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Why Smart’s Year 1 has breakthrough potential
Georgia coach Kirby Smart directs recruits during the Next Level Elite Football Camp in Atlanta on Thursday, June 2, 2016. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

12:32 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

When you fire a coach, your next season is invariably seen as a rebuilding one. Georgia has a new coach. Ergo, this is a rebuilding year. Ergo, we shouldn’t expect too much.But here’s where I say: Check the schedule.Of Georgia’s 12 games, it could be favored in 11. It’s favored ...
Advice for the Braves: Stay strong, keep going
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore with the 2015 World Series trophy. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

3:01 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

Such a season would try the faith of a saint. Perhaps coincidentally, John Coppolella and John Hart, architects of the Braves’ massive rebuild, are named after one. They absolutely believe their way, baseball-wise, is the only way. But that doesn’t help much in a week like last, which saw the ...
Andruw Jones belongs in a bigger Hall of Fame
Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones reacts speaks during the team’s Hall of Fame luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016

Andruw Jones was inducted into the Braves’ Hall of Fame at a luncheon on Friday. He and another famous Jones will be eligible for a bigger Hall of Fame — the one in Cooperstown — on the ballot distributed in December 2017. Chipper Jones will be enshrined on his first ...
Tears in his eyes, Dansby Swanson brings hope
Dansby Swanson (left) shares a laugh with Jeff Francoeur and other Atlanta Braves teammates as he takes the field for batting practice at Turner Field on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

5:56 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016

The call came at 5:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday. It was from Luis Salazar, the Mississippi Braves’ manager, though Dansby Swanson didn’t know that until he answered, which he almost didn’t because he didn’t recognize the number. Swanson and teammate Jake Schrader were spending an off-day in their room at ...
Matt Ryan: Overrated? Underrated? Both?
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws an incomplete pass under pressure from Redskins linebacker Preston Smith in an NFL preseason game on Aug. 11, 2016. 

Updated: 3:07 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2016

Having observed him on a regular basis since 2008, my feeling about Matt Ryan has been that he’s good enough to win a Super Bowl. That has wobbled a time or two without changing. As we know, a team can win a Super Bowl without a great quarterback. Everyone cites ...
Appreciating A-Rod: It ain’t easy, folks
Alex Rodriguez acknowledges the crowd during a ceremony prior to his final baseball game with the Yankees on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

1:37 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016

A-Rod played his final game as a Yankee on Friday and had an RBI double. You probably weren’t sorry to see him go. If he winds up playing again, you probably won’t be glad he’s back. You probably dislike A-Rod. Almost everybody does.Everything about A-Rod — seldom-used full name: Alex ...
What a football-first Tech AD might ask Johnson
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson during Georgia Tech’s 2015 season opener against Alcorn State on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

2:21 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016

In 2013, some among Georgia Tech’s Old Guard were miffed that the Institute hired Mike Bobinski of football-free Xavier as athletic director. Most of those alums were subsequently placated, but still: The notion that their school might afford King Football short shrift was anathema to them.In the wake of the ...
Bring back McCann? It’s not that simple, folks
New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann, left, and Aroldis Chapman celebrate a win in 11 innings against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Updated: 3:21 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, 2016

Brian McCann is a catcher for the New York Yankees, who appear to have little need of his catching services. The Braves, who employed him for nine seasons, need a catcher in the worst way. Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckeball reports that McCann has cleared waivers, meaning that any team ...
UGA fans mightn’t have seen the last of Lambert
Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert throws during the G-Day game at Sanford Stadium on April 16, 2016. (Taylor Carpenter/tcarpenter@ajc.com)

2:12 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016

Greyson Lambert is a strange case. He lost his starting job at Virginia, which would wind up firing its coach. He won the starting job at Georgia and held it for all but one game — a game that led the school to fire its coach. He presided over 10 ...
Phase 1 of the Braves’ rebuild is near its end
San Diego Padres’ Matt Kemp gets a hug from Brett Wallace after making an appearance in the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds in San Diego, Saturday, July 30, 2016. Kemp had just been traded to the Atlanta Braves. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Updated: 6:11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, 2016

What we learned about the Braves from their moves — and non-moves — before Monday’s trade deadline:1. They’re now willing to spend to bolster their big-league product. Their biggest free agent signing of the past offseason was $3 million to re-up A.J. Pierzynski. In trading for Matt Kemp, the Braves ...
Starting for the 2018 Braves … Mike Trout?
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of warms up before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Anaheim on May 10, 2016. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

2:21 p.m. Friday, July 29, 2016

It’s April 2, 2018. It’s the second opening day at SunTrust Park. Here’s the starting lineup for the Cobb County Braves.Catcher: Matt Wieters. The Braves bought him as a free agent for $70 million over four seasons in November 2016. They preferred the younger Wilson Ramos, who priced himself out ...
It’s only Year 2, but Dan Quinn is on the clock
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, right, talks with general manager Thomas Dimitroff during training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga. The Falcons were 8-8 in Quinn’s first season. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Updated: 1:06 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In the 20th century, Dan Henning got four years without managing a winning season. (The Falcons wanted to fire him after Year 3 but let Henning talk them out of it.) In this century, Mike Smith posted five consecutive winning seasons — this for a franchise that hadn’t seen even ...
The Braves might not do much deadline selling
Braves outfielder Nick Markakis can’t quite get to a foul ball by the Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna during the first inning of a game Sunday, May 29, 2016. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

2:39 p.m. Monday, July 25, 2016

We know the Braves are willing to trade almost anybody. But, having traded almost everybody, they approach the Aug. 1 deadline in an odd position: They’d love to keep selling, but the cupboard is nearly bare.General manager John Coppolella has said he’s not trading Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman. I ...
In college football, new QBs tend to win titles
Deshaun Watson of the Clemson Tigers reacts against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2016 championship game January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Ariz. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, July 23, 2016

The run of conference media days means that college football teams are nearing the start of actual practice. (Actual games are still five weeks away.) Any day now, we’ll see the unveiling of this year’s preseason polls, and as someone who compiles his own set of rankings I’ll hazard the ...
Once seen as rickety, the ACC is walking tall
ACC commissioner John Swofford (Getty Images)

Updated: 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2016

There was a time when the ACC appeared a rickety enterprise. It had become Little Brother — at least in football, the sport that matters most in terms of TV and money — in its region to the almighty SEC, and in a time of rampant realignment we wondered if ...
Braves’ catching options: Lucroy? Ramos? McCann?
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos sits in the dugout before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Updated: 2:44 p.m. Monday, July 18, 2016

Early last week, Braves general manager John Coppolella responded to an emailed question by writing: “We’re searching for catching every day.” By week’s end, we were reminded why. The Braves lost their first two games after the All-Star break on nights that saw them deliver eight wild pitches (with a ...
The Braves’ SunTrust Park - boon or boondoggle?
Exterior of Galleria Office Park on Friday, June 24, 2016. The Atlanta Braves still haven’t told fans where they will park on game days, but Cobb commissioners have decided where they won’t park. Cobb commissioners quietly passed an ordinance in February that prohibits private property owners within a half-mile radius around the stadium from charging for parking during special events. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16, 2016

The second half of the Braves’ farewell to Turner Field began this weekend. The team exited the All-Star break with the worst record and the fifth-worst attendance in the majors, which means there’s nowhere to go up but up. At least geographically, that’s where the club is headed — 14.5 ...
Coppolella, Pt. 2: Olivera and … playoffs?
Braves general manager John Coppolella speaks during a press conference at Turner Field on Thursday, October 1, 2015. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

8:52 a.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Below is the second installment of our email Q&A; with Braves general manager John Coppolella. Part 1 ended with him saying, “We aren’t trading Julio (Teheran).” Part 2 begins with a discussion of someone he has sought to trade. Q: Do you regret the Hector Olivera trade? Do you see ...
Coppolella on the state of his Braves: Pt. 1
Coppolella on the state of his Braves: Pt. 1

11:50 a.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Via email, Braves general manager John Coppolella responded this week to 20 (plus one) questions regarding the half-season just past and his team’s future. The first 11 are presented here. The rest will come tomorrow. Q: The Braves have the worst record in baseball at the All-Star break. Before the ...
It’s another summer bummer from the Hawks
Boston Celtics center Al Horford holds up a jersey during a media availability at the team’s practice facility on Friday, July 8, 2016, in Waltham, Mass. Horford agreed to a four-year, $113 million deal with the Celtics as an unrestricted free agent. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

3:43 p.m. Monday, July 11, 2016

The Hawks could have played this offseason two ways: They could have traded Jeff Teague and let Al Horford leave as the first moves of a massive rebuilding, or they could have kept at least one of the above and sought to carry on as before. Being the Hawks, they ...
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