5-at-10: Braves' big beginning, Tiger talk on Tour, Alabama's poll dominance

Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Harris II (23) makes a running catch on a fly ball from New York Mets Jon Berti in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Big start

Take that Metropolitans. (Side question: Metropolitans as a nickname, friend or foe?)

Game 1 of a critical - way more so for Atlanta than the Mets - four-game series at Truist Park in Smyrna became a soggy tail-whipping.

The Braves got just about everything they could have hoped for in the 13-1 win.

Spencer Strider went five strong innings despite the game being stalled for more than an hour because of rain.The Mets went deep into their bullpen, which Atlanta peppered after the rain drops.

Ronald Acuña and Dansby Swanson combined for six hits from the top two spots of the order, and every Braves player who went to the plate Monday night got at least one hit.

Plus, the magnitude of the first two games of this series for the Braves - who lost four of five against this bunch in New York last week and now trail the Mets by 4.5 games - is tripled knowing that Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom loom Wednesday and Thursday.

But even us Smyrna folk could see that Monday's effort was impressive. Heck, some could even say metropolitan.

Another LIV discussion

So now the PGA leadership is bringing in the biggest of the big guns.

Tiger Woods is scheduled to meet with players in Delaware today before this weekend's PGA BWM Championship in the penultimate event of the season.
Woods will be talking all things LIV and the threats it offers to the PGA.

Woods' steadfast commitment to the PGA Tour has been the best thing for Jay Monahan and the establishment. And that Woods turned down $800 million - reportedly - adds weight to Woods' words.

But this comes as the threats - of lawsuits and more defections - continue to swirl.

Cam Smith has reportedly agreed to join the LIV after the playoffs end later this month. Also of note, Smith pulled out of the BMW because of a *cough*cough* hip injury.

Other names like Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama are rumored to be among the next wave of players headed to LIV.

Not sure what Tiger can say to the Top 20 or especially the Top 50 players in the world, because in truth, Tiger's career has been the forever unicorn.

He had $100 million in endorsements before he ever played a meaningful PGA. His 'working conditions' as a professional are almost entirely unique.

In truth, other than pledging the importance of loyalty and pinning their hopes on eligibility in majors, the PGA has offered very little in terms of Phil Mickelson's original assessment of improved working conditions.

The PGA Tour is the only sport that a professional player is ponying up his own money on the front end to play. Yes, that's how it's been. But that also makes me understand why more and more players are intrigued by the LIV model.Yes, the Saudis are some scary bleepers. And yes, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson are not taking out a second Rocket Mortgage to make sure they have travel and caddie fees for the Greenbrier covered.

But beyond just bagging on the LIV, maybe the PGA should be self-examining ways it could be better too.

Polling place

No this is not about Election Days across the country.

(Side note: Not to get too deep into Chas' beat, but the ripples of Donald Trump in the Republican Party will be interesting to see today. Especially in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney has had the backbone to call Trump out when his BS meter would red line. Kind of hard to fathom that the daughter of Dick Cheney - who at one point was the far right enforcer of the national GOP mechanism for almost a generation - is not 'Republican' enough for the ever-far right of the party.)

This is about the AP poll and some of the interesting details from it.

The usual suspects are atop the poll. (Side question: Better movie, "The Usual Suspects" or "Casablanca" which is where the phrase, "Better roundup the usual suspects" was first uttered? Discuss.)

Alabama-THE Ohio State-Georgia are your top three. Shocking right?

The first eye-popping fact is this will be the 15h straight year that Alabama has been ranked No. 1 for at least one week. Yes, 15. That's more than twice as long as the next closest streak in college football history.

Second, if you think the preseason polls are just fodder, well, that's assuredly true. But did you know in the college football playoff era, no eventual champ was ranked outside the top 6 in the AP preseason poll?

Hmmmmmm.

This and that

- Here's today's A2 column from some round-faced fella on long-time MLB reliever Cory Gearrin making a fresh start as part of Weston Wamp's transition team. Enjoyed writing this one. Known Cory a fair spell, and he is - as my Nanny would have said - good folk.

- You know the rules. Here's Paschall on some UT football and a rare crossover Alabama and Georgia story under the same headline with a look at receiver Jermaine Burton, who left Athens for T-town.

- How perfect is this NIL agreement between a Lincoln air conditioning company and a Nebraska football player named Decoldest Crawford?

- OK, because we invoke the 24-hour catch-up rule, we will not discuss "Better Call Saul" until Wednesday. Yes, that's a difficult ask, but it is our obligation.

- Former LSU quarterback Myles Brennan has retired. Could mean he's tired of football. Could mean Jayden Daniels, the Arizona State transfer, has grabbed the QB1 job. Side note: I am a big fan of Jayden Daniels. Huge. I think his upside is every bit as high as Jaxon Dart at Ole Miss or Spencer Rattler at South Carolina.

- Speaking of transfer SEC QBs, my originally overly optimistic view of the Auburn Tigers may be a bit inflated since just about every report I've seen has the Tigers still trying to decide on a QB1. And of all the truths Spurrier ever spoke, the "If you think you have two QBs, you have none" is high on the list.

- We missed it over the weekend, but "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" turned 40 over the weekend. Wow. What a great film.

- A local woman has gone viral with a video of a humongous timber rattlesnake crossing an array trail. Egad the size of this thing. Unless you are talking about Kenny "The Snake" Stabler" or Snake Plisskin from the criminally underrated "Escape from New York" snakes are a 100% no-go for this guy.

- One more tidbit. I said this on draft day. George Pickens is going to be a dude. Period. Hit return.

Today's questions

True or false, it's Tuesday. I say true, but will await confirmation from Ernie on this.

True or false, Spencer Strider needs bigger pants. Seriously, at one point last night I could check his pulse by watching him work from the stretch.

True or false, I need to watch "Hard Knocks" with the Lions.

True or false, this year's CFP champion was ranked in the top 6 of the AP poll released Monday.

True or false, "Escape from New York" makes Kurt Douglas' Rushmore.

You know the drill; answer some T or Fs, leave some T or Fs.

As for today, Aug. 16, let's review.It's the 45th anniversary of Elvis' death. It's the Mrs. 5-at-10's 45th birthday. So there's that. Side note: Not sure what I would be or what I even could be without my beautiful better half, but I know this: There's no way I could be as good as I am or as happy as I am without her.

Madonna is 64 today.

Steve Carell is 60 today.

Have we done a Steve Carell Rushmore? Go.