Ingrown toenails, pigs in clubhouse … it’s time

Dark Star, Fla. – When pigs are running through the clubhouse and Chipper’s out with an ingrown toenail, it might be a good time to break camp and take ‘er north.

Fortunately for the Braves, they’ll do that Thursday. There is nothing more to be gained from work here.

No. 22 is back in the lineup today

No. 22 is back in the lineup today

And health — not to mention animals — could be at risk if spring training lasts any longer.

Before we relate the pig episode, the update on Jason Heyward: He’s back in lineup after missing three games with shin splints. And on Chipper Jones: The 3B was scratched from the lineup late this morning with an ingrown toenail.

But I can tell you it was red. He pulled his foot out of a shower sandal to display the wound, as it were.

I asked if he dug too deep, meaning did he do it like we’ve all probably done at least once, when you pull a jagged piece of nail from the corner thinking it’s gonna come off neatly and it ends up tearing down into the cuticle and starts to bleed a little and … well, you know what I mean, right? Right?

But Chipper must’ve thought I was asking if he picked at it after it was already ingrown, because he answered: “I dug in there this morning after it got infected, trying to relieve some of the pressure.”

OK, I just realized I wrote five damn inches about an ingrown toenail that we probably wouldn’t have even known about it if this were the regular season. I mean, honestly it was a little red, but not <em> that </em> red.

No, this isn't Chipper's toe. His didn't look this bad.

No, this isn't Chipper's toe. His didn't look this bad.

“I get ‘em every once in a while,” Chipper said. “During the season I wouldn’t miss any time. I’d play through it.”

But not against Houston on the last day of March in the 27th game of spring training, and with lefty Wandy Rodriguez toeing the slab for the ‘Stros.

“We’ve faced so many lefties, to be honest with you I feel pretty good about taking a day off anyway,” Jones said. “Try and get it better overnight so I can play tomorrow.”

The Braves complete the Florida portion of this exhibition season the Tigers tomorrow in Lakeland, mercifully. And be warned: At about 5 p.m. there’s going to be a rented Pontiac G5 with New York plates barreling east down I4 in and out of traffic, in the direction of the Orlando airport.

♣ March of the pigs: Bullpen coach Eddie Perez is usually the merry prankster, the chief instigator, the guy on the other end of these stunts.

But roles were reversed Tuesday when several Braves — and perhaps a manager? – helped organize a prank that ended up sort of backfiring, but was hilarious nonetheless, according to those who witnessed it.1211057779y4ay4rX

The abbreviated version: Three small, live pigs were brought into the clubhouse while Perez was in the shower.

He’s long been known for being terrified of snakes, and more than once a rubber snake was left in Perez’s locker or bag during his playing days with the Braves.

But not pigs. He’s not afraid of pigs. But plenty of other Braves are.

Perez came out of the show to see the little pigs oinking and running around, and he laughed. Meanwhile, as Perez tells it, several Braves were jumping around trying to get out of the pigs’ way. First-base coach Glenn Hubbard, in a bathroom stall at the time, quickly raised his feet and legs, and pitching coach Roger McDowell tried to climb a wall — “like Spiderman,” Perez said — to get out of the way of the piggies.

One of Greg Maddux's favorite catchers....

One of Greg Maddux's favorite catchers....

Perez said he just smiled and told them, “I’m not scared of pigs. I grew up with them in Venezuela.”

Despite the prank backfiring, those who know Perez don’t for a moment believe he won’t have payback at some point this season for those who organized Monday’s stunt.

♣ Kawakami says “no problem”: And he said it without an interpreter.

His man was there to translate, but when we asked Kenshin Kawakami this morning about the blister on his right index finger and whether he’d be able to make his scheduled April 4 start in a minor league game, he understood the question and answered in English: “No problem.”

And when I asked if the small blister, which cropped up during his five-inning stint Monday against the Yankees, might have resulted from throwing more sinkers this spring, he also answered in English: “Probably.”

The rest of the interview was done with Daichi Takasue translating, but it was pretty cool to know that Kawakami does understand more and more of what we’re saying.

Now I’m starting to think I wasted my time learning Japanese this winter. (Kidding. Didn’t learn Japanese.)

Anyway, the plan for Kawakami is to throw in an intrasquad minor-league game Sunday here at Dark Star, then get a full week of rest before his regular-season debut April 11 at San Francisco, when he starts the Braves’ sixth game.

Because of an off day in the schedule Tuesday, opening-day starter Derek Lowe will pitch on regular rest in Game 5, getting two starts before Kawakami makes his first. The plan will also allow the Braves to give an extra day of rest to Tim Hudson before each of his first two starts this season.

It’s the same schedule the Braves announced four weeks ago, when Cox explained that Hudson would get extra rest early on so that he’d hopefully be strong through the second half. The Braves want to to give extra rest, if needed, to young guns Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson in the second half of the season.

♣ More national buzz for Heyward: In an article at SI.com about the top 10 story lines for the 2010  season. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci names Heyward as the one story that he is looking forward to most this season.

Verducci writes, “The Braves’ right fielder created the most spring training buzz since Albert Pujols tore up Cardinals camp in 2001. Which would you rather have when it comes to the NL Rookie of the Year Award: Heyward or the field? I’m not taking the field, not even a field that includes Strasburg and Chapman. Heyward seems like a lock for 20 home runs. Not so impressed by that number? The dude is 20 years old. Only 13 players have ever hit 20 homers at or before their age 20 season, and that includes only two 20/20 Club members in the past 31 years: a couple of guys named Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.Forget the Fred McGriff comparisons; Heyward is far more athletic. Forget the Willie McCovey comparisons; McCovey was only a .270 career hitter. Forget the Willie Stargell comparisons; Stargell never walked even 90 times. Just let Heyward be who he will be, and enjoy a very unique player.”

Here’s a link to the story: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/03/30/verducci.forward/index.html

TODAY’S  LINEUPS

Braves

  1. Cabrera CF
  2. Heyward RF
  3. Prado 3B (had been scheduled to have day off before Chipper scratched)
  4. Glaus 1B
  5. McCann C
  6. Escobar SS
  7. Diaz LF
  8. Infante 2B (was already in this spot before Chipper scratched)
  9. Hinske

Lowe pitching

Astros

  1. Michael Bourn CF
  2. Kazuo Matsui 2B
  3. Hunter Pence RF
  4. Pedro Feliz DH
  5. Chris Johnson 3B
  6. Cory Sullivan LF
  7. Chris Shelton 1B
  8. Jeff Keppinger SS
  9. Humberto Quintero C

Wandy Rodriguez pitching

OK, game starting. Let’s close with a cut from alt-rock supergroup the Baseball Project — Steve Wynne, Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck and Linda Pitmon –from their great 20008 album of baseball-themed tunes, Volume One: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails,. And if you never heard it, here’s a link where you can listen and read a story behind each song:

view_image

“GRATITUDE (FOR CURT FLOOD)” by Steve Wynn/The Baseball Project

Now everyone’s walking like they’re rolling in dough

Throwing all their money around just for show

Acting like everything is coming to them

And knowing that more is just around the bend

But I’m the one who paved the way

And laid my body in the road so you can walk on it today

I stood right up when they tried to put me down

You’re so high up, you forget to look down?

You call that gratitude!

I’m the well-paid slave and the roads that I paved

Took my career, that’s just what I gave.

Five years later they were rolling in clover

But nothing for me, my career was over

If I’d been born just a generation later

I could have settled up with an arbitrator

I’d be wearing fur coats if I were rich

With a bum-bum-bitty-bitty-bum

You call that gratitude!

On the day that I died and they laid me in the ground

Where was everybody? They couldn’t be found

I’m gone and they don’t know my name

No plaque, no speech, no hall of fame

A-Rod, Zito, Posada, Tejada

Johan, Maddux, Manny, Mussina

Who’s the one who paved the way with blood

Go say my name! It’s (Flood!) Curt Flood

You call that gratitude!

883 comments Add your comment

Innocent Bystander

March 31st, 2010
1:25 pm

GTI in Chicago

March 31st, 2010
1:26 pm

Yowza with the toe pic, DOB. Glad I wasn’t already eating my lunch.

Jersey Gil

March 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

Brian from SC ..you are correct…Look at today…Halladay also was Turched in First inning, 5 hit 4 run 1 hr To Blue Jay his old team.

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

Glaus drove in two runs with his double in first inning, and McCann followed with a sac fly to make it 3-all.

HEYWARD made a great catch near warning track in R-C just now on to rob Chris Shelton of extra-base hit in the second.

Yes, he’s back in lineup and looking same as always, Heyward is

Glen W

March 31st, 2010
1:29 pm

Interesting that Prado is sliding over to 3B…

Brian from SC

March 31st, 2010
1:30 pm

Happens every year 5 days before opening day: “Torch an Ace Day”.

Jersey Gil

March 31st, 2010
1:30 pm

DOB…did you know is those pig come from Wag Farm…

Jarryd

March 31st, 2010
1:31 pm

tunes from the future, i can dig that.

McCann Fan

March 31st, 2010
1:32 pm

That pig picture is great!

The toe picture is not so great………

Greg in TN

March 31st, 2010
1:33 pm

Afternoon folks…

Ironic that Hoss is out with the ingrown toenail after talk on the last blog of the former denizen who so fondly spoke of toes were not to be trifled with.

Nice to see Heyward flashing a little leather when he’s not busy terrorizing auto insurance companies.

Somewhere in a factory in Costa Rica, Rawlings baseballs are having nightmares about their first meeting with Jason Heyward.

DAP

March 31st, 2010
1:33 pm

DOB, the picture of the toe was really gross, but thats the best pig picture ive ever seen. i mean, they are wearing capes!

TnBrian

March 31st, 2010
1:33 pm

Joe West wants a cheeseburger …. NOW!!!

Brian from SC

March 31st, 2010
1:34 pm

Trivia: What do these numbers signify: 7.94, 7.97, 8.66, 5.65, 6.75

Answer: Those are the spring ERAs of the Mets’ five starters, Santana, Maine, Pelfrey, Perez, and Niese.

timthebrave

March 31st, 2010
1:34 pm

How did Lowe let up the runs????
DOB, Could have done without the toe pic. That’s disgusting….

Nova Scotia Steve

March 31st, 2010
1:34 pm

DOB – Sweet Jesus that toe is gross man.

TnBrian

March 31st, 2010
1:35 pm

Thanagar

March 31st, 2010
1:35 pm

I was about to get some bbq out of the fridge…and then I saw the toe.

Evan

March 31st, 2010
1:37 pm

Anyone have an online tv link for the game? CSS feed has been screwed up for the past few days in my region.

bob lazar

March 31st, 2010
1:37 pm

Wonder win the chosen ones BATTING PRACTICE bombs will translate in to game time bombs?

Snotboogie

March 31st, 2010
1:37 pm

Glad I wasn’t already eating my lunch. – GTI in Chicago

Unfortunately I was eating my lunch.

DAP

March 31st, 2010
1:38 pm

TnBrian, im not clicking on that link, man. i dont want to see it.

FEAR

March 31st, 2010
1:38 pm

ingrown toenail………..I give up

Brian from SC

March 31st, 2010
1:39 pm

DAP, I clicked on it, and it was bad. To make it worse, I tried to press back really quick, but my browser froze up for a few seconds.

bob lazar

March 31st, 2010
1:39 pm

Heyward sound alot like Frenchy all BP power

abwright

March 31st, 2010
1:39 pm

DOB, why don’t you throw a picture of a bleeding blister up there as well.

That toe is not what I expected when I tuned into the Braves blog.

If we could get some of those grim teeth-whitening ads up there as well, ….

“What a revoltin’ development this is!”

dap01

March 31st, 2010
1:39 pm

DOB: Where do you think that Heyward will hit in the lineup when the season starts?

Jersey Gil

March 31st, 2010
1:40 pm

You guys saw the New improved MLB.com Scoreboard…wow..now i can seeit.

Innocent Bystander

March 31st, 2010
1:40 pm

Brian from SC – that is just hysterical!!! Amazing that some people have the muts finishing any better than third.

Venice Jim

March 31st, 2010
1:41 pm

Good second inning for Lowe…(just a walk allowed)

Brian from SC

March 31st, 2010
1:41 pm

bob lazar, I would advise that you read the Wikipedia article on baseball. That would be a good start for you. It doesn’t appear that you know much about it.

FEAR

March 31st, 2010
1:42 pm

yeah 3rd is our spot!!!

BossLady

March 31st, 2010
1:42 pm

Nice Son Choice, Thanks

BossLady

March 31st, 2010
1:43 pm

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Lowe just hit Chris Johnson with a pitch in third inning, runners at first and second with two out

RHR

March 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Oh yay. Now the toenail pic is looking at me on facebook as well.

Venice Jim

March 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Braves out quickly in the second…

McFann

March 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Oh man…that pig story is great! :lol:

Doug

March 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Heyward “sounds alot like Frenchy –all BP power” The ignorance of some people is unbelieveable…the kid is 20…the last thing to come…gaem style is power and already some morons are comparing him to Fenchy????????

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:45 pm

Got out of it with a groundout, score still 3-3 headed to bottom of third

Rob from SC

March 31st, 2010
1:47 pm

DOB

Are the Braves going to platoon Cabrera and McLouth in CF?

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:47 pm

Heyward single to start bottom third

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:48 pm

Prado just tomahawked a single to left, runners at first and second for Glaus…

FEAR

March 31st, 2010
1:49 pm

cmon glaus!!! hit a dinger!

bob lazar

March 31st, 2010
1:50 pm

Doug”……1 is the magic number

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:51 pm

Another double by Glaus down left-field line, this one drives in one run.

Four doubles in two days, after one extra-base hit all spring previously.

GTI in Chicago

March 31st, 2010
1:52 pm

Yet another RBI double for Glaus today. The man is finding that Power Stroke.

FEAR

March 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

that’ll do

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

Two-run single for McCann, Braves up 6-3

GTI in Chicago

March 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

Skeebam McCann. Let’s hear it for the future of the middle of the Braves order in ‘10!

McFann

March 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

Oh HECK YEAH!! :D

RHR

March 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

Prado just tomahawked a single to left, runners at first and second for Glaus…

In honor of Soph….

Marteeeeeeeen!

AJJ

March 31st, 2010
1:54 pm

its amazing how many runs we can score with out the rally killer in the line up

FEAR

March 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

nice one brian!

T for Texas

March 31st, 2010
1:55 pm

Looks like Lowe has gotten on top of his sinker after the first inning. It had been flat and up in the zone in the first, but he is getting it to bite down on guys in the 2nd and 3rd. He also just seems to be working on that pitch primarily. Hopefully no need to worry at all.

T for Texas

March 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

The Ol’ 8-5 force-out. See it all the time.

Jersey Gil

March 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

I Just heard that brad Lidge just have a cortizone shot in his elbow…Phillis not have a closer for few more weeks.

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

Rob from SC: Have you ever known Bobby Cox to come out and say something like that, even if they intended to? He never says that kind of stuff, just does whatever he’s going to do without announcing it. Told me the other day, when I suggested he had options now for CF and leadoff, at least, that he wants to see McLouth do well. Meaning, prefers to not platoon him.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
1:57 pm

I cannot wait till April 12th to see the boys live at Petco. We are going to kill the AA Padres…I cannot wait. I wonder who is going to be pitching for us? I hope to see Hansen.

Greg in TN

March 31st, 2010
1:59 pm

Braves are lighting up Wandy. Hinske getting in on the hit parade.

Remo

March 31st, 2010
1:59 pm

Does anyone know where I can watch this online?

David O'Brien

March 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

Two-run double for Hinske. Wandy finally being lifted, with nine runs in (six this inning). Nice tuneup for the Wandster.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

Remo i only know of MLB.com but you have to pay

Runnin

March 31st, 2010
2:00 pm

Awesome bench!

Venice Jim

March 31st, 2010
2:01 pm

gobraves – we will miss you by a couple of days – we’ll be coming down on the 14th. Barring rain, you should see JJ and we’ll see Hanson…

Mitchie-san

March 31st, 2010
2:02 pm

Oh I get it. Glaus is working his way up. Started with singles, now he is up to doubles. I cant wait until sometime in late May when we starts hitting all dingers!

timthebrave

March 31st, 2010
2:02 pm

DOB, Can you talk about other hitters not hitting for power…….

KD

March 31st, 2010
2:02 pm

A in-grown toe nail, whats next, a hang nail, Jones is just pathetic !!!

CB

March 31st, 2010
2:03 pm

Anybody willing to make a prediction on how many runs we score this year? Plus-minus 800runs?

BossLady

March 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

Ok, Acosta is gone so we may be able to hold this lead. Oh my, keep Chavez out of there too.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

Everybody dont forget to stretch properly before the start of the season, we haven’t had the chance to throw down the tomahawk chop with authority in a long time. Im pumped wish the season started tommorow GO BRAVES!!!!!

rico43

March 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

I would like to express my gratitude for Sports (Kiss of Death) Ilustrated for putting Phillies on the cover of their baseball issue. Some things are more difficult to overcome than others, and that ol’ SI jinx is right up there.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Hey KD git!!!!!

Brian from SC

March 31st, 2010
2:05 pm

Mitchie-san…what will be even more interesting is in April, when they’re all triples.

abwright

March 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

I have been impressed this Spring with how easily (so it seems) that the Braves are scoring runs. They seem to get down by a few. The, bam!, they put a six spot up.

And they’re not really hitting home runs yet.

fleming

March 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

Everybody in today’s lineup hitting .311 or better except Melky

ugaaccountant

March 31st, 2010
2:06 pm

Trivia: What does this number signify:6.75

Answer: That is the spring ERA of the Mets’ fifth starter Niese.

So yesterday, when I read an article bragging about the great Met’s prospectes tearing it up this spring, such as new 5th starter Niese, they were bragging about a guy who “earned” his way in with a terrible spring? Good to know that’s what passes for excelling in NY Mets land.

Ike Davis does look good though. He and Freeman can be rivals in a sense.

Jay Dubu

March 31st, 2010
2:07 pm

Is Heyward the only Braves’ player that is hitting the ball out of the stadium during batting practice?

smalltownbravesfan

March 31st, 2010
2:07 pm

come on KD get with the program, we want all 25 Braves to do well and we are supporting all 25

Innocent Bystander

March 31st, 2010
2:07 pm

I was about to draft Wandy in the later rounds of my fantasy draft last night… Today’s making me sure glad I didn’t…

O.J.

March 31st, 2010
2:07 pm

It is definitely time to take this show up north, Mac cant hit the ball any better than he has and Glaus seems to be hitting the ball harder than before, soon, he will start to hit the bombs.

Runnin

March 31st, 2010
2:09 pm

ugaaccountant

March 31st, 2010
2:09 pm

Batting practice HR’s – I think it’s time to get on board the OBP trend. Heyward is going to excel much sooner in OBP than HR’s. Plus I love his speed in terms of defense, runs scoring, ocassional stolen bases. Much as I root for McCann to lead us in steals, since he is awesomely successful at it!, it would be nice to see McLouth and Heyward put up legit SB numbers.

smalltownbravesfan

March 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

Thurston vs Brooks later today. battle of the the 25th man

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

I like your style Runnin

Reid In EAV

March 31st, 2010
2:10 pm

KD: It’s Spring effing Training. And Your And Idiot.

ugaaccountant

March 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

Innocent Bystander

March 31st, 2010
2:07 pm
I was about to draft Wandy in the later rounds of my fantasy draft last night… Today’s making me sure glad I didn’t…

how late? Definitely scoop JJJ and Hudson before him, even though they are ranked lower. I think alot of FBB players ignore ERA as a category in favor of K’s.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:11 pm

Im glad that i dont have to choose between brooks and thurston they have both played well and hard…i think i am leaning towards thurston but i wouldnt want to choose

Snotboogie

March 31st, 2010
2:12 pm

Runnin
That only has a stream for the 9 PM re-telecast. No live streams unfortunately.

smalltownbravesfan

March 31st, 2010
2:12 pm

ugaaccountant: would be nice to see the braves as a team put up better sb numbers, steal a win or 2 , could be the difference come october

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:12 pm

DOB

Who do you like for the 25th brooks or thurston?

TnBrian

March 31st, 2010
2:13 pm

Joe West was on it! He must’ve had that double cheeseburger last half inning because he was like a cat.

Mitchie-san

March 31st, 2010
2:13 pm

Brian from SC, I hear ya!

jerry

March 31st, 2010
2:14 pm

so where are we top of 4th?

Venice Jim

March 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

gobraves – just wanted to make sure you saw my 2:01 post on the Braves’ pitching rotation for San Diego…

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

jerry yes top 4th

smalltownbravesfan

March 31st, 2010
2:15 pm

gobraves: i think Thurston also, seems to bring a little more to the table, but they both play hard. i like that. aka: DIAZ

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

end of 4th 9-3 atl

Lawton

March 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

It’s hard to believe how different this team is from the team that broke camp a year ago. Changes at 1B, 2B, LF, CF, RF, one SP spot and 4 bullpen spots I think. Upgrades at most spots except for the SP spot which could be close to break-even (Javy vs Hanson). The changes at LF and the 8th bullpen spots are interesting and debate-worthy. Melky’s speed and defense should be real assets and it will be interesting to see Saito performs.

gobraves

March 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

end of top 4th sorry

thinbreakness

March 31st, 2010
2:16 pm

Look, 9 runs and no, no, no homeruns.

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