Getting sentimental with Schafer

  It’s Saturday and the last exhibition game of the year, and I’m posting a blog because DOB set the breakneck pace of a blog-a-day all spring on days the Braves had games. Who am I to break the streak now?

 

  (Though, I’ll be honest. I actually thought about it, and instead of blogging, kicking back with a cup of coffee and a plate of breakfast here before the game. I’ve been up since 6 and ran 10 miles this morning. But hey, no excuses. Besides, guilt got the better of me.)

   So where are we….Is it too early for a mood of the clubhouse update? Ah, what the heck. As much as players – and apparently beat writers – were worn out the last week or so of spring training, coming home to Turner Field got everyone abuzz again. And it’s a fun time of year to be in a clubhouse, especially now that cuts are over, and everyone is bopping around with the promise of a clean slate and a new season.

   I’m sure DOB will set the tone tomorrow for the start of the season witih the Phillies and for now, I figured I’d wax a little more nostalgic on Jordan Schafer.

   That’s part of the fun, seeing a guy like him make a major league roster, after all he dealt with last season and the 50-game suspension, and now here he is, having a hard time containing his smile. I figured the conversation he had with his dad was pretty special yesterday, so I asked him about it.

   It started with a text message to his dad Dave after Schafer came out of Bobby Cox’s office, saying “I made it.” His dad texted back how proud he was. And then later, after last night’s game, there was the emotional phone call, with a few tears for both father and son.

   “He’s been through a lot of stuff with me,” Schafer said. “He’s been there helping me out since I was little. In a way, it’s part of him. It felt like he made it too. It’s nice, he could be there and share that with me….

   “It feels like I’m living a dream right now. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, maybe tonight on the plane to Philly, maybe I’ll feel it, or when I step out there on the field.”

   Schafer said he’s got 20-25 family members coming from Florida and Chicago to converge on Philadelphia for Opening Day.

   One of his teammates who got a big kick out of all this was Matt Diaz, who lives in the Lakeland, Fla. area near the Schafers and has known Schafer since he was in the eighth grade and playing baseball with Matt’s youngest brother Jonny.

   “I’m really excited for him,” Diaz said. “It reminds you of all the things you take for granted. He was asking me what do I do with my suitcase and stuff like that.”

   Diaz saw the work Schafer did to get to this point up close, hitting with him over the winter at Winter Haven High School and at a warehouse with Schafer’s pitching machine.

   “Mentally he went through a huge growing process,” Diaz said. ”How tough mentally he became this past year – that was evident. No flashy red glove, no flashy red spikes this year. He wore a collared shirt to the park. It was just the little things. Each little thing he did was the right thing and it showed a lot of maturity on his part.”

 

   OK I’ve run out of time, so I’ll give you the lineup and say Chipper Jones is not playing today because he’s feeling under the weather, but he isn’t expected to miss the opener tomorrow in Philadelphia. He didn’t have to play today, so why push it, Bobby figured.

   This gives you an idea what the lineup should look like without Brian McCann in it, with Garret Anderson moving into the cleanup spot.

 

   Braves

   1. Yunel Escobar SS

   2. Kelly Johnson 2B

   3. Martin Prado 3B

   4. Garret Anderson DH

   5. Casey Kotchman 1B

   6. Jeff Francoeur RF

   7. Matt Diaz LF

   8. Jordan Schafer CF

   9. Clint Sammons C

519 comments Add your comment

Josh B

April 4th, 2009
1:17 pm

18 Wheels of Love

April 4th, 2009
1:19 pm

Re: Jordan Schafer Nicknames

Was watching Fred Hickman and Brian Jordan talk about Jordan Schafer and they were trying to give him a nickname. ‘Air’ jordan was mentioned and quickly shot down, saying he had to earn his nickname first. Well, OK, I’ll take a stab at it.

How about this?

Flair Jordan

flair
   
–noun

1. a natural talent, aptitude, or ability;

Roman Gal

April 4th, 2009
1:20 pm

We got Jon and Joe.
Now it’s time to go!!

Tomahawkin' Again (like it's 1991-2005)

April 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

Phils 93-69, Braves 90-72 (WC), Marlins 86-76, Mets 80-82, Nats 62-100

spotts

April 4th, 2009
1:27 pm

First three posts are 3 for 3 in cheese

18 Wheels of Love

April 4th, 2009
1:28 pm

And #5 is a waste of space as well. Whats yer point?

Interested Observer

April 4th, 2009
1:30 pm

Brent Lillibridge has made the White Sox roster as their primary utility player. And our old friend Corky Miller will be their BUC!

Josh B

April 4th, 2009
1:30 pm

Anybody want to give me pllay by pplay?

Roman Gal

April 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

Everybody loves cheese. So what’s your point?

N Nine

April 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

Nice work Oliver Perez! Just got chased away after giving up the first HR(grandslam) in Citi. Went 2/3 inn , 4walks, 6 runs. Mets look ready

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

3-1 put out..2 (2nd and 3rd) on 2 out. Granderson up to bat.

Roman Gal

April 4th, 2009
1:32 pm

Curtis Granderson with 2 on and 2 out.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:34 pm

Kawakami walks Granderson to load the bases for Polanco.

mbatl

April 4th, 2009
1:35 pm

KK just seems “high and away” with that blazing (90 mph) fastball. No one has really hit him all spring, just has to keep the fastball down.

spotts

April 4th, 2009
1:35 pm

Just read Yahoo’s NL East preview…Braves are picked to finish 3rd and 4th.

But what really bothers me is the picture – Cole Hamels, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Adam Dunn…..Tom Glavine?

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/NL-East-preview-Philly-eyes-third-straight-titl?urn=mlb,152661&post_comment=1&success=1

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:35 pm

The White Sox are not going to be very good this year.

Roman Gal

April 4th, 2009
1:36 pm

This umpire has a really tight strike zone.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:36 pm

Kawakami walks Polanco brings home Inge..2-0 Tigers.

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
1:36 pm

Thanks Brandon and Roman Gal….that’s a 2-0 start to Polanco and a wobbly inning for kawakami. looks like the Braves caught a break tho (now 3-0) on a throw from Martin Prado to Kelly Johnson on Ramon Santiago’s groundout? (a bases loaded walk for Polanco, it’s 1-0 Detroit). Replays showed Kelly didn’t catch it.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:37 pm

Prado throws out Ordonez… heading to the home half of the 2nd.

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:38 pm

I just found this (doh!); links to all stations that carry the Braves on radio. Click on one and if it is carrying the game, you’ll get the game instantly.

http://www.freebaseballradio.com/Atlanta.html

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
1:38 pm

Kawakami isn’t keeping the ball down or really even throwing strikes. He’s walked a few batters, hit one, gave up a few hits. He overall looks very, very sloppy. Get the bad outings out of ya now!

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:39 pm

How many guys has KK walked so far?

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
1:39 pm

KK avoided further damage, coaxing a groundout to third by Magglio Ordonez.

DirtyYuni

April 4th, 2009
1:40 pm

Hamels getting rocked-like to see him and Ollie getting roughed up on the same day.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:40 pm

G. Anderson grounds out to start the inning.

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
1:41 pm

two walks – one intentional and a hit batter.

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:41 pm

How do you saw throw a F****** strike in Japanese. That is something Roger McDowell needs to learn. Kawakami does not impress me. Everyone is waiting for Hanson to come up to replace Tom Glavine, but I have a gut feeling that Hanson will be needed to replace Kawakami

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:43 pm

Francouer a base hit following Kotchman’s fly out.

mbatl

April 4th, 2009
1:43 pm

Mekons, he’s walked 3 (1 intentional) and also hit a batter, in 2 innings. Doesn’t look that bad, just not locating well so far. I’d rather see that than to see guys driving the ball off him (which they aren’t, so far).

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
1:43 pm

Every time Kawakami keeps the ball down he’s unhittable. When he has control issues he’s going to get rocked.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:43 pm

Diaz grounds out to 3rd to end the 2nd inning.

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:44 pm

Frenchy lines a bullet up the middle.

Original Jon

April 4th, 2009
1:44 pm

I have a feeling that Rob from NC will be here to replace you.

DAP

April 4th, 2009
1:45 pm

Every time Kawakami keeps the ball down he’s unhittable. When he has control issues he’s going to get rocked.

thats like every pitcher, right? location, location, location….

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
1:45 pm

Even if Chuck James kept the ball down he’d get rocked.

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:45 pm

I guess the radio broadcast is delayed slightly. I read about Diaz grounding out before I heard it.

Josh B

April 4th, 2009
1:46 pm

are the braves playing on any of those radio stations that are in that link?

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:46 pm

Thank mbatl. That’s a lot of balls for a guy who is a control specialist. Well, only one run, so not so bad.

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:47 pm

Yes, Josh. I chose one at random, WGNS (near the end) and got a good feed.

DAP

April 4th, 2009
1:47 pm

PWHjort: good point.

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:48 pm

Wow, Chipper just compared Jordan Schafer to Grady Sizemore

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
1:48 pm

Anyone know what the Braves’ flagship radio station is?

Clay

April 4th, 2009
1:48 pm

Oliver Perez = terrible

Josh B

April 4th, 2009
1:49 pm

you are a great man Mekons

Tom O'Hawke

April 4th, 2009
1:49 pm

Ahh, finally caught up. There was some interesting reading, last night, to say the least. I often wondered, what would the posts be like, if the “Bloods”, “Latin Kings” and “Skinheads”, got together on the same blog. Now, I know.

scoots, your 6:32 post made me, uh…. laugh out loud!

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
1:50 pm

Everyone compares Schafer to Sizemore. Chipper needs to stop hyping the young talent, though. He’s all like “Hanson’s going to be the ace of this club pretty soon” and “Schafer = Sizemore”. You think they don’t already have enough pressure on them?

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
1:50 pm

96.1 is broadcasting the games this year in Atlanta. I would assume that’s the flagship, right?

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
1:52 pm

Walks hurt you everytime!

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:53 pm

Is it too late to option Kawakami to Triple A

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
1:54 pm

wow that’s five walks now, one intentional. and a hit batter. Roger just visited the mound. runners first and second two outs in the third, it’s 3-0 tigers

BravesFAN885

April 4th, 2009
1:56 pm

I wonder if KK’s stuggles have anything to do with the band-aid on his finger?

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:56 pm

Dice-K gets critized for nibbling at hitters, and raising his pitch count instead of attacking hitters. Looks like Kawakami is doing the same thing.

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:58 pm

Kawakami has never pitched in the Major Leagues, why is he automatically given a rotation spot

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
1:58 pm

This is not how you want a tune-up going….Kawakami just walked the bases loaded with his sixth walk (one intentional). he’s behind curtis granderson 2-0.

Rob from SC

April 4th, 2009
1:58 pm

that was a gift

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
1:58 pm

Will they take him out already! 6 WALKS and a hit batter!

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

Kawakami is all over the place today…glad its happening now and praying it doesnt happen next saturday in his first regular season start.

Tom O'Hawke

April 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

PWHjort, the last I knew, WGST was the flagship station.

PI Braves

April 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

Thanks Mekons! It’s quite hard to get anything here in the Philippines. I’ve been relying on this blog and gameday. Hopefully this station will also carry the game opening day game tomorrow.

N Nine

April 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

He didn’t have to play today, so why push it, Bobby figured. That’s why Chipper will be around the same games played. Bobby will never push him, even in real games.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

Now entering…Tommy Hanson.

PWHjort

April 4th, 2009
2:00 pm

7 walks for Kawakami.

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

Wow, let’s hope Kawakami is just having a freakish game. This is pretty bad.

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

Now 7 walks!!! In 2.3 innings Wow!

cabravesfan

April 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

Kawakami is kinda all over the place today- although it looks (according to MLB Gamegame anyway) that some of those balls caught the plate

Tomahawkin' Again (like it's 1991-2005)

April 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

Carroll (and those fans watching the game on TV) – is Kawakami getting squeezed or just plain stinks today?

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:01 pm

In comes Tommy Hanson. YAY!

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

that’s mercifully over, after his second bases loaded walk. wow, seven walks, one intentional, and a hit batter…..tommy Hanson just came on in relief with the bases loaded. there was a smattering of applause as KK left, trying to give him polite encouragement? or was that for Hanson….Hey this is his first time pitching here. and yours truly was here for it…..HA!

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

announcers said he’s getting squeezed but that he’s not helping himself, Tomahawkin.

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
2:02 pm

That should read 2.2 IP.

Daybed Wagmoe

April 4th, 2009
2:03 pm

7th walk…yeesh. Glad they’re taking him out — come on Hanson!

For Carrol or anyone who’s been watching on TV — was Kawakami getting squeezed by the umpire or was he not even close most of the time?

N Nine

April 4th, 2009
2:03 pm

oh my! what’s going on with KK.

Brandon

April 4th, 2009
2:04 pm

Hanson strikes out Planco to end the inning.

18 Wheels of Love

April 4th, 2009
2:04 pm

I’m sorry but Hanson belongs. Now.

David O'Brien

April 4th, 2009
2:04 pm

Damn, watching on TV, Hanson’s curve looked even nastier than it did in person from the pressbox down in Florida.

glord1

April 4th, 2009
2:04 pm

KK looking pretty shaky

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

This is fun listening to the game on radio. That’s how I grew up, searching the clear channel stations at night from Maine, trying to get a Milwaukee Braves broadcast. The radio announcers are pretty good, too. Not sure who it is. Hanson blows away Palanco.

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

What a nasty curve by Tommy!

radoncbravesfan

April 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

How about tommy h to put out the fire, that hook ain’t fair

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
2:05 pm

wow, make that look easy why don’t ya? three pitches from Hanson strike one fastball looking, strike two fouled off by Polanco and strike three looking at a nasty curve.

mbatl

April 4th, 2009
2:06 pm

Rob, I don’t think he’s “nibbling,” and T’Hawking, I didn’t think he got squeezed (squoze?) too much… maybe a little after he showed he couldn’t locate too well.

For whatever reason, just couldn’t throw strikes at all. I’m hoping it’s not the “tired shoulder” thing again (that would be a bad sign)… more likely, just a bad day.

His spring ERA has ballooned all the way to 3.09, so let’s not get too down on him.

glord1

April 4th, 2009
2:06 pm

Hanson looks sick

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:06 pm

I tend to agree, 18 Wheels, but we’re not going to punt KK’s contract. I don’t know how long they can resist, though.

Carroll Rogers

April 4th, 2009
2:06 pm

final line on Kawakami: 2 2/3 innings, 3 hits, four runs, all earned, SEVEN walks, one intentional, one hit batter. He threw 74 pitches, 41 balls, 33 strikes.

Jim

April 4th, 2009
2:07 pm

Nice matchup of future aces now. Porcello was a high school kid in the same draft as Heyward and might make their rotation this spring. He was possibly the # 1 high school player inthe draft, but droppped to the Tigers because of commitment to North Carolina and Boras.

Daybed Wagmoe

April 4th, 2009
2:08 pm

Disregard my 2:03pm comment — saw Tomahawkin’s 2:01 question, along with Mekon’s answer a couple minutes later…thanks!

Ritchie Patton

April 4th, 2009
2:09 pm

At least we know if a starter gets in trouble we have Mr Hanson waiting in the wings. That curve was as nasty as any i’ve seen.

DAP

April 4th, 2009
2:11 pm

daybed: there were a couple of close…maybe even bad calls on balls and stikes, but for the most part, he wasnt close.

buzzmeat

April 4th, 2009
2:12 pm

Anyone know what games will be in HD? it does not say on braves.com

DAP

April 4th, 2009
2:12 pm

and i dont really think it was kawakami nibbling, i think he was just missing.

SCRusty

April 4th, 2009
2:12 pm

KK pitched like Nuke Laloosh, kinda wild and all over the place.

KC

April 4th, 2009
2:13 pm

—— BRAVES OPENING DAY VIEWING PARTY TOMORROW ——-

Open invitation: Opening day viewing party in ATL…

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 5th – 7:45pm

Jocks and Jills @ Galleria Mall (near junction of N.285 & I-75)

We had about a dozen folks – and a helluva lot of fun (except for the outcome of the game) – last year. Expecting 10-20 people at the moment. Plenty of room. If you would like to invite others, please feel free. You’re welcome to simply show up (you don’t have to touch base beforehand), but if you let me know how many you have coming, we’ll make sure there’s seating for you. Go Braves!

Email: kccjr1@gmail.com

Mekons

April 4th, 2009
2:14 pm

Pitching depth be a nice, nice thing.

Ritchie Patton

April 4th, 2009
2:15 pm

funny you said that SCRusty. I was watching Bull Durham last night. Doing my annual watching of all my baseball films before the season begins.

KC

April 4th, 2009
2:16 pm

Kawakami’s periodic control problems this spring have been troubling, as his is a control pitcher. Hopefully, he’ll settle in in that regard.

That breaking ball Hanson threw for the strikeout to end the inning… DAMN!!!!! This kid’s got WICKED stuff.

Jay212033

April 4th, 2009
2:18 pm

They are getting good swing on Tommy now but this umps strike zone is very small.

buzzmeat

April 4th, 2009
2:21 pm

nice KC, i was actually gonna watch for the love of the game tonight, since ive never seen it

Roman Gal

April 4th, 2009
2:22 pm

The thing that bothers me about this ump is that his SZ is all over the place. The strike 2 call against Schafer wasn’t a strike…and it CERTAINLY wasn’t a strike for KK. Consistency. That’s all we ask for. Geez…

BravesFAN885

April 4th, 2009
2:27 pm

did anyone else see kawakami going for the band-aids earlier, then was wearing one on his finger while pitching? what was that about?

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