Gang, remember the mailbag — we have a spot or two open today.
From the "Talks too much" studios, you stay classy Chattanooga.
You stay classy A-T-L
Man, the Braves are streaky. Sometimes they play like they have a bunch of leather-bound books and their locker room smells of rich mahogany. Sometimes they play like they have eaten an entire wheel of cheese and are trapped in a glass case of emotion.
So it goes.
Last night, the enigma that is Mike Minor continued to puzzle on-lookers and everyone else who believes, a) Minor should be a top-of-the-rotation guy and b) Milk was a poor choice.
The good: Jason Heyward knocked in three runs and had two of the Braves' three hits with runners in scoring position. After spending the first month of the season under the .200-mark, Heyward has moved to .258 on the year. Nice job.
The bad: Minor and his 5.32 ERA is a tough one. Dude was a first-round pick, and the left-hander has great promise. Or is it fool's gold. He routinely makes mistakes in big spots (10 hits and six earned in three innings?). He's the modern version of Derek Lowe in the sense that he's either seven sterling innings or get the bullpen up in the second inning. All or nothing, and way too much of the latter for someone who should have a bunch of the former.
The Uggla: Tommy La Stella, the kid who replaced Danny Struggla, is now hitting .287 — best among Braves starters. Go figure.
You stay classy, Bristol
As the SEC coaches make the turns around the ESPN campus, two things became ever-clear Tuesday.
First, do not not get into a war of words with Steven Orr Spurrier, who is the Ali of college football coaches. He's a bad man and he can talk the talk. (Quick Rushmore of All-Time trash-talkers: Spurrier, Bird, Ali and Prime Time is a starting point.) His latest target is Dabo Swinney, the Clemson coach who has a definite love-hate relationship with Spurrier, in that we believe Spurrier loves the fact Swinney hates him.
Second, Nick Saban said national title talk is "unrealistic" for Alabama because of the unknown at quarterback. WHAT? Unrealistic? Nick, c'mon man. We get that you are a college football coach — a great one mind you, one of the best ever — but statements like that are the reason people shake their heads when college football coaches go into their spiels about "Any given Saturday" and "taking it one day, play, game..." and the rest.
Unrealistic? Alabama will be no worse than preseason No. 4 in the polls and was an overwhelming choice to win the SEC.
Unrealistic? If we were to look at the internal memo or ask the Alabama players what goal No. 1 is for the season, do you think it says, "1) Compete to be in the top half of the SEC West." We're betting that's not real high on the sight line.
Please. Unrealistic? It's Alabama, and when you're average recruiting ranking is 1.5 over the last five years, the reality is national championship goals are in play every year, regardless who's playing QB.
You stay classy college hoops
We can all look and wonder about the power shifts and powerful stances the movers and shakers from the big-boy conferences are making as they take the rounds at various conference media days.
We know they want more autonomy and are holding the NCAA hostage in a less-than-subtle attempt to reshape the system.
That's the art of negotiation from one view; it's borderline extortion from another.
Here's another tactic that could greatly alter the future of college basketball.
A year after Dante Exum parlayed a season Down Under into being a lottery pick, the Class of 2015's best point guard prospect, Emmanuel Mudiay, is shunning college and will play in China before entering the NBA draft.
He is not the first to try this — Brandon Jennings did it in 2008 and was still drafted No. 10 overall after some oversea struggles.
But, Mudiay is braving a new frontier. China basketball is long on cash and short on stars and making a recognizable U.S. player a center piece makes sense.
And with the changing dynamics of the college sports experience, if Mudiay succeeds the completely fractured college hoops/NBA draft process may have taken another massive body blow.
This and that
— You stay classy Philadelphia. Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee ended his postgame interview by breaking wind.
— You stay classy, Mrs. 5-at-10. Reason No. 14,385 why we're a lucky fellow: Last night over a cocktail, we're discussing random events and referenced long odds and the Mrs. 5-at-10 drops the "If he's struck by a bolt of lightning, then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room, and that I can not forgive," from the Godfather. Well-played indeed.
— You stay classy, Sterling. Dude is suing everyone in L.A. County for crying out loud. He's a lawyer's dream.
We are giving away She Expo tickets on Press Row this week. And, yes, it may seem like an odd audience to be interested in She Expo tickets, but we believe that a) we have a growing number of female listeners and b) if you guys can offer an afternoon of smiles for the significant other you may be able to find your way to the golf course or to the fishing hole or what have you.
We're not only giving away the chance to go to the She Expo, we're giving away happiness. And who does that any more? It may just be the Candyman and the 5-at-10 for all we know.
We gave away four sets of tickets for the callers that gave the best suggestions for the Rushmore of Moms on yesterday's Press Row. The winners were Mother Theresa, Kevin Durant's mom, Carol Brady and "Momma Said Knock You Out" by L.L. Cool James. Narrowly missing the cut were Marge Simpson, "Stacey's Mom" and a slew of other great ideas.
We will be giving away tickets again today for the right answers to the following Rushmore: In the Southern Conference era, what is the all-time Rushmore of UTC coaches in all sports.
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 ...