McLouth: I can see clearly now….

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – It got to a point last season where Braves center fielder Nate McLouth struggled to see signals that catcher Brian McCann was giving the pitcher.

But he never mentioned it to anyone, and never indicated that his eyesight might have contributed to a 20-point decline in his batting average from 2008 and 61-point decline in slugging percentage.

“It’s something I didn’t want to make a big deal out of,” McLouth said Friday after a round of batting practice in the covered cage at Dark Star. “Sometimes that happens to people, you know? … I’ve always had good eyesight in my family, so I never went to the eye doctor growing up. Ever. My parents didn’t and my brothers didn’t.

“It got to the point where I kind of thought something was wrong, but didn’t want to say anything. And I knew contacts were hard to get used to, so I didn’t want to start wearing them [late during] the season.”

But when he noticed that street signs appeared fuzzy as he was making an all-night drive home to Michigan after the season finale, McLouth knew it was time.

“So the first week after the season, I went down to the University of Michigan, to the eye doctor down there, and got contacts,” he said. “And I’ve been wearing them ever since.”

McLouth reported to spring training with pitchers and catchers, several days before other position players were due. He’s eager to see how much contacts will help him at the plate and in the outfield. Last season he hit .239 in night games and .295 in day games.

“At night when there were a lot of lights, things started to kind of blur together, especially from a distance,” he said. “And now, with the contacts, it’s been great.”

47 comments Add your comment

fargondbrave

February 19th, 2010
2:08 pm

fargondbrave

February 19th, 2010
2:11 pm

DOB…is the AP report from Kissimmee anything new? we knew he felt discomfort..but anything new with this lingering tightness?

fargondbrave

February 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

sorry…2:11pm comment regarding JJ. I think you reported he wouldnt miss a step…but the foxsports article says JJ thinks he will be behind???

Baseball Ken

February 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

Hey David,
Glad it’s our time of year again, can u get some info on KK and how he feels about Saito joining him. Also, can you find out if ‘10′, did any new streching exercises that Wren and he promised he would do, when he signed extention, man he looked stiff last year. And what happens if Schafer comes back strong, Schafer in LF, Nate in center and Heyward in RF looks good. I think Escobar makes run at MVP this year, what do you think?

C. Tampa Ironworse

February 19th, 2010
2:21 pm

Good news …McLouth got contacts and glasses. Bad news…they’re Greg Norton’s.

RHR

February 19th, 2010
2:24 pm

Two in one day? Didn’t know you had it in you, DOB. :lol:

Jack

February 19th, 2010
2:27 pm

Only two blogs so far today, O’Brien? Outrageous!

clint

February 19th, 2010
2:28 pm

Excellent, now if he starts hitting the ball on the ground more frequently we could see him in a great position to carry on his streak of stolen bases. He’s never been caught in the majors!!!
Looking forward to a great season, GO BRAVES!

timmy

February 19th, 2010
2:31 pm

Nice try Clint be he was caught six times last year just as a Brave.

clint

February 19th, 2010
2:32 pm

and Escobar will not make a run for MVP, to much of a free swinger. Just look at the starting 9 compared to last year, a lot better!
Pitching is going to be better as well. Offense is extremely better, defense is better also, more athletic and younger. Many of our outfielders can play all 3 positions if not at least both corners. Glaus will be fine, watch out Philly!

Porkins

February 19th, 2010
2:32 pm

FIRST!!!!

DOB, any report on how Pascual Perez is looking so far?

jayvee

February 19th, 2010
2:36 pm

I believe McClouth has been caught stealing in the majors.

Greg Norton

February 19th, 2010
2:37 pm

Has anybody seen my contacts and glasses?

Marcus Giles

February 19th, 2010
2:38 pm

Has anyone seen my career?

Ed Glennon

February 19th, 2010
2:48 pm

C Tampa: that was hilarious

JoeDirt

February 19th, 2010
2:48 pm

Dob anyone else that impressed you on the first day? chavez? kimbrell?ortegano?

Wilson

February 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

David O'Brien

February 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

JoeDirt: Nobody impressed us writers, because we weren’t out there in the batting cage watching them throw bullpens. This wasn’t a structured workout day, nothing going on on the field, just guys out in the batting cage, early arrivals doing some hitting and a few others throwing bullpens. Not anything on the field like there will be starting tomorrow….

As for multiple blogs, this is a new format we’re debuting on the blog, where all notes newsy items go to the blog, so to speak. Even though they’re not as long or as opinion-laced as the actual main blog.

But some people who usually go to the blog only, will now have direct links to this other stuff they might have been missing before.

We’re also gonna have minor league updates each night, at least at home games where we plan to have two writers at every game.

koolmap

February 19th, 2010
3:02 pm

will mclouth be back next year?

M.

February 19th, 2010
3:05 pm

when is the braves first spring training game? when will one be televised?

Kevin

February 19th, 2010
3:05 pm

I’m glad Nate finally did something about it, but I wish he hadn’t hidden it last year. I hope it makes a difference for him this year.

Elon Brave

February 19th, 2010
3:08 pm

OK, sorry… but it seems a little ridiculous that nothing was done about this before the offseason. Aside from the nightmare Mac had with his eyes, contacts are generally a quick fix. Does the team not do eye exams during the season???

choozer

February 19th, 2010
3:08 pm

Teams should start making eye exams mandatory. Good grief!

C. Tampa Ironworse

February 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

Choozer…well said. Seeing is kinda important in Baseball.

I must be the Crazy One

February 19th, 2010
3:43 pm

So… the team invests MILLIONS of dollars on these guys, and has their oil checked by 100 doctors, six-ways-to-Sunday… but the Braves won’t pop for an eye exam for these guys? Or require them to be checked yearly? I mean, if they’re flunking the eye chart we get em some specs, right? Can we not get these guys signed up on some kind of group plan down at eye-ear optical or something? I love Nate, i love McCann, but seriously… For that kind of money, and being that their vision is a major contributor to their level of failure/success, can the Braves not pencil this in somewhere?

Dale Murphyaecheswitcz Horner

February 19th, 2010
3:46 pm

They could see our optometrist, we can hit pretty good.

If Wren cannot close Damon and his hottielicious wife, he should be the moderator in the NFL and NFLPA negotiations.

I must be the Crazy One

February 19th, 2010
3:48 pm

——> ok, instead of my rant, i’ll apologize for reduncancy and just /agree with Choozer and Elon Brave. Maybe though, this whole eyesight thing is a sign… Like Charlie Sheen in ‘Major League.’ Our guys will get some cool specs with a Skull/Crossbones on them, we’ll start winning games, Chipper will finally read the cliff notes to Moby Dick, and Joboo will finally help Andruw hit the freakin curve ball! no wait… Andruw no hit curve ball, and besides that he left years ago…

Mark Biles

February 19th, 2010
3:52 pm

I think if I made my living playing baseball and counted on my eyesight as much as baseball players do, I would’ve had my eyesight checked before I lost 20 points on my average. May be McClouth learned his lesson and will be able to see to hit the ball this year.

John OTC

February 19th, 2010
4:02 pm

It’s disturbing to know that players hide issues with their body from trainers and management. I can understand not going public but at least tell your boss that you can’t see.

McCann Fan

February 19th, 2010
4:11 pm

Ok. I’m really glad both McSomethings on our team have fixed their vision. But, damn McClouth, there is no room for pride when we are counting on your hitting and fielding. He should have fixed it last season. Go Braves!

And Roodge Owns

February 19th, 2010
4:18 pm

What I want to know is why they didn’t get McLouth’s ears checked after he went on tv as listening to Britney Spears on his iPod.

hal

February 19th, 2010
4:30 pm

should have had loaf checked for a heart beat too im pretty sure he was cold before ever reporting to the braves lol

All I'm Saying Is...

February 19th, 2010
4:45 pm

Best news I’ve read about Nate in a long time. We really need him to step it up at the plate as that would take pressure off Heyward and allow us to send him down to AAA for a few months following spring training to settle in and them come up in late June with no pressure.

With Nate regaining his stroke and leading off, we could bat Prado second, then Chipper, McCann, our New 1B lug, and then Escobar, Cabrera, and Diaz (or pull a Tony LaRussa and bat the pitcher 8th with Escobar 9th to turn the line-up over faster).

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Mitchie-san

February 19th, 2010
5:12 pm

So…..many……blogs…..
Cant…keep…up……

ABravesFan

February 19th, 2010
5:35 pm

McLouth has the potential to be a lot better than what he shown last year. I hope he is also over the hamstring problem (or some other leg problem) that hurt his stellar SB success rate.

Ghost of Moose Granger

February 19th, 2010
8:08 pm

This new format is really just to give more people the opportunity to say “First!!!!!”

josh anderson

February 19th, 2010
8:13 pm

I’m sure the Braves’ SUPER FLOP (Jordan Shafer will have another great spring. I can hardly wait to see the druggy play

MIBravesFan

February 19th, 2010
8:35 pm

“M.

February 19th, 2010
3:05 pm
when is the braves first spring training game? when will one be televised?”

The Braves open ST on March 2 at 1:10 pm and it’s on the MLB Network schedule.

Kentavo

February 19th, 2010
9:38 pm

Don’t these guys have vision plans? I

VoiceOfReason

February 19th, 2010
10:25 pm

If Bobby Cox takes an eye exam, maybe he will look at his lineup differently…..especially the decrepid, aging, third baseman.

Mitchell

February 19th, 2010
11:35 pm

Why do these freakin’ guys not ever say anything? What are they thinking?

They act like battered wives. Maybe Bobby wacks them if they say something wrong. Oh, I kid. That’s not even my style. Who cares if he beat his wife one time? Who’s to say it even really happened? Reporters, but they were probably lying.

The worst thing about it is that Bobby won’t ever do anything about it. Jordan Schafer practically has a broken wrist and is dragging the team down for two months but Bobby just makes excuses and protects his players and we lose games.

tlb

February 20th, 2010
9:53 am

line up should be better with have nate all year and being able to see.. he can hit 25 homers, chipper will hit 25, glaus 25, prado 20, heyward 20, escobar and diaz 15 each this equals about 15o homers its not bad power. The probelm is mcclouth could lead the team with homers and be the lead off guy!! This is why damon is needed so that mcclouth can slide to the 7 spot and drive in more runs. Damon and mcclouth can also be legit base stealers as the team needs a bit more team speed. the bench could then be stronger because it would have ross, diaz, cabbera, infante, hensike… that would give us a top 3 starting pitching staff, a top 2 or 3 pen, and the top bench with a much improved line-up just based on having nate a full year and him and brian’s vision corrected and chipper will bounce back and the addition of damon! This team could improve 10 games and win 92-96 this could be enough to win the division. The additon of damon also would make the vazquez trade look a little better since adding him wouldnt have been possible without moving his salary.

ExBraves Fan

February 20th, 2010
12:04 pm

Koolmap: No he won’t be back. The Braves refuse to pay contracts too decent players. They’d rather give the broken down pitchers of the world $60 million contracts, sign broken down ex-3dbasemen to million dollar contracts, field minor league failures as players, and give away decent starting pitchers for nothing OFers from other teams. No, the heydays of the Braves is over. They are now on par with the Pirates, KC, A’s, Indians, Marlins, Montreal Expos when it comes too spending money on players. YOU pay too see major leaguers, but the Braves give you lower AAA at best. Enjoy giving your money to a company that refuses to give you anything back.

ExBraves Fan

February 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

tlb: can I have some of what you are on??? Those predictions are silly at best. Stupid mostly.

Coach B

February 20th, 2010
3:28 pm

I so get tired of people ripping on Chipper. He may have been slowed by injuries more than any of us would like to see. But, he has been the Braves best position player over the last 15 years. He moved from a position that he was an all-star at to accomidate the team. He has taken far less money than he could have gotten somewhere else. He has more than once restructured his contract to permit the team to sign another player. Each time take less money per year in his new contract when he was still one of the premier players in the league. If you are still critical after all that…better start watching PBA (professional bowling association), where players can throw perfect games all day.

Chipper, I appreciate all you have given to our Braves. My only wish is youth sprung eternal so that I could watch you play forever.

BravesFanLostInOhio

February 21st, 2010
8:53 am

Coach, I agree with pretty much everything you have said. I think most of the poeple who rip on Chipper are fair weather fans, not only of the team, but also of the players.

Chipper had a funk. Yeah, it was a long funk, but these things can snowball. But, with some time off and a new season, his still excellent skills will let him bounce back. Is he going to play 150 games? Well, probably not, but we have the depth and the flexibility to handle that.

As for me, I’m not just hoping for a good year from Chipper, I’m hoping for another ALL STAR year.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2010
3:00 pm

Jeffrey D, I like the idea of Wagner coming from the bullpen on a horse. Should do it with six-shooters blazing, too. Imagine how well that could have worked with the Astros in the old Astrodome….

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