Yanks here; Braves CF race update

 

   Lake Buena Dark Star, Fla. — The Yankees are here, the Braves’ center-field situation is coming down to decision time, and we’re taking this whole show north in just five more days.
  Yes, there’s plenty to break up the monotony that in most springs would make this last weekend in Florida seem so tedious. (Not to mention plenty to make me get my mind off last night’s KU loss to Michigan State. Blew a 13-point lead … arggh.)
  Anyway, we move forward (as opposed to surviving and advancing, which my Jayhawks did not).
  Talked to Frank Wren while ago, and the GM insisted the CF situation hasn’t been decided yet. Said they want to see how guys do in this last week with the intensity ratcheted up some and the opposition looking more like what the Braves will see in the regular season.
  But for what it’s worth, I couldn’t help but notice that Jordan Schafer is playing center and leading off today, while Josh Anderson and Gregor Blanco aren’t in the lineup and Matt Diaz is playing right field (Francoeur just getting a day off).
   Blanco has played only five Grapefruit League games (13 at-bats). If he’s a serious candidate for the CF job, would he be playing more now that he’s back from the WBC?
  I don’t know the answer, but more and more I really get a sense that Schafer is the most likely starting center fielder. Could be wrong, but that’s just the sense that I get.

Is Schafer racing to CF job?

Is Schafer racing to CF job?

  Wren didn’t play his hand, of course. He gave no indication which way he’s leaning. I asked about Schafer and he did say that Schafer this spring has been the quality player they always thought he was, before last year’s troubles.
  Schafer has said throughout all of this that he was just going to play hard this spring, compete for the job, but understood the business side and said if he was sent down to Triple-A he’d just go play hard and hope to get back soon.
  But when I asked today if he’d be disappointed after playing so well this spring — .375 avg, .412 OBP, .563 slugging, six extra-base hits, five of the team’s 11 stolen bases before today — he said absolutely he would be.
  The kid has done seemingly everything right this spring. So now, he admits it’d be a letdown to not get the job he’s been “competing” for (quotation marks used only to underscore that if it’s a competition, well …)
   I think it was presumed by many to be Anderson’s job to lose entering spring training. Anderson had played well in a late-season callup, had more speed and stolen-base aptitude than anyone else on the roster, and, unlike Schafer and Blanco, he was out of minor-league options.
  A lot of us assumed Schafer would have to have a terrific spring and Anderson would have to struggle for the outcome to be anything other than Anderson in center and Schafer at Gwinnett to start the season.
  Well, Schafer has been outstanding, despite missing 10 days for a sprained shoulder. And for a few weeks, Anderson did struggle.
  Schafer was the one playing great defense and causing havoc on the basepaths, displaying speed he improved this winter by working privately with a sprint coach in Tampa.

Anderson's out of options

Anderson's out of options

  We don’t know if Schafer officially moved even or perhaps ahead of Anderson in the eyes of team officials during that span. (Blanco was playing very well for Venezuela in the WBC at that time.)
  And we don’t know if Anderson’s recent surge has done anything to change the order, either. I know that some rather important people have come around to the Schafer corner in this debate as the weeks have passed this spring.
  Anderson has six hits (including a homer and yesterday’s bunt single) in his past 15 at-bats, raising his average to .291 with a .304 OBP (only one walk in 55 at-bats), six extra-base hits and two stolen bases.
  Blanco is 2-for-13 with a triple and two walks in five Grapefruit League games, after hitting .400 with a double and two triples in 15 at-bats in the WBC.
   Ostensibly, it’s a race coming down to the wire. We’ll see. I keep hearing rumors that Anderson is being shopped, but you gotta wonder if any team would give up anything of significance for him, particularly when they know he’s out of options and the Braves might go with Schafer (or Blanco).
  The Braves, if they were leaning toward someone other than Anderson for the CF job, would have nothing to gain by announcing it or even hinting at it prior to the season, or at least prior to moving Anderson if they’re trying to do that.
  Because if Schafer is going to get the job and teams know it, they might just wait to see if the Braves try to get him through waivers just before opening day rosters have to be set. Or at least wait a little longer before they’d give up anything of real value in a trade, especially since other teams including the Nationals are trying to trade outfielders.
  Stay tuned, that’s all I can suggest. But if I were a betting man, the kid from Polk County would be my bet at this point.
  About that pitching surplus: While the Braves are in the enviable position of having more pitchers than they need, Wren said this morning they aren’t set on trading any of them just to trade them, that they might keep them all, or at least all the good ones they believe could help them now or later.
  Again, stay tuned. Won’t surprise me either way — if the Braves trade a Jeff Bennett, or if they don’t.
And about the lefty situation: Wren reiterated this morning that the Braves believe their lefty relievers, Eric O’Flaherty and Boone Logan, can get the job done and said that area is not one they are looking to address this week.
   So once again, folks, we have to say it looks like Abiding Dude Will Ohman ain’t coming back.

Couple of things:
  Almost forgot to ask, did you guys see on ESPN last week where they listed what they judged the top-10 meltdowns in sports history, including the Bobby Knight chair-throwing incident and Hal McCray’s throw-everything-on-the-desk incident when he was managing the Royals?
  No. 1 on the list was Phil Wellman’s extended, widely viewed (and we mean widely viewed) meltdown as manager of the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi affiliate a couple of years ago, when he covered the plate with dirt, signaled to an ump that he was throwing HIM out, and then the piece-de-resistance, the soldier’s crawl he did to the pitcher’s mound, where he picked up the rosin bag and tossed it as if it were a grenade, even improvising the pin-pulling movement using his teeth.
  It was epic. Here’s the video, if you didn’t see it (or just want to see it again).
   Wellman was, obviously, thrown out of the game (and later suspended) and blew a kiss to the crowd as he exited through the door in the outfield fence.
   “And there he goes, never to be seen from again,” ESPN’s Hanna Storm said at the end of the clip they showed the other day. “End of his career,” co-anchor Josh Elliott added.
  It wasn’t, of course, as Braves fans probably know. Wellman kept his job and, in fact, managed the Mississippi Braves to the Southern League championship last year. He was brought up to the major league team for a couple of weeks in September, something the Braves do for a few of their top minor league coaches and managers each year.
  This story’s going nowhere. I was just thinking about it.

   We really, really like Neko, too: It’s a shame this blogger’s post about the amazing Neko Case has not received any blog comments, because I agree with her sentiments entirely. Maybe some of us should help this blog girl out with a few posts, if it’s doable without a lot of signup effort or anything like that. (BLOGMEISTER ADDENDUM: Nevermind. I just tried to leave a comment and it’s a pain in the arse. Oh, well. We had good intentions.)

Etc.
   The Braves’ open house planned for today at Turner Field was cancelled due weather. The Braves had planned to show today’s game against the Yankees live on the big video board at Turner Field…. Lefty Jeff Ridgway was released by the Braves this morning. He’s been out a month with inflammation in his pitching elbow, where he had bone chips removed last year. Ridgway was acquired from Tampa Bay in the January 2008 trade for INFs Willy Aybar and Chase Fontaine. Aybar contributed plenty to the Rays’ run to the World Series, while Ridgway spent most of last season at Richmond (5.47 ERA in 44 games) and posted a 3.72 ERA in 10 appearances with the the major league Braves.
TODAY’S LINEUPS

Yankees

1. Jeter, SS
2. Damon, LF
3. Teixeira, 1B
4. Nady, RF
5. Cano, 2B
6. Cabrera, CF
7. Ransom, 3B
8. Cash, C
9. Tomko, RH

Braves
1. Schafer, CF
2. Escobar, SS
3. Chipper, 3B
4. McCann, C
5. Norton, 1B
6. Diaz, RF
7. B. Jones, LF
8. Prado, 2B
9. Jurrjens, RH


“EASY ON YOURSELF” by Jason Isbell (Drive-By Truckers)

I can’t blame you but it’s a shame
you can’t cover your ass sometimes.
It’s that kind of town and you’re so far down you can’t get up.
I can’t tell you what to sell and how to tow the line
and when to just give up.

Calling out to everyone who tried to run. You tried to run.

Don’t be so easy on yourself
’cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don’t be so easy on yourself.

You got it down, you been around
and you won’t change your life
for redneck cops and traffic stops and residue
but I can’t tell you all the hell they’ll put you through inside
and what they’ll do to you.

Ten years down the road you’ll find you’re left behind. You’re left behind.

Don’t be so easy on yourself
’cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don’t be so easy on yourself.

Calling out to everyone who tried to run. You tried to run.

Don’t be so easy on yourself
’cause this one might be all that you have left.
Rearrange the voices in your head and remember what they said.
Don’t be so easy on yourself.

 

646 comments Add your comment

Il Cattivo

March 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Oh oh. BMac injured.

Il Cattivo

March 28th, 2009
1:13 pm

Wow – thats a pretty lousy start to the new blog. Sorry folks.

McFann :Ô:

March 28th, 2009
1:14 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

I repeat: “AAAAAAGGGG!!! NOOOOOO!! Dangit, Teixiera!!”

Brandon aka DukeBoy

March 28th, 2009
1:14 pm

What happened to BMAC?

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2009
1:14 pm

McCann was hit by a foul ball in his throwing hand and left game. Teixeira fouled back 0-1 pitch in first inning, and McCann immediately hopped in pain, threw off his mitt, was attended to and left game.

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:15 pm

FU!!!! Mac mighta broke a bone there! Pray he didn’t

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:15 pm

A broken finger, or worse, hand, would be absolutely devastating for this team. Just devastating. Everyone should keep their fingers crossed.

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:16 pm

McFann, nope! Mac shouldn’t have had his hand that exposed in the first place. Like the announcers were saying after it happend. He has a bad habit of that.

Brandon aka DukeBoy

March 28th, 2009
1:17 pm

wow…hope nothings broken…

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:17 pm

Not to mention we already know what injuries to the hand can do to Mac’s swing…

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Rough go in !st inning for JJ but he got out if it.

Il Cattivo

March 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

The McCann thing could’ve gotten pretty distracting for Jair as well because he promptly gave up a couple of singles. Hope he settles down.

Jeff321

March 28th, 2009
1:19 pm

Notice how the stud Schafer ended up on second base? That’s exactly what this team needs!

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:20 pm

Fly Ball that fell through for Jordan, Yunel grounds out but gets him to thrid. Chipper up.

McFann :Ô:

March 28th, 2009
1:20 pm

TnBrian—

Yeah yeah yeah…

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:22 pm

Another fly ball that nearly dropped in by Chipper but caught, Jordan can’t tag so hes still at 3rd

McFann :Ô:

March 28th, 2009
1:22 pm

Epinephrine—

Yeah…gonna tell ya right now: I’m scared.

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

Boscan got it to a full count but was called out on strikes, 1 stranded at third.

James is Red

March 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

DOB – With all your Neko Case love, do you ever listen to the New Pornographers?

Rodney Derrick

March 28th, 2009
1:25 pm

Phil Waldman would be great as the manager succeeding Bobby when Bobby retires. Some real fire! And lots of the young players including Frenchy have played for him and really like and respect him. Waldman would be a great change of pace for the Bravos. Meanwhile, hope Bobby is just being extra, extra careful with McCann.

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:26 pm

richbrave

Paul Waner and his brother Lloyd were great players, but I have read Honus Wagner’s biography and we was an awesome ballplayer. In my opinion the four greatest position players in history not in order are Honus Wagner, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, and Babe Ruth.

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

trainer said he doesn’t think the finger is broken

Saff

March 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

Looks like McCann could have broken a bone Bobby said it is the little finger and doesn’t think it is broken but they will do exrays. Bobby made a joke saying Mac will have to gut it up and play with a broken finger but seriously we can’t loose him that would be devastating.

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

the Yankees are blooping us to death

MFin04

March 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

Hand bones heal pretty quickly anyways. Jason Terry broke his hand and was playing in less than a month…maybe different for baseball…but still.

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

Yup, minor sigh of relief…Two pieces of good news:
1) They don’t think it is broken, pending X Rays.
2) It is the 4th finger, meaning not the pinkie or index, meaning hopefully less impact on the swing.

MFin04

March 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

anyone have the gameday link?

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

Diaz needs to respect the wall, it hits back

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

In the meantime, JJ is getting blooped right and left. Needs a K here if he can get it, that or a DP.

BravesFanChris24

March 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

I’ll have to wait for the replay of it tonight :-(

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Escobar is a beast

mbatl

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Jeff321

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

How about that play by Escobar?

BravesFanChris24

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

At least I’ll get to see it though :-)

Tomahawkin

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Nice stab and flip by Esco…!

Frankie Knuckles

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Wow. Esco is an underrated gem out there. Want a replay.

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

NICE play by Esco

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

That’d be the ring finger. Yeah, that a “good” sign!

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

Cox harsh words for Escobar

Saff

March 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

Jurrjens just walked the pitcher on four straight while he was trying to bunt wow he just doesn’t have it today awesome play by Escobar though.

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

JJ walked the pitcher…bases loaded

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

JJ struggling. Doesn’t have his command today at all.

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

throw strikes

Bobby's Cox

March 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

DOB,

Why haven’t you left a blog comment about your woman Neko? Cold feet?

Bad news about McCann. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and was just a stinger.

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

LOL!!!!!! DID YOU HEAR BOBBY COX???

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

OH SH-! Gotta love Bobby

Tomahawkin

March 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

Damn Esco completely got ate up on that…That Hurts!

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

ahaha Bobby dropping the S-Bomb on TV.

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

shi^ is right

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Escobar’s let Jeter’s bases-loaded grounder play him. E6, bad play trying to catch ball to his side and going back a bit, rolled into outfield and two runs scored. Yanks up 2-0, still two on with Damon up.

McFann :Ô:

March 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Keep talkin’, Epinephrine, and my pulse may start again.

Frankie Knuckles

March 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Thats why I like Bobby. He’s always Bobby

N Nine (eta8)

March 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

LOL, Bobby Cox just cursed on TV, when Yunel missed that bouncer..

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Damon grounds out to bring in the pitcher. 3-0

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Bobby letting it go in a spring training I LOVE IT!

Tomahawkin

March 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

Lol, Why are they apologizing for Bobby’s Language…It’s nothing I haven’t heard…

I used to love hearing Maddux curse on the mound all the time after making a mistake…

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:38 pm

After Tex walked Nady singles in a run. 4-0 Yanks

Tomahawkin

March 28th, 2009
1:38 pm

Man, Double J just doesn’t have it today…

Nady kills us!

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

What a SH- game…Mac is hurt, JJ looks aweful, and we have to watch the robot Tex strut in a Yankee uniform. Ain’t no fun

Tomas

March 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

JJ really struggling.

Frankie Knuckles

March 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Tough starts are good for young pitchers.

Corky from Miller

March 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

tex makes me sick

MFin04

March 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

Trade JJ he sucks. And Gonzalez. I bet we could get a 3rd baseman for JJ and Gonzo.

Zap Rowsdower

March 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

hey guys. what station is the game on? or is it mlb.tv?

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

Finally inning is over on Cano groundout…he is the only one JJ can get out right now.

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

Its on sportsouth

Zap Rowsdower

March 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

nvm found it. sportsouth

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

Greg had a hit robbed…

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Tex is livin his dream. Playing a kid’s game for $24M a year and has good shot at a WS ring with their budget.

22oz

March 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

I was fortunate enough to be at the game where Wellman blew up-completely random weekend trip up to Chattanooga, but something i’ll remember for the rest of my life. Video didn’t do it justice.

Good thing Open House got canceled, that woulda been classic to hear Bobby Cox drop an S bomb on the big screen!

Tomahawkin

March 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

There we go Matt, Nice playing that Hendrix for G.

Random

March 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

TnBrian (12:36 pm): “I just read where chub chub Bowman thinks . . . “

What’s with all the pointless put-downs?

Are you really so hateful and petty?

Dan

March 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Lol 22oz that would have been hilarious.

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

We don’t have audio here, what did Bobby say that got picked up on air? (Use symbols or something if you need to for a couple letters)

Runnin

March 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

DOB, you gotta love that little I Walk the Line guitar riff after a walk.

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

I am I the only one who would rather have Anderson in CF over Blanco

Frankie Knuckles

March 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

Random – he’s referring to the fact that many feel

Random – he’s referring to the fact that Many feel Bowman is the Braves pawn. He did throw DOB under the bus. Because Wren said so.

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

or awe sheet …OUT LOUD

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

Brandon Jones is sick, that’s why he was replaced

McFann :Ô:

March 28th, 2009
1:50 pm

DOB

What I heard was a “gosh dang it”…he said “dang it”, but not “gosh”…

Gotta run…keep us posted, please, if you cann! :cry:

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Random, wuz up bud? Ah, I gotta little chub chub going on in my belly too, so does that make it ok? I’m trying to get in better shape though.

Frankie Knuckles

March 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

He said sheit. OH NOOOOO!

Rob from SC

March 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

have the Yankees hit anything hard

N Nine (eta8)

March 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Anyone excited to see Garret tomorrow?

Na McFann it was aww $hit.

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

McFann it was the s bomb

David O'Brien

March 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

No word yet on McCann, who’s getting X-rays

Tomas

March 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Bobby was saying when Jeter hit the grounder to Escobar, oh there we go, and when he missed it “OH Shiit”

TnBrian

March 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

I can speak for a Yankee fan if they were on here now and say that I’m just mad that they’re beating us, but I’ll say it anyways…Selig has to be held responsible for letting the Yanks have such an advantage with that payroll which is a serious problem. MAN, Tomko is pitchin, A-Rod is out and they still have a huge advantage over 95% of teams in MLB.

Josh B

March 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

I wish that Bobby Cox was my grandfather

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

DOB Bobby said they told him there was no break on his hand

spotts

March 28th, 2009
1:58 pm

I’ve been saying all along that Spring Training is too close to the regular season. What if someone gets hurt? Then there’s going to be a lot of finger pointing. Now McCann’s hurt. I don’t know how many more hurt players it’s going to take to get MLB to realize that Spring Training is a bunch of meaningless games that don’t count for anything.

spotts

March 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Oh, and I just saw Jordan Schafer play for the first time. I think he has more important things to worry about than winning the CF job. Like maybe….getting his driver’s license??

Kid looks like he’s 14.

ATLBfan

March 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Thanks for the update on CF, DOB.

bf braves fan

March 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Wren just said it was a contusion

N Nine (eta8)

March 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

TnBrian___

advantage over 95%? I hope the inexpensive and young Ryas step on them and show cash doesn’t win championship. Its the long process of losing and watching the kids mature that makes baseball great. I’m rooting for the RAYS…

N Nine (eta8)

March 28th, 2009
2:01 pm

contusion and will see if Xray is needed. Sounds like he’ll be ready come opening day McFann

Epinephrine

March 28th, 2009
2:01 pm

Spotts, I can’t tell if that was either dead pan sarcasm, or you…actually…feel that spring training is too close to the regular season. Bravo either way I suppose.

pfunkATL

March 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

DOB…
Sorry about your Hawks, truly, was a-to paraphrase Bobby-SHEET way to go out. Up by 13 when I left work a block away, tied and never led again when I got home. GREAT season though after losing their WHOLE TEAM last year. HOPE you are pulling for my MIZZOU tonite though, even tho I DON’T like their chances against UConn. You WERE right earlier when we blogged though, they BOTH made the Sweet 16!

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