Friday, September 23, 2016

Tech Falls to Clemson

GT/Clemson: The ESPN pregame focus was clearly on Clemson. Had the game been at Clemson it would’ve been hard to tell who the Tigers’ opponent was. A bad first quarter for Tech, but they didn’t give up – and actually outscored Clemson in the second half.

Down three scores, GT QB Justin Thomas seemed hesitant to turn the ball upfield, repeatedly opting to pitch the ball to backs obviously already covered by the swarming defense. Thomas would’ve taken more of a beating, but in those cases Tech would’ve gained more yards (or lost less) has Thomas kept the ball. Paul Johnson may have dictated that Thomas pitch. Johnson almost had a smile on his face after his first down halfback pass play call deep in his own territory resulted in an easy Clemson interception.

The Tigers’ inability to add on points and put the game away bodes poorly for next weeks’ primetime matchup against Louisville. Clemson’s defense will have to be able to somehow contain the explosive Cardinal offense. Watson was repeatedly off-target with his passes. He’ll have to be much sharper next week.  

The interception/fumble/safety: you’d think these youngsters wouldn’t want to do something so stupid on national TV. But week after week something happens. At least nobody dropped the ball on the one yard line.

My suggestion, that ESPN move the game back 30 minutes so Tech fans could still watch Jeopardy, was well received. Jesse Palmer looked dapper as usual, but his Stanford Ancient Languages Major play by play cohort looked like he had stepped right out of a Goodwill. Both called a good game.

This week’s Sports Illustrated lists four Heisman front-runners: cover boy Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Ohio State QB JT Barrett, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, and Houston QB Greg Ward. Watson wasn’t mentioned. In late November Louisville plays Houston, a game with both playoff and Heisman implications.      
Reading an old baseball book “Tales From the Dugout,” written before Sosa and McGuire assaulted Roger Maris’ home run record. The author’s aim was to tell interesting stories that few people had heard, as opposed to the same old stories told over and over again. In general the problem with these lesser known stories aren’t retold as often because they’re not quite as interesting. There are also a few inaccuracies: some big, some small. Mookie’s last name isn’t Williams (perhaps the reader just read it wrong).

But the author missed a glaring detail when presenting the details of Harvey Haddix’s twelve inning “no-hitter.” The author writes that the game was lost in the 13th inning on the only hit of the game: Joe Adcock’s double. Even I know what made the game even more fascinating was that Adcock hit not a double, but a home run – and that baserunner Hank Aaron left the field instead of crossing home, causing Adcock to “pass” Aaron on the basepaths, negating his run and causing his homer to be ruled a double. I probably have the details wrong as well, but that’s the gist of it.

Remarkable that Inciarte’s two out catch turned a walk off Cespedes’ game winning home run for the Mets turned into the game saving catch for the Braves. I missed it. Had to look it up. I went to bed at 10 pm. I had been exhausted all day after golfing and staying up late the day before.

But what have I told you these past few weeks about Inciarte? He tagged up and scored the game-tying run on Kemp’s bloop to medium centerfield, challenging one of the best arms in baseball. Mallex Smith is not the hitter or fielder that Inciarte is. The Braves should trade Mallex for a catcher or starting pitcher.

The Braves won again Thursday night: their second six game winning streak in the past few weeks – against division rivals Washington, New York, and Miami. Since July only one MLB has scored more runs than the Braves, and Atlanta is breathing down the Mets’ necks for the month’s best record in the division. Some naysayers say other teams are resting starters and playing minor league call-ups, but the teams the Braves have been playing have still been in playoff contention.  
This weekend’s trip: to Augusta for Will’s white coat ceremony. Also getting the car tag for his now 2 month old used car. Trouble with the title, so we are giving up and getting the tag in Cobb Country (I hope).

Just learned my foursome in the October 3rd golf tourney is comprised of three other golfers with handicaps as high as mine. Could be a long day, but still should be fun. Looks like two of the other teams are in the same boat, but the team with the big wigs is loaded with at least two excellent golfers. They should win going away. Trying to decide which of my three pairs of golf shoes I should wear.

Guy just broke the Appalachian Trail speed record: 2190 miles in 46 days. If he walked 16 hours a day he averaged a mile every 20 minutes, and 48 miles a day.

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