Scouring ajc.com, the web and the wires for the interesting, odd and informative from the world of sports.
FROM THE AJC: Freddie Freeman is expected to start at first this season, but David O’Brien points out that the Braves have an even better prospect on the mound. Six Braves prospects including five pitchers were named to Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list, led by right-hander Julio Teheran at No. 6. Freeman is No. 17. Read about it here. … Michael Cunningham reports the Hawks are still looking for a point guard. Here’s some candidates.
NAME GAME : Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria wants to get rid of his nickname.
Soria has 43 saves last season but he has also picked up a nickname he doesn’t like: “The Mexicutioner.”
Soria is from Monclova, Mexico. He says the nickname has a negative connotation and is particularly bad these days with all the drug gang violence in his native country. He wants a different nickname or just to be called by his name.
HAPPY IN DENVER: Falcons fans hoping the team would acquire cornerback Champ Bailey will be disappointed to learn the former UGA standout decided to stay in Denver even though he might have made more money as a free agent.
Bailey, a Folkston, Ga., native, appears comfortable in Colorado, saying, “I feel like I’m a Denver native. I’m not from here, but it feels good here. I feel like I’m home. ”
HALL HONORED: Controversial former Falcon DeAngelo Hall took bows before the Virginia House and Senate in Richmond.
Hall, a former Virginia Tech standout and currently a Washington Redskins cornerback, received a commemorative resolution in the Senate. With his mother, his wife, their daughter and his aunt, Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, he stood before the Senate beside Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. He also was introduced to a loud ovation at center aisle of the House.
NOT A NASCAR FAN: The National Guard spends about $20 million to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver. The U.S. Army pays $7.4 million to sponsor Ryan Newman. The U.S. Air Force doles out $1.6 million to sponsor AJ Allmendinger.
Some lawmakers believe those deals are excessive and unnecessary.
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., recently proposed an amendment that would have banned the Pentagon from using taxpayer dollars to sponsor NASCAR race teams. The House voted down the proposal last week by a 281-148 vote, but McCollum insisted the fight was far from over.She planned to introduce broader legislation that would “prohibit taxpayer funds from being used for sponsorship of race cars, dragsters, Indy cars, and motorcycle racing.”
“The American people need to know that a majority in Congress is willing to cut homeless veterans, community health centers, and family planning services, but spend millions of tax dollars for race cars, ” said Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff..”
SURFING DANGEROUS: Vanderbilt officials are investigating how their mascot left a young man with a bloodied nose while crowd surfing through the student section during a game in Nashville.
Mr. Commodore moved through the students before coming down, first putting his hand on the young man’s shoulder before knocking him in the face. Video on ESPN.com shows the incident during No. 18 Vanderbilt’s 60-51 loss to instate rival Tennessee.
The young man stemmed the blood with newspaper.
See ESPN’s video here.