published Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

5 at 10: Terrelle Pryor, Tiger Woods and LeBron James vanishing act

Holy Enough Sports News to fill a week's worth of newspapers, that was a crazy Tuesday. We talked about it being a slow sports time, well, maybe we meant next week.

Here's how busy it is: the Braves get two hits, win 1-0 because Tommy Hanson has good stuff and a lot of guts and pull within 3 of the Phillies, and they're in the "This and That."

From the 7-UP Stinks Studios, here we go...

  • photo
    University of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, right, announces his resignation along side Chancellor Jimmy Cheek Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at Neyland Stadium. His departure comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into alleged wrongdoing by UT athletics. Hamilton, who succeeded Doug Dickey as men's athletic director on July 1, 2003, will receive a $1.335 million buyout over the next 36 months.
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Hamilton's out

What to make of Mike Hamilton's resignation Tuesday? That Hamilton is on the way out is not surprising; the timing -- the week of UT's trip to NCAA court -- is curious at best.

We had wall-to-wall coverage in today's TFP, and our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer has a good look at who might be some of UT's targets to replace Hamilton.

At this point it seems appropriate to look back on the last three years of UT sports.

Wow, it was a crazy ride no doubt, but what were the highlights?

In fact, the biggest moments -- the basketball team coming within a basket of the Final Four and the improbable losses at Alabama and LSU -- were near-misses. And that may be the best way to describe Hamilton's tenure -- a near-miss.

He raised a lot of money, he made two hires that looked to be home runs but became hold-your-breath-because-anything-is-possible lightening rods and other than a couple of minor sports (especially tennis), the product of the field and courts in Knoxville have either taken a step back or stagnated.

A near-miss sounds about right.

So it goes.

  • photo
    Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) and Dwyane Wade (3) walk off the court after Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday, June 7, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks won the game 86-83 to tie the series at 2-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LeBron is absent

Wow, how bad did the 5-at-10 miss on expecting LeBron James to be in "Terminator" mode? James took 11 shots -- and just one field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter -- and scored eight, Eight, EIGHT points.

Hey, the 5-at-10 has been in LeBron James' corner from the start, but he looked passively disinterested in last night's 86-83 loss to Dallas. And that's inexcusable.

This was not a game that Miami needed LeBron to carry them; if James makes two or three plays the Heat would be up 3-1 this morning.

Without overstating it, Game 5 will be huge for each team and could be the game that forever shapes LeBron's legacy.

Sidenote: James did not touch the ball on almost half of Miami's 20 fourth-quarter possessions. That's mind-numbing. Wow.

Sidenote, part II: Pick any upper-level star of the last 20-or-so years, and would any of them be that invisible in a game of this magnitude? Hard to figure, indeed.

  • photo
    In this Sept. 25, 2010 file photo, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, left, and coach Jim Tressel talk during a time out against Eastern Michigan in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

Pryor is gone

Terrelle Pryor has said he will not return to Columbus. Wow, that surprises exactly no one.

Plus, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported Tuesday that a former friend of Pryor said the former Ohio State quarterback was paid between $20,000 and $40,000 by a Columbus businessman for signing stuff.

Couple or three quick things here:

-- There will never be another SMU-level "death penalty" handed down by the NCAA. The TV money is too great to close the doors of a program. That said, THE Ohio State University appears to mired in a lot of controversy.

-- Pryor was an all-world recruit and the top-ranked senior in the country. He eventually picked Ohio State a long while after signing day -- not unlike Bryce Brown did with the Vols. New 5-at-10 theory: Be very careful with high school recruits that extend the recruiting period into weeks after signing day.

-- Pryor does not have much of a chance at being an NFL quarterback -- his skills and throwing motion are nowhere near NFL-ready. He is athletic enough to possibly make a team as a receiver/tight end, but that's no certainty. Who here believes there is more than a little trouble on the horizon for Pryor? Here's hoping that Pryor put a big chunk of those illicit funds into savings or gets to keep some of those cars. We're not sayin' anything, we're just sayin.'

  • photo
    FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2010 file photo, Tiger Woods views a video of his tee shot, made by his swing coach Sean Foley, on the sixth tee during the Pro-Am round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Foley says he has skin as thick as an alligator, which comes in handy for any swing coach going to work for Woods. Seven months into the process, opinions range from Woods making progress to having the worst swing in golf. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Tiger is on the shelf

Tiger Woods was one of those guys that transcended sports and garnered attention from those that may not have known the difference between birdies and bridesmaids.

Now, after pulling out of the U.S. Open, Woods has yet again left us longing for the not-so-distant memories of every major golf tournament winner having to answer for Tiger.

Oh, it was not that long ago that the question about every major was, "who you got, Tiger or the field?" Now, sadly, the only choice we have is the field.

Three years ago Woods won the Open, playing 90 holes on a shredded knee, and that memory continues to haunt us.

Woods is still battling the effects of those injuries, and we have to wonder if that will be the last great memory of a former great. So it goes.

  • photo
    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)

This and that

-- We mentioned the Braves earlier, but here are two more stats for you: Uggla went hitless again last night, and he's down below .170; the Braves are now 23-7 when scoring first.

-- The NFL owners and players held another secret meeting Tuesday. Something tells the 5-at-10 that each side is starting to feel the pressure, and the calendar is starting dwindle.

-- Did you see that hit in the Stanley Cup final (no 's' mind you) that cost each guy the rest of the series? Big-time collision.

-- Couple of house-keeping notes: First, we need a couple more questions, because we're going to split the mailbag into two parts this week. Second, the 5-at-10 is headed to Florida next week.

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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bigbearzzz said...

wow...way to rub the whole FL thing in our face for next week, buddy (I leave in 3 weeks, 4 days, but who's counting). Also would like to appologize for that whole Monday conversation about summer sports being slow and you guys should cover some more local teen sports....thats my bad. What a week! Uggla breaking a bat?! What did he do break it on the back swing on the catchers helmet cause I know it wasnt due to contact with the ball! You know they that teams/players that have a slow start (pre-all star break) usually heat up at the end. Ya think that's the case with the Brave's bats? And I had a great discussion last night with my 12 year old boy on hitting slumps and how everybody hits them. Streaks come in waves, unfortunately Uggla seems to be stuck in the middle of an old farm pond without the slightest ripple. Here's the question: How do you coach that? How do get a guy that bad hitting again? Is there any saving him at all? And the whole Tiger thing is killing me. Maybe he's just taking the year off to clear his thoughts and get his game back. You know, just play a couple of small tournaments to keep the rust off kinda thing...ya think?!

June 8, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.
patrickd said...

Holding my comments until I find out what Eustice_Chase thinks about everything.

June 8, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

lol...I WAS FIRST THIS MORNING!! I get a prize right?! Free lunch at Wally's!!?!

June 8, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I feel...cheated...I tuned in to see the games BEST player put on a clinic...a 5 on 1 Lebron vs the entire Mavs squad...and expected to see him win it for the Heatles...I didnt even make it to half time because this game was was so bad the press wanted to talk to Tyson Chandler after the game??? Tyson Chandler ??? really...ok moving on...Jason Terry must party with Lerbon's Momma...thats the only way this guys gets 17 pts in a Game 4 victory...Dirk had a freackin 101 or better Fever ( I gotta feevah and the only cure is more Cowbell) Seriously! how good is Dirk...??? well lets hope for the Heat Dirk doesnt come down with Fiber-My-alja, Swine Flu or Mono....because he just might open the game up going 10 for 10 with 20 pts and let the Mavs do the rest of the heavy lifting....the series is going back to Miami...just where D.Stern wants it.... I still think the Heat are going to win this...but if they have any more pre-game speeches from Lebron...Dirk might be getting fitted for some Hand Jewelry....I mean seriously did anyone hear is pre-game speech??? get this man enrolled at local community college for some publick speaking skills...Ive got $50 that says while his time at St. Vincent St.Mary he spent his English period in the gym playin B-Ball with the Cheerleaders.....

Terrell Pryor...enjoy the Canadian Football Leage or even the Arena Football league...if ANY team picks you in the supplimental draft it will be to test drive all new cars bought by future First Round picks...

June 8, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

One question for the 5@10...are you going to Flordia looking for Dan Uggla's swing???

June 8, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Ok we gotta cut Uggla some slack...i mean this is the first year in a long time that he has actually played the game in front of real a real crowd that actually shows up for games...maybe hes just shy? That sounds like a good kid's game EC "Where's Uggla's Swing" And does anybody remember the last time it was below 90!?!

June 8, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
patrickd said...

I will cut Uggla no slack. I've had it out for him since the all-star game years and years ago.

June 8, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I agree..when you pay a man as much as you are paying Uggla...sub .200 average is sickening....I would almost prefer him to lay down a bunt every time hes at least this way he remembers what its like to make contact....

Anybody see Bryce Harper blow a kiss after putting a baseball into orbit?? I cant wait for this kid to try that crap in the BIGS...he would get a 4 seamer in his ear hole....

June 8, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

I wasnt serious about the slack cutting...and i really doubt the mans bunting ablilites at the time as well. Knowing him he would try and then give a shout out to the man who invinted the cup. The dude couldnt catch Eboli gnawing on raw veggies in Europe right now.

June 8, 2011 at 10:49 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Huge boo boo in Paschall's story. You can't tie the Women's hoops title to Hamilton as UT has a separate women's AD

June 8, 2011 at 11:18 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Oso —

Congrats on being first. Here's a few things that a manager may want to try with a player struggling at this level:

— If Uggla ever bats with anyone on base, put the hit-and-run one. Even if it's McCann, do whatever you can to get Uggla out of Uggla's head. If he's got the hit-and-run, he has to swing no matter what. And right now, pitch selection is a big problem.

— Along those same lines, give him a take on a 3-0 pitch or even a 2-0 pitch. He's obviously trying too hard to hit the ball to the moon right now, which means he's getting himself out a lot. Plus, it helps with the whole pitch selection thing by taking the decision away from.

— The next time he takes a questionable strike or a questionable check-swing is called a strike, Fredi needs to go light into somebody. Umpire or beer guy or the right-fielder, we don't care, but show some emotion Fredi.

Uggla needs to pick it up.

EC —

Man, spot-on about the Finals. That was a New Year's Eve-level let down. Sidenote: It always seemed that New Year's Eve was always less fun than we anticipated. Labor Day was always the exact opposite. So it goes.

TPryor will have a tough time in any league playing QB. Well, with the exception of the California Penal League — and let's stop pretending, wat's the over/under on Pryor having real-life legal troubles. A year? 18 months?

Bryce Harper better get his travel-ball habits in check. What do you think Craig Kimbral's reaction would be to the blown kiss? Ear-hole is a great phrase by the way.

PDavi —

Have you ordered you EC jersey yet?

OGuy —

You're spot-on about the women having a separate AD — Joan Cronan. Let us look into it, but thanks for pointing it out.

— 5-at-10

June 8, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I say 18 months is a good guess on the legal issues for Pryor...He should really look into calling Maurice Claurett....before he makes even more bad mistakes!

I like the idea of a hit and run with Uggla...even though it can put you in a Strike em out Throw em out situation...the guy needs to start looking to hit the first pitch...and he needs the green light regardless of the count...i say even if he walks...let him sit up and take a few more swings!

Jersey's go on sale tomorrow...Free to the first 6 people that show up at the gate!

June 8, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Enjoy Florida. It's almost as much of a question as it is a statement, 5 at 10. The cynic (shut up!), conspiracy theorist in me thinks that Tiger has assessed his golf game in the two months since playing at the corner of Washington and Berckmanns, looked at the dreadful nine holes he played at TPC Sawgrass and the lack of improvement in said game since then and decided not to further embarrass himself on one of golf's greatest stages. The non-cynic in me (yes, it does exist. In small doses) says ... Tiger looked at the state of game and decided it stinks and he wants to avoid the embarrassment of flying home from Maryland after Friday's second round. What will be found first - a hit for Uggla or LeBron in the fourth quarter? I think we'll discover the Ark of the Covenant in some warehouse first. Kinda hard to get going today, too. "So I Married an Axe Murderer" was on Comedy Central.

June 8, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

We need to the I-team on this angle - Can Terrelle Pryor still afford his (cough) car payments (cough) on his UFL salary? Pretend Al Davis' heartbeat just accelerated with the news of Pryor declaring as a pro and he doesnt know why.

June 8, 2011 at 12:50 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Maurice Clarett (another former Tressel big-time recruit) is a good comparison. Here's hoping Uggla puts it together soon — because the Braves' pitching can carry this amount of stress for only so long. Seriously, how many "pressure-cooker, need-to-deliver-a-big-pitch" moments can Tommy Hanson handle? And it's only June?

Bat Uggla lead-off and have him take until he gets two strikes one night. Then hit him ninth the next night. Keep looking for answers (think about the movie "Tin Cup" when Cheech has Crash Davis move his change to the other pocket and turn his visor around to get rid of the shanks).

What do the EC jerseys look like?

BIspy —

Hard to argue that Tiger knows his game is no position to breaking 75 at an U.S.Open-tricked out Congressional. And the offer still stands if Tiger wants to play in the Chattanooga Metro at the CGCC. He can play in our group — the 5-at-10 may even give him a shot or two if he wants it.

Can you imagine the I-Team of Ron Burgandy and Brian Fantana interviewing Pretend Al Davis? There would be a lot of discussion about suits, that's for sure.

The race for Lord Stanley's Cup is getting more than a little chippy, huh? (Or is it eh, for you wanna-be Canadiens?)


June 8, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

EC Jersey's look alot like the suits of armour worn by King Leonidas and his brave 300...without the cape of course....but the # is located on left rib cage/ab area....and the name " EC " is on the front "in old english of course"...they can be personalized with your favorite number/ name combmnation as long as they are the following Burgunday # 1
Sheen #99 La Fleur #69 Tamlin #0

June 8, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Outstanding uni. The road unis are silver we assume, but what are the home colors? Red?

And there have to be a few personalized names added:

— No. 3 "Leak" — with the Chico Bail Bonds logo added somewhere

— No. 9 "Hobbs"

— No. 15 "Chitwood"

— No. 60 (as in 60 percent of the time, it works every time) "Fantana"

— No. 26 "Ricky Bobby"

June 8, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

well of course! those will be added to the list....but for anyone out there that would like a #11 Naughton Jr. well their can't be two number it goes...

we like to keep the home Unis Simple...Dark Brown (like leather) bottoms with gold Trim...and the brightest Red ones mind can imagine as for the Tops

June 8, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
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