published Friday, April 6th, 2012

5-at-10: Live Masters Day 2 (mailbag edition)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Happy Good Friday everyone. It’s Friday, that means mailbag — questions and answers, and if they happen to be interesting, well, don’t go getting spoiled or anything.

Let’s get to it.

From CelticVol (Side note: This was an excellent question and we broke it down in two parts, so this there.)

Hey 5@10,

Is there a better week out the year than this week? We got spring football practice going on, the championship game on Monday night, baseball’s opening day on Thursday, and the Masters this weekend. Park me in front of my HDTV with a bag of Sun Chips and a big cup of coffee and I’m set. 

  • photo
    Detroit Tigers' Austin Jackson steals second base as Atlanta Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky fields the throw in the first inning of a spring training baseball game in Kissimmee, Fla., Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

I’d like to know your opinion on the Braves shortstop position. On Monday, the Braves named Tyler Pastornicky the starter. Are you confident that he can get the job done?   

From CelticVol again (Side note: Yes, we normally limit the questions to one per customer, but this needed its own part.)

Hey 5@10,

I also have a bracket question for you. The winner of our office pool picked Kentucky to win the championship. In 5 years, If/When Kentucky has to vacate this championship, does that mean our office pool winner has to return the money?

C-Vol,

This is such an outstanding point, especially considering my son’s sheet finished fourth here at the TFP pool. And since it was for entertainment purposes only, let’s say the top-three spots collected various amounts of entertainment.

Well, each of the three entries that finished above his sheet had Kentucky winning it all. He had Kansas winning it all.

So when they vacate, what becomes of his legitimate claim of his due entertainment? And let’s say it’s five or six years down the road, who’s going to pay the added entertainment interest on the principle entertainment?  

Someone get Kramer’s attorney Jackie Chiles on the horn, we think we may need to litigate.

————

From StuckinKent

How do you watch a golf tournament? Having only been to one in my life (and that a small one), I'm always curious how different people handle it. Do you go and camp out on the 18th green? Or at the tee box on your favorite hole? Or do you follow a group around? Or do you just wander aimlessly, hoping to find the magic — or maybe you follow the magic and the roars? I think I would follow the first group out, maybe hang back with the second, third or fourth group if they were a group I really wanted to follow, and watch them play every hole, and then hang out at the 18 green and watch everyone come in. Then you see every player and every hole at some point during the day. That's not what I did the day I went though. I more or less wandered aimlessly and then tried to follow the cheers. What's the Shabazz-at-10's strategy?

StuckinKent,

Great question. There is no wrong answer, especially here.

The answer is pretty simple: Yes. All of it.

It's a little different when you're trying to cover a golf tournament, especially this one and super-especially on Sunday.

When we’re at a tournament as a fan, we like to do pretty much what you described. Follow one of the first couple of groups for the first few holes. Hang back at say No. 4 and get a new group and move forward accordingly, changing groups every few holes. That said, following Tiger through a round anywhere is like feeding in a huge litter — it's everyone for themselves and you take what scraps you can get — mixed with some serious offensive rebounding — size matters and you need position and to box out. (Following Tiger here is like trying to tag along with Springsteen as he strolls through New Jersey — get a good look early because the crowd is going to grow at each stop, and those ahead of you already have position.)

Now when this Sunday afternoon comes rolling around, most of the media folk will be in the press building — which is state-of-the-art here — because if you are on the course Sunday afternoon you are going to miss something important. Think about last year — through 63 holes Rory was the story, and if you were following along on his magical misery tour, you would have missed Charl Schwartzel making birdie on the final four holes to win.

Thanks for the question and good luck in the contest.

————

From Livn4Life

What was the favorite sport of the 1st Century, in the Roman empire? What with Holy Week reminding many of those days. Got any ideas? (No Lions versus Tigers in the arena jokes.)

Livn(Large),

Loved this question from the comments earlier this week and wanted to give it some proper space.

Doing a little research (yes, we did a little, but don’t go get spoiled on it), we found the expected answers of Gladiators in the arena and the founding and basic events — running, throwing, jumping, etc. — of the modern-day Olympic Games.

But, we also found that the Roman masses loved chariot racing. Loved it. It was in a lot of ways NASCAR-like. There was a featured venue — Circus Maximus — that seated almost 200,000. (Don’t know if it was near a beach and spring-break destination for younger Romans like Daytona or not, but it sounds pretty boss.)

The Romans were very loyal to the teams — there were four main teams, Red, White, Blue and Green. Think Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Toyota. Not only did they want their teams to succeed, but they wanted their rivals to fail, too. (Sound familiar Johnny NASCAR Fan?)

The Roman elite was less-than-thrilled of course, but Emperor Nero loved chariot racing and even competed. And rumor has it this sky-rocketed Nero’s popularity and that he was quite an accomplished racer. His Son, Emperor Dale Nero Jr., however was just as popular even if he didn’t win a lot of races. OK, we made that last part up, but still, great question and it leads us to...

From scole023,

Thanks for all the contests. I like to win stuff. You mentioned some additions to the Masters contest, what’s up?

Quick question: Which happens first: Tiger winning a major or Dale Jr. winning a race?

Thanks and try not to talk so much.

scole023, That’s great advice. First, we’ll add the late entries later today. We got a little busy Thursday.

Great question. Our first thought was Tiger because he’s Tiger, but then there are only four majors a year. And Dale Jr. gets the chance almost weekly.

So if Tiger does not get it done this weekend, he’ll have to wait two months before another chance.

We’ll take Dale Jr., but we’re not super confident about it. What say you gang? (And we tried to draw that answer out as long as possible just to show scole023 he’s not the boss of us, so there.)

Programming note: Feel free to chime in and we’ll be back throughout the day with our Masters updates. Plus, if our schedule allows we’ll be on with Chris Goforth at 1370 AM around 2 p.m. today and swing by SportTalk 102.3 FM around 4:15 and again at 6:15 this afternoon.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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jgreeson said...

Gang —

StuckinKent was kind enough to point out that we did not answer the Braves part of CelticVol's two-part question. Alas.

Here you go:

It is a tremendous week, there is no doubt. If October is the best sports month of the year and the Thursday/Friday of the start of the start of the NCAA tournament are the best days of the year, there is a real argument that this is the best week of the year.

As for Little Tyler P., we're less than encouraged. It seems this decision was predetermined, and predetermined decisions are fine as long as they are announced on the front end. Don't act like it was a true position battle for the job between TP and Andrelton Simmons, when after Simmons had a better spring TP still gets the gig. Hey if he's more prepared fro the bigs that's fine and the Braves brass would know that way better than us. Just don't hand us some bologna, because we — a lot like Wyatt's grandparents in "Weird Science" — won't stand for bologna. (Side note: Bologna is the second strangest word in the English language, right? It's got a 'G' in there but it's pronounced "Bo-Lo-KNEE." The worst one is "Colonel" because who ever came up with the spelling forgot the 'R.')

The other part of the whole process that was less than impressive was that the Braves said from the beginning that they were looking for defense from the rookie that got the SS job. Well, it's almost universal that Simmons is the superior defensive player. Here's hoping TP is the rookie of the year, but we thought this thing smelled of BO-LO-KNEE from the start.

We'll be in and out from most the day, lots happening on the course and the good folks in Green Jackets are not so friendly about the idea of the 5-at-10 bringing our Blackberry out there.

— 5-at-10

April 6, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Masters Update I

Loads of craziness going on right now.

The early gray clouds and heavy winds that made this feel more like a British Open than the Masters are starting to break. The suns out and the scores are starting to happen. (And if the sun dries the grounds a little bit and prevent the dreaded mud balls, the scores may really start to tumble.)

Right now, crowd favorites Freddie Couples and Sergio Garcia are each at 3 under today (and for the tournament) heading to Amen Corner.

Rory McIlroy and Jason Dufner have moved to 4 under for the tournament.

Despite a double-bogey at No. 1, Peter Hanson has joined Lee Westwood atop the leaderboard at 5 under. And here's the crazy thing, if the lead stays right at 5 or even 6 under, there could be roughly 70 players that make the cut, which is set at the top 44 and ties and/or everyone within 10 shots of the lead.

That means the weekend may be more crowded than 5 o'clock Atlanta traffic. Buckle up.

— 5-at-10

April 6, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Masters update II

Jason Dufner has moved to 6 under with a 1 foot birdie putt on No. 16 to take the outright lead. It lasted about 6 minutes as Lee Westwood added a birdie at the par-5 15th to get ot 6 under.

The weather is simply perfect. The pimento cheese sandwiches are as good as ever. And the golf is simply pure.

Tiger opens with birdie. Mickelson is hovering around par. This may be one of those crazy days that makes Augusta so special.

— 5-at-10

April 6, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Masters Update III

Jason Dufner is at 5 under after 36 holes and has a share of the lead here at Augusta National. Fred Couples, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy are at 5 under too and are still on the course. Phil Mickelson is 1 under through 15 and Tiger Woods is 1 under five.

In other news, Jason Day has WDed.

— 5-at-10

April 6, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
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