published Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

5-at-10: Urkel's revenge, Braves' roll and the loose lips mean pink slips Rushmore

Gang, remember Friday's mailbag. We have a few open spots.

And we turned our head and Tuesday was a super-sneaky busy day in sports news. We're even going to take a break from our LeBron talk for a day — you're welcome JMC and OG. We'll preview the series tomorrow and may even get a special pretend guest to break down the two teams.

From the "Talks too much" studios, today's theme show will paraphrase Urkel's catch phrase — did we do that?

Did the Braves do that again?

Atlanta beat the Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings with a walk-off gapper from Andrelton Simmons. (Side note: Simmons first name is sneaky hard to pronounce. Ask Joe Simpson.)

It was a classically dichotic win for your Braves. (Side note, II: Did you hear we got Chipper Jones as the BoP speaker. Get your tickets here. Sorry for the shameless plug, but with an announcement this late, we need to keep the word out there.)

Anyhoo, about the Braves' win Tuesday, it was emotional and satisfying. It also was head-scratching and cause for concern.

As our man Spy has frequently expressed, there has to be doubt about this Braves' offense — a group that struck 12 more times Tuesday and failed to execute a sacrifice bunt in the decisive 10th inning. But, there were silver linings, too. The Braves scored four runs with two outs — a two-run double by Freddie Freeman, who may be the best Braves hitter since Chipper (who is coming to Best of Preps, by the way); a two-run homer by B.J. Upton. Dan Uggla made an appearance, getting two hits and two walks and scoring twice (he also had a strikeout for the 12th consecutive game). Jason Heyward had two hits. Yes, that Jason Heyward.

Heck even the injury-riddled bullpen was solid.

Still, this Braves bunch wins, even if it's in unconventional and, at times, confounding ways.

Is the Braves' glass half full or half empty? Well, considering they are 14 games over .500, it may have more liquid in there than that, so let's flip the age-old, half-full, half-empty question of perception. Is the Braves glass that's 3/4 filled with Sprite...

A) a tasty beverage as Jules would say... Look at the big brain on Brad;

B) There's a hole in the cup and it is slightly leaking Sprite to the point that the bugs are coming;

C) It's just a Sprite; an above average beverage that could get into the playoffs of fast-food beverages but has little chance against the Cokes (Cardinals) or Unsweet Teas (Giants) of the world.

Discuss.

———

Did they do that steroid thing?

Of course they did. Some slick-haired guy with a slick sounding name who is the head of some designer drug outfit has decided to cooperate with MLB and name names of the guys who bought products from his PED clinic.

  • photo
    New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is interviewed in this Sept. 24, 2012, file photo before batting practice prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. Rodriguez will make more this year than all the Houston Astros combined _ a lot more. A-Rod's $29 million salary tops the major leagues for the 13th straight season, according to a study of major league contracts by The Associated Press.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Among those mentioned were Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun by ESPN's OTL report. (Side note: ESPN's T.J. Quinn is the Woodward or Bernstein of baseball steroids investigation. Seriously.)

A-Rod, who famously mentioned his "cousin" a few years ago when divulging he unknowingly took PEDs was directly named by the steroids dealer, who reportedly said he injected A-Rod.

Baseball reportedly is seeking a 100-game suspension for those that are being rumored.

It would shut the case on A-Rod's rep as a world-class goofball. It also would raise serious questions about the future of Bud Selig's tenure atop baseball, since Braun plays for the Brewers — the team the Selig family owns — and he had a failed PED test overturned in February of last year on appeal. It was something that raised eyebrows then, and will be the talk of conspiracies and string-pulling now that Braun is a central name in the Biogenesis stuff.

———

Recruiting hijinks

From the category of "They didn't do anything about it," in typical fashion the NCAA has missed the forest because of all the pretty trees.

The NCAA's overhaul of its rule book — a process that has been started and stopped more times than the lil' 5-at-10 in a game of 'Red Light, Green Light' (underrated game by the way) — got bogged dow in the number of texts and minute details that make little since and hardly needed addressing.

They focused on the meaningless while the rest of the system is mired in confusion and chaos.

The most recent trend is high school recruits signing letters of intent and changing their minds before they ever set foot on campus. This happened this week with five-star defensive line prospect Eddie Vanderdoes, who signed with Notre Dame last February but has announced he's going to enroll at UCLA. FSU signee Matthew Thomas, a five-star linebacker, is reportedly wanting to go somewhere else, too.

Several schools have reportedly reached out to Notre Dame to not release Vanderdoes from his signed letter of intent, which means he can go to UCLA but can not play this coming year — he can get a scholarship and practice, just not play in the games.

While we could go all side-tracked on the things the NCAA needs to do (and we likely will around lunch), we will say this: While 18-year-olds changing their minds about pretty much anything is normally as newsworthy as kids riding bikes, this has major repercussions in what has become the billion-dollar business that is college football recruiting and the coverage of it.

Think of it this way: The hysteria and passion that the "recruit-niks" have around signing day will fade drastically if signing day is ceremonial and non-binding, and you then have to wait it out through the spring and summer. It would become too painful.

———

This and that

— Did they do that? The Atlanta Hawks apparently are being charged with tampering by reaching out to Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. First, we're happy to see the Hawks front office is still breathing and taking calls. Second, it would be soooooo Atlanta Hawksish to have the cap room and the interest to actually become relevant, but to be unable to do it because of a potential tampering violation. Somewhere Tree Rollins weeps.

— Did you know they were that good? Wow, Oklahoma's softball team may be one of the best ever. And for all the hubbub we made about Brittney Griner being the best women's hoopster, how about that Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma's pitcher/designated player? Ricketts' senior season may be one of the best college seasons ever, regardless of sport. She went 35-1 as a pitcher with five no-hitter and an ERA near 1.00. She hit almost .400, with 15 homers and drove in 60 runs — including all four of the Sooners' runs in the clinching 4-0 win Tuesday night over Tennessee.

  • photo
    Chattanooga Lookout Yasiel Puig goes through his pre-batting routine in this April 18, 2013, file photo.
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— He did it again? After getting a hit in his first MLB at-bat and ending the game by making a rocket throw from the outfield, Yasiel Puig was even better in game two of his big-league career with the Dodgers. The former Lookouts outfielder hit two homers and a double to drive in five runs in L.A.'s 9-7 win over San Diego. He got 10 total bases on nine pitches. You can't hide talent.

— Did he switch positions? Everyone's favorite all-time worst NFL draft pick JaMarcus Russell apparently has a try out with the Chicago Bears on Friday. Not sure if he is going as a defensive lineman or a QB, but either way, we think the odds are long Ol' Purple Drank will find his way back in the league.

———

Today's question (Did he say that?)

We're not a big Gordon Gee fan.

Gee is a well-educated guy — he has been the president/chancellor of Brown and Vandy before taking over at THE Ohio State — and made some dumb jokes that ultimately cost him his job. He's not the first — and certainly not the last to fall into that club.

  • photo
    In this July 12, 2007, file photo, Gordon Gee speaks after being named Ohio State University's 14th president during a news conference in Columbus, Ohio. Gee is retiring as of July 1 following the revelation of recorded remarks in which he criticized Notre Dame, Roman Catholics and the Southeastern Conference.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

In fact, we had some lively debate about the boundaries/circumstances/double intentions of Free Speech earlier in the week, and while Gee's insults about Catholics, were not mentioned, the right to be stupid and careless is also protected by the first amendment. (The right to keep a high-profile and high-paying job after saying dumb and hurtful things, however, is not protected, so this is more tangental than targeted in regard to the Bill of Rights.)

Still, Gee's name is the latest to fall into the "loose lips = pink slips" club. Does he crack the Al Campanis Rushmore — guys who lost the most by making stupid and offensive comments?

Campanis, the namesake is there for saying black players didn't have the "necessities to be a field manager or general manager," which cost him his job as the Dodgers' GM and his lifelong career in baseball.

So is Mel Gibson. Howard Cosell, maybe? Who else you got, and does Gordon Gee belong in the discussion.

Discuss and remember the mailbag.

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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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.
chas9 said...

AU point shaving? Say it ain't so, Varez.

Our Bravos have the largest division lead in MLB at seven games. After struggling with one of the most competitive divisions in recent years, this one could be wrapped up early.

Tip o' the softball cap to the strong Weekleys and the Lady Vols.

Heard a national common tater say today that Gee had insulted the entire SEC, especially Louisville. I knew there had been rumors...

June 5, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.
chas9 said...

There was a golf common tater who said women couldn't play golf because their mammary protuberances got in the way.

John Rocker was never the same after his loose talk.

Not-quite Presidents Rick Perry and Mitt Romney had their serious slips.

And the champ: Marge Schott.

June 5, 2013 at 10:29 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Shoot! Chase beat me to the punch.

Rocker should be uno-numero on anyone's Rushmore regarding said topic. Ironically, I was still with WDEF the very morning the "said comments" about people on the New York Number 7 subway first came out. I remember both Will Farrell's Weekend Update parody on Rocker as well as Tim Wilson's now classic song which I have on CD.

Oh, almost forgot, Jenny Moise's (from CNN fame) famous bit where she actually took a copy of said article with said comments just to see how accurate Rocker's protrayal was (He was spot-on in some areas to say the least). I don't really have a major rushmore on this (I could use the two knuckleheads who slammed Tiger with the fried chicken comments but we've already done that). One I could add would be Dog: The Bounty Hunter (The show that basically destoryed A&E) after his proficient use of the N-word in a conversation about his son.

Side note, domo aragaotou on the LeBron love-fest for today. :D

Speaking of LeB, unless the Hawks land the next Jordan, Bird, LeBron or even the next Phil Jackson or Pat Riley, and news coming from that office is going to be met with a big, wide yawn. The opening of "Garden Ridge" (we have them like kudzu down here in Texas) in Chattanooga is bigger news than anything to do with the Hawks.

Regarding the PED scare, I didn't pick up a DMN, but if you go to dallasnews.com, the "top local story" as Kevin West would say, is our own Nelson Cruz is starring down the barrel of said 100 game suspension. If that happens, it would be a serious crack on an otherwise shakey foundation in Ron Washington's camp.

http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/06/report-biogenesis-founder-to-cooperate-with-mlb-rangers-cruz-others-could-face-100-game-suspensions.html/

NCAA Rule Book

The US Tax Codes will be reduced to three pages before the NCAA gets their adminstrative act together. I do admit though 18 year olds can change their minds all they want, but come February 2nd or 3rd, once you sign that letter, it's the same as a contract or a lease. You break that lease or contract, there will be penalities.

June 5, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

First off the NCAA and the stuff with Vanderdoes...sticky wicket indeed, first off if there were not so many recruiting GEEKS, and the world wide leader who has made such a spectacle of signing day, i.e. Vonn Bell, interesting it was never reported that up to 90% of those in attendance (fans) that morning who were wearing clorox orange walked out the moment the words THE Ohio State were uttered and kind words were not spoken about young Bell by those bearing the roadside trash pick up colors...perhaps if recruiting were not what it has become things like this might not be so prevalent...

The Weekley's are to be commended for the job the did this season, but for those of us are follow the sport, realize that this OU team might very well be the best team in WCWS history, as much love is given to the Lady Vols, let those fans also remember that despite the record of this past season, our Lady Mocs are still considered one of the better programs in NCAA...Remember not that long ago, they were one win away from the Super Regionals

In a word Gee is an IDIOT...but that anti catholic sentiment does exist...was obvious in the lead up to the BCS game...very offensive jokes made by Bama fans regarding the Catholic faith..

Congrats to Puig, great start to his big league career, and he can forget about those lunatics who felt his little traffic escapade here in river city deserved some sort of punishment from the team

Campanis is of course the leader add in Jimmy The Greek, Cosell, John DA Rocker and Marge Schott

MLB suspends players for PED usage...SAY IT AINT SO JOSE, SAY IT AINT SO!!!! Maybe we can forever rid the Yankees of A-Rod, he will never be a true Yankee...Want to bet he DOESNT get his number retired???

THANK YOU JG FOR REFRAINING FROM LEBRON TODAY...MUCH OBLIGED LOL

June 5, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Yeah, I left out the words "ex-nay" in regards to the LeBron lovefest holiday. I forgot about Marge Schott (even though she's referenced in the Tim Wilson song mentioned above).

June 5, 2013 at 11:31 a.m.
Todd962 said...

"And then I asked myself the question that only people who are black out drunk and Steve Urkel can ask themselves....Did I do that?"

I will always remember going to the Monday Lookouts game after Puig's speeding incident the previous day. Got my program because, well, "ITS ONLY 25 CENTS!!!", as she so plainly states. Doing a little light reading on his player bio and get a chuckle that it even stated in there he had some off field discipline issues, incredible foreshadowing by the program people. Then, imagine my surprise when he was announced to be coming to the plate to bat, "what kind of disciplinary system does this team have, questionable to let him play after....", Home run, "oooohhh...well that makes sense." Then he followed that up with driving in the winning run in extra innings. I then supported their decision to give him a pass. I hope he can maintain his meteoric rise into the big leagues and leave the childish things behind him.

UnsweAt tea is the tea that I always prefer, and for that matter, none of my beverages are preferred with sweat. Now if you meant unsweet tea over sweetened? What part of Georgia are you from? Blasphemy.

Red light, green light tis a good'un. Its no Red Rover, but after they banned that game due to all the snapped forearms and clothes lined decapitations, its understandable to pass on it. Innocent violence at its best.

June 5, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

We have breaking news! Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia's favorite draft dodging son, has made the rushmore regarding today's topic. ::golf clap:: Brilliant!

June 5, 2013 at 12:42 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

It's SEC hoops. If they shaved points in the forest and no bookie was there to hear it, did it make a sound? We say no... and lay the points for our entertainment marker.

Nice list of lip-slippers, and yes, the Weeklys have done work.

JMC —

Losing Nelson Cruz would hurt, but right now you have to have a lot of faith in the Rangers organization (which is not exactly a sentiment that has stood the test of time), considering the personnel decisions they made in recent years.

OG —

You guys are welcome from the LeBron break.

We'll make up for it tomorrow.

That said, OG, your four of Campanis, the Greek, Rocker and Schott is strong. We'll replace Gibson — dude was the biggest star in La-La land before his diatribe — for Rocker, since lack of pitching control cost Rocker more than lack of speech control.

962 —

From the innocent violence files, we'll see your Red Rover, raise you a battleball (dodgeball, whatever), and go all in with BB Gun tag.

We were raised in Smyrna, by golly. And we found that just about everyone made sweet tea with too much sweet.

In fact we started drinking unsweet about the time we moved way up North to Chattanooga.

Whatcha' got?

— 5-at-10

June 5, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
chas9 said...

And if the category was folks who say dumb things and get away with it, Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan would be on the honor role. Rush says dumb things and gets paid handsomely for it, though he lost his NFL gig for a pretty mild observation about Donovan McNabb.

June 5, 2013 at 1:23 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay,

Agreed on the business decisions from up top. My point though is the fact while we're A LOT more stable in the bullpen then the Bravos (thanks to Yuu & Co.) we don't exactly have a fully-stocked selection of "hot bats". Elvis, Nelie, and Ian have pretty much been doing the heavy lifting so if any one of those is out for an extended period of 100 games, there would be potential struggle for the remainder of the season.

June 5, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Bottle rocket wars. My brother shot me one time Forest Gump style, directly in the buttocks, felt like something jumped up and bit me. Is it sheer luck or superior aim when your brother shoots a bottle rocket up your shorts and it leaves a blackened crater on your rump?

Why it ever seemed like a good idea to ride around shooting fireworks out of your car, I'll never know, but... had a friend riding in my back seat one time and unbeknownst to myself, he lit a bottle rocket and set the fuse over the lip of the window with the fuse on the outside of the car.... it burned til it dropped back into our vehicle and there were several tense moments as we rolled down Kingston Pike in Knoxville with a small explosive careening around the interior. Brilliance disguises it's self in many ways, this was not one of them...

June 5, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

No doubt Rush got sacked for a rather mild critique of Donovan McNabb. Something tells us, though, that Rush may have been a touch hard to deal with off camera. (Although Chris Berman still works up there, so they are obviously used to that.)

JMC —

Never want to lose one of your elite hitters, but the Rangers have stocked and re-stocked, considering their record after losing their top starting pitcher two years ago and their top hitter before this year and they still are playing better than .600 baseball.

962 —

Bottle rockets > or < roman candle wars. We say bottle rockets < roman candles, although we were fortunate never to be tagged by either.

As for your brother's aim, is he a sniper now? If the answer is "Nope, he works at BlueCross (or where ever) we say luck. If the answer is, "Yes, he is a sniper, consider yourself lucky that you're still Todd962 and not Tonya962.

Another way brilliance is not camouflaged — using similar cups for your drink and your spit cup while driving. Not good times, because it only takes grabbing the wrong one once — in either direction — to spoil things.

June 5, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

And just as I try to find the Braves game on an illicit interweb feed, Brandon Inge done broked up the no-no.

June 5, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

You jinxed it.

June 5, 2013 at 2:48 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Jay, you are to be commended for your choice of A-Rod photos for this installment of the five-at-ten. Some things still make my skin crawl, and those shots of Rodriguez staring lustily at himself in a mirror, not to mention the one in which he kisses himself, are near the top of the list of things that just creep me out. Thanks for the selective editing. Big egos are not uncommon in professional sports. A-Rod is a different creature all together. Hey Alex, Narcissus just called and he said you need to bring it down a couple of notches.

And on the subject of goofball baseball players, John Rocker has been mentioned a few times here today. I ran into Rocker at Harrah's Casino in New Orleans on New Year's Eve 2002. He's a weird guy even by NOLA standards. The thousand-mile stare. Twitchy head movements. He is always "bowed up" like he's looking to fight. To quote Hank Hill: "That boy ain't right."

June 5, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Grateful Dawg —

We think the more we can quote Hank, the better.

You're physical description of Rocker is aces. A friend of a friend is tight with Rocker, and we have seen him out a couple of times back in the day. Shirt was always untucked and he always had "bowed up" look as you called it.

And the crazy thing about A-Rod is he is world-class narcissistic and still world-class sensitive. Hey, Goof, pick an emotional shortcoming and go, huh? It's tough to burn both ends of the emotionally fragile at both ends, huh?

June 5, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I coulda stopped at Hooters and watched it on TV there. But noooo ... I had to go to Baldino's and get to the office and then try to watch it.

You kids get off my lawn!

P.S.: Does Andre Ethier=Bump Bailey? Just askin.

June 5, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.
chas9 said...

Amen on quoting HH. How about a Hank Hill themed 5@10 some day?

June 5, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

The guy who set up my IRA years ago knew Rocker's dad. Said the acorn didn't fall far from the tree.

June 5, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - ready for football. How much longer? For the mailbag. What's your Rushmore of international sports events that you'd like to attend in person? Put me down for the running of the bulls in Spain, the Tour de Fance when the riders are in the Alps, a World Cup soccer game in S America (preferably in Brazil), and an Australian Rules football game down under (miss the Sunday am games broadcast on ESPN 25 years ago). Thanks and love the 5 at 10.

June 5, 2013 at 8:55 p.m.
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