5-at-10: Friday mailbag

5-at-10: Friday mailbag

May 25th, 2012 by Jay Greeson in Sportscolumns

From the "Talks too much" studios, here we go...

From CelticVol

Hey 5@10,

A month ago our church started up a softball team and I was asked to join. The ages of our team range from 18 to 55 with the majority of the team being older than 35. We're 3 games in and we have lost our first baseman to a torn calf muscle. Our centerfielder has had to be helped off the field with a shoulder injury. Our second baseman left a game with a hamstring injury. Our catcher totally missed a throw from third that hit nothing but solid leg bone and now can barely walk. I'm hobbling around due to a pulled left quad on my first at bat on the first play of our second game.

Our record is 0-3. We have gotten beat by 1, 16, and 10. At what point do you tell yourself, 'Enough is enough' and pack up the glove and call it a career?

C-Vol,

Short-answer: Never give in. You make someone else say "Uh, why don't we take a break." If you don't have enough to field a team so be it, but take every step to finish the season. Bagel for the year is better than 0-3 and surrendering.

But since this is the 5-at-10, and we're broadcasting live from the "Talks too much" studios, the short answer is not our style.

(Quick side note: When we played a bunch of softball, we played on a cracker-jack church team one year that had a "No Pray, No Play" rule.)

A few years ago the TFP sports department put together a softball team that played doubleheaders on Wednesday nights. It's tough for sports reporters to play night games because that's when most of the work gets done.

Anyhoo, we had a similar demographic to you C-Vol, and we split the first doubleheader. Well, the entire team strained/pulled quads during opening night. Everyone was walking/running stiff legged like Frankenstein. (To make matters worse we played a team of guys who all were 65-plus the next night, and they thought we were making fun of them. Not good times.)

After the pulled muscles faded and the gang realized the levels to which we could compete, it was a lot of fun.

In fact, we miss it now - when we say we played a lot of softball, we mean A LOT of softball - both on the competitive level and the casual level.

And barring any serious injury, here's saying the experience will be like summer camp for the entire team - right now it seems like a struggle but come September when you and the boys are kickin' back Co-Colas, the only memories will be your home run or some dude throwing out a guy at the plate.

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From Jonathan M. Cook, via Dallas

Hey Jay,

I know you're stoked over the "100 days until kickoff time in Tennessee". However, because I live in a city with a battle-hardened baseball team, I'm in no major rush. But I have to keep the 5 and 10 honest if I think they're starting to get too much into the Orange Crush and forget "Oh wait, there's that other team."

Dean Haynes

So what's 5 and 10's take on Dean Haynes or more importantly, Georgia transfer Derrick Lott? It's a well-known fact they will have to earn game time but how much of a serious impact will they be this year? As much as I would love for the Mocs play in my back yard which I call the Signal Mountain of Dallas, I will just be happy see them take Appy State and finally tear them up.

And while I'm at it - shameless plug - everyone, get your posteriors in gear and actually give these boys some love. I want to see butts in the seats in my streaming video. We get both Appy and Georgia Southern at home this year. No More Excuses!!

Mr. Cook,

Completely fair question, and while we did make mention to the Vols start date - it's 14 weeks from today, gang - let's discuss some Mocs football.

As for your question, we think each will pay huge, Huge, HUGE dividends.

From early indications, it seems Haynes, the former Northwest Whitfield star who is coming to UTC from N.C. State, will get a shot at safety. We know the kid is supremely talented on each side - we can remember watching him have success in the ACC with the ball in his hands a couple of years ago - and will contribute. Dude is a player.

As for Lott, there's a lot to like. He gives the Mocs multiple 300-pound options at defensive tackle, a luxury normally afforded SEC programs rather than SoCon programs. Even though he did not see a lot of action on the field, Georgia coach Mark Richt by most accounts was disappointed that Lott was leaving, so that at least speaks well of his personality and contributions to the program beyond the field.

Plus, unlike Haynes or even B.J. Coleman, Lott's not a local kid looking to transfer and picked the program closest to home. That actually speaks well of coach Russ Huesman and what the Mocs have been able to do. When you are getting former four-star recruits from SEC programs that the coaches are trying to keep, well, those seem to be the ones that can make the biggest differences.

We'll say this about the two transfers: We believe they will be far closer to Coleman levels of contributions than say the contributions of Chris Donald, the former UT defensive end who was forced to give up football because of injuries.

Thanks for keeping us honest, and say hello to J.R., Bobby and the rest of the Ewing crew out in Dallas. (There is no way we can overstate our excitement for the upcoming "Dallas" 2.0 TV show.)

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From SteelerFan

Been a while since I submitted a question and this one is off the path a little bit.

Knowing all of the love for college football - and high school football for that matter - how can you justify the decision for the three biggest newspapers in Alabama to go three days a week?

SteelerFan,

Thursday was a sad day indeed since the Newhouse chain decided that the Mobile Press Register, the Birmingham News and the Huntsville Times - and the New Orleans Times Picayune - would publish on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

As for your question, it's hard to see the logic. It seems like the first step to being an entirely online operation, especially for the papers in Alabama.

We can make an argument that there are few states that have a more universal topic than Alabama does with the Iron Bowl (the Alabama/Auburn football rivalry). Everyone in the state has a view on that subject. Period. And now, on Saturdays in the fall, there is now Gameday stuff. No high school football coverage. Cuh-razy.

We have to believe they had a room full of numbers crunchers look at every other option before this one. This is not a redesign or taking away stock reports or blending sections a few days a week. This is so permanent and foreboding that we're not offering anything other than our condolences to the great professionals that work there and the folks that love those papers.

That said, it's staggering to think there won't be a Saturday Birmingham News this fall.

Staggering. And sad.

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From Jefe

I see you tried to sneak a contest by me. You know I am the Kelly Leak, the Jimmy Chitwood, the Roy Hobbs of 5@10 contests, right?

OK, that's technically a question but not the one I had planned.

Here we go - are the Celtics shot or is there one more bullet in the chamber?

Thanks and you all know I'm going to win, right? (That's actually three questions for the mailbag. Sorry.)

Jefe -

IndyCar driver Rubens Barrichello, of Brazil, responds to a question during media day for IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

First for the contest, here are the rules: We need an Indy 500 driver, a Coca-Cola 600 driver and a horse in the Belmont. We'll add together each finish and low total wins (perfect score would be 3 - 1 point for first place in each race). Since we have to have the submissions by Sunday morning, if you submit a horse that pulls out next week, you can replace them.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. And we're thinking about some primo tickets as the prize - maybe even some NASCAR passes for Atlanta this Labor Day.

Here's who is entered (and we're going to try to run down some of the other media members here in town - yes, this mean you, Quake, Dr. B - he's a doctor after all - Cowboys Joe, Goforth, Keith Cawley and the rest of you, including the TFPers that want to play):

BlueOval - Will Power/Matt Kenseth/I'll Have Another

StuckinKent -Helio Castroneves/Jimmie Johnson/I'll Have Another

McPell - Tony Kanaan/Matt Kenseth/Bodemeister

Todd962 - Scott Dixon/Tony Stewart/I'll Have Another

Jefe - Franchetti/Brad Keselowski/I'll Have Another)

(We have a slew of others to include in the e-mail but we're running late right now. And if you have not entered, why have you not entered? As Sen. John Blutarsky once noted, "It don't cost nothing.")

As for the Cs, well, we think they have one more shot, but it has to be now. In fact, the only reason they are still standing is because the Bulls lost Rose and Noah in the series against Philly. So the time is now for the Cs and the Big Three. And, while Miami would certainly be the favorites, we like the matchup with the Heatles, especially if Bosh misses most of the series.

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From PDavi

Orlando Magic's Shaquille O'Neal dunks the ball and comes down on Denver Nuggets' Dikembe Mutombo during action at the Orlando Arena Tuesday Feb. 13, 1996. Orlando defeated Denver, 121-93.(AP Photo/Steve Simoneau)

Have to say that we agree that GM Dr. Shaq O'Neal would be fun to watch. Who doesn't love a 7-foot-plus guy who happily answers to Kazaam?

It seems more than a little bit surprising, though, and that thought got us wondering. Oh wise 5 at 10, who do you think are the least likely former star athletes who would fill the following positions:

Star baseball player that becomes a manager:

Star basketball player that becomes a coach:

Star football player that becomes a head coach:

Star athlete in any sport who becomes a GM:

Thanks and you still talk too much.

Wow, this is a great question, and one that we'd like to open to the group.

There are two groups of professional athletes that struggle in the transition to coach/GM. Super-duper stars rarely can make the transition (Larry Bird appears to be the exception) because they were able to perform their sport at such an elite level that it's difficult to understand why everyone can't perform at a level approaching great. We'll call this the MJ group.

The other group is the freakish athletes/nutbars who become as infamous as they are famous. We'll call this the Rodman group.

In almost every case, neither make good front office types and we thought we'd give both for each of PDavi's questions. Here goes, and feel free to add any of your thoughts:

Star baseball player that becomes a manager:

MJ group: Manny Ramirez

Rodman group: Manny Ramirez

Star basketball player that becomes a coach:

MJ group: Kobe Bryant

Rodman group: Joakim Noah

Star football player that becomes a head coach:

MJ group: Tom Brady

Rodman group: James Harrison

Star athlete in any sport who becomes a GM:

MJ group: Roger Clemens

Rodman group: Metta World Peace

Gang, feel free to share on any and all of these, plus don't forget your Trifecta entries. And as we told Mr. 962 yesterday, as we approach this Memorial Day, let's pretend the World's Most Interesting Man was also on "Hill Street Blues" - "Stay thirsty my friends and let's be careful out there."