Former Braves prospect has no hard feelings against hometown team

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Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

Tyler Flowers says he has no hard feelings against the Braves.

Flowers, who had his No. 21 baseball jersey retired by Blessed Trinity this week, made his major-league debut with the Chicago White Sox last September.

He was drafted by the hometown (and his beloved) Braves in 2005 and considered one of the organization’s most promising players before being traded to Chicago as part of the deal for Javier Vazquez just over a year ago.

“Being born and raised in the Atlanta area, I was just like every other kid who wanted to play for the hometown team, whether it be baseball, football or even hockey,” Flowers said.

“It was a dream of mine to play for the Braves. It was also a dream to play for the Falcons. But you never know what life has in store for you. Ultimately, (the trade) was a great move for my career.”

However, Flowers admitted that it took a little time to adjust to the shock of the trade.

“It was tough at first. Being a minor-league guy, with no experience in the majors, you kind of feel pulled around. But when I had time to sit back and analyze it, teams trade for players because they want them.

“Chicago wanted me and felt like I could help them. It definitely fired me up to work as hard I could to get up (to the majors) … it all worked out for the best.”

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Flowers got his first big-league hit against the Royals on Sept. 19 in his first start. It was a big relief for Flowers, who had gone hitless in four previous game appearances as a pinch-hitter.

“It was haunting me … I’m glad to get it out of the way,” Flowers said with a laugh.

Where does Flowers see himself fitting in with the White Sox for next season?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I’m preparing as if I’ll be the starting catcher. Whether or not it happens, I don’t know. But that’s the goal. If that doesn’t happen, then I’ll be the backup catcher. If they (Chicago) don’t want that, then I’ll go get ready in Triple A.”

Flowers is the first Blessed Trinity athlete to have his jersey retired. “He made the right move with baseball, but I would’ve liked to have seen what would’ve happened if Tyler had played college football,” said Ricky Turner, the school’s athletics director. “He was really, really good in football.”

Flowers (10-15 pounds heavier in high school) was offered a football scholarship at fullback by Wisconsin and drew the interest of several other schools, including Auburn and Georgia, before declaring his baseball intentions.

30 comments Add your comment

TNT

January 8th, 2010
11:18 am

ive never been first

Kashi

January 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

I see Braves will be the 2009 Mets version with 1 or 2 key players injuries. All we are doing is collecting garbage to save $$$ and hoping they produce WINNING runs. With this kind of economic and 1 to none fun player to watch, seats will be empty and in 2011 we can’t afford to offer arb to JJ. Way to goooooo

wayn-0

January 8th, 2010
12:53 pm

Come on, hinske replaces norton, a full year of McClouth, Diaz, Prado, Hudson & Hanson. No Kelly or Francoeur. Heyward & Schafer (now healthy) waiting in the wings. Eyes fixed McCann. a little more mature Escobar. An adjusted Kawakami. Yea I know no big trades or free agent signings for a solid power bat, but the team so far is growing on me. big IF’s is bullpen & 1st base. I’m not gonna judge until a month into the season. Can’t wait for Spring Training.

bubba

January 8th, 2010
1:19 pm

Team is built around an aging third baseman that is threatening retirement if he still sux and a starting pitcher who had Tommy John surgery that still hasn’t proven to be back yet. If everyone has a FULL productive year,Great but if no one can offer any excitement it will all be a shame.

my-take

January 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

i love the Debbi-Downers that post on the ajc regularly.
braves won’t compete. we’re too old. i can’t believe we traded vazquez. liberty media doesn’t care. blah blah blah. You’re the same fans that don’t come to the games anyway, so who cares what you think?
i, for one, am excited about 2010. The debuting of a potential new local superstar (jason heyward), an entire season of a our young phenom (Tommy Hanson), and watch Chipper Jones as he continues his march toward the hall-of-fame.

Add to that, we have McCann, Jurrjens, Escobar, and a healthy McLouth!

We probably won’t win our division, but we’re gonna make the season exciting, for sure! Wild Card is ours for the taking!

Firstisforlosers

January 8th, 2010
1:36 pm

Not first!!!! (first is overrated)

eric the elder

January 8th, 2010
1:39 pm

The Braves announced today the signing of Elmer “Pappy” Brown to anchor the outfield. Frank Wren commented, “Pappy is 48 years old, but we think his best years are ahead of him.”

Brown was sidelined in 2006 by shoulder surgery, by knee surgery in 2007, by elbow surgery in 2008, and by gall bladder surgery in 2009. “He has stayed fit, though,” said Wren, “and he will be a presence in the clubhouse.”

The Braves announcement awaits the usual physical exam. “We don’t expect Pappy’s enlarged prostate to be a factor,” claimed Wren. “Besides, his contract is for $12,000 per year, so if Pappy can’t pass the physical, money will be freed up to pursue a whole host of other washed up players.”

Pappy Brown’s only comment was that he had always wanted to play for Bobby Cox.

don

January 8th, 2010
1:42 pm

Flowers joined a growing list of young players who escaped the Braves. I hope he exceeds all expectations. Andrus, Wainwright, Marquis, Saltalamacchia, Feliz, Harrison, and a number of others were fortunate to have the opportunity to move on. Too bad Schuerholz and Wren haven’t moved elsewhere. As long as they remain, another wretched Teixeira or Drew trade is possible.

Stone

January 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

who cares if Tyler Flowers has any “hard feelings” towards the braves. the team has an all-star catcher under contract. SO that means Flowers was going out and we all knew it. He’s probably playing major league baseball next season. He should be thanking the Braves.

F-105 Thunderchief

January 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

Was glad to have Vazquez on the team last season. Considering we traded him away for a used vinyl recliner and some tattered romance novels, I’d like to see what Tyler could do at first base.

a

January 8th, 2010
2:03 pm

hard feelings? are we picking sides of a kickball team here? for gods sake, he was a minor league ballplayer.

John OTC

January 8th, 2010
2:21 pm

Slow day at the office Michael Carvell?

Dale

January 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

Some of you are missing the boat. The “Hard Feelings” title is the writers hype to get you to read the story.

dooley

January 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

if we could almost catch the phillies last year, we should challenge again this year with a little more pop in the lineup.

Mike Lum

January 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

don is stretching a bit to make his point. Many of the players he mentioned are at best average (Salty, Harrison, etc. How many good years has Marquis had? He’s on his third team since the Braves. You forgot Andy Marte…what has HE done? Had Wainwright/Marquis not been traded, the string of championships would’ve ended years earlier. How bout when the braves traded Joe Toree? The players the braves got in return performed just as good. Vasquez had a career year…can he repeat? It’s great to see a local talent do well…but don’t the braves already have an all star catcher? Now we have a top pitching prospect AND five solid starters. Considering the Braves budget restrictions, they compete well against the big budget Phils and Mutts, as dooley says. Anyone wishing to kick in a few more million can then complain on how it’s spent. I am excited to read several positive posts here…good job!traded

Tomy Fournier

January 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

REMENBER THIS…FIRSTTTTTTTTTTT…ALL THE WAY….YES!!

Branch Rickey

January 8th, 2010
6:41 pm

Flowers could have been groomed for 1st base. He was traded away for Vazquez who was traded away for nothing. This is why the Braves have not been to the post-season since 2005, its fans gasping on the fumes of “14 consecutive division championships”, and paying big bucks to an old third baseman who thinks he was a significant contributor to the Braves’ glory years of 1991-1996.

Geezer

January 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

Team no better than last year…..Cabrerra, Glaus, Hinske, all second line walking wounded Wren retreads….3rd place at best most likely a 4th place finish….

Kenny J

January 8th, 2010
11:42 pm

Wayn-o, I’m with you.Hinske over Norton: no comparison. McClouth for 162. Diaz: a growing-better-every-year oddity, Prado over Kelly. Hanson all year, Hudson back, Francoeur where he may well jive, but we all learned it wasn’t going to be here (go Jeff! We love you and wish you well). Heyward & Schafer in the wings. Hopefully, Wayn-o, you’re on it about an adjusted Kawakami – which would be awesome. And that bullpen is legitimately six deep to support a solid 5 man rotation. Melky Cabrera isn’t Matt Holiday or Jason Bay, be he’s a clear 2010 upgrade over the 2009 version of Garret Anderson. Wren has put together a nice 25 man roster with his upper econd tier salary limitations. Good pitching, good defense,good bench, and competitive albeit un-awesome bats 1 through 8, The wish list is Chipper. Old, possessing too much 2010 budget money, critical to a team’s success in the #3 spot. I hope it’s still there Chipper, we love you too, but I suspect Wren would be happy to have those millions for someone more certain in the lineup’s 3 spot. Anyway, good competitive team short of awesome clout but not devoid of it. The team is growing on me too. See you in August as we take it all in for what it is. And hopefully October again!

Goober Peas

January 9th, 2010
12:31 am

I like to eat the clods of dirt that I find under my seat at Turner Field. Flowers is an awesome prospect. I like his crouch method.

Robert

January 9th, 2010
6:16 am

Trading away young talent for a player that will remain with the organization for more than a year is one thing. Making a move for a one year rental is another, which seems to be the norm lately. Just think how things would have been if the Peavy deal had been made. Ouch!

Tiny

January 9th, 2010
6:40 am

It seems management feels the Braves are always “one” player away. The yard sale of youth the Braves have shown over the last few years is alarming. I think eveyone will agree the Tex and Drew trades were the worst. BTW Boras players don’t sign long term with the Braves. Stop trading for them!!! You can talk about improvements with the team but certain things are lacking, and have been. No true leadoff hitter. The majority of the team has a life time avg around .250. We have one player that can hit over 30 HR’s, if healthy. No team speed. The team will depend on not one but two pitchers near the end of their career to finish games. Most of the moves we’ve seen for the past two years “could” work out but can be viewed as made in haste or poor judgement within a couple of months. I’m a Wagner fan but basically swapping Soriano and Gonzo for our current two closing pitchers, and only for minimal savings, isn’t good business sense. Don’t forget we also lost our first round pick with the signing. We’ll see the direction of this team after this season when the new skipper is hired.That will determine if this organization will stay on the porch or under it.

Frank

January 9th, 2010
6:48 am

Has anyone wondered who will play third IF Chipper retires at season’s end? No one on the farm. I bet he walks if Cox holds firm and retires.

ugaaccountant

January 9th, 2010
10:14 am

We should have looked for a way to acquire pitching without giving away Flowers. One way would have been to not acquire more pitchers than we needed. But I suppose that’s expecting too much, for a cash strapped organization to only buy what they need. Instead of using the funds to build a well rounded club, they spent them on far more pitching than needed, and thus had to turn right around 1 year later and trade away a cy young contender. Brilliant long term planning by Wren :(

ugaaccountant

January 9th, 2010
10:17 am

Frank – Glaus might move back to 3rd, if he has a bad season and thus remains affordable. If Glaus has a good season, no way in hell the Braves pay him what he’ll ask for.

Otherwise, we’ll have to move either Yunel or Prado there, and hope that we can plug that hole with Infante or a similar player to him.

But you are right, right now there are no 3rd basemen or middle infielders remotely capable of replacing Chipper in our minor league system.

snapdrop

January 9th, 2010
10:42 am

I’m just ready to watch the team play it out. We don’t really know what is going to happen. The yanks make you think that you have to buy a ring. That is what’s messing up the game for me. It’s either the yanks or the redsox and or the phills. That’s boring and if it continues I can see myself not watching baseball period! Why watch the whole season when you know who’s going to win in march? Braves ended the 2009 season on a high note but they still have some big issues. Why hold on to Chipper but let A.Jones go so quickly with no REAL replacement? That outfield sucked on so many levels last year and the year before. And Mr wren had such a short leash with everyone else…. but chipper. Wren spent way too much money for Chipper sorry! Then he want’s to penny pinch on everyone else lmao. And Chipper just seems to be hurt 45 percent of the season. Hamstring this, finger that or whatever. Bottom line that money was for the silver slugger award. He only won that because he played hurt so much in 2008. First base has always been different every year so who cares about the two scrubs we just singed. There is not alot of speed but more than we had to start last year. Braves need to stop waiting on the three run shot and play more small ball. Steal a base or two. Mayb hit and run every blue moon, or actually hit the ball to the outfield on a sac fly (sucked last year). The D should be a little better ? about first tho. Pitching is ok. I don’t like billy as the finisher. Didn’t like who we had last year either. Idk folks we might barely make the wild card with some key injuries. NO ring for bobby tho

Chipper Jones

January 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

I’ve got cattle to feed on my two ranches ! If you really think I’m retiring after 2010 with two years remaining on a $14 mil per season contract, you must be as delusional as Frank Wren. I’m the
face of this organization. This is my team !

Bobby Cox

January 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

I’ve got a Melky/Diaz platoon in mind for leftfield. Yeah, Diaz hit .328. But, you know me, I’ve gotta have a platoon somewhere. Too bad Kelly is with Arizona now. I begged Frank to keep him. Can’t give up on Kelly. Duh.

don

January 9th, 2010
12:22 pm

Mike Lum never looks at reality and, thus, is the perfect example of why the Braves are prostitutes who are continually screwed in trades.

He should change his name to Mike Lemming.

Roja

January 9th, 2010
6:11 pm

But remember, it hasn’t been 65 years since your hometown team played in a World Series. And it hasn’t been 100+ years since they won one either. What would you ungrateful, so-called “Braves fans” be saying if the Cubs were your hometown team?????