published Thursday, June 30th, 2011

5 at 10: Vols AD, Wimbledon news and the MLB halfway-point awards

Quick housekeeping note: We'll be on "The Show" with Chris Goforth on 1370 AM today for most of the early afternoon. We're hoping to get there around 12:30 and will stay a couple of hours, so stop by if you get the chance.

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' Dan Uggla runs to first before being thrown out during a baseball game against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

First-half fireworks

Baseball does not hit the unofficial halfway point — the MLB All-Star break — for almost two weeks. That said, the Braves played their 81st game earlier this week, so they are officially halfway through the 2011 season. Which means, we have to issue our FHOTSMAADHs (which obviously stands for first half of the season meaningless awards and dubious honors).

Before we do, quick shout out to the Braves, who scored like a week's worth of runs in a 5-3 win Wednesday afternoon. Quick highlights: Freddie Freeman had three hits, including a two-out, two-run single off Felix Hernandez, arguably the best pitcher in baseball; Dan Uggla had a hit — he's at .178 and climbing; Brooks Conrad had a two-out RBI vs. King Felix; closer Craig Kimbrel was electric again (12 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 batters, 2 strikeouts in 1 perfect inning). Good times.

Now back to the FHOTSMAADHs:

— The Dan Uggla award for huge expectations and rotten production: This award goes to... Jayson Werth. Yes, Uggla has earned the namesake title of this award becuase he is hitting .178. But Werth signed a seven-year, nine-figure contract to leave Philly and head to the Washington Nationals and he is hitting .223 with fewer homers (Werth has 10, Uggla 12), fewer RBIs (Werth has 27, Uggla 28) and more strikeouts (Werth has 75, Uggla 70). Feel better Johnny Braves Fan? Everybody start chanting together "Dan's not the worst. Dan's not the worst." (Sidenote: Sweet collectables of all collectables — on the Braves' replay last night (yes, we watched some of it, be quiet) we received news that on Aug. 18 vs. the Giants, it will be Dan Uggla Bobblehead night. Mark your calendars.)

— The first half MVP: Brian McCann, by a whisker over Ryan Braun. McCann's numbers are not as good as Ryan Braun's, but remember that McCann is doing it amid a collection of guys hitting .255 or worse while Braun has Prince Fielder behind him and Rickie Weeks in front of him. Plus, McCann has been handling the league's best pitching staff that has lead a punchless Braves team to the second-best record in the NL.

— The best player of the first half: Amid the nuclear soap opera that is the Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp is putting up ridiculous numbers (.331-22 HRs-63 RBIs-22 SBs with an OPS of 1.043). Plus, he's been rumored to be dating pop singer Rhianna, who also appears to be a handful in her own right, so Kemp has an unbelievable ability to deal with distractions. The only reason he's not the FHOTSMAADHs MVP is because with Kemp's unworldly first half, the Dodgers are still 10 games out of first. L.A. could finish fourth or fifth in the NL West with Shawn Kemp in centerfield.

— Best manager: We'll go with Charlie Manuel by a nose over Fredi Gonzalez. Manuel has managed the Phillies through a series of injuries; Fredi has managed the Braves through a series of slumps. Each has his team poised for the playoffs, but Manuel has his club with the best record in baseball despite serious injuries to his No. 3 hitter, his No. 3 starter and his No. 1 and No. 2 closers.

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    U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. visits the Tennessee sidelines before the game against Ole Miss in Novermber. Shuler played quarterback at UT from 1990-1993.
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Shuler as UT AD?

As we wrote in Thursday's TFP, the rumor du jour ("Hmmm, that sounds good. I think I'll have that.) about the Vols' AD job involved Heath Shuler, the former UT quarterback and current North Carolina congressman.

Shuler's name was tossed out by a Knoxville sports talk radio show host, and hey, crazier things could happen — they could hire the 5-at-10, and then see where the chips land, for instance. That said, Shuler appears more news-filler in a newsless vacuum than headliner. Yes, he was one of the better UT football players of all-time — he was the Heisman runner-up in 1993 — but as we've discussed many times, today's big-boy AD jobs are more CEO than coach and certainly more desk jockey than ex-jock.

Shuler's time in government service (even as a Democrat — we're kidding, mostly) could be viewed as a feather in his fund-raising cap. But Vols' athletics are a $100-million-a-year business that prides itself on making money and operating in the black. And if we know anything about congress, operating in the black is not high on their list of priorities recently.

Here's saying that UT has their eyes on someone with more experience in athletic department management that athletic field success. So it goes.

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    Russia's Maria Sharapova returns a backhand shot to Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova during their match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Wimbledon news

A blast from the past arrived at Wimbledon at almost the exact same point in the tournament that the blast that was Roger Federer was officially relegated to the past.

Maria Sharapova arrived in the Wimbledon semifinals as the most recognizable name — and face — of the final four women in the world's most famous tennis tournament. She says she still feels young, and at 24, who would argue too much. But mixed with the trio of 21-year-olds that complete today's semifinals — Sabine Lisicki, Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka, and yes they are three people that have never been in our kitchen — Sharapova is as much Jessica Tandy as she is Jessica Rabbit in this group.

That said, the women's draw at the All England Club has been dominated by who failed to reach the semis as much as who did. The men's field shared in that news Wednesday when Federer surrendered a 2-0 sets lead for the first time in 178 matches. As our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer stated well this morning HERE the dominant days of Roger the Rocket appear to be numbered.

Granted, he is still ranked among the top three players in the world and could catch lightning in a bottle at one of the next four or five non-French Open majors, but it does not appear likely for Federer, who will be 30 in August.

And if his best days are behind him, it's strange to picture that Gillette advertisement three years ago that had Federer, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods and not think "Razor burn, indeed."

This and That

— While the NBA heads toward the professional sports purgatory that is offseason labor unrest, the Portland Trailblazers made a qualifying offer to Greg Oden. You may recall that Oden was the No. 1 overall pick four years ago, a spot ahead of two-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, who appears to be headed for super-DUPER-stardom. Oden has played all of 82 NBA games because of injuries and appears to be this generation's Sam Bowie, the former Kentucky center that Portland drafted one spot ahead of Michael Jordan in 1984.

— Ricky Vaughn, the star rookie starter-turned closer for Lou Brown's miraculous Cleveland Indians team that fueled the semi-documentary baseball film "Major League," admitted to using steroids to bump up his fastball. Seriously. Actor Charlie Sheen, who played Vaughn back before he snapped and went off the deep end of sanity and landed in a molten pool of Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA, said he used steroids to increase his velocity for the filming. Remember this was the late 1980s gang. On the real life side, outside of being a rotten dad and worthless husband, this may be Sheen's low point — and that's saying something. On the baseball meta-physical side — which cheating was worse: Vaughn using steroids or Eddie Harris putting snot on the ball? Discuss.

Today's question

We discussed today's question some on Wednesday. Best movie villains of all time (the 5-at-10 will have our answers around noon):

— The best 1980s (i.e. cheesy) movie villains

— The best horror movie villains

— The best drama villains

— The best sci-fi villains

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 ...

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patrickd said...

Great question, 5 at 10, and I hate to buck the system by not going with your categories but here are my top 5 all-time villains. In no particular order:

1) New Irish head coach Dan Devine in the movie Rudy.

2) The assistant coach that Norman Dale replaced at the beginning of Hoosiers.

3) The broken-down, germ spreading,snot swapping, Eddie Harris in Major League.

4) The crooked Senator Baynard in The Last Boy Scout.

5) Colonel Oats in Bill & Ted's bogus Journey

June 30, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Im gonna get right to bush beating...straight to the point...When Women's Tennis is one of the five in the 5@10...we have some serious I am going to fix solution..MMA...its year around...there is usually one "big" fight night every month..with plenty of story lines

so here goes... UFC 132 this weekend...HUGE fight card... Tito Ortiz (former Light Heavyweight Champ, who hasn't had a win since the octagon, relationships or Celebrity Apprentice) vs Ryan Bader (TUF Winner and former ASU wrestling standout)

Wanderlai Silva vs Chris Lebon....there will be far-works...and Im not talking whisstling chasers Joe Dirt ( thats why daddy named you Dirt instead of Nunamaker)...these guys will go BOOM!!!

Urijah Faber vs Dominic Cruz for the 135 lb Title...Faber beat Cruz back a few years ago for the 145lb belt...this fight will be a goodie...Cruz has found a home at 135...dominating to avoid a fight with Faber...well looks like he will be moving to 125 division to avoid Faber after Saturday...

June 30, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.
jgreeson said...

PDavi apparently hates, Hates, HATES actor Chelcie Ross. Wow.

— 5-at-10

The photo of John Cresse as the leader of the Cobra-Kai is No. 3 on the cheesy 1980s villains list. No. 2 is Clubber Lang. No. 1 is Brad Wesley from Road House — the dude that's trying to take over the town. He killed Sam Eliot for crying out loud.

June 30, 2011 at 10:20 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

1)The horror one will be no prob for me:

Cujo, Jason, Michael, Freddy, The Thing


Darth Vader, Khan (still cant over the fact that was the Fantasy Island dude!) Terminator, Hal, The Alien


The Mohawk Gremlin, The Critters, Leprechaun, Cobra Khai Sensei, Ed Rooney


Murphy from Young Guns, Jaws, That dude chasing ET, The German Archeologist dude from Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Russians in Red Dawn

Those are my lists....oh and just for the record...No, the Dan Uggla Bobblehead will in NO WAY replace the Kemba Walker dont even try.

June 30, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Side Note: That pic of Maria just kills it for me. I mean just ruined all the other images in my head of her....and loved blspys comment about Shue last night and her role in Leaving Las Vegas....WOWSERS!!

June 30, 2011 at 10:32 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Honorable Mentions: Pinhead, The dude who killed Charlie Sheen in The Wraith, Chet from Wierd Science, Pee Wee Herman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That 18 Wheeler with the evil clown face...shiver...Maximum Overdrive...And Biff...gotta have Biff in there somewhere

June 30, 2011 at 11 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Biff Tanner is a nice call. So is the duo from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Murphy from Young Guns. Also liked the Chelcie Ross tribue.

Here's the 5-at-10's list:

— The best 1980s (i.e. cheesy) movie villains: The photo of John Cresse as the leader of the Cobra-Kai is No. 3 on the cheesy 1980s villains list. No. 2 is Clubber Lang. No. 1 is Brad Wesley from Road House — the dude that's trying to take over the town. He killed Sam Eliot for crying out loud.

— The best horror movie villains: 1. The girl that gets possessed by the devil in the original "Exorcist" 2. Jaws 3. Michael Meyers (the other one) — with a special shoutout to Chucky the doll, because a) he gave us the great nickname for Jon Gruden and 2) he was a doll that killed folks, had a wife and a family. What other dolls this side of Barbi and maybe GI Joe can boost that kind of resume?

— The best drama villains 1. Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction," 2. Robert DeNiro in "Cape Fear" 3. James Gumm in Silence of the Lambs — "It puts the lotion on its skin unless it gets the hose again."

— The best sci-fi villains 1. Darth Vader (and it's not that close) 2. Terminator I 3. Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis' character in "Space Balls" — that's how good Darth Vader was, he's mocking ranks No. 3.)

As far as the most creepy — any and all clowns: The clown in the kid's room from Poltergiest, or the clown 18-wheeler or the clowns in the Steven King novel. The 5-at-10 hates, Hates, HATES clowns. And cole slaw.

What say you?

— 5-at-10

June 30, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Talk about creepy!! That photo of Maria!!! YIKES!!!

July 1, 2011 at 10:51 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Honest to goodness, no joke, if you scroll down to the shoulders of Sharapova below a head view and do not look too closely you might almost swear it's an old pic of Arnold Schwarzeneggaer.(Ja, Iuh be Bauck!) :)

July 1, 2011 at 4:13 p.m.
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