Archive for April, 2012

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday, featuring Bubba & Earl

It wouldn’t be right if, given Bubba Watson winning a Green Jacket, if we didn’t pull out one of the legendary exploits of two of Lewis’ biggest friends – Bubba & Earl…

“Got to tell the dog story.  There’s somebody left who hasn’t heard the dog story.

We are playing Auburn.  Sanford Stadium.  National Television.  Winner wins the Southeastern Conference; goes to the Sugar Bowl. 

85,000 people jammed into Sanford Stadium.  National television audience.  This game is on the Armed Service Network.  People in Switzerland are seeing this ballgame. Going everywhere. 

The band cranks up “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” and our team comes running out.  85,000 stand as one.

We are led by our gallant mascot, UGA-U-G-A.  What a dog!  What a gorgeous dog.  What a symbol of ferocity.  But UGA ain’t real smart.  UGA did not realize he was at a football game.  Nor did he realize he was on national television, and was going into living rooms the width and breadth of this great nation. 

And there, in front of all them people, he began to lick himself where dogs occasionally want to lick themselves, ok?

We don’t have to get any more graphic than that.

Bubba an’ Earl sittin’ on the fifty.

Bubba sees the dog, punches earl and said, ‘Earl, look at that dog.  Dadgum, I wish I could do that.’

Earl said, ‘ Bubba, that dog’ll bite you!’” 


Georgia Sports Recap

Georgia Sports Recap

Softballbeat USC Upstate 7-3

Baseball plays Clemson in Clemson tonight at 7:00

Lets put the brakes on the Jeff Long praise train….

Once news of Bobby Petrino proving that bad things do indeed happen to bad people, you would have thought Arkansas AD Jeff Long has come up with a cure for cancer as a result of opting to fire Petrino.

Not so fast.

Yes, Jeff Long made the call to fire Petrino (one made very easy with the payment of $20,000 to Jessica Dorrell). But he is also the same one who HIRED him to start with, and didn’t ask the Atlanta Falcons permission to interview him to start with. 

Petrino had a checkered pass before heading to the land of the Waltons and Hog Hats. From the clandestine meeting trying to unseat Tommy Tuberville at Auburn, issues within at Louisville and the fact that he lied to the Falcons about leaving and was too big of a coward to face the players and tell them he was leaving….no sympathy should be given in this case. Jeff Long took a big risk in hiring Petrino and was burned badly. 

It’s downright wrong for revisionist history to wash his hands of creating this mess to start with.


Lugnut Dawg




Braves Problems from 2011 Continue Into 2012

I hate to say this.  I have to agree with Bill Shanks.  We are fair people around here.  When Bill Shanks is usually dead wrong, we call him out.  But when someone is correct, we will praise them. 

For long time readers of The Grit Tree, you know that Bill Shanks and his cavalcade of idiots host a talk show every afternoon in Macon.  Since it is either listening to Shanks or Sean Hannity, I choose Shanks. 

But Good Ol’ Bill hit the nail on the head last night on Twitter about the Braves’ problems.  While folks on Twitter were quick to rein down hatred on Fredi Gonzalez, Bill astutely pointed out that while Fredi makes the bad decisions in games, all the scorn should not be pointed his way.

Point a fair share to Liberty Media Group.

The faceless owner of the Braves has overseen a dwindling payroll.  The Braves simply don’t have the money commitment from the ownership group to contend with the big boys.  In 2005, the last year of the Braves 14 year reign of the NL East, the Braves payroll was $86M.   In 2012, the payroll is $83M. 

You want to know what other team has remained stagnant over that time?  Oakland.  But throw that out, because the A’s have a religious zeal to martyr themselves to be the cheapest teams in baseball.  Billy Beane has made himself a celebrity over it.

Even perennial cellar dwellers Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Toronto have seen their payrolls increase over the past 7 years. 

Chipper Jones is the second biggest problem.  Chipper is a first ballot Hall of Famer.  He is an all-time great Brave.  But in 2012, he shouldn’t be on the team.  He shouldn’t be the 5th highest paid 3rd baseman in MLB. 

Look, if the Braves had the Yankees or Red Sox (or even Minnesota Twins) payroll, paying Chipper a ton of money would be OK.  But the Braves 2012 payroll is $83M.  Chipper Jones makes $14M.  I’ll save you the math:  that is 17% of the payroll.  One player, whose production has waned over the last several  years and who is no longer reliable to play every day, is sucking up 17% of the Braves payroll.  Throw in Tim Hudson.  I am a HUGE Hudson fan.  But two players who are both over the age of 36 and started the season on the DL have 30% of your payroll tied down.  Oh, in 2011 it was even worse.  Derek Low, Chipper Jones, and Nate McLouth accounted for 41% of the payroll!  

For 2012, the Braves rank 16th-the bottom half of Major League Baseball-in payroll.  You can’t afford to be paying the over the hill players high if those players are the only ones you are going to pay, and paying said player hamstrings you so you can’t go out and find anyone else.

Martin Prado is the team’s best offensive threat right now, and through 4 games he is  batting just .267.  I know it is early, but the best batting average of an everyday player is only .267 is not good.   A guy at work made a great point-Prado is one of the key pieces to the Braves offense.  Prado is a great player and seemingly an equally great person.  But if the Braves want to compete for a Championship, to be at the level with the Rangers, Tigers, Phillies and Yankees, then having Martin Prado being your best offensive player won’t cut it.  If Prado was with any of the aforementioned teams, do you think he would be the key part in the lineup?  Hell, if Prado was with the Marlins, he’d bat in the lower half of the order.

To compare it football:  back in 2008 and 2009, Georgia’s talent was nowhere near Alabama, LSU or Florida.  The starters on Georgia’s teams wouldn’t even be 2nd string on Alabama’s team (I’m talking about Prince Miller and Bryan Evans, among others). 

Having Chipper Jones on the roster kept the Braves from going out and getting someone like Adam Jones or other moves in the offseason.  Having Chipper weigh this team down makes Eric Hinkse, Juan Francisco and Matt Diaz play everyday roles.  The key pieces of the Braves team right now wouldn’t carry the jock strap of the key players for the Yankees, Phillies, Tigers, Rangers or Angels.

Good pitching can only get you so far.  But you need the bats.

Now, I am not one to overly react.  I am patient; we are only 4 games in.  The Braves schedule is fairly easy  for the month of April.  May, it starts getting tough with series against the Phillies, Cardinals, Reds and Marlins. 

But the rest of April the Braves  see Milwaukee, NY Mets, Arizona, the Dodgers, and Pittsburgh.  That is very manageable.  The Braves still have plenty of time to get things right.   There are 158 games left.

But right now it is very frustrating.  There is no excitement because the team is exactly the same as it was last season, and the same problems that were around in 2011 are plaguing the team right now.    


PS:  Instead of linking in the post, I will just give you the website that I went to get the initial information and you can double check me. USA Today has a great data base of salaries.

Georgia Sports Recap

Georgia Sports Recap for Monday April 9th

No Games yesterday.  Ladies Softball plays tonight at 6:30

Mark Richt’s Best Seasons, 1-5

5.  2003

Wins:  11  Losses:  3  

Notable Wins:  at Clemson, at Tennessee, Auburn Damning Losses:  at LSU, Florida

Best moment:  Odell Thurman’s Pick six against Auburn

Worst Moment:  Game winning FG in closing seconds against Florida

Why Ranked here:  Georgia made it to the SEC Championship game for the 2nd consecutive season, and 2/3 losses came to eventual National Champions LSU.  The first LSU game in Baton Rouge was a classic SEC slugfest, while the rematch in the Dome was a bloodbath by the white hot Tigers.  Georgia actually over achieved this season; the offensive line was horrible and David Greene had his worst season statistically as a Bulldog. 

4.  2011

Wins:  10  Losses:  4  

Notable Wins:  Florida, Auburn Damning Losses:  Boise State, Michigan State

Best moment:  Richard Samuel’s game winning TD against Florida.  A close second would be Aaron Murray’s pass completion to Chris Connley to basically get a first down and basically seal the deal against the Gators.

Worst Moment:  Aaron Murray’s fumble that was recovered for a Touchdown that cost Georgia the South Carolina game.

Why ranked here:  Before the season started, Senator Blutarsky said the 2011 season could be very similar to the 2003 season.  The parallels were there.  Both seasons UGA won the SEC East and were dismantled by LSU in the Championship game.  Both seasons saw a Georgia team that relied heavily on the defense to get them to Atlanta.  Even though the 2003 season was better by a game, I still have to put 2011 ahead.  One, the intangibles.  Georgia rebounded and won the East a season after posting a 6-7 record.  Georgia also rattled off 10 consecutive wins after starting 0-2.  That is impressive, even if the quality of competition is not stellar.  Two, in 2011 Georgia beat all of its major rivals for the first time since 1982.  Victories over Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Tennessee in the same season don’t happen as often as they should.   

3.  2007

Wins:  11  Losses:  2  

Notable Wins:  Florida, Auburn, Oklahoma State, at Alabama Damning Losses:  South Carolina, at Tennessee

Best moment:  Knowshon Moreno’s Worst Moment:  After Knowshon having runs of 10 and 11 yards, Georgia was unable to score a TD from the 11  yard line on 3 passes against South Carolina. 

Why Ranked here:  A #2 AP finish and victory in the Sugar Bowl, and convincing victories over Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech is, short of hold up the Crystal Football, is as good as it gets for Georgia fans.  One of the best seasons is school history is marred by the 0 TDs against South Carolina and the bed wetting in Knoxville.  Still, if Tennessee had not gotten lucky to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky, Georgia would probably won the National Championship this season.  But I must give the nod to the 2005 season; as good as my last fall was in Athens, there still was no SEC Championship. 

2.  2005

Wins:  10  Losses:  3  

Notable Wins:  Boise State, at Tennessee, LSU (SEC Championship) Damning Losses:  Florida, West Virginia (Sugar Bowl)

Best moment:  D.J. Shockley’s two TD passes to Sean Bailey in the SEC Championship Game

Worst Moment:  First half against Florida

Why ranked here:  You could make a good argument that since Georgia lost to both Florida and Auburn, the merit of this season is diminished.  But a Championship is still a championship.  Though the final season rankings and win total is not as high as others on the list, a Georgia team that was picked to finish 3rd in the SEC was led by a Senior Quarterback, strong offensive line and a good defense.  The three losses came by a COMBINED 8 points.  If D.J. Shockley had played against Florida, Georgia would have won that game.  The 2007 season was magical, and might would have beaten the 2005 team, but the 2005 team took care of business when it had to and won a Championship.  No way around it.

1.  2002

Wins:  13  Losses:  1

Notable Wins:  Clemson, at Alabama, at Auburn, Arkansas, Florida State (Sugar Bowl) Damning Losses:  Florida

Best moment:  Michael Johnson’s game winning TD catch against Auburn to seal a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship game.

Worst Moment:  Terrance Edwards dropping a wide open pass that could have been a game tying TD against Florida. 

Why ranked here:  As an obvious choice for why 2010 was the worst, 2002 was clearly the best.  Though the Bulldogs needed luck to beat South Carolina and Auburn, they won a school record 13 games and won the SEC for the first time in 20 years.  The season was marred by the lone loss to a Gator team in Ron Zook’s first year, but Georgia still had a great season and the 2002 team set the stage for one of the most consistent runs in Georgia history.

Bubba Watson and the Golf Boys

Just because its funny: