5-at-10: Friday mailbag with ‘Bets and Ballgames’ podcast, Braves’ trade and Acuña’s MVP, next NIL megastar

FILE - Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. celebrates after scoring the winning run on an Ozzie Albies base hit during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 27, in Atlanta. Acuña won the NL MVP award after becoming the first player with 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases in a season. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Let's tend to our business.

First, great job this week, friends. Been covered up more than normal so I have not perused the comments, but you guys and gals have been great this entire week.

Second, great story here from Mike Pare, the TFP business guru, on how planners are closing in on a guaranteed price for the new Lookouts facility.

Anyone else hear "guaranteed" and think of this great scene from Tommy Boy?

Next, here's this week's "Bets and Ballgames" podcast where Brian Edwards and I spend an hour or so discussing this week's big events in the SEC and across the weekend in sports.

Let's move to the Rushmores.

Rushmore of sports coaches in non-traditional sports -- I of course meant in movies, which makes this a whole different kettle of characters. (That said, JTC's list of real-life ones including Herb Brooks and Bela the-gymnast-dude was pretty strong.) Also, while I love Buttermaker, even all baseball falls into a traditional sport in my mind. With that, we'll go Mick, Mr. Miyagi, Patches O'Houlihan,

Speaking of the Macho Man, he has to make the Rushmore celebrity endorsers with a specific product right? Macho Man and the Slim Jim, MJ and Nike (and yes, I was tempted to put Tiger and Nike here, too), Foreman's Grill (which allegedly was first pitched to Hulk Hogan but his agent did not return the call) and Ving Rhames and Arby's -- they have the meats people.

Rushmore of Charles. Tough one here. King Charles, Charles Barkley, Charles Dickens and Lorenzo Charles. OK, maybe Charles Darwin over Lorenzo Charles, but Lo did help lift March Madness to all-time new heights.

Buck O'Neil would have been 112 Monday. Does he make the Rushmore of Bucks? Uncle Buck, Buck Owens, Buck Rodgers and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

While we're here, if you missed it, here's our Fab 4 picks -- check the comments -- that I forgot to include in Thursday's 5-at-10.

Also, you know the rules, and here's Paschall's latest on the UT-UGA tilt Saturday, and you know what, the closer that game gets, the more I like the Bulldogs laying the number.

From JTC

Is this THE guy? Seems pricey.

Trust in AA. Good hit on Acuña MVP.


Wow, loads to cover on the Braves front.

Yes, nice payday on the Ronald Acuña preseason MVP prop was nice. And really glad he won it unanimously. Take that Bill Plaschke, the L.A. Times columnist/blowhard who said Mookie Betts was the MVP.

Yes, we have to trust in Alex Anthopoulos. Simply have to.

As for THE guy JTC is referring to, the Braves acquired left-hander Aaron Bummer from the White Sox, and the package was pricey. AA sent Mike Sorotka, Jared Shuster, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake and Riley Gowens to the White Sox for Bummer. (Terrible name that must have been growing up. Dare we say it could have been a ... wait for it ... drag.)

This truly speaks more to me about who the Braves sent packing than who they acquired. They must think Sorotka's done and Shuster had plateaued, because while Bummer is a lefty reliever who has closer stuff -- and a surprising number of pitches for a reliever -- he was dreadful last year.

It also is worth noting here that the Braves clearly have Vaughn Grissom in play for a variety of roles -- ranging from left field to being the back-up infielder at multiple spots.

But whatever the price, yes, JTC, it's AA we trust.

From Brian

Jay did you see the answer Ed Cooley gave? What are your thoughts?


Thanks so much for this question, because I meant to include it.

Ed Cooley is the new Georgetown basketball coach. (Side question: Man, has any college program in hoops or football fallen more from an 1980s apex than Georgetown hoops? Yikes.)

His team lost at Rutgers this week and this was Ed's statement in the post-game news conference.

"The only way you're going to get better is by having the courage to ask the questions in these types of situations. So when you guys are sitting there don't just sit there like a lump on a log. Have a great question, grow up and learn what it is to ask a tough question. Seriously, we owe you an answer. Or you owe yourself an opportunity to grow. I say that to all young writers, don't just sit in here and be in awe. This (bleep) is real. Grow up and learn how to ask some questions."

Comes across as preachy I suppose, but I love it. I had great mentors when I was young and doing this. And it's easy to blend into the back of a news conference, especially when you are young.

But the one thing Cooley NAILS is that far too many in this business ask questions that go, "Coach, talk about the third quarter," or "Coach, free throws were an issue."

Those are not questions. They are not asking for explanation or answers as much as they are designed to elicit a quote about the story the writer has already crafted or believes to be the story.

It's a perpetual cycle, really, because the writers in the room back in the day could have asked Vince Dooley or the perennial coach-speak guys the meaning of life, and it would have started with "Well, we have to block and tackl,e and life is about how you practice."

So we got softer through the years, thinking, "Well, no matter how good a question I ask Tiger, he's going to cliche it to death." And maybe that's true, but we still have to ask.

Thanks Brian, great question.

(Side note: Everyone thinks Saban is a coach-speak guy. Hogwash. He's a media manipulator, sure, and that's OK, and he can be a bully from behind that Co-Cola bottle (or Dasani), but few all-time greats have been better answering tough questions and with more truth than the Dark Lord.)

From David

How big an NIL deal will Charlie Woods get?


As big as he wants, in truth, and if he can get his world-famous dad involved in some of the NIL discussions, he's going to make Olivia Dunne's deal look like the change in Beardawg's ashtray.

From John

I'm no atty, but this (James Madison lawsuit) all sounds so frivolous. People and programs can be so whiny and demanding. No one forced JMU into FBS, Division 1 or even into the NCAA at all. Plus these are all lawsuits filed in federal courts that take one-two years to make their way through the dockets, don't they? Litigation won't do this year's team any good anyway.

Don't expect the rules to be immediately rewritten just to speed up your agenda anyway.

Roll Green Wave!


Completely agree, and James Madison knew the rules before they hopped in.

Side question: If they had any idea this type of season was possible then either a) hop a year earlier or b) stay in FBS one more year, wax everyone and walk out with a natty.

As for your kicker, I gather you're a Tulane supporter, and if that's where you studied, you're smarter than the average Joe. Or the average John in this case, I suppose.

That said, the Tulane logo is puzzling. And kind of terrible. In fact, we were watching them earlier this season and they were playing at home and the Mrs. 5-at-10 noted the big midfield logo and asked, "What is their nickname, the Fightin' Boogers?"

Have a great weekend, friends.