Archive for March, 2009

Hanson throws today…updates on Schafer, Glavine, Stockman

   Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - So it’s Tommy Hanson day here at the ballyard, otherwise known as Sunday. Or Duke-Carolina day, for some of us, who will appreciate if Hanson works fast for an ole 4 p.m. tipoff. Whaddya say?

 

   But hey, baseball wise, I’ve got plenty of news for you here. Sit tight and let me give you a little rapid fire. And then I’ll pass on some comments Frank Wren gave me yesterday about Hanson.

   Off we go…

   Jordan Schafer took some “dry” swings today and some off the tee and came away with his shoulder feeling OK. He’s got a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder that’s kept him out a week. The last time he tried to take bp, he ended up in a lot of pain.

   This time he’s taking it slow, with 30 swings today. And tomorrow he’ll take some live pitching at Braves camp. (It’s an off day, but Kawakami will get a simulated game in.) If that goes well, Schafer expects to get in a game Tuesday vs. the Astros in Kissimmee. …

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Tex is in the house, A-Rod nope

   TAMPA – OK, kids, it’s going to be a quick one today, considering I’ve got about 30 minutes to bang something out before the game starts. It’s a 1:15 start today in Yankee land.

 

   We’re in sunny Tampa, in the shadows of Raymond James Stadium, and A-Rod is nowhere to be found, but Tex sure is. He’s got the pinstripes on, which look a little weird. He bopped over to the Braves dugout to greet Frank Wren and Bobby Cox during batting practice, seems happy. He and Cox shook hands. I heard him tell Bobby he missed him.

   Course he’s got a few million reasons to be happy right where he is. He’s in the lineup today hitting third. I didn’t get a chance to say more than a quick hello, but he’s always been a positive upbeat guy to me. Wish him well.

 

   Nothing new to report on Garret Anderson. Wren said the same thing today that Anderson said last night (after pulling his right calf in pre-game warm-ups before the Houston game, for those who …

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Chipper Jones willing to be patient for contract

   Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - We start off the blog with a little update from Chipper Jones’ agent, B.B. Abbott. I spoke to him this morning to see where he and the Braves were in their discussion over a contract extension for Jones.

 

   He said the dialogue with the Braves was ongoing and open, but nothing is close just yet. Abbott said he didn’t expect anything to happen until Jones gets back from the WBC at the earliest, and not necessarily then either.

   Abbott said Chipper has decided to loosen any expectation that he might have an extension worked out with the Braves by the end of spring training. Abbott said he’s willing to continue negotiating after the season starts.

   First off, Jones is playing in the WBC now and could be away from Braves camp up until March 24. He doesn’t want his contract situation to be a distraction from what he’s doing for the U.S. team either.

   But he also doesn’t want the Braves to feel up against it with less than …

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Broken glass, kisses, and more from Braves camp

    Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - It’s starting to warm up here in Florida, I gotta say. It’s either the sunshine, highs expected in the 70s today, or the kiss on the cheek I just got from the Big Cat by the batting cage. What can I say? It’s a traditional Venezuelan greeting and Venezuela is in the house.

 

   Our old friend Andres Galarraga, who’s coaching for Venezuela, saved my life once, actually. The Gold Glover reached out by the cage and caught a ball honing in on my head, unbeknownst to me.

   OK, I know, whatever, I’ll get to what you really care about.

   Tom Glavine threw a round of batting practice on the back field today. He threw about 25 warm-up pitches and 20 more to hitters at about 70 percent effort, mixing in fastballs, changeups and an occasional curve. The “crankiness” is still there, but he came away encouraged. 

   “There’s always that little bit of concern in the back of your mind when you’re not feeling as good as you …

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Glavine joins Braves camp a little cranky

   It’s just like ole times, seeing Tom Glavine shuffle into the clubhouse at Disney, flip flops on, styrofoam coffee cup in hand. Only this time a few more flecks of gray in his hair, and a little more candid with what’s going on with his body.

 

   Coming off shoulder and elbow surgery, and trying to wind up his 42-year-old body to get back on the mound, Glavine admitted he was feeling some “crankiness,” as he put it, in his left shoulder.

   He said shoulder soreness is something he’s dealt with every spring for 15 years and anticipated facing at some point in his comeback, but because he’s coming off surgery, it’s something he’s paying close attention to. Here’s how he put it:

   “A lot of what I’m feeling is very similar to what I’ve felt in past years, and most years I probably have no concern over that, ‘Well that’s typical spring training,’” Glavine said. “But when you’re coming off surgery, and the uncertainty of what …

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Live from Hanson Central…

   Well, guess who’s back? It’s been a long time, good people, and I’m happy to be blogging live in place of DOB from camp for a week or so.

 

   It’s bright and sunny, down here in Disney territory, if not exactly warm – 50s I’d say? Hey, I”ll take it.

   As you know it’s another Tommy Hanson day. Everybody’s favorite stud will be taking the mound in an exhibition game against Panama. Eyes will be on the radar gun, where he hit 99 in his first time out last week against the Astros.

   Starting for Panama today is an old familiar face: Bruce Chen. Yep, former Brave, and as he pointed out this morning, former pretty much everything else too.

   “It seems like every team I will pitch to, it’ll be an old team,” said Chen, who’s pitched for nine major league teams. “But these guys are special, they were my first organization. And the team I’ve been with the longest.”

   Chen last pitched for the Texas Rangers for five games in 2007 …

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Farewell to Braves’ WBC boys

  Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Good Sunday morning from Dark Star, on the last day that Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and two other World Baseball Classic participants will spend with the Braves for a while.

 Just got back from the Phillies clubhouse, where I spoke with a guy that looked a lot like the muscular Marcus Giles who was one of the majors’ best-hitting second baseman for a few years earlier this decade.

 Oh, wait: It was Marcus Giles. He’s a non-roster invitee in Phillies camp, and he’s in the lineup today. Dude is ripped, folks. And says he’s got his motivation back, wants to play another 8-10 years.

 Quite a change from a year ago, when he got released by Colorado in spring training, signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, and literally turned around on the drive to report to Triple-A Las Vegas. Went home to San Diego.

 By August, he said he was pining to return to the game, missed the camaraderie of the clubhouse and all. He said being away from the …

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