5-at-10: Winston's claws for concern, college football changes/stays same, Braves stinker

5-at-10: Winston's claws for concern, college football changes/stays same, Braves stinker

May 1st, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, remember the Friday mailbag - we have a spot or three open.

From the "Talks too much" studios, butter up buttercup.

Fresh fish

It's crab legs right? It's the chance to laugh at a 'shellfish act' or remind folks that this story has legs or even lament Winston as a po' boy who fought the claw and the claw won.

Jameis Winston talks to reporters Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in New York.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Yes, that may be the 5-at-10 single-sentence record for puns - and we made at least one crab/crawfish joke in every segment of Wednesday's Press Row - and that's not even getting to the question whether the seafood was all it was cracked up to be or what's Winston's favorite Christmas song (we chose Frosty the Snow Crab over Santa Claws is coming to town).

But, then there's this: Didn't Winston say during his rise that fall on the way to the Heisman and leading the Seminoles to the BCS title, that he did not want to catch Manziel disease?

Isn't this a hard and fast case of that very thing? And mix in the serious of the rape allegations and the other two childish run-ins with the law - 'stealing' soda at Burger King and a call to authorities because of kids shooting BB guns at windows - and isn't Winston three degrees beyond the Manziel circus?

We had a caller on Press Row Wednesday suggest that maybe Winston had a 'hook-up' at the Publix that gave him some free stuff, and that got derailed when someone asked, "Hey, that's Jameis Winston... Did he just steal those crab legs... Call the claw enforcement (sorry)."

Maybe. And in the sense of the craziness that is the NCAA realm, dealing with the Tallahassee police department is the easier and more pain-free plan compared to admitting someone is giving the star quarterback a free meal valued at $32. That could be an NCAA felony compared to a legal citation.

So we're back here wondering if we need question Winston's decision making, wondering if the 20-year-old, dual-sport star is ready for the one-name stratosphere for which he appears bound, wondering if this is a joke or hardly a laughing matter that is the latest dot in a sketch of a bad apple.

With Winston, FSU will be preseason No. 1. And of course the seafood snag he's been hooked in has resulted in a suspension from the baseball team. Here's saying his football punishment will be handled internally - especially with FSU opening with Oklahoma State. If the Seminoles opened with Bethune Cookman, Winston may have missed a half or even three quarters, since that seems to be the going rate for young, immature reigning Heisman winners.

Is there claws for concern?

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Answers... nope

Of course who could expect clarity in a situation involving the nation;s best college football player when college football as a whole embraces the convoluted and welcomes the shroud of cover-ups.

The new college football playoff - which will be ingeniously known as the college football playoff (Side question: Will the trophy for winning the college football playoff be known as the trophy? Good times.) - has announced they want to follow the lead of the college basketball selection committee.

Football tile

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

Well great.

That's like a new and improved idea that is eagerly being discussed by almost everyone who enjoys it saying, "We're excited, and we're going to pattern our moves after the federal government. Enjoy."

The big announcement from the meetings this week was that the selection committee will release a weekly poll starting in late October. Who cares? Or great. Whatever.

The committee missed a real chance to enact a great first step in this new process. How great would this announcement been:

"Thanks for joining us and we'll pass out a statement about the meaningless poll we'll release midway through the season and the made-for-TV ESPN announcement show that will come along with it.

But the real reason we're here today is to discuss the process in which we will pick the four teams to play for the football national championship. We know this a chance to right the postseason wrongs of many football season gone by. We know that it is of high import that this system flourishes with four teams or the playoff field will expand and that could threaten the very fabric of the best regular season in all of sports. We know that even the perception of bias or influence in the court of public appeal would be as damning as any smoking gun in the court of law.

So with that we are please to announce that we will pick these four teams live, on PBS with the cameras rolling. We want full disclosure in this process because we know the stakes and the likelihood of conspiracies theories. Plus, we'll let PBS sell the naming rights of this show and that should handle the funding of Sesame Street for the next generation.

Any questions?"

Side note: For what it's worth, here, according to the AP, are the 13 members of the panel that will pick the four teams for the college football playoff and seed the top 12 teams for the major bowls at the end of the season: Southern California AD Pat Haden, Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck, former longtime Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, Tyrone Willingham, who was head coach at Notre Dame, Washington and Stanford, former Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning, former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the former superintendent of Air Force, Tom Jernstedt, a former longtime NCAA executive, former USA Today sports writer Steve Wieberg, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is now a professor at Stanford.

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Kershaw the baseball highlight

Clayton Kershaw (22) starts for the Chattanooga Lookouts Thursday against the Smokies.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Great crowd and great atmosphere for the Lookouts last night as Dodgers ace and two-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw delivered A-level star stuff.

Here's the coverage from our man David Paschall and TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer.

It was a fun evening by all accounts, and it certainly was the best news for local baseball fans, considering the Braves got thrashed for the second consecutive game at Miami, losing 9-3.

The good: It was very limited, but Jason Heyward got two hits - both doubles - and David Hale looked good in long relief, a role that he may be forced to accept when Mike Minor returns from the DL.

The bad: For the first time this season, Aaron Harang looked like Aaron Harang. Harang entered the season a sub-.500 pitcher with an ERA over 4. He has spent the last month looking more like John Smoltz than a journeyman. Wednesday, he got torched, giving up nine runs in 4.2 innings. He had allowed three earned runs in 31.2 innings so far this season before Wednesday, when his ERA rose from 0.85 to 2.97.

The Uggla: Hello, Danny Struggla. Where you been fella? Lil' Danny is 2-for-his-last-20 with two singles, one walk and 10 Ks. Ouch. He's now at .202 for the season.

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Oprah Winfrey arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

This and that

- William Shatner received the highest civilian honor from NASA. Isn't that like Doogie Howser getting an honorary degree from Harvard Medical school?

- The names that are circling to be interested in the L.A. Clippers include Oprah. Swell.

- The fast-paced and entertaining first-round of the NBA playoffs continued with the Rockets staying alive, the Raptors taking a 3-2 lead over the Nets and the Spurs inching out to a 3-2 lead over the Mavs. Huge night tonight for the Hawks, who could complete the 8-over-1 upset at home over the Pacers, and the Grizz, who could bounce the Thunder in the Grindhouse. The Clippers could also advance tonight at Golden State.

- Side note on the NBA Playoffs: If the Hawks win and the Raptors hold on, here's saying a Vegas wager of having the Raptors-Heat and the Hawks-Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals would have paid off a lot of entertainment.

- Mike D'Antoni resigned from the Lakers. That is all.

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Today's question

It's a free day - go to work and let the name be your guide.

If you need a talking point here are a few:

- Is this the straw that gets Jameis Winston on the right track or does he continue to break the craw? Sink or swim if you will.

- We are a week from the draft, and since there were no takers on the Derby contest, any ideas for the NFL draft contest? Our plan right now is submit who goes No. 1, who goes to the Falcons, who goes to the Titans, SEC players in round 1 and what pick overall is Aaron Murray. Thoughts?

- Tim McGraw turns 47 today. Yay. Does McGraw make the Rushmore of musicians who have become actors? His turns in Blindside and Friday Night Lights were pretty good. Dwight Yoakam has something to say there too. Thoughts?