Outfielder Jeff Francoeur Getting Second Chance with Braves

Jeff Franceour with the Atlanta Braves in 2008./ Photo From Wikipedia
Jeff Franceour with the Atlanta Braves in 2008./ Photo From Wikipedia

Jeff Francoeur began is professional baseball career with the Braves organization back in 2005. The Atlanta native had a great rookie year but did not become the star many had thought he would be. Traded to the New York in 2009 and then shipped around to five different teams before landing in Atlanta for a second chance with the organization that drafted him.

The Parkview High School graduate has told reporters that his  goal is simple,  make the big club as an extra outfielder or be a stay-at-home father, or possibly move into coaching the game he loves.

When I heard on the channel 2 sports report that Francoeur had just inked a minor league contract with  Atlanta which included an invite to spring training, it just felt good. A  seasoned professional, an organization and fan base  that have seen better seasons were  together again, six years after their painful breakup.

“The first meeting seems like a lifetime ago, even if it’s a mere eleven years. I was a kid just learning to fully appreciate baseball, and the Braves were desperately trying to cling to a quickly closing Golden Age.” Franceour, explained during an interview with the media.

Thought of by many, as one of the nicest player, in baseball both on and off the field. On the field, the always smiling Franceour will play hard and run down ever ball hit is way, He gives that extra effort that makes him a very enjoyable player for fans to watch, Off the field, he’s signing autographs for kids and fans of the game while doing his part to give back to others like attending charitable events.

Despite only having a minor league contract as the season starts. I see the born-again Christian claiming the minor league ladder  at pretty fast pace this season. After all, he has climb that ladder before with success, he can certainly do it again.  Without question the 32-year-old will be a fan favorite no matter what level of the Braves organization he plays at.

Francoeur has the tools and skills to play at the major league level. However, I do not see the baseball veteran as an everyday player. He needs to work on his hitting. He’s more of someone who hits for average than power or a consistent home-run hitter. But if he continues to work on his stroke at the dish, he could develop into an everyday player. For now I see him as a part-time lineup player for the Atlanta Braves.  And an Atlanta Braves fan Favorite of mine.



Mark Richt offers Miami’s First Scholarship to Georgia Eight-Grader

National signing day for future college football players has passed by for 2016. However,  Mark Richt is making news by  selecting Phenomena Harrison Bailey, a Georgia eighth-grader, giving him his first scholarship offer. The press has reported that it could pay off big dividends for the Miami Hurricanes football program.

College football fans in Miami and around the country might wonder why Coach Richt  would make such an offer to Bailey. Well, Richt  is a very hardworking recruiters, as the first-year Miami coach is willing to take the risk. And coach does view offering an eighth-grader a football scholarship that big of a risk, according to reports.

Bailey is already stands 6-foot-3 and weights in at 175 pounds. He is a pocket  passing quarterback who is often compared to former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, now with the Kansas City Chiefs.

On YouTube.com, the 13 year-old  shows promise in his highlight film to have the skills to play at the colleague level.  Bailey most often lines up in shotgun and has superior footwork, a super quick release, a rocket of an arm with consistent spirals and it looks as if he can make all the throws.   He is mobile with deceiving running speed.

If anyone can assess a signal-caller it’s Richt. The former UGA head football coach can. He was the Miami Hurricanes field general in the early 1980’s.

I like Bailey a lot and it’s a sad we’ll have to wait a few years  to hear his decision.  I hope he remembers who believed in him first … the  U.

Bailey is in the Class of 2020.




Dansby Swanson happy to be an Atlanta Brave

Dansby Swanson with Atlanta Braves at Spring Training 2016,/ By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version)UCinternational (Crop) - Originally posted to Flickr as "Dansby Swanson takes grounders"Cropped by UCinternational, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47199714
Dansby Swanson with Atlanta Braves at Spring Training 2016,/ By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version)UCinternational (Crop) – Originally posted to Flickr as “Dansby Swanson takes grounders”Cropped by UCinternational, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47199714

Marietta native and Vanderbilt University standout Dansby Swanson is living a dream as he comes home to play for his hometown  Atlanta Braves this season.

“It’s funny to think how that is my getaway,” Swanson said. “In high school, my getaway was going to shoot basketball, even just at the house. Now [after the trade], that is the first thing I did when I found out I was going back home, ” Swanson told a reporter.

In  effort to  improve the team’s middle infield this year the Atlanta  acquired Swanson, from the Arizona diamondbacks, in a December 8th  trade that sent Shelby Miller to  Arizona.

Swanson was the first player selected over-all in the June draft by the diamondbacks. He only played 22 games his rookie season in Class A ball with Arizona because another prospect hit Swanson in the face during live batting practice.

Fans should be excited to watch  this young Braves prospect on the field this season. Although he has a light stick at the dish, he will  hit for average in the line up at all levels of the Atlanta’s organization.

He hit 289. at the plate in his shorten rookie year with the D-backs in Oregon. Look for his bat to be much improved at the plate this season as the Braves top prospect  has worked hard on improving his all-round game. Spending time in the batting cages and working with Chipper Jones will certainly help the kid, as he enters his first full season at the professional level.

Despite is lack of playing time in the pros this young pro has better than average speed on the basis, along with great knowledge of the over all game.

My prediction is when the season starts this year Swanson will be a class A Rome Brave. However, he will claim the minor league ladder fast. The truth be told with the kid’s age and college experience he should and could be playing in the show by the end of 2016 or  2017 season. Swanson is without a doubt someone to keep an eye on this coming season. He could surprise us all and be contributing sooner than later at Turner Field  or Sun Trust Park in Cobb County.



Clemson Is Not Scared of Alabama Heading Into National Championship

Courtesy of Wikimedia
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Clemson is a great team and I doubt anyone really believes they are scared of Bama. I’ve seen some fans on here, however, claiming Clemson’s schedule is superior to Bama’s. I will show you the absurdity of that claim with these facts. Keep in mind that FCS opponents were not included in the stats for Clemson or for Bama. Clemson’s opponents had an overall record of 92-73 (55.76%). Those same opponents had an average SOS of 36.64. Clemson beat 7 power five conference teams with a winning record and won 8 games over bowl eligible teams. Bama’s opponents had an overall record of 111-59 (65.

Tim Dutton, wow youre truly blind. That same Alabama team that lost to a 3 loss Ole Miss team at home? You want to call the ACC much softer, but the SEC has 3 losses to group of 5 teams this year, and all 3 of those teams played in bowl games.
As you want to say Clemson hasnt faced anyone the likes of Alabama, pretty sure you said that about Oklahoma, and we all see how that went, Alabama hasnt faced a beast like Clemson. Clemson is a truly 50/50 balanced team that can rip you apart in so many dimensions, these kids hit hard, Oklahoma summed it up for you, “those kids hit harder than anyone wave played, they want it more”. So tell me, when Clemson shuts down Henry like they have with every other running back this year, where will Alabama go.
Without a mobile qb to navigate the pocket, there is no true way.
Expect Coker to throw at least 3 interceptions, we forced 2 on a guy who had 5 all year, whom is much better than Coker and has better wide receivers.
Yes, they have ridley, but look at the body of work Mackensie Alexander has dealt all year, he hasn’t  fallowed a single TD on his watch or a WR to have a 100 yard game.
Alabama will stop Clemson at times, but Clemson will be able to do more because of the balance and the variety that they have. We had 2 players rush for more than Henry did all game last game and had the same amount of tds. Unlike Alabama, Clemson can sell out on the run 70% of the time because of how good Clemson’s secondary is, unlike Mich State, in which there weakness all year was the down field pass. That’s not a weakness here. We posses a top pass and rush D, I know Alabama does as well, but their qb will not be able to keep up with Watson.
Talk about the ACC as lowly as you want, but they say the same thing about Bama every year. So tell me, what has Bama done the last 2 years in post season play? Your own true argument against the ACC in your entire statement was having to dig deeper in the past to make it look better.
The ACC is making a statement, and if Clemson wins, that would mean the ACC has won 2 of the last 3 with 2 different teams. The SEC just has Bama, every year the rest of the teams are over hyped and put in the top 10 and by years end they are nowhere to be seen. There is no blindness in who we are, and unlike most of the teams in the SEC, the ACC truly proves itself that the team that is there belongs there. 4 top 10 victories to your messily 1, to a team that needed 2 miracles to be where it was.


Auburn Dominating The Recruiting Scene While Country Laughs

 It is strange. While everybody is laughing at Auburn and poking fun all over the country, all Auburn has done is go out there and dominate the recruiting scene.
There is a chance Auburn will pick up   another five-star athlete  and few more four stars before all is said and done. On top of that, there are a bunch of “Early Enrollment” kids in the class too.
They will be much more ahead starting in January than August. I will say this: people everywhere including a bunch of Auburn fans as well expect Auburn to crash and burn. They think Auburn has no shot to be any good.
For one thing, Auburn was highly competitive in all but one game. Yet another, Auburn has absolutely no expectations of succeeding this coming season.
You guys got what you wanted so badly. You hate expectations. Well, they are gone now. Enjoy it folks you wanted it bad enough this season so have fun with a complete off-season of absolutely positively no expectations at all. You guys enjoying that?
People everywhere including a bunch of Auburn fans as well expect Auburn to crash and burn.” That statement perfectly describes a small but very active contingent within the AU family although attitudes and outlooks seem to be improving. Just a few weeks ago, the sky had fallen since AU was only #19 (or whatever) in some silly recruiting rankings. Look at things now. “Auburn was highly competitive in all but one game.” Just a few plays here or there and this is, at worst, a 9-3 season in the SEC West.
Granted those plays weren’t made (for easily identifiable and therefore correctable reasons) and the result is an extremely frustrating 6-6. But things obviously aren’t as bad as some both within and without the Auburn faithful have contended. Much better days are ahead provided the necessary corrections .

Mark Richt Dismissed As Head Coach At Georgia


Mark Richt in May 2008./Photo from Wikipedia.
Mark Richt in May 2008./Photo from Wikipedia.

Say what you will about Richt, but he deserved better than a firing. The man did more for Georgia than anyone not named Herschel Walker, and for him to not even get the Frank Beamer or Les Miles treatment is a disgrace to the University of Georgia. I expected him to be gone, but not like this. Not tasteful in the slightest.

“I will say this, if and when I do coach again, I am looking forward to coaching again, in terms of being more hands on. I miss coaching quarterbacks, I miss calling plays. Whether it is in the role of head coach, coordinator, quarterbacks coach, whatever it is, if in fact I choose to do that, I would be really excited about coaching QB’s again and getting in the middle of offensive strategy.”-Mark Richt at today’s press conference discussing his firing.

This is unnerving to hear as a Georgia fan. This year was the perfect opportunity for Mark Richt to call plays, get more hands on with the quarterbacks, etc. And he decided not to. Here’s what will happen, in my opinion:

Richt will be hired as the next head coach at Miami, despite his past insistence that UGA would be his one and only coaching stop. And it’s all because of how this was handled by Greg McGarity, an embarrassment of an athletic director. It sure is sad to see Richt depart Georgia after a 9-3 record because what some say, he could not win the big games like Alabama and Florida

Competitive Cycling Wheels are Turn’n in Pullman Washington

The Sport of Competitive cycling is becoming more popular at the college level./Photo From Wikipedia.
The Sport of Competitive cycling is becoming more popular at the college level./Photo From Wikipedia.

For most people a bicycle is just transportation or some fun; it is much more , it’s a sport, a way of life. For members of the Washington State University club  cycling team it is a serous effort to keep the wheels turn in.

Ask someone what the most popular sport is in the world and chance are they will tell you soccer. Ask someone what the eleven most popular sport in the world is and the answers will probably be as varied as each person answer.

The truth is that the sport of cycling holds the eleven place ranking. Cycling in enjoys great popularity in Europe but to most Americans it remains an obscure sport. The LA Olympics payed   service to the sport’s popularity. Cycling was honored to be the opening event  of the games and not brought the USA its first gold medal but brought the sport needed exposure in this country.

Although many colleges and universities have cycling at the club level, there are only 13 full-fledged varsity cycling teams in the United States. These are teams that run under the auspices of the school’s athletic department and receive institutional support, including salaries for coaches and managers and a budget for travel and entry fees. Depending on the level of competition, (i.e., NCAA Division I, II, etc.) some even provide scholarships for student cyclist athletes.

There are only 13 USA Cycling-recognized varsity teams in the United States. Unlike cycling clubs, these teams are headed by licensed USA Cycling coaches and receive more funding from their respective schools. Not all have scholarships, but many do.

Washington State University has the only cycling completive team  in the Pacific Northwest You need to travel all the way to California before cycling becomes popular again as a college sport. The sport of cycling is a Club sport on the Pullman, Washington campus.

The Club has proven  successful since it was first establishes in the 1984-85 academic year. Currently some 35 members pay due to the club. Most are undergraduate but a smattering of faculty, graduate and high school students are also involved; The team is open to all interested person. Although co-ed., only one women is part of the club. The club is open to all individual who are interested.




Radio – The Movie Inspired By A True Story

If you consider yourself a sports fan, there are plenty of movies out there for you no matter your predilection. And because of this, there are plenty of marvelous films out there for fans of sports, and even the laziest person can fire up google and find a listing of the best sports movies ever made.

Radio is a 2003 film directed by Mike Tolin  based on the true 220px-Radio-movie_Posterstory of T.L. Hanna High School football coach Harold Jones played by (Ed Harris) and a mentally challenged young man James Effinhimer Robert “Radio” Kennedy with (Cuba Gooding Jr.) in the movie roll. Also starring Debbra Winger and Alfre Woodward,,   inspired by a 1996 Sports Illustrated article “Someone to Lean on” by Gary Smith. This movie filmed primarily in Walterboro, South Carlina, because its buildings and downtown areas still fit the look of the era the film depicted.

The film’s lead character, Radio,  based upon James Robert Effinhimer Kennedy (born October 14, 1946 in Anderson, South Carllinia. Kennedy grew up fascinated by radios. His nickname, Radio, was given to him by townspeople because of the radio he carried everywhere he went. He still attends T. L. Hanna High School and helps coach the football team and the basketball team. He is known to ask students before football games, “We gonna get that quarterback?”, and say “We gonna win tonight!” .[Citation nedeeded] ReelSports provided the football and basketball coordination for the film.

“Radio”, a 23-year-old young man living with intellectual disability, pushes a shopping cart along the streets daily. He is attracted to a high school football team, and passes by their practices on a near-daily basis. One day, the football flies outside the field near Radio, and Radio takes the ball, deaf to the demands of a student athlete on the other side of the fence to return it. Some time later, the team members lock Radio inside the gear shed, tied up. The team’s coach hears them throw balls at the shed, goes in and comforts Radio. Another day, meeting Radio at the streets, asks him to visit and help at training and then delivers Radio to his house, where Radio’s mother is introduced. It is also revealed that Radio has a brother named Walter, who does not live with them. Their father passed away a few years earlier.

Coach Jones begins spending more and more time with Radio, which concerns the fathers of many of the team members. In particular, one of the fathers, Frank Clay, suggests that the coach stop associating with Radio, as he views the boy as merely a distraction to his own son’s success. Coach Jones is resistant, and he later reveals to his daughter that this resistance was partly induced by an earlier incident during his childhood in which the Coach did not do anything to help a mentally disabled boy who was locked under a house.

Radio eventually takes classes in the high school, and it is clear that he never completed a formal education. After struggling, Radio eventually learns to read. Though well-liked by most of the students at school, Radio is still bullied by Johnny, the son of Frank, and his friends and Radio is tricked into entering the girls locker room. This triggers an incident with the school board that puts Radio’s ability to attend the high school at risk. However, Radio refuses to tell the Coach Jones who told him to do it, leading to Jones’ words, “You’re a better man than me Radio”. Coach Jones eventually figures out who told Radio to go into the girls locker room, and punishes Johnny for his actions by ordering him to sit out from the basketball team for an indefinite time. He tells Johnny that Radio never said a word about him, and Johnny latter begins to respect Radio and doubt his father’s impressions.

While distributing Christmas presents to nearly everyone in the town, Radio is questioned by a police officer as to where he got all the presents. Unable to communicate properly, Radio ends up getting arrested as the officer believes that Radio stole the presents when in fact they were presents given to Radio by the townspeople. He then roughly jails Radio. The officer, who left Radio crying in a cell, looks for his information. The other officers, taking pity on Radio after seeing him cry, release him and take him into the staff-room, watching a game of football together. Coach Jones soon arrives, releasing Radio. The offending officer is punished by having to spend the day with Radio to finish all the present deliveries. Some time later, Radio’s mother suddenly dies of a heart attack. Even with this immense trauma, Radio still manages to graduate from eleventh grade with the help from his coach, mainly because of the help and support from so many who had been kind to him in return for Radio’s own kindness. For the next years, Radio still attended the school. The film ends with clips of the real Radio who was in his 50s when the film was made.

Radio received generally unfavorable reviews. On review  Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 36% “Rotten” rating and holds a score of 38 out of 100 on Meta Critic. Common points of criticism included the excessively sentimental screenplay and music as well as the formulaic plot. However, the film found an audience, grossing $52,333,738 with a budget of about $35 million. Cuba Gooding Jr. earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actor for his performance in the film but also an NAACP Image Award for best actor in a motion picture.









Domestic Voilence Raises Its Ugly Head in NFL

As NFL teams transitioned from the preseason to regular season domestic violence reared  its ugly head, as a few players made headlines for their aggressive behavior off the field.

Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray Rice at Baltimore Ravens Training Camp in 2009/Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Since a graphic video surfaced of former Ravens running back Rice punching Janay Palmer in a casino elevator, Goodell has been under fire over the league’s handling of a February attack between star running back  Rice and his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. A  video showed Rice dragging a seemingly unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino.

The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Ravens terminated his contract . After the video surfaced of the running back punching his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator on Feb. 15. The NFL Players Association announced September 16 it is appealing the suspension of former Baltimore Ravens running back  Rice.

“The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that show a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL,” the union said in a statement tonight. “The NFLPA has asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator to hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the preceding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators,” the NFLPA said.

The former Baltimore Ravens player was arrested and charged with aggravated assault  in New Jersey.

There are many ways in which aggravated assault can be committed. You may be charged with this if the prosecution has probable cause to believe you:

  1. Cause or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another
  2. Purposely or knowingly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  3. Recklessly caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon,
  4. Pointed a firearm in the direction of another showing extreme indifference to human life, or
  5. If you commit a simple assault on a protected person (law enforcement, emergency services worker, judge, operator of public transportation, or utility employee acting in their job.

Aggravated assault could be charged as a crime of the fourth degree or up to a crime of the second degree. The charge you face depends on the circumstances of your offense and the result of the action. If the alleged victim was actually injured, your charges and potential penalty will be much higher.

This means, for a charge of aggravated assault, you could face as much as 10 years in prison.

It’s a sad day in the world of sports when a professional athlete feels he can strike a female and cause bodily harm without punishment. Any man who would hit a women in my book is a sad excuse of a man and needs punishment of some kind.

In my opinion,  the legal system should treat Rice like any other citizen that would hit a woman. He needs to step up, be a man and admit he has an anger management problem. Then he should enroll in some anger management classes.

Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Roger Goodell, at 2010 Super Bowl. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

It is easy for an athlete to get caught up in the dream of becoming a professional athlete in high school or college because many athletes only think about the fame and the fortune of the profession while trying to figure out what career to persue. There’s nothing better than taking something that you’re really good at and making lots of money with it. But a young athlete needs to be aware of the facts. The number of high school athletes that actually go on to play college and pro sports is extremely competitive, and that’s putting it mildly.

Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Ray McDonald at a 2008 preseason game. Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Just three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell created stronger sanctions for players involved in domestic violence, 49ers starting defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of felony domestic violence charges involving his fiancée who is pregnant . The 49ers put him on the team’s inactive list while he awaits trial.

While Adrian Peterson, 29, was indicted  on a charge he injured his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch and has an

Adrian Peterson Vikings
Adrian Peterson Vikings

arraignment scheduled for Oct. 8. He faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty, but the Vikings announced September 17 he was placed on the Exempt Commissioner  Permission List,while Peterson takes care of his legal issue.

Peterson cooperated  fully with investigators as they looked into theallegations of child abuse. The Vikings running back did go old school on his son. In this day and age a parent still has the right to discipline his child.

North  Carolina Panther Greg Hardy, was convicted of domestic violence charges over the summer but has appealed and is awaiting a jury trial.

Hardy, a former Ole Miss star, was convicted in July after his May arrest on charges of assault and communicating threats against his former girlfriend. Nicole Holder accused him of throwing her down on a couch and threatening to shoot her if she told anyone.

Hardy received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months of probation following a 10-hour bench trial, but demanded a jury trial as part of his appeal. His jury trial is expected to begin Nov. 17 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.  Currently Hardy has been placed on the Exempt Commissioner Permission List and will continue receiving a pay check while he wait’s for trail.

Currently the league has a policy of a 6 game suspension for a domestic violence charge. A second charge would bring a life time banned from the league. The league  should develop some new rules on domestic violence that is fair to all going forward.









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