy to win, and Daddy Long Legs for dragging the rear.

May 3, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
Livn4life said...

No joking about the pain for the Seau family. My experience(Iamnotadoctoryouknow)with those who decide to take their own lives is, they have that power no matter what we do or say as friends, relatives, etc. But I cannot attribute an alleged self-inclicted wound to the violent sport of Professional Football. Man I just ache at the fact that help is available if people are just willing to a)Get it, b)Stay with the prescribed Program. God bless all who will be mourning this loss. UP THE PIKE and ENERGY LEVEL--I'm feeling Chipper about the Braves' big win and land sakes alive(as opposed to land sakes unalive)I hope they keep up the winning. IMPACT of BEING GONE--Earl Woods-see Tiger Bing Crosby-see no more White Christmas James Brown- "I DON'T FEEEEL GOOOD!"

May 3, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
Blueoval said...

That's a good 4 for your Overrated Rushmore......Dale Jr and Vince Young both come to mind as well.....

I'll take Creative Cause for the win and Trinniberg to bring up the rear.

May 3, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
Todd962 said...

Sad to see Seau go out like that. I will forever remember him for two things. Being unstoppable in the SNES game I had as a kid because he had 99 for speed and saving that reporter's life in the Chargers locker room when Ryan Leaf blew a gasket. Guy seemed to be a stand up character but you never know what inner demons people are dealing with.

As for the derby contest I think I have to go with "I'll have another" to win and "Optimizer" to lose.

And speaking of having another and inner demons...This weekend may be the last thing that my original liver and kidneys ever do together. The fact that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday is bad news for anyone. A day to celebrate tequila shots is never a good idea( I am pretty sure that was their intent when they started celebrating the holiday). Then UTC is having their graduation, no biggie, I am sure some people can sit through those sober(Not this guy). But then the Kentucky Derby and 'Dega in the same weekend? Recipe for disaster. Tequila, Mint Juleps, and Bud Heavy. I know I am going to wake up Sunday afternoon somewhere Donald Ducking it...

May 3, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.
chas9 said...

I kinda hated to bring down the mood of a great upbeat column with Seau, but looks like it was on our readers' minds, so it had to be done.

962's alert about the beverage possibilities is right on. Those mint juleps sneak up on you and mug you.

More on the college sports biz from yesterday: The basketball valuations were done by Indiana finance professor Ryan Brewer. He says the average worth of an SEC basketball team is $30 million, which makes it the sixth most valuable conference.

Average value of an SEC football team is twelve times that, $360 million. Tennessee is #11 on the national list in pigskin dollars, sixth in the SEC. Kentucky is #24 and Vandy's worth next to nothing. But we'll end up working for their grads one day.

Also from yesterday: Yes, please, more quotes from the Dapper Dan man. A gold mine of wisdom.

May 3, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.
jgreeson said...

McPell —

Has Mrs. McPell and Mrs. 5-at-10 been conversating? She's not super high on the Lil' 5-at-10 putting on the pads. He's only 4 so there's still a lot of road between here and there, but as 9er said, the conversation about the cost of playing — good and bad — must be had.

Livin(Large) —

You're right there's nothing funny about Seau and his end. Tragic in fact. Don't know if it's specifically football related or not but it has at least seemed to be an increased trend of late, no?

Hard not to like this Braves bunch.

Oval —

You're in, and Dale Jr. was on the cusp of making the Rushmore, but those other guys are all in Hall of Fames, and the more we think about it the more Pippen is pushing Namath more. Although Namath made the Hall of Fame for the most famous sentence in football history. He didn't even throw a TD pass in Super Bowl III and finished with more INTs than TD passes; but he did guarantee a Super Bowl win and it came true. Who knows if the world ends this year, maybe the Mayans will be inducted in Canton.

Mr. 962 —

You're starting to make us thirsty — although two of three drinks you mentioned left the 5-at-10 malaria-level ill; in fact we have not had tequila since we were 18... long story. And you're starting to make us think of the part of "Stripes" where the soldiers are introducing themselves and John Winger as, "Lee Harvey, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it."

NASCAR race and beer are like Oreos and milk. Good times. Stay thirsty my friends. (And yes, we're loyal to Bud products.)

Side note: If you end up Donald Ducking make sure you're with Daisy and not Pluto, Goofy or Goodness Forbid Pete.

9er —

Great stats on the program worth — and here's saying that half the SEC is worth more than half the NFL. (Seriously, would you pay more Jacksonville or Alabama?)

And the 5-at-10 fancies ourselves as an geographical internet oddity... we're two paragrpahs from everywhere.

— 5-at-10

May 3, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
wcole777 said...

Excellent conversation on Seau from everyone! It's been a great pleasure to read. I'd weigh in on this but agree it's a sensitive topic and there's no way to know a man's mind in a time of such desperation.

On a lighter note I'd like to submit my winning and losing picks for the derby (without my favorite "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" horse, Washington Hogwallop, available... boo!):

First Place - Creative Cause Last Place - Rousing Sermon

"Where's Mrs. Hogwallop?"
"She done R-U-N-N-O-F-T."
"Must have been looking for answers." "Good riddance as far as I'm concerned." "Say this stew sure is good."
"I slaughtered this horse last week, I think she's starting to turn." Everett, Hogwallop and Delmar

"Well boys, looks like George is finally on top again."
"Oh no, George, not the livestock." Delmar

Possibly the most quotable movie of all time and maybe conversation during and after the race.

May 3, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[(Seriously, would you pay more Jacksonville or Alabama?)]

Let me play devil's advocate just for the fun of it. I pick Jacksonville. There is only one primary reason why Alabama football is what it is right now. Once Saban leaves (could be soon, could be later), the program could head south quick. Hiring another great coach is harder than it looks (and especially difficult if trying to replace a guy like Saban). There's not much room for error in a conference like the SEC.

On the flip side, it's never been easier to go from chump to champ in the NFL. Plus the league is at an all-time high in popularity. There is so much $$$ to go around, even if you're losing, you're winning (cue the Charlie Sheen clip). Maybe this new owner for the Jags will do some good for the franchise.

Overrated Rushmore:

Mark McGwire--He's on the All-Century team only because voting came right after his 70-homer year. Other than that, it's a slap in the face to all the other 1st Basemen greats who came before him.

Bill Russell--Some say he's the greatest ever primarily because he has the most rings. However, back then, he was a man among boys. If he played today, he'd be a man among men.

Emmitt Smith--He played behind one of the greatest O-lines in history. A discussion of the greatest RBs ever should begin with Brown, Payton, and Sanders, not Smith.

Donovan McNabb--He had all the pieces in place to win it all in Philly but couldn't get it done. A great D got them to the conference championships and a great O-line made McNabb look better than he really was. His failure with the Vikes and the 'Skins is proof of his overration (is that a word?) in Philly. Side note, how can you play for years in the league and not know that games can end in a tie?

May 3, 2012 at 1:35 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Is Joe Blanton even gonna break a sweat today in mowing down the Braves?

May 3, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.
chas9 said...

Mr. Stew's right about Fathead McGwire.

May 3, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.

Dullahan to win. Done talkin last. And a slow gin fiz is pretty nasty.

May 3, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: Put me down for Dullahan for the win and El Padrino for last. The 5@10 is like a fine wine or at least like wine it gets better with age.

May 3, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

WC —

Agreed on both counts. In fact, we have just decided we will answer every mailbag question for tomorrow with a shoutout to one Everett McGill. Even if he's not bona fide.

Stew —

You bring a fair point, but we'll counter with this about Alabama particular and the SEC in general: There is a a monster revenue stream of the BCS playoff that is going to make the rich in college football get richer. (Maybe the NFL is a bad example since the salary cap-structure keeps cost level.)

Great overrated call on Fathead McGwire enough due. He's make a strong push for Holyfield's spot. McNabb's another one — think about it this way, three years ago he was one his way to Canton... now he can't find a gig.

Spy —

No. It's in the books, Phillies 4-0. Blanton allows three singles in the shutout. Hey, Fredi G., why was McCann on the bench? Dude is 8-for-21 all-time against Blanton and hit a grand slam last night? Let him rest Friday night.

Addicted —

You're in, and yes, a slow gin fizz is almost as gross as it sounds.

Dawg —

Thanks for the kind words. You're in.

The entire 5-at-10 clan has had a good week. Everyone raise you glass.

— 5-at-10

May 3, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
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