Archive for May, 2011

Letter to Fredi Gonzalez

Dear Fredi,

I hope this letter finds you well out on the West Coast.  I will be  brief and frank: the Diamondbacks Ssries did not go as well as we all had hoped, did it?  And let’s be perfectly honest, your ballclub got very fourtunate to win the two games against the hapless Astros.  Next up, are the LA Angles are medicore team in a mediocre AL West.  The Angels have two of the best picthers in all of baseball in Dan Haren and Jered Weaver; the good news is that you miss their two aces. 

So there should be no excuse then for another anemic offense performance this weekend.  Ervin Santana (4.85 ERA), Joel Pineiro (1.98) and Tyler Chatwood (4.50) shouldn’t provide much of a problem for a lineup that has Jason Heyward, Brain McCann, Chipper Jones, Martin Prado and Dan Uggla.  Yet, the Braves have had a terrible time scoring runs the last 4 games, against pitchers that are not even that good.  Your team has made medicore pitchers look like Cy Young candidates. 

I also wanted to point out that is perfectly OK to score runs prior to the 6th or 7th inning.  In fact, it is encouraged. 

I just have a request as a fan that has stayed up to well past mindnight the last two evenings…please don’t squander the excellent pitching performances.  If Jurrjens only gives up 2 runs against the Diamondbacks-or any team that doesn’t have Tim Lincecum, Josh Johnson, or Roy Halladay pitching-that should be an easy win.

Please make whatever changes necessary to make sure you don’t squander this “breather” in the schedule.



So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

This post is written with apologies to Lugnutdawg.  Lugnut is the biggest Thrashers fan I know. 

When I was a student and we’d go to basketball games (I don’t know if they still do this or not) that day’s Red and Black was over the chair to read while the other team was being introduced.  When David Johnson would announce the starting 5 for the opposing team, the fans whould chant “Dawgfood”, and when he introduced the opposing coach the fans would yell “Who cares?”. 

Well, it appears the Thrashers are leaving Atlatnta.  Who cares?

From my limited knowledge of hockey, I know that the Thrashers were never any good, and the owernship group never put forth an effort to keep the young talent here in town.  It wasn’t an issue of fan support really, but the fan base just by and large is not there.  Atlanta is a college football town, followed by Braves and Falcons (in that order, in my opinion).  Simply put, who cares that a European and Canadian sport is in capitol of Dixie?  And spare me with the embarrassment of losing a professional sports franchise.  To me, it was embarrassing that Atlanta had a NHL team in the first place.  It makes as much sense to have hockey in Atlanta as it does to have NHL franchises in Nashville, San Jose, Phoenix and Tampa Bay.

So, if the Thrashers leave, will anyone besides a few loyal fans and John Kincade really care?  I don’t think so.   


Click It Or Ticket

 If you need a good laugh on this week that seems to be taking forever to get through, click here.


It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

I think 99% of the world does not think the rapture and eventual end of days is approaching this Saturday.  If mortal men can predict the end of time, I would put more stock in the Mayan Calendar and 2012 being the year over some crazy codger from California.  Mayans vs. old crazy man, who incorrectly predicted the end of time before?  Mayans, crazy man?  Crazy man, Mayans?  I am going with Mayans.   But since aliens helped the Mayans, I guess that doesn’t count? 

For your listening pleasure, R.E.M. describes the end of time.  It all starts with an eartquake…


He’s Back: The Return of Chris Brame Interview

Last summer, we had a series of interviews with 960 The Ref’s Chris Brame.  Brame co-hosts “The Home Team” weekdays 4-6pm with Jeff Dantzler.  This was our first interview with him in a while, so we kinda of cover the waterfront, hitting on a lot of topics.  If you are not in Athens, do what I do and listen live to the Ref at

The Grit Tree:  Chris, It has been a while.  We are going to start you off with a high fast ball:  Jay Clark, Dave Perno, Mark Richt.  Which one won’t be coaching at the University of Georgia the first?

Chris Brame: Wow!  A brutal welcome back.  Since you’re throwing one high and tight, I’m going to charge the mound and kind of dodge the question. The gymnastics season has been over for a month and Jay Clark is still the coach, so I would say he’s safe, and should be.  He’s only been on the job for two seasons.  Replacing a legend is never easy, and he was faced with the departures of two.  Suzanne Yoculan and Courtney Kupets, who is one of the most decorated college athletes of all time.  David Perno isn’t going anywhere either.  I know Georgia’s overall record isn’t pretty and it could cost them a chance to play in an NCAA Regional for a second consecutive year.  However, the team has recovered somewhat from last season’s debacle.  They have the fourth best record in the SEC, and only seven teams in the country have been to the College World Series more than Georgia during the Perno era.  This leaves us with Mark Richt.  I do think he is the most vulnerable of the three.  Of course, he has a higher profile job.  I’ve said that I believe anything less than reaching the SEC Championship Game will be trouble for him.  The only other three options out of the East won’t be good for a coach who has been at a school for more than a decade.  If Tennessee gets there, it will be with a second year coach whose last name just happens to be DOOLEY.  If Florida goes, it’s with a rookie head coach.  If South Carolina makes it for a second year in a row, then you can say the Gamecocks under Spurrier have passed Georgia.  That’s embarrassing.  Georgia’s schedule this season includes the four worst teams in the SEC from a year ago….Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Those four teams combined to win 7 conference games, and only one of those wins came at the expense of a team outside of the other three (Kentucky’s win over South Carolina). 

TGT: Put on your GM hat.   It appears that Prado is going to start spending a considerable time at third base now that Chipper’s annual body break down is beginning.  The Braves have an abundance of young, good pitching.  Obviously, Tommy Hanson is “untouchable”.  What pitchers do you think the Braves should consider dealing for more help in the outfield? 

CB: Teheran and Hanson are the untouchables.  Mike Minor and Rodrigo Lopez would be two I’d be willing to talk about.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Atlanta dangled Derek Lowe out there, too.  He’s having a good season, but his age and contract, might make him expendable.  Plus, the fact that he’s pitching well, gives the team a chance to sell high.  It would also make the the streets of Atlanta safer.

TGT: Biggest shock:  The Hawks made it to the East Semi-finals or the Lakers only made it to the West Semis?

CB: For me it’s the Lakers.  Not to beat my chest, but I was one of the few who actually thought Atlanta had a shot against the Magic.  They won 3 of 4 against them during the regular season.  To give you a glimpse into my corrupt side, I did cash a nice future wager on the Hawks to win that series. 

TGT: We asked this the other day on the blog-what was a bigger disappointment and waste of talent:  Will Farrell on the The Office or the 2008 UGA Football season?

CB: Will Ferrell on The Office.  I don’t think I laughed once during his entire run.  As far as 2008 Georgia goes, I know that offense had three first round picks, plus a second rounder in MoMass, but where is all this talent people keep thinking is on defense?  Georgia hasn’t had a defender taken higher than the third round of the draft since 2006.  There hasn’t been a first rounder since 2005.  In the first five seasons of the Richt era the Dogs had 7 defenders takend in the first two rounds.  The last time Georgia signed a defensive player that went in round one was Coach Richt’s first class of 2001.  Tim Jennings, the school’s last second rounder signed in 2002.  In the last five years Georgia’s scoring defense versus the SEC has been 21.0, 21.4, 26.8, 31.5, and 25.0.

TGT: Two part question: 1.  Don’t you think that Jim Tressel is being punished enough by having to live in Columbus?  and 2:  Jim Tressel wears the glasses that turn to sunglasses when he gets outside.  Should we be surprised he is sketchy? 

CB: Well, the only thing I know about Columbus, Oh is I wouldn’t want to live there.  As far as his shady character goes, he had me at the sweatervest.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

Many of us seem to be unable to go anywhere without our cell phones. Lewis likely wouldn’t have cared for this habit, given how incensed he was by phones on airplanes.

Phones On Planes

On certain commercial flights, passengers may now make phone calls back to the planet Earth. I was on one of these flights recently.

There was a portable phone on the wall near the galley. The flight attendant said if anybody wanted to use the phone, they simply could insert their credit card in the proper spot and then take the phone back to their seat.

I considered making a call. There wasn’t anybody I particularly needed to talk to, but I thought it would be fun to try to impress the person sitting next to me.

I would dial the “800” number for Amtrak reservations which nobody ever answers. I would pause for a few moments and then say, “Hello, Mr. President? Grizzard here, returning your call.

“A meeting with Secretary Shultz at 10 in the morning? I would be delighted to be there, sir, and give my best to Mrs. Reagan.”

An invasion of privacy

I decided such a ploy was fruitless, however, since the passenger next to me was some kid wearing one of those Walkman things in his ears. Every time he opened his mouth to yawn, I could hear some strange sort of music coming out, likely being played by punk rockers with orange hair.

I suppose telephones in airplanes were bound to come sooner or later. In fancy hotels they even have telephones in the guests’ bathrooms nowadays, which isn’t such a bad idea when you consider that studies indicate nine out of the 10 times you walk into your bathroom – to take a shower, for instance – the telephone will ring.

I don’t, however, like the idea of phones in planes. The only thing I liked about flying in the first place was it enabled me to get away from the telephones for a few hours.

You see, I suffer from a condition known as Black Cord Fever, a disease that is at its worst around midnight, especially if the victim has had several drinks.

Attack of Black Cord

What happens is, the victim has this overwhelming urge to talk to somebody on the telephone even if it means waking them from a deep sleep. The problem i s, very few people want to talk to a Black Cord Fever victim in the middle of the night.

The long-range effects of this condition are the victim encounters huge telephone bills and finds his or her list of friends dwindling away.

I can see myself on a late-night flight now. I’ve had a few pops and I get hit by an attack of Black Cord.

I grab the phone on the plane and start dialing. A weary voice finally answers.

“Guess where I’m calling from?” I begin.

“A bar.”

“No, Zero, I’m calling from an airplane! What do you think about that?”

“Get out of my life.”

“Want to hear the engines?”


What the airlines are going to have to do if they insist on having phones on their planes is to remember those of us with Black Cord Fever.

“Phoning or non-phoning?” the ticket agent should ask.

“Non-phoning,” I will reply and retire to the back of the airplane with others so afflicted.

How to Improve the game of Baseball

If You Live In/Around Atlanta, Support A Good Cause

If you live in or around Atlanta, go see Georgia State’s documentary of Greenville High’s coach Jeremy Williams that highlights his fight with ALS. 


So, Will Today Be The Day?

According to others, today is the day that grades become official and we learn the academic status of Caleb King, A.J. Harmon, and the rest of the football players.   Of course, due to the 24 hour internet world we live in, the only names that have surfaced that could be in danger of not making the grade are King and Harmon. 

Nobody around the blogosphere seems too uptight about Harmon.  Why that is, I don’t know.  He may not have done much in his career, but he is a body on the offensive line, and that is something Georgia needs.

No, no.  The talk is about Caleb King.  The rumor mill was buzzing last week shortly after the announcement of Ealey’s departure.

Bernie gives a different view than what I have; I am am at the point I don’t care.

I want Caleb King to be academically eligible.  I want him to provide good depth at tailback.  I want him to be a good mentor to Isiah Crowell.  I want King to make nifty moves, catch passes coming out of the backfield, and do some great pass protecting.

But if he is not eligible, it means one thing:  he’s lazy.  I have to agree with Macondawg.  And if you are going to be lazy and not put forth the effort to be eligible, what makes you think  you are going to put forth the effor to help your team be elite in the SEC again?

The bottom line is this:  does having Caleb King on the roster take us from being 6-7 to winning a SEC Champioinship…or at least having a winning record?  I don’t think so.  Likewise, is he that important that not being on the roster means Georgia is going to have a repeat 6-7 season?  I don’t think so.   Like Coach Richt said in Macon…the tailbacks have been here for several years.  They have not done anything to step up and secure the playing time Washaun feels they (well, Washaun, at least) are entitled too.

I am sure that Coach Richt also has an idea about King’s status. Do you think he would gush over King so much in the Bulldog Club meeting in Greenville last week if he thought King would be ineligible?  I don’t think so.  Coach Richt is smart.  I don’t think he would say those things unless he knew that Caleb was in alright shape.  I think Caleb will lining up in the backfield come this fall (at least not on the opening drive vs. Boise State). 

But Caleb King is not going to be a difference maker on this team, and his presence or lack there of is not going to either send UGA to the top or keep us medicore.

To paraprhase a Lewis Grizzard book title, when our tailback returns to the backfield, will I care?


Johnathan Taylor Interviewed by ESPN

Here is a story that was on the front page of about Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor. 

The UGA baseball team has had some terrible luck the past few years having 2 players suffer neck injuries, leaving them paralyzed. 

Good luck to Johnathan and please continue to keep his family in your prayers.