Sports


A Braves new spring, from batting cage English to walks on wild side 

If Socrates could have thrown a sinker, this is what it would have been like: To set the scene, it is a little after 8 in the morning, early in the Braves’ spring-training cycle when only pitchers and catchers are required to be in Florida. And before that time of day when any of them are obliged to sweat. There is not a soul in the home dugout except Tim Hudson, the former Brave who is a 222-game...


Ten observations from Hawks loss at Pacers

Ten observations from Hawks loss at Pacers

Save for a brief stretch of spirited play early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks had nothing. They were ragged with the ball and the Pacers took advantage with a barrage of steals and transition scores—several times they just plain beat the Hawks back down the floor. By the time the Pacers opened up 23-point lead late midway through the third quarter the Hawks had committed 20 turnovers leading...
Ex-NFL player detained over post showing gun, his high school 

Ex-NFL player detained over post showing gun, his high school 

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who has struggled with mental health issues after a 2013 bullying scandal that shook the NFL, was taken into Los Angeles police custody Friday after a threatening Instagram post on his account mentioned his former high school and two former NFL teammates. Martin was being questioned by investigators after the post showed a shotgun and referred...
Kyle Busch wins pole for Atlanta’s NASCAR race

Kyle Busch wins pole for Atlanta’s NASCAR race

Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. was the hot topic even as Kyle Busch won the pole Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton. Busch will start in front Sunday in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, the second race of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup season, after edging Ryan Newman. Busch won the pole with a lap of 184.652 mph. Wallace will start 19th, in the middle of the 36-car field. Much...
How Ben Lammers has dealt with a frustrating season

How Ben Lammers has dealt with a frustrating season

It has not been the season that Ben Lammers hoped, for himself or his team. In his final season, the Georgia Tech center hoped for an NCAA Tournament berth and to be named first-team All-ACC, as well as the league’s defensive player of the year for a second year in a row. The goals were not unreasonable. He was on the preseason All-ACC team. Tech returned three of its top six players from last...
Henry County shows its basketball prowess with 3 boys teams in QF for first time

Henry County shows its basketball prowess with 3 boys teams in QF for first time

Boys basketball in Henry County has been on the rise this decade, and it reached new heights this week.   Dutchtown, Stockbridge and Eagle’s Landing Christian all advanced to the boys’ state quarterfinals for the first time on Thursday night.   Dutchtown, the surprise winner of the Region 4-AAAAA tournament earlier this month, defeated Statesboro 75-73 in double overtime on Thursday...
Falcons pick up a seventh-round draft pick

Falcons pick up a seventh-round draft pick

The Falcons have gained a seventh-round draft pick, the NFL announced Friday. A total of 32 compensatory choices were awarded to 15 teams. Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents (“CFA”) than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.  The Falcons lost Patrick DiMarco, Tom Compton...
Braves pitchers impressive until sloppy eighth inning of loss to Mets

Braves pitchers impressive until sloppy eighth inning of loss to Mets

Six Braves pitchers threw a two-hit shutout and had a 2-0 lead in their Grapefruit League opener Friday against the Mets ... until the eighth inning. That’s when, as manager Brian Snitker aptly put it, “Spring training broke out.” Miguel Socolovich’s bid for a bullpen job got off to a rocky start when he was charged with all the runs in the eighth inning of the Braves&rsquo...
Braves’ starting pitching remains their biggest question (again)

Braves’ starting pitching remains their biggest question (again)

It might be difficult to remember, given the blinding carnage we’ve witnessed over the past three seasons of this rebuild. (”Rebuild”: a Latin word meaning, “Do you have a new roster? I haven’t updated mine in the past 12 seconds.”). But there was a time when the Braves could wrap their golden arms around their pitching staff. Theirs was a staff of strikeouts...
Racing needs more personality? What about Brad Keselowski?

Racing needs more personality? What about Brad Keselowski?

First, before we even get to Brad Keselowski’s underappreciated pizazz, his return to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where last year he hit all lights just right, and his various thoughts on saving stock-car racing as we know it, there’s the matter of his collusion with the self-driving car. It’s right there in his blog, the confession that he, an ultimate symbol of man’s dominion...
The unlikely greatness of Tech distance runner Nahom Solomon

The unlikely greatness of Tech distance runner Nahom Solomon

Nahom Solomon is grateful, and he has reason to be. On his life’s course, decisions and turns – some of them his own, some beyond his control – have led him to the highest tier of Georgia Tech’s distance-running realm. A senior, he will graduate in May with a computer-engineering degree and will have competitive eligibility that will enable him to earn a master’s. &ldquo...
Georgia facing pressure to win down the stretch

Georgia facing pressure to win down the stretch

After losing at South Carolina on Wednesday, Georgia moved directly into the “now or never” scenario for any hope of a postseason appearance.  The Bulldogs (15-12, 6-9 SEC), who host LSU (16-11, 7-8) at 2 p.m. Saturday, need to run what’s left of the table just to finish at .500 in the conference and would probably need to win a game or two in the SEC tournament to merit even...
Hawks, Ilyasova reach tentative buyout agreement

Hawks, Ilyasova reach tentative buyout agreement

The Hawks and forward Ersan Ilyasova tentatively agreed to a buyout of the remainder of his contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Once Ilyasova accepts a buyout and clears waivers, as expected, he will be free to sign with any other team for the rest of the season. Ilyasova’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is eligible to become a free agent in the...
Greater Atlanta Christian, Beach girls prepared for rematch, a look at Class AAA after Round 2

Greater Atlanta Christian, Beach girls prepared for rematch, a look at Class AAA after Round 2

If the quarterfinal matchups in the Class AAA state high school basketball tournament look familiar, they should.It starts on the girls' side where three of last year’s Final Four teams – Greater Atlanta Christian, Beach, Johnson-Savannah – are still alive. The premier game offers a meeting between two of the top programs -- Beach at GAC. Both advanced to the quarters with blowouts...
Game preview: Hawks begin post-break schedule at streaking Pacers

Game preview: Hawks begin post-break schedule at streaking Pacers

When/where: 7 p.m. today, Bankers Life Fieldhouse  TV: Fox Sports Southeast  Stream: Fox Sports Go  Radio: 92.9 The Game  Injuries: Hawks—Malcolm Delaney (knee), Tyler Cavanaugh (ankle) and Antonius Cleveland (ankle) are out; Isaiah Taylor (ankle) is questionable.  Pacers—Darren Collison (knee) is out.  What to watch for: The Hawks (18-41) return from the...
Some say Pache is best defensive outfielder in Braves system

Some say Pache is best defensive outfielder in Braves system

Would you believe center fielder Ender Inciarte might not be the best defensive outfielder in the Braves organization? And would you believe the kid who some say is better than Inciarte defensively isn’t Ronald Acuna? The Braves have a two-time Gold Glove winner in Inciarte and a consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball in Acuna, who’ll likely be a Gold Glove Award candidate in the near future...
Gohara slowed early by groin tightness

Gohara slowed early by groin tightness

Braves starting pitcher Luiz Gohara has been slowed by groin tightness in the first week of spring training. The rookie left-hander is competing for one of two openings in the starting rotation and had been widely considered the favorite for one of those spots entering spring training, after totaling 25 strikeouts with four walks in 25 1/3 innings over the last four of his five starts in September...
Four unranked boys teams reach 6A quarterfinals

Four unranked boys teams reach 6A quarterfinals

Four unranked Class AAAAAA boys basketball teams – Heritage-Conyers, Lakeside-Evans, Coffee and Tri-Cities – are in the final eight after winning their second-round state tournament games on Thursday. The biggest surprise of the group is Lakeside, which entered the tournament at 13-12 after finishing as the No. 4 seed in Region 3-AAAAAA. The Panthers finished in second place in the regular...
Acuna to make eagerly awaited spring debut Saturday

Acuna to make eagerly awaited spring debut Saturday

Ronald Acuna played in 13 Grapefruit League games last year, but his 2018 spring debut and every other game he plays will be much more highly anticipated and dissected by Braves fans and media than a year ago. That’s because now he’s pretty much viewed as the savior, or at least the Next Great Brave. Acuna, who turned only 20 on Dec. 18, is set to make his spring debut Saturday with a...
Several Falcons planning ahead for life after the NFL 

Several Falcons planning ahead for life after the NFL 

A few years back, Atlanta Falcons Kevin Cone and Stephen Nicholas walked into Kevin Winston’s office in Flowery Branch. They wanted to make plans for the post-NFL careers.  Winston, the team’s senior director of player affairs, coordinates the team’s Falcons University program, which encourages players to consider life after football. Cone, who wanted to get into collegiate...
Hawks’ Prince on his inconsistent play: ‘There are certain things I’ve got to tune out’ 

Hawks’ Prince on his inconsistent play: ‘There are certain things I’ve got to tune out’ 

The box-score numbers say Hawks forward Taurean Prince has been inconsistent in his second pro season. There will be a game or two or three when Prince does it all — scoring efficiently, collecting rebounds and steals, handing out assists — followed by a stretch where he provides little positive box-score stats at all.  Here’s what Prince had to say about that before the...
Atlanta United: Five players to watch against Charleston

Atlanta United: Five players to watch against Charleston

Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino said Wednesday that he likely will start those players who haven’t received as much playing time as the starters in Saturday’s final preseason game. The Five Stripes will play Charleston at MUSC Health Stadium. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. Using mostly the players who will start the season-opening game at Houston, Atlanta United was beaten 3-1...
Roberts plans to become free agent for third consecutive offseason 

Roberts plans to become free agent for third consecutive offseason 

Falcons returner Andre Roberts hopes to return to the team, but suspects he’ll likely become a free agent March 14.  “I believe I will be a free agent this year,” Roberts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “Just like last year and the year before that. I’m understanding of it.” Roberts, 30, has played eight seasons in the NFL after he was drafted...
Playoffs: Round 2 review

Playoffs: Round 2 review

Round 2 of the Class AA tournament is complete and there were no major upsets on the girls’ or boys’ sides. That doesn’t mean my predictions brackets didn’t take a beating, however. While the girls’ side is mostly intact, the boys’ side is obliterated. Looking ahead to the quarterfinals, teams that meet which are the same seed used the GHSA’s universal coin...
Weatherspoon wants to return to the Falcons 

Weatherspoon wants to return to the Falcons 

Sean Weatherspoon, a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2010 who was a reserve linebacker last season, is not ready to retire. “Yes, indeed,” Weatherspon said when asked if wanted to keep playing. “I’m 30, so I’m not ready (to retire) yet.” Weatherspoon played only 27 snaps last season and was insurance behind the Falcons young and talented middle linebacker...
FBI investigation turning NCAA tournament into a field of felons

FBI investigation turning NCAA tournament into a field of felons

There was a time when the NCAA men’s basketball tournament numbered only eight teams. As recently as 1978, there were only 32 teams in the field. Feeling nostalgic? This might be a good time for a throwback tourney because there might not be enough teams to fill the 68-team bracket in a few weeks. An explosive Yahoo report Friday revealed details of several documents and bank records...
Five players on Falcons’ radar at NFL Scouting Combine

Five players on Falcons’ radar at NFL Scouting Combine

The Falcons need help along the offensive and defensive lines. They’ve previously used the draft and free agency to develop both lines and that won’t change this offseason. When the Falcons’ personnel executives, coaches and scouts attend the NFL Scouting Combine, Tuesday through March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, they’ll looked for players who can improve both units...
Morehouse beats Clark Atlanta 72-67 to win SIAC regular season title

Morehouse beats Clark Atlanta 72-67 to win SIAC regular season title

The cross-campus rematch didn’t disappoint.  For the second time this month, the No. 20 Clark Atlanta Panthers and No. 9 Morehouse Maroon Tigers squared off in another epic match in this historic rivalry. The Maroon Tigers entered the game with a chance to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division title for the first time since 2013, while a Panthers win would result...

Class AAAAAA Boys: Langston Hughes 70, Lanier 57

During the height of his career, former World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson used to say every one of his opponents had a plan for beating him … until they got hit. That was the case for Lanier when the Longhorns traveled to Fairburn to take on defending Class AAAAAA champion Langston Hughes. The Panthers (24-5) blitzed Lanier early, bolting to a 21-7 first quarter lead, and never looked back...
Miller Grove 79, Buford 75

Miller Grove 79, Buford 75

Maurice Harvey’s leg was cramping so bad that he could hardly walk to the locker room after Miller Grove’s game on Thursday. But after scoring a career-high 30 points, there was no way the junior was going to miss a few minutes of post-game celebration.  Harvey was the offensive spark for the No. 3-ranked Wolverines all night as they scored a 79-75 road win over No. 2 Buford on Thursday...
Everything you need to know about Friday’s Braves game

Everything you need to know about Friday’s Braves game

Baseball is back. The Braves play their game Friday, albeit a spring training game. Here’s everything you need to know:  Opponent: New York Mets Game time: 1:10 p.m. Site: Port St. Lucie, Fla. TV: None Radio: 1340 AM and 103.7 FM  Pitching for the Braves: Matt Wisler, Chase Whitley, Sam Freeman, Rex Brothers and others. Braves prospects: Catcher Alex Jackson will be the designated...

Class AAAA boys: Upson-Lee 52, Salem 44

The name of the gym and the 59-game winning streak?  Salem wasn’t fazed.  The Seminoles brought a 21-6 record and a slew of perimeter-oriented big players to The Castle, and some confidence.  They had the overflow crowd buzzing, a little nervously, with a lead after a quarter. “This is a great program,” Salem head coach Jarrod Davis said. “I think we’re...
Photos: Morehouse edges rival Clark Atlanta again in basketball

Photos: Morehouse edges rival Clark Atlanta again in basketball

Atlanta University Center schools Morehouse and Clark Atlanta met in basketball again Thursday night. Morehouse prevailed again, 72-67. The AJC’s Hyosub Shin was on hand to chronicle the game with photos. Take a look at the photo gallery above. The SIAC schools met Feb. 8 at Clark Atlanta and Morehouse prevailed that time too, 97-96 in triple overtime.
How much stock should you put into Braves’ spring games? Listen

How much stock should you put into Braves’ spring games? Listen

After three consecutive seasons with at least 90 losses, the Braves are aiming for more in the fourth year of their rebuilding project and there is legitimate reason for optimism.  Tune in to the second episode of the “Truth, Lies and Sacrifice Flies” Braves podcast to hear why you should never put too much stock in what happens during spring training games, but also why it should...
Woods looks a little better, but is that enough to challenge at the Masters?

Woods looks a little better, but is that enough to challenge at the Masters?

The Masters looms 42 days hence. The gentlemen of the PGA Tour played their first competitive round of the calendar year in the same time zone as Augusta on Thursday, so it must be about time to get serious. Tiger Woods – remember him, he was more popular in the early 2000s than even Freedom Fries or Pokemon cards – was among them at the Honda Classic. It’s news when he emerges from...
Grayson’s Jeremiah Smith is Georgia Tech’s first 2019 commitment

Grayson’s Jeremiah Smith is Georgia Tech’s first 2019 commitment

Georgia Tech has the first commitment for its 2019 recruiting class. Grayson High safety Jeremiah Smith announced his decision on his Twitter account Thursday. Smith is listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. He also reported scholarship offers from Minnesota, Indiana, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Mississippi State and West Virginia. He is listed as a three-star prospect (247 Sports composite) and the...
Mel Kiper on Ricky Jeune’s draft prospects

Mel Kiper on Ricky Jeune’s draft prospects

Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Ricky Jeune is a legitimate draft prospect, according to draft expert Mel Kiper. Speaking Wednesday, the ESPN analyst projected Jeune as a third-day draft prospect, which would mean selection between the fourth and seventh rounds. “I think Ricky Jeune is the most interesting one – the wide receiver,” Kiper said. “Because they’ve had a...
Check out Georgia Tech students’ Rube Goldberg machine

Check out Georgia Tech students’ Rube Goldberg machine

With the assistance of the Harlem Globetrotters, Georgia Tech students designed and created a Rube Goldberg machine that launched a basketball through a hoop. The machine was built at the school’s digital fabrication lab, a semester-long project in which 34 students participated. They made 12 separate machines, and students from the school of music supplied the soundtrack. Globetrotter Buckets...
College football tackles attendance decline

College football tackles attendance decline

Vince Thompson, who estimates he attends close to 20 college football games a year for his Atlanta-based sports marketing agency, is hardly surprised by NCAA data quantifying an attendance decline at games around the country.  “You’ve been seeing a softness coming for several years,” he said. “You look around a lot of the stadiums, and if it’s not a huge rivalry...
Braves need power and now have some in the pipeline

Braves need power and now have some in the pipeline

The Braves’ stockpile of top pitching prospects received plenty of attention in the first three years of the ongoing rebuilding project, but the team also has assembled a growing inventory of position-player prospects, including a trio of hitters with big-time power potential. Outfield phenom Ronald Acuna, third-base prospect Austin Riley and catching prospect Alex Jackson give the Braves a...
Next step for Hawks rookie Collins: ‘Shoot the damn ball’ for three 

Next step for Hawks rookie Collins: ‘Shoot the damn ball’ for three 

Hawks rookie John Collins has attempted just 19 3-point shots in the NBA. That’s not nearly enough to determine if he can be a good 3-point shooter.  But he’s attempted 15 of those 3-pointers over his past 21 games, making six, after he’d missed four attempts over his previous 32 games. Collins said that’s enough makes to convince himself that he can be a good 3-point...
A second look at Georgia Tech-Virginia

A second look at Georgia Tech-Virginia

More from Georgia Tech’s 76-56 loss to No. 1 Virginia on Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena. You can read the “5 observations” story here. 1. Two very different losses Saturday’s 76-56 loss to Virginia Tech and Wednesday’s 65-54 loss to No. 1 Virginia both counted the same in the standings, but the feel of the games was vastly different. Against the Hokies...
Contract talks in works, Bryant wants to keep kicking as long as he’s ‘significant’

Contract talks in works, Bryant wants to keep kicking as long as he’s ‘significant’

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant is pleased that the franchise wants to retain his services and is hopeful that a deal can be worked out before he becomes a free agent on March 14.  “They’ve started,” Bryant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday during a post-career business seminar. “They’ve been talking on and off for a couple of weeks now. So, I’ll...
Watch: I talk Hawks on Fox Sports Southeast

Watch: I talk Hawks on Fox Sports Southeast

Today I joined Mike Conti of 92.9 The Game and Fox Sports South writer Zach Dillard. (If you watch, please keep in mind there’s a reason I’m a writer and not a talker.) <div></div><br><div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s)...
Flowers Q&A on Braves’ top young starters and more

Flowers Q&A on Braves’ top young starters and more

Three of the vaunted Braves’ young pitchers who made their major league debuts last season, left-handers Luiz Gohara, Sean Newcomb and Max Fried, are competing at spring training for the final two spots in the starting rotation. Newcomb’s 19 starts in the majors are more than twice as many as Gohara (five) and Fried (four) had combined, but Newcomb also had the most problem with command...
Atlanta United: Five road trips

Atlanta United: Five road trips

Beat writer Doug Roberson offers his suggestions for the best road trips for Atlanta United supporters this season: May 5 at Chicago: If you go to this game, don’t stay near Toyota Park, which is in Bridgeview, Ill. and a long way from Chicago. Stay in the city. Find a hotel/AirBNB/friend who lives near Michigan Avenue, which will put you within walking distance or an inexpensive taxi ride to...
Atlanta United: Key games

Atlanta United: Key games

A look at five key games for Atlanta United this season: D.C. United, March 11, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: It’s just the season’s second game but anyone who follows the Five Stripes knows that the team dropped nine points in three games last season to a D.C. United team that was among the worst in the league. It should be improved this season after numerous offseason additions, including...
Hawks’ 10-year playoff streak likely coming to an end

Hawks’ 10-year playoff streak likely coming to an end

Barring a dramatic late-season turnaround, the Hawks will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The 10-year postseason run included the Zaza Pachulia-Kevin Garnett staredown in the first round of the 2008 playoffs and the Eastern Conference finals appearance against the Cavaliers in 2015. Here’s a look back at the Hawks’ decade-long playoff run and the Hawks...
Atlanta United: The roster

Atlanta United: The roster

A look at the Atlanta United roster with players most like to play this season: Miguel Almiron  Position: Midfielder Home: Asuncion, Paraguay Age: 24 Twitter: N/A Appearances/starts: 30/2. Notable: One of the team’s three Designated Players. ... Signed from Lanus in Argentina’s first division. … Scored nine goals with 14 assists. … Very fast, has great vision and is...
Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 1: Three observations

Atlanta United 1, Minnesota United 1: Three observations

After two rather lackluster preseason games, not only did Atlanta United’s offense pummel Minnesota United’s goal, but $15-million-man Ezequiel Barco scored his first goal and was a key part in several exciting moments during Wednesday’s preseason game. “I’m happy I was able to help the team tonight,” Barco said. “That was the most important. I’m happy...
Who was the Braves’ highest-paid player 40 years ago?

Who was the Braves’ highest-paid player 40 years ago?

The 1978 Atlanta Braves roster featured names like Niekro, Murphy, Pocoroba and Rockett. The ’78 Braves -- owned by Ted Turner at the time -- went 69-93 and finished dead last in the N.L. West standings. The team’s highest paid player was knuckleballer Phil Niekro who earned $302,500. Niekro finished the season 19-18 with a 2.88 ERA and third in the league with 248 strikeouts. The season&rsquo...
Falcons work out offensive lineman Gottschalk

Falcons work out offensive lineman Gottschalk

The Falcons will work out free agent center/guard Ben Gottschalk Thursday. Gottschalk has spent time with three NFL teams, the Chiefs, 49ers and, most recently, the Buccaneers on a second stint. He has appeared in two NFL games, including one start, in 2016. Gottschalk, 6-foot-5, 293 pounds, played collegiately at SMU. He was an undrafted free agent in 2014.
Braves’ Anthopoulos favors baseball shortening ‘dead time’ in games

Braves’ Anthopoulos favors baseball shortening ‘dead time’ in games

The gold medal for women’s Olympic hockey was just decided by a shootout (the U.S. defeated Canada 3-2 while you were sleeping or ignoring). This isn’t disimilar to baseball ending a game with a home-run contest, basketball with a round of “HORSE” or college football with, yes, each offense starting with the ball on the 25-yard line. Not a fan. I’m not big on anything...
Atlanta United: Five keys to the season

Atlanta United: Five keys to the season

Atlanta United became the first MLS expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to qualify for the playoffs in its inaugural season. The Five Stripes, as the team was nicknamed because of its red-and-black striped home jersey, played an attacking brand of soccer under manager Gerardo Martino that resulted in 70 goals, second most in the league, and packed stands at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium...
UGA’s Sony Michel reveals the four words that inspired Rose Bowl comeback

UGA’s Sony Michel reveals the four words that inspired Rose Bowl comeback

Georgia running back Sony Michel took to “The Players’ Tribune” to write a note to the University of Georgia, fans and teammates as he heads off to the NFL Combine and Draft. In his piece “Thank You, Georgia” released Thursday, Michel reminisces about his time with the Bulldogs, specifically his game-winning touchdown in the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma and what the Bulldogs...
Guzan’s goal: Set tone for Atlanta United’s second season

Guzan’s goal: Set tone for Atlanta United’s second season

Soccer’s goal mouth is, as it has been for the past century and a half or so, 24 feet wide by 8 feet high. Such an expanse, intruded upon from all angles, is not to be manned by the small, the timid or the unassuming. Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan is the kind of figure you’d want either at the door of a rowdy country bar or at the doorstep of your own goal. He’s 6-foot-4 but...
LEADOFF: Look at how dirty Mercedes-Benz Stadium has gotten

LEADOFF: Look at how dirty Mercedes-Benz Stadium has gotten

Suddenly, the glitzy new Mercedes-Benz Stadium looks downright dirty.  The dirt – some 4,000 tons of it – was hauled into the stadium in 250 truckloads Wednesday and dumped onto plywood that now protects the artificial-turf field.  Workers are in the process of creating the surface for a Monster Jam trucks event that will be held in the $1.5 billion-plus stadium Saturday...
What is Atlanta United getting for $15 million?

What is Atlanta United getting for $15 million?

Fifteen million dollars. It’s the record-setting sum Atlanta United recently paid for the rights to Ezequiel Barco from Independiente in Argentina. It’s a lot of money, in the proper context. “Fifteen million in Europe, or anywhere else, is a snip these days,” Atlanta United midfielder Chris McCann said. “In MLS, it’s a big transfer fee.” It could have a monumental...
MLS and Atlanta United: A to Z

MLS and Atlanta United: A to Z

The MLS and Atlanta United from A to Z in preparation of the 2018 season: A is for Atlanta United. One of two expansion clubs that began play last season. The other was Minnesota United. Atlanta United became the first expansion club since Seattle in 2009 to advance to the playoffs. It will also host the All-Star Game this summer. B is for Ball. The league’s official match ball this season is...
MLS: Team-by-team season capsules

MLS: Team-by-team season capsules

A look at the other MLS teams that will compete during the 2018 season along with Atlanta United: - Last year vs. Atlanta United: Atlanta United won 4-0 on March 18 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on two goals from Josef Martinez, an own-goal by Chicago and Hector Villalba. Chicago won 2-0 at Toyota Park on June 10 on goals by Luis Solignac and a penalty kick by Nemanja Nikolic. Last year’s record: 16-11-7...
5 observations from Georgia Tech’s loss to No. 1 Virginia

5 observations from Georgia Tech’s loss to No. 1 Virginia

Georgia Tech gave No. 1 Virginia trouble, but the Cavaliers gave a demonstration of how they’ve reached the top rung in the country. On a night when the Yellow Jackets’ challenged Virginia’s defensive standards, the Cavaliers shot 47.9 percent from the field and took advantage of its opportunities to claim a 65-54 win at John Paul Jones Arena Wednesday night. Tech (11-17...
Photos: Georgia high school basketball state tourney

Photos: Georgia high school basketball state tourney

The Georgia high school state playoffs continued Wednesday. Take a look at a photo gallery (above) from the AJC’s Alyssa Pointer, who was at the Hillgrove-Campbell girls game. Read about the game here and the Northview-New Manchester game here. Find scores and schedules here.
Georgia Tech football season tickets on sale Thursday

Georgia Tech football season tickets on sale Thursday

Season tickets for Georgia Tech’s 2018 football season go on sale Thursday. The Jackets’ six home games at Bobby Dodd Stadium include four against 2017 bowl teams  -- Clemson (Sept. 22), Duke (Oct. 13), Miami (Nov. 10) and Virginia (Nov. 17). Ticket packages start at $219 in the Gold Zone, located in the north upper deck. The base price for standard season tickets is $350, with...
Barco scores, happy to help Atlanta United earn draw

Barco scores, happy to help Atlanta United earn draw

Ezequiel Barco’s reaction was subdued but his first goal for Atlanta United was exquisite on Wednesday in helping Atlanta United rescue a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United in the Carolina Challenge Cup at MUSC Health Stadium. Barco received a pass from Mikey Ambrose down the left sideline. He began a diagonal run toward the goal. He cut in once. A second defender arrived, forcing Barco to cut...
Class 7A Girls: Hillgrove 65, Campbell 60

Class 7A Girls: Hillgrove 65, Campbell 60

Hillgrove went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final 46 seconds and held on for a 65-60 victory over Campbell in the second round of the Class AAAAAAA girls basketball tournament Wednesday after almost letting a 20-point second-half lead disappear. Taylor Thompson’s basket to open the third quarter gave Hillgrove a 39-19 lead, but Campbell rallied and got within 59-58 with one minute...
Northview girls 55, New Manchester 35

Northview girls 55, New Manchester 35

The Northview Lady Titans used a dominant second half to pull away from the New Manchester Lady Jaguars, leading to what would become a 55-35 win at home on Wednesday in the second round of the Class AAAAAA tournament. The Lady Titans (23-6) — a top seed from Region 7 and ranked No. 5 — advance to the quarterfinals for the second year in a row after reaching the AAAAAA semifinals last...
What Mark Fox said after Georgia’s loss to South Carolina

What Mark Fox said after Georgia’s loss to South Carolina

Columbia, S.C. - The Bulldogs lost at South Carolina 66-57 Wednesday, possibly ending their hopes for a spot in the NCAA tournament. Here’s what coach Mark Fox said after the game: “We made some very poor plays. Our point guards made some very poor decisions in the first half. We threw two balls away that never should’ve been thrown away. And at the end we shot the ball too quickly...
No. 2 Buford vs. No. 3 Miller Grove tops second-round boys schedule

No. 2 Buford vs. No. 3 Miller Grove tops second-round boys schedule

There’s a pretty sizable obstacle standing between Miller Grove and its quest to regain its position as the dominant team in Class AAAAA: Buford. In a second-round game that’s worthy of championship billing, the No. 3-ranked Wolverines will travel to play No. 2-ranked Buford, the defending state champion, on Thursday at 7 p.m. That means one of the state’s best teams will be watching...
5 observations from Georgia’s loss to South Carolina

5 observations from Georgia’s loss to South Carolina

The Bulldogs already had their backs against the wall, but now they’ve been thrust into must-win territory if they want a berth in the NCAA tournament. Georgia’s second-half comeback didn’t prove enough as the Bulldogs lost to South Carolina 66-57 in Columbia on Wednesday. Here are five observations from the potentially back-breaking loss: Slow start: The first half was a perfect...
Traditional scouting vs. analytics: What will work for Braves?

Traditional scouting vs. analytics: What will work for Braves?

Traditional scouting vs. analytics, what’s the best way to evaluate young prospects? AJC sports columnist Jeff Schultz and WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein talk about the process and the differences between general managers John Coppolella and Alex Anthopoulos as the Braves start spring training on their “We Never Played the Game” podcast.  Also on the agenda, the future of...
Atlanta United starting 11 vs. Minnesota United

Atlanta United starting 11 vs. Minnesota United

Atlanta United’s starting 11 for Wednesday’s preseason game against Minnesota United at MUSC Health Stadium: Goalkeeper Brad Guzan Right fullback Sal Zizzo Centerback Jeff Larentowicz Centerback Leandro Gonzalez Pirez Right fullback Greg Garza, who returns after sitting out Saturday’s loss to Columbus.  Holding midfielder Chris McCann Midfielder Darlington Nagbe Right midfielder...
Kiper Tweetcap: Wynn could start for Falcons 

Kiper Tweetcap: Wynn could start for Falcons 

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with the national media on Wednesday. He believes that former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn could be an immediate starter for the Falcons, who hold the 26th overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Here are some tweets from the call:  <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="...

A look back at Round 1 and a look ahead to Round 2

-- Here is the private bracket and the public bracket for Round 2. -- Region 6 went from 10 teams in the playoffs to six after Round 1. Seven of the teams competed in Round 1 with Darlington, Trion and Walker claiming wins while Fellowship Christian, King’s Ridge, Mt. Pisgah and Whitefield Academy were eliminated. All four losing teams fell to higher seeds. -- Drew Charter of Atlanta...
Tech Hall of Famer Nicholas Thompson supporting shooting victims

Tech Hall of Famer Nicholas Thompson supporting shooting victims

Georgia Tech Hall of Fame golfer Nicholas Thompson was like many Americans who were gripped and heartbroken by the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. The tragedy was more personal to Thompson than most, though, as he is a graduate of the Parkland, Fla., high school. So it was that Thompson and his wife, Christen, who graduated with Thompson from Stoneman Douglas in...
Braves’ Ruiz gets look at 1B, could increase value

Braves’ Ruiz gets look at 1B, could increase value

Rio Ruiz wants to be a starting third baseman, but first and foremost at this point in his career, he wants to be on a major league roster. So when the Braves brought up playing first base as a way of gaining some defensive versatility, they didn’t have to mention it twice. “We’re all athletes here, and I think everyone can adjust if we have a couple of days or a couple of weeks...
Former Braves star Orlando Cepeda in critical condition

Former Braves star Orlando Cepeda in critical condition

Former Braves first baseman Orlando Cepeda is in critical condition in a San Francisco hospital after a cardiac incident. The San Francisco Giants say the 80-year-old Hall of Famer was taken to a Bay Area hospital late Monday. Cepeda played 17 seasons in the majors, beginning with the Giants. He also played for St. Louis, Oakland, Boston and Kansas City. The Braves acquired Cepeda is a trade with...
Atlanta United signs Shannon

Atlanta United signs Shannon

Atlanta United signed Oliver Shannon, who was selected in the second round of January’s SuperDraft, on Wednesday. Shannon spent 13 years in Everton’s academy before enrolling at Clemson, where we was an all-conference performer, scoring 13 goals and notching 17 assists in 82 appearances. Shannon, a defensive midfielder, has come on as a sub in Atlanta United’s first two preseason...
As some teams tank, Budenholzer says Hawks will stay the course

As some teams tank, Budenholzer says Hawks will stay the course

For the first practice after the All-Star break, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he added a “wrinkle here or a new play there” but doesn’t anticipate making any “drastic changes” to the way his team plays over its final 23 games. That includes how he distributes playing time among his veteran and young players.  Some other teams near the bottom of the standings...
Braves announce starters for first spring games

Braves announce starters for first spring games

The Braves will start Matt Wisler, Sean Newcomb and newcomer Scott Kazmir in the first three Grapefruit League games Friday through Sunday, though manager Brian Snitker indicated that not too much should be made of those assignments. He plans to use the starters in only one inning apiece in those games and said eight or nine pitchers likely would pitch in at least the first couple of games. ...
What’s a reasonable projection for Ronald Acuna’s rookie year? 

What’s a reasonable projection for Ronald Acuna’s rookie year? 

Ronald Acuna is Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect. You knew that already. He’ll be playing for the big-league Braves soon – maybe on opening day, surely by Memorial Day. I’ve seen him do more than take batting practice. He’s really good.  He’s also 20. He began last season in Single-A. This time a year ago, he was Baseball America’s No. 67 prospect...
Mauricio Cabrera outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett

Mauricio Cabrera outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Mauricio Cabrera cleared waivers and was outrighted Wednesday to Triple-A Gwinnett, two days after the Braves designated the hard-throwing reliever for assignment. It would have been unimaginable for the right-hander flamethrower to have cleared waivers a year ago at this time, after Cabrera routinely reached 100 mph and higher with his fastball in 41 appearances for...
Falcons open contract talks with Matt Bryant  

Falcons open contract talks with Matt Bryant  

The Falcons have opened contact discussions with kicker Matt Bryant, who could become an unrestricted free agent on March 14.  “We have talked and more talks are scheduled,” Bryant’s agent Jordan Woy wrote in an e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “Nothing yet, but both sides are working on it.” Bryant, who will turn 43 on May 29, became the...
Power-hitting prospects Riley, Jackson on travel roster for Braves opener

Power-hitting prospects Riley, Jackson on travel roster for Braves opener

The Braves aren’t taking any veteran position players to Friday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets, but fans in Port St. Lucie will have a chance to see some of the team’s top prospects, including two potential power hitters for the not-too-distant future. Third baseman Austin Riley and catcher Alex Jackson, two of three prospects that the Braves believe could supply big...
Cover 9@9: The Falcons’ salary cap casualty candidates

Cover 9@9: The Falcons’ salary cap casualty candidates

1. Salary cap moves. It’s salary-cap casualty season around the NFL. The Falcons and other teams have had ample time to review what happened during the 2017 season and have made some initial assessments for 2018. In year’s past, the Falcons have been ruthless during this portion of the offseason.  In 2013, running back Micheal Turner, sackmaster John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson...
NFL’s 2012 running back draft class was not good 

NFL’s 2012 running back draft class was not good 

Most NFL general managers will tell you that one must wait to evaluate the true value of a draft class. Some three to four years down the road, a clearer picture comes into focus. This brings us to the class of running backs drafted in 2012. Of the top 10 backs selected, including Falcons fullback Bradie Ewing, only two of them rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Doug Martin is the latest...
Braves, other MLB teams will wear caps supporting Parkland students

Braves, other MLB teams will wear caps supporting Parkland students

The Atlanta Braves and all other 29 Major League Baseball teams will wear caps during spring training games this weekend to support the community of Parkland, Fla., and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the deadly Feb. 14 shooting at the high school, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday. A 19-year-old former student is accused of opening fire at the south...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons eager to descend on Indianapolis 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons eager to descend on Indianapolis 

In the 44th episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles, we discuss who’s on the Falcons’ radar screen as they are prepared to work the NFL scouting combine Tuesday through Monday, March 5. Ohio State center Billy Price, the Remington Award winner and two-time All-American, could come in an play guard for a few seasons before eventually sliding over to center to replace Alex Mack down the road...
LEADOFF: Remember Atlanta’s 2013 Final Four? There’s little left standing.

LEADOFF: Remember Atlanta’s 2013 Final Four? There’s little left standing.

There’s little left standing from Atlanta’s 2013 Final Four. The building that hosted it is gone, and so is the championship that was won there that spring.  The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee on Tuesday denied Louisville’s appeal of an earlier ruling stripping the Cardinals of the men’s basketball championship they won by beating Michigan 82-76 before 74,326...
Questions have been answered, Braves’ Albies ready for full season

Questions have been answered, Braves’ Albies ready for full season

Ozzie Albies made solid contact on a couple of pitches during his final found of batting practice Tuesday, then walked out of the batting cage, sauntered over to a reporter and said, “I’m ready.” Two days into full-squad workouts, the 21-year-old second baseman with the bulging biceps was brimming with confidence. So much has changed in one year for Albies, the diminutive but dynamic...
Sweet-16 basketball primer: From history, upsets to best 2nd-round games

Sweet-16 basketball primer: From history, upsets to best 2nd-round games

The second round of the state basketball tournament is Wednesday and Thursday with 128 games – 34 between top-10 teams. Here is a look at how the tournament is shaping up with a look back to some of the more interesting results from the round one.  Learn what Georgia school won its first state-playoff boys basketball game since 1929, and which 8-year-old Gwinnett County school hadn&rsquo...
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