Justice, Crime Dog are back with Braves this week

Chipper Jones (left) chats with his former Braves teammate David Justice, who is back in camp as a guest instructor. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Chipper Jones (left) chats with his former Braves teammate David Justice, who is back in camp as a guest instructor. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Former Braves standouts David Justice and Fred McGriff began stints as guest spring-training instructors Monday, and for a moment Justice’s competitive juices were stirred.

“I just told Freddy that we’ve got Terry Pendleton, me and Freddy — we’ve got 3, 4 and 5 hitters,” said Justice, smiling. “I’ll take on any coaching staff within a 20-mile radius. And we’ve got [Braves minor league instructor Doug] Dascenzo leading off.

“I said let’s go play somebody – for one inning.”

Justice, 45, and McGriff, 48, will be in camp all week as part of a program the Braves began a few years ago, bringing in team alumni to suit up, observe and offer tips and advice for current players.

Former catcher Javy Lopez was in camp last week for his third consecutive spring, and Justice and McGriff are making their first appearances as guest instructors.

“It’s good to have those guys back, a stroll down memory lane,” said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, a Braves rookie on the 1995 World Series championship team that featured Justice and McGriff. “It’s always good to have the alumni back just kind of spreading their knowledge. Those guys were the guys that took me under their wing and really gave me so much guidance when I was younger.

“And that’s the first thing David said [to the Braves on Monday] – ‘Don’t be afraid to come up to me and ask the questions, because I’ve been through it.’”

Jones had his first September callup in 1993, the year Justice had 40 homers and a career-high 120 RBIs and Justice and McGriff finished 3-4 in MVP balloting.

“No matter how old Chipper gets, he isn’t going to be older than me,” Justice said. “He will never stop looking like the young Chipper when I first met him,  know what I mean?

Former Brave Fred McGriff, still spry at 48, has some fun Monday with Eric Hinske (right). McGriff is in camp as a guest instructor. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Former Brave Fred McGriff, still spry at 48, has some fun Monday with Eric Hinske (right). McGriff is in camp as a guest instructor. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

“It’s just always good to come back to any function with the Braves, because this is where my heart is. Even though I played with other teams, this is home for me, the Braves.”

As McGriff and Justice chatted with players between rounds of batting practice on a backfield at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, McGriff felt a bit of a tug.

“I’ve been thinking, let me get my glove, my hat, take a few ground balls,” joked the lean-as-ever former first baseman, whose 493 career homers included 130 in five seasons with the Braves through 1997.

He will commute this week from his home in Tampa.

“The organization was good to me back when I was playing,” said McGriff, who, after being traded from San Diego in July 1993, helped lead the Braves’ famous rally from 10 back to beat San Francisco by one game for the division title.

The pressbox at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium caught fire the day he arrived, and the Braves overcame a 5-0 deficit in that July 20 game against St. Louis, tying the score on a McGriff homer before pulling out the win.

McGriff hit .422 with seven homers and 12 RBIs in his first 12 games for the Braves, who went 51-19 after his arrival.

“Had a lot of great memories from playing with the Braves, going back to the fire,” he said. “Just to come out here today and see Bobby Cox and [John] Schuerholz, Terry Pendleton … I was surprised to see Justice. It’s great seeing Dave.”

Justice was drafted by the Braves in 1985 and had eight often-eventful seasons in Atlanta. He’s most famous for his sixth-inning homer that was the only run in the Braves’ 1995 World Series-clinching Game 6 win against Cleveland.

He had been vilified for his quotes in that morning’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when Justice called out Atlanta fans for not being supportive enough early in the World Series. He turned pregame boos to deafening cheers with his home run.

After one more season he was traded to Cleveland late in 1997 spring training. Justice has been back for some Braves functions but had not worn the full uniform until Monday. He flew in from his home in California.

Michael Bourn (left) laughs at something David Justice said during batting practice Monday. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Michael Bourn (left) laughs at something David Justice said during batting practice Monday. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

“They didn’t have to talk me into it, they just had to invite me,” he said. “You invite me, I’ll come…. I’m looking forward to helping out whoever wants to spend some time with me. I’m not going to force myself upon any of the guys, but I’m definitely going to try to make sure I introduce myself to all the guys and make them feel comfortable, especially the young guys.”

McGriff and Jason Heyward went to a backfield for private instruction after Monday’s team workout, and Justice was spotted giving pointers to players ranging from Brian McCann to rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said only good could come out of having the former Braves standouts back in camp. Dale Murphy, Phil Niekro, Tom Glavine and Gene Garber are scheduled to be in later in camp, all having served as guest instructors in the past. John Smoltz might also make his first appearance in the role.

Murphy is scheduled for a double-length 15-day stint March 3-18.

“What greater tool is there than to sit there and talk to Freddy McGriff about playing first base or hitting?” Gonzalez said. “Freddie Freeman’s a first baseman, left-handed hitter – Fred McGriff. Jason Heyward is a right fielder – David Justice. And Javy with some of the young catchers, and on and on. What a great thing.”

112 comments Add your comment

Jon

February 27th, 2012
5:21 pm

McGriff is hands down the best Trade Deadline deal Atlanta has ever made. Watching the stadium and the Braves catch fire on the same day is definately a top ten Braves moment.

Astro Joe

February 27th, 2012
5:26 pm

Maybe the Hawks can invite Dominique Wilkins to teach Marvin Williams how to score more than 2 points in 2 games.

Smack

February 27th, 2012
5:26 pm

It was nice seeing those guys back in their Braves unis. Like a trip down memory lane.

Mixxo

February 27th, 2012
5:26 pm

Jon -

A surreal day for sure. I remember it (and that 2nd half) like it was yesterday. My how we’ve fallen. :(

big george

February 27th, 2012
5:27 pm

Sign ‘em; give them a uniform. Someone can always pinch run for them.

nutsinabag

February 27th, 2012
5:29 pm

very cool program, other teams need to do this if they are not already

goldwreck

February 27th, 2012
5:29 pm

That sounds good to me.From a former player perspective it’s not a bad
way to have a vacation.what a deal.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

February 27th, 2012
5:38 pm

I was on my way to the game that afternoon with a pair of front row seats, when the radio talk show announcers said to hold off that the stadium had caught fire. We had to find a bar and hang out for a few hours until the smoke cleared. Crime Dog came to play. He should be a HOF’er. It ended up being a great game. My clothes smelled like soot afterwards.

markie mark

February 27th, 2012
5:38 pm

Welcome home, guys, welcome home….

joey

February 27th, 2012
5:40 pm

Those were some great teams. Justice and McGriff were both great players for our Braves. Amazing how well Justice did after replacing Murphy.

bvillebaron

February 27th, 2012
5:50 pm

I thnk the Crime Dog is a hall of famer. He got his 493 career homers the right way. Great to see these guys back.

David O'Brien

February 27th, 2012
5:51 pm

Added some photos to this blog. Check back at the top now.

Weaseal

February 27th, 2012
5:57 pm

Man -I’m getting all excited for this year

BrandonW

February 27th, 2012
5:57 pm

McGriff deserves to be in the Hall. He was clean and a class act.

Dave

February 27th, 2012
6:00 pm

Interesting. I think of all the players over all the years, other than Kenny Lofton, that these were the two closest to “non-Braves”s that there ever were here. McGriff, spent his time, got his money and moved on. Justice, while spending his time, and I’ll admit earning his money, had the line about us burning down his house. I was a bit offended by that one, spending what was in those days, a lot of money.

DucksChamps

February 27th, 2012
6:07 pm

DOB – it would be very interesting to get Justice’s take on Moneyball. In my opinion the movie did not portray him very well.

David O'Brien

February 27th, 2012
6:10 pm

Interesting. I think of all the players over all the years, other than Kenny Lofton, that these were the two closest to “non-Braves”s that there ever were here. — Dave

How in the world can you say that about either of them, but particularly about Justice, who was drafted and developed by the Braves and spent 12 years in the organization including eight seasons in the majors? Justice had an .873 OPS, 160 homers and 522 RBIs for the Braves, won Rookie of the Year, got MVP votes in three seasons, made two All-Star teams with Atlanta.

And he and McGriff were big pieces of the only championship team the city has ever had in the four major sports.

Turd Ferguson

February 27th, 2012
6:13 pm

100% Braves. No doubt about that.

Turd Ferguson

February 27th, 2012
6:14 pm

Long live the firedog!

David O'Brien

February 27th, 2012
6:15 pm

OB – it would be very interesting to get Justice’s take on Moneyball. In my opinion the movie did not portray him very well. — DucksChamps

Talked to Justice about Moneyball. I’ll put his quotes in a new blog next day or two. Suffice to say, he thought the movie was fine as entertainment, didn’t have a probably per se with how he was portayed but said none of the scenes involving him ever happened, such as the batting cage scene with Beane. Also said he knew from day he got there that he was supposed to be a leader and that he embraced that role, didn’t have to be told by Beane later that he wanted him to be one.

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

February 27th, 2012
6:34 pm

Good times having those two in the heart of the order. McGriff looks like he found the fountain of youth.

I hope fans realize how much they meant to those early/mid 90s teams.

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

February 27th, 2012
6:38 pm

McGriff and Justice are a HUGE reason why Atlanta has that championship. Justice hit THE homerun, while mercenaries like McGriff, Grissom, Pendleton, and Maddux earned every dollar in those days before Schuerholz broke it up for whatever reason

John Adcox

February 27th, 2012
6:43 pm

Justice. A non-Brave. Amazing. Even setting aside his WS-winning homer, the emergence of Justice, along with Tom Glavine, marked the beginning of the “New Braves” that would go on to win 14 straight. As much as the Murphy trade hurt back in the day, it allowed for the debut of Young Justice (geeky pun intended) and marked a milestone, a turning point.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 27th, 2012
6:43 pm

51-19…soak that up. And they were ours….

Lonnie Smith

February 27th, 2012
6:46 pm

Jon

You forget about the Teixeira trade. That worked out great.

JOSEPH MCNULTY

February 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

A forgotten favorite moment: when Gene Garber struck out Pete Rose and ended the hitting streak. It was a struggle of equals, and Garber won it after Pete fouled off several pitches.

OC

February 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

ESPN reports Freddie Freeman’s workouts results in bench press increase from 165lbs to 260lbs !!!!

GT Alum

February 27th, 2012
6:54 pm

Don’t know why McGriff has been labeled a mercenary by some. He got paid well, butt produced well as a Brave, too. And it’s not like he left for some huge cotract. The Braves traded him to sign the Big Cat.

OC

February 27th, 2012
6:57 pm

Joseph do you remember Pete Rose’s interview after the streak ended “live” I say live as that was one of the first live interviews at the time unedited and no time delay !!! See if you can find it online !

Pauly Icecubes

February 27th, 2012
7:18 pm

Wow, McGriff’s still in terrific shape!

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indianman

February 27th, 2012
8:32 pm

your don.t forget signing of greg maddux after the 1992 season he was a missing link too

Laughing out Loud

February 27th, 2012
9:00 pm

To each his own opinion, I suppose, but I find the negative opinions often expressed here about former as well as current Braves somewhat appalling and to say the least ignorant. A great story and a wonderful positive program to bring positive affirmation and encouragement to the current team. I think the Braves are posed for a fantastic year of baseball. But, then no matter how good it is, there will be the haters reminding them of yesterday’s failure, last year’s lack of performance etc. Get a life people! Let’s go BRAVES!

Skeezix

February 27th, 2012
9:21 pm

I love Crime Dog. Nobody could hit a ball and get it over the wall faster. I hope his presence will inspire these Braves.

FEAR

February 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Pretty awesome seeing the Crime Dog back in a Braves uni. He looks good for 48.

Gumbo

February 27th, 2012
10:21 pm

Crime Dog looks like he could still play 120 games…..

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

February 27th, 2012
10:34 pm

monty

February 27th, 2012
10:55 pm

Nice to see the crime dog in such good shape. So many players go to pot when they get his age.

Who Me?

February 27th, 2012
11:04 pm

Suit ‘em up! We’re going to need another stick or two this year….Man it’s good to see those guys. Can’t wait til Murph gets in camp….

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Chuck

February 27th, 2012
11:26 pm

Great write-up Dave! Looking forward to the 2012 season.

Younger Than That Now

February 27th, 2012
11:30 pm

Always loved to see McGriff’s big swing, and that bat doing its little circle thing in the follow through with his right hand still attached! I always liked that, but no more than that first game… the pressbox fire game… when he was doing it for our Braves! You talk about “catching fire”… that was indeed an awesome night of baseball!

IceColdATLien

February 27th, 2012
11:40 pm

Braves needs

February 27th, 2012
11:45 pm

This was the best article this year bt you Dave….was down in orlando last wednesday and my son got to meet javy. what a class act as are the other alum there now.

LAG

February 28th, 2012
12:06 am

Younger Than That Now -

I bet Dan Uggla watched a lot of Fred McGriff growing up. His swing has the same helicopter finish, but from the other side.

bravesgrl4life

February 28th, 2012
5:29 am

David Justice’s smile is still worth a million $$$! Always been one of my favorite players. People blamed him in his breakup with Hallie Berry, but her subsequent record hasn’t been so stellar. Three sides to every story – his, hers and the truth. I always thought he got the raw end of that deal.

Alan

February 28th, 2012
6:53 am

Great to see those guys in uniform again – it brings back such great memories. Being a lifelong Braves fan that ‘95 season remains the best memory, but for my money the ‘93 season, even though we didn’t make it to the series, was our greatest regular season – 104 wins, sweeping San Fran in that August road trip, then beating them out for the division on the last day of the season. One of the best parts of that season was denying Barry Bonds for the third straight year. Check out this story about that pennant race:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=93pennant

Jimmy Crack

February 28th, 2012
7:44 am

Fred McGriff is one of my favorite all time Braves. The veterans committee will eventually offset the writer’s stupidity and put this man in the Hall of Fame. Crime Dog!!

Jimmy Crack

February 28th, 2012
7:45 am

Scott

February 28th, 2012
7:49 am

“ESPN reports Freddie Freeman’s workouts results in bench press increase from 165lbs to 260lbs !!!!”

There’s no way that he was only benching 165lbs before. Hell, I can put up 260lbs a couple of times and I only weigh 175-180lbs.

Rufus

February 28th, 2012
7:49 am

I know they probably do, but do other teams have this many alumni come back to visit during camps? I think it’s great that they do for the Braves, and it speaks well of the organization and them, but wasn’t sure if other teams experience the same kind of thing.

Scott

February 28th, 2012
7:51 am

OK I just went and read the quotes from Freddie Freeman. I guess it makes sense that he could only bench 160lbs if he had never lifted weights before, but what kind of person who is playing a professional sport doesn’t lift weights? Also, how could the coaches/trainers/etc. have let that happen?

Scott

February 28th, 2012
7:52 am

Oh and if he weighs 240lbs and is only benching 265lbs he needs to keep working. At least this is a good sign that if he was really that weak last year and had that much power at the plate he should have a lot more power this year.

dap01

February 28th, 2012
8:23 am

Non athletes, any man can bench more than 165. What do the trainers even do?

Dr. Don

February 28th, 2012
8:47 am

Not impressed by his bench press – it really doesn’t translate into much in terms of hitting or hitting with power. What could Hammerin’ Hank bench? I’ll bet not much more than Freeman’s 165 and he didn’t seem to lack power. Strength is just one component of power – speed is the other. The bat must move quickly through the hitting zone – bench press does not help much with that.

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2012
8:57 am

Oh and if he weighs 240lbs and is only benching 265lbs he needs to keep working. — Scott

Who gives a rat’s behind what he’s benching? No one. This isn’t an NFL combine. Have you ever in your life heard what Albert Pujols benches? Or Miguel Cabrera?

Irrelevant. And guys with short arms tend to have an advantage over long-armed guys in the bench press anyway. But again, whether a guy benches 250 or 350 is irrelevant to hitting. Freddie just told ESPN to give them some idea of how much stronger he’s gotten since last season.

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2012
9:00 am

I guess it makes sense that he could only bench 160lbs if he had never lifted weights before, but what kind of person who is playing a professional sport doesn’t lift weights? Also, how could the coaches/trainers/etc. have let that happen?

Again, this isn’t football. Baseball teams don’t have their players maxing out on bench-press and measuring that as some sort of progress. Freddie did that on his own during winter workouts, to see where he was at.

Cecil Upshaw's Ghost

February 28th, 2012
9:16 am

Has lying cheat Ryan Braun blamed anyone else for his positive yet today? He is blaming some big super secret black opps hit team for trying to ruin his good name and rep. As far as I am concerned, the name Ryan Braun has REPLACED ARod as the most hated cheat in my book. The stinking bum can go rake hay. I hope he falls flat with Fielder hitting behind him.

urban redneck

February 28th, 2012
9:37 am

two of my favorite guys to wear the braves uniform in my lifetime………..ooooooo, i’m excited!!!!

emmysmom

February 28th, 2012
9:38 am

What a great idea! Welcome back!

RemoW

February 28th, 2012
10:26 am

Trading David Justice was the biggest mistake the Braves ever made. He was the heart guy on Braves and hit the winning home run in our 1 world series. Team was never the same after he was traded.

Ty Cobb

February 28th, 2012
10:32 am

Ahh I am gonna rub my 1995 team auto’d Braves ball with a diaper today and no I am never selling it, no future ungrateful grandchild will ever have it either, it gets cremated with me. David Justice was a gem before his injury, sweet swing and excellent arm. I actually think when he emulated McGriff’s swing was when he tore his shoulder up.

b

February 28th, 2012
10:32 am

Love the alums coming back for spring practice. But McGriff used to drive me crazy with his lackadaisical play at first base. He would ALWAYS make the pitcher come take the throw at first, rather than running to the bag himself. Just too easy going.

atl

February 28th, 2012
10:45 am

Great to see these guys back. ‘95 was such a great memory. And ‘93 Justice and McGriff were in an epic MVP duel AS TEAMMATES. Even if they didn’t win, still pretty legendary. Those were great teams, and the ‘94 Braves I think would’ve done some damage too with Justice and Crime Dog if not for the strike.

Justice was clutch. Held the all-time postseason RBI record until a few years ago. Dude was always coming up with huge hits in the postseason. Since ‘91, every team he was on won the pennant his entire career (even through the one A’s “Moneyball” season).

He played in three more World Series after he left Atlanta, and won one in 2000 with NYY, where he hit 40+ homers and was ALCS MVP after hitting the pennant-winning homer against Seattle in Game 6.

I was devastated when the Bravos traded that dude. Man, those were the golden years.

atl

February 28th, 2012
10:47 am

* – I meant “Since ‘91, every team he was on won their division his entire career” (Braves, Indians Yankees, A’s)

Richie

February 28th, 2012
10:56 am

So glad to see my favorite Brave, David Justice, back home. I really feel Jason should listen to a lot he has to say about hitting and fielding as well. David was a money player in my book, while he was here.

robdawg08

February 28th, 2012
10:59 am

I hope somebody can help Heyward regain his swing. A bad year from him would be harmful to the team.

robdawg08

February 28th, 2012
11:01 am

Yeah, Gabe Kapler could bench 400 but played about 6 non-signifigant years in MLB. Bat speed,stroke,and timing are more important than bench press strength.

reckingball

February 28th, 2012
11:17 am

Laughing out Loud@9:00pm……..In my opinion, you are 100% correct.

beachcomber

February 28th, 2012
11:34 am

Trading David Justice was the biggest mistake the Braves ever made. He was the heart guy on Braves and hit the winning home run in our 1 world series. Team was never the same after he was traded.

Remo – Couldn’t have said it better.

Braves20

February 28th, 2012
11:36 am

Wonder how much Henry Aaron could bench? Whatever the number, didn’t seem to hold him back.

PMC

February 28th, 2012
11:41 am

Justice and Mcgriff remain two of my favorite Braves ever. Nice to see them at Spring Training.

PMC

February 28th, 2012
11:43 am

Here’s hoping Fred will give these Braves his full en dorse ment.

Edd

February 28th, 2012
12:19 pm

Man those were the the good ole days, a lot of of long late night games that had the state of Georgia on it’s feet and proud to be Braves fans, GREAT GREAT memories, they were the best, lets get ot back Atlanta !!!

Edd

February 28th, 2012
12:22 pm

Maybe Deion will fly in !!!

Old-Timers

February 28th, 2012
12:24 pm

It’s great to see these guys helping Brave’s youngsters out……………..maybe Leo Mazzone can come back too and show our young pitchers a thing or two also!

PreyDawg

February 28th, 2012
12:25 pm

Back in the day, Justice was exactly right to say what he said in that World Series about us fans. We were dogging it that year. He said that, got the crowd to come to life (even though he got booed at first) and then delivered on the biggest home run in Braves history.

I for one tip my cap to the guy and am very glad he was a Brave!!

reckingball

February 28th, 2012
12:28 pm

I am ready for the season to start.
I believe that the Braves have a real good shot at taking it all the way to a WS win, this year.
Go Braves!

Lower Payroll

February 28th, 2012
12:32 pm

Just think if the Brave’s let McCann,Bourne,Chipper,Hudson,Prado and Jurrjens go after this year they will have the lowest payroll in baseball!

Sam

February 28th, 2012
12:36 pm

Good to have Justice & Crime Dog in Spring Training…lets do a better job of developing our talent!

Van

February 28th, 2012
12:38 pm

I’m not sure the Murphy trade opened the door for Justice to be a regular. He was brought up and converted to first base the year Nick Esasky had vertigo.

JRHD

February 28th, 2012
1:02 pm

Anyone who gets on here and says Justice and McGriff aren’t true Braves needs to find another team to pull for. Justice has one of the sweetest swings of all time and seeing him in a Braves uniform again brings back memories of Atl Fulco Stadium and the magic that was 1995. And as far as Crime Dog, he is more of a Brave in my mind than a Padre. I just hope that WHEN he goes into Cooperstown he goes in as a Bravo and not as a Padre.

md

February 28th, 2012
1:05 pm

Weight lifting as an issue?

Seems someone needs to take a peek back into history…..as far as I can tell, the only weight lifting Babe Ruth did was 12 oz curls/regressive. His workout was his nightlife. And think Hank had a regular schedule in the weight room? Many of them spent the winter working actual jobs……there is a HOF full of them.

PMC

February 28th, 2012
1:15 pm

McGriff is a reminder and a testament of just how difficult it was/is to have 35 HR’s in a season over and over and over again without PED’s.

Mark's for the Braves

February 28th, 2012
1:32 pm

Always thought when Justice left the Braves that really part of the Braves soul left with him. It kind of has been a roller coaster in RF ever since unless Heyward ever nails that position down for good. Justice was a class act. The episode of him in “In His Own Words” spoke volumes on how much he loved Atlanta and the Braves.

Mark's for the Braves

February 28th, 2012
1:35 pm

Have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Crime Dog. McGriff spoke softly and had a darn big stick–and he could play some first base too. Man was he a clutch hitter–and for power!

bigeasy830

February 28th, 2012
1:35 pm

McGriff looks good, sign him, looks like he can still give us 20-25 HRs and bat around 275 :-)

Really?

February 28th, 2012
1:37 pm

I grew up watching Rod Carew in Minnesota. He was lucky if he weighed 165lb and look what he did (he did balloon up a bit when he went to California and played 1st base… played 2nd in Minnnie).

Mark's for the Braves

February 28th, 2012
1:44 pm

Loved Rod Carew, Really ? He was one of the purest hitters ever in the game. He just peppered the ball to all fields and hit an automatic .330 every year. I always thought he would hit .400 some day and I’m surprised he never did it.

md

February 28th, 2012
1:45 pm

And I’d take MeGriff’s old teammate, Mr Fluffy himself Tony Gwynn, every day and twice on Sunday. That .338 lifetime batting average should show folks that optimum physical attributes is trumped by pure hitting ability.

Mark (another one)

February 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

I know roster decisions and thus trades are often driven by the budget, but as a fan, I don’t care. I hated to see Justice go, and I followed him whereever he went. Sometimes he said things that upset people but so be it. Its nice to see him back with Chipper, the two of them smiling so big it must hurt.

When I was growing up, the Dodgers used to have a lot of their alumni return during spring training and speak with the younger players about the honor of wearing the uniform, and how to conduct themelves. Kofaux and others always said they still have that youthful rush of spring baseball in their blood, and it was good to get around the kids and remember when. They also spent time with the younger players during the season, helping them get involved with the Los Angeles community.

I say this because its not only the Braves that utilize their alumni in a beneficial role with their younger players. Its part of the fun of spring training with most teams. The thing for the Braves is that many of the early heros of the 14 straight streak are retired and available.

robdawg08

February 28th, 2012
3:08 pm

One week into spring training and Freeman’s hurt ? Maybe he should have been running 3 miles a day instead of lifting weights ??? Incredible.

robdawg08

February 28th, 2012
3:12 pm

“Popped his knee”. Dang, that sounds like torn ACL.

honeybee

February 28th, 2012
3:22 pm

Hanson hurt, Wilson hurt, and now Freeman. Hopefully, we will get rid of all these early and not at the end of the year like the last two years.

Bulldawgman49

February 28th, 2012
4:27 pm

The good olde days, What a great team they were . don;t know if you will see a pitching rotation like
that ever again , even though we could win the big one only once still exicting time to be a Brave fan .

David the Shepherd

February 28th, 2012
5:47 pm

Nice reporting, DOB. Carroll been giving you pointers?

All I'm Saying Is....

February 28th, 2012
6:00 pm

LOVE MCGRIFF AND JUSTICE! NEITHER DID ANY WRONG IN MY BOOK! ECSTATIC THAT THE ORGANIZATION BROUGHT THEM IN AND LET THEM SHARE INSIGHTS WITH THE CURRENT BRAVES! THOSE TWO ARE BRAVES FOR LIFE IN MY BOOK! (AND YES I’M SHOUTING BY TYPING IN ALL CAPS!)

LET’S GO BRAVES!

TP

February 28th, 2012
7:49 pm

Crime dog could probably have a second career if he shared how he has stayed in such great shape.
Then again he could eat pizza everyday because of the genes he was blessed with.

phil

February 28th, 2012
8:00 pm

Scott
February 28th, 2012
7:51 am

OK I just went and read the quotes from Freddie Freeman. I guess it makes sense that he could only bench 160lbs if he had never lifted weights before, but what kind of person who is playing a professional sport doesn’t lift weights? Also, how could the coaches/trainers/etc. have let that happen?

*********
one that gets hurt catching a ball is one who doesn’t lift weights, perhaps.

Hope he’s basically ok.

McGriff was awesome. Good to see him around. Lol at him being in shape, unlike Heavy Hinske who never is!

GOP Cannon

February 28th, 2012
9:25 pm

David Justice is awesome… he got us to, and won the 1995 World Series for the Braves. Justice was an “impact player” and should be in our organization’s hall of fame.

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