Archive for April, 2012

After a Month of Baseball, Here We Are

After the Braves sucked hind tit the first few games of the season, they have been playing well lately.   After going 0-4 to start the 2012 campaign, the Bravos have gone 14-4 since then, winning every series and with the final game of the month today against the Pirates, can do no worse than split this 4 game set. 

There was a lot of grief out there when the Braves struggled, but now things have been going better.  The Braves pitching has not been going well, but the offense has come alive.  Despite no everday player besisdes Bourn hitting better than .300, the Braves rank 4th in MLB in runs.  Not too shabby.  The Braves sit 2 games behind the white hot Rangers and the Dodgers for the best records in baseball one month in. 

I have always heard that Memorial Day is when you start looking at the standings real close.  So one month to go.  The Braves did what they needed to do in April; the schedule was very easy.  Now, May is nut cutting time.  If the Braves still have one of the best records in baseball a month from now, then we could be in the works for a pretty special season. 

In the month of May, the Braves have matchups against the Phillies (and must face Halladay), two against the Cardinals, two against the Reds, the Marlins, the Nationals and the Rays.   The Braves draw the dangerous AL East in interleague play this year, so that is going to be an obstacle.

So far, Atlanta has held up their end of the deal.  They have had a good first month, and if the Braves can just tread water for May, they can get into the dog days of summer and still be in good shape.

Some other quick, random baseball thoughts:

-The Angles are really disappointing. 

-The Phillies need to get healthy, but when they do, watch out.

-The AL Central is terrible, and will only get worse when the terrible Astros get in the division next year.

Hold on to your hats, it is going to be a fun ride.


Harold’s BBQ In Atlanta To Close

Thursdays we try to devote the blog to reviewing a BBQ joint.  Harold’s has been on my list to try for sometime, but haven’t had a chance to get there.  Looks like I won’t get that chance.  If anyone would like to share a comment about Harold’s, please do so. 

If you listen closely, you’ll hear the sound of Taps playing in the distance…


Motivation #1 for Mark Richt to Win National Championship

Some folks say that Mark Richt just doesn’t want to win a National Championship at UGA.  Say what you will about his coaching style, roster and staff management, or his recruiting efforts the last several years.  But don’t say the man doesn’t have the competitive fire or doesn’t care about the team’s success.  To hear some buffoons like Bill Shanks say things like that, it infuriates me.  The man clearly wants to win, more than you, me or anyone else.

But why does Coach Richt want to win a National Championship?

A) Is it to have his name enshrined as one of the best coaches in college football?  B) Is it have a statue built in his honor?  C) Is it to get paid big bucks?  D) Is it use the attention of a big time coach to parlay that into spreading the Gospel?

I think the answer is E)  None of the above.

I think it is to not have to answer the idiot questions at the Bulldog club meetings.   Maybe giving the Georgia fans a National Championship will quiet some of the complaining, if for a few months.


Meanwhile, on the discipline front

While The University of Georgia proudly claims its spot as one of the conference’s harshest on punishments for arrests and drug usage, Georgia Tech appears to be cracking down real hard. 

Yep, a fight amongst a fraternity. What’d he do. Threaten to take away their pocket protectors?

Look, I’m all for player discipline…as long as everyone else plays by the same rules.

Its an idealistic suggestion by President Adams for UGA ‘to be a leader and not a follower’ in drug testing and discipline issues. Here’s the problem. The Alabamas and LSUs of college football could care less about player discipline – they’re in this business to win not games, but championships.

Georgia, it appears is in it to win games and generate revenue, but not championships.

Lugnut Dawg

BBQ Thursday: Smok’n Pig (Macon)

A Smok’n Pig location has recently opened up inside the old Macon Mall.  I have had friends from Valdosta tell me abou the original, so my wife and I decided to strap on our bullet proof vests, head to the Macon Mall, and try this new BBQ place. 

Macon has a lot of very good ‘cue.  Fresh Air, Satterfields, Fincher’s and near by Old Clinton are all as good as anywhere you’ll find in Georgia.  Even Georgia Bob’s, which I don’t care for, has a loyal fan base. 

Smok’n Pig does not rank up there.  The ribs were very good, but other wise, it was very, very mediocre.  The meat was dry, and with the bland sauces and all-you-can-eat salad bar and dessert bar, it reminded me very much of Sonny’s. 

I should stop there.  If you can’t say anything nice, you don’t say anything at all. 






Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

Sometimes, when we’re unable to go anywhere and are held down by ailments, aid can come from the most unexpected places. If you watched the Braves during the early 1990s, this may sound familar…

Shut-In But Not Shut Down

Remember back in church when they used to ask you to pray for the shut-ins? I was never quite certain what a shut-in was.

I went ahead and prayed for them anyway, but what was a shut-in? Somebody they had to keep boarded up like a dog that was bad to chase cars?

So for all of this time I didn’t even know what a shut-in was, and, then, I became one.

For the past two-and-a-half months I have, in fact, been a shut-in.

It took me four months to get over last spring’s harrowing heart surgery. My chest healed. My legs stopped hurting and my feet stopped swelling.

I even went back to the golf course. My partners allowed me to play from the ladies’ tees at the beginning. I had to endure a lot of remarks regarding various female problems I might be having as a result of my move to what I learned to refer to as the “forward tees,” but, quite comfortable in my masculinity, I ignored them as mere chirpings of sexist pork.

Then, my side starting hurting. I thought it might be a yeast infection.

Turned out it was this:

During my heart surgery I had been wired for a pacemaker in case I happened to need one during my recovery period.

Surgeons created a small pouch to the left of my navel for the wires. The wires became infected. The pouch became infected.

I became a shut-in.

I couldn’t play golf. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t sit up. For two months my doctors attempted to treat the problem with antibiotics.

But the infection wouldn’t go away. So, a week ago, I went back to Emory Hospital and surgeons removed the wires. The infection is gone.

In a couple of more weeks I’m supposed to be completely healed and a seven-month ordeal finally will be over. But what an ordeal. If I had known what the life of a shut-in was all about I would have prayed a lot harder for them.

You just sit there a lot. You sleep. You work crossword puzzles. You watch “The Streets of San Francisco” afternoon reruns on cable. You talk on the telephone.

“How you feelin’?”

” ‘Bout the same.”

“Anything I can do?”

“Yeah, tell Carl Malden to get a nose job.”

What saved me was the Atlanta Braves. I watched every inning of every game they played the last two months of the season.

Otis Nixon made that catch over the centerfield wall night after night on the WTBS promos. Sid Bream always scored that run against Pittsburgh and the Braves won, the Braves won, the Braves won, the Braves won, the Braves won.

I played the AFLAC trivia game. I saw that guy break his leg night after night at the company picnic softball game.

“Got any ideas?”

“Yeah, AFLAC.”

I did everything but enter the Goody’s Home Run Jackpot. Kent Mercker would have batted for me.

I saw the press box fire and I agreed with Don Sutton that “McRip” would be a better nickname for Fred McGriff than Crime Dog. Fred never chased a car in his life.

Rafael Belliard, by the way, saved the West Division pennant when he played like an all-star when Mark Lemke was out at second base. Lest we forget.

And each time they showed the Giants dugout, I noticed Dusty Baker drinking bottled water. Drymouth got the Giants.

I suppose what I’m doing here is thanking the Braves for the memories. Without them, what might I have done? Fallen into a deep well of depression? Called radio talk shows? Gone back to the vodka?

Pray for those who remain as shut-ins. Baseball season will soon be over.

Some early NCAA Baseball projections

Although it doesn’t look like Perno’s Dawgs are bound for Omaha this year, they’re currently on target for another post-season trip.

According to the latest ESPN projections, look for the Dawgs to end up as the No. 3 seed in the Chapel Hill regional, where N. 7 UNC would the top seed and other projected teams would be College of Charleston and UNC Wilmington.

With a record of 24-18 after last night’s loss to the Enginerds (we’ll try not say much about that one) and 8-10, Georgia isn’t quite in bubble territory yet, but that could change.

Currently, eight SEC schools are projected by ESPN to make the field, and Georgia joins Mississippi State as two SEC teams projected for the field with a losing record in conference play.

Among teams projected to be among the final teams passed over for a spot are Georgia Tech, Auburn and Tennessee.

The next few weeks could make or break Georgia’s NCAA hopes with a weekend series against Auburn in addition to a single game against Georgia Tech.

There’s also this weekend’s trip to LSU, a home series against South Carolina and a road series against Alabama to close out the regular season.

Suffice to say, Georgia’s post-season fate could be made or broken within the next few weeks.

Happy 40th Birthday Chipper Jones

I am often accused of being a Chipper Jones hater.  That is a little misguided.  I think Chipper is past his prime, his consistent injuries have forced the Braves to rely on scrubs to fill the void when he is out for several games at a time, and his high salary the Braves pay him has held back the franchise since Liberty Media won’t spend the money needed to contend with the rest of the elite teams in professional baseball.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the man and what he has meant to this franchise.  He should be a sure fire first ballot HOF inductee, and if it wasn’t for a man named Henry Aaron, Chipper would be the all time best Braves offensive player.  Chipper is the best Brave to come through the organization from the minor leagues to “the show.” 

So for one day, I will cast aside my anti Chipper Jones comments. 

Happy 40th birthday, Chipper.  I hope you have a big game tonight in LA.  I will stay up and watch the game and hope you hit a Home Run and make some clutch defensive plays.


Aww, you want some cheese with that wine, Steve?

Darth Visor once again proves that he gets enjoyment out of jabbing his rivals. 

Seems the Head Ball Coach doesn’t care for the current format of deciding a division champion. He’d rather see the division title decided by the record of team’s against their own division.

Coincidentally, the Lame Chickens would have won the SEC East last year under that format. 

When it came down to schedules last year, the only difference between Georgia and Lower Carolina was that Georgia didn’t have to play Arkansas. Yes, the fightin’ infideletors of northwest arkansas had a strong record, but they looked less than stellar in wins over Ole Miss and Vandy (sound familiar?)

Besides. South Carolina couldn’t even beat a VERY BAD Auburn team. If they couldn’t beat that team, they didn’t deserve to make it to Atlanta anyway. This Auburn team was so bad that no booster was willing to donate money to buy another recruit. 

Lugnut Dawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday

It’s unwise to try to stand between a true southerner and his beef. Lewis was no fan of activist seeking to substitute other products for beef. One can only wonder what kind of gems he’d have for the PETA crowd today…

Here’s The Beef

In protest for what I consider to be recent unfair attacks on beef, one of my favorite meats, I went out and had myself a thick, juicy T-bone at Long Horn Steaks the other night.

It was great, as usual. I would have eaten two if my stomach would have held another because we beefeaters need to do all we can to tell the wimps and weenies who have put themselves in charge of our lifestyles to go eat a bucket of worms (a.k.a. sushi).

It’s cow meat they’re after now. One group says we’re being cruel by killing cows and chopping them into steaks.

There’s a book out about the evils, both social and physical, of eating beef as well. I refuse to name it here and give it any publicity.

And then, I read a story in the papers about a report from the American Chemical Society saying the natural substance that gives beef its meaty taste has been synthesized in the laboratory and may be used to turn tofu into a substitute for beef.

Do what?

I asked a health nut to tell me what tofu is. It sounds to me like a ballet dance step.

“It’s soybean-based,” she explained.

So let me see if I have this straight.

Some scientist has come up with something in his lab to put in something made out of soybeans, and I’m supposed to eat that instead of beef?

The magic ingredient is BMP. Said the article, “BMP could be used to make imitation beef with little or no saturated fat similar to the way fake crab meat is made.”

Fake crab meat? What’s going on here?

In the first place, I once ate a soybean burger. Another friend of mine, also a health nut, said, “Try this, you might like it.”

Somebody once said the same thing to me about marriage.

The soybean burger was awful, so I went to Wendy’s and got myself a double with cheese to get the taste out of my mouth.

In the second place, when are those self-appointed jerks going to stop jacking us around about our food?

Remember when you were growing up how important it was to eat eggs? “Eat the rest of those eggs, young man,” my mother would say, “so you’ll grow up big and strong.”

Not anymore. Now they say eggs cause diphtheria, not to mention shortness and weakness, so somebody has come out with a fake egg.

I bet a chicken could tell the difference.

Pork has been put down as unhealthy. Some chickens have tumors in them and fish have mercury, and I never knew there was such a thing as fake crab meat until now.

So what’s left to eat? Nothing much. If what we read and hear is true, we’d all be better off if we didn’t eat anything at all, never had sex, abstained from drinking, smoking and gambling, and died on the operating table instead of getting a blood transfusion that could give us AIDS.

Life used to be fun. Now, it’s just one big Don’t.

But I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to eat beef and everything else I like. I will never walk into a Long Horn and say, “I’ll have the tofu T-bone, please.”

If doing such a thing kills me, it’ll just have to kill me.

I think I’d rather go suddenly from a beef overdose than live long enough to get really sick and wind up croaking in a hospital bed where they’ve been keeping me alive by feeding me through a tube.

There should be the basic right to live free from as much worry as possible. But how can you, when not a day passes that we aren’t told what’s the latest thing that’s bad for us?

Eat, drink and be merry, I say, for tomorrow you may choke on a big piece of broccoli.