As we prepare for the start of football practice, we have questions. Lots of questions. Do you have questions? Fire away — or call us on Press Row from 3-6 and we'll cover it there — and let's see if we can find some answers.
Today the topic is the University of Tennessee. Our TFP Vols beat ace Downtown Patrick Brown will have his five questions as UT enters the preseason in Thursday's TFP.
We're going to start with three today:
1) Is there a legitimate starting quarterback on the roster? That's the big one, right? If Josh Dobbs or Justin Worley grabs the job with the confidence needed, either will have a slew of skilled-position guys with NFL-level upside. And in truth, isn't about confidence as much if not more so than anything else considering each was a highly valued recruit?
2) A year after having a ton of experience up front, can the Vols piece together new offensive and defensive lines? We think the offensive line will be better than people expect; the defensive line could be bad, though. It's a tough proposition, but there is no patience or pity in the SEC, and finding the wide bodies up front has to be job No. 1 of the preseason.
3) The magic number is 6, and which is more likely: UT goes over the 6 in wins or over the 6 in players on the All-SEC freshman team? WE think the former is a tall order and the latter — consider the cosmic combination of opportunity and talent in this freshman class — is a dunk.
Discuss, and what is your biggest question of the Vols (be nice Jomo and OG)?
Sterling verdict, part I
Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas ruled that Shelly Sterling negotiated a good deal for the Clippers and has the right to sell the franchise.
The decision means that Donald Sterling's protest of the sale — forced by the NBA after he was taped with racial slurs and insults — will not stop the $2 billion (yes, billion with a 'B') transaction.
Here's the point where we ask: Anyone think The Don will appeal? But, under the judge's order, any appeal can not delay the sale, which officials estimated would be completed no later than Aug. 15.
So what does this mean? It means Adam Silver continues to live under a shade cloud with a cool breeze in his face in the early parts of his tenure as commissioner. In addition to a great postseason and the touching tribute to Isaiah Austin at the draft. Silver now slides through another round unscathed.
If Sterling had won this injunction it would have forced the commissioner's hand and the other owners would have had to voted him out, and while the league seemed unified in its anger and angst against The Don, the owners did not want to vote one of their own out. (Especially considering the circumstances and the precedent.)
The Don was not in the court room for the verdict, but his attorney talked to him shortly after and passed along The Don's comments: "He said, 'Keep fighting,'" Bobby Samini said.
So ended the latest chapter in one of the most bizarre chain of events in American sports.
But of all the things we think we know about this mess, we believe this most of all — this latest chapter will not be the last.
Jeter moving on up
Derek Jeter got three hits last night and moved to No. 7 all-time in hits.
Barring injury, he should catch Honus Wagner — he needs 10 more to tie him — but Tris Speaker's total is out of reach.
Here's the top 10 in hits all-time (which name surprised you the most? Paul Molitor, right? Dude that's a ton of hits for a guy that was seldom mentioned among the best of his era, you know?)
1) Pete Rose, 4256
2) Ty Cobb, 4191
3) Hank Aaron, 3771
4) Stan Musial, 3630
5) Tris Speaker, 3515
6) Honus Wagner, 3430
7) Derek Jeter, 3420
8) Carl Yastrzemski, 3419
9) Paul Molitor, 3319
10) Eddie Collins, 3314
We stand by our claim that in five years when he is eligible, Jeter should be the first unanimous Hall of Fame inductee. Will it happen? Nope, but it should.
Well-played Captain. Well-played indeed.
Side list: Here are the top 10 in regard to percentage to be elected into the baseball Hall of Fame:
1) Tom Seaver — 98.84 percent
2) Nolan Ryan — 98.79 percent
3) Cal Ripken Jr. — 98.53 percent
4) Ty Cobb — 98.23 percent
5) George Brett — 98.19 percent
6) Hank Aaron — 97.83 percent
7) Tony Gwynn — 97.61 percent
8) Greg Maddux — 97.19
9) Mike Schmidt — 96.52 percent
10) Johnny Bench — 96.42 percent
Side note: Babe Ruth is tied for 12th with 95.13 percent, and how five percent of anyone alive at any point would not vote for Babe Ruth to be a Hall of Famer is asinine.
This and that
— Tip of the 5-at-10 visor to all-around TFP ace Stephen Q. Hargis for another quality prep tour to kick off the high school season. Well-played indeed.
— Danny Struggla: West Coast Story. After going 0-for-8 with three errors in three games over the weekend for the San Francisco Giants, Dan Uggla did not play in Monday's 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Since calling up Uggla — who shares the lead for most errors (12) by a second baseman with New York's Daniel Murphy, who has played in 64 more games than Uggla — the Giants are 0-4. Side note: Since starting the season 22-9 at home the Giants are 6-20 in their own yard. Not good.
— Our TFP ace Mark Wiedmer delivered another peach by catching up with Phil Fulmer on Monday. Here's a question for you: What would Tennessee's record have been if Fulmer had been given a shot at turning this around?
— Happy birthday to Geddy Lee, lead singer of David Paschall's favorite all-time band Rush. Who's on the Rushmore of lead singers in a rock band? Paging OG….
We're going a little off the wall here.
What is your freedom worth? Here's a nightmare story of Kenneth Ireland, a Connecticut man who spent 21 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit.
Ireland is suing for compensation and is looking for a judgement between $5.4 and $8 million.
What say you? What does Kenneth deserve?
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 ...