published Monday, July 28th, 2014

5-at-10: NASCAR greatness, Hall of Famers and who won the weekend

Gang, hope the weekend treated you as you deserved.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let the game begin.

Football in the air

NFL camps have opened — and yes, Johnny Football has already been scolded by management in Cleveland.

Prep football practice starts today in Tennessee — check back to timesfreepress.com for live updates from Stephen Hargis' prep tour and we're going to try to get him on the phone sometime today in mid-tour.

College practice starts this week.

It's here. It's happening.

Here's our schedule:

Tomorrow, talking points for UT. Wednesday, we'll cover UTC. Thursday we'll go around the SEC.

But any question you want covered, send it along, whether we handle it in our pre-practice previews or in the mailbag.

We'll do high school stuff closer to the start of the season, and there's a ton of time for the NFL, right.

Still, with August on the horizon, it's here.

————

Baseball Hall pass

  • photo
    National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Tom Glavine, left, Bobby Cox and Greg Maddux, right, hold their plaques after an induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A simply great class of Hall of Famers were inducted in Cooperstown on Sunday. Cool event, and a cool moment, that turned into a Georgia reunion in a lot of ways.

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox — along with contemporaries Joe Torre, who played for the Braves, and Tony LaRussa — along with former Braves greats Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux — and Frank Thomas, who was born in Columbus, Ga. — were added to the roles of the Hall of Fame. Our TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer nails the moment from the Braves perspective here.

It was an enjoyable day of speeches and stories and the back-to-the-future mind can't help but wonder if we'll ever see a rotation as good as the Braves had in the 1990s with three sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famers and an assortment of B-to-B-plus guys like Avery, Millwood and more pitching in the Nos. 4 and 5 spots.

It also painfully reminds the game of the names and numbers left on the curb, especially since no manager got more benefits from known steroid using players than LaRussa, who had the Bash Brother A's and was with the Cardinals during Mark McGwire's homer chase in 1998.

And in part to cut the number of tries some of those associated and mired in the Steroid Era of baseball, the hall changed the rules so now players only get 10 years on the ballot. Here's Buster Olney's view on it.

We're OK with that rule change. in fact, we believe it could be even fewer chances. We think you could cut it to two or three years on the ballot and there'd be very little lost. For some reason, there is a small pack of Hall of Fame voters who will not vote for someone on the first ballot. (A fact that will be supremely tested in five years when Derek Jeter's name is on the ballot, by the way.)

We disagree with the theory that no one deserves to be a unanimous selection (And saying that Babe Ruth was not so no one should be is so stale; yes, we believe Babe to be deserving of 100 percent of the vote, but because one voting group made a mistake, does that mean we need to repeat it every year? No, it's not like Nixon got re-elected... wait a second. Bad example.) That said, we can see the honor of giving a select few a first-ballot inclusion as an honor. But after two-to-three years on the ballot — and no more than five — the only thing that has changed in a player's candidacy is his competition in the voting pool.

Jim Rice of Jim Kaat or even James T. Kirk are no more deserving of being in the Hall simply because some years have passed and the other names on the ballot are watered down after years of voting.

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NASCAR all-timer

  • photo
    Jeff Gordon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Sunday, July 27, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard on Sunday. It was his fifth win at the historic track that also hosts the Indy 500.

He also won this race 20 years, and he's a week or so from turning 43. He is third in points and has 14 top-10 finishes this year, tied with Dale Jr. for the most.

It's also time to say it: He's on the Rushmore of NASCAR drivers. It's Petty, Dale Sr., Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

Period.

That is all, and it seems that the divide will only grow when the totality of Gordon's career is measured against history. Especially when you consider that Gordon's career overlapped Dale Sr. going guns blazing and Jimmie Johnson dominating.

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This and that

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' B.J. Upton (2) and Tommy La Stella (7) are congratulated at home plate by teammate Ryan Doumit (4) after scoring on a Chris Johnson double to right field against the San Diego Padres during their game, Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— The Braves rolled Sunday, collecting almost a month's worth of two-out RBIs in an 8-3 win over San Diego. Atlanta knocked in six runs with two outs and went 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position — two categories that have stagnated the offense for most of the season. The Braves are 1.5 games back of Washington and tied with San Francisco atop the NL wildcard standings.

— While the baseball Hall of Fame is an exclusive club, apparently saying you're the best cornerback in he NFL is not so selective. Dee Milliner, the former Alabama star and current Jets defensive back now says he's the best corner in the game. Well, swell. What's that? Jomo thinks he's the best corner in the game too? Awesome.

— Ouch-standing for Mr. Jimmy Furyk, who had a three-shot lead entering Sunday's final round of the Canadian Open. Furyk shot 69 but Tim Clark passed him with a 65 to win. The stinger leaves Furyk 0-for-7 when holding the 54-hole lead since his last win in 2010.

— From the way-downtown-bang files: Check this goal some dude scored against Man United from his side of the field. Wow, this guy would AWE-some in kickball.

Today's question

Who won the weekend?

Lots of choices, the Hall of Fame guys or Jeff Gordon or a few others. The Chattanooga FC deserves a mention, 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 ...

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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.
ordinaryguy said...

As I commented on Weeds story...add LaRussa to the list of former Bravos...he played there for one season

July 28, 2014 at 10:03 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Period? No, not period. JG you are obviously a bit too new school on this NASCAR stuff. David Pearson has to be on your list. He is second overall all time in wins with 105 to Richard Petty's 200. Gordon is still 15 behind David. David also had 3 driving championships. Don't take anybody off, but just add a fifth Beatle to the band. Shoutout to the late great Billy Preston there for you youngsters.

Also, you gotta give David Pearson some big ol Chattanooga love for the car he drove at one point in his career:

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu210/johnevanich/1984Pearson.jpg

Speaking of JoMo11 and football, it seems Mrs JoMo11 and Mrs MocTastic had a football punt/pass/and kick competition Friday night at UTC. I am not sure how Mrs JoMo11 did, but I do know that Mrs MT won the event. Maybe JoMo11 can teach the Mrs some soccer moves.

Dee Milliner? Huh? I remember reading that the NY Jets held him out of some games because they feared he was getting burned so bad he would lose his confidence.

http://www.abc27.com/story/23835349/jets-rex-ryan-struggling-dee-milliner-will-be-top-rookie-cb

Thinking Dee needs a big ol slice of Humble Pie.

Speaking of Humble Pie, any of yall also at the Humble Pie concert in Memorial Auditorium in Dec of 1972?

Furyk didn't lost the tournament Sunday, Tim Clark won it.

Who won the weekend?

The Braves won it with the induction of Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux. Factor in also that Joe Torre was a Braves signee and played for the Braves in the majors, then managed them in the 1980s. Tony Larussa also played for the Braves. Frank Thomas while never being a Brave, is from Georgia......

July 28, 2014 at 10:21 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

For Wednesday Jay-

Dumb question but seems to be a cause for concern: Is Davis Tull basically suppose to lead/carry the whole defense or have the coaches picked out some people to help pick up the slack?

What intel is coming from the strength and conditioning coaches? I'm not expecting the team to be built like Dwayne Johnson in Hercules but at least not suck wind the first day.

July 28, 2014 at 11:44 a.m.
MocTastic said...

A Struggla update...with the SF Giants he is 0 for 8 with 4 Ks and three errors....

http://nesncom.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dan-uggla.gif?w=560&h=300

July 28, 2014 at 2:09 p.m.
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