Can I still claim Dale Murphy as my favorite player?
When we were about eight-years-old, my best friend, Steve Myers, adopted Dale Murphy as his favorite player. Ignoring the globalized options provided by TBS, I stayed within the region and tabbed Pirates catcher Tony Pena.
More than 25 years later, it’s still obvious that I ended up on the short-end of this selection process. While Pena taught us bad technique to utilize behind the plate, Murphy has spent his entire life proving to be a great example on and off the field.
Murphy arrived in camp this morning and he’ll stay with the Braves over the course of the next week to essentially serve as an ambassador/special instructor. The 53-year-old, two-time National League Most Valuable Player remains one of the kindest and most considerate individuals ever to be associated with baseball.
I spent some time talking to Murphy and Bobby Dews about the days they spent together in the Minors. I’ll provide more information in a story that I’m writing later this afternoon. But to provide a teaser, I’ll let you know that it will include details about a day when Dews attempted to kick dirt toward an umpire and ended up breaking his foot.
Transitioning from one of the most beloved outfielders in Atlanta history to the newest one, you’ll be glad to hear that Garret Anderson plans to resume running exercises on Friday. The 36-year-old left fielder has been sidelined since March 6 with a strained right calf. It still looks like he could return to action some time next week.
Jair Jurrjens and Mike Gonzalez are both scheduled to pitch today against the WBC-less Mets, whose lineup is headlined by Marlon Anderson, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church. While not providing any predictions about the game, I’ll guarantee you that Church will be getting down if he’s sliding into second base with Yunel Escobar attempting to turn a double play.
Both teams will be wearing green hats today. And with that, I’ll say Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Matt Diaz LF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Omar Infante 3B
David Ross C
Josh Anderson CF
Jair Jurrjens P