Archive for April, 2010



Christian LeMay Close to Becoming a Dawg!

Mike Farrell with Rivals.com is reporting (subscription required) that Matthews NC QB Christian LeMay is a heavy lean to UGA.  If LeMay does indeed commit to UGA this would be a major coup for a program that has hit a little snag on the recruiting front.  LeMay is a higher character kid as his father is the former chaplain for the University of Florida football team.

Many who view this board will know that I have actively promoted QB Nick Marshall from Wilcox County.  However, LeMay right now is much more polished with his mechanics and is much more ready to play the position on the collegiate level.   I have linked some highlights of LeMay as well as documentary that ESPN did on him.

LeMay  Highlights

ESPN LeMay Documentary Part #1

ESPN LeMay Documentary Part #2

Kensingtondawg

More Expansion

Tony Barnhartt takes a wild ride on the expansion train. He’s all over the place with this one, but in the crazy world that is college football, who knows?

I don’t see any way that only the SEC and Big 10 expand, while everyone else stays small. It’s either 4-6 “mega-conferences” or everyone stays similar to where they are now. The more we discuss this, the more I just want things to stay the way they are. College football is a good product, and at this point change may become more detrimental than anything. But from the other side of my mouth, his idea about how the SEC would be aligned would be a lot of fun. Of course, it would also be a lot of headache/heartache every year. I’m not sure this poor mind could handle it.

A good read regardless if you are looking for material outside of the Draft this beautiful Friday.

ucheedawg

How Big A Loss Was It?

We’ve largely stayed away from the Mettenberger situation here, hoping that more details would come. I’ll continue to stay away from the speculation on why things went down the way they did, but will share a few thoughts on the QB situation.

First, I think it is a blow to the team that we lost ZM, but not a tremendous one by any means. I was never fully in the ZM or AM camp. I thought that either one of them would be good, with the potential to be great. That said, if I were choosing from a catalog, Aaron Murray has more of the characteristics I am looking for than Zach did. Further, I think Logan Gray will be a very good backup QB, and I think that he is probably resigned by now to thinking that this will be his role for the Dawgs.

I think when it was said and done, ZM was going to eventually find his way to another program anyway. I speculate that AM was going to win the QB job, and barring a major injury or off-field trouble, the job was going to be his for 3-4 years.

The QB Depth Chart looks pretty good for our Bulldogs. We have a highly touted RS Freshman listed as 1, a smart and athletic backup, and a competent Freshman at 3. I don’t think losing ZM will affect us that much in that regard.

Where do we go from here? Aaron Murray probably feels like this is now his team, and that’s a good thing. I think we’ll see him get the majority of the snaps from here on out, and he should be ready to roll come September.

It’s hard to say that I feel sorry for Zach, because he obviously made the choices himself. I do wish that he had made better decisions, but you reap what you sow sometimes, and QB’s, whether in the NFL, College, or HS are treated differently than others. That is good when things are going well, but you are looked at under a much stronger microscope. I wish Zach well, but I am not disappointed that he is gone.

All that said, Aaron Murray has not cemented his name as starter yet. Logan Gray can still win the position, and if he does, I’ll be fine with that. I think he’s got a tough road in front of him to take it from Murray, but it’s not impossible. I do think that Murray is closer to what CMR and CMB want in a QB, and that gives him the biggest leg up.

On the rest of the depth chart, we look pretty stacked on Offense. It’s no secret that we have a lot of talent and experience at all remaining positions on O, and that will really make AM’s job much more manageable. Defense will continue to be a guessing game with the new scheme that CTG has brought in, so it’s hard to speculate much there. I do think that we will be much, much better on D this year, especially in the Secondary. There is reason to be excited.

With the lack of other things to talk about, I’m sure Dawg Nation will continue to dwell on the Mettenberger situation for a few weeks, but in the end, it is probably for the best. It’s time to move on and rally behind Murray at this point.

Go Dawgs!

ucheedawg

A Working Marriage?

One of the most intriguing stories from last night’s draft was Denver reaching up to take Tebow. Personally, I like this move by them. I’m not a Denver fan, and I’m certainly not a Tebow fan, but unlike everyone else in America, I think Tebow will make a pretty good NFL QB.

What intrigues me the most is that now you have arguably 2 of the best players from the SEC in the last 4-5 years playing together in the same backfield. How will this marriage between Knowshon and Tebow work? It could be a pretty nice mix for the Mile High Horses.

Let’s face it: Denver didn’t get Tebow in the 1st Round with the idea of Brady Quinn being their future QB. They have plans for Tebow to come in and play. And it could work.

The sweetest irony of this? Denver opens up at Jacksonville this year. It will probably be disgusting. I just hope Tebow isn’t the starter yet.

And on a closing note, if there’s one QB I dislike more than Tebow, it’s Jimmy Clausen, so seeing him not drafted in the 1st Round really made my evening. The talking heads really have no clue about this guy in my honest opinion. Anybody would look great against the cupcakes ND plays. Who would you take, Mr. SEC or a cocky QB from a team who plays no one? The owners and coaches in the NFL got that one right.

ucheedawg

I Now Have J-Hey Kid Fever

I must admit, I’ve been a sour-puss this spring.  It must be the pollen.  Perhaps I’ve been reading the best pessimist in the Bulldog Nation post-Munson, T. Kyle King , too much. 

Ucheedawg and I have had been debating on the blog and in person on Jason Heyward.  I have been guarded in my enthusiasm about the J-Hey Kid.  I know he is a stud.  I know he is a man child.  I know he is a true ballplayer.

And I know he is different than Jeff Francoeur.  But from 2008 until last July 10th of last year, Jeff Francoeur was a BAD cuss word in the Corbindawg household.  If you mentioned his name in my presence, you would have to literally and figuratively pardon your French.

February and March were insanely busy at work, and it required a lot of traveling.  I got to listen to a lot of 680 The Fan, and in case you haven’t heard, they are the new Braves flagship station.  Those of you in Middle Georgia that listen to Bill Shanks know he talks a lot of Braves.  All I heard was how great Jason Heyward was going to be.  He was becoming something of a tall tale, and each story seemed as if it were larger than life.

 Bobby Cox compared him to Hank Aaron.  Hank Aaron gushed over him with praise.  Chipper Jones and Derek Lowe praised him.  While these men have forgotten more about baseball than I will ever know, I thought to myself, “No player can live up to this much hype.”  All I heard for weeks was how great he was going to be, and all I could think about was this:

 

Francoeur: The “F” word in my house

Even last Wednesday, while traveling and listening to The Buck and Kincade Show, I cringed when I heard Buck Belue announce that there was a glowing article about Heyward written by Tom Verducci in this week’s Sports Illustrated.  Heyward maybe good, even great, but the hype that was being made about a 20 year old was so extreme, I didn’t think anyone could live up to it.

I have been a Braves fan longer than a Bulldog Fan.  Some of my earliest memories of elementary school was Braves Day.  Mom made Tomahawk sugar cookies with red sprinkles.  The Dawgs had Ray Goff.  I was allowed to stay up and watch the World Series against those bastard Twins. 

But being a Braves fan, even with the success of the 1990s, there were great moments of disappointment thrown in. 

Like a lover scorned, I refused to let myself get sucked into the Jason Heyward hype.  Partly because I didn’t think he (or anyone, for that matter) could live up to the lofty expectations.  But it was partly because I didn’t want to subject myself to the  pain of disappointment again. 

All that changed Tuesday night.  That homer he hit in the bottom of the 9th did it for me. Running the bases in 18 seconds, acting like he had been there before, was truly amazing. 

I am a believer.  I caught J-Hey Kid Fever.  He is, for lack of a better word, awesome.  Just AWESOME.  What impresses me the most is he looks like a 10 year veteran out there.  The J-Hey Kid is becoming the J-Hey Man before our very eyes.

The next time I walk past the Heyward t-shirts in the store, I’m not passing it by.

I'll take one in an XL

 

 

 

I am sorry I doubted you, Jason Heyward.

Corbindawg

Lewis Wednesday: No Socks

I, and I would suspect most of you who read this blog, don’t like wearing socks when the weather is warm.  Much to the chagrin of my boss, I have avoided socks with my loafers since the weather has been nice lately.  Some people, like our own Granitedawg, even avoid wearing shoes in the warm weather months.  Lewis had a dislike for socks with his loafers also.

My Sockless Stance

A few evenings ago I happened to be at a fancy dinner party. I call any dinner party where you have to say, “Excuse me,” when you burp, fancy. 

As we were being served coffee after the meal, I crossed my legs to get more comfortable. The hostess noticed I wasn’t wearing any socks. She was aghast. 

“You aren’t wearing any socks!” she aghasted, if that is a word. If it’s not, then she exclaimed. 

“Socks, my good woman,” I began, “are among the most useless things on Earth, just behind fly swatters and just ahead of ties. I wear socks only when they are absolutely necessary, and that occurs only when the temperature is such that if I go sockless there is a chance my feet may become frostbitten.” 

Wearing no socks has become a sort of trademark of mine, and most people think I go sockless in order to make the statement I am – how do you say it? – “laid back.” No shoes meant no socks.

This is simply not true. My sockless stance actually has its roots in my formative years growing up in Moreland. Since most of the children in my school were from a rural background, it was considered quite unnecessary to wear shoes, much less socks, until the first good frost. 

I was in high school when I developed my disdain for socks. Having never taken that much heed of fashion trends, I was in the 11th grade and shaving thrice weekly before I got the word white socks were not considered appropriate footwear for any event that did not involve athletic endeavor. 

I was at a dance at the National Guard Armory doing the “mashed potatoes” with Kathy Sue Loudermilk when somebody noticed I was wearing white socks with my loafers. 

Word spread quickly. I eventually was hooted from the floor because of my white socks and Kathy Sue was so embarrassed she locked herself in the restroom and would not come out until she was certain I had left the premises. Only choice was to stop 

This night of mockery and shame had a profound effect on me. Since I never could be sure when I might choose the wrong socks again, I simply quit wearing them in non-blizzard conditions. 

Think of the money I have saved over the years by not having to buy socks. Do you realize what men’s socks cost today? They are outrageously overpriced. 

I remain convinced that if the Lord had wanted men to wear socks, he never would have allowed Christian Dior to sell them for 10 bucks a pair. 

Some may ask, do you wear socks at such occasions as weddings and funerals?

Weddings, never. Not even my own, after the first couple, when getting married sort of became a casual routine for me.

Funerals, it’s a tossup. It sort of depends on how well I knew the departed. I wore socks to my grandmother’s funeral, for instance, but I didn’t wear any to my bookie’s, who died in a freak hunting accident in front of his favorite Italian restaurant. 

As to whether I will wear socks to my own funeral, I’m not sure. It depends on the weather.

www.lewisgrizzard.com

 Note:

Notice the sockless Lewis on a cover of one of his books:

Braves Review and Preview

Well, it was a successful week for the Braves, winning its two series against NL West teams, going 4-2.  I thought the Braves would sweep the Padres, but you can’t turn down a series win and clutch hitting with lights out pitching. 

The wins were as impressive as you could ask for:  two victories against the Padres that had clutch hitting late in the game; a decisive rout of the Rockies and an exciting walk off single by the rising star Jason Heyward in the rubber game Sunday.

The losses however, were about as ugly as you could ask for.  The Braves get creamed 17-2 Monday and got no hit Saturday night.  Not really any such thing as a good loss, but those losses were about as bad as a loss could be. 

A few notes:

*There is still trouble with the lead off position.  Matt Diaz got a leadoff triple yesterday to squelch any talk of back to back no nos for the Rockies. Aside from that, though, the lead off position is one that has GOT to get more production.  You can’t manufacture runs and drive home batters if there is no on base.  McLouth would be ideal, because he has the threat of stealing bases. 

*As I have said numerous times, the Braves needed to acquire a power bat this off season. There is a lack of pop in this lineup right now

The Braves are slugging a pitiful .348, only have 6 HRs.  That puts them ranking 27th in slugging percentage and 24th in home runs hit (and are next to last in both categories in the NL, only ahead of the terrible Astros).  Jason Heyward can’t do it all by himself. 

 The caveat here, though, is right now.  I have been as hard on Frank Wren as anyone.  But this is only the second week of a long season.  With the Braves pitching, they only have to improve slightly.  Glaus hit a monster homer on Wednesday.  When he gets settled in and gets swinging, these numbers should improve.  This ballclub has the opportunity to be special.

 *Also, it was very nice to see Jurrjens rebound yesterday from his terrible outing on Monday.  Too bad for him (and my fantasy team) he couldn’t get the decision.  Overall, great pitching performances for the week.  Hanson, Hudson and J.J. pitched well in key rebound games.  Also, Derek Lowe is bound to get a loss for his poor outings, isn’t he? 

***

Looking ahead to this week, we play divisional foes for the first time.  The Bravos have a key matchup in Atlanta Tuesday –Thrusday in Atlanta and host the red hot Phillies.  We couldn’t get a break and avoid Roy Halladay.  He may get to 25 wins this season.  I think it is realistic to expect, with our offensive troubles, a long night Thursday evening.  Seriously: the Braves have had to play Lincecum and Halladay in a week and a half?  Talk about a bad draw.

Before we run into the buzzsaw that is Doc Halladay, we do get the bottom of the Phillies rotation.  Kyle Kendrick has been rocked by the Nationals in his two starts against them this season, only lasting 1.2 innings and giving up 6 runs in his last start.

J.A. Happ has pitched well this season, but has done so against the Astros and the Nationals.  I know statistically we are not much better than the Astros and worse than the Nats offensively, but I know we are a better ball club.  This could be an opportunity to get right on offense before we face the Doc. 

After the Phillies, we go on up to face the hated Mets. 

Let’s win two more series before a tough 4 game series against St. Louis.

 Corbindawg

Wouldn’t This Be Ironic

In case you didn’t hear, Zach Mettenberger was released from the UGA football team yesterday. 

Zach must have done something more than have a few cold beers and get busted with some fakes.   Zach went and acted a fool down in Remerton. 

Now I wish Zach the best of luck.  Not only does this whole situation suck for him personally and is just a big headache, I am sure that it is embarrassing for him and his mother.  There are consequences for acting a fool, however, and he is learning them.

Seeing his obvious improved skills this spring and at G-Day, I am sure he can rebound and play college ball somewhere else.  Given he has already used his redshirt year, going to another SEC school or D-1 school seems unlikely.

No, Zach would end up somewhere else, a smaller school where he could play right away.  Wouldn’t it be some sort of irony if Zach lead the Valdosta State Blazers to their 3rd National Championship since 2004?

Corbindawg

Mettenberger Dismissed From Team

Zach Mettenberger’s time as part of the football program at the University of Georgia has come to an end following an announcement Sunday afternoon from the University that he has been dismissed the team.

Here’s the official UGA news release:

University of Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been dismissed from the Bulldog football team according to a Sunday announcement by UGA head coach Mark Richt.

According to Richt, the dismissal is a result of violation of team rules.

A graduate of Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Ga., Mettenberger had been issued a minimum one-game suspension by Richt following an alcohol-related arrest in March.

The obvious here is that the starting quarterback will either be Logan Gray or Aaron Murray.

More details and analysis coming later.

Tap the Rockies

Personally, I thought the Braves would sweep the Padres.   That didn’t quite happen.  The loss on Monday night was probably the ugliest Braves game I have seen in my lifetime.  But we closed out the series on a high note, with solid pitching performances from Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson.  A loss is a loss, so we can erase Monday’s 17-2 bloodletting.  Hey, if there’s one positive to come from that then we can be assured Jo Jo Reyes won’t see the mound for a long time.   

A few quick observations from the San Diego series:

-I hope Jair Jurrjens can recover from Monday.  He is a young guy and he never faced that type of beat down.  I read online that he was having trouble with his velocity; I hope his shoulder isn’t worse than we thought it was. 

-The Home Run Troy Glaus hit was LOUD.  As soon as he made contact, I knew instantly it was gone.  That was a great way to get his first extra base hit this season.  He was hitting for a high percentage in the spring.  I think this homer was the first of many.

-The J-Hey Kid continues to let them rip.  He has been very impressive this year.  His biggest strength is putting fear in pitchers.  I can only wonder how much longer it will be with him batting 7th.  Heyward will help McCann, Chipper, Escobar and Glaus see better pitches.  This will make the line up better, I think.

-McCann had several clutch hits, including huge doubles Wednesday and Thursday.  Escobar hit the ball well last night and scored a couple of runs. 

-I find it amazing that the Braves Leadoff batters (McLouth, Caberra, Diaz) are a combined 2-39 when batting from the #1 spot.  Perhaps moving Prado, who is tearing it up, to the leadoff spot might help things out.

-I thought the throw back baby blue unis looked pretty cool.

Corbindawg



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