I’ll take this opportunity to introduce myself.

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 13, 2006

My name is George L. Jones, I love baseball and I have heard every conceivable joke that can be made about my name.

As many of you may know, I am new to the Times-Journal staff. I look at this weekly sports column as a way to vent about the things Griffin Pritchard doesn’t have the time to get around to.

Which means I will steer far and wide of Barry Bonds…for now.

4. Goin’ dancing – I have become increasingly frustrated with the NCAA Tournament with each passing year.

I’ve looked at every stat possible. I’ve broken down players’ numbers on the road, at home and in neutral sites. I’ve looked at games played during the day vs. games played at night. I break down the possible psychological impact of a slumping player or the record of the coach.

There isn’t a single method I haven’t used – except for one. I like to call it the “Girlfriend Guide to Bracketology.”

For instance, Memphis has no chance in its first-round game against Oral Roberts. ORU’s mascot is a Golden Eagle, and Memphis’ is a Tiger. An airborne animal always has an advantage over one that is confined to the ground.

Okay, that theory is garbage. I’m dumping my girlfriend, and I’m going to start dating a girl that spits, drinks and can calculate ERA.

3. Bobby for President – Atlanta will not win the National League East this year.

I’ve been saying that same sentence each March for the past four years, and guess how I feel.

It’s probably sacrilegious to say Braves manager Bobby Cox is a miracle worker so I’ll just say he’s something close.

Atlanta has a lot to worry about with the Mets trying to become the Yankees of the NL. But their ace, Pedro Martinez, is closer to falling apart this year than he ever has been.

So if (more like when) the Bravos pull off another great season, someone from Cooperstown should come take his cap measurements.

2. NFL mess – Anyone else think the NFL is about an inch away from becoming the next Chernobyl?

“Oh we’re going to push the free agent deadline back…No wait, we’re pushing it back even further…What’s that, you already released your players? Well, just sign him again, free of charge.”

Thank goodness there wasn’t a lockout. Otherwise, the league would have had to think of some ridiculous rule chances to draw indifferent fans back to the game.

“Beginning in 2007, the lucky person whose ticket number is drawn will get to play linebacker for an entire series in the second half.”

If that don’t get your blood running, I dunno what will.

1. Barry Bonds – I know what you’re thinking, but this is a different Barry Bonds. He plays for the other team in San Francisco…the, umm, Midgets.

Unlike the more famous Bonds, this other guy uses steroids in alarming bulk and doesn’t care who knows about it.

He uses designer ‘roids that have names like the “Goo” and the “Slightly Transparent.”

And the other Bonds can’t hit home runs. He is, however, a freakishly good bunter.

So the moral of the story is, by taking the “Goo” and the “Slightly Transparent,” you can make millions of dollars by sacrificing at-bats and moving runners over.