News Column

Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn., 5-at-10 column

April 28, 2014

By Jay Greeson, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

April 28--Gang, we moving fast this morning. Lots of stuff and Butch Jones will join us on Press Row on ESPN 105.1 FM today at 5 p.m. Good times.

From the "Talks too much" studios,

Hatred and ownership

By now almost everyone knows of the tape that allegedly has Donald Sterling spewing hate speech and insults toward black people.

Sterling is reportedly worth $1.9 billion according to Forbes after a series of real estate investments in Southern California -- he has been called a slum lord over the years -- and owning the L.A. Clippers since 1981. He paid $12 million for the franchise then, and it is worth almost $600 million today.

And with that, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver is delivered as big a hurdle and potential disaster since MJ 'retired' the first time to play baseball.

How do you handle a wealthy white owner talking to his minority alleged girlfriend -- although there was not a lot made of the fact Sterling that his relationship with this women while being married is also very inappropriate -- who is being sued by the family for embezzlement? In the NBA too?

In truth, whether the tape was taking out of context or not, the NBA needs Sterling to go away. This can't be fostered or supported, not when your talking about a guy with Sterling's racially divisive past -- he won an NAACP award for hiring minorities in executive positions but has been sued for sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination, and for refusing to rent apartments to blacks or Hispanics and preferring Koreans.

The sentences and statements echo. The league's biggest names have taken a stand. And the ripple effects against the Clippers will leave lasting scars and permanent marks as long as Donald Sterling is involved. What players would want to work for the author of those types of hatred? What fans would look to support it?

The choice is simple -- either the fallout will end Sterling's Clippers or the league must end Sterling's time owning the Clippers.

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SEC schedule

The SEC moved quickly and decisively and announced it will stay with an eight-game league schedule and keep the traditional cross-divisional rivalries. The 6-1-1 format (divisional games-annual rival-rotating game), means there will be long divides between former great league games like Auburn-Tennessee and Alabama-Georgia, but this makes sense on a lot of levels.

First and foremost, it side-steps the nine-game conference schedule that would mean a guaranteed seven more losses for SEC teams every year. In a time in which there are potentially two teams from the league in line to make the four-team college football playoff system known as the College Football Playoff.

It also rewards the traditional fans of the league that wanted to keep the Alabama-Tennessee series and the Georgia-Auburn series.

The league also headed off any criticism by mandating each team schedule at least one opponent from the other big four conferences by 2016.

Win-win.

Here's our SEC ace David Paschall's view on the matter http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/apr/28/sec-maintains-existing-football-scheduling-format/.

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Braves

This is getting quite ridiculous. The Braves are 17-7. The record is among the best in baseball after a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

They are a mere 26th in runs scored with 89, but no worries, they have the second-best record in baseball and the second-best scoring margin (+31) in baseball because a pitching staff that has been simply remarkable. And the starters have been better than that.

The Braves are tops in the majors in ERA (2.04), quality starts (20 out of 24 games have seen starters go at least six innings and allow three tuns or fewer) and average against (.211). The Braves are second in the big leagues in WHIP (with 1.06 walks + hits per inning pitched).

Here's the rotation numbers in terms of ERA: Aaron Harang (0.85), Julio Teheran (down to 1.47 after eight shutout innings Sunday), Alex Wood (1.54), Ervin Santana (1.95) and David Hale (2.31). And that's with lefty Mike Minor scheduled to return to the big league roster this week.

Here's a look back at the weekend:

The good: We may have to start focusing on stuff other than the pitching because it is almost always good. But David Hale deserves special mention for his eight stellar innings Saturday night in a 4-1 win. It was his first win, and dropped his ERA to the low-2s, but that of course is replaceable in this bunch. Crazy.

The bad: Other than Freddie Freeman's timely hitting the bats are consistently inconsistent. The average was not terrible -- the Braves were 25-of-93 this weekend -- but the long ball continues to be the main weapon. Seven of the team's 10 runs were generated by homers.

The Uggla: Lil' Danny went 1-for-10 with six Ks in the weekend sweep of the Reds. He's down to .209, right on the Struggla cusp line of .210

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This and that

-- Michelle Beadle went to prom with 16-year-old, paralyzed former hockey player Jack Jablonski. Class move.

-- Seung-yul Noh won his first PGA title in New Orleans on Sunday. He won by two shots over a leaderboard that generously would be called 'hodgepodgey.'

-- Rest in Peace Dr. Jack Ramsay, who for a lot of us in this generation was every bit the voice of the NBA that Dick Vitale is to college hoops.

-- Speaking of the NBA, here are the updated standings of the playoffs, which have been excellent so far, even if they were overshadowed by Donald Sterling's ignorance. Atlanta-Indiana even at 2; Miami leads Charlotte 3-0; Brooklyn-Toronto even at 2; Washington leads Chicago 3-1; Dallas leads San Antonio 2-1; Golden State-L.A. Clippers even at 2; Portland leads Houston 3-1.

-- Went to Springsteen on Saturday in the A-T-L. Much thanks to those of you who came up and said they read the 5-at-10 and/or enjoy the radio show. The Boss was excellent. Here's hoping you enjoyed it as much as we did. The Boss went for a hair under three solid hours, and here's the set list (courtesy of NJ.com):

1) Clampdown (Clash cover)

2) Adam Raised A Cain

3) The Ties That Bind

4) Jackson Cage

5) She's The One

6) Independence Day (tour premiere, solo piano)

7) High Hopes

8) Just Like Fire Would

9) Tougher Than The Rest (sign request)

10) Cadillac Ranch

11) Trapped (sign request)

12) Point Blank

13) Heaven's Wall

14) Seeds

15) Death To My Hometown

16) Wrecking Ball

17) Shackled and Drawn

18) The Ghost of Tom Joad

19) The Rising

20) Badlands

Encores:

21) Drive All Night (tour premiere)

22) Born To Run

23) Ramrod

24) Dancing in the Dark

25) Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

26) Shout

27) Highway To Hell

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Today's question

Feel free to chime in on any of the variety of topics above, like what should the NBA do to Donald Sterling.

But if you need a lighter topic, we'll go here:

As previously mentioned Seung-yul Noh (pronounced Soong You'll Know) won on the PGA Tour. Apparently, now we know.

Rushmore of best sports names ever? Go.

___

(c)2014 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Visit the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at www.timesfreepress.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)


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