Morning Barack, how's your mom and 'em?
We all know the President is in our fair town today. Here's hoping that those that want to protest do and those that want to praise do and those that want to show their butts stay home.
In the words of Ron Burgandy, "You stay classy Chattanooga."
From the "Talks too much" studio,
CUH-razy Braves game
Somebody had a case of the Mondays in the Braves' 9-8 win in 10 innings.
Brandon Beachy made his first big-league start in 13 months after elbow surgery, and the much-anticipated return fizzled. Actually it was worse than that. It flamed out. Fast.
Beachy gave up seven earned runs and failed to get out of the fourth. The offense bailed him out and took him off the hook with a no-decision.
Beachy debacle was only part of the story.
Scott Downs, the lefty relieved the Braves acquired Monday, arrived in Atlanta about 10 minutes before the first pitch, showered while Beachy was getting torched, got dressed and went to the bullpen to meet his new teammates.
After the Braves offense rallied from a 5-0 Beachy-induced hole to take an 8-7 lead into the ninth, Downs was called into service about 12 hours after the trade was announced.
With closer Craig Kimbrel unavailable — great decision by Fredi G in our view after Kimbrel closed the last three wins over the Cards — Jordan Walden blew the save and faced Todd Helton with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth. Enter Downs, who retired Helton and pitched a scoreless 10th to get the win after Andrelton Simmons' walk-off triple.
Beach earned an F, and that may force the Braves to look about acquiring a starting pitcher before Wednesday's trade deadline.
Downs delivered an A in the clutch, so the Braves have to feel better about their bullpen this morning.
So it goes.
Best beer drinkers
The Beer Institute released its list of the top five states for beer consumption per capita of residents 21 and over. The top five is North Dakota, New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota and Wisconsin. North Dakota residents 21 and older consumed an average of 45.8 gallons of beer last year. We have a few things here:
• Quick math (128 ounces per gallon, 52 weeks per year, etc.) works to show North Dakota adults are averaging more than nine beers a week. Stay thirsty North Dakota.
• We did not attend the Beer Institute, but we feel certain we have earned an honorary degree. We will not debate this.
• The top five list tells us at least subtly that people who are cold like to drink beer.
• Since Tennessee did not make the top five, we feel Todd962 needs to pick up his end of the deal a little bit. C'mon Todd, your state needs you.
• Since we're all about ranking the best today, we'll tell you the best beer we have ever tasted was during a trip to Montana with the Mrs. last summer. It's called Beltian White, and when it goes national, well, enjoy. (That said, those of you who know the 5-at-10, know we're very loyal by nature. Bud Lights. Titliest golf balls. The Mrs. 5-at-10. Copenhagen [before we quit cold turkey several years ago]. And that's the end of our story.)
Pondering the Tennessee Vols
Our UT beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown breaks down the five questions facing the UT Vols as Butch Jones and Co. prepare to open their first practice this week. Read it here.
We are planning on Downtown spending some time on Press Row today on ESPN Radio. Give us a listen on 105.1 from 1-3 p.m.
Downtown's questions are clear and accurate.
There is one more that weighs on horizon as well. How does this team — and the fan base — react when the bad times come. Right now, Butch and all his sun dances are rosy and warm and fun. There are smiles and hugs and high-fives.
When Oregon hangs 40 — in the first half? — how do the Vols react?
That answer will tell us as much about Butch and his staff as all the star-spangled recruits they are lining up for the 2014 recruiting cycle.
This and that
— The recent Emmy nominations honored one of the great shows in recent memory. Breaking Bad is money. If you have not watched this, you need to start from the beginning and if you have the time and the means, we highly recommend it.
The nominations also gave Julia Louis-Dreyfus her 14th Emmy nomination, the most ever for an actress, passing Lucille Ball.
Is the lady we know as Elaine Benes the best comedy actress in TV history?
— The Jim Tressel era at THE Ohio State continues to take dents. News came out yesterday from Oakland Raiders camp that back-up quarterback Terrelle Pryor admitted he never knew how to throw a football until this offseason. Uh, Coach Tressel, what were you guys doing from 4-6 during fall afternoons? Knitting?
— Jason Giambi hit a pinch-hit, walk-off homer Monday night. At 42, he becomes the oldest player to do that, passing Hank Aaron. Any time you pass Hank Aaron, well, that's a good thing.
— We're weighing the best, so let's try to rank David Ortiz' dugout explosion on the bullpen phone last weekend. We're all in agreement that George Brett racing from the dugout after the pine tar homer was the best baseball outburst, right? From there, where does Big Papi's Big Tantrum rank?
— Baseball is bound and determined to make A-Rod go away. We don't care, just do something. Regardless of what happens now, A-Rod's a joke.
Hey, we've had an impromptu "Best of..." run today.
So let's finish the drill with a new 5-at-10 feature, "Answered and Asked."
We'll toss out a "Best of..." question and everyone is welcomed to toss out their answer. Then you follow it with asking a "Best of..." question. Deal? Deal.
We'll start here:
"The Best college football atmosphere?"
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 ...