Lowe has game
Jeff Francoeur would obviously love to avoid an arbitration hearing. But before going to play tennis with his wife Friday night, the young outfielder’s greatest concerns actually centered around what he’d just seen Derek Lowe do on the golf course.
“When Smoltzie left, I thought for sure, I’d be the best golfer on the team,” Francoeur said. “But I’m not sure that’s going to be the case. Derek Lowe is good.”
A Braves All-Star catcher who wished to remain anonymous went one step further by saying, “Derek Lowe is the best golfer I’ve ever seen. But don’t write that because it will make Smoltzie mad.”
While looking for new courses in the Ft. Myers area, Smoltz is probably too busy to read about what his newly-slender, unnamed former batterymate is saying But he wasn’t too busy to respond to this this Lowe-hype with a text message that simply read, “Whatever”.
Now that he has wind of Lowe’s golf skills, Smoltz’s competitive spirit will probably lead him to travel to the Orlando area on a day when he can test his golf game against the new Braves ace.
“Lowe is pretty consistent,” Francoeur said. “He’s always going to be in the low 70s. But Smoltz can go lower. If they played 10 times, Lowe would probably win three or four times.”
Two days in Florida and already I have two blogs that include stories about what the boys are doing on the golf course. Tomorrow’s entry will detail the game of “arbitration chicken” being played by Francoeur and the Braves.
Actually there really isn’t anything new to report on the Francoeur arbitration front. It still appears that a hearing is inevitable and I’m not sure this is good for either side.
Francoeur has arrived in camp with an enhanced sense of confidence that could certainly be destroyed when he has to listen to the full-scale attack the Braves plan to utilize in the arbitration hearing.
While saving some money, the Braves will also be creating the possibility that Francoeur’s confidence will be shaken to the point that he’s unable to avoid a repeat of last year’s struggles.
Let’s just hope there is a resolution before next Friday’s scheduled hearing. But with that being said, I don’t see this happening.
— Mark Bowman