published Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

5-at-10: Braves' daunting nine days, UT finding answers, Tiger Ryder-ing and Robin Williams Rushmore

Gang, remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we are grinding on our college and high school preview sections. Man, we still got work to do.

Braves

  • photo
    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kevin Correia works in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 in Atlanta.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Atlanta Braves stand at the cusp, a team that has been roughly as good as expected for much of the first three quarters of this season, with occasional stretches of brilliance and brutality.

Now they stare down the barrel of this bunch's postseason possibilities.

Atlanta is four games back of Washington as they get ready for nine games against L.A., Oakland and Pittsburgh. Not an easy stretch.

Over those same nine games, the Nationals face the Mets, the Pirates and the Diamondbacks. Far more of a stroll.

In truth, we are nine days from the Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic — next Thursday at Finley between Cleveland and McCallie, and we will be giving away some tickets here and on Press Row next week — so we may not care if the Braves are in the race or not come nine days from now.

But we'll likely know one way or the other come next Thursday.

The recap of Monday's 6-2 loss to L.A.

The good: Not much. Julio Teheran pitched better than the numbers showed — he allowed five earned in 7.1 innings — and he got little help from his defense and less help from his offense. But Braves starters should be used to that, right?

The bad: You know what's coming. The Braves got five hits. Yes, five. Against a Dodgers team that called up a minor league pitcher to start this game.

The Upton: Hey, each Upton had a single — although Stinky's was a bunt for a hit that was a very close call at first. Someone needs to make sure the Upton family is notified that each got a hit in a the same game. Juice boxes and Rice Krispies treats for everyone.

———

Ryder Cup

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    Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates after a birdie on the 11th hole during the first day of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Thursday July 17, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Tiger Woods lobbied for a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Egad.

What a dilemma for US Captain Tom Watson.

Here's your choices:

You either pick Tiger Woods, who has broken par in only 40 percent of his pro rounds this year, as one of your three captain picks because he's flipping' Tiger Woods after all and open your self up to the real second-guessing of picking a guy who has been an absolute nonfactor on the golf world for at least a year.

Or, you pick a Brendon Todd or some other interchangeable American golfer over Tiger Woods — yes, Tiger Flippin' Woods, winner of 14 majors and still a guy that casts a pretty impressive shadow on tee boxes worldwide.

Man, tough one.

Watson has said he will speak directly and openly with Tiger, and if Tiger is healthy, Watson seems mighty likely to pick Woods.

We can see both sides.

(Quick side Rushmore of most famous people with gaps between their front teeth? We'll go Watson, Letterman and Tyson ---- with Michael Strahan far left. Thoughts?)

———

Tennessee intel

As Downtown Patrick Brown tells us here and here, two of the looming questions on the Tennessee football horizon may have been answered.

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    Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14), looking for an open receiver last Oct. 5 in Neyland Stadium, may have the edge as a senior for the starting QB spot this year.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

First, Dr. Brown (no not the one from Back to the Future, our Dr. Brown), tells us that Vols head coach and Brick-by-Brick slayer Butch Jones is ever so close to naming a starting quarterback. If that is indeed the case — and since the modern age of big-boy college football is part Gladiator and part Bourne Identity, well, we have to take them at their word.

And those words point toward Justin Worley being QB1 for these Vols. The fall out of that on the field will be judged in time. Like Maximus says, what we do in this life, echoes in eternity, and that is never more clear than on fall Saturdays in towns with unfamiliar names to the masses that become the third or fourth largest cities in their states.

In fact, by the chosen words and delivered messages it sounds that Nate Peterman (not to be confused with Abe From an, the sausage king of Chicago) has moved to No. 2 on the depth chart. In fact, it was hard not to wonder if Josh Dobbs had a little bit of the Beetlejuice vibe after Saturday's scrimmage since Jones did not mention his name much.

As for the other looming item, the continued high praise of man-child freshman Derek Barnett as Dr. Brown relayed in Monday's TFP. We must temper expectations because after all Barnett is a teenager in the man-meet-man world that is the SEC line of scrimmage, but all reports seem overwhelmingly positive.

And dude is obviously clear in thought, but we may need to add an addendum. Barnett, who will wear No. 9, told Brown and Co. that "Single-digit numbers look good on D-linemen."

We agree in theory but allow us to add, "Single-digit number look good on defensive linemen who play." Defensive linemen wearing single digits on the sideline look like misplaced fullbacks.

Mercifully for Barnett — and the Vols faithful well aware that finding quality defensive linemen this preseason — he is making his way toward fulfilling both ends of that statement.

———

This and that

— College football item of interest: Trenton Thompson, one of the nation's best defensive line recruits and the top player in the state of Georgia, will announce his decision tonight. His leader is Georgia with Alabama and Auburn trailing and with DeVry a distance fourth ahead of the Atlanta Bartending College. OK, we made those last two up, but we'd be stunned, Stunned, STUNNED if Thompson was not a UGA commit come dinner time.

— Huge learning moment for sports information people everywhere. No #askso-and-so plans from this day forward. The social media realm is a cold, mean place. Death by 140 characters, and Jameis Winston and the FSU folks felt it in earnest last weekend when the #askJameis turned mean and harsh and opened the FSU quarterback to a slew of pointed questions about his checkered off-the-field history. Among the more tame #askJameis questions were: "You were 14-0 on the field and 2-0 in the court room, what's your overall record?" And, "Of all the coaches you played for, why did you steal those crab legs?" Ouch-standing.

Super interesting stuff here from Ken Rodgers, who is the lead producer of HBO's Hard Knocks, the football series following the Atlanta Falcons this year. Rodgers joined us on Press Row last week.

— The TSSAA again juggles the future playoff format. If the NCAA had a secret love child from a one-night stand in a third-world pleasure palace it would be the TSSAA, right? Coaches and administrators may like this plan better than the current one, but that's akin to saying you'd rather have the flu than cancer. We can't agree on every team in a classification getting into the playoffs just because. Maybe we're the ones that are different.

———

Today's question

We were saddened by the news of Robin Williams death. He was 63.

Dude was next level funny. A serious savant who was as comfortable operating from a script as he was coming off the cuff.

We were contemplating a Rushmore of comedians of this generation but that likely would have sold his total skill set short.

We could have done a Rushmore of comedy/drama dual threats but Williams and Bill Murray are so far ahead of the curve it's baffling.

So let's go full blown tribute to Williams. What's the Rushmore of Williams roles, and yes, we believe Mork to be in that mix and his turn in Good Will Hunting is far left.

Discuss.

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.
golfgal said...

JG-In 1979 as a young Bronco fan my family celebrated my birthday at the old Mile High Stadium, Broncos v Patriots. Denver won 40-10 or something great. During halftime Mork came out with all the cheerleaders and he too was dressed in full cheerleader gear. He was hollering ' we are gonna win one for the zipper' the whole time! He was a beautiful human..

August 12, 2014 at 11:14 a.m.
jomo11 said...

The Tiger dilemma is a tough one. If he is healthy you cant ignore that he COULD be worth 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 points. Does he deserve to be on the team based on this year ? No Does he deserve to be on team based on the last 2 years ? yes . . .AND can the dude hit it straight ? who knows. . .I do agree with Watson's approach of covering his ( Watson's ) behind by putting this "on" Tiger. If US loses cup by close margin, there will be the what-if we had Tiger. If Tiger is on team and fails, then Watson will have to answer. The one difference is in Ryder Cup expereince counts big and Tiger still can make birdies even if he cant put a score together. . . .now if he is hurt, then hopefully Tiger will back out

August 12, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.
jomo11 said...

If UTK is deciding between Worley, Dobbs and Peterman and it is close . . . .that signals a very bad upcoming season. None of those three are even close to being good SEC QBs, below average at best

August 12, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.
chas9 said...

By far the hottest gap-toothed beauty is Lauren Hutton, who goes commando.

Leave Tiger home.

Yes, it looks like old reliable Worley. Word from UK's QB contest is that Signal Mountain's fair haired boy could be the guy.

In the recent 5@10 high school movies Rushmore, I named Dead Poets' Society, so you already knew I was a fan of RW. There could be so many different Rushmores here, all valid, so I'll include some under-appreciated roles: Dead Poets, Awakenings, Fisher King, Mrs. Doubtfire. Also under-appreciated, the brilliant Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses, the unauthorized Jay Greeson biopic.

Wish I could've seen Williams and Steve Martin in Waiting for Godot.

The new SEC network broadcasts its first game Friday, Kentucky vs. Dominican Republic in the Bahamas. Unless you are watching the first three games on ESPNU, as I am, it'll be your first chance to see college basketball's most talented team ever.

If you're afraid you'd see only a ragged, not-ready team, you'd be wrong. Incredibly, the Cats are already playing better team ball than they did even at the end of last season.

UK was runner-up last year, and even after losing Randle and Young, this year they're bigger, faster, more talented, more cohesive, more experienced, and much deeper.

The Harrison twins are noticeably quicker and more skilled than even in their NCAA tourney run. Yet, freshman point Ulis and two guard Booker are so good either or both could steal their starting jobs sometime this season.

Powerful Poythress is quicker, wiser, and more versatile than last year. He plays like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and will be at least as good as Young was at the wing.

Center Dakari is slimmer, quicker, better-conditioned than last year, but he may not start over big, agile freshman Towns whose maturity and skill set may be the best-ever for a freshman. Marcus Lee is as impressive as last year.

In the two Bahamas games played thus far, Kentucky's depth has allowed two five-man platoons to swap in and out, meaning they will wear down opponents with an aggressive pressing defense. And they're already very good, though Willie Cauley-Stein and super-talented freshman big Trey Lyles on the bench with injuries. They'll be playing shortly, at which point, if you split the team, you'd have two top ten squads.

More impressive than the talent, though, is the mature way the team sees the court and works together. Their passing and timing are already better than any UK team in many years, even with freshmen in the lineup. As the season develops, we'll see the old school college TEAM basketball that we love to watch.

If you miss Friday's game, catch them Saturday and Sunday.

August 12, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[We can't agree on every team in a classification getting into the playoffs just because. Maybe we're the ones that are different.]

I also don't like that every team from that group will get in. All the more reason to go back to the 5 classes that were there before. Not sure why a 6th class is needed in our state. Unless it's just a subtle attempt to give the public schools an additional championship each year.

Either way, I think moving away from the current setup was the right move. Having to seed and bracket teams each year appeared to be confusing to all involved and it unintentionally resulted in more scheduling conflicts when teams began to see how playing certain teams could affect their playoff chances and positions.

August 12, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Stewwie: you know why a 6th class is needed in this state...more $$$ for the TSSAA.

5 rounds of playoffs * 6 classifications = 186 playoff games = $$$.

Plus the privates...

Billy-In-Brainerd

August 12, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Great point, Billy. Ensuring that the public schools can get an additional championship each year is secondary to the TSSAA being able to rake in more dollars. And may as well milk that cow for as long as they still have it. If/when they kick out the private schools, the privates will start their own organization and take a lot of the money with them.

August 12, 2014 at 2:50 p.m.
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