published Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

5 at 10: Braves Grinding, Dodgers in limbo and the most influential dunk of all time

We're still looking for a couple of mailbag questions for Friday. Let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...

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    Atlanta Braves outfielders Jordan Schafer, left, and Jason Heyward share congratulations after the team beat the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Monday, June 27, 2011, in Seattle. The Braves won 3-1. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Braves working late

The Atlanta Braves are putting the finishing touches on their final West Coast swing. This is good news on two fronts: first, it's tough to make it to the end of those 10 p.m. starts that finish around 1 a.m.; second, it's impossible more times than not to get those results in the TFP. So it goes.

That said, by now you're probably aware that the Braves settled into what has become an almost predictable result: Great pitching, two big hits (homers by Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman), zero from Dan Uggla (0-for-4) and heading to the hotel with a tight 3-1 win.

That's right, your Atlanta Braves got all of five hits and won. They have exactly one healthy everyday player (McCann) hitting better than .270 and three (McCann, Freeman and Chipper Jones) hitting better than .250 and they're 10 games over .500.

As we discussed with the SportTalk guys on Monday, Atlanta's pitching has been excellent, plain and simple. In fact, Quake made a great point that this team is really likable because of the way they play the game — great pitching, great defense, unpredictable offense.

As for Uggla, who's average dipped to .177, well, the Mrs. 5-at-10 wants us to work on being a little nicer in our presentation. OK, how's this, "Hey how about that Dan Uggla? In four at-bats Monday, he did not strike out once. Not once. Way to go, Dan."

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    Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez smiles as he sits next to owner Frank McCourt. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Pay now — or pay more later

The Dodgers owners filed for bankruptcy protection Monday. Apparently, and financially we are not even in the range of that toddler that does the E-trade commercials — "Learn the rules shank-o-potumus" — this is to stop Major League Baseball from stepping in and taking over the club from the McCourts, who own the team but are going through a messy divorce that has thrown a loop into everything.

As our reporting ace David Paschall has reported several times, this will not affect the payroll — MLB has pledged to step in and make payroll for the Dodgers. MLB has done this in the past, and in truth they are forced to when this type of scenario happens. Baseball did it last year for the Rangers, before they were sold. If teams hit financial struggles during the season, payroll must be met or current players could file for free agency. And while the thought of the Braves adding Matt Kemp before the weekend seems enjoyable on a lot of fronts, to borrow one of the many quotable lines from Bender in "Breakfast Club," "If he gets up, we'll all get up... It'll be anarchy."

Among the people who the Dodgers will owe big bucks to on Friday when payroll checks are due is former outfielders Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones and Marquis Grissom.

And it's still not the worst deferred payments story around.

According to the New York Post, the New York Mets will cut a $1.2 million check Friday to Bobby Bonilla. Yes, that Bobby Bonilla, who has not played baseball any where since October 2001 and was last with the Mets in 2000. It gets worse — the Mets are on the hook to that payment to Bobby Bonilla for the next 25 years. Read that again.

When the Mets released Bonilla in 2000, they agreed to defer the payments of the $5.9 million Bonilla was owed until July 1, 2011. That agreement was with the nice little kicker of adding 8 percent compound interest, which will make the value of the buyout roughly $30 million by the time it's complete in 2035.

Let's just move along.

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    North Carolina State's Lorenzo Charles dunking the ball to give N.C. State a 54-52 win in the NCAA Championship game. (AP Photo/File)

The most influential dunk ever?

Sad news about Lorenzo Charles dying in a bus crash Monday.

For those don't recall, Lorenzo Charles was the N.C. State player that dunked home the game winner in the 1983 NCAA title game that lifted the Wolfpack over Houston in one of the great NCAA finals of all time.

It truth Charles' most memorable play in some way set off a chain of events that generated billions of dollars for college sports and cancer research. Bear with us.

If Charles is not there to catch and stuff Dereck Whittenburg's errant 30-footer, Houston wins the title.

If Houston wins the the title, the NCAA tournament is denied its first true Cinderella champion. Yes, Magic and Bird met in the finals in 1979 and helped college hoops take the next step. But Louisville beat UCLA in 1980, Indiana won in '81 and Michael Jordan's jumper lifted a star-studded North Carolina team to the title in 1982. North Carolina State was a No. 6 seed and only made the tournament in 1983 because the Wolfpack won the ACC conference tournament.

March Madness truly has exploded because of the brackets and the love of the underdog. Charles' dunk was the exclamation point on college hoops' first modern-era Cinderella champion.

Even more importantly, Charles' dunk set off one of the more memorable highlights in college sports — then-NC State coach Jim Valvano running around the floor famously, "Looking for someone to hug," as he described it. It was the introduction on the national stage for Valvano, who during his battle with cancer set up the V Foundation, which using Valvano's notoriety and a world-class speech at the 1993 ESPYs has raised more than $100 million to support the fight against cancer.

It may be the most meaningful dunk in basketball history.

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    Florida second baseman Josh Adams can't reach a throw by catcher Mike Zunino , in the 11th inning of an NCAA baseball College World Series best-of-three finals game against South Carolina. (AP Photo/Eric Francisv)

This and That

— From the Cliff Clavin, "Four people who have never been in my kitchen" division, this year's Wimbledon women's final will feature two players that we've probably never heard of. Somebody wake us when it's over.

— If you don't think the 5-at-10 watched the replay of the BCS title game on ESPNU last night, well you're wrong. Michael Dyer's run on the final drive — the one where he is tackled but rolls over the Oregon player and never touches the ground — is one of those crazy plays that even though you know how it turns out, you try to analyze it and think "Wow, that was some kind of tough call."

— South Carolina edged Florida 2-1 in Game 1 of the College World Series on Monday. USC won in extra innings on throwing errors for the second straight game. With the bats change in college baseball, defense has never been at a high premium. Game 2 is tonight.

— Former University of Florida and current Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder sure sounded like a guy who may not be a future representative for the NCAA. When asked about college players selling memorabilia — a sure-fire NCAA no-no that among others cost former Georgia receiver A.J. Green some time last year and has jumpstarted a first-class mess for THE Ohio State University — here's what Crowder had to say: "I'll say hypothetically I don't have any more of my Florida jerseys," Crowder said on the debut of his two-hour sports talk show on WQAM. "There were some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play." Wow. Let's just move along.

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    Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan dunks the ball during the Slam-Dunk championship in Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 6, 1988. (AP Photo/John Swart)

Today's question

We believe Lorenzo Charles' dunk was the most influential of all time. What do think was the best dunk ever? Be it the best or in the biggest moment or even your most memorable. We'll have our top five favorite dunks around 2 p.m.

Until tomorrow.

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 ...

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.
Eustice_Chase said...

Word is, after last nights 25 hit clinic the Dodgers put on Minnesota...Dan Uggla asked the Braves Ownership about filing bankruptcy....

Top Dunks of all game dunks? or Dunk Contests Dunks?

anywho... In no particular order

MJ's Dunk From the Free Throw Line..the dunk wasnt that great its the form he used..which is now an international symbol

Dr J's dunk from the free throw line...Dunks, ABA style

Shaq bringing down the house dunk....where the goal fell yeah thats straight nasty

Vince Carter's elbow in the rim dunk

Vince Carter's Team USA..Junk in the face of some poor foreign dude dunk...if you step back and look at this dunk in a politcal sense...USA does have a habit of putting our "business" in other peoples noses....

June 28, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
patrickd said...

Here's my entry for today's question. This dunk is by Doctor Julius Winfield Erving II — he's a doctor, after all.

June 28, 2011 at 10:19 a.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Great list. And as far as VC's Olympic dunk, well, U-S-A, U-S-A.

Our list is more game dunks — like Jerome Lane's college dunk that broke the backboard at Pitt and caused Bill Raftery to shout, "Send it in Jerome." Which could be code for like a million different things. It's the all-time "DUNK" phrase, like "Dou you believe in miracles?" is the all-time annoncing phrase, and "I'm taking my talents to South Beach," is the all-time moron phrase.

PDavi —

That's an all-timer right there.

June 28, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

If you like a baseball game that highlights, defense, aggressive base-running and outstanding (assists) Throws...these college World Series games have been for you! I personally love many times have we seen a runner get doubled this year??? the bat change has mode for interesting play...

June 28, 2011 at 11:06 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

how about that Fantastic Firstbaseman, Freddie Freeman Fellow ? Is he not the front runner for the ROBTASB??? (Rookie of the before All-Star Break)

June 28, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.
bigbearzzz said... messed up your acronym...sigh...but whats the point. Did you see that WGOW is gonna start carrying GA every Saturday I get to be reminded of how we DONT have an OL to block for anybody. Can we skip this year?! It's gonna suck. Wait...think positive..This year isnt gonna be as bad as Uggla's year...there...positive reinforcement. Basketball dunks...I go with EC and VC's team USA junk dunk.

June 28, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I stand corrected by my good buddy Oso...acronyms have never been my strong point...kind of like Dan Uggla, hitting is not his strong point....

Oso- one thing is for sure, there is always Next Year, lol

June 28, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.
jgreeson said...

EC —

Concur completely about the College World Series. It's big-time enjoyable with the new bats. And how crucial have extra outs been?

Freddie Freeman has been strong — and defensively he's outstanding, especially considering that he switched to first base like two years ago. (PS — It's your acronym, make however you want.)

Oso —

Enough with the hand-wringing about your Bulldogs. You're about to go to Florida. Then to a Braves game. There will be plenty of time to worry about the O-Line or the linebackers or the young receivers. Enjoy the summer. Everyone's unbeaten.

Hey, maybe the Mrs. 5-at-10's idea about a more pleasureable approach is working. And hey, Dan Uggla has not made an out today. (But in the words of Curly in "City Slickers" — "The day ain't over yet.")


C-Vol and others have sent in their dunk suggestions over the e-mail, and the 1988 Jordan foul line dunk is starting to pull away.

Check back at 2 p.m., and we'll list our top 5.

— 5-at-10

June 28, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

After the Braves game, Shawshank came on. No wonder I didn't get up to do laundry this morning. I'll take top dunks for $800, Alex. What are Tom Chambers' knees in Mark Jackson's grille and Len Bias' reverse after hitting a jumper and stealing the inbounds pass against the Tar Heels? And you know him as Officer Thirdout from "Who's on Base" episode of "That's My Braves Offense." Give it up for Dannnn Uggglllaaa!!!! That boy good. Yeah. Good and terrible.

June 28, 2011 at 2 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Easy for you to say! How's that Big Orange Line holdin up? Better yet, how about that Vols Running back situation!? Even more better yet (????) how about that running back running behind an experienced line thingie?! Our OL couldnt block the Golden Girls...and im talkin Blanche in her prime! But alas, i digress. For thou art correct and i will not dwell on such minut issues when all is good and right in the world bearness. I stand corrected and will dwell on the good in my life on this fine day! well played sir on the retribution brought upon by my self-absorbed, droning, whining.

June 28, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.
jgreeson said...

The 5-at-10 Top 5 favorite dunks (in-game only)

5) Len Bias' two-handed reverse vs. UNC

4) Six-foot point guard Kevin Johnson's one-handed dunk over 7-foot-3 Mark Eaton

3) Jerome Lane for Pitt that brings the backboard down — "Send it in Jerome"

2) Vince Carter in the Olympics

1) Dr. J's windmill vs. Michael Cooper

June 28, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

I tell ya, Ive never really enjoyed watching Met Baseball...although I do enjoy the way Jose Reyes plays..dude is a gamer...a threat to steal any time hes on base...but I dont think I will EVER be able to stomach another Met game knowing they are still pay Bobby Bonillia...that is just pothetic....

June 28, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BIspy —

Simply Outstanding work on the Dan Uggla to Randy Watson conversion. Well played indeed sir.

Oso —

Can't block a Golden Girl? Even the really old one that was in arguably one of the three worst movies ever — "Stop or my Mom Will Shoot" — with Sly Stallone? C'mon Oso, we know you're from the land of Vince Dooley and Poor Mouthing but Georgia's going to be pretty good this year.

In fact, every time you bemoan your Bulldogs, we're going to over-hype UGA.

You say "We can't block the Golden Girls." We say, "UGA has the best offensive since the early 1990 Cowboys."

EC —

Reyes is fun to watch. This Braves team would be so much fun if they had a guy or two that could swipe a base here or there. Watching a legit base-stealing threat work is awesome in its awesomeness (especially watching them swipe third — Good times).

That Bobby Bo salary stuff is nuts, huh?

— 5-at-10

June 28, 2011 at 4:54 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

see....i am really...really REALLY not liking this whole new "Positive approach" Cinco!! (actually its reverse psychology and its playing beautifully into my hands! Once im in the mind frame that we are gonna suck, once they start kickin butt....i feel that much better about my team regardless of where they finish! See where im goin here?!!!)

June 28, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.
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June 29, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
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