5-at-10: Masters, Braves new ace, spring into spring game questions

5-at-10: Masters, Braves new ace, spring into spring game questions

April 10th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, hit us with your questions for the mailbag. Giddy-up. We will be doing more Twitter (@jgreesontfp) than normal the next few days.

From the Augusta, Ga. satellite offices of the "Talks too much" studios, fore please, Dale Jr. now driving.

Masters charge

We'll update the ongoings from the hallowed grounds throughout the day. Feel free to throw out some questions and or ideas.

Harris English hits out of a bunker on the second green during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Augusta, Ga.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

As we wrote in this morning's TFP, we've got Jason Day winning Sunday. Who knows, right?

So what else do we know?

We know the ceremorial tee shot from Arnie, Jack and Gary Player is a cool moment.

We know that turning the corner and seeing Phil or Adam Scott or (fill in the blank) golf star face-to-face is still a little strange outside of the interview room.

We know that the early Thursday roars, while dwarfed by their Sunday big brothers, still make the hair on your neck come alive and make you wonder, "What just happened?"

So we begin another Masters. A tradition unlike any other indeed.

We will post the contest entries soon. We have to round up all the various late entries, and thanks to everyone for a record number of players.

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Black Magic Wonder

Welcome to the party Ervin Santana.

The Braves' one-year free agent pitching Band-Aid who was signed after the elbow tears of Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy was simply dazzling in his Atlanta debut.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana throws during the third inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Santana was lights out. Let's check the numbers: Santana pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and no walks while fanning six. Let's go deeper: Santana threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 27 hitters he faced. He also threw 20 consecutive strikes to start the game, and ESPN's Buster Olney said Santana is the only player in the last 15 years to accomplish the feat.

That's the good news. The bad news continues to be the hollowed bats the Braves swing. Other than Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons, the Braves view contact at the plate as optional and more times than not have taken a "relax, don't do it" view to hitting.

The ugly news was the near implosion of the bullpen, which was handed a 4-0 lead and had to call on Craig Kimbrel to strike out the final two outs.

Side note: Danny Struggla went 0-for-4 with 2 Ks and is now under the Struggla-meter number of .210. Danny is at .194.

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UT Spring game

Is there any thing bigger than the quarterback questions in Knoxville this weekend?

Well for the Vols fans out there, hit us with your Spring Game questions - the Orange-White game is Saturday - and we'll forward them to Downtown Patrick Brown and run some of them in Friday's mailbag. Deal? Deal.

Not to be outdone, we'll take UGA questions for the G-Day game and get Paschall's input and we'll take UTC questions and get some feedback from Stephen Hargis.

Whatcha got?

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This and that

- Wow, a major key note for motivation. The struggling Pacers sat all their starters and won. Good times.

Hank Aaron waves to the crowd during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of his 715th home run before the start of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Atlanta.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

- How's this for the worst shutout of the season? The Houston Astros drew a 0.0 in the Nielsen Ratings on Monday. Zero-point-zero. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through the season son. This is not the first 0.0 for the Astros - they notched the dubious number late September during a 15-game losing streak - but this happens a week into the season. Wow. Houston, you have a problem.

- Hank Aaron has compared those against President Obama and his health care plan to the KKK. He told the USA Today: "The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."

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Today's question

What's your Rushmore of all-time Masters shots? The most memorable - good or bad - shots from the most memory-making venue in golf?