Archive for January, 2010

Hanson rested, ready & excited for Act 2

There was a point this offseason when young Braves pitching star Tommy Hanson was fed up and talked about leaving Atlanta.

Fed up with the weather, that is.

And talking — only half-seriously, we gather — about going home to Southern California to get away from Atlanta’s near-record rain in November-December.

“I was joking that if it rains one more day, I’m out of here,” Hanson said of a conversation he had with roommates, Kris Medlen – a fellow Southern Californian — and Braves minor league pitcher Ryne Reynoso.

“I couldn’t take it,” Hanson said. “Then after it stopped raining, it got cold and everything froze.”

Hanson says he's comfortable now and knows he belongs.

Hanson says he's comfortable now and knows he belongs in the bigs.

But the towering redhead stuck it out and had a good time in his first offseason in Atlanta, where he shares a Buckhead hi-rise apartment with Medlen and Reynoso. Last week you might have caught Hanson live on the MLB Network in their studio. They flew him up to New York for an overnight trip just to do …

Continue reading Hanson rested, ready & excited for Act 2 »

Braves’ Schafer says he’s healthy, confident

Schafer homered twice in opening series at Philly, then hurt wrist

Schafer homered twice in opening series at Philly, then hurt wrist

He felt a pop in his left wrist on April 10, his last at-bat in the home opener against Washington.

Since then, Jordan Schafer has totaled 55 games played, 187 at-bats, 69 strikeouts, 36 hits, two home runs (both in Triple-A), 13 RBI, an unspecified number of cortisone injections, one wrist surgery and only-he-knows-how-many tattoos (both arms are now completely covered in ink from elbow to shoulder.)

But other than that, he seems like the same kid who came to spring training 11 months ago determined to win a big-league job.

Which is saying something. I think back to when I was 21, and wonder how I would have dealt with so much. And my answer is: Probably not well. And definitely not in a way that anyone would consider healthy.  But Schafer’s a tough kid, and mature (hey, don’t just judge the book by the tatts.)

And how many people that age have Schafer’s confidence? For that matter, how many people of any age …

Continue reading Braves’ Schafer says he’s healthy, confident »

Braves hope to have Glavine back in fold

The old band isn't getting back together now, but maybe in the Hall of Fame

The old band isn't getting back together now, but maybe in the Hall of Fame

With Greg Maddux having already signed on to begin his front-office career with the Chicago Cubs, the Braves surely wouldn’t want Tom Glavine to start his post-playing baseball career with any team other than Atlanta.

There might be no reason to worry. Glavine has talked with Braves prez John Schuerholz about a job with the Braves that could include a variety of duties ranging from front-office work to helping out with young players at spring training and in the minor leagues, and possibly even some broadcasting.

Glavine coached his son's Atlanta Fire hockey team in Ottawa, Canada two weeks ago.

Glavine coached his son's Atlanta Fire hockey team in Ottawa, Canada two weeks ago.

“We’re working on putting together what options might be available,” Schuerholz said. “Tommy and I have talked about this very preliminarily.”

The point is, they’ve talked. In other words, when the Braves called, Glavine didn’t just say, “Are you kidding me? After the way I was treated last summer?” and hang up …

Continue reading Braves hope to have Glavine back in fold »

Lowe says all’s cool, he’s ready to pitch

Perceptions, assumptions and perceived ultimatums sure can change a lot in the space of three or four weeks.

Lowe says there's no hard feelings

Lowe says there's no hard feelings

Take the case of Derek Lowe, who was so sure four weeks ago that he was going to be traded, he told MLB.com: “I’m just waiting for it to happen. I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if’ anymore. It’s just a matter of when.”

He also said that if he had to do it over again, if he knew the Braves would try to trade him a year into the deal, he would’ve signed elsewhere.

Seeing those quotes, Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz wrote on Dec. 16: “Before, the Braves wanted to dump him. Now, they almost have to dump him.”

Six days later, the Braves traded one of their two 15-game winners from 2009. Only it was Javier Vazquez, not Lowe.

(Oh, before we go any further, forgot to say happy birthday to The King. Elvis would have been 75 today — or is, according to some. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program….)

The Braves tried to trade …

Continue reading Lowe says all’s cool, he’s ready to pitch »

Damon could be good fit atop Braves’ order

A few thoughts while wondering if Johnny Damon would wear his hair Boston-era caveman style or Yankees-era short when he signs with the Braves — OK, if he signs with Braves — and trying to figure out how it’s colder in Atlanta this week than it was last week in Whistler, B.C., when we were there snowboarding.

Caveman BoSox-era Damon, aka Jesus

Caveman BoSox-era Damon, aka Jesus

Seriously, it’s colder here in North Georgia than it was in the mountains in the Great White North. Quite a bit colder, with wind-chill factor considered. But even the actual temperature is lower. And we have no snow — or sexy European skiers — to distract us from the bitter cold.

As for Damon, as I’ve said a few times the past couple of weeks, the Braves can afford to sign him if they could do a one- or two-year deal for well below $10 mill per, and perhaps closer to $7-8 mill per season if it’s a two-year deal.

I think Damon would/will seriously consider it for at least two reasons: He hasn’t received better offers yet, and he’s told …

Continue reading Damon could be good fit atop Braves’ order »