Matt Young’s performance isn’t undersized

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – If you’re a wise guy with an urge to yell something from the stands about Matt Young’s height, make it good or don’t bother. You should know, the bar has been set high for short jokes directed at the Braves outfielder.

“You hear it at every ballpark,” said Young, who’s listed as 5 feet 8 on the roster, but concedes he’d need to wear spikes and stand on concrete to flirt with 68 inches.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has some fun with Matt Young during a workout last weekend. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has some fun with Matt Young during a workout last weekend. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

“Officially it’s 5-7-1/2,” he said, smiling. “Officially. That’s in spikes. I think my driver’s license says 5-7. I’ve been pushing for 5-9 [on the roster] for three years, but they’re not giving it to me. I’m like, come on, it’s a baseball card, it’s not a big deal.”

Anyway, the short jokes….

“I think the best one I heard was when we were in Charleston my first year. Right around Little League World Series time, and they just happened to be having midget wrestling after the game.”

He’s not making this up. It was 2005, Young was 22, playing for the Class A Rome Braves in a South Atlanta League game against the Charleston RiverDogs.

“Have you ever been to that ballpark in South Carolina?” he said. “They have concourses on the sides, and I’m in left. They’re having midget wrestling on the left-field concourse after the game. I’m like, Rocket, you’ve got to put me in right field. You’ve got to.”

Rocket Wheeler was Rome’s manager. He did not move Young from left field to right.

“So, my first at-bat the fans are, like, ‘Hey, Williamsport is up the road!’ ‘The Little League World Series is that way, you’re in the wrong ballpark!’” Young says, smiling. “And by, like, the sixth inning, when they’d had some beers in them, it was, ‘Hey Young, No. 6, you don’t work till after the game. Where’s your mask and tights?’”

He laughs as he tells the story. Young has the sort of self-deprecating sense of humor that’s always a plus in a baseball clubhouse, where sensitivities and political correctness are best left checked at the door.

“I’ve heard it all,” Young said. “Any new ones are always welcome. It’s all fun and games. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at?”

Besides, it’s Young who might have the last laugh. For all those who never thought the undrafted, undersized Texan would make it out of the low minors, well, he’s knocking at the door of the big leagues.

Young, 28, hit .300 with 33 doubles, 39 stolen bases and a .380 on-base percentage at Gwinnett last year in his first full season in Triple-A. In 2009, the left-handed-hitting outfielder/second baseman hit .289 with a .421 OBP and 42 steals in 130 games in Double-A.

“He can hit,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “He’s got a great approach. He’s one of those guys that – you preach and preach and preach, don’t try to do too much at the plate — and he probably gets it as well as any young player I’ve been around in a long time.

“He doesn’t try to do too much. If it’s outside, he’ll hit a line drive to left. If it’s inside, he’ll hit a line drive to right. Whatever a pitcher gives him, is what he tries to do. He has a really good concept of the type of hitter he is, and I think that’s what plays so well in his game.”

Brooks Conrad spent seven seasons in the minors before his first callup, and thinks Matt Young brings much more to a team than scouting reports might indicate. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Brooks Conrad (above) spent seven seasons in the minors before his first callup, and thinks Matt Young brings much more to a team than scouting reports might indicate. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Young was added to the Braves’ 40-man roster this winter because they believed he’d probably be taken in the Rule 5 draft if left unprotected. He can play all three outfield positions and second base, and has at least an outside chance at a backup job this spring.

He is competing with Joe Mather, Jordan Schafer and Jose Constanza for one or two  backup outfield jobs. Mather could make the team as a corner infielder and corner outfielder, and the Braves might still keep one of the other three as a backup center fielder.

Young’s ability to play second base could be a potential bonus in his favor, depending upon how the rest of the roster is put together.

Even if he doesn’t break camp with the Braves, it’s a pretty good bet he’ll be called up from Gwinnett at some point during the season.

“He’s not the tallest guy in the world, not the strongest, but the guy gets it done,” said Braves infielder Brooks Conrad, who can certainly identify with Young. “He can flat-out hit.”

Conrad, generously listed at 5-10, was 28 years old – same as Young today – when he made his major league debut with Oakland in 2008 after seven seasons in the minors.

Young has played six full seasons in the minors without a sniff of the major leagues, but he’s never even thought about hanging up his cleats and calling it a career. To the contrary, he’s as optimistic and energetic as anyone you’re likely to meet in a clubhouse.

“I’m not frustrated,” he said. “It kind of bothers me a little bit when guys are not happy to be where they are [in Triple-A]. I mean, I can understand it. If you’ve got time [in the majors], you don’t want to be there. But it took me so long to get there, I was enjoying it. I was enjoying every moment.

“Obviously that’s not the ultimate goal; the ultimate goal is here. But it’s one of those things where it’s like, you’ve got to play the hand your dealt. I was dealt this humongous frame [mockingly sticks out his chest], and being the non-drafted free agent – it’s one of those things where if you can’t just take everything in stride, you’re going to drive yourself crazy in this game.”

Being added to the 40-man roster for the first time this winter was a good feeling, but he’s not looking at his situation much differently than a year ago, when he was one of the final cuts in big-league camp.

The only difference it made in his preparation was his agreeing to cut short his winter-ball season in Mexico after he strained a groin in early December. Young said he’d have probably missed only one day if a similar injury occurred during the regular season, but he didn’t want to risk a lingering injury before his first spring on the 40-man roster.

“I feel like I’m trying to make an impression,” he said. “I think that’s pretty much where [being on the 40-man] ends. I’m still using this to get ready and do what I normally do. I’m not trying to change anything.”

He paused. “It’s definitely a different feeling, though.”

Young has made quite a name for himself in the Mexican Winter League, where he’s been one of the top hitters the past couple of winters. During the 2009 winter, he hit .315 with eight homers, 32 RBIs and 21 stolen bases (second in the league).

His success there underscored his ability to hit off-speed pitches, as that league is lined with such pitchers.

“Yeah, and you know, it’s actually helped me left-on-left a lot,” he said. “After the starter comes out [in Mexican league games], every middle-relief guy, it’s a situational at-bat. And they bring in a lefty to pitch against you nine times out of ten.

“They’re not going to throw you that 2-0 fastball. I even saw a 3-0 slider down there this year. It was just ridiculous. It was a 3-0 slider with two outs, from some lefty. And I bailed [out of the batter’s box]. That was the last thing on my mind….

‘It’s definitely helped with my approach and my plan. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot the last couple of years with my approach, instead of just looking for something dead-red, something in the white [heart of the plate], I’m looking more pitch-specific, spot-specific.”

Whether they admit it or not, most players understand that being on the 40-man roster can boost one’s chances of making the major league team. Young’s performance last season in Triple-A – he had played only seven games in Triple-A before 2010 – was another signal to Braves officials that he might be a player who can help them.

“He’s always been, all the way through the minor leagues, a guy that doesn’t get a lot of play, doesn’t get a lot of attention as a top prospect or a prospect,” Wren said. “But you go in and watch the team play, whatever team he’s on, and he’s the best player, or one of the best players. He’s the guy that makes the team go. But you don’t talk about him.

“Then he gets to the next level and he’s doing the same thing, and all of a sudden you’re thinking, when’s it going to stop? When’s he going to reach the level where he can’t excel? And he hasn’t found that level yet….

“He’s very fundamentally sound. He can play all three outfield positions, he can play second base, and you know you’re going to get a good at-bat. There’s a lot of things he does well.”

He’s earned the admiration of big-league Braves, who see the shortest guy in uniform spraying line drives around the field and busting his butt to make a play or be a pest on the basepaths.

Young asked the undersized Dan Uggla (above) what it was like to be able to hit home runs at will. He joked that Uggla liked to stand near the 5-foot-7 Young so he'd have someone shorter to look down to. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Young asked the undersized Dan Uggla (above) what it was like to be able to hit home runs at will. He joked that Uggla liked to stand near the 5-foot-7 Young so he'd have someone shorter to look down to. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

“Without a doubt,” Conrad said. “As small as he, coming out of college all the scouts are looking at a certain body type, skill set, things like that. Not really looking at all the intangibles that go along with being a good baseball player.

“He’s got all those – he’s a smart player, he plays the game hard, he plays the game right, for the right reasons. He’s a team baseball player who’s going to do everything he can every day to help the team win. Just a guy you want on your team.

“He can flat-out hit, he can run, steal bags, play good defense in the outfield, he’s fast …

“If you’re not that big prospect guy and don’t have those tools, sometimes those guys don’t really get looked out. But if you go out there and play the game like he does, you’re going to help the team win. That’s what it’s all about, bottom line.”

Young doesn’t have to look far to see another undersized player who’s made it big in the bigs. Of course, 5-foot-10 second baseman Dan Uggla has arms the size of the 175-pound Young’s thighs, and hits 30 home runs a year.

“He’s huge,” Young said. “I said to him, what’s it like to be able to hit it out anytime you want? What’s that like. That’s cool, isn’t it?”

A few days ago, Young was fielding grounders with Uggla and Conrad.

“We had the midget mafia over at second base — me, him and Brooks,” Young said. Then he laughed. “I think they just want to hang out with me as much as possible so they can look down on someone.”

Saturday morning addendum: BRAVES LINEUP

1. Schafer DH
2. McLouth CF
3. Heyward RF
4. McCann C
5. Hinske LF
6. Freeman 1B
7. Conrad 2B
8. Hicks 3B
9. Hernandez SS

OK, gotta get to work on some smaller news blogs. Let’s close this with an underrated nugget from The Kinks, and here’s the song if you want to listen (and why wouldn’t you?).

kinks-roof

MR. BIG MAN by The Kinks (Ray Davies)

I remember when you started out,
You were the best friend I ever knew.
I tried to meet you when you had your success,
But you had better things to do.
Now I bet that you’re losin’ count
Of the people that you used.
But now we’re gonna see the vicious side of you,

Mister Big.
You’ve got the say and the power.
Your minions grovel and cower.
But I see you, and I see me.
But you’re the big man now.
You got it, Mister Big.
Your followers kiss your hand,
And your slaves all at your feet.
Your minions serve your beck and call,
But they don’t compensate at all,
‘Cause inside, Mister Big’s very small.

When you were poor and knockin’ at the door,
You were really lots of fun.
But now you’re hot and you’re sittin’ on the top;
You’ve got no time for anyone.
You schemed and connived.
You pushed and you lied,
Till you at last became a star.
But now we’re gonna see the way you really are,

Mister Big.
Now your vict’ry is complete
And your battles are all won.
Your enemies and foes are all stacked up in rows,
Eliminated one by one.
You got it, Mister Big.

1,488 comments Add your comment

Murph

February 25th, 2011
4:51 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB!

Fish Bisch

February 25th, 2011
4:53 pm

Much appreciate this Brave New Blog.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
4:56 pm

I’m Not First, But I’m “On Deck!”

So That Means “Every-Time You see me Spit? EveryTime You See Me Rhyme? Everytime You See Me In Your State Or Town, Say What’s Up? YEAAAHHHH!!!!!, YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!”

Murph

February 25th, 2011
4:57 pm

Seems like the OF is getting crowded with a bunch of mid-level guys… Young, McLouth, Schafer, Mather, Hinske… nobody that is going to light the world on fire, but hopefully nobody that will be the next Melky either.

A good problem to have.

justin1

February 25th, 2011
4:57 pm

Sadly, I doubt he’ll get a chance to ever play for the Atlanta Braves. From what I’m seeing, it looks as if the outfielders are going to be Nate, Heyward, Prado, and Mather to start the season. Hopefully we can maybe package a trade of Mather and a pitcher (KK) for some speed or some infield defensive help. Constanza should get a shot though, IMO, as well. He has some speed which we could use.

justin1

February 25th, 2011
4:58 pm

Tomahawkin…..stop.

Just…stop.

Trey

February 25th, 2011
4:59 pm

Very good article, DOB. Matt Young sounds like a person you would like in your club house, a good sense of humor.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
4:59 pm

Fisch Bisch

It Seems Like Your Ready to jump ship onto “The HOOOOOO TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!! AKA the Braves Bandwagon…?

If So Then go Ahead, I will take you Under My Wing….You will get to see Firsthand how us Braves Fans Do it Down Here In “The A”

CraZyTRaDeMaN

February 25th, 2011
5:01 pm

Love all these updates, pictures and new Blogs throughout the day thanks DOB!!

Lew

February 25th, 2011
5:02 pm

Was listening to Preservation: Act 2 by the Kinks just the other day. Great Band.

wheelz007

February 25th, 2011
5:04 pm

THanks for the Blog DOB. I wish the kid all the luck in the world.

Mitchie-sand

February 25th, 2011
5:04 pm

“Are you tryin to say Jesus Christ cant hit a curveball???”

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:04 pm

The More I see of Fredi G having fun with the Players, The More I like…He doesn’t seem to have that snobbish business-style persona that was forced upon the team for a lot of years up til about 2005 or so…?

nolie

February 25th, 2011
5:05 pm

am i perhaps too confident in this braves team if i say i am sure the braves will outscore the phillies this season? DAP

no doubt

Brava

February 25th, 2011
5:05 pm

Thank you for the new blog, DOB. Matt Young sounds like a very likable person and a great teammate. I hope he gets a chance to play in the bigs this season, even if it’s later into it.

Trey

February 25th, 2011
5:07 pm

Brava, yeah, another decent one was Major League.

stevie zero

February 25th, 2011
5:08 pm

dude. love those kinks. maybe some ’sleepwalker’ next time?

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:13 pm

“Seems like the OF is getting crowded with a bunch of mid-level guys… Young, McLouth, Schafer, Mather, Hinske… nobody that is going to light the world on fire, but hopefully nobody that will be the next Melky either. ”

That was Torture watching The Melk-Dud Last year and what was worse is Bobby Kept starting him because he could hit from both sides…It didn’t matter when all you hit is ground balls to the right side of the Infield

With that said I bet he Goes back to the AL and Clowns, “Watch!”

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

“am i perhaps too confident in this braves team if i say i am sure the braves will outscore the phillies this season? DAP”

Braves will hopefully finish in the top 5 in runs scored but that is a deceptive stat however. I will be on Parrish Hard this season because TP grew on me last year…And now I have to adjust…

hmmmmmm

February 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

Hey DOB do you get the same feeling I do that with all these young pitchers, a return to form by Jordan in CF, and a couple of good things from Young, Costanza, and Brooks, not to mention McLouth and KK money coming off the books next year- this team is setting up nicely for the future with very little holes?

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
5:20 pm

I sent back in and added a graph or two about how the backup OF jobs might go, how they might keep one or two from group of four. It’s in the main blog now, about halfway down.

Chop Chop

February 25th, 2011
5:21 pm

Seems like every single Braves player is going to light up the big leagues this year. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I’d stumbled into some spring training blog posts.

Wake me when we’re at the quarter-pole. I’ll have some opinions then.

ncgary

February 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

philly will do the flop
this year
bank on it

Brava

February 25th, 2011
5:25 pm

Yeah, Trey, that’s a good one.

Speaking of good ones. I accessed JS’ latest digi-blog from Twitter and he’s got photos from ST posted with some hilarious captions. Worth checking out.

dgd

February 25th, 2011
5:27 pm

Saw Ray Davies do an acoustic solo concert last year. He was terrific. Unfortunately, I fainted during the encores (and hadn’t even been drinking!) so it’s not my fondest of memories…:)

DS1

February 25th, 2011
5:28 pm

DOB

Good read, thanks! The stories about the guys nobody knows much about are the most interesting, imho.

It’s hard not to pull for a guy like Matt Young.

I read a post in the earlier blog about how Schafer was clowning (stealing T’s thunder) everybody else with his gun. If you were grading all the outfield arms as to overall effectiveness (in those drills), how would you rate them? Accuracy, quick release, power…

If you get a chance to answer, thanks in advance.

nolie

February 25th, 2011
5:30 pm

philly will do the flop
this year
bank on it ncgary

nah I wanna keep my money

Murph

February 25th, 2011
5:31 pm

this team is setting up nicely for the future with very little holes

I try not to speculate on the size of the team’s holes.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:31 pm

Chop Chop

Good Point…But I think the Spring Training Schedule is a Week too long…They Should take a week off of it instead of talking about shortening the reg season schedule

Joshua

February 25th, 2011
5:32 pm

DOB is the man. Someone give him a job as ESPN already.

Murph

February 25th, 2011
5:33 pm

DOB, any chance you’re going to do a write up about Mather? He intrigues me… sounds like he has/had all the potential in the world and got hit with the injury bug. Would like to know more about what the plan for him is this season.

richbrave

February 25th, 2011
5:34 pm

Thanx DAVE for the great rundown on MATT YOUNG. Following the minors players as much as I did last season, I noticed his steady improvement at the plate. If he goes back to AAA with that attitude, he’s gonna’ hit .320 this season, and that’s good enough to be a ML ballplayer. Hopefully, if the BRAVES can’t use him, someone else can. I’m a YOUNG man all the way.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:34 pm

ncgary

“philly will do the flop
this year
bank on it”

I’m Not Going To Bank Of America With That either…The Giants will be the Team that Flops, “Bank On It”, they are the real Frauds of the NL

DS1

February 25th, 2011
5:36 pm

Murph

It’s interesting, that if we were fans of any team (pick another one), we’d be finding all sorts of players that might come around and make us look pretty good in 2011.

I guess it’s the old glass half full mentality.

But truthfully, this team could go both ways really quickly, all depending on Chipper and CF. Of course 1 or 2 major injuries could either lead to downfall, or opportunity for another player.

I guess that’s why I love this game so much. Hope springs eternal four shore!

richbrave

February 25th, 2011
5:37 pm

Chop Chop

February 25th, 2011
5:21 pm
Seems like every single Braves player is going to light up the big leagues this year. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I’d stumbled into some spring training blog posts.

Wake me when we’re at the quarter-pole. I’ll have some opinions then.

Better set your alarm CC if you want that wake-up.

DS1

February 25th, 2011
5:38 pm

richbrave

For an old f@rt, we’ve always known you were a “Young” man at heart!

:lol:

nolie

February 25th, 2011
5:40 pm

I see Mather as pretty unproven. He might hit (not just run into a few homers) and he might not

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:40 pm

Joshua

“DOB is the man. Someone give him a job as ESPN already.”

NOOOOOOOO, Don’t say stuff like that. I don’t want to see D.O.B. Sellout to BSPN, He’d Might if they Buy him A Penthouse Condo in the Rotten Apple… But Like Most Good Things In Life this Blog Will Come to an end one day…

Just Imagine the Hype D.O.B. would get if his Blog was on BSPN and he covered WhineBrenner and The Yankees…?

Braves fan in Missouri

February 25th, 2011
5:41 pm

richbrave-
Please do not break into a rendition of “YMCA”

Kat

February 25th, 2011
5:45 pm

Good luck to Young seems like a funny guy. Thanks for the daily blogs David. By the way, you like The Kinks? Kinda like The Clash….who knew…:)

Murph

February 25th, 2011
5:46 pm

Am I the only one that doesn’t think this season hinges that much on Chipper? To me it’s a given that he’ll sit out a good portion of games, and that his production probably won’t be all-star caliber while he’s on the field. It might be good, but I doubt he’ll lead the league in many categories.

To me the season hinges on CF and LF. I think Prado will be awesome no matter where he plays, so for the purpose of my comment I’ll assume he spends 50.1% of his time at 3B. If McLouth can’t get his head right and Schafer has to play CF… that’s a big big question mark. More so than the rookie starting at 1B in my opinion. Also, with Prado at 3B, who plays LF? Mather? Hinske? Young?

I know I’m being an optimistic fan, but I think Heyward, Uggla, McCann, Prado, and even Freeman are going to be big producers and carry the offense. It’s the last few slots that worry me.

Snotboogie

February 25th, 2011
5:48 pm

One of the funnest blogs to read.Well done DOB.
Kept chuckling to myself at some at a lot of the stuff in it.

abwright

February 25th, 2011
5:49 pm

I sense the CBI on Matt Young rising by the minute.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:50 pm

Murph

“To me it’s a given that he’ll sit out a good portion of games, and that his production probably won’t be all-star caliber while he’s on the field. It might be good, but I doubt he’ll lead the league in many categories.”

Thats Why I want Chipper Hitting 2nd and when Chipper gets A day off or 2 per week have Martini Bat 2nd…

Fredi G will be using a lot of different lineup cards this year, Bank on it

Mixxo

February 25th, 2011
5:52 pm

Tomahawkin – ’suppppp!?!?

Glad to see someone else is stoked! Yeah baby!!

abwright

February 25th, 2011
5:52 pm

Murph, February 25th, 2011, 5:31 pm … “I try not to speculate on the size of the team’s holes.”

Braves holes may not be “so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door …”

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:53 pm

I didn’t even see this earlier

justin1

February 25th, 2011
4:58 pm
“Tomahawkin…..stop.

Just…stop.”

Ouch, I guess he didn’t like the Soulja Boy Lyrics to “Turn my Swag On”?

Great party song on a Friday…

Braves fan in Missouri

February 25th, 2011
5:53 pm

If Chipper is the only Brave to miss a large group of games, it will be a good year for the Bravos!!

Snotboogie

February 25th, 2011
5:56 pm

Someone give him a job as ESPN already. — Joshua

WTH is wrong with you?? Do you not like us or something?

richbrave

February 25th, 2011
5:57 pm

richbrave

Bull Durham
Eight Men Out
Major League
For the Love of the Game
The Natural
Bad News Bears
Bang the Drum Slowly
League of their Own
Fear Strikes Out
Field of Dreams

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
5:58 pm

Get Out The WAYYY!!!!

(Boom!)

Mixxo Is Up In This! Whats Up Partnah?

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
6:00 pm

Snotboogie

[Someone give him a job as ESPN already. — Joshua]

“WTH is wrong with you?? Do you not like us or something?”

Yeah Really…! Gotta Co-Sign On That…

P-Town Brave ©

February 25th, 2011
6:03 pm

Toma-

Hmm…a guy who walks in with his own theme song wants to know if anyone has a problem w/ him ;-)

P-Town Brave ©

February 25th, 2011
6:04 pm

Toma-

As I said…shine up that keyboard real nice…

Turn that sum b*tch sideways…

P-Town Brave ©

February 25th, 2011
6:05 pm

But really, this is all in fun :-)

I can tag you in now…

Too bad you ruined the hot tag…

McFann Ô Ô

February 25th, 2011
6:06 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Matt Young sounds like a fun guy. :lol:

Mekons5

February 25th, 2011
6:10 pm

Lew: Preservation is way underrated. I saw them do the entire Preservation albums at Felt Forum in, um, 1973 or so? I was just listening to Arthur last night. Their best record, I think. It holds up better than just about anything from the 60s. Of course, Muswell Hillbillies was pretty great too.

On topic, I’d love to see Matt get a good look. It looks like Schafer is healthy and McLouth makes too much money to release and Mather looks like he has a job, so he probably won’t make the team out of spring training, but I hope we see him in Atlanta this summer. One thing is for sure. Our outfield defense is going to be WAY better this year. Melky played pretty good outfield for a pitcher. Of course, he isn’t a pitcher…

That Vazquez trade still looks pretty great. We got a top pitching prospect and half of Dan Uggla for him. Not too shabby.

abwright

February 25th, 2011
6:15 pm

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. ‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust. I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

—Annie Savoy from Bull Durham

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
6:20 pm

P-Town Brave ©

“Toma-

As I said…shine up that keyboard real nice…

Turn that sum b*tch sideways…”

Ouch! lol, I see That You and Robert Got Into It? No…?

Jersey Gil

February 25th, 2011
6:21 pm

For those living in the NE…The Game tomorrow will be in WPIX …In comcast.

ncgary

February 25th, 2011
6:22 pm

wait and see nolie
phillys do the flop in 11

Kat

February 25th, 2011
6:29 pm

Jersey Gil ..thanks for pointing out that WPIX/CW will have the game! They’re actually airing it live which is better than SNY who’s airing it delayed at 7pm.

Chop Chop

February 25th, 2011
6:32 pm

You know, if I’ve got to add the +10 wins the Braves are gonna get by Donk, his boogers, and his nuzzle-earning sugar cubes being out of the dugout, I’m gonna say the Braves will be a cool 100-62 this year.

The tide of winning is hereby unleashed.

Jersey Gil

February 25th, 2011
6:33 pm

Kat..your welcome

Brava

February 25th, 2011
6:36 pm

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
6:41 pm

Anyone Have an online link for the game tomorrow?

Murph

February 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

BravesFan in DC

February 25th, 2011
6:50 pm

Great write-up, DOB! Terrific jam too. Definitely an underrated song.

ncscoots

February 25th, 2011
6:56 pm

Good to see Chop Chop’s moniker. He keeps his head, while all about him, others think the Braves will have 9 All-Star starters. :-)

Good to see you, Chop. Now, I know baseball really is just around the corner.

Tomas

February 25th, 2011
6:59 pm

If Matt Young outplays Schafer in spring, then Young has a shot.

ncgary

February 25th, 2011
7:00 pm

well considering most think philly
will win close to a 100
a flop of 88 is close to what they get

abwright

February 25th, 2011
7:01 pm

Enter your comments here

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
7:05 pm

Good To See All The Veteran Bloggers Back…It Feels Like Back to school time again…

Earl from PA

February 25th, 2011
7:10 pm

Great blog DOB. Free Matt Young!!

Braveone

February 25th, 2011
7:12 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,197 comments, P-Town Brave © led the way with 87 posts. There were 155 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 P-Town Brave © 87
2 McFann Ô Ô 67
3 nolie 56
4 Trey 50
5 reckingball 48
6 Arkansas Transplant 39
7 Tomahawkin 38
8 Just Pat 37
9 Murph 37
10 haggard 37
11 David O’Brien 33
12 Lew 29
13 JHey’s better 28
14 Ward 28
15 Ease® in Woodstock 26
16 Tom O’Hawke 25
17 Jarryd 24
18 jeffrey d 23
19 Brava 21
20 BravePack 19
21 DS1 16
22 cabravesfan 16
23 Fan since 1977 15
24 ncscoots 14
25 Eric In Albany N.Y. 13

jeffrey d

February 25th, 2011
7:16 pm

I’m slippin.

And I’m okay with that.

jeffrey d

February 25th, 2011
7:17 pm

Wait, who’s Jarryd right in front of me? Sounds suspiciously like jeffrey d…..

Playoffs!!!!

February 25th, 2011
7:24 pm

I hope Matt Young makes the team out of spring training. The bench spots could be Ross and Hinske(of course), problably Mather, Matt Young, and either D. Hernandez/Lucas.
Let J. Schafer gets some at-bats in AAA.
Thanks, DOB for giving this guy some attention. He’s paid his dues and sounds like he is ready!

Trey

February 25th, 2011
7:28 pm

Of course, Nolie is ahead of me once again!

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
7:29 pm

Murph, I’m sure we’ll get to Mather soon. Need to get some games in, see what new story angles we have, get some job competitions going strong.

DerekZ

February 25th, 2011
7:30 pm

Great read, DOB. Matt Young is definitely gonna get DOUBLE PITS TO CHESTY with it this year!

David O'Brien

February 25th, 2011
7:30 pm

Seems like every single Braves player is going to light up the big leagues this year. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I’d stumbled into some spring training blog posts.

Wake me when we’re at the quarter-pole. I’ll have some opinions then. — Chop Chop

OK, good night. Sleep well. We’ll rouse you when the Braves have played 40 games. Deal.

McFann Ô Ô

February 25th, 2011
7:36 pm

Man, I’m still hangin’ in at number 2!

Mekons5

February 25th, 2011
7:38 pm

bravesgrl4life

February 25th, 2011
7:45 pm

Tomahawkin’, that’s exactly how I feel! Back to baseball schoolin’ :)

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
7:46 pm

Braveone

I love the Blogger Rankings…That should be used as critical criteria for the Blogger of the year awards

Those Blogger Rankings remind me of the NCAA polls…or NASCAR Polls, but I wouldn’t know anything about NASCAR

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
7:49 pm

bravesgrl4life

“Tomahawkin’, that’s exactly how I feel! Back to baseball schoolin’”

I used to love back to school, especially most dudes (or maybe just me) would check out the chicks to see how much they had grown over the summer

Not to mention the Back to School Clothes everyone had to floss on the first day..I always had to wear something Fly…Joking

But It will be like going back to school when I go back to the ChopHouse, Can’t wait…!

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
7:54 pm

I will totally Co-Sign With Chop Chop

Strictly for the Fact that A. Jones used to Always Clown in S. Training and it hardly ever carried over into the reg Season

And Am I the Only one Who Get His Feelings Hurt when I thought Francoeur Was going to Clown in 2009 because of his changed stance in S. Training?

CB

February 25th, 2011
7:55 pm

I guess the first game we all can see is March 3 on ESPN,can’t wait for that one.

Abwright

February 25th, 2011
7:56 pm

Looks like Schafer’s CBI peaked at about 3.7.

Matt Young’s CBI is up to maybe 2.6.

If Schafer goes 0 – 5 tomorrow, his CBI may drop below 2 .

CB

February 25th, 2011
7:58 pm

Abwright,uh,what is CBI?

Brava

February 25th, 2011
7:59 pm

Yeah! I made the list! Now, I feel like I belong again. ;)

Tomahawkin, yeah, it does feel like back to school.

McFann Ô Ô

February 25th, 2011
7:59 pm

CB I guess the first game we all can see is March 3 on ESPN,can’t wait for that one.

Me, neither! Hope most of the regulars play…know what I mean? :P

Abwright

February 25th, 2011
8:02 pm

CBI was coined (by Nolie, I think) in response to RHR’s story of her well-endowed tomcat and his fickle affections.

Cat Ball Index

Brava

February 25th, 2011
8:04 pm

Well, we were poor when I was growing up, so I always had to wear some relative’s hand-me-downs on the first, and every, day of school. So, when it came time to send my son, I always made sure he was stylin’.

CB

February 25th, 2011
8:05 pm

Oooook,thanks.

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
8:10 pm

Brava

I used To Hate Hand Me-Downs…It really Sucked because my 2 older Sisters were always taller than me…Those were the days when people were quick to Clown people based on what they wore to school

I got Smart though and would wear a Starter Jacket the whole day over embarassing hand-me down clothes. And that was when Starter Jackets/Hats/Team Appearel was Hot on the Streets…And this was Early 90’s Elementary School in the Clay-Co…

CB

February 25th, 2011
8:14 pm

Tomahawkin,you had to wear your sisters dresses? Man,that’s tough.

Brava

February 25th, 2011
8:21 pm

Tomahawkin, I remember when Starter was hot. I sported some myself back then.

Did you have to wear your sister’s clothes? My older brother and I were the same size so, thank God, I never had to wear his clothes. My mom would always scarf up some ugly clothes given to her by some obscure “Aunt” for me to wear. She would get these really long, old fashioned skirts and I would hem them up into miniskirts, which were popular at the time. She hated that, but once I had cut off all that material, there was no going back. :)

Tomahawkin

February 25th, 2011
8:32 pm

@CB

CB

“Tomahawkin,you had to wear your sisters dresses? Man,that’s tough”

Ouch…! Hell No..I did have to wear some of her sweatshirts however

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