Archive for March, 2011

Braves’ McGuirk disputes report of team’s potential sale

The Braves have been profitable for Liberty Media. But if they're for sale, CEO Terry McGuirk doesn't know about it yet.

The Braves have been profitable for Liberty Media. But if they're for sale, CEO Terry McGuirk doesn't know about it.

(First posted: 1:28 p.m.)

(Last updated: 4:50 p.m.)

If Liberty Media is preparing to put the Braves up for sale, as a report suggests, the team’s highest ranking executive doesn’t know about it.

“I speak with Liberty people fairly frequently and there’s absolutely nothing new here,” Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk said. “The whole article looks pretty amateurish to me. Liberty has no interest in selling right now. Life is good. The team is good. I’m the person in position to know these things and that’s the most informed comment you’re going to get.”

McGuirk is upset because at a time when he would prefer people focus on a potential World Series contender, one week before the season opens, Forbes Magazine is reporting Liberty Media may be preparing to sell the team. In its annual valuation of major league baseball franchises, Forbes ranked the Braves 13th …

Continue reading Braves’ McGuirk disputes report of team’s potential sale »

Poll time: Is Georgia Tech’s job really worse than Utah’s?

I know this seems like a long time ago but it's possible again at Georgia Tech. (Pictured: Luke Schenscher, Marvin Lewis, circa 2004.)

I know this seems like a long time ago but it's certainly possible again at Georgia Tech. And the answer is: Luke Schenscher and Marvin Lewis, circa 2004, in the Final Four.

After Bruce Pearl finally got smacked by the karma train the other day, I mentioned how Georgia Tech could be hurt by the fact so many high profile jobs were open. The Yellow Jackets may not be able to survive a bidding war for the most attractive basketball coaching candidates for two reasons: 1) Athletic department economics; 2) The $7.2 million contract payoff to former coach Paul Hewitt.

Where does Tech job rank with Arkansas, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah?

  • First.
  • Second.
  • Third.
  • Fourth.
  • Fifth.
  • Sixth.

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

But this also is about how good the Tech job is considered. If say, Richmond’s Chris Mooney considers Georgia Tech a better position than Tennessee or Arkansas, money becomes less of a factor. So how good is it? I’ll give you my rankings …

Continue reading Poll time: Is Georgia Tech’s job really worse than Utah’s? »

Falcons should do everything possible to get A.J. Green

A.J. Green did a lot of this Tuesday at Georgia's Pro Day and showed scouts all they needed to see -- via the internet. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

A.J. Green did a lot of this Tuesday at Georgia's Pro Day, showing scouts all they needed to see, via the internet. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS – The greatest highlight reel wide receiver in Georgia history sent three dozen NFL scouts, a dozen assistant coaches and certainly a player agent to the cardiac ward Tuesday when he tripped over a rope on the sideline after running a pass route.

“I’m OK,” A.J. Green said. “I landed on my hands.”

Right. What could possibly go wrong when a receiver trips over a rope and lands on his hands?

Green should have those mitts encased in bubble wrap. If the NFL actually plays next season, those hands will cause hysteria for opposing defensive backs (who won’t have the advantage of a rope). There is every indication that Green will be a top five draft pick, a game-changer, the rare kind of player who years from now will make every other general manager think, “Why didn’t we take him?” or “Why didn’t we trade up to take him?”

The Falcons …

Continue reading Falcons should do everything possible to get A.J. Green »

Countdown: Glanville, FSU meanies and singing leprechaun

The Count has been in hibernation.

The Count has been in hibernation.

After several weeks off for dental surgery and a bloodletting at the last NFL owners convention, the Count is returning this week.

These old fangs just ain’t what they used to be. Bit into a hard pretzel after seven green beers on St. Patrick’s Day, or maybe it was the mug. That would explain it. Postponed plans to bring The Countdown out of its offseason coma last week.

Head still hurt. Still seeing things. Could have sworn I heard the words Jerry Glanville and employed in the same sentence again.  Not possible. Is it?

We count down . . .

10. What happens when you try to mix patriotism and a drinking holiday?

Hard to imagine how this could go wrong. (AP photo)

Hard to imagine how this could go wrong. (AP photo)

OK, about Jerry Glanville. He did not sing the national anthem at a spring training game the other day. But a leprechaun did. An angry leprechaun. True story: The Dodgers — who used to be about things like scouting and winning and baseball tradition and now just do stupid stuff — …

Continue reading Countdown: Glanville, FSU meanies and singing leprechaun »

Pearl out at Tennessee — will openings hurt Tech search? (Updated)

Bruce Pearl is out of a job at Tennessee ...

Bruce Pearl is out at Tennessee, which means …

(UPDATED: 4:30 p.m.)

Tennessee is looking for a basketball coach after firing Bruce Pearl. Finally.

They also should be looking for an athletic director because how Mike Hamilton still has a job after allowing Pearl to keep his job for the past six months boggles the mind. (Hamilton is the same guy who hired Lane Kiffin as football coach, so it’s safe to conclude he doesn’t think clearly under pressure.)

There is a potential ripple effect with the Pearl firing — and it’s not good for Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets have significant company in their job search. Even with Texas Tech hiring Billy Gillispie, there are still at least six programs from major conferences with basketball openings:

... that's one more potential opening for Chris Mooney

… that's one more potential opening for Chris Mooney

Georgia Tech (ACC), Tennessee (SEC), North Carolina State (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Arkansas (SEC) and Providence (Big East).

There is good and bad with the Tech situation. The good is …

Continue reading Pearl out at Tennessee — will openings hurt Tech search? (Updated) »

Drew acknowledges Hawks’ mindset not right for playoffs

The Hawks haven't had many easy games, even when playing teams like Detroit. (AP photo)

The Hawks haven't had many easy games, even when playing teams like Detroit. (AP photo)

Let’s not spend too much time on the obvious right now, because the core of this team isn’t going to change before the summer. These are your Hawks: some mismatched parts and personalities and a head coach who says all of the right things but unfortunately too often comes off as the second-grade teacher who constantly screams at the kids, “I said, ‘Line up!’”

This time of season is about more than mismatched parts and personalities. It’s about all of those things the Hawks too often have lacked in difficult moments: heart, desire, resolve.

It’s why they almost got knocked out of the playoffs last year by an undermanned Milwaukee team.

It’s why 17 of their 30 losses this season have come by double digits.

It’s why in these past several weeks – a stretch of the season when good teams are sharpening minds and elbows for the playoffs – the Hawks are 7-1 against teams currently with losing …

Continue reading Drew acknowledges Hawks’ mindset not right for playoffs »

A.J. Green bombs in Wonderlic — does that mean anything?

Maybe his Wonderlic was low but a receiver who can do this should be plenty good enough for NFL.

Green's Wonderlic was low but receiver who can do this should be plenty good enough for NFL.

Let me start this by saying that Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green is one of the most talented and impactful college players I’ve ever seen and I believe he will have an outstanding NFL career. So don’t shoot the messenger.

But according to Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki, who’s actually one of the more respected draft analysts out there, Green had the lowest Wonderlic score of any wide receiver at the recent NFL scouting combine and was among the five lowest testers among 330 draft prospects.

Green answered only 10 of 50 questions correctly in the allotted 12 minutes. If you’re not familiar with the Wonderlic, it’s a general intelligence test. The average football player scores in the low 20s. If you want to take a sample test, here’s a link. (Remember, you only get 12 minutes.)

Back to Green. NFL personnel directors weigh the importance of the Wonderlic differently. Logically, …

Continue reading A.J. Green bombs in Wonderlic — does that mean anything? »

Falcons, NFL collecting for season tickets despite lockout

Falcons fans: Rise up! Or is that pay up? (Apologies for the Cheeseheads in picture).
Falcons fans: Rise up! Or should that be: Pay up? (Apologies for Cheeseheads in the picture).

While NFL owners and players continue to battle over how to divide $9 billion – and who among us hasn’t had to deal with that problem at least twice a week? – teams are employing a curious strategy to show how much they feel your pain.

They’re taking your money.

There are no football games being played right now. So in theory fans haven’t lost anything yet. But with the NFLPA decertifying as a union and the owners now in court, facing potential antitrust violations, it’s safe to assume that the April 28-30 draft (at least the joy of it) and free agency will be affected in some way. Games may be canceled. That uncertainty alone means fans are affected.

Nonetheless, teams are mandating payment for season tickets. New England is the most greedy team, mandating that fans pay for ticket packages in full by the end of March. Then again, the Patriots require the cash flow — they buy …

Continue reading Falcons, NFL collecting for season tickets despite lockout »

Tennessee still botching Bruce Pearl firing (or lack thereof)

Bruce Pearl may be out of a job -- finally -- after Tennessee's last game. (AP photo)

Bruce Pearl may be out of a job — finally — after Tennessee's last game. (AP photo)

There was a moment in 2010 when I actually felt sorry for the Tennessee athletic department because it’s not every day a university gets blindsided and has its football coach bolt after one season, even if that coach (Lane Kiffin) is pretty much a clown.

Well, any sympathy is gone now. Seldom has an athletic department so completely botched a situation as Tennessee did with basketball coach Bruce Pearl. He should’ve been fired in September when he admitting to lying to the NCAA and committing several violations stemming from hosting a barbecue for recruits at his home. Pearl even asked the father of one of the recruits to help him cover up the incident.

It gets better. Four days AFTER Pearl wept and asked for forgiveness, Jimmy Swaggart style, in a news conference, Pearl and assistant coach committed another violation, making illegal contact with another potential recruit.

Now comes this: …

Continue reading Tennessee still botching Bruce Pearl firing (or lack thereof) »

John Smoltz to play in Nationwide PGA event in Valdosta (UPDATED)

Get used to this scene. John Smoltz just received a sponsor's exemption into his first PGA co-sanctioned event.

Get used to this scene. John Smoltz just accepted an invitation into his first Nationwide event. (Erik S. Lesser/Special)

(UPDATED: 5:45 p.m. I just spoke by phone to John Smoltz and updated this blog with his comments.)

John Smoltz has been talking about playing professional golf since long before he ever retired from baseball. The opportunity just arrived.

Smoltz has accepted a sponsor’s invitation to play in the Nationwide Tour’s South Georgia Classic April 28-May 1 at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta.

“A guy contacted me last year about doing this and I told him I’d love to but I had to wait and see what my TV commitments were,” said Smoltz, who a color commentator on baseball broadcasts for TBS and MLB. “When the schedule came out, everything just fell into place. I understand the whole process. This is just something I want to try right now. I’ve said all along that I don’t want to do this the wrong way and take spots [with sponsor exemptions] from people who …

Continue reading John Smoltz to play in Nationwide PGA event in Valdosta (UPDATED) »