Archive for the ‘atlanta braves’ Category

Braves players are soccer fans

The World Cup match between the Netherlands and Spain was playing on televisions in the Braves’ clubhouse and shortstop Andrelton Simmons was the most interested observer.

Simmons is a native of Curacao, which is a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He twice celebrated scores by the Netherlands by running through the clubhouse shouting “Gooooal!”

The Netherlands went on to defeat Spain 5-1 in a group play match.

Braves right-hander Julio Tehran also was showing his World Cup pride. He had the soccer jersey of his native Colombia displayed prominently in his locker stall.

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Braves’ Jordan Walden gets loss in rehab start

Jordan Walden had mixed results in his first rehab appearance for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves on Thursday, suffering the loss in a 6-0 rain-shortened game against the Columbus Clippers at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.

Walden started for the G-Braves, who dropped their third in a row. And fans got to see the best and the worst of the Atlanta Braves reliever who is recovering from a hamstring injury. He struck out Jose Ramirez looking and Tyler Holt swinging. But when he struck out Adam Abraham, the third strike was a wild pitch sending Abraham to first base. Then former Atlanta Braves reserve Elliot Johnson hit a two-run home run.

Walden threw 14 strikes in his 23 pitches and his two-thirds of an inning. “I felt good until I got the runner on first base,” he said. “Then I just felt a little rusty with a runner on base. Didn’t feel comfortable and threw a pitch where I didn’t want it and Elliot hit it out.”

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Angels-Braves on June 15 moves to night

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, in its 25th season, has selected the June 15 Los Angeles Angels’ visit to Turner Field to play the Braves as an 8 p.m. start. The game originally was scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

Dan Shulman, analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney will provide commentary for the telecast.

The Sunday Night Baseball schedule through Aug. 3 as of Thursday:

June 1, Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers

June 8, Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

June 15, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Braves

June 29, Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

July 13, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

July 20, Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

Aug. 3, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

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For a 2nd act as a pro, ex-Brave Burkett bowls

You may remember John Burkett as the journeyman right-handed pitcher who surprisingly made the 2001 National League All-Star team while with the Braves.

Now, a decade after he retired from major league baseball and living in Texas, and despite a knee injury sustained while skiing two years ago, Burkett, 49, is aiming for a bowling career on the 50-plus circuit and will continue to knock some rust off beginning Monday in Shawnee, Okla., in the PBA Wolf Open. The event is the first leg of Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort PBA Summer Swing series.

He spoke to the PBA’s Bill Vint about his goals:

  • “When my 49th birthday came along, I started thinking about the PBA50 Tour, so I got my (PBA) card. The Summer Swing came along, I live in Fort Worth, which is only three hours away, and things just fell into place, so it was a no-brainer for me to enter.”
  • “I wanted to be a professional bowler before I ever took up baseball. Bowling was my favorite sport, for sure.”
  • “A lot of …

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Ex-Brave Julio Franco to play in independent league

He turns 56 in August, but Julio Franco won’t accept that his playing days are over. Almost seven years since he last played in the big leagues, Franco joined the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League as a player/coach.

Playing for the Cats will allow Franco to play professionally in his fifth decade. He signed his first pro contract with the Phillies in 1978 and made his major league debut with them in 1982 and was National League Rookie of the Year the next season. His last season in the majors was 2007, with the Braves.

Julio Franco is congratulated after a hit in 2007.

Julio Franco is congratulated after a hit in 2007.

Franco plans to join the Cats for their first homestand of the season, which begins Tuesday against the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings.

Franco was 42 when the Braves bought his contract from the Mexico City Tigers. At an age when most players walk away from the game, Franco flourished again. He batted .291 in 501 games with the Braves, hitting 29 homers and driving in 179 runs.

In his 23 major …

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‘Screaming indian’ logo returning to Braves gear

The screaming indian was part of the Braves logo when the franchise moved here from Milwaukee in 1966. (Uni Watch)

The screaming indian was part of the Braves logo when the franchise moved here from Milwaukee in 1966. (Uni Watch)

ESPN’s Uni Watch blog unveiled the upcoming baseball season’s new batting practice hats.

Among the most notable new designs is the Braves’ cap, which includes the screaming indian logo that has not been a part of the Braves’ uniform since 1989. The new cap features the yelling brave in red stitching on a blue rimmed hat.

In 2012, the Braves introduced an “alternate home” uniform that was similar to what the team wore when the franchise moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. The cream-colored threads did not feature a tomahawk nor the screaming indian. The left sleeve of the new jersey has a crossed tomahawk instead of the screaming indian logo that appeared on the 1966 jerseys.

What do you think of the new Brave batting practice hat?

  • I like it, may even buy it (73%, 3,318 Votes)
  • Couldn’t care less. Go (insert favorite team here)! (18%, 813 Votes)
  • I’m …

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Baseball investigating homophobic slur worn by ex-Brave

The stickers worn by Yunel Escobar contained a homophobic slur.

The stickers worn by Yunel Escobar contained a homophobic slur.

Major League Baseball is investigating former Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar after he wore a sticker containing a homophobic slur written in Spanish during a game.

Escobar, now with the Blue Jays, wore the sticker as eye black Saturday against the Red Sox. Players wear eye black to reduce glare but Escobar’s had words written on it.

The message was first noticed by a fan who took a photo of it from behind the Toronto dugout and posted it on photo-hosting site Flickr.

Click here if you want a translation of the slur. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The Blue Jays released a statement Monday night, saying: “The Toronto Blue Jays do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Yunel Escobar during Saturday’s game. The club takes this situation seriously and is investigating the matter.”

The Jays will hold a news conference at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday and Escobar is expected to …

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Is there a safer way to slide?

Sunday was not the first time Andrelton Simmons has arrived on-base head first. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Sunday was not the first time Andrelton Simmons has arrived on-base head first. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Braves rookie Andrelton Simmons fractured the fifth metacarpal on his right hand Sunday against the Phillies making a head-first slide into second base. Simmons could miss up to six weeks.

Braves' center fielder Michael Bourn could not beat the tag of the Phillies' Ryan Howard. (AP)

Braves’ center fielder Michael Bourn could not beat the tag of the Phillies’ Ryan Howard. (AP)

Simmons is not the first player hurt this season making a head-first slide. (The Nats’ Roger Bernadina agonized after a head-first dive against the Blue Jays earlier this season.) And Simmons is not the only Brave to approach a base head-first. (Leadoff hitter Michael Bourn often dives in attempting to beat a high throw to first.)

But it does beg the question of whether players are taking an unnecessary risk. Do players lose an edge by sliding feet first? Of course, there are those who will argue that sliding feet-first puts the defensive player at risk. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb made …

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What will Braves do now that Phillies have Lee?

Cliff Lee has reportedly opted to rejoin the Phillies. (Matt Slocum, AP)

Cliff Lee has reportedly opted to rejoin the Phillies. (Matt Slocum, AP)

Free-agent left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee has reportedly spurned the offerings of the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers and opted to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies – the team that traded him away to land Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2000, Lee is 102-61 with a 3.85 ERA in nine major league seasons. He has excelled in the postseason, going 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA for Philadelphia and Texas in the past two years, including 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA against the Yankees.

According to the Associated Press, Lee has accepted the Phillies’ preliminary offer of a $100 million, five-year contract.

Lee passed up an extra $50 million from the New York Yankees to join a rotation that includes Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt.

How does that stack up against Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens?

The deal clearly makes Philadelphia the favorites to win the N.L. East …

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What should Chipper do?

Braves' third baseman Chipper Jones could only watch from the dugout on Wednesday. (AP)

Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones could only watch on Wednesday. (AP)

It was widely reported earlier in the season that Braves’ veteran Chipper Jones was contemplating retirement.

The 38-year-old third baseman suffered what could be a season-ending knee injury in Tuesday’s win over the Astros on a spectacular grab behind the bag and leaping throw.

Jones told the AJC’s David O’Brien that Tuesday’s injury was not like the ACL tear he suffered as a rookie in 1994.

Jones is batting .265 with 84 hits, 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 317 at-bats. He is hitting .400 with four homers in nine games in August. He is signed through the 2012 season.

An MRI on Thursday confirmed the six-time All-Star suffered a torn ACL on the play.

With a long-term rehab ahead, what do you think he will do? Play through the pain? Sit out the rest of season? Retire?

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