Originally created 05/23/00

Dad's pep talk fuels son's surge



Now promoting his services to be your next motivational speaker: Brian Jordan's father.

Want his credentials? Well, after giving his Atlanta Braves son a tongue lashing by way of the telephone, all the former Falcon did was run roughshod over the Giants and Padres, continuing a 10-surge in batting average and run production.

Mired in a season-opening slump and complaining of sore joints, Jordan received a phone call from his teed-off papa.

"If you're going to be out there playing, you've got to give it all you've got," said one Jordan to the other.

"If you're going to swing, you've got to swing all the way. If it hurts so much, go on the DL."

The older Jordan challenged his son's pride, and that seemed to cure the ailing hand. That, and a steady diet of Phillies, Giants and Padres pitching.

By the way, how long does a sore hand take to heal? Jordan's hand's been hurtin' as long as Deion Sanders' toe.

Jordan has eight home runs in his past 30 at-bats, and he's raised his average close to 90 points in 10 days.

That equates to a tidy $15,000 speaking fee for Senior Jordan, doesn't it?

Somebody needs to give Reggie Sanders (.139 before going on the DL) Senior Jordan's phone number.

The Braves are the first of baseball's 30 teams to reach the 30-win plateau. But before we start planning that parade down Peachtree, let it be known that heading into this nine-game road trip, the Braves have played six games in 43 against a team that's a bona fide plus-.500 team.

And the Braves are 5-1 against the Dodgers.

With the Georgia women capturing the NCAA tennis title Sunday, that's five national championships in five different sports in two years. C'mon, football -- it's your turn.

What's scary about the Sports Illustrated report on soaring ticket prices is that study only looked at regular-season games. If it's $160.12 for a family of four to see the Braves and Padres in May, add a few C-notes to the total come the NLCS or World Series.

Now you understand why those 5,000 or so Uecker seats at Turner Field might go unoccupied come October.

Another scary thought: A caddie friend of mine at Augusta National Golf Club told me the greens at Midland Valley are faster than they are at Washington and Berckmans. Which, of course, does not bode well for Thursday.

Well, Fusaichi Pegasus is not the superhorse that I and several others touted all along. Going off as the 1-to-5 favorite only shows how strongly the betting public believed in his ability.

And what his loss does reinforce how difficult it is to win the Triple Crown. The 11 horses who've done so, from Sir Barton in 1919 to Affirmed in 1978, must have their pedestal raised even higher.

Favorite line concerning Aiken-trained Impeachment and his lollygag starts comes from a co-worker:

"He's so far behind the others early, he couldn't reach them with an e-mail," said Vernon, who's normally as sharp-tongued as jailhouse coffee, whatever that means.

No matter what carrot you dangle before me, I'll refuse to attend any function at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Spectator deaths at an IRL race a year ago, followed by the collapsed walkway Saturday night, have me spooked about the arena's bad karma.

If I were baseball commissioner, there would be public grading of umpires. Those who are not consistent with the strike zone, those who are lacking in the rules, those who believe they are bigger than the game, would be demoted to Triple-A, much like players who fail to perform.

Putting umpires up for scrutiny may be the only way to deflate their egos.

Reach Rick Dorsey at (706) 823-3219.