5-at-10: Braves deep breaths, South Florida soars, Apple says hold my Bud Light, best movie robots

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies, center, celebrates with Orlando Arcia (11) and Ronald Acuna Jr. after driving in the winning run with a sacrifice fly against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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Braves clarity

Yeah, I try to be even keel, especially when it comes to baseball.

Heck, that's why we cite Mike's from Doc's always-true, never-flustered, "Wait til the -er months" line.

It was a good reminder last night during the Braves' walk-off win over the Dodgers capped by Ozzie Albies' sacrifice fly because social media simultaneously shared that the Braves are headed to something like a 78-84 finish when in actuality, the Braves have the best record in the NL and the biggest division lead in baseball.

Yep, simultaneously.

Three quick Braves thoughts:

— Man, Bryce Elder is that dude who you can't wait to hit against and then come the top of the ninth you can't figure out how you are 0-for-3 with a K and two weak ground outs. That dude wiggled off more hooks than a Houdini-like worm last night and continued to be the Braves best starting pitcher.

— My buddy Heath asked me at a ballpark recently when I was going to apologize to Marcel Ozuna. Well, Heath has a point. Ozuna's torrid bounce-back May has been staggering. And been a God-send for a Braves offense that is still waiting on Austin Riley to be the MVP candidate we watched all last summer and for Matt Olson to stop swinging and missing. (Yeah, don't hold your breath.) How about these splits for Ozuna? In March and April he was 5-for-59; in May he's 21-for-64 with 18 RBIs and seven homers. He's now hitting .211 on the season, which is downright amazing since he was hitting all of .085 on May 1.

— Without sounding the alarm for a team comfortably in first place in what may be the most talented division in the NL, that bullpen is, well, I think it is completely fair to say, the bullpen is far from confidence-inspiring.


In the South Florida water

So, the Florida Panthers got into the NHL playoffs as the 8 seed. They were down 3-1 to the regular-season-record-setting Boston Bruins and rallied.

The Panthers are now in the Stanley Cup playoffs after sweeping their conference finals series with a last-second goal last night.

The NBA team that shares the same building — the Miami Heat — snuck into the playoffs, winning the elimination part of the play-in tournament to advance as the 8 seed.

Once at the dance, the Heat and Jimmy Butler have been like Kevin Bacon and his cronies in "Footloose," bouncing the top-seeded Bucks and now having the Celtics one game from elimination to get back to the NBA Finals.

It's a high time in South Florida for sure.

But what would be the highest of times in recent memory? Philly had a real chance at having three teams in the Finals/championships if the 76ers had handled Game 7 against Boston over the last 10 months.

Feels like some Boston overlap with the Red Sox, Brady and the Celtics in the 2000s could make a strong push.

In June 1988, the Lakers won it all and the Dodgers followed with a title in October of that same year.

But the uprising in Miami — remember both were 8 seeds in eighth-team fields — and the Panthers are four wins away from a title and the Heat are five wins away.

Man, if you are a long-suffering Atlanta fan who has only know Hawks malaise, Falcons heartbreak and, if we are being honest, two Braves titles that really feels like at least two too few over the last 30 years, that's hard to fathom.

Is Apple protest proof?

Hey you be you. That's kind of how we live over here at the 5-at-10 compound.

Your rights are yours. My rights are mine. Doesn't free us from consequences of our actions, but freedoms are ours as Americans.

You can wear, say, think, et al., as you please. You can buy Bud Light or decry the "woke" realms of Disney and use your wallet accordingly.

And a lot of folks have. Granted, the chatter that ESPN is going bankrupt because it "went woke" is an oversimplification of a layered issue that involves a lot of technology, quick-triggered changes in consumption habits and the very real issue of cutting the cord.

But there are a lot of folks who make that too-convenient argument. There also are a lot of reports out there that a lot of unnamed sources at ESPN are less than thrilled with the well-into-eight-figures contract ESPN handed Pat McAfee recently to come to Bristol.

ESPN is in the middle of another round of deep layoffs, so adding McAfee and his band of merry characters at over-the-top salaries is a bad optic. But it's smart business if you ask me, because McAfee is on the very rarified list of sports commentators that brings viewers/listeners just on his name.

How short is that list? Is there really five media folks out there who, if there were simulcasts of a broadcast or two competing versions of a sports talk show that would directly cause you to pick one over the other? Romo, maybe? Chuck Barkley for sure. McAfee is right there, too. The Manning Megacast is on my list. Anyone else? Discuss. Heck there are infinitely more names on the list of sports media folks who are so annoying I'd choose another option, you know?

But the nebulous term "woke" however has become tagged to, and is a very real business threat to Bud Light, Disney and Target of late. The news has been well-reported — especially on the cratering sales of Bud Light — and it's not good.

(Side question: ESPN showed "The Last Dance" again last night, and the further we get away from Michael Jordan's public stance of "Republicans buy sneakers, too" the more and more business savvy his political silence seems, no? Side question on the side question: Man, how much did we stinking love "The Last Dance" when COVID hit?)

Still maybe the biggest monster in the American business school yard is undeterred and is diving into the transgender discussion.

Apple is offering a special watchband to support the LGBTQ+ community according to this story.

Is Apple so big and all-consuming, could it be protest-proof?

This and that

— Thought this story from Paschall deserved a mention this morning. Tennessee won its second consecutive SEC all-sports trophy this week. Yes, every UT fan you know would trade that for the natty Kirby took back to Athens. Naturally. But it's a testament to the across the board improved in KnoxVegas, and if memory serves, this used to be a Florida slam dunk almost every year. Of course no SEC team will almost assuredly never win the national one of these because the Stanfords and UCLAs out West have monster numbers of sports options. In the SEC sports may mean more; in the Pac-12 they just have more sports.

— So Plays got played Wednesday. A low-scoring Braves game this summer likely will cost me money. So it goes. You ride it till they buck you, then you get back on it and ride some more.

— So House Republicans are paying attention and passed a resolution to overturn Biden's student loan cancellation efforts. Granted a resolution is a Don Quixote version of governmental action, but at least it's something.

— As for our state GOP, that there are elected officials wanting Gov. Bill Lee to cancel a special-called session to discuss gun control is disappointing. And overly self-serving. If a resolution is Quixoic-esque, the GOP wanting bag a chance to explore better — and needed — measures to keep kids safe from gun violence is the epitome of governmental ostriches. And the head-in-the-sand routine is embarrassing.

— Holy buckets of bad intentions and blessed blowback. According to this story on Outkick.com, this unnamed groom went through with his wedding despite knowing his just-hitched bride had cheated on him with his best man. He went through with the wedding to make the bride's family cover the cost of the entire wedding and dropped the bombshell — with photos for all those in attendance — during the speeches portion of the reception. Wowser.

— Did you see that Honey Boo-Boo has now graduated from high school. If you know, you know. If you don't, you're likely better off for not knowing.

Today's questions

An anything goes Thursday features a few off the wall questions.

Kevin Bacon's "Footloose," overrated, underrated or properly rated? What's making Bacon's Rushmore? (Spy, notice the "making Bacon" usage?)

OK, speaking of word play, what's the best punny team name in sports because the starting point has to be the old minor league hockey team in mid-Georgia known simply as the Macon Whoopee. Thoughts?

Fire away on this AGT.

As for today, May 25, let's review.

SNL alum and Wayne's World creator Mike Myers is 60 today. Strange career for that one, no? And considering that he got "Shrek" only because Chris Farley was unavailable since he was dead, Myers' career is even more puzzling.

Man, Star Wars was released on this day in 1977. What a landmark moment in movies.

Have we done a Rushmore of movie robots? Would R2D2 make it?

Go, and remember the mailbag.