published Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

5 at 10: Search is on for golf, the Braves and Arkansas

We've written an obscene amount in the last six days, and the old melon is starting to spin. But we're up for the challenge, and ready for more. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... uh where were we? Oh yes, sorry about that error, thought we were fielding a grounder for the Braves.

From the "Talks Too Much Studios" here we go.

Golf looking ahead

We wrote in today's TFP about golf's need for a new heavy, one of those week-in, week-out guys that the rest of the field and the rest of the sports world know will have a say in almost every tournament and 90 percent of all the majors for the next decade. NASCAR reached new heights when Dale Sr. was that guy, and they've been looking for his replacement since. Tiger Woods was that guy in golf, and they needs to find his replacement now.

Think back before Eldrick grabbed the game by the grips and took over. It was a shuffling of major champion winners like Davis Love or Steve Elkington or Mark Brooks or a slew of forgettable names that dominated the mid 1990s. It was less than gripping.

Now, the thrill of Bubba Watson's excellent Sunday charge was awesome. The thought of Bubba Golf seems rocking. It's likable and engaging. It is not built for long-term major championship success, though. His bust-it-and-trust-it view of smashing drives and believing he can shape shots out of trouble produces some "OH MY" moments and it will produce a bunch of double bogeys at major championship courses that are not Augusta. The Masters is made for miracles and memories. The U.S. Open is made for meticulous.

Answer this is Bubba more Phil Mickelson or John Daly? Granted it's hard to know, but here's saying if we had a career prediction for Watson it would mirror Fred Couples. One green jacket and he's loved at Augusta and he always contends there, but somewhere along the way, we'll ask, "Does Bubba really only have one major?"

Golf needs to find the next heavy.


  • photo
    Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, Jordan Schafer (1), Brian Bogusevic (19) and Travis Buck (6) celebrate the Astros' 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in a baseball game Monday, April 9, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Braves' woes

Your Atlanta Braves made four errors — three by fill-in third baseman Juan Francisco — as they fell 8-3 to the Houston Astros.

Atlanta is 0-4, and is facing elimination in the NL East race. OK, we made that last part up, but this team needs something positive to happen pretty soon.

Maybe that jolt will come from Chipper Jones returning from the DL today. Maybe. And then again, is it really a positive thing for Johnny Braves Fans to be "needing" an oft-injured 40-year-old infielder to return to feel good? Not really, no matter how made Juan Francisco is. (Side note: Doesn't the name Juan Francisco scream SNL character. Like, maybe Juan Francisco was a friend of Steve and Doug Butabi that bobbed their head at "What is Love?" Or maybe Juan Francisco is the foreign correspondent to Christopher Walken's "The Continental." Anyhoo, where were we?)

It's still entirely too early to do much hand-wringing. In fact, here's the optimistic view of the today: At this pace, we know that there's no way Fredi G can burn up the young arms in the bullpen, right?

Relax. Here's a prediction that Tommy Hanson gets it done tonight.


  • photo
    In this Nov. 12, 2011, file photo, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, left, followed by Arkansas State Police Captain Lance King, center, Brandon Mitchell (17) and and the rest of the team onto the field before the start of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Fayetteville, Ark. The Arkansas State Police are taking another look at the motorcycle crash involving coach Petrino. Authorities say they want to know how State Police Captain Lance King wound up meeting Petrino after the crash at an intersection in Fayetteville. King, who provides security for the coach during the season, then drove Petrino to a hospital. (AP Photo/April L. Brown, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Petrino in limbo

OK, we've been gone a few days, and we're ready to discuss Bobby Petrino's mess at Arkansas.

Here's the skinny: Dude is a great college football coach and an offensive wizard. Dude was messing around with a 25-year-old blonde former Arkansas volleyball player, whom he hired into the football offices. (Side note: Major no-no there and certainly a fireable offense considering the sexual harassment possibilities.) Dude had a wreck riding his motorcycle with said blonde on it and lied through his teeth about it.

First, Bobby P.'s job status has nothing to do with whether or not he's a scumbag. Arkansas knew that when he was hired. So stop the moral indignation. This has to do with cost analysis. The cost to the reputation of the school and possible lawsuits of keeping Petrino must be weighed against the coast of losing a coach that has made the football program relevant on a national scale.

Here's thinking that the fine folks at Arkansas are looking into every Petrino closet to make sure there's not another skeleton in there and to make sure there's not another egg-on-the-face sandwich around the next corner.

If this is it, they likely will keep Petrino despite the lies and the almost certain sexual harassment suit. How else can you explain the fact that he has not been fired yet. They are looking for reasons to keep Petrino right now. It's just that simple. That said, if they find something else, he's toast.

(And from what we are hearing Gus Malzahn and even Butch Davis could be on the short list of those who will surely get a call.)


This and that

— Will Muschamp is trying to rebuild the Florida Gators into the national elite program it was a few years ago. The Gators are 15-11 in the last two years and Muschamp is trying to find a reliable quarterback heading into his second season. So the last thing he needed this spring was a serious injury right? Well, sorry Will. Defensive end Ronald Powell, the Gators' sack elader last year and arguably one of the team's most athletic players, tore his ACL.

— As our SEC ace David Paschall told us today, Georgia added two more commitments to the 2013 class. They had 14 pledges already. Wow. They're almost done and it's early April. Granted, a few of these kids have some serious work to do before they can come to Georgia and get suspended, but still. (Kidding. We're kidding.)

— How about that Yu Darvish, huh? After a rocky start dude looked pretty sharp in collecting his first win for the Rangers.

— Good news for Broncos fans. Receiver Eric Decker says he and Peyton Manning have been working out for a few weeks, and that Manning's arm strength is A-OK. If Manning's healthy, the Broncos fans are going to be asking "Tim who?" by about week three.


Today's question

Sports cliches are sports cliches because they are almost always true. Sure, they are overused to the point that they can make your eyes bleed, but that does not change their validity.

Take the old Ben Franklin quote, " In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

There has to be a few more right. Like Dan Uggla's going to stink in April. We know that as fact, right? Or that if one of Tiger Woods' clubs misbehaves he will punish it, right? Those are certainties, right? They happen so consistently that are we to the point of calling them certainties?

We know Woods is good for one outbreak a round — and to continue to connect the death, taxes, golf corollary, Will Rogers once said that the income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has; that Will Rogers was a sharp cookie. Uggla is 1-for-13, and 0-for-his-last-10. Hey, it's April.

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 ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
BIspy4 said...

So ... what did Uch shoot yesterday? And what he did put on his card? What memento does he keep from his round?

And does he now dial up The Honors and go, "Yeah, hi, this David. I, um, just finished playing Augusta National. Think you can squeeze me in today?"

So much for Uggla's spring training numbers. Proof that preseason and exhibition numbers truly bear little weight. For every reliever who gets lit up like Charlie Sheen on the weekend, another team goes digging through the scrap heap looking for that discarded bullpen arm. There really are just way too many holes in this Braves lineup. Atlanta may hang around by default, because the Phils lineup isn't nearly so fearsome without Mr. Utley and Mr. Howard, the Nationals will be reminded that they are the Nationals and Ozzie Guillen is bound to say something stupid in the next 45 minutes. (I loved Ozzie as a player and if I was covering the Marlins, man, I'd wake up every day just waiting to get to the park to hear or see what happens next). Plus, the Mets are the Cousin Nicky of baseball. The Yankees are Satan's spawn; the Mets are their misbegotten relatives.

April 10, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Mea Culpa. You had Bubba winning from behind on Sunday. All I could do is pour cold water Ocoee water upon your pick. I protested that Bubba's swing was too loosey goosey during contention to wear the Green Jacket.

I take full individual responsibility for my analysis, although I came very close to be proven right on the second playoff hole.

April 10, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Uch had a big time. And he's already playing in a charity event at the Honors next month. Who knows what he has on tap in June. Pebble Beach maybe?

Braves have a ton of holes, no doubt, but the East is wide open. And you are spot on how great it would be to cover Ozzie on a daily basis.

Side note: The great Adam Sandler vehicle "Little Nicky" will be the 5-at-10's official name for the stepchild of any genre. It is in the books.

FE to the C —

Your analysis was spot on about Bubba. He just pulled off a miracle wedge hook that won the golf tournament.

— 5-at-10

April 10, 2012 at 11:37 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Jose Maria Olazabal got popped doing 97 in rural southeast Georgia yesterday. Sheriff Buford T. Justice could not be reached for comment (actually, the sheriff in said county where the current Euro Ryder Cup captain was pulled over is a really good dude, by all accounts).

April 10, 2012 at 11:50 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, did you get a feeling from the crowd Bubba's miracle was on par with Larry Mize's chip in or even more spectacular?

April 10, 2012 at 11:53 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[If this is it, they likely will keep Petrino despite the lies and the almost certain sexual harassment suit.]

If Petrino is retained, you can add another scumbag to the wall of shame at Arkansas...Petrino's boss, Jeff Long.

Where was sexual harrassment in any of this? It sounds like a consensual affair between a grown woman and a grown man. Morally wrong, of course, but not illegal.

A just-as-equal scumbag in this (and getting a free pass from the media) is the woman herself. Not only did she participate in the affair, she also is (maybe now was) engaged to be married in June!

[How else can you explain the fact that he has not been fired yet.]

Well, for one, the media didn't go hog-wild (pun intended) over this story last week because of the Masters. If they had, AD Jeff Long may have sped up his decision either way.

Petrino should be fired not only because of his infidelity, but also because he lied about this to his boss. Yes people make mistakes, but coaches are held to a higher standard than regular people. Is this fair? If I made the salary that he did, I would think it's more than fair. If anything, the extra scrutiny ought to make you more accountable. When schools justify screwy behavior for the sake of a football team's record, you have to wonder about where we are as a society. How sad.

April 10, 2012 at 1:13 p.m.
cactus said...

Jay, you need to upgrade your computer with a feature called Spell check. I'm not even a professional writer and my cheap home PC has it.

April 10, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.
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