5-at-10: U.S. Open, LeBron, and Happy Birthday "Bull Durham"

5-at-10: U.S. Open, LeBron, and Happy Birthday "Bull Durham"

June 13th, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

We have a soft spot for a slew sports-related things.

We love the draft. You know this. We embrace and are drawn to the pressure that comes with the best in sports on the biggest stages in their crafts. We hold dear sports movies and 1980s movies. And you know who has two digits in his online persona and loves theme shows? This 5-at-10.

So, as we head into a great golf weekend with fingers crossed that weather will subside and we will have a Sunday finish, we have other items to discuss.

Among them is the fact that Saturday is the 25th anniversary of the release of "Bull Durham" - a movie that we can argue is as true and genuine and pure as almost any sports movie. (Sure, the last 20 minutes that make it a borderline chick-flick are distracting, but still. And know this, we've seen that movie so many times, we are quoting it from memory.)

So with that in mind, let's go theme show, and Happy Birthday to Crash, Nuke, Annie, and you Larry Hockett should remember us because five years ago in the Texas League you were pitching for El paso and I was hitting cleanup for Shreveport and you hund aslider on a 0-2 pitch in the a 3-2 game in the bottom of the 8th.... and we tattooed it over the Goodyear Tire sign to beat you 4-3.

From the "Talks too much" studios, it's a long season and you've got to trust it.

The Open

"Hundred bucks says I can get us a rainout for tomorrow." - Crash Davis

Here's hoping everyone is safe in Merion when the hard weather arrives today.

Here's hoping after that, we get enough golf in that we can finish on Sunday. There's nothing better in golf than the pressure of Sunday. If they finish on Monday, the pressure will be the same for the players, but the feel will assuredly be different.

We'll post all of the entries for our Open contest later this morning - we're running a little late this morning, sue us - and we can get those around.

Phil Mickelson signs autographs after a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

That said, here's our pick:

First-round leader: Phil Mickelson

Winner: Dustin Johnson

We wanted to pick Phil Mickelson to win it too. (And the Mrs. 5-at-10 did.)

We picked Johnson, but we kind of want Mickelson to win. Call us a sucker for the left-handers (R.I.P. Kim King). Call us a sucker for the emotional storyline that will be Mickelson's midweek red-eye round trip to see his daughter graduate from middle school. Whatever.

(Side note: We have mad respect for Mickelson's dedication for being a dad. We need more of that as a society. That said, when did we get to the point that kids can graduate from every school. The lil' 5-at-10 had a preschool graduation for crying out loud. We get the high school graduation. And college graduation was one of our proudest days before becoming a dad - even if the old joke goes that if you drive slow enough around Auburn, Ala., with your windows down, eventually they'll throw a diploma in your car. Where were we?)

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Mr. James to the white courtesy phone, Mr. LeBron James to the courtesy phone, please

LeBron James

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

"You got to play this game with fear and arrogance, that's the key." - Crash Davis after Nuke gets called up to the show.

Is there a way to overstate what tonight's Game 4 means for the Miami Heat, who are down 2-1 in the NBA Finals? In turn, is there any way to overstate what this means for LeBron James, the best player on the planet who has been rather pedestrian through the first three games of this series?

James was tentative and at times confused in Game 3, a destruction that left guys like Gary Neal and Danny Green answering questions breaking NBA records.

James acknowledged that he has to play worlds better. Stevie Wonder also can see that.

What's the ceiling here and what's the basement? If LeBron drops bombs, Game 3 is a blip; if LeBron bombs, it drops his profile.

We're keeping the faith; we think LeBron delivers with a monster. Something in the neighborhood of 30-plus-15-10. The numbers are not the crux of James' success or struggles tonight - the numbers rarely are for LeBron. Tonight the hallmakr of his success will be measured by efficiency - his and the Heat's - and that's how it should be in team sports.

That said, call us curious about it, and not any where near as certain as we were two weeks ago.

(Side Bull Durham note: The above quote is one of the best scenes in the movie, and it jumpstarts the fight on the bus between Crash and Nuke, and leads to some of these classic one-liners:

"Dang we hate people that get the words wrong."

"When you were a baby the Gods reached down and turned your right arm into a thunderbolt. You got a Hall of Fame arm and your pee-ing it away."

"I ain't pee-ing nothing away. I got a Porsche already. A 911 with quadraphonic Blaupunkt."

"Yeah I was in the show. I was in the show for 21 days once - 21 greatest days of my life. You know your never touch your luggage in the show, someone else handles your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice. The ball parks are like cathedral. All the hotels have room service and all the women have long legs and brains."

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Are you Kidding?

"Scare 'em. They're kids, scare 'em. That's what I'd do." - Crash Davis

Jason Kidd retired from the NBA on June 3. Today he is the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Whatever.

Hey, Kidd is a Hall of Famer and one of the top five or seven point guards ever. Still, other than maybe some youth league stuff, he's never coached. NEVER coached.

How is this a good idea, again?

Hey, maybe it will work. We doubt it, but coaching success in the NBA today is measured differently considering at least six coaches who guided their teams to the playoffs were not retained and three coaches who either had franchise-best seasons or were NBA coach of the year were dismissed.

So it goes.

Side note: We're pretty surprised that Ron Shelton, a former minor league baseball player who wrote and directed "Bull Durham," did not try to put together a sequel with Crash Davis as a manager trying to get to the big leagues. Hey, there's still time. And it's not like Kevin Costner's price tag is as high as it once was.

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This and that

- "You don't respect yourself, and that's your problem. But you don't respect the game and that's my problem." Have you seen the USGA commercials for picking up the pace of the game of golf. They are here. We enjoy playing golf, and we may be the fastest player we've ever come across, so pace of play is a pet peeve of the 5-at-10. And it's a real problem with the game.

- "We're eight and 16. How'd we ever win eight?" Hey, at least we can feel safe that the Braves won't see the juggernaut that is the San Diego Padres in the playoffs. Go see Shamu and get on the plane. You stay classy, San Diego.

- "A player on a streak has got to respect the streak." We admittedly do not know a great deal about hockey, but we got sucked into the marathon, triple-overtime drama as the Blackhawks edged the Bruins that was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night. Spy, is there any way this series doesn't go seven games?

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Today's question

Gang, remember Friday's mailbag. We have a spot or two open.

Feel free to discuss all of the above and offer your predictions on what LeBron will do and how Game 4 of the Finals will play out tonight.

As for the question, well, in honor of Bull Durham star Kevin Costner, let's try a Bo Jackson of sports movies Rushmore. Who are the four guys who have the biggest and best collection of sports movies?

Costner is there with Bull Durham, Tin Cup, Field of Dreams and For Love of the Game.

Wesley Snipes is definitely there with Major League, Wildcats, White Men Can't Jump, The Fan.

There are comedy choices to be made. Do you take Sandler (Happy Gilmore, Waterboy, a terrible remake of Longest Yard) or Woody Harrelson (Wildcats, White Men Can't Jump, Semi-Pro) or even Will Farrell (Semi-Pro, Blades of Steel, Ricky Bobby)?

Here's a sneaky one: Dennis Quaid, who was in Breaking Away, The Rookie and Any Given Sunday.

Whatcha got?