Archive for January, 2011

Dan Uggla gets $62 million over five years, and I say, ‘Ugh’

This is not Dan Uggla -- it's Brooks Conrad -- but it could be. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

All I'm saying: Remember Game 3. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Were Dan Uggla about to turn 29, as opposed to 31, this might be a good deal. Were the Braves based in the American League, as opposed to the ol’ Senior Circuit, this might be a good deal. But he isn’t and they aren’t.

The Braves have agreed to re-up Uggla, who hasn’t yet played a game for them, for $62 million over five years. That’s not nearly Jayson-Werth-to-Washington money, but it’s a huge outlay by Braves standards. It’s also the biggest contract afforded any second baseman in baseball, and Uggla is a second baseman in name only.

Uggla’s real position is batter, and he’s really good there. And yes, the Braves needed a hitting upgrade, right-handed hitting especially. So that part makes sense. What makes less is this: To accommodate Uggla, the Braves are willing to weaken an already-crummy defense by moving Martin Prado, who’s better at second base than Uggla, to left field.

Defense in baseball is a funny …

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Peter King sees the top-seeded Falcons as one and done

Peter King believes Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay will be the Birds' bane. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Peter King believes Green Bay will be the Birds' bane. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Peter King of SI.com and NBC and Sirius XM — I may have missed a PK affiliation somewhere, but you get the picture — ranks the Falcons No. 2 behind New England in his Fine Fifteen this week. But this doesn’t mean he has them going to the Super Bowl. Oh, no.

Ol’ Pete picks the local eleven to be one and done. (Being a big-shot media insider, I’m privy to an advance copy of Sports Illustrated the magazine.) He has them losing to Green Bay in the divisional round, which means he also has Green Bay beating Philadelphia in the  wild-card round. This may be a question of Pete seeking consistency: He backed the Pack in preseason to reach the Super Bowl. But it bears mentioning that he also picked Pittsburgh to reach Arlington, Texas, and he’s going with the Patriots now.

Also of interest in the new SI, which should be available on newsstands, assuming any still exist, tomorrow: Dr. Jim Trotter

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This NOT just in: The bowl ’system’ stinks worse than ever

Beating the worst UGA team in 15 years is cause to wave the flag. (AP photo)

Was beating the worst UGA team in 15 years really cause to wave the flag? (AP photo)

Today is Jan. 4, 2011. The 2010 college football season still has six days to run.

Of the 35 bowls — that’s correct; there are 35 bowls — six remain to be played. Among these are the Sugar Bowl (tonight) and the Cotton Bowl (Friday night), and then there’s the BCS title game next Monday. Put another way, the NFL, which completed its regular season only Sunday, will have eliminated four playoff teams before college football crowns its still-rather-mythical national champion.

The BCS title game should be a dandy. Well, shouldn’t it? Neither Auburn nor Oregon will have played in 36 days. As we know, there are those who complain about the two-week layoff the NFL imposes before its Super Bowl. In its infinite wisdom, college football has created a five-week layoff. (This is the same college football that argues a playoff system would be too long and taxing for its student-athletes.)

The point …

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Both finished 6-7, but UGA’s woes run deeper than Tech’s

"How about you recruit for me, and I'll coach for you?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"How about you recruit for me, and I'll coach for you?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia and Georgia Tech each finished 6-7 after being ranked in the preseason Top 25, but that’s all the programs have in common. Tech lacks players. Georgia lacks coaching. All things considered, you’d rather be Tech.

There’s a chance Paul Johnson, stylized offense and all, can sign enough players to lift Tech to another ACC title. There’s less a chance Mark Richt will ever again take his Bulldogs to the SEC summit. What used to be an anomaly has become the norm: When it comes to a big game against an opponent of similar resources, Georgia loses.

Given that Tech lost three of its leading lights — Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas and Jonathan Dwyer — off its conference championship team to the NFL a year early and then lost Joshua Nesbitt, its best remaining player, to a broken arm, a case can be made that 6-7 was close to what the Jackets deserved. Yeah, they should have won at Kansas and …

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