Now, you as well as I, have been reading that no major league second baseman has ever had five break-in major league seasons such as Dan Uggla’s, and you can confirm that, if you’ll check the Baseball Encyclopedia.
Not even the great Rogers Hornsby, or Frankie Frisch. On the other hand, never has one followed up five such seasons with one so miserable as Uggla’s sixth, his first with the Atlanta Braves.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had Uggla four straight years during his managerial run in Florida, but “never have I seen him go through anything like this, or even close.”
Some other things on my mind at the moment:
n Hmm, wonder if the Braves have given any thought to opening their own bus line between Coolray Field and Turner Field? Direct service, from bullpen to bullpen.
n Ah, Atlanta, sporting capital of the South, or, where hockey franchises go to die!
n Not to take anything away from Seve Ballesteros, but it was Jack Nicklaus who led the way toward including the European nations in the Ryder Cup competition. It took place after the US-GBI matches at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s in 1977, when Nicklaus made the approach to the Great Britain and Ireland body and won instant acceptance. First expanded competition took place at Greenbrier in 1979.
n I’ll start believing beards are in among our golfing heroes when Phil Mickelson grows one. And it doesn’t have to be one of those moonshine “bushes” like Lucas Glover’s.
n Ever notice how many sports page pictures show a winning athlete with his mouth wide open, like a cavern entrance? Or a guy on the way to see his dentist? “Open wide, now. Say ah-h-hh.”
n John Smoltz says he got ahead of himself on his way to a golf career, mainly in reference to his debut in the Valdosta Nationwide tournament, played over the longest course on that tour. He has backed off since, came close to qualifying for the U.S. Open and is tuning up his game to competition standards.
n Headline association: “Ex-Falcons’ Cousin Jailed,” “Ex-Falcons Cheerleader Arrested,” read the headlines. Tell me, what have the Falcons to do with all this, and would it have been news if they had been former truck drivers or bar hops?
n Ye gods, what has become of golf on the American tour? Last time I looked, the highest ranked PGA Tour member in the world was Phil Mickelson at No. 7. And did you notice that the winning score in the Byron Nelson Tournament was 3 under par.Three under! And that was the score of a Tour rookie earning his first check.
n OOPS! In the latest World Rankings just released, Mickelson has moved into fourth place, and Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar have joined him in the top 10. Still, there’s a wide gap between Phil and Luke Donald, who has replaced Lee Westwood in the lead. (But don’t we get some credit for Luke. He’s a Northwestern grad.)
n One item not to escape your attention: In the passing of George Broadnax, a Georgia Tech star of the 1940s. We missed the fact that he was an end on Grantland Rice’s All-American team in 1947 ....... Selah.
Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.