Monday, July 31, 2017

The Roof May Never Work

Guy I know works for the company that helped build SunTrust Park and Mercedes Benz Stadium. They’re going to build the Braves new spring training facility as well.
He says the “retractable” roof on Mercedes Benz Stadium may never work. Last week the Falcons had announced it would remain closed for the first month of the season. My friend had known this since last April, when they took all the big cranes out of the inside of the stadium (below) so the field could be put in, so the games could be played. Work to remove the field and seats from the Georgia Dome had to be stopped, in case the new stadium wasn’t going to be ready.
He said there were serious doubts in the construction community whether the roof will ever work. It will take tens of millions of dollars. After the Falcons season, and after the college championship game in January they’d have to move those big cranes back inside to work on the roof again. With the Mercedes name on the building, and the Super Bowl coming to town in February 2019, there are lots of people in high places who want to see that roof working. But it ain’t happening this year.
Aaron Judge will be ok. Everyone has their ups and downs during the dog days of the season. Plenty of time left. Few players could keep up with the pace he was on.
Everyone is asking (again) what’s wrong with the Braves. We knew going into the season the best they would do would be to win half their games. When they went on a hot streak I knew it would only be a matter of time before they’d cool off again.
I wonder if the Garcia trade took some of the wind out of the Braves sails. It was common knowledge that he was tops on their list to trade, but still it had to be a downer in the clubhouse. Carmargo is hitting great, but even though Dansby had a low average and struggled in the field (and the demotion to Gwinnett will be a good thing in the long run), Swanson was still doing lots of little things to push runs across the plate.
I missed that part of the game. Another reason the bunt is so bad is that no one can bunt any more. This weekend I saw one Brave (the guy they got from the Twins?) try a bunt, and he fouled it off. It was obvious he had no clue how to bunt, slapping his bat out there at the last minute instead of squaring around to make sure he could make contact.
Maddux and Glavine knew how to bunt. They have more sac bunts than any other right-handed and left-handed pitchers in history. But if you look at the all-time list of sacrifice bunts, there was a whole lot more bunting going on before 1950 than today. These days there are fewer bunts cause everyone is trying to hit home runs. They’d rather give up double play and try for the home run. Young fans aren’t watching baseball because there’s less action – only walks, strikeouts, and home runs.
So the Twins traded Garcia to the Yankees. Snitker said Johnson is no longer the primary closer. Had he pitcher better the past few weeks he probably would’ve been traded as well.
Busy weekend. Worked until 5:45 on Friday. W&MC beat me home. I arrived and the house was full of flowers. C and MC spent the evening arranging them. They were to be used on Saturday for MC’s sister Anna, who was being propsed to. W was studying. I went out to pick up supper: C had ordered Thai food. Not my favorite, though some was edible. Later MC’s parents dropped by to pick up all the flowers in his F150 pickup.
Saturday morning W&MC headed out to Tennessee for the big event. They had breakfast at some great biscuit spot they’d found, then headed up to the mountains with MC’s sister Anna. MC’s parents had gone in earlier, and had to lug the flowers almost a mile up the trail. Tom said he was sweating and huffing and puffing. At one point he fell – but didn’t drop the flowers. Zach arrived with the photographer, and helped carry the rest of the flowers. Then Tom and Regina moved the truck and signalled Will that it was ok for W&MC and Anna to go on their hike. When they neared the scenic overlook W&MC dropped back, and Zack came out of the bushes to propose to Anna. Since MC had worked so hard on the flowers, she and Will lugged them back to the car. Zack’s parents had flown in for the affair, and afterwards they all gathered in Cartersville for supper.
Ceil and I worked around the house Saturday morning. The place was in decent shape. I did a bunch of laundry, but constantly going outside into the heat and back inside to the cold air conditioning made me sick. By the afternoon I was sneezing uncontrollably, and couldn’t do much at all. Ceil had gone over to help out at a Refuge Coffee rummage sale, so I chilled pretty much the rest of the day. I had to dog-sit Barney and Okie, but they tired themselves out so much on Friday night that on Saturday they just sat around. While Ceil was at the YMCA I had let Okie outside, and he wound up running around the neighborhood (with me giving chase). W&MC came by about 7:30 on their way back to Augusta. On her way home C shopped at Dekalb Farmers Market.
I was still sick on Sunday morning, and pretty much stayed in bed until eleven. M started cleaning out his room, and I cleaned and straightened our bedroom. C cooked me an eggy-boy sandwich (without much food in the house , on Saturday I’d eaten eggs for breakfast and lunch). M had decided to move to the downstairs bedroom, and a couple of friends came over to help out. Anna arrived home from camp, and I helped her unload her car. With her stuff and Matthew’s mess and the leftover flowers, the house and garage were a total mess. Not sure when we’ll get it all cleaned up. I took Anna’s filthy Jeep to the carwash and got the emmissions tested. C cooked homemade pizza, and the four of us plus M’s two friends are a late lunch.
Then Anna, Ceil, and I went to an engagement party for MC’s sister in Roswell. Lot’s of MC’s family was there, who I knew well.  After the party we didn’t do much. I had leftover pizza for supper, and we all watched a movie on DVD.
Busy week coming up. Today is month end, which is always a busy day. Two coworkers are out. Big lunch meeting – BBQ. Tomorrow I’m taking off to move Anna to Athens. Will probably get my car tags as well.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Photos

I have several "good" posts in the works for next week,
but nothing ready to go quite yet.
In the meantime here's a few pictures I've holding on to.
Anna returned home from Camp Highland today.
I move her to Athens on Tuesday afternoon.
Here's their final staff photo.
Friday Jon retired after 45 years with the company
(actually several companies that kept getting bought out).
Few retirees get a full cookout for the entire plant in their honor.
Jon gave a wonderful and challenging speech
after delightful lead man Lewis (left) introduced him.
Then plant manager Ronald asked God to bless the food.
Sometimes the place I work isn't too bad.
Lately there's been a hawk lurking outside our back windows.
 W&MC at Augusta First Presbyterian.
Gwinnett pitcher Lucas Sims puts down a successful sacrifice bunt.
Top prospect Ronald Acuna has been tearing up the International League. 
Former GBrave Phil Gosselin, now with the Indianapolis Indians,
chats with his former comrades before the game.
 Tubers float through downtown Helen, Georgia.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Greatest 2-Sport Athletes 1-10

The top ten multi-sport athletes of all time. Both Athlon and I left Tony Romo off our lists. I forgot Charlie Ward and Drew Henson, as well as several others.

10. Marion Jones: Olympic athlete, UNC basketball national champion.
A much better athlete than Lolo Jones.
9. Willie Gault: all-pro wide receiver for the Bears and Raiders.
World class sprinter. Olympic bobsledder (below, with Edwin Moses and Herschel). Dabbled in ballet. A Herschel wannabe.
8. Wilt Chamberlain was considered one of the greatest volleyball players in history, and was inducted into the sport's hall of fame. He wasn't too bad in basketball either. Or track. Put up impressive totals in another sport as well.

7. Before breaking baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers,
hall of famer Jackie Robinson was a three sport star at UCLA:
track, baseball, and perhaps his best sport: football.

6. Bob Hayes: after winning the gold medal in the 100 meters,
he earned the title of World's Fastest Human. Then he earned his spot in the NFL Hall of Fame as a wide receiver for the Cowboys and 49ers.
5. Deion Sanders: perhaps the greatest cornerback in NFL history,
though he often had an aversion to tackling. Also one of the greatest return men in football history. NFL Hall of Fame. Played baseball for the Yankees, Braves, and Reds. Also ran track at FSU.
While The MMQB thought highly of Deion, Athlon ranked him eighth.
4. Bo Jackson: all-pro NFL running back. MVP of the MLB all-star game. Only player in baseball history to play with an artificial hip.
Ran track at Auburn. Leads charity bike rides across Alabama.
Handy with a bow and arrow as well.
3. Herschel Walker: gained more yards than any other football player in history. Undefeated MMA fighter. World class sprinter.
Bobsledder in the Winter Olympics. Danced in the Dallas Ballet.
2. Jim Thorpe: NFL Hall of Famer.
Won the gold medal in the Olympic decathlon. Played pro baseball.
1. Jim Brown: arguably the greatest running back in NFL history, if not the greatest player in NFL history. Also the greatest lacrosse player in history. Played basketball and baseball at Syracuse.
See the 11-20, 21-30, and 31-40 lists as well.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Greatest 2-Sport Athletes 11-20

20. Academy Award-winning actress Gena Davis was also a world-class archer. She narrowly missed making the US Olympic team a few years ago.
19. Tony Gonzalez was the greatest tight end in NFL history. He also played college basketball at Cal Berkeley.
18. Russell Wilson: Super Bowl-winning QB.
Was drafted as a baseball player and played in the minors. 
17. MLB hall of famer Dave Winfield was drafted by the NBA, NFL, and MLB. He pitched in college for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 
16. Brian Jordan: outfielder for the Cardinals and Braves,
defensive back for the Falcons.
15. All Pro QB John Brodie won the NFL MVP.
After retiring from football he joined the senior PGA tour.
14. Before Renaldo Nehemiah joined the 49ers as a wide receiver,
he was a world class hurdler.
13. Danny Ainge: NBA champion as a guard for the Boston Celtics,
third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays.
12. Ron Reed pitched for the Atlanta Braves
and played for the Detroit Pistons in the off-season.

11. Joe Guyon: played with Jim Thorpe. Member of the NFL hall of fame. Played and managed minor league baseball.  
Also check out the athletes ranked 21-30 and 31-40.
Athlon Sports posted a similar list, adding several names that I had forgotten about.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Greatest 2-Sport Athletes 21-30

Spend time yesterday making up a list of the greatest all-time multi-sport athletes. Sports Illustrated ran three stories about the topic, including one by a young guy who proposed that Deion Sanders was the greatest two sport athlete in history. I rank him no higher than fifth. For athletes 31-40 click here.
30. Lolo Jones competed in the Summer Olympics as a hurdler,
and in the Winter Olympics on the bobsled team.

29. NFL Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino was drafted by the Royals.
28. Hall of Fame QB John Elway played minor league ball
in the Yankees system.
27. Tom Brady has won more Super Bowls than any QB in NFL history.
He was drafted as a catcher by the Expos.
26. Braves hall of fame pitcher Tom Glavine won over 300 games in the majors. Coming out of high school he was drafted by the LA Kings.
25. Tim Tebow was one of the top three football players in SEC history. 
NFL QB. Now he’s playing minor league baseball in the Mets system.
24. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player in history, a six-time NBA champion (and NCAA champion). After he won his first three championships he took a break from basketball to play minor league baseball (and shoot the movie Space Jam).
23. Before Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn collected more than 3000 hits for the Padres, he played college basketball for San Diego State.
22. All-Pro defensive lineman Julius Peppers was named one of the greatest kick blockers in NFL history...
...perhaps because he played basketball at North Carolina.
21. Hale Irwin: Hall of Fame golfer. He also played quarterback and defensive back at Colorado.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Greatest 2-Sport Athletes 31-40

A recent series of articles on had me thinking of other great two sport athletes. I’ll publish my list of the top 40 in sets of ten. If the list tilts a little toward my corner of the world, so be it.
One young writer labeling Deion Sanders as perhaps the greatest two sport athlete in history. Was he? Stay tuned.
40. Steph Curry: two-time NBA champion. Recently finished third in the celebrity golf tourney at Lake Tahoe, posting the low round of the day on Sunday.

39. Greyson Lambert: record-setting QB at Virginia and Georgia.
Now playing minor league baseball.

38. All-SEC QB David Greene set NCAA records at UGA.
He later won second place on “The Knuckler.”

37. Garth Brooks is one of the greatest stars in country music history. He was good enough at baseball to go to spring training with the San Diego Padres.

36. Cam Bonifay played baseball and football at Georgia Tech.
Later served as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

35. Bobby Dews was a star baseball and basketball player at Georgia Tech. Minor league baseball player. Coached in the majors and minors. Published a novel and collection of poems.

34. Former Braves infielder Mark DeRosa was an Ivy League QB. at Penn

33. Buck Belue was an All-SEC QB at UGA,
leading the Dawgs to the 1980 national championship.

32. Jace Peterson currently plays for the Atlanta Braves,
and started at QB for Tulane.

31. Carl Lewis set world records and won Olympic Gold Medals as both a sprinter and long jumper. Was also an alternate on the Winter Olympic bobsled team. Dallas Cowboys draft pick.
For athletes 21-30, click here.