Sports headlines

Good grief. Ronald Acuna does it again - and AGAIN

Good grief. Ronald Acuna does it again - and AGAIN

It’s getting silly now, but silly stuff can be fun stuff. Ronald Acuna just hit a leadoff home run. He did that twice yesterday. He also did it Saturday. On Sunday, he sort of rested: His homer that day came with two out in the second. To answer the obvious question: No, I’ve never seen anything like this, and neither have you. Because there has never been anything like this -- a 20-year-old...
Ronald Acuna is the superstar Braves - and baseball - needed

Ronald Acuna is the superstar Braves - and baseball - needed

The Braves’ path back to relevancy has been paved by a 20-year-old who’s just being a kid. It only took one swing to put Ronald Acuna into the record books again. This time it was his first multi-homer game, a four-RBI effort that gave the Braves a 10-6 win over the Marlins.  “I never have (seen anything like it) in my lifetime,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Freddie...
Acuna posts first multi-homer game, makes history in Braves win

Acuna posts first multi-homer game, makes history in Braves win

- Photos: Two more home runs for Ronald Acuna There isn’t a hotter hitter on the planet than the Braves’ own rookie phenom. Ronald Acuna smashed the first ball he saw over the wall for his third consecutive lead-off home run. Charlie Culberson plastered the next pitch for a 2-0 lead. Then came the seventh inning. The teams entered in a 6-6 stalemate, and the Braves left with...
Georgia Tech going through ‘doldrums’ in preseason

Georgia Tech going through ‘doldrums’ in preseason

With the temperature reaching 90 degrees with high humidity, Georgia Tech slogged through a draining afternoon practice Tuesday. “It was humid,” coach Paul Johnson said. “This might have been the worst one.” Johnson didn’t see the resolve that he was hoping out of his team, which will start the season with two games likely to be played in similar conditions, at home September...
Ronald Acuna homers again - five straight, three in leadoff

Ronald Acuna homers again - five straight, three in leadoff

The Braves’ Ronald Acuna is about making history at the start of every game. He homered on the first pitch from Miami’s Trevor Richards on Tuesday, his third-straight game with a lead-off homer. He’s the first to do so since Brady Anderson homered in four straight in 1999. Acuna’s hit a home run in five-straight contests, tying the franchise record. He’s the first Brave...
5 stats to put Ronald Acuna’s run in perspective

5 stats to put Ronald Acuna’s run in perspective

Ronald Acuna has revived his preseason form late in the season, demolishing pitching as a one-man wrecking crew and visibly enjoying every moment of it. The 20-year-old has homered in four consecutive games. The latter two shots began games Monday, guiding the Braves to a doubleheader sweep of the lowly Marlins. Stats to put Acuna’s success in perspective: » 1. Acuna is the youngest player...
Maryland says right things about player’s death, but let’s see if there’s follow-through

Maryland says right things about player’s death, but let’s see if there’s follow-through

Maryland football player Jordan McNair died in June, two weeks after collapsing during an outdoor workout. University president Wallace D. Loh said Tuesday that McNair did not receive appropriate medical care from the team’s training staff on the day he succumbed to heatstroke.  “The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on...
McCarthy, Freeman, Moylan could join Braves’ September bullpen

McCarthy, Freeman, Moylan could join Braves’ September bullpen

The Braves could welcome the return of two rehabbing relievers and possibly one starter-turned-reliever entering the final month of the regular season. Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan, two veterans who struggled before their disabled-list stints, are headed to Triple-A Gwinnett to continue their rehab assignments. Starter Brandon McCarthy threw off the mound Tuesday in preparation for a potential return...
5 teams to watch

5 teams to watch

Get ready for another competitive season in Georgia’s middle classification. Last year showcased the depth of the classification with a highly-competitive regular season and its unforgettable postseason. Here are 5 teams with great storylines worth following this season.      1. Blessed Trinity  2018 Outlook: Blessed Trinity made an incredible run to capture its first-ever...
Jones, Sarkisian building stronger bond 

Jones, Sarkisian building stronger bond 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is developing a stronger bond with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Last season, they were both feeling each other out as Jones was coming back from toe surgery. Sarkisian first called a play for Jones in the season opener, without the benefit of much practice. The relationship between Sarkisian and his most explosive weapon apprarently will be much better this...
Falcons part-owner Barker named to Pro Football Hall of Fame board of trustees

Falcons part-owner Barker named to Pro Football Hall of Fame board of trustees

Brian J. Barker, a limited partner in the Atlanta Falcons franchise, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame board of trustees recently at the annual meeting in Canton, Ohio. Barker, founder and chairman of AFS Logistics, was elected along with Brian S. Belden, James A. Porter, John A. Sirpilla and Robert A. Zmudka. Barker became a limited partner of the Falcons in 2012.  Barker founded...
What Jones told Ridley before his NFL debut 

What Jones told Ridley before his NFL debut 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had some advice for first-round pick Calvin Ridley before he made his NFL debut against the Jets last Friday.  “Calvin was going to be ready regardless,” Jones said on Tuesday. “One of the things I told him, don’t hang his head on…everybody is always like his debut. That debut. Don’t compare yourself or try to out (perform)...
Quinn, Dimitroff met to discuss cut down to 53-man roster 

Quinn, Dimitroff met to discuss cut down to 53-man roster 

With three exhibition games to play, the Falcons’ brain trust has started looking at different scenarios for the cutdown from a 90-man roster to 53-man roster. The Falcons are set to host the Kansas City Chiefs at 7 p.m. Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The team must cutdown to 53 players by 4 p.m. Sept. 4.  “It’s actually a fun part of the puzzle with Thomas (Dimitroff) and...
Tight Supporters’ Shield race could help Atlanta United

Tight Supporters’ Shield race could help Atlanta United

There is at least one advantage to being in what looks to be a four-team race for the MLS Supporters’ Shield, given to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points, according to Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst. “When you are battling week in and week out and you understand how important each game is that gets you ready for the playoffs,” he said. &ldquo...
Atlanta United’s Bello says he’s ready when needed

Atlanta United’s Bello says he’s ready when needed

George Bello, fresh off retrieving all of the balls used during Tuesday’s Atlanta United practice, went through the gauntlet of meeting the media at the team’s practice facility on Marietta.  He smiled. He said hello. He looked each person in the eye. He was coached well, which may be a good sign for the team because Bello, just 16, could be needed in the race for the Supporters&rsquo...
Paul Johnson provides some depth-chart answers

Paul Johnson provides some depth-chart answers

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson shed some light on the depth chart in his post-practice media session Monday. Johnson said that the first-string offensive line includes Will Bryan and Andrew Marshall at offensive tackle (left and right, respectively). Behind them competing for spots in the rotation are redshirt freshman Zach Quinney, transfer Jack DeFoor and new scholarship recipient Bailey Ivemeyer...
How a MARTA wasteland became a soccer lover's dream 

How a MARTA wasteland became a soccer lover's dream 

Since opening in mid-October 2016, Station Soccer, a soccer field at the Five Points MARTA station, has scored a goal with Atlantans and made its mark as the world's first soccer field at a transit station. As early as 2015, Soccer in the Streets board member Sanjay Patel started talking up installing soccer pitches at MARTA stations. Even though he faced skepticism, Patel kept at it. On a visit...
10 things to know before high school football season kicks off 

10 things to know before high school football season kicks off 

The Georgia high school football season begins Thursday with the first of 171 games scheduled for the opening week. Here are some things to know about the 2018 season:   Best openers: Nine games this week match ranked teams, three that are part of the three-day Corky Kell Classic. Those are Rome vs. Marietta on Thursday at Rome’s Barron Stadium, Tucker vs. Buford on Friday at Georgia...
No reason to be embarrassed: Eight innings in another win for Foltynewicz

No reason to be embarrassed: Eight innings in another win for Foltynewicz

Mike Foltynewicz had no reason to be ashamed Monday. The Braves starter went eight innings, and allowed just five hits and one earned run, in a 6-1 victory over the Marlins at SunTrust Park. It was a doubleheader sweep for the Braves that moved them a full game ahead of the Phillies for first in the National League East. Foltynewicz has won his last three starts to regain the form that made him an...
Leadoff: Take a look at the crazy numbers Ronald Acuna is putting up

Leadoff: Take a look at the crazy numbers Ronald Acuna is putting up

Braves phenom Ronald Acuna is putting up big numbers so fast that it’s hard to keep up with all of them. So here’s a summary:  4: That’s how many players in MLB history have led off both games of a doubleheader with a home run – Harry Hooper (May 30, 1913), Rickey Henderson (July 5, 1993), Brady Anderson (Aug. 21, 1999) and Acuna (Monday).  Hooper and Henderson are...
Bradley: If Acuna ‘far from a finished product’ what more can we expect?

Bradley: If Acuna ‘far from a finished product’ what more can we expect?

Ronald Acuna led off the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against Miami with a home run. In the press box, Braves publicist Jonathan Kerber announced that this was Acuna’s third leadoff homer of the season and his first since Aug. 11, meaning his first in two whole days.  Guess he had a slow Sunday, I said to Mr. Kerber. Who said, on cue, “Yeah, he waited until the second...
Parker Braun does not miss Russell Athletic gear, at all

Parker Braun does not miss Russell Athletic gear, at all

Add Georgia Tech guard Parker Braun to the list of believers in the team’s new Adidas uniforms. Braun enthusiastically supported the notion that the Yellow Jackets’ new uniforms will improve the team’s play for reasons that have nothing to do with style. “It definitely can make a difference, especially with the pants,” Braun said Monday following the team’s 10th...
MLS Power Poll: Week 24 results

MLS Power Poll: Week 24 results

It’s time for my weekly MLS Power Poll, the only MLS Power Poll that recognizes that arbitrarily ranking teams means nothing in the grand scheme of things and is done just to spark debate and not attach importance to the reporter’s ego. 1. Atlanta United (14-4-6) Last week: 1. Result: Did not play. How they got here: LWWWWDWWWLWLDWDWDWLWDWWD. - 2. New York Red Bulls (15-6-2) Last week...
Paul Johnson not thrilled by Georgia Tech kicking competition

Paul Johnson not thrilled by Georgia Tech kicking competition

The competition to win Georgia Tech’s kicking job has not wowed coach Paul Johnson. The race between Shawn Davis, Brenton King and walk-on freshman Wesley Wells does not have a leader, Johnson said following the team’s Monday afternoon practice. Johnson said that the kickers have not done a great deal of kicking in 11-on-11 situations. Asked if he has liked what he has seen thus far, Johnson...
Acuna homers to lead off both games of Braves’ doubleheader sweep

Acuna homers to lead off both games of Braves’ doubleheader sweep

Quick, get a thesaurus. They are starting to run out of superlatives. Seriously. What else can be said to describe the start of the career of Ronald Acuna? The Braves rookie led off both games of a doubleheader against the Marlins with a home run on Monday. He homered off Pablo Lopez to lead off the Braves’ 9-1 win in Game 1. He homered off Merandy Gonzalez on the first pitch – a blast...
Paul Johnson: No update on Lucas Johnson

Paul Johnson: No update on Lucas Johnson

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson did not have an injury update regarding quarterback Lucas Johnson, who suffered an apparent lower-leg injury on Saturday in the team’s first scrimmage. “We won’t know for sure until they do all the testing, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know,” Johnson told media following the team’s Monday practice, the 10th of the preseason...
Touki Toussaint lives up to his billing in first start

Touki Toussaint lives up to his billing in first start

Braves prospect Touki Toussaint was about to watch Kolby Allard throw a bullpen Thursday afternoon when his manager called him in for a meeting. Toussaint, who was preparing for his sixth start with Triple-A Gwinnett, was surprised when manager Damon Berryhill informed him he wouldn’t be making his Friday outing. Toussaint was scratched because he was ticketed for the big leagues. “Are...
Benkert on first NFL action: Made some, missed some

Benkert on first NFL action: Made some, missed some

Now that Kurt Benkert has NFL experience -- if you count preseason games -- the Falcons’ undrafted rookie quarterback will confirm that the players are bigger and the game is faster. Yet he wants to slow down. And he doesn’t need two college degrees to figure that out.  He learned in the Falcons’ 17-0 loss to the Jets Friday night in MetLife Stadium, where on the first play...
A month after Milton home invasion, LeSean McCoy sued by ex-girlfriend

A month after Milton home invasion, LeSean McCoy sued by ex-girlfriend

A lawyer for Delicia Cordon, the ex-girlfriend of NFL running back LeSean McCoy, has filed a 22-page lawsuit claiming that he and a former University of Pittsburgh teammate are “liable” for the injuries Cordon suffered when McCoy’s Milton home was invaded on July 10. The civil suit was filed Friday in the State Court of Fulton County by Tanya Mitchell Graham, an Atlanta-based...
Touki Toussaint is 1-0 in the bigs. Thanks, Dave Stewart

Touki Toussaint is 1-0 in the bigs. Thanks, Dave Stewart

For the record, Touki Toussaint didn’t throw a 96-mph fastball on his first big-league pitch. (That was a mere 94 mph.) He didn’t hit 96 until his seventh fastball, and then again on his eighth. You wonder if Dave Stewart – who as Arizona general manager traded Toussaint to the Braves on June 20, 2015 – was monitoring via the MLB At-Bat app. If so, you wonder what he was thinking...
Toussaint sharp in first start, Braves pound Marlins

Toussaint sharp in first start, Braves pound Marlins

If Touki Toussaint pitches like that, he might carve out a role on these contending Braves before the regular season concludes. The 22-year-old made his major-league debut Monday in game one of a doubleheader against the Marlins. He threw steered through six innings, permitting just a run in the Braves’ 9-1 win. “It was surreal going out there,” Toussaint said. “You throw...
Some premium spaces sold out at remade Philips Arena, Hawks say

Some premium spaces sold out at remade Philips Arena, Hawks say

As work continues on the makeover of Philips Arena, the Hawks announced Monday that several of the building’s new premium spaces are sold out for the 2018-19 season.  The $192.5 million renovation of the arena is scheduled for completion in mid-October. The Hawks will start the season with three road games before returning to Philips for their home opener Oct. 24 against the Dallas Mavericks...
Riley remains upbeat after uneven outing against the Jets 

Riley remains upbeat after uneven outing against the Jets 

Falcons second-year linebacker Duke Riley is trying to bounce back after a rough outing against the Jets. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he saw some improvement in Riley, but also said there’s still room for more improvement.  Riley allowed five receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown, according to profootballfocus.com. He also had a missed tackle. Last season, Riley missed eight tackles...
Tiger Woods in position for long-awaited return to Atlanta

Tiger Woods in position for long-awaited return to Atlanta

There is an increasing chance that Tiger Woods could make his long-awaited return to Atlanta and the Tour Championship. After his second-place finish at the PGA Championship Sunday, Woods made another big jump up the FedEx Cup points standings. He moved from 49th to 20th place with his best finish in years – his last tournament win came five years ago and his last major win came 10 years ago...
Will Muschamp is part of college football’s problem

Will Muschamp is part of college football’s problem

Maryland football player Jordan McNair died in June, two weeks after he collapsed during an outdoor workout. ESPN reported on Friday that McNair died of heatstroke after showing signs of “extreme exhaustion” during the workout. ESPN also described a “toxic coaching culture” at Maryland under D.J. Durkin that included “extreme verbal abuse” and other tactics...
Tweetcap: Quinn eager get back to practice 

Tweetcap: Quinn eager get back to practice 

The Falcons were set to return to practice with a “pretty long list” of things to work on, coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. The Falcons loss to the New York Jets 17-0 on Friday and Quinn was “disappointed” in the effort.  The Falcons are set to host the Kansas City Chiefs at 7 p.m. Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  “At the game, even though you have good week...
Arodys Vizcaino scheduled to throw Wednesday

Arodys Vizcaino scheduled to throw Wednesday

The Braves bullpen might have familiar help on the way in the final month. Arodys Vizcaino is scheduled to begin throwing Wednesday, as long as he’s medically cleared, manager Brian Snitker said Monday. Vizcaino hasn’t pitched since July 11, sidelined by shoulder inflammation that resulted in two disabled list stints. The team’s taken a conservative approach after he returned from...
INJURY REPORT: Kicker Matt Bryant to test injury on Wednesday 

INJURY REPORT: Kicker Matt Bryant to test injury on Wednesday 

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who has an undisclosed injury, will kick off to the side on Monday, according to the Falcons. » More: Falcons depth chart vs. Chiefs Bryant will test his leg on Wednesday and a determination will be made about his availability for the game against the Chiefs at 7 p.m. Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  David Marvin missed a 42-yard field attempt at the buzzer...
Touki Toussaint set for major league debut

Touki Toussaint set for major league debut

Touki Toussaint is the next Braves pitching prospect to debut, doing so Monday afternoon in game one of a doubleheader against the Marlins. Toussaint, 22, boasts a three-pitch arsenal highlighted by his curveball. He began last season in High-A Florida, and much of his rapid growth can be attributed to an improving changeup. “You look at his numbers, he’s had a really solid year,&rdquo...
Georgia’s 1,000-yard rushers

Georgia’s 1,000-yard rushers

Entering the 2018 season, Georgia has a five-year streak of 1,000-yard rushers. The Bulldogs have had 11 players rush for more than 1,000-yards 16 times since Kevin McLee did it first in 1976. Will sophomore D’Andre Swift continue the trend in Athens in 2018? Last season, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel each broke the 1,000 yard mark. They were two of nine Southeastern Conference rushers...
After gruesome thumb injury, David Curry competing to start

After gruesome thumb injury, David Curry competing to start

David Curry was getting the knack for playing linebacker for Georgia Tech this past spring when something bad happened to his left thumb. “Basically going in on a tackle and wrapped up and a bunch of people came and hit it and it exploded and, yeah, had to have surgery,” Curry said. It turns out the recovery for an exploded digit – at least Curry’s – is shorter than you...
Winner: Best sports fans in Atlanta | Best of Atlanta

Winner: Best sports fans in Atlanta | Best of Atlanta

Our city is full of some of the most passionate sports fans in the whole country, if not the world. Last week's Best of Atlanta poll discovered the most dedicated sports fans for each of our beloved teams. Think of the fans that show up in great numbers for their favorite team, represent those teams and players in signature garb or even the fans that remain committed −whether the team wins or...
Falcons might finally have a great defense under Dan Quinn

Falcons might finally have a great defense under Dan Quinn

It was just an exhibition game, and the first one at that. No real reason to worry about the Falcons looking so bad while losing to the Jets on Friday night.  Instead, I came away thinking about safety Damontae Kazee’s performance. It seemed as if Kazee was in on every play for a stretch of the first half. He was the latest to feature Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s brand: young, fast and...
Falcons release official depth chart for Chiefs’ game 

Falcons release official depth chart for Chiefs’ game 

The Falcons released  their official depth chart for the second exhibition game on Sunday. The Falcons are set to play the Chiefs at 7 p.m. Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Wes Schweitzer remains listed as first-team right guard ahead of offseason acquisition Brandon Fusco. Schweitzer played eight snaps in the exhibition opener against the Jets. Fusco played 11 snaps.  “We&rsquo...
Things to do in and around Atlanta for Monday, Aug. 13

Things to do in and around Atlanta for Monday, Aug. 13

Hello, fellow Monday lovers! (Insert eyeroll here) Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but it looks like it’s gonna be a hot one. Maybe even with a touch of thunderstorm. But what do you plan to do, hide under your bed all day? You’re better than that, Atlanta. Well, you’re better than that if there’s something really fun to do. Ask and you shall receive. Here are...
Tiger Woods finishes second as Brooks Koepka wins PGA Championship

Tiger Woods finishes second as Brooks Koepka wins PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka is impossible to overlook now, winning the PGA Championship on Sunday with machine-like precision to go with his back-to-back U.S. Open titles. And it still felt — and sounded — like he was playing second billing to Tiger Woods. With roars for Woods unheard anywhere this side of Augusta National, Koepka kept his cool and ran off two birdies on the back nine at Bellerive with...
Imagine that? Having fun in a playoff race

Imagine that? Having fun in a playoff race

Imagine that, Braves manager Brian Snitker says. You can have fun playing baseball. Even in a playoff race. Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna – their own band of brothers – both homered in an 8-7 victory over the Brewers at SunTrust Park on Sunday. The win came despite the Braves being outhit 19-9. It was a key victory as the Braves (64-51, .557) moved percentage points ahead of the Brewers...
Albies, Swanson homer late to rescue Braves

Albies, Swanson homer late to rescue Braves

Wins like that don’t happen often – like once in 54 years. Or three times in 110 seasons. The Braves allowed 19 hits but still defeated the Brewers 8-7 at SunTrust Park on Sunday for a key win in the National League playoff race. Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson hit late home runs as the Braves erased a two-run deficit in a back-and-forth game to take two of three games from the Brewers...
Braves prospect Austin Riley heating up at the plate

Braves prospect Austin Riley heating up at the plate

The Gwinnett Stripers lost 8-1 to the Syracuse Chiefs Sunday in Triple-A play but Braves prospect Austin Riley continued his hot weekend for the Stripers. Riley was 1-for-3 and finished the three-game road series 8-for-12 with two doubles, a homer, two runs and one RBI.  The third baseman is hitting .290 with five homers and 30 RBIs for Gwinnett and .302 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs for three teams...
Falcons sign defensive back, cut offensive lineman 

Falcons sign defensive back, cut offensive lineman 

The Falcons signed defensive back Ryan Neal and released offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun on Saturday. Calhoun was signed after a tryout on July 30. He was previously released by the Texans.  Neal, 23, was released by the Eagles after being signed as an undrafted free agent from Southern Illinois. Neal’s brother, Mike Neal, played six seasons (2010-2015) with the Green Bay Packers...
Falcons’ Celestin knows his deceased dad was watching his NFL debut 

Falcons’ Celestin knows his deceased dad was watching his NFL debut 

Long after most of the fans departed and were driving home on the New Jersey turnpike, Falcons linebacker Jonathan Celestin got his big opportunity against the Jets in the fourth quarter on Friday. Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel called a blitz through the gap between the center and guard.  Celestin, who was signed after a workout on July 30, shot through and sacked  Jets rookie quarterback...
Toussaint’s debut to come in Game 1 of Braves doubleheader

Toussaint’s debut to come in Game 1 of Braves doubleheader

Touki Toussaint will make his major-league debut in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Marlins, barring a last-minute injury. Braves manager Brian Snitker indicated Saturday that the highly-regarded right-hander would pitch in one of the two games. The Braves listed Mike Foltynewicz as the Game 2 starter on the first day of the four-game series at SunTrust Park. The Braves have...
Aunt-niece duo win Kent Bazemore’s UNO Tournament 

Aunt-niece duo win Kent Bazemore’s UNO Tournament 

An aunt-niece duo won Kent Bazemore’s third annual celebrity UNO and golf tournament Saturday night to benefit his ARMS Foundation. After several rounds of UNO, Jessica Woghiren and her 8-year-old niece, Success Lawani, were victorious.  “It was a lot of fun and I never thought we would win the tournament,” said Jessica Woghiren, an attorney who lives in Gwinnett County...
Teheran pitches well, but eighth inning costs Braves in loss to Brewers

Teheran pitches well, but eighth inning costs Braves in loss to Brewers

Julio Teheran’s endured his share of criticism throughout what has, to this point, been a mediocre season amid his team’s first-place worthy success. Teheran answered the call Saturday, but the usually dependable Jesse Biddle did not. As a result, the Braves fell short against the Brewers, 4-2, one of their top National League competitors. The pair’s winning percentage was separated...
Nick Saban’s comments on Alabama scrimmage

Nick Saban’s comments on Alabama scrimmage

The Alabama Crimson Tide held their first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage lasted roughly 130 plays and just over two hours, according to a release from Alabama’s sports media-relations department. From a transcript released by Alabama, here are coach Nick Saban’s opening comments after the scrimmage: “This scrimmage is pretty much...
Braves bullpen awaits possible returns of injured arms

Braves bullpen awaits possible returns of injured arms

The Braves’ bullpen has been an asset lately, and four sidelined members are working their way toward a return. Granted, there’s not room for everybody. Decisions are coming, even with rosters expanding in September. Sam Freeman, once the reliable lefty who lost his command before going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, is throwing bullpen sessions.  Shane Carle was...
Touki time: Next vaunted Braves prospect likely to debut Monday 

Touki time: Next vaunted Braves prospect likely to debut Monday 

Touki Toussaint was a late entry into the Futures game last month. He had made only one start in Triple-A, but word had already spread among evaluators and competitors that he wouldn’t be in the minors for long. His rise is nearly complete, as the 22-year-old is set to start for the Braves on Monday, per manager Brian Snitker. The Braves host Miami for a doubleheader, with Mike Foltynewicz starting...
Thoughts from Kirby Smart about Saturday’s scrimmage

Thoughts from Kirby Smart about Saturday’s scrimmage

The Georgia Bulldogs conducted their first scrimmage of their preseason camp Saturday, in a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium that lasted about two hours, according to UGA sports media relations. From a transcript released by UGA, here are some comments from coach Kirby Smart about the scrimmage:  “I was pleased with the effort and toughness in the scrimmage. We had some physical hits, good...
Falcons’ McKinley ready for full participation in practice 

Falcons’ McKinley ready for full participation in practice 

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who has been slowed after shoulder surgery, had a brief, but strong showing against the Jets on Friday. McKinley played four snaps. He flashed his speed and power with one tackle and a quarterback hit.   “He played strong,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Saturday. “No setbacks for him. He’ll basically be up to full speed here...
Duke Riley showed signs of improvement against Jets 

Duke Riley showed signs of improvement against Jets 

Falcons linebacker Duke Riley showed signed of improvement against the Jets, coach Dan Quinn said Saturday. Riley started and made three tackles. He played 40 snaps on defense and 10 on special teams.   “I would say, I saw improvement, and I would say there is more (room for improvement,)” Quinn said. “The reason I’m saying that is because in practice I’ve seen...
Dan Quinn might finally have a great Falcons defense

Dan Quinn might finally have a great Falcons defense

It was just an exhibition game, and the first one at that. No real reason to worry about the Falcons looking so bad while losing to the Jets on Friday night.  Instead, I came away thinking about safety Damontae Kazee’s performance. It seemed as if Kazee was in on every play for a stretch of the first half. He was the latest to feature Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s brand: young, fast and...
Lucas Johnson suffers injury in Georgia Tech’s first scrimmage

Lucas Johnson suffers injury in Georgia Tech’s first scrimmage

There was a toll at Georgia Tech’s first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday morning, an injury to quarterback Lucas Johnson. Coach Paul Johnson did not offer more information about the injury following the practice, the Yellow Jackets’ ninth of the preseason. Lucas Johnson and Tobias Oliver have been competing to be the No. 2 quarterback behind starter TaQuon Marshall. At the team&rsquo...
Seven things we learned from the Falcons’ 17-0 loss to the Jets 

Seven things we learned from the Falcons’ 17-0 loss to the Jets 

It was only the exhibition opener, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn was clearly disappointed in the effort and the play of his team in the 17-0 loss to the New York Jets on Friday. Quinn, normally upbeat and positive, was decidedly downcast after the game.  Quinn thought the rookie class was ready to play, but felt they were “tight” and didn’t play well. He said the team was &ldquo...
Falcons perplexed by new helmet rule 

Falcons perplexed by new helmet rule 

The Falcons thought they were prepared for the NFL’s new rule that outlaws lowering a helmet to make a hit.  The team reasoned that because they are a rugby-style tackling team that leads with a shoulder, they would be nearly immune from the new rule. However, early in the exhibition opener against the New York Jets on Friday, the rule came up on some unexpected plays.  On a kickoff...
Chipper Jones says Braves ‘on cusp of being right back where we expect them to be’

Chipper Jones says Braves ‘on cusp of being right back where we expect them to be’

  Chipper Jones briefly addressed the crowd at SunTrust Park before the Braves’ game Friday night, thanking the fans for helping celebrate his recent Hall of Fame induction and imploring them to support this season’s team down the stretch.  “I want to challenge you to come out for the rest of the year to support this particular ballclub,” Jones said. “&hellip...
Braves rout Brewers in Gausman’s home debut, move into first place

Braves rout Brewers in Gausman’s home debut, move into first place

Kevin Gausman made his SunTrust Park debut with the Braves on Friday night, and his teammates made sure he enjoyed the occasion.  The Braves’ hitters staked Gausman, a starting pitcher acquired at the July 31 trade deadline, to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and a 7-0 cushion after four innings. The Braves went on to rout the Milwaukee Brewers 10-1 as Gausman worked eight efficient innings...
What the Falcons had to say after the 17-0 loss to the Jets 

What the Falcons had to say after the 17-0 loss to the Jets 

Backup rookie quarterback Kurt Benkert made his NFL debut in the Falcons’ 17-0 loss to the Jets on Friday at MetLife Stadium. Benkert came on in the third quarter after Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub played. His first pass went for a 27-yard gain by wide receiver Dontez Byrd. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 125 yards and had one interception. Wide receiver Devin Gray had four catches for 83 yards...
Falcons’ Quinn: ‘I don’t like the sloppiness’ 

Falcons’ Quinn: ‘I don’t like the sloppiness’ 

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was not pleased after the 17-0 loss to the Jets on Friday at MetLife Stadium. He felt the rookies played tight, the overall play was too sloppy and they racked up too many penalties, including two lowering of the helmet calls.  Overall, the Falcons had 10 penalties for 71 yards and did not score on two red zone drives, which has been a point of emphasis this offseason...
Report card: Jets 17, Falcons 0 

Report card: Jets 17, Falcons 0 

Here are the grades for the Falcons from their 17-0 loss to the New York Jets in their exhibition season opener on Friday at MetLife Stadium. Run offense: Tevin Coleman started for Devonta Freeman, who was held out of the game by coach Dan Quinn. Coleman had three rushes for 8 yards. Ito Smith didn’t take a firm hold of the third running back spot and was called for a lowering of the helmet...
All Falcons, Jets stand during national anthem 

All Falcons, Jets stand during national anthem 

All of the Falcons and New York Jets stood during the national anthem before their exhibition game on Friday at MetLife Stadium. No players were seen running out of the locker room after the anthem was played.  The league and the players' union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline...
Brian Snitker on his bona fide Braves: ‘It’s there for us to take’

Brian Snitker on his bona fide Braves: ‘It’s there for us to take’

They’ve played almost 4-1/2 months. If they were going to fade, they would have by now. Yes, they’ve hit rough patches, and yes, they’re again strapped for starting pitchers, but still: The 2018 Braves, who weren’t supposed to be this good, are indeed this good.  Who (besides yours truly) thinks so? Their manager. Here’s what Brian Snitker said, speaking Friday night...
Jones, Freeman to be held out against Jets 

Jones, Freeman to be held out against Jets 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman will not play in the exhibition opener against the Jets at 7:30 p.m. Friday at MetLife Stadium, according to the team.   Both players are healthy, but are “coaching decisions” for this game. “You know I’m going to be ready to go when the season starts,” Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Braves encouraged about Sanchez’s status for next start

Braves encouraged about Sanchez’s status for next start

Braves manager Brian Snitker was encouraged Friday that starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, knocked out of Thursday’s game when struck in the leg by a batted ball in the second inning, might be able to take his next turn in the rotation as scheduled.  Sanchez’s availability still hinges on how his bruised left calf feels through the weekend, but it would be a boost for the Braves if...
NCAA approves Demetris Robertson eligibility waiver

NCAA approves Demetris Robertson eligibility waiver

Georgia added a potential game-changer to its football roster for this season.  Former 5-star receiver Demetris Robertson had his waiver request to play in 2018 granted by the NCAA, a UGA spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon. Robertson transferred from Cal after playing two seasons at the Pac-12 school, but he was to sit out this season under NCAA transfer rules. However, Robertson, who began...
Video boards the latest enhancement at Georgia Tech

Video boards the latest enhancement at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech fans attending Fan Day on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium shouldn’t have trouble noticing the most obvious upgrade for fan experience. It’s a 750-square foot video board hanging above Callaway Plaza on the stadium’s north end. The board, one of three that the athletic department has installed for its facilities in advance of the fall semester, went up this week. The primary...
After three road games, it’s Young vs. Doncic in Hawks’ home opener

After three road games, it’s Young vs. Doncic in Hawks’ home opener

The Hawks open the 2018-19 season with three road games and then return home for their lone national television appearance. The NBA will take full advantage of draft-day drama in that first game at the renovated Philips Arena. After starting the season at the Knicks on Oct. 17, the Hawks play at the Grizzlies and the Cavaliers. The home opener will come against the Mavericks on Oct. 24 and will be...
How to play in Kent Bazemore’s UNO tournament Saturday 

How to play in Kent Bazemore’s UNO tournament Saturday 

Atlanta Hawks’ Kent Bazemore will host his third annual celebrity UNO and golf tournament Saturday night in Atlanta to benefit his ARMS Foundation.  The evening -- which promises to be fun, festive and filled with competitive UNO games (against dozens of competitors including professional NBA players) -- is open to the public. For tickets and more information, go to www.ARMSFoundation...
Ahkil Crumpton taking on leadership role among UGA receivers 

Ahkil Crumpton taking on leadership role among UGA receivers 

Around this time last year, Ahkil Crumpton had just arrived in Athens after spending the 2016 season playing at a junior college. It was a bit like diving into the deep end without any floaties.  But Crumpton has come a long way since struggling to memorize plays during his first few weeks as a Bulldog, and he’s approaching his final season with a leadership mentality.  “Me being...
Former Bulldog Nick Chubb has rough NFL debut

Former Bulldog Nick Chubb has rough NFL debut

Welcome to the NFL, Nick Chubb. The former Georgia Bulldogs star played for the Cleveland Browns in their first exhibition game Thursday night. The rookie running back carried the ball 15 times but only gained 11 yards against the New York Giants. The Browns won the game 20-10. Cleveland.com reported Chubb ran behind the second-team offensive line and “looked hesitant at times.” Chubb...
LOOK: Hawks send Carmelo Anthony an Atlanta jersey 

LOOK: Hawks send Carmelo Anthony an Atlanta jersey 

The Atlanta Hawks sent Carmelo Anthony a jersey to commemorate his short time with Atlanta.  Anthony spent five days as a member of the Hawks before finalizing his buyout. He was waived by the Hawks on July 30. According to Yahoo Sports NFL Insider Shams Charania, Anthony verbally agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets on Aug. 7.  Los Angeles Laker LeBron James jokingly congratulated...
In Georgia Tech’s switch to Adidas, even practice gear is better

In Georgia Tech’s switch to Adidas, even practice gear is better

“Improved morale” might be an actual benefit that Georgia Tech receives from its switch from Russell Athletic to Adidas. Yellow Jackets players clearly have been excited about the transition, and the new uniforms that they’ll be wearing this season. “They’re sweet,” quarterback TaQuon Marshall said. “I was just telling somebody the other day, I said, &lsquo...
Peachtree City team ‘super excited’ for first Little League World Series trip

Peachtree City team ‘super excited’ for first Little League World Series trip

Peachtree City American Little League advanced to its first Little League World Series appearance Wednesday.  The team defeated Loudoun South American Little League –– a team from northern Virginia –– 3-0 to advance to the Little League World Series.  “For me, it’s a huge relief,” Peachtree City coach Patrick Gloriod said. “We&rsquo...
Offense rebounds in Georgia Tech practice

Offense rebounds in Georgia Tech practice

A day after deeming his offense’s performance as “awful,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson saw the pendulum swing the other way Thursday. “(Thursday), the offense worked the defense,” he said. “So (Wednesday), the defense (worked the offense). … That’s football practice.” To Johnson, there was nothing in particular that the offense did in the Yellow...
Grady Jarrett: From ash to hellfire

Grady Jarrett: From ash to hellfire

Grady Jarrett was used to rejection. He had been told “no” more than most in a short lifetime, been overlooked at every level, learned to fend for himself. And yet, his slip in the 2015 NFL draft was still a shock. “I kinda prepared him for that,” Jarrett’s college coach, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, told the AJC last week. “I said, ‘Grady, you’re not...
Leadoff: Braves open longest homestand of season tonight

Leadoff: Braves open longest homestand of season tonight

Fifty games to go.  That’s what’s left of the Braves’ regular season as they return home with a 62-50 record, just one game behind first-place Philadelphia in the National League East.  The Braves open an 11-game homestand Friday night at SunTrust Park with the first of three games against the Milwaukee Brewers, whose record (66-52) and place in the standings (two games...
Two NFL players kneel during national anthem

Two NFL players kneel during national anthem

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Kenny Stills and two other Miami Dolphins protested during the national anthem before Thursday's exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Receivers Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist, as he did during the anthem last season with the Los Angeles Rams....
Kendall Baker's determination paying off

Kendall Baker's determination paying off

Senior guard Kendall Baker is perhaps the walking representation of dogged perseverance. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman played in three games as a redshirt freshman and two games as a sophomore. With a talented group of recruits coming along last fall, it seemed as if Baker would spend his third consecutive season watching from the sidelines. But he earned a start at left guard in Georgia&rsquo...
Smart wants more consistency from Richard LeCounte

Smart wants more consistency from Richard LeCounte

Sophomore Richard LeCounte recorded nine tackles in Georgia’s G-Day game in April and appears poised to earn his share of playing time this season, but coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday he’d like to see more stability in the 5-foot-11, 185-pound safety’s play.  “He makes some of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen, and then he makes some of the most boneheaded plays,&rdquo...
Receiver injuries prompt James Graham’s position change

Receiver injuries prompt James Graham’s position change

Georgia Tech wide receiver Adonicas Sanders is out with a broken collarbone, an injury that has led to the move of freshman quarterback James Graham to wide receiver. Graham moved to wide receiver Thursday, coach Paul Johnson said following the Yellow Jackets’ seventh practice of the preseason. Sanders’ injury occurred before the team began training in full pads Tuesday. The depth at receiver...
Analysis: Thoughts on Braves’ latest successful road trip

Analysis: Thoughts on Braves’ latest successful road trip

The Braves finished a 5-3 trip Thursday, an eight-game stretch that easily could’ve gone better or worse. So 5-3 is an acceptable result. Here are my takeaways before the Braves settle in for an 11-game homestand: 1. The Nationals aren’t better than the Braves. Most thought so going in, and the teams split a four-game set - but not all splits are equal. Yes, the Braves had on-paper advantages...
More injuries strike Braves starting rotation, but I still like their chances

More injuries strike Braves starting rotation, but I still like their chances

The Braves left Washington on Thursday afternoon with two victories in four games, which is pretty good considering they lost two starting pitchers over the same stretch.  Max Fried departed after two innings of the opener because he strained a groin muscle while trying to dodge a liner. A batted ball to the left calf sent Anibal Sanchez to the clubhouse for good after two innings of the finale...
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