Now we can focus on the game
With Ken Griffey Jr. out of the picture and Tom Glavine’s deal completed, we can now focus more on some of the Spring Training on-field developments.
It’s evident that Casey Kotchman is much more relaxed than he was when he arrived after being acquired from the Angels last year. He admits the two months he spent with the Braves last year were basically a blur and that’s certainly understandable.
Three weeks after being moved from a team destined for the playoffs to one staring at 90 losses, he nearly lost his mother to a brain hemorrhage. The first baseman gladly reports that his mother’s recovery process is going well and that she’s looking forward to meeting Bobby Cox and the other members of the organization, who were so supportive while Casey stayed by her hospital bedside.
In other camp news, the Braves will have physicals on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re planning to come to Disney this weekend, the workout are scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Chipper Jones was excused from this morning’s workout because he wasn’t feeling well. It’s nothing serious and he could be back on the field on Saturday.
Here are a few interesting quotes from Glavine’s teleconference, which took place this morning:
(What motivated you to return this season?)
“I think first and foremost, it’s my enjoyment of going out there every five days and pitching every five days that’s the key factor in me wanting to play. Beyond that, yeah I don’t want my career to end the way that it was last year.”
(What do you think about this year’s rotation?)
I think there’s reason to be excited. When you look at Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez, they’re two guys who certainly have a track record in being able to carry a big load in terms of innings pitched. When you look at (Jair Jurrjens), I think everybody is excited about the year that he had last year and the experience that he gained and how much better he stands to be this year. When you look at Kawakami, there’s a lot of history for him in the Japanese League. Bringing that here, certainly there is a little bit of uncertainty. But I think everybody is excited about what he did in Japan and the potential that he brings here.
Last year, there was a lot of excitement about what we brought in, but there was a lot of uncertainty. I think there’s a lot less uncertainty about the staff this year and their ability to pitch innings. You never know. Injuries are always a part of the game. But I think looking at the rotation now, where it was a year ago, I think there has to be a lot more reason to believe the top four guys are going to log a lot more innings than the top four guys last year. That will have a residual effect on everybody. It’s going to make our team better. It’s going to make our bullpen stronger because they’re not going to have to work so many innings. Again from my standpoint, looking at that and looking at me being in the five hole, I’m excited about that. I’m excited about being a part of it.
(Glav’s thoughts on A-Rod)
“I guess everybody has a lot of thoughts about A-Rod. There’s disappointment obviously and things like that. All I can do is take care of myself and these other guys who have been caught doing the things that they’re doing, they have to deal with it. There comes a time for everybody in life, I don’t care where you are or what you do, that you have choices to make and sometimes people make bad choices. If you make a bad choice, then that’s your responsibility to deal with the consequences of that bad choice and certainly Alex is having to deal with that.
I don’t think it matters what I or anybody else says or thinks. It’s Alex Rodriguez and it’s his reputation that has been tarnished. He’s the one who ultimately has to deal with that. I’m sure he wishes that he had a chance to re-think that decision that he made years ago. But you know what? Life doesn’t work that way.