5-at-10: Friday mailbag with Braves pitching woes, ‘Yellowstone’ legacy, Dutton’s death, Jay’s Plays

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, May 9, 2023 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Let's handle our business first.

Rushmore of players forever known for being on the other side of a terrible transaction: Sam Bowie, who was picked before Jordan (and Barkley and Stockton, among others); Milt Pappas, who was dealt for Frank Robinson; Joe Barry Carroll, who the Celtics sent West for Robert Parrish and a draft pick that became Kevin McHale, and Herschel Walker, who was dealt for half of the early 1990s dynastic Dallas Cowboys.

Rushmore of beverages: water, Coke, tea and wine. (Not my favorites mind you, but hard to argue with those.)

Rushmore of lead singers: Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant and Axl Rose (personal choice over Vedder, Cobain and a slew of others)

Rushmore of TV moms: Carol Brady, Marge Simpson, Claire Huxtable and personal fav Tami Taylor. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

To the bag.

From Chris

Jay, if you need a mailbag question, what did you think about the NFL schedule release? Thanks, and love the 5-at-10.


Always needs mailbag questions.

Things I noticed:

We are going to get to see all the Jets' success or failure, because in truth, this can't be a mediocre 9-8 bunch. This will be a home run or a disaster. And six of those Jets games are in prime time. Here's hoping that on at least one of them Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber work the sideline.

I also loved the various team announcements, like this "man on the street" social media post from the Tennessee Titans media team.

The East divisions in each Conference are stacked and going to be dog fights.

Am I the only one who thinks the Lions have more to prove? And a season-opening game at Kansas City. Lay the points. Now.


From JTC

On the Braves front, both Kyle Wright and Max Fried are on the injured list. Sounds to me like they'll be shutdown until after the All-Star break. I hope some of the young guns can step up. Maybe it's Michael Soroka time in the ATL? Do you think that AA is working his magic this early in the year?


Pitching depth is always at a premium. For everyone, even a team with as much of it as the Braves.

Mike Soroka is getting hammered in Triple A as we speak. I fear the worst for Fried -- as in major arm surgery, if you ask me -- and I'm not sure what the future holds for Wright.

Bryce Elder has been great to start the season, but he throws slower than a 1973 Pinto, and that soft-serve stuff struggles when we get to the -er months and every pitch of every at-bat is meaningful.

So that leaves Spencer Strider who is a bona fide 1 with bona fide 1 stuff. Is Charlie Morton your 2? Most likely, and after that it's scratch-off lottery tickets and bullpen games.

And yes, here's betting AA is working the phones hard, but a couple of things on that in terms of this issue and specifically with this team.

First, no one is dealing veteran starters in May, because right now every team not named the A's can still convince themselves they are in contention. Moreover, you deal a major leaguer rotation guy before Mother's Day and your ticket-buying fans could revolt.

Second, which GM in his right mind wants to deal with the red-hot-decision-maker AA right now? And which contending team wants to help a team like the Braves, who you have to plan on beating to get to the pinnacle?

Runs in bunches at Truist this summer friends.

From Pat

So it appears the sun is setting on the other side of the Rockies for the series "Yellowstone."

How will it be remembered in the pantheon of cable TV episodic dramas (Rushmore apparently is racist).

Will it take a place alongside "The Sopranos," or "Breaking Bad" or "Mad Men" or "The Wire" (which I know you endorse but I have not seen)?

What will its legacy on TV broadcasting be?


"Yellowstone" is very good, and at one time it was must-see, but it's an Evil Knievel jump over the Snake River leap from the names you mentioned above.

I think I need to rewatch "The Sopranos" this summer. Who's with me?

As for "Yellowstone" and legacy, well, it will be a springboard for a decade-plus run of dominance for Taylor Sheridan, who will turn that cowboy carnival into half a billion dollars if I had to guess.

It also will be a Sasquatch-sized myth for the rest of the cable and streaming services looking to find something with even a sliver of this kind of success.

Plus, it will be the continuation of Hollywood A-list movie stars taking their talents to the small screen, not unlike how Hanks and Allen kind of jump-started the voiceover parade with the first "Toy Story."

Maybe it's biggest legacy will be kind of the original (or at least one of the best at doing it) to spin the story forward, using prequels more than sequels or spinoffs.

Speaking of "Yellowstone" I got several versions of how John Dutton should buy the farm. Here are some of the emails/social media ideas you guys and gals sent along:

-- "I think his grandson will shoot him accidentally while they are hunting."

-- "Jamie's going to stab John by accident and then Beth's going to beat Jamie to death with a metal bar."

-- "Political assassination from the hippy-left."

-- Costner should have a say in how John Dutton ends. There should be a shootout, with who, at this point, I don't know, and the cloud of smoke from the guns. The scene shifts as the gunsmoke clears. Dutton's playing catch in a cornfield far from Montana.

(Jay's thought here: "Is this heaven? No it's Iowa.")

-- "Jay, there are too many 'Yellowstone' characters that want Dutton dead so I'm not going to guess who. I just hope it's not something cheesy you know. Thanks for the 5@10."


From A Reader

Do you really think you are SOOOOO cool! You are so full of yourself!

Nobody cares about your coach or what you think! You are full of it!

A Reader,

So am I full of it or am I full of myself?

And if the answer is yes, then am I it?

Sorry to answer your question with more questions, but your excessive exclamation usage has stunned me.

From LT

Jay do you really expect me to believe you are getting this many picks right? Like everyday?

No way! Because if you were having this much success you should be betting full-time and quit the paper.


Not sure how long you have been following "Jay's Plays" our weekday afternoon email with sports picks and hopefully a chuckle or three, but I've diligently kept score on each and every pick.

And I am pretty sure a couple of the regulars around these points have had a vested interest, especially in the calendar year of 2023 when we have made more than a few shekels.

We went 2-2 last night -- missing the Denver-Phoenix over by half a point, but so it goes -- and my math has my daily best bet at a staggering 93-61 and our total bankroll at plus-57.28 units.

Believe the hype or not. Follow the picks or start fading them because everyone generally trends to median. That's up to you my man.

But know this: In the gotcha age of social media, the only way to do this with transparency, because if you are true to who you are and true to who you are trying to reach, you have little chance, in my opinion.

But what do I know? I'm full of it. And myself. (That's still confusing me a bit. Exclamation point.)

Have a great weekend, friends.