published Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

5 at 10: Atlanta Braves, THE Open Championship and THE Ohio State University

Congrats to the National League, which secured home-field advantage in the World Series because of Prince Fielder's three-run homer in a 5-1 All-Star win Tuesday night. Yay. Yawn.

From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...



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    New York Mets relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez celebrates the final out in the Mets' 5-2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Monday, July 4, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Braves' wish list

The All-Star game is in the rear-view mirror. Your Atlanta Braves have the second-best record in the National League. Although there is an argument to be made that the Milwaukee Brewers may be the league's second-best team after getting former all-star closer Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets.

What lies ahead? Hard to know — and we'll cover that more in Thursday's TFP — but let's turn our attention to the names out there the Braves could try to make a move on to take this team from "Good-to-very good because of their dominant pitching" to "World championship contender." And you know what, it's been far too long since we had the almost-patented 5-in-10 (a top-five list in 10 words or less) by the 5-at-10.

Atlanta has immediate offensive needs at third and in the outfield. Let's remember that the Braves have been blessed with starting pitching, a valuable commodity that can make any GM at least pick up the phone and listen. Now does anyone want to part with a young stud starting pitcher like a Brandon Beachy or a Mike Minor, of course not. But the 5-at-10 has always believed that if you are in contention you have to play for the championship today, and if prospects are the price, so be it.

Hunter Pence, Houston outfielder: The Astros are gross; Pence is a stud.

Carlos Lee, Houston, outfielder: El Caballo ("the head" — great nickname) can still hit

Aramis Ramirez, Cubs third baseman: How much does Chipper have left

Yunel Escobar, Blue Jays shortstop: Kidding, AJ, kidding.

Jeff Francoeur, Royals, outfielder: Not kidding as much as you may be thinking



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    The crowd watches Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland's shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Friday, June 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

THE Open Championship

Don't forget about the "THE Open Championship contest that is so snobby we use all caps on THE THE just like THE Ohio State University." Pick five golfers and the final finish of each golfer will get that many points (for example: First place = 1 point; 12th place = 12 points, etc.) and the lowest score wins. Any golfer that misses the cut will be 100 points. One change this time, we'll throw out the highest-point player in each entry.

So submit five players and the top four count. The winner will get something involving some form of tickets or some other sports trinket.

So who you got, and as always we'll try to get some of the other media types in town to play along.

We'll post our list later this afternoon, but there is a better chance of SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor, after all) bad-mouthing UT football than the 5-at-10 leaving Rory McIlroy off our entry. Rory has routinely said all the right things so far.

Not to be harsh toward Zach Johnson or Trevor Immelman or Shaun Micheel and the rest of the crew of the modern-day one-major winners (winning one major would be awesome in its awesomeness), but Rory just has the look and the presence of a guy that is going to win at least a handful of major championships.

Here are the first round of entries (and there will be more throughout the day). Remember that the British Open starts at like 4 a.m. so the deadline is by midnight tonight. Enjoy.

EC — McIlroy, Westwood, Schwartzel, Kaymer and Oosthuizen

BIspy — Rory McIlroy, Steve Striker, Luke Donald, Jason Day, Jerry Kelly

SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all):Westwood, McIlroy, Paul Casey, J. Rose, Donald

SportTalk's Cowboy Joe (he's a cowboy after all): Westwood, McIlroy, Donald, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell

SportTalk's Quake: McIlroy, Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Donald





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    Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison returns an interception for a 100-yard touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. At right is Arizona Cardinals guard Reggie Wells. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Uh, James, can the rants wait until after July 21 please?

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has always been cut from a different cloth. Dude went undrafted and made himself and elite football player — he was the 2008 defensive player of the year — by becoming an absolute workout monster and playing with a noticeable absence of fear. He's a scary man in a league filled with scary men.

Dude also has a noticeable absence of common sense. And what is the modern-day standard for worst timing, because Harrison's soon-to-be published interview in the August edition of "Men's Journal" will definitely be on the short list.

With the players, owners and the league — led by commissioner Roger Goodell — working feverishly to end the lockout and ratify a deal by July 21, Harrison's comments will certainly turn some heads. And set some ears on fire. Here is a bit from the AP story: "If that man was on fire and I had to [p---] to put him out, I wouldn't do it," Harrison told the magazine. "I hate him and will never respect him." His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, "stupid," "puppet" and "dictator."

But wait, there's more. Also from the AP story:

"If the Steelers had defeated the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl, Harrison said, he would have whispered in Goodell's ear during the trophy ceremony: "Why don't you quit and do something else, like start your own league in flag football?"

Harrison also criticizes other NFL execs, Patriots-turned-commentators Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi ("clowns"), Houston's Brian Cushing ("juiced out of his mind") -- and even teammates Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger for their performances in the Super Bowl loss. Harrison questions whether a black player is punished more for a hard hit on a white player than the opposite."

Wow. Thanks for sharing James. Sir.



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    Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, front right, and his players. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

This and that

— Michael Irvin has come out to support gay athletes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Let's just move along.

— On a radio interview Tuesday, THE Ohio State University AD Gene Smith said "I never did anything incorrect or wrong." Talking with Mike Leach and Jack Arute on Sirius XM and reported by the website SportsbyBrooks, Smith said the recent scandal that cost Jim Tressel his head coaching job and has put THE OSU football program in the NCAA crosshairs, Smith said that a "small group" made some poor decisions and choices and "that they are ultimately paying a significant price." Smith also added that "I wake up every day knowing that I did the right thing relative to my job every single day." Among the great college football traditions — the Vol Navy, the Tiger Walk, the Grove, "Yellowhammer, visiting fans filling Vandy's stadium, et al. — where does "THE OSU head burying in the sand" rank?

— San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson has not shaved in a year. Seriously. His beard — which has become somewhat famous and frightening — has taken on a persona all its own. "Fear the Beard" is a common refrain in San Fran. Should we name that thing for him? Thoughts — other than there's no way Wilson is enjoying a plate of ribs without being hosed down afterward.



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    Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) breaks his bat as he bats in the eighth inning of baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Atlanta. The Braves won 4-3. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Today's question

As we speed toward baseball's unofficial second half, what are your predictions for the Braves in particular and baseball in general?

Discuss. And we better discuss it now because hold on to your seat Matilda, but the SEC media days start a week from today.

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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Eustice_Chase said...

So last night I was watching the All Star game...falling in and out of consicousness...The NL showed small pieces of greatness...some serious base-running...flashy throws across the Diamond...and good...no wait Excellent Pitching...with the Exception of one bad ball by Cliff(ord the big red dog)Lee...not bad NL..something tells me Bruce Bochy had a little talk with the NL guys..during pregame...dude sweat-locker room time...and he explained 3 things 1.the meaning of life 2.the importance of the equation..Brian Wilson + Beard= Winning (duh) and 3.haveing home field advantage in the World Series...I know I know not all of us agree that this is the best way to handle such a "big deal" but its the way it is so lets just agree to disagree...These NL players played with intensity that was unmatched by the Disabled List Exempt Players that made up the AL All Star team... a sidenote..while watching the game..i read a Tweet from Jay Mohr that read.."Joe Buck..are we keeping you from something?" and I couldnt agree more...this dude acted like he had a reservation at the Local Sizzler...Can we get Charlie Sheen and John Kruk for the next All Star Game... ???

Im sorry did I read that wrong..did you want to trade for Aramis Ramirez ??

If Dan Uggla can turn on his "Beast Mode" and J-Hey quits acting like a softy...these Braves have the fire power...if those guys dont show up...well Chances are a Team from the West..will win the Wild Card...

July 13, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Ok so a couple of guys here at work are having the following debate: One guy is absolutely beside himself cause Jeter was a no show last night. I've tried to convince him that in the grand scope of things....WHO CARES?!?! I could care less who shows up for that garbage!! Now if it was a play-off game or a World Series game then YES, I'd be griping too! But were talking about the ASG! I feel like AI....Practice! Were talkin about Practice!? How do you guys feel about the no shows?

July 13, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

They are voted in by the FANS...so i think if you are able to play..and not hurt..you should be there...I also think they should put the game on a date where EVERYONE could be available to play..like the situation with pitchers...they are only asking you to pitch an inning or two... so i think if they moved the game back in the week to allow those players rest...it would just make more sense...Tuesday Night ? Why not Thursday Night ?

July 13, 2011 at 11:44 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I sure do wish I could get an update on the Women's World Cup game..USA vs France... anybody out there care to help ?

July 13, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

USA up 1-0 at the intermission. Early, early goal. We had the company 3-on-3 hoops tournament at lunch, so the 5-at-10 has been outside on the blacktop for the last hour. Needless to say, I'm going to be the least popular person at the 1 p.m. meeting.

The Women's World Cup has been emotional and passionate and enjoyable.

The 5-at-10 thinks the players should show up barring real injury (and while we are huge, Huge, HUGE Jeter fans, dude should have been there). EC, agree completely about moving it back a day or two.

We'll be back around 2 p.m. — about an hour from now after we are the "stinky" guy in the meeting.

— 5-at-10

July 13, 2011 at 12:54 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

you should really be the patriotic too short shorts wearin guy in the meeting....

July 13, 2011 at 1:08 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Last Night could have been Jeter's night...had he wanted it that way..perhaps thats why he didnt come..because he knew he would be the storyline...or maybe Im just digging way to deep..

So what was your FG% in the 3on3 noon'skee-B-Ball Classic ?

July 13, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

5 at 10, I thought maybe you had let loose a stray 'bow or two in the game to free yourself up for a series of deep 3s.

July 13, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Breaking news: U-S-A, U-S-A — USA 3, France 1. Americans head to the Women's World Cup final.

Oso —

There are no John Stocktons in the 5-at-10 closet. The meeting is clear and we made sure we gave everyone plenty of room. Hat's off to the Old Spice deodorant.

EC —

Great point. It really could have been a great Jeter celebration for a great career and a great run as the game's ambassador. Heck, one of the guys even called him Mr. Baseball. Mr. Baseball does not skip being voted in by the fans. If he's too tired to play, fine. But at least show up, tip your cap, and be gracious. This is just so surprising because it's completely an anti-Jeter move. Maybe there is more to the story that we don't know.

As for the shooting percentage, well, the years (I'm a MAN! I'm 40!) have eroded some parts of the our game. But the shot's still there. First game, made five 3s as our team won 21-0. Second game made three 3s and a couple of put backs in a 21-11 win.

BIspy —

No bows needed. It was hot, dang hot, and if you made more than one pass, there were open shots a plenty. And we all know, the 5-at-10 has never met a shot we didn't like. Well except maybe a rabies shot.

Jerry Kelly? Really? What about Colin Montgomery and his Moobs? Sidenote: Monty and the Moobs would be a great name for a Def Leppard/Spinal Tap tribute band.

— 5-at-10

July 13, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I saw Monty and the Moobs open for Rush one night. I also saw the Black Crowes the night they got fired by ZZ Top as their opening act. Well, back in my hoops days, I was known as the Black Hole of south Georgia. You threw it to me and you weren't getting it back. I tried to watch the All Star Game last night but the feed on my TV (thanks to digital broadcasts and being in the office after three meetings that all started after 5 p.m.) kept fluttering in and out. Strangely, I don't think I really missed anything.

July 13, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

You did not miss much. Cecil Fielder's kid — Tubby, Pudgy, Duke, something strange — hit one out. Braves pitchers were nasty because, well, they are Braves pitchers. So it goes. (The 5-at-10 put the tots to bed and watched "Friday Night Lights" reruns. Great show. This is not for debate.)

Here are the updated entries for the "THE Open Championship contest that is so snobby we use all caps on THE THE just like THE Ohio State University."

EC — McIlroy, Westwood, Schwartzel, Kaymer and Oosthuizen

BIspy — Rory McIlroy, Steve Striker, Luke Donald, Jason Day, Jerry Kelly

SportTalk's Dr. B (he's a doctor after all):Westwood, McIlroy, Paul Casey, J. Rose, Donald


SportTalk's Cowboy Joe (he's a cowboy after all): Westwood, McIlroy, Donald, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell

SportTalk's Quake: McIlroy, Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Donald

McPell — McIlroy, Westwood, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, & Sergio Garcia

CelticVol — Steve Stricker, Justin Rose, Miguel Jimenez, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey

TFP golf writer David Uchiyama — Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington

TFP UT beat writer Patrick Brown — Rory, Westwood, Stricker, Donald, Quiros

5-at-10 — Rory, Westwood, Donald, Mickelson, Mickelson

Weena (Chicks dig the long ball) — Angel Cabrera, Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Quiros, John Daly

OTwatcher — Mickelson, Rory, Kuchar, Martin Laird, Luke Donald

ThatIDoKnow — Sean O'Hair, Mickelson, Rory, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter

More to come later, and we're still waiting on some of the media entries.

July 13, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.
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