Michael Cunningham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Michael Cunningham

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta, GA, United States

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Recent articles by Michael:

SEC has better football, but Big Ten will have a lot more TV money

By now, we are used to the idea that college sports conferences are not bound by geography. It’s no longer so weird to see Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten, Missouri in the SEC or West Virginia as part of the Big 12. The next round of expansions will see Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC, and USC and UCLA going to the Big Ten. Some people don’t like it, but everyone accepts it. → Read More

As Braves chase Mets, Phillies creep up from behind

The Braves still are going to the postseason but, surprisingly, it’s the Phillies who can make their path tougher. → Read More

Will Kirby Smart’s Georgia defense remain elite after wave of attrition?

Nick Saban once famously declared that good defense no longer beats good offense in college football. That’s why Saban hired a series of coordinators to modernize Alabama’s offense and recruited quarterbacks and skill players to make plays. Then Georgia’s great defense beat Alabama’s great offense for the 2021 national championship. Kirby Smart had finally triumphed over Saban by building a… → Read More

Jeff Sims is best reason to believe Georgia Tech can be better

It was clear from his first snap that Georgia Tech’s Jeff Sims was no ordinary freshman. The big man with quick feet was too slippery for the Seminoles. Sims delivered sizzling passes with a flick of his right wrist. He seemed unfazed by making his college debut at Florida State. → Read More

It’s not necessary for Braves to leap Mets in NL East, but it is urgent

Everybody knows that the Braves don’t need to win the National League East to make the playoffs. There are three wild cards now, so they don’t even need to finish with one of the top two records for non-division winners. Getting in the postseason and then seeing what happens worked for the 2021 Braves, who weren’t the best team at the end of September but were in October. That could happen again. → Read More

Chaos in ACC Coastal Division leaves opening for Georgia Tech to surprise

Clemson is the big bully in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, and Florida State used to be. Every team has a chance to rule the Coastal Division, and they have. All seven teams won the division from 2013 to 2019, with Georgia Tech taking its turn in 2014. Miami won the Coastal in 2020, and Pitt did it last season. Now the division looks open at the top in 2022 and unsettled below. → Read More

Braves still waiting to see the real Ronald Acuña

The Braves need Ronald Acuña to produce at his usual standard. At some point, he’ll need to pick up the slack. Ultimately, that could end up being more important for the Braves’ title chances than getting an outfielder or pitcher by the trade deadline. → Read More

Depleted farm leaves Braves with fewer trade assets than NL rivals

The Braves aren’t as desperate before this trade deadline, but they do have needs. Alex Anthopoulos will try to meet them while having fewer good prospects to dangle in deals than his NL rivals. → Read More

There’s no bright side for Falcons on eve of training camp

I’m trying to look on the bright side for the Falcons. I do that with all our local teams before they start a new season. Even if they were bad the year before, the clean slate provides the chance to consider the possibility that lots of things go right, little goes wrong and the team is better than expected. This is the time to do that with the Falcons, who open training camp Tuesday. → Read More

Braves better than last year but need more pitching to repeat

The Braves will make the postseason, regardless, because they are a better team than last season. Once there, another solid arm in the rotation would give the Braves a good shot against the Dodgers, Mets or anyone else standing in the way of a repeat. → Read More

Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher finally beat Saban, but Alabama’s still the standard

Alabama’s Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy in 2021. Now he’s the first quarterback since Jameis Winston in 2014 to return and play for a bona fide national championship contender. At SEC Media Days, somebody asked Nick Saban how Young can be better. → Read More

Braves still chasing Mets and now Scherzer, deGrom return soon

Max Scherzer is the best pitcher in MLB since the 2014 season. Jacob deGrom is second-best over that time. Scherzer has pitched only 49-2/3 innings for the Mets this season. DeGrom hasn’t pitched at all. New York still ended June with a 3½-game lead in the National League East over the Braves, who won 14 in a row during the month. → Read More

It’s on Trae Young to make Dejounte Murray pairing work for Hawks

Trae Young finally has an All-Star for a backcourt partner. The Hawks traded for Dejounte Murray on Thursday. It’s a great pairing on paper. Whether it works in reality depends largely on Young. He’s met every challenge during his short career. This is a new one. → Read More

Dejounte Murray would be great for Hawks at right trade price

The Hawks should be willing to pay a significant price because Dejounte Murray would make them better. They just shouldn’t go so wild with an offer that Murray would be joining a team with a hollowed-out roster. → Read More

Freddie Freeman left Braves over business. His return is all love.

The Braves moved on from Freddie Freeman because they weren’t willing to meet what they believed were his contract demands. Freeman never wanted to play anywhere else but he’s a Dodger now. That’s the business of baseball. Freeman’s return to Truist Park on Friday was personal. → Read More

I’m for sports gambling in Georgia if social costs are mitigated

Gambling has never been a problem for me, but it is for millions of other people. Let’s not forget them as we talk about making sports betting legal in Georgia. → Read More

Young Braves will be championship contenders for a while

The Braves have been true World Series contenders for a very short time. They should remain contenders for a long time. → Read More

If Hawks go big with trade, Rudy Gobert is prime target

The NBA Finals ended Thursday night with the Warriors as champions for the fourth time in eight years. Soon Travis Schlenk, ex-Warriors executive, wil → Read More

Braves dominate bad teams, ready for Giants and Dodgers

The way the Braves have been beating lesser foes signals that they’ll keep it up when the Giants and Dodgers come to town. → Read More

Braves will be all right without Ozzie Albies

Losing Ozzie Albies is a setback for the Braves, but they’ll get by without him. → Read More