published Monday, July 2nd, 2012

5-at-10: Tiger, All-stars and more black clouds for Penn State

Hot enough for you? Sweet buckets of sweat-soaked everything, it's James Brown hot-tub hot. Feel free to discuss the heat in your comments — it's strange how everyone has a hot story, and most of ours center around softball tournaments in Macon, Ga.; we contend there is hot, there is wick hot and then there is Macon, Ga., hot.

Form the "Talks too much" studio, here we go...

  • photo
    Tiger Woods watches his drive from the third tee during the final round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tiger wins his tournament

We're sure there will be a bunker full of stories about Tiger Woods being the favorite for the British Open later this month.

And hey, we get it, dude won in tough conditions Sunday at Congressional for his third PGA win of the season. (And if Nick Faldo or Harry Varner or some other foreign legend decides to be the host of this year's British Open, Tiger will for sure win it. His three wins this season are Jack's tournament, Arnie's tournament and Tiger's tournament. If there's a legend in the hosting role, Tiger's coming to play apparently.)

Woods was strong, staying the course as Bo Van Pelt wilted on the final holes Sunday. And standing tall while others fall is a strength in all sports, especially in golf, where the pressure becomes as daunting as a 500-yard par 3 on Sundays.

Tiger's game looks sharp and his putting was better this weekend. What does that portend for the British in a couple of weeks? Who knows.

What we do know is that Tiger passed Jack Nicklaus and is second all-time with 74 career PGA wins. He almost certainly will catch Sam Snead's record of 82 career PGA wins. His pursuit of Jack's career 18 majors often takes top billing in Tiger's pursuit, and rightfully so, but passing Jack in career wins is nothing to sneeze at, either.

That said, does it not feel different watching Tiger play well — we stand by our statement that Tiger will never be the old Tiger because no one will ever the be the all-powerful, invincible, bullet-proof, golf assassin that was the old Tiger.

Not good or bad, per se, but different. Maybe it's a sense of sadness or anger or the unknown of "What if..." What would Tiger be chasing if the scandal hadn't happened? What would his numbers be and where could they possibly end up?

And those "What if..." questions are almost filled with the reservations of opportunities missed and/or potential unfulfilled.

————

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves' David Ross (8) strikes out in the eighth inning of their baseball game with the Washington Nationals, Sunday, July 1, 2012, at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Nationals won 8-4. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lost chances in the A-T-L

If you had said the Nationals would come into Atlanta and the Braves would rough up Stephen Strasburg, we'd have liked our chances.

That the Braves beat the Nationals' ace and still lost the series is tough to take. Especially the way they battled back Friday night and how they left a small village on base Sunday.

We'll take more stock of the Braves later this when they hit the halfway point of the season. Plus the news of today is the All-Star teams that were announced Sunday.

Two quick things about these All-Star teams:

One, who are these guys? Wow, you fall out of a fantasy league for a few years and the names and faces turn over like nobody's BID-ness. Where's the guys we know... Is Piazza still in the league? What about Ozzie Smith? You loud kids get off our lawn...

Second, no matter if you know the names or not, is there ever a more engaging bellyaching session than who didn't deserve to make the all-star team and who was unfairly left off? We're interested in your view on that.

Here are the three eye-poppers from the all-star announcements for the 5-at-10:

How great a story is Adam Dunn making the All-Star team? Last year, dude didn't hit .160 but now has 24 homers and leads the league in walks.

The Red Sox have a $173 million payroll and one all-star in David Ortiz. Ouch-standing.

How did the Cubs get two selections?

————

It keeps getting worse at Penn State

We applaud the heroes that came forward and testified against Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach who was convicted on 45 of 48 charges of sexual assault against 10 boys. That there bravery was rewarded with justice renews our faith in our legal system.

But if you thought bringing the demon to face the light of his evilness was the conclusion for the Penn State family and would be the first step toward healing, well, buckle up.

CNN reported late last week that emails recovered during Penn State's internal investigation appear to cast another black cloud — a deep and criminal and unspeakable black cloud — on the PSU officials who slow-walked the early allegations against Sandusky.

In 2001, after then-grad assistant Mike McQueary told coach Joe Paterno, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley about Sandusky abussing a boy in the showers of the Penn State locker room, the officials hatched a plan to turn Sandusky over to the authorities. According to CNN, the plan was detailed in an email dated Feb. 26, 2001.

On Feb. 27, Curley sent the following email to Schultz and PSU president Graham Spanier, according to CNN:

"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone but the person involved. I would be more comfortable meeting with the person and tell them about the information we received and tell them we are aware of the first situation," Curley's email read.

Read that again. Unless Curley acted as a rogue agent and falsely implicated Paterno — a man Curley played for and all-but hand selected Curley to be PSU's AD — it's hard to deny Paterno's role in what is now appears to be one of the tragic cover-ups ever. (Plus, if any thing has become clear during the muddled mess that was the last decade in State College, Pa., it's that Joe Paterno was as powerful as anyone in any line of work there. Forget the flow chart, that's for saps and suckers that wear suits and ties. Joe Pa was his own city-state, and like the Vatican — uh, poor simile there, huh — Joe Pa answered to relatively no one.)

Granted Paterno, who died in January, will never have a chance to answer these charges or event he fundamental question of why. Why would Paterno, the man who won more games than any major college football coach ever, step in and apparently try to keep the truth quiet and protect his program rather than the kids from the monster they knew Sandusky to be.

In truth, it's because the man who became a legend for his rolled-up pants, white socks and coke-bottle glasses, was a man. He knew then that the Sandusky scandal would wreck his program, especially in 2001, when Paterno was coming a 5-7 season and wrestling with the internal debate that at 74, he had lost touch with the game.

Plus, the original allegations from 1998 would certainly have come out, making the entire crew look as dispicable and dirty as they appear today. His "Success with Honor" slogan seemed short on success then. It seems bankrupt of honor now.

The jury finding Sandusky guilty should have been the step toward healing. Apparently, it was just the first shoe to drop in a sordid and twisted tale that could very well destroy all of Paterno's legacy.

————

This and that

— NASCAR invaded Kentucky this weekend and Brad Keselowski stretched his fuel, his legs and his bank account with a win Saturday night. Hey, we get the desire to have Saturday night racing, especially at Southern venues where it can be 12,000 degrees in July. That said, other than Bristol, it's hard to remember the last Saturday night race we watched, and we are a NASCAR fan.

— We've officially left the grid. "Ted" is the biggest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. Yep, beyond the Hangover, Wedding Crashers, Caddyshack, fill in the blank, there is "Ted" the foul-mouthed stuffed bear who pulled in more than $54 million bucks this weekend. Did anyone see it? We have not seen it — with two kids under the age of 5, if we watch a movie with stuffed animals, it's going to be more Tigger and Pooh than gold-diggers and poop jokes. We stand by our assessment that "Ted" will be either very funny or an eye sore depending on your point of view.

— Don Larsen is auctioning off the uniform he wore when he pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He's starting the bidding at $1 million and may get more. He said he was doing it to help his grandkids be financially secure, and we say God bless, Don. We also would hope someone high up with the Yankees would walk into the office of someone named Steinbrenner and say," Uh, sir, why don't we pay $3 million and keep Larsen on display around the office? Yes, $3 million is a nice chunk of change, but our franchise is valued at more than a billion — yes, billion with a 'B' — so we can afford it."

— Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split up last week. (Some where, Spy is mumbling about Scientology and thinking of Holmes and saying, "So you saying there's a chance.") Did you see the stat that of Cruise's marriages, each ended in divorce when Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Holmers were 33? It doesn't take a sabermetrics stats geek to see that trend.

— Our North Georgia prep ace Lindsey Young had the scoop on Ridgeland Vonn Bell's decision this weekend to cut his list of potential college homes to seven. UT, Ohio State, Georgia and Alabama appear to be the front runners, but who knows.

————

Today's question

Jose Canseco turns 48 today. Lindsey Lohan (26) and Larry David (65) also are celebrating birthdays. We're not sure, but the zodiac sign for July 2 could be an imbalanced scale or a crazy outhouse rat.

Anyhoo, Canseco is such a Shakespearean character in today's sports scene. Dude went 40-40 in 1988 and has 462 career homers — more than Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Andre Dawson, Bill Williams and Duke Snider.

But no matter the numbers or the rank, Canseco is the whistle-blower for the steroids generation, Period. That's his legacy on baseball.

With the possible exception of Tommy John, no other player will leave a bigger non-baseball legacy on baseball than Canseco. And, like it or not Canseco's hornet's nest and the fallout — the dip in offensive numbers and the headaches for potential Hall of Famers who have been linked to steroids such as Bonds, Clemens and Sosa — apparently have lead to less steroid use in baseball

So what say you: On his 48th birthday, is Jose Canseco, former AL MVP and whistle-blower, a hero or a goat?

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.
memphisexile said...

Canseco is none of the above, he is: broke. Sad and broke. Canseco likes to act like he did all this to bring the truth to light, but he just wanted money. He squandered the big time cash I am sure he was paid to play baseball, and so he sold out his sport to make a buck. There were no noble intentions there, despite what he may claim. Am I glad he did it? Yes. The PEDs were getting out of control. However, the holier than thou people who decide such things as hall of fame entrance don't just look at numbers and past performance (like they should). They decide whether they personally feel you live up to their standard of what a HOF entrant should be. God knows we wouldn't want to offend the memories of fine, upstanding, moral men like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth....

July 2, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
chas9 said...

Can I call you Jay?

We know people believe all kinds of wacky things, we know this. But Scientology? Seriously? Even the name sounds like a scam. Couldn't they have hired a PR firm to come up with something better to call their con game?

And of course the list of talented people who are insufferable human beans is long. But say you're a beautiful and talented Hollywood actress, and you want to pair up with a rich A-list Hollywood actor. Which is a worse choice--Charlie Sheen or Tom Cruise? Discuss.

I've had the misfortune to play baseball in Eastman, GA, which has all the demerits of Macon, plus being well south of The Gnat Line. Macon's only on the edge of the serious gnat zone.

July 2, 2012 at 1:35 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, Tiger grinded his way along the back nine ultimately out lasting a second echelon player named Van Pelt. Another rung up the World and Fed Ex (who can forget) Rankings for Tiger. Woods must consistently hit his driver with some consistency and win at the expense of a top tenner before little ol'fe gets on board.

Did anyone see the Chattanooga Roller Girls take it to the Vette City Vixens live on the CW Sunday? These ladies play a game of which I am not familiar--instead of a banked oval these gals roll it on the flat concrete floor.

Production values are fifth rate as are the announcers--Joe Mellow and Larry Late Night, and there's a crying need for more fighting on the floor and off.

10 Ring the TFP must assign a reporter to cover this important new beat! There's nothing like locally produced camp.

Well it sure feels good to come in here, and just pull up a seat

A Frosty mug of a cool one helps to beat the heat

These old dog days of summer, Lord I'll be glad when they're gone

Too hot to fish, too hot for golf And too cold at home

Mark Chestnut

July 2, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Memphis —

That was perfectly said. In fact, if this were a 1980s teen movie, Spy would start the slow clap and everyone else would follow and then it would be a chill-bump moment worthy of a "Can't Buy Me Love" or "Lucas" type of moment.

And yes, we would never want to tarnish the moral standards of Cobb, Ruth and a slew of racists from the first half of the 1900s.

9er —

You can always call us. You can call us Ray or you can call us Jay.... (Sorry old Miller Lite commercial line).

Maybe they took Scientology because the catchy and enticing name of "Snake Handling" was already being used.

Sheen or Cruise... Wow. That will be Tuesday's question, with a couple added in. Gibson maybe? Larry King?

FE to the C —

Two things: First this is the first pro-roller derby AND pro-MArk Chestnut email we have ever received, so you got that going for you, which is nice.

Second, what line of are Joe Mellow and Larry Late Night in, beyond locally Emmy-worthy sports TV? Those guys sound too good to be true?

— 5-at-10

July 2, 2012 at 2:49 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Tiger's Back? Yeah when he beats a real field of top contenders. Who was really interested in "his" tournament with a major lurking not too far across the big pond and soon. But a win is a win and at this point, which at an earlier one he might shrug, he will take. Penn State, there just are no words, no words at all. Having known men who were assaulted even by allegedly reputable churchmen, not priests, I have seen the pain and struggle left behind. For any of the officials, coaches, even hot dog(bad I know)vendors to have let this slip is beyond reason. Now the question is with JSand. headed for the big house what comes next? Canseco--a ratteroutter, he's a goat who has made himself to look foolish. No matter if fewer MLBers use steroids this was a classless way for it all to come about. OKAY enough of the summer heat already, Bring on College Football for crying wet armpitted sweatable shorts wringing on every breath!

July 2, 2012 at 3:09 p.m.
chas9 said...

The beer folks got the "You can call me Jay" routine from comedian Bill Saluga who performed the routine on the Sanford & Sons show, among other places.

July 2, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Katie hasn't called back yet. Day's still early, though.

July 2, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Livn(Large)

No doubt we are SOOOOOO ready for the boys to put the pads back on. And we agree that Tiger destroyed a limited group atop the leaderboard.

Still Tiger being involved on Sunday made the AT&T a 4.7 rating. Last year it was a 1.8. That's moving the needle kids.

9er —

There are a lot of folks we know who say we look a lot like Fred G Sanford. Or maybe it's Rollo Lawson.

Spy —

Dream big baby. Dream big.

— 5-at-10

July 2, 2012 at 4 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

I thought the bear movie had the biggest opening for such a comedy, not yet total made, but the heat over the weekend might still be affecting my brain.

I understand why the Penn St scandal has to be reported but I'm so tired of it.

I've read L Ron Hubbard literally bet some colleagues he could get rich by starting a relgion and not long after won the bet.

July 2, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Laughter —

You are correct, "Ted" had the biggest opening weekend not the biggest grossing comedy of all time.

If your theory on L. Ron is accurate, he has to be the theologian equivalent of "Watch 'is" no?

— 5-at-10

July 2, 2012 at 4:40 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

She was a good (?) little Catholic girl. Until Munchkin Cruise got his dirty paws on her.

Tiger's still a classless jerk. Always has been, too.

Did having that fly ball off the noggin affect Jose's brainwaves? Did it actually lead to there being some? And what of Ozzie Canseco? I guess no PEDs can help when start off with no talent. (See: Frank Stallone).

July 2, 2012 at 4:57 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

I've been to Macon, Columbus, Augusta, Athens, Atlanta and Valdosta in the dead of summer. And when it comes to dead, Macon's it, folks. When it comes to hot, Valdosta beats all comers in that category, too.

July 2, 2012 at 4:58 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, I cannot remember or didn't hear any catch phrases employed by Joe Mellow and Late Night Larry, however, Joe Mellow, the analyst, contributed one line shared one memorable line.

"You folks see Brick House Barbee? She has very strong legs and moves with authority. She used to be a dancer I'm told."

July 2, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

I will probably see Ted before it leave the theaters. It has a long way to go even at today's ticket prices to beat the all time R rated comedies. Boxofficemojo is one of my favorite sites and I lifted this info from it-

Top grossing R rated comedies in millions 1-The Hangover, $277.3, 09 2-The Hangover II, $254.5, 11 3-Beverly Hills Cop, $234.8, 84 4-Wedding Crashers, $209.3, 05 5-There's Something About Mary, $176.5, 98 6-Bridesmaids, $169.1, 11 7-Scary Movie, $157.0, 00 8-Beverly Hills Cop II, $153.7, 87 (LaughingBoy's first date movie, they were not very strict on enforcing the 18+ requirement) 9-Knocked Up, $148.8, 07 10-American Pie II, $145.1, 01

A better comparison is money made adjusted for inflation since this gives me a reason to mention several of my favorites:

1-Beverly Hills Cop, $531.8 2-Blazing Saddles, $500.8, 74 3-Animal House, $406.5, 78 4-Beverly Hills Cop II, $311.3, 87 5-Stir Crazy, $298.3, 80 6-There's Something About Mary, $296.8 7-The Hangover, $294.4 8-Porky's, $284.2, 82 9-Wedding Crashers, $258.6 10-The Hangover II, $250.2

July 2, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.
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