published Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

5-at-10: Braves, NBA, contracts and Rushmore of comebacks

Gang, remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios...

Braves

Man, this bunch is fun.

And hey, look across your workplace or wherever you may be and smile at someone. Ask how they are doing. Practice a random act of kindness, because we're the kinder-gentler 5-at-10.

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' Dan Uggla, right celebrates with his teammates after he hit a grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 14, 2014, in Philadelphia. Atlanta won 9-6.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Deep breaths...

Way to go Dan Uggla. A ninth-inning grand slam that provided the difference in a 9-6 win that featured more mood swings that a poorly scheduled monthly bridge club.

So, now that the Braves have our attention, here's a regular feature that we'll present on the South's baseball club.

The good, bad and Uggla.

The good — Ervin Santana has been aces. Aces. Dude is

The bad — The bullpen was shredded, turning an easy Santana win with a debacle of an eighth inning. To make matters worse, we now get news that closer Craig Kimbrel's shoulder needs rest. That's no good. That's bad.

The Uggla — Dan the Man went 2-for- 4 with two homers, five RBIs and a walk. It was likely his best game in two-plus years.

————

NBA

We have survived the marathon. We have arrived at the doorstep of the end of the regular season. Hooray. Chips and cheese dip for everyone.

Here's what we know:

• The West as a whole is far, Far, FAR better. And Downtown Patrick Brown's Grizzlies clinched the final playoff spot behind 32 points from Zach Randolph. Memphis is 49-32 with a game left and will have the No. 8 seed. In the East with the same record, the Grizz would be the No. 3 seed. Crazy.

• How deep is the West? Well, since Nos. 7 and 8 seeds Dallas and Memphis play Wednesday night to close the regular season, there will be seven of the eight playoff teams with 50 wins. Wow.

  • photo
    United States basketball player Kevin Durant arrives to watch a women's beach volleyball match between USA and Austria.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• We know that Miami conceded the No. 1 seed in the East to Indiana since they sat LeBron and Bosh last in a loss to Washington.

• We know that barring a massive upset Kevin Durant will be the MVP. He will not get to the 50-40-90 plateau of efficiency excellence, but he's 31.9 points a night leads the league and he's at 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists.

———

Contracts and money

On this tax day, let's tip our cap to some of the money milestones in sports.

Catfish Hunter was the first seven-figure athlete.

Bobby Hull was the first to sign a multi-million-dollar contract.

Nolan Ryan was the first to sign a multi-million contract.

Now, the average baseball contract is between $3-4 million per year. Nuts. Nits we say.

How's this: Jack Nicklaus made about $120K for winning the 1986 Masters. Bubb made $1.62 million on Sunday for winning his second green jacket.

Amen and pass the check book.

———

This and that

— The Conz added a 7-foot-1 center in Kingsley Okoroh. UT needed front court help, considering Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes are gone. And considering that when Maymon was wheezing at times this year, the Vols had few options. Kids that are 7-1 are good options.

— The WNBA draft was last night. Hey, we love the draft. You know this. But we do not love the draft that much.

— In this AJC blog there is mention that Kadeem Wise former UTC cornerback is working out for the Falcons. We believe Kadeem can play in the league.

— Happy Birthday, Bessie Smith. And thanks for the Strut. Also, it's Da Vinci's birthday too. Thanks for the Code.

———

  • photo
    United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Today's question

Michael Phelps is coming back.

We believe this to be a less than good idea. We also believe Mr. Phelps may need the check. We have spoken to Mr. Phelps — he needs to make as much money being Mr. Phelps as possible, and that window of it being profitable being Mr. Phelps is tight.

So it goes.

Here's our Rushmore: What's your Rushmore of worst individual comebacks?

Go.

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...

Uggla wasn't ugly and Freddie's no Freeloader.

Baseball Insider Jon Heyman has Justin Upton at the TOP of his MLB stock watch this week. Upton is 11 for 14 in his last four games with four homers and nine RBI. He's earning both Upton paychecks just now. Any arguments?

WC-S will give up $1.8 million to spend another year as BMOC. Marlene Stein explained, "Honestly, Willie is Willie.

Here's hoping he continues to block shots, to develop consistency, and to shock us with his fashion choices. He had 106 blocks this (shortened) year. Another 102 will make him UK's all-time blocks leader. Against Gawga this year he had six blocks and six steals. That's ballin'.

UK could have a tallest-ever front line next year: 7-foot Cauley-Stein, 7-foot Dakari Johnson and 7-foot Karl Towns Jr. Can 6-10 Trey Lyles and 6-9 Marcus Lee handle backcourt duties? Kingsley Okoroh better bring it.

UConn has beaten Kentucky three times in The Big Dance. But Marquette did it six times. And though we hate Dook, UAB has the same number of tourney wins over The Cats, two.

No SEC players were taken in the WNBA draft until #24 and then five players in a row were SEC--Vandy, UK, UT, LSU and Mizzou. Kentucky's Stallworth was #25 and Tennessee's Simmons was #26.

Michael Phelps is taking down his speedo off the shelf and dusting it off. What's your Rushmore of athletes who retired and then came back strong?

Will The Vols' new giant be the SEC's first Kingsley?

April 15, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Armegeddon is definitely here. . .Uggla with 2 HRS, Some of Kentucky's one-and-doners are staying for anther year, Nick Saban was pictured smiling with the women's gymnastic team, Bubba Watson celebrates Masters at Waffle House, Grizzles make the playoffs, UTK wins an SEC football game oh er I forgot that was an intra-squad game. . .oh well

April 15, 2014 at 10:54 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Jordan is on both lists.

His first comeback was awesome. His second, well, not so much.

Jomo —

Yes, a strange day indeed. We'll even spend Press Row complimenting Danny Boy. It will be tough — and we'll need a shower afterward — but so it goes.

April 15, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Jomo, just because the Vols showed no D, marginal quarterbacks made throws we will not see in the SEC, while coached by a man I have yet to buy into, doesn't mean you can disparage Tennessee, not yet anyway. I'm waiting for the test against Utah State to blow ballast tanks and begin spleen venting in earnest.

The crop of receivers like shiny pennies floating in a defensive vacuum does not engender confidence. Someone will be eventually be tasked to throw to that crew in a game. This is where I believe the entire scheme falls apart.

April 15, 2014 at 1:20 p.m.
MocTastic said...

twitter reporting Cuonzo Martin to California...

so Cuonzo is Gonezo!

April 15, 2014 at 1:21 p.m.
jomo11 said...

So who do the UTK Vols want for a new Basketball Coach ?

April 15, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Pearl has been hired at Auburn, why not bring back Don DeVoe. UTK fans seem to live in the past....

Expect to see Jon Gruden mentioned also...I know, he doesn't coach football, they just lust after him after him at UTK.

April 15, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.
jomo11 said...

IF and that is a BIG IF, Dave Hart is smart, he will use the truck load of money to try and persuade Gregg Marshall, however considering UTK turned Marshall down twice he may not be interested. Look for the usual suspects like Shaka Smart ( who will turn them down ) Archie Miller, Bob Hoffman, Donnie Tyndall. Mike White, and maybe even Richard Pitino and Bryce Drew's names to pop up. . .the best would be Tad Boyle

April 15, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Add Ben Howland to your list jomo11.

April 15, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Just a few more days until the playoffs begin and LeBron will begin his quest for a third (out of a predicted 8) championship with the Heat. Will D-Wade get back to full strength for the entire playoffs? Will the Pacers snap back into their winning ways? Will the Spurs take advantage of total home court and get revenge for what happened last year? Will the Thunder ride on the back of this year's presumed MVP and get back to the Finals?

Lots of questions to be answered as the fun begins this weekend. And be prepared to hear about the "principle of verticality" on more than one occasion when watching the Pacers. Mr. Hibbert is the best in the BID-ness at taking advantage of the rule that allows him to legally make contact with drivers so long as he goes straight up on the play.

Jay, for the Friday bag, what are your round-by-round predictions for the playoffs? And who are your season-award winners? Didn't you pick Durant to win MVP? That is looking really good right now.

April 15, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.
jomo11 said...

UTK might even hire Tyler Summitt . . . .but I agree, UTK fans will want to interview Gruden, no question. . . .or just really build up the hate and go after Bob McKillop, although in all seriousness McKillop would be better than anyone they hire

April 15, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.
jgreeson said...

So, what did we miss?

Here's our short list of potential names that will be floated.

Concur with MT that Gruden will 'kick the tires' and then say he's not interested. Fulmer will offer no comment.

Jomo's usual suspects will be floated, but he's right. It will cost BIG money for Marshall, and even they he may say no. Smart turned down UCLA couple of years ago, so we don't think he'd be interested.

We'd add Howland, MT, and love the idea of Richard Pitino in the league.

FE to the C —

That's a fair and measured assessment. Well played indeed sir.

April 15, 2014 at 1:49 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Could McKillop, or should I say, would McKillop recruit the type players he would need to recruit to be competitive in the SEC?

April 15, 2014 at 1:50 p.m.
MocTastic said...

No love for Buzz Peterson? BRING BACK THE BUZZ!

April 15, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Thats a good question on McKillop, also UTK fans would snub their nose at hiring a coach from Davidson, only because they are stupid. But, yes McKillop's national reputation would help him in recruiting. . . . alot of times recruiting is more about "where you are " than "who you are "

April 15, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Maybe Will Wade to UT? Chaos becomes Turbulence?

Is Brad Stevens still happy in Boston? If not, maybe lure him back into coaching college again? He may not be as fiery as what Orange Nation may be looking for in a new coach, but I think his record speaks for itself.

Jay, I have a second request for the Friday bag. There's talk already that college basketball will discuss more changes for the coming years. What are your thoughts on the following ideas that they have put on the table:

Reducing team timeouts, widening the lane, restricting coaches from calling live-ball timeouts, implementing a hard 10-second rule for crossing half-court (no reset due to a timeout), allowing the NBA continuation on fouls, no scoring on a charge call, reducing the shot clock to 30 or 24.

April 15, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Stewwie —

You can have both of those in the mailbag because each is excellent.

McKillop could not succeed against the Caliparis, Donovans, et al. of big-time college hoops because he would not get in the muck needed to go get the talent. Jimmys and Joes way more important than Xs and Os. Ask Mark Fox, Or Jeff Lebo. Or Tubby Smith. Or any of the other elite strategery guys that have struggled because they could not get enough blue chippers.

And, if McKillop's not getting an extra five calls a game, who knows how many more he losses.

April 15, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
MocTastic said...

and ...

Kingsley Okoroh‏@Kingokoroh·2 mins I announce my commitment to the University of California Berkeley. I'm very excited to be a BEAR !

April 15, 2014 at 2:07 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

I think the MBB programs at Davidson + Wichita have airplanes dedicated to their programs, so I do not see their coaches leaving for a job at a football school. [It is a debate for another time that UT is a FB school.]

I would like to see college BB played using international rules...same shot clock, 3 point line, etc.

Billy-In-Brainerd

April 15, 2014 at 2:17 p.m.
jomo11 said...

Greeson- You are completely wrong about McKillop not being able to compete with the "Great" SEC coaches, if there are any besides Cal and Donovan. McKillop could recruit with the name and power of Tennessee and the SEC, make no mistake. Thats like saying Bruce Pearl couldnt recruit because he came from Wisc-Milwakee, or Brad Stevens couldnt coach or recruit because he came from Butler. . .Im sure McKillop has had to bend a few rules along the way . . .Guy can flat out coach and would be the 3rd best in SEC if he was hired today. . . .doesnt matter, UTK will hire the latest "flavor of the month" Like an Archie Miller or Bob Hoffman or Pat Boyle, etc . . .dont see them thinking outside the box with someone like McKillop, Hart seems to like to win the "press conference" more than on the field or court

April 15, 2014 at 2:24 p.m.
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