published Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

5-at-10: UTC questions, Braves fall, NFL news and best baseball announcers ever

Gang, remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, football practice may just be starting but the weather is in full October mode. War David Glenn.

UTC wonderings

Your UTC Mocs start football practice today. Good times.

Here is UTC football ace Stephen Hargis' view of the questions facing the Mocs this fall.

We completely agree with Hargis on No. 1 — how will the Mocs handle expectations and the pressure that comes with being the favorite — as the biggest question mark for this bunch. It's fair to wonder, too, if the Mocs are ready for this moment. After all they are the best team in a Southern Conference made noticeably weaker by the defections of App and Georgia Southern.

We are curious as well as to how this group will handle adversity when it comes, because we all know it will come. It's football, there's always adversity — be it on the field or off it.

As for on the field, as Hargis notes, when your biggest questions are kickers and secondary depth, well, you have a lot of talent across the lines of scrimmage. Would finding another weapon on the perimeter be welcomed? Sure, but the biggest questions about this UTC bunch is if they are ready for their title shot.

———

Braves

  • photo
    Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp watches the flight of his second two-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Los Angeles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Atlanta Braves lost 8-4 to the Dodgers late Tuesday night. Atlanta stayed 1/2 game back of Washington, which lost again at Miami, in the NL East.

The good: Atlanta score four early runs against Josh Beckett, a number that has to be considered a success against a starter with a sub-3.00 ERA and a staff that is as good as baseball. The offense generated 12 hits and drew seven walks — another subpar effort with runners in scoring position (2-for-13) hurt — in the loss.

The bad: Aaron Harang was at best OK — six innings, four earned — but the bullpen was torched, allowing three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. Anthony Varvaro was victimized in the seventh, including allowing a long homer to Matt Kemp.

The Uggla: Danny Struggla got another start for the Giants, who lost to the Pirates 3-1 Tuesday. He went 0-for-3 with two Ks and is now 0-for-11 with six strike outs in his time out West. At least he did not make an error, so there's that. Side note: Uggla's replacement Tony La Stella was La Stellar again Tuesday. La Stella had three hits and a walk in five plate appearances and is hitting .296 with an OBP of .371.

———

NFL news of the odd

  • photo
    Tennessee defensive end and former Ooltewah standout Jacques Smith signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
    Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NFL camps have opened, and the Atlanta Falcons are going to be on HBO's Hard Knocks. We are excited about this. (Side note: Ooltewah's Jacques Smith is in camp with the Falcons, so there's that too, and considering he was in a fight earlier this week, he likely will appear in week 1's episode next Tuesday.)

The debates around NFL camps about quarterbacks and Johnny Footballs and the video clips of Peyton Manning dancing (here it is and you're welcome) are super. And relatively meaningless in the grand scheme. But there were two story lines that caught our attention this morning.

First, Cleveland wide out Josh Gordon is appealing his year-long suspension for pot. (Side note No. 1: Yes feel free to debate a guy getting a full year for being a multiple pot offender while Ray Rice gets two games for domestic assault against his wife. Side note to the side note: ESPN suspended Steven A. Smith from work longer for his rant last week about the Rice incident than the NFL suspended Rice for the actual incident. Smith got a full week or five days; Rice got two games. Go figure)

As for Gordon, dude is appealing his drug suspension by saying he failed the test because of second-hand smoke. Wonder if the "Dog ate my playbook" routine is also in his arsenal.

Second, Patrick Peterson, the stud duck corner for the Arizona Cardinals got a five-year, $70-million contract. Wow. Somewhere Deion Sanders is shaking his head. And if you ever need any more proof that the (cue Jaws) NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE is a pass-first, pass-last operation, the fact that corner backs are now that much more valuable than running backs is startling.

————

This and that

— Top overall college football prospect Josh Sweat will list his top five in the near future. Tennessee and Georgia figure to be in the mix for the Virginia defensive end, who has been a monster during the summer camp season.

— Another excellent turn from TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer on the Dillon brothers' visit to Boyd Speedway on Tuesday night. Good times, and those dudes are part of a young wave of NASCAR guys that can really go.

— Cleveland tackle Joe Thomas says Brian Hoyer is a lot like Tom Brady. What? If you mean he's tall and right-handed and played in the Big Ten, well yes, Joe you're spot on.

— The NCAA settled its concussion lawsuit for $70 million. This must be approved by a judge. We believe the judge will think that the settlement is not high enough. Carry on.

————

Today's question

During the Braves' loss at L.A. late Tuesday, the Dodgers honored Vin Scully for his 65th year as the Dodgers broadcaster. Wow, 65 years. Dude his career with the Dodgers is old enough to retire.

That said, what's our Rushmore of baseball announcers?

Go.

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.
MocTastic said...

Josh Gordon is not being suspened for a year just for one failed drug test, he is getting a lifetime career acheivement award. He was suspended at Baylor for drugs, then he failed a drug test in at Baylor again and was suspended indefinitely for a failed drug test. Gordon was then suspended in the NFL in 2013 for a failed drug test. Then this spring he was suspended for another failed drug test, getting a year due to it being his second failed drug test. While on suspension he was arrested for DWI on July 5. The guy has issues he needs to address.

Mel Allen, Red Barber, and Ernie Harwell.

I have never been on the Vin Scully bandwagon like most, he is taste that needs to be cultivated, he is not mine.

Harry Caray while technically not being a great radio announcer, was a great radio announcer. He often lost track of the game, was drunk at some points in his career during the games and then late in his career couldnt' really see what was going on. BUT he was fun to listen to, you just wouldn't always know what was going on.

Jay Greeson backwards is Noseerg Yay.

July 30, 2014 at 10:14 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Rushmore of baseball announcers...Vin, Jack Buck, Russ Hodges (giants win the pennant..), and my personal favorite Dizzy Dean. Sorry Braves fans none of your guys come close to cracking even the top 20...so let it be written, so let it be true

July 30, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.
MocTastic said...

An ANTI-Rushmore of baseball announcers has Tim McCarver on the far left...and Chris Berman not far away.

July 30, 2014 at 10:23 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[(Side note No. 1: Yes feel free to debate a guy getting a full year for being a multiple pot offender while Ray Rice gets two games for domestic assault against his wife.]

Apples and oranges, Jay. There is a clear policy on drug violations and the punishments that come with it. Not sure that the NFL should have even gotten involved in the Ray Rice incident unless he clearly violated an NFL rule. Any punishment should have been addressed by the justice system and/or the Ravens organization.

[Side note to the side note: ESPN suspended Steven A. Smith from work longer for his rant last week about the Rice incident than the NFL suspended Rice for the actual incident. Smith got a full week or five days; Rice got two games. Go figure)]

Not sure what Stephen A. Smith said that was wrong. He didn't blame the woman nor did he excuse Rice. He simply tried to hold both the instigator and the retaliator responsible for their actions. Leave it to the liberal media in ultra-p.c. America to take his words way out of context. That said, Smith's suspension is unjustified. Remember, he gets paid to run his mouth.

As for a suspension comparison, consider that Ray Rice is missing 13% of his work time (2 games out of 16). In comparison, Smith is missing only 2% of his work time (5 days out of 261 weekdays in a year).

July 30, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Stewwie: As usual, another quality post. You always bring great perspective.

MT: You're no slouch yourself. On the other hand, I am a tremendous slouch. Go Mocs !!

Billy-In-Brainerd

July 30, 2014 at 11:03 a.m.
chas9 said...

Red Barber, Harry Caray, Dizzy Dean, Gus Chamberlain. And squeeze in Munson, too.

Tonight's the night Sharknado 2 debuts. Must-see TV.

Wah Wah Jones (R.I.P.) was a two-time All-SEC football player (who went both ways) and thrice a basketball All-American. He was the reigning authority on how Bear Bryant and Adolph Rupp compared.

UK retired his uniform in both sports, and he played baseball, too. With the rest of the original Fab Five, he won an Olympics gold medal.

With Tennessee recruiting him as a high school phenom, a UT supporter kidnapped him and took him to Knoxville. He couldn't get out of Tennessee fast enough.

From yesterday: Yes, it's asinine that 5% didn't vote for The Babe. Can only assume that they were moralists who disapproved of his drinking and carousing.

MT has a good point that the Fulmer decision was about more than number of W's. But I'd bet they'd have more wins under The Great Pumpkin, as Jay opined yesterday.

And if six is The Vols' over-under, I'll take the under.

MT & The BiB Slouch--I'd guess Auburn is a serious contender for your Fulmer arrests cup.

Can we get up a pool to guess how many games Struggla will last on the left coast?

July 30, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Ten Ring, was back in town yesterday and went down to the Y. Ended up talking sports with an old timer there, a real sportsman, who left "Brand X" for your sporting show. Two reasons cited were the capacity Free Press reporters to bring hard news and the quality of guests.

Some excellent announcer names tossed out, so I go with my childhood favorites Al Michaels/Marty Brennerman in Cincinnati with Joe Nuxhall. Used to covertly listen to these guys after lights out, especially when playing the Dodgers. Flame throwing WLW AM's 50,000 watts were easy to find.

July 30, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

C-Niner: My take is the Auburn PD [+ the Tuscaloser PD?] are more 'student' friendly than the Athens PD + the K-town Police/Knox Co Sheriff.

And thanks for droppin' in. As Jay-G would say "pull up a chair anytime."

Billy-In-Brainerd

July 30, 2014 at 1:44 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Great stuff gang, and quickly as our day job has gotten in the way of doing our morning job which is not be confused with our afternoon or evening jobs. Good times.

Stewwie/MT —

Fair point about the collective bargaining agreement and we know the drugs (nice touch with career achievement award) are laid out in the deal. Maybe they should have a few more chapters in punishment part of the agreement. So it goes.

Stewwie, excellent point about how ESPN wants to have its cake and hear it too. Tough deal there... Corporate wants you to be edgy and move the meter and then you insult the Morality Majority on the interwebs and your sitting out a week without cheese.

BiB —

Don;t self yourself short Judge, your a tremendous slouch.

9er —

Glad to see the folks at Alexian restored your computer privileges. Pudding for everyone.

FE to the C —

Thanks for the kind words and for the list. Well done.

Also, we got to the point where we enjoyed Harry... Sammy Sosa... Sosa, that's A-Sos backwards.

July 30, 2014 at 2:17 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Jay-G wrote: "Don;t self yourself short Judge, your a tremendous slouch."

Where is the 'grammar check'? War Eagle!

Billy-In-Brainerd

July 30, 2014 at 2:28 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Thanks, Billy.

Jay, exactly. Love him or hate him, Smith got suspended for doing his job. Makes no sense.

July 30, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.
jgreeson said...

BiB —

Man, that is bad.

Me fail English... Unpossible.

July 30, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - The week after vacation is tough. No sand, no co-colas with lunch, gotta wear shoes all day. For the mailbag - Can the Broncos win a Superbowl before Peyton Manning retires?

July 30, 2014 at 8:42 p.m.
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