published Monday, May 7th, 2012

5-at-10: Ballin' Braves, Talladega and Free Swinging Golf

CA-Razy weekend from top to bottom. The TFP announced two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will be our speaker at the Best of Preps banquet. (And we announced this on the FaceSpace or one of those hip social media things — side note: we're not all that old... We're a Man! We're 41!... but we can remember a fun time when social media included reporters hanging out after work. Alas). We had Mr. Belding pop up on "Mad Men." Goober died. The Braves were the most disruptive thing to hit Colorado since Harry and Lloyd pulled into town. Shaquille O'Neal is a doctor. Seriously. We were dealing with a lot of stuff. (Candelsticks make a nice present, maybe we could find out where they are registered, and get them a place-setting. OK, let's get two.)

So in honor of Goober's more famous cousin Gomer and of Dr. Shaq O'Neal, here's a Shazam-edition of the 5-at-10 dotted with surprising twists. (And the fact that Dr. Shaq is now Dr. Shaq — he earned a doctorate in education this weekend — make the next NBA on TNT must-see TV. Don't you know he's going to make Chuck Barkley call him Dr. Shaq. Not turrible.)

From the "Talk too much Studios" here we go...

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves left fielder Martin Prado, Michael Bourn, center, and Jason Heyward right, celebrate a 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies during a baseball game Sunday, May 6, 2012, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Braves keep on banging

Things that make you say Shazam: The Braves faced Jamie Moyer on Saturday night. When Moyer made his first appearance against Atlanta in 1987, Jason Heyward, who homered against Moyer on Saturday night had not been born and the 5-at-10 was wrapping up our sophomore year in high school. The Braves' lineup against Moyer included such Hall-of-Mediocre names as Dion James, Ken Oberkfell and Andres Thomas. Here was the order against Moyer: James, Oberkfell, Gerald Perry, Dale Murphy, Ken Griffey (yes, it was senior, but at this point he didn't need to be senior because he was the only Ken Griffey in the big leagues), Graig Nettles, Ozzie Virgil, Thomas and Rick Mahler.

As for these Braves, well they smoked Colorado in a three-game series that was part slow-pitch softball slugfest and part pre-match theatrics of a WWE event.

The Braves homered at least twice in each game this weekend and are now leading baseball in runs scored with 162. That's right at 5.6 runs a game, and that's not too shabby. Freddie Freeman, who homered in Sunday's 7-2 win, is slap killing it. He was 6-for-14 with two homers and seven RBIs in Colorado and his hitting .298 on the year and leads the team in homers (6), RBIs (26), runs (21) and OPS (.864). More than a month into the season, Freeman is on pace to hit 34 homers and knock in 145 runs. (That said, the guy swings more than our 4-year-old. He has all of five walks in 28 games and 114 official at-bats. When you're hitting like he is, who can blame him for swinging at everything.)

As for the WWE bit, apparently Moyer accused Chipper Jones of stealing signs Saturday night, something Jones was less-than-thrilled about. Of course in today's athletic world, Moyer and Jones going toe-to-toe would be the equivalent of throwing down on the Sega Genesis. Where would this showdown between two 40-plus-year-old players happen, at the 4 p.m. early-bird special at the Shoney's in East Ridge? Maybe those guys weren't really yelling at each other — maybe they just have a tough time hearing.

————

  • photo
    Michael Waltrip (55) leads during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, May 6, 2012, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Autostock, Nigel Kinrade)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Racing everywhere

Shazam: Is there anything more predictable in racing than the big wreck in the final 10 laps at Talladega? Just asking, since there was another nine-car pile-up with four laps left Sunday.

Wow the Kentucky Derby was exciting. And shout-outs to McPell, Mr. 962 and Jefe for tying for first with two points in the second-annual First-In, Last-In Derby challenge. McPell got two points for correctly picking flea-bag Daddy Long Legs as the Last-In. (Although McPell's pick for First-In — Take Charge Indy — was just a few steps ahead of last and finished 19th.)

Todd962 and Jefe each had I'll Have Another winning — and on Cinco de Mayo, I'll Have Another was the super-smart play. Jefe's Last-In (SaberCat) finished worse than Mr. 962's (Optimizer) and closer to the back than McPell's did to the front. So, we have a little bit of a dynasty brewing since Jefe has now gone back-to-back after winning the Draft Challenge, too. Thanks for playing, and in the end we're all winners. Any thoughts on our next contest?

Well, we're all winners unless you picked Dale Jr. to win this weekend like we did. Junior finished ninth at 'Dega, a place he has five career wins, and he's third in the overall points. Junior's streak without a win is now at 139 races.

Brad Keselowski worked a little late-race strategery and managed to hold the lead on the final lap for his second win of the season, which means he is sitting pretty in regard to the Chase. Remember the wildcard allows the driver with the most wins not in the top 10 into the Chase, and with two titles already — and looking like more could be on the way — Keselowski has to feel good about his chances.

Good times, indeed.

————

  • photo
    Tiger Woods, right, and Phil Mickelson, left, during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Free swinging, golf style

Shazam: Did anyone see Phil Mickelson's jab at Tiger Woods last week? He opened his press conference last week asking the reporters if they "saw his video" in reference to Woods' decision to skip his media appearance and take questions from fans on Twitter. Seemed a little petty for Mickelson to be honest, but here's the ultimate statement about how far Tiger's golf has fallen: At any point before the wreck and the personal life troubles became common knowledge, no player would have dared to crack on Tiger. And if they had, Woods would have put a Biblical whipping on them. (Remember when Stephen Ames said he thought Woods was beatable before they met in a match-play event, and Tiger beat him 9 & 8, which is the golf equivalent of Georgia Tech beating Cumberland 222-0. After the match, Tiger was asked if had heard Ames' comments, and he looked at the camera and said, "9 & 8.") Now, Woods gets a finger in the eye from one of his chief rivals and how does he respond — Tiger missed the cut.

Three things are apparent about the game of golf.

First, you have to be able to hit it a ton to contend now. Yeah, you may still putt for dough, but if you can not get it out there, you are out of there. Rickie Fowler won his first PGA event — Senator, love the suit — and he was hitting 310-yard 3-woods. Rory McIlroy, who was there until the end, went driver gap wedge into the 478-yard 16th. Cuh-Razy.

Second, and this plays off the first thing, too. Luke List will be on the PGA Tour no later than 2013. List, who hits it a ton and then some, made bogey on the 72nd and finished one shot off the pace at the Nationwide event this weekend. List is now second on the Nationwide money list, and the top 25 finishers on that list will get Tour cards next year.

Third, Mickelson will be inducted into the golf hall of fame tonight. Yes, it seems strange to induct someone who still is on the short list of contender at every event he enters, but golf's rules allow for players to be eligible once they hit 40. And Mickleson's numbers make him a first-ballot guy. (Side note: Mickleson is no way the most talented guy being inducted tonight. His 40 career PGA wins and four majors are chicken feed compared to the career Dan Jenkins put together.)

————

This and that (we know we have already written something like 8,000 words, but a lot happened this weekend)

— Wow, Albert Pujols hit his first homer of the season Sunday — two days after getting booed by the Angels fans.

— Floyd Mayweather was tested by Miguel Cotto but won on a unanimous decision. Whether we ever see Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight is still uncertain and appears doubtful. Sigh.

— Let's say there's a certain hockey team that may or may not be headed to Arizona tonight needing a win to stay alive. That's all we're saying.

— Will we look back on the 2011 Dallas Mavs as the worst major sport championship team of all time? Maybe. And hey, the New York Knicks won a playoff game for the first time since before 9/11. We'll have more NBA throughout the week.

— Baltimore DH Chris Davis became the first AL position player to get a pitching win since Rocky Colavito in 1968. Of course he did it against the Boston Red Sox. Here's saying that Bernie from "Weekend at Bernie's" could outmanage Bobby Valentine.

— Colt Hamels plunked rookie hot shot Bryce Harper this weekend because he wanted to. Got to respect Colt's honest of course, but he may want to be on his toes the next time he steps into the box against the Nationals.

————

Today's question

We have two questions today, but feel free to discuss any all matters — aas long as they are suitable for a family-oriented, Interweb-based sports column. First is the long-form; second is the short-answer:

In our mind the ultimate lose-lose in sports is getting on the mat and wrestling against a female. (Zip it Spy.) We're talking about actual high school wrestling, and facing off against a female opponent, something that is rare but not entirely unheard of.

It's the ultimate lose-lose because if you win, you beat a girl. And if you lose, sweet high notes of high school heckling, that would get ugly.

Well, in Saturday's Nationwide race at Talladega, Danica Patrick got her fire-retardant pants in a bunch after a run-in with Sam Hornish Jr. She ultimately pushed Hornish's car into the wall after the race. Hey, those things happen from time to time, and frequently lead to hot tempers, throwing helmets and punches (and while fighting is rarely accaptable in sports, if someone purposely drove us into a wall at 150-plus mph, well, there'd be a few things thrown beyond helmets and cuss words).

What if Hornish had got out of the car and got in Danica's face? What if someone had done that to her? What if God were one of us? What if the chief export of Colombia actually was coffee? What if... well you get the idea.

It will be interesting to see how NASCAR polices this.

Second question: Now that Shaq is a doctor, which living athlete would shock you most to become a doctor. We don't ever see Dr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Dr. Allen Iverson on the horizon anytime soon.

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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chas9 said...

R.I.P. Goober. But he was no Gomer.

And Dr. Shaq is no Dr. J.

And in the photo of Coach Fullmore "dancing" with Coach Summitt, did you notice they were so far apart you could fit another Coach Fullmore in between them? Moyer and Chipper would dance closer.

May 7, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

Did you miss where Jordan Zimmerman hits Cole Hamels in an at-bat later in the game? Because he did. The benches were warned. (Way to go Jordan! Hit him again!)

Maybe the Mavs were the worst team to ever win a a major championship, but it's been a long time since I saw an individual performance like Dirk's in the playoffs last year. I'm not saying he's a Top Ten player all-time or anything crazy like that. But his show in the playoffs was something to behold. Awesome. I've never been a Mavs or a Dirk fan (in fact, I rooted against them most of the time), but it was fun to watch. There are only two times I've had more fun not watching my team in the NBA Playoffs. First was MJ when he had the flu against the Jazz. Second was when Lebron scored about 70 straight points in the fourth quarter against the Pistons to will the Cavs to the win. Then comes watching almost any Mavs game last year in the playoffs because Dirk was was unreal.

And good night- how about Heyward's foul ball/homerun on Saturday night? He hit that thing about 700 feet it looked like. Crushed it. That's why he's one of the rising stars in the game. And Freddie Freeman looks like he might be on his way to being one of the top 1B in the game. Those two are still so young. Keep them together for the long haul and the Braves are going to be a very tough out.

May 7, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

No doubt Goober was no Gomer. And Dr. Shaq may not be Dr. J, but he does have the sheepskin to prove other wise. (We all knew Neon Bordeaux was smart.)

As for the photo, we did notice that. FYI, did you know you misspelled Coach Fulmer's name?

StuckinKent —

We did miss that, but here's saying that's not the first bench warning for a Phils-Nats game this year.

Dirk was money, but here's saying that the Mavs will be a one-time champ 50-plus years from now — even with all of Cuban's dough.

We thought Heyward hit that thing with a 3-wood. And yes, keeping those guys together gives the Braves a shot for the next decade.

— 5-at-10

May 7, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
choptalker said...

Chipper's response to Moyer accusing him of stealing signs:

"I don't know what the problem was," Jones said. "I was literally having a conversation with the shortstop when he stepped off and said that. I don't know why he's so paranoid. But to be honest with you, every pitch he throws is 78 [mph]. So it's not like we really have to relay signs." http://www.talkingchop.com/2012/5/6/3002770/moyer-accuses-chipper-of-stealing-signs-pisses-grandpa-off

Oh and how about the way Harper responded to getting plunked. He steals home two batters later. I like this kid. Just wish he played in a different division.

May 7, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

That Braves lineup from 1987 coulda done some damage in the Liberty County Recreation Department softball league. And ... that's about it (even though we had one guy in it who apparently played in the Expos chain, a third baseman who chain smoked the entire game but could also drill 25-foot jumpshots on the hoops court. Also with a Marlboro dangling from his grille).

Love Chipper's comments about Moyer. No need to steal signs when you can barehand the pitch coming to you and not worry about hurting any digits.

There was a lot of chatter about Harper being a hot dog of epic proportions in his Sally League days.

And I don't know what's worse - getting pinned by a girl (then again, it kinda depends on the girl, doesn't it and yes, 5, you did tell me to shut it. Sorry.) or getting K'd by the designated hitter on the other team and having that guy throw 2 - 2! - shutout innings against you and get the win. Ugh. Can Doc Rivers come coach the Sox, too? Please?

May 7, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Choptalker —

That's a glorious response from Chipper. Spot-on perfect.

There's a lot to like about Harper — especially now that he has gone away from the Ultimate Warrior eye-black designs.

If he stays healthy, he could post monster numbers.

— 5-at-10

May 7, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.
wcole777 said...

As far as having an equal I think a Dr. John Daly or Dr. Mike Tyson would work well with Dr. Shaq.

The derby yielded some very unexpected results and I'm bummed our picks weren't who would finish closest together being that mine were 7 & 8, I think. Need to go back and check on that one.

As for Tiger, wow! That was really bad.

It's probably about time he got some fire from his competitors, but they should be taunting him about his game. Fuel his competitive spirit. Don't kick a man when he's down. Of course I understand that's a multli-faceted argument and not so simple.

It shouldn't be below the belt or self serving to their own precious egos. Nobody is above reproach in some way or another and cheap shots against other golfers seems to me against the grain with respect to the long history and honor of golf on the course and amongst competitors. Keep it on the course if you're going to taunt.

Most if not all golfers should have some respect for the man they call TIger just for bringing golf to a public consciousness and popularity it never had before he entered the scene. More $$$ for everyone and more than likely the building blocks to the fedex cup ($10,000,000!). Good God.

With the world becoming smaller by immediate information dissemination like tweets, facebook, instant news wired from anywhere in the world, etc. it's amazing anyone in the public realm (celebrity athletes in this case) can hide from the far less powerful scandalous reporters, mini-me Rupert Murdoch proteges if you will, and have a private life at all.

However, all things considered, it's those closest to the top who will be watched the closest and probably have to hire their own people just to combat the intrusive nature of those looking for exposure into their most treasured private world (when they're not making headlines for some seriously idiotic and destructive behavior which cannot be hidden once out of the driveway).

It's got to be exhausting in some ways walking the razors edge but to speak to the last conversation we had on this, I'm going to agree with 5@10 logic stating that when a contract is signed with lots of zeros it must have a monumental effect on the path of one's life and be a game changer forever regarding heightened expectations on and off the course.

Good luck to Tiger putting his game back together and I sincerely hope his personal life is where it needs to be, 100% centered around seeing his kids as much as he possibly can and hopefully tapping in to his inner Earl as often as possible!

May 7, 2012 at 12:18 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Hows bout Dr. Rickey Henderson?

There's little better than "This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball."

May 7, 2012 at 12:31 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Also, can the 5 do a tribute to the passing of the great MCA?

May 7, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, I wonder what Tiger can say publicly about what has become his inner trauma. On one side there's Elin and the kids, and he doesn't want her on the war path again? Then there's the call girls, one of them with Gloria Alred and all paid to shut up unless Tiger dares reopens the wound completely. Then there's Stevie.

It was a fun Sunday finish at Quail Hollow with Points, Rory and Ricky bombing the 18th with perfect drives in a fairway I couldn't find with a seven iron. Ricky then comes up big on the approach landing 2 feet from the hole, no man's land all day. Birdie to win his first tournament at a Quality Venue, with a stellar field.

Who needs Tiger with Bubba, Rory and Ricky squaring off on Sunday's. I can't wait to see Rory and Ricky go again.

May 7, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

WC —

Dr. Mike Tyson is a strong choice.

Well said about Tiger. And while we have not been the biggest Eldrick supporter in recent years, it did kind of feel like Mickelson was kicking a guy when he was down.

Spy —

"Rickey Henderson has all the degrees Rickey Henderson needs," Rickey Henderson said.

We thought about including MCA, but there was so much going on that we needed to get to. But there certainly is a void — and somewhere Peter is going over the roll, and when he gets to his name, here's hoping the Archangel clears his throat and says, "MCA, get on the mic, my man."

FE to the C —

Golf's future is bright. And the young guns have loads of talent and even more promise. Birdie to win your first tournament has to be rocking.

And as WC said, they all owe a huge debt — and some significant coin — for the attention and the money Tiger has brought to golf.

— 5-at-10

May 7, 2012 at 1:41 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Fiveski, its a real shame the derby challenge wasnt a tie because I definitely had my one paragraph essay on the Mint Julep ready. I hadnt had one since my drinking habits resembled Barney from the Simpsons("Hook it to my veins!"). I guess my memory failed me and I ignored your warnings, but sweet sasasafras those things are gross. Why go through all that trouble of making those things? Just drink the Bourbon straight, hit yourself over the head with the bottle, and call it a day.

Thats good news from Dr. Shaq. Nice to see an athlete persue a continued education following their playing days. Universities should start pushing their five star athletes into finance degrees instead of basket weaving so the world has more Dr. Shaq's and less Judge Sapps. But then again that doesnt help much when they are on campus for 1.5 semesters before going to the NBA...

May 7, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Mr. 962 —

Outstanding post. And Dr. Shaq is a feel good story all the way around.

That first paragraph had us laughing out loud. One of those guffaws that makes the entire office look over at you. Well-played indeed. And great Barney reference. We're going to have to have Simpsons day around here in the near future. (And as enjoyable a drunk as Barney was — and when he cleaned up he was like a rocket scientist — we can see Otto greeting the A.A. meeting with "Hi my name is Otto and I like to get blotto-ed. Good times.)

— 5-at-10

May 7, 2012 at 3:11 p.m.
chas9 said...

Dr. Artest, Dr. Peace, Dr. Free, Dr. Thunder, Dr. Ruth, Dr. Ozzie, Dr. Phil Niekro, Dr. Trickle...

May 7, 2012 at 3:13 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Dr. Trickle is pretty excellent.

Here's out top 10 —

1) Dr. Mike Tyson (he'd set up practice in Oblivion/Bolivia)

2) Dr. Courtney Upshaw (can't you see him telling the nurse to, "Touch that thang fool")

3) Dr. Lenny Dykstra

4) Dr. Dexter Manley

5) Dr. Ron Artest/Metta World Peace

6) Dr. Vince Young (is the wonderlik a med school entrance qualifier?)

7) Dr. Dick Trickle (would have to be a urologist, right?)

8) Dr. Rosenrosen (Flecth is pretty awesome)

9) Dr. Manny Ramirez (Just Dr. Manny being Dr. Manny)

10) Dr. Jose Canseco (although he does have most of the equipment)

And a shoutout to previous fav U. Everett McGill, "You boys is dumb as a bag of hammers."

May 7, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

Don't forget Dr. Ricky Williams, all-round guru and holistic medicine practicer, not to mention the occasional seminarian on public speakings.

Holy horse feathers - its takes picking a loser to almost win one...just reinforces my decision to stay away from the tracks and vegas.

May 7, 2012 at 4:16 p.m.
Todd962 said...

Was Courtney Upshaw the player during the trophy presentation of the national championship that when asked how he felt after winning he told them he was hungry and wanted something to eat? He is certainly up there...if they hand out doctorates in window licking.

And didnt M. Claiborne record a 4 on his wonderlic. A 4 on that test puts you in a category of people who have to be actively reminded to breath. He claimed he didnt try on it but if you made a 4 would you fess up to giving it your all? Paging Dr. Claiborne...

"Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Doctor"

May 7, 2012 at 4:36 p.m.
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