From yesterday’s Braves Notes, this is the best thing I’ve heard since they reported:
If Matt Diaz continues to punish the baseball the same way that he’s done the first two days in camp, his defensive woes may not be a hindrance in his attempt to beat out Ryan Langerhans and Craig Wilson for playing time in left field.
I hope to God they’re serious about this. Overusing platoons really contributed to the slaughter last year, and I want Diaz to get that job so badly. I really feel like he could improve defensively if they just expressed some confidence in him.
Speaking of confidence, Soriano has finally arrived at camp and he informs us that the rumors of his post-traumatic stress syndrome have been greatly exaggerated:
“I’m not scared, I’m not a little kid.”
I have to say, I kind of appreciate Soriano’s “how dare you” attitude about the whole thing. Bohn, who played with him in Seattle, describes him as “cocky” in those Braves Notes. After suffering through a certain Canadian openly crying on the mound last year and then returning to the dugout to eat towels (this really happened in Chicago, he took a bite out of a towel and chewed it, then the camera cut away, so I’m not sure if he swallowed), I’m all for somebody cocky out there.
The Braves Notes also mention Hampton having “significant discomfort,” which is terrifying and kind of shoved down at the bottom of the page like nobody wants to think about it much, but I guess there’s no need to panic yet. There is also talk of maybe making McBride a starter, because he’s improved a lot. I could actually see this; I don’t think he works too well in the pressure of late innings, but he’s definitely got the stuff when he’s not having a panic attack out there. So, interesting.
Spring means fighting for roster spots and lots of leg rubberbands, but it also means dorky glamor shots, hooray! Here’s Chipper posing for one of his. I can’t wait until they come out, obviously. I like this new arty route they’re taking.
Andruw has modeling experience to bring to the table here. The girl on the right is a Braves publicist, according to AJC’s caption. I guess part of the publicist’s job is appearing on the scene to carefully direct Andruw’s portraits.
Okay, now I’m starting to get suspicious – all the pictures from Thursday were taken from at least twenty feet away. Did they all go out drinking Wednesday night and come to practice looking like hell?
I guess Kelly wasn’t invited. :( I’m kind of wondering how these pictures get taken — does the publicist rush in and say, “Okay, okay, Kelly, we need a mood shot here, try to look really thoughtful and a little mischievous, too.” Or is he just sitting there thinking about what to have for lunch and someone zooms in on his face from 100 feet away?
Terry gives Kelly some hitting instruction. Kind of looks like Kelly just punched him in the shoulder and Terry’s all offended about it, but I’m pretty sure it’s hitting instruction.
I spent like an hour trying to come up with something that wasn’t totally inappropriate. And then I gave up, so, no comment. Frenchy is participating in a bubble gum blowing contest here. For charity, even! He actually looks goofy as hell in profile, but he’s got cute little ears.
Sports Gone South, via Deadspin, brought my attention to a rap about the Braves that is featured on the ChopTalk website. Just scroll down, it’s on the left. I got through three whole seconds of it before I turned it off, so, enjoy!
I was more interested in the “Bonus ChopTalk Recipes!” featured on the website, but they’re just normal recipes, not “Nicole Jones’ Turkey Chili” or “Heap’s Girlfriend’s Homemade Donuts” or anything cool like that, so that was kind of a letdown as well.