Braves’ Heyward, Freeman make S.I. cover (uh, danger?)

SIcover

Let's hope this turns out better than the S.I. cover below.

Somebody must think the Braves are going to be pretty good, because Sports Illustrated just slapped them on the magazine cover.

Wait, is this good news?

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward can be seen smiling on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. The headline reads: “The Boys of Spring. Only 21, Freddie Freeman And Jason Heyward Are The Cornerstones Of Atlanta’s Brave New World.”

Let us hope this turns out better than the S.I. cover in August of 2005, when Jeff Francoeur was pictured holding a bat, with the headline reading: “The Natural. Atlanta Rookie Jeff Francoeur Is Off To An Impossibly Hot Start. Can Anyone Be This Good?”

0829_largeAnd then we found out. Also, the Sports llustrated “cover jinx” has become rather infamous through the years.

But I’ll take the Freeman-Heyward cover as good news for the Braves.

Here’s an excerpt from Ben Reiter’s story, “Brave New World,” which focuses on their age (21) and their friendship:

That 21 equals adulthood would no doubt come as news to the scores of Americans of that age who at this moment are contemplating which rumsoaked location might host the best spring break. But neither Freeman nor Heyward has any doubt that they have reached the age of maturity, and neither does their organization. “If you put a screen in front of them, and you couldn’t tell who was on the other side, the way they talked to you, you’d think these guys are 27- or 28-year-old men,” says Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Assuming Freeman makes the Opening Day lineup, they will be the third- and fourth-youngest regular position players in the majors—only Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton are younger—and they will become the Braves’ first pair of 21-or-under regulars. Those bits of trivia are of no concern to Wren. “When you’re talented, I don’t think anyone’s going to ask for your birth certificate,” he says. “The umpires don’t card.”

The S.I. cover story may make some nervous. But wouldn’t you agree high expectations are better than low expectations?

By Jeff Schultz

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79 comments Add your comment

@DanWeiner

February 22nd, 2011
11:50 am

Jt

February 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

I care! I like it when my team gets publicity. Now they just have to live up to the expectations!

mclOUTh

February 22nd, 2011
11:56 am

Better than having Nate on the cover with the sub-title “Why Does This Man Still Have a Job?” Or “$7 Million Reasons Why The Braves Struggle in CF”

mclOUTh

February 22nd, 2011
11:56 am

I’ll be picking up this issue and framing it….who knows right?

RDUCK

February 22nd, 2011
11:57 am

jinx!!! Never do you want to make the preseason cover of SI. Somehow, I don’t think it will make that much of a difference for the 2011 Braves. Still too many holes in the lineup and out of place players. Hopefully Freddi can coach them up and better manage the games than Bobby did. I like Bobby but he seemed to get outcoached in alot of big series. 2nd or 3rd in the East is about what I see for them. Hopefully a wildcard birth…

Tomahawk Choppin'

February 22nd, 2011
11:57 am

Daniel H

February 22nd, 2011
11:57 am

Frenchy was cursed on his own, SI cover or not. That cover didn’t turn him into a crybaby that threw a hissy fit when he got sent down to the minors for a weekend.

dick waters

February 22nd, 2011
11:59 am

Jeff Francoeur was bound to fail long before he even reached the majors. These guys will be fine.

ormewood

February 22nd, 2011
12:01 pm

I think this is great! It’s not their preseason prognostication issue. Everyone is going to pick the Phillies anyway. The Braves potentially have two young, homegrown cornerstones for years to come.

Marcus

February 22nd, 2011
12:07 pm

dang, Jeff, you are crankin’ out more blogs than Octomob does babies. I just got finished tossing a response on the ‘Melo trade/Hawks core vs. the NBA blog and then ‘ lo and behold …’ another J. Schultz offering ……..
nice cover … might have to order it from SI to hang somewhere … if only I had a man-cave.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

February 22nd, 2011
12:08 pm

The SI kiss of death the season may be in trouble

Innocent Bystander

February 22nd, 2011
12:11 pm

Great to get some national attention, especially for our young crop of guys. I’ll definitely be picking up a copy tomorrow.

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DHD

February 22nd, 2011
12:14 pm

PLEASE tell them that “Braves New World” is older than Satchel Paige. Do these headline guys think they are being clever??? Just stop it with the Braves New World stuff.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
12:17 pm

At least one Atlanta pro sports franchise has superstar(s) in the making.

idot

February 22nd, 2011
12:19 pm

RDuck..11:57…….Way to put a positive spin on it?

Braves will win the East this year.

jeffrey d

February 22nd, 2011
12:26 pm

At least the cover didn’t say “Brave New World.” It seems like every time a national publication wants to talk about the Braves, they give it that title.

jeffrey d

February 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Oh wait, it does say that

:roll:

Puma

February 22nd, 2011
12:27 pm

I think they’ll be OK – its not quite like having your picture with a headline of “the Natural”, talk about a recipe for disaster. It should have read “Natty Lite” instead.

Cam Newton

February 22nd, 2011
12:33 pm

I still have a few laptops fo sale!

jwilli120

February 22nd, 2011
12:40 pm

can anyone envision how scary good this brave squad would
have been with endrus and feliz and wainwright on it? qiut
trading away great players for rentals!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GO BRAVES

DOUBLE G

February 22nd, 2011
12:42 pm

At least we have awhile before the season starts. Aren’t the jinxes usually for one week, or until the next cover?

Now, if you keep talking it up, the jinx fairy will not be able to forget, and will continually haunt them both. So. Have a little fun for a day or so, then FORGET ABOUT IT!!!!!

It’s the only way to keep it from becoming a jinxathon.

JROLL1

February 22nd, 2011
12:47 pm

CONGRATS TO THE YOUNG GUNS! I THINK THE JINX IS ABOUT TO GET IMPLODED! GO BRAVES!!!

Tami

February 22nd, 2011
12:50 pm

They sure look good on that SI cover. Here’s hoping that they’re even better on the field this season and for seasons to come! They give us fans a lot of hope. My first reaction (remembering Francoeur) was “oh, no!”, I must admit. LOL.

Stockdog

February 22nd, 2011
12:53 pm

Oh Crap! We are in trouble. Will someone tell SI to never visit the state of GA and put our sports stars on the cover. Kiss of death. Heyward will break his hand and Freeman will blow out his knee running to first before game 20. I hate you SI. Except the swimsuit edition.

Sluggo

February 22nd, 2011
1:01 pm

and Brian McCann is the best of all of them and he’s not been on the cover yet. How is that?

Dozer

February 22nd, 2011
1:05 pm

JS, I served with Jason Heyward, I knew Jason Heyward, Jason Heyward was a friend of mine. JS, Jeff Francouer is no Jason Heyward…….

C. Tampa Ironworse

February 22nd, 2011
1:17 pm

I can’t believe they snubbed Greg Notron like that! SI Headline>>>Braves Greag Norton: A poor man’s Nate McClouth patroling Left Field. Who WOULDN’T buy that mag???

C. Tampa Ironworse

February 22nd, 2011
1:20 pm

The Young Guns: Hanson, JJ, Prado, Jay Hey, Fab 5 Fred, Mac? Not too shabby. And with an actual manager running the team? Maybe…just maybe

jeffrey d

February 22nd, 2011
1:21 pm

As opposed to a fake manager?

Keeball

February 22nd, 2011
1:25 pm

Tomorrow will be my 1,700 issue of SI…couldn’t ask for a better cover!!!!!!

Matt

February 22nd, 2011
1:28 pm

People who believe in jinxes and are superstitious must not believe in their own talents. Jeff did post back to back 100 RBI seasons and hit 29 and 19 HR respectively. If the league adjusted they would’ve adjusted faster than the stats say. I believe something else happened. Maybe his body wore down, inury, sense of entitlement, don’t know for sure but his numbers have tanked after that 07 season.

Woody

February 22nd, 2011
1:31 pm

Sometimes a magazine cover is just a magazine cover.

DC

February 22nd, 2011
1:32 pm

Frenchy demise was his ability to swing at every ball thrown…Heyward has poise and knows the strike zone very well…big difference…

papadawg

February 22nd, 2011
1:34 pm

OH NO either they will both get hurt or hit 200.

Supes

February 22nd, 2011
1:37 pm

The Madden and SI jinxes are still around…all we can do is hope for the best.

RDUCK

February 22nd, 2011
1:38 pm

idot@ 12:19… I am not a huge baseball fan but I do follow the Braves and the sport. I am just saying that I believe this roster still has many holes in it. CF, LF, Closer are all suspect at best at this point. 1B is still a question as we have not seen just how good Freeman will be at the major league level. 3B is a big question with the health and production of Chipper and his recovery. 2B is a defensive question as Uggla is not known for his glove that much. I truly hope they do well this season, but they have too many question marks to pick them ahead of the Phillies. Just trying to give my opinion. If it upsets you, then you really need to evaluate your priorities my friend…

Mo Money

February 22nd, 2011
1:39 pm

I agree with the guys from the first few posts above. Francoeur’s downfall was 100% his own doing, not anyone elses (I think it gets brought up more than it should because he acted like an arrogant douche about the whole situation). These 2 guys have more talent now at 21 than Francoeur had or will ever have. Sure they’ll have bumps in the road but who doesn’t at that age. They’ll do fine.

chipload

February 22nd, 2011
1:40 pm

Don’t worry about a Jinx. It’s not like it’s the cover of Madden!

Bryant

February 22nd, 2011
1:47 pm

I would rather have two 21’s than two 31’s with the caption reading can they recapture the magic. These young men are going to be good for a long time. The big question is will ownership pony up to keep them?? Please Mr. Turner buy back our Braves.

David

February 22nd, 2011
1:58 pm

The SI Cover Jinx is a non-issue. Last year’s MLB Preview Issue had Roy Halladay (and a small picture of Brian McCann) on the cover. Looking at how Halladay’s season turned out, I don’t think Heyward and Freeman should be too concerned.

Dave

February 22nd, 2011
1:59 pm

Perhaps the jinx will cause Alex Gonzalez and Nate Mclouth to unexpectedly announce their retirements. Oh, wait… that wouldn’t be a jinx.

SWAT Native

February 22nd, 2011
2:06 pm

They could have made it a threesome with Jordan Schaefer.

jbird

February 22nd, 2011
2:09 pm

A jinx is only a jinx if you suck….these guys will be fine!

Class of '98

February 22nd, 2011
2:20 pm

Michael Jordan is the all-time leader in SI covers, Muhammad Ali is 2nd.

Some jinx.

Ariel Bumgardner

February 22nd, 2011
2:23 pm

Leave Jeff alone!

Cam was the exception

February 22nd, 2011
2:28 pm

Sorry Dawg fans, but-Cam was on the cover this year BEFORE the NC game (actually the SECCG game also), and it didn’t hurt him or Auburn a bit…

Notable exception to the rule…:)

WDE

Kirby Smart

February 22nd, 2011
2:45 pm

Mark Ingram was on the cover late in 2009. He would later win the Heisman Trophy and a BCS National Championship.

Suzy

February 22nd, 2011
3:09 pm

I think it’s great to see the national sports media paying attention to Atlanta and its sports teams, particularly positive attention. I feel that SI has fairly ignored us through the years – and ESPN has as well. You’d think we were a small market – we are not!

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