ATLANTA— Spring is in the air! (At least in central Florida, anyway).Spring training games started today and the Atlanta Braves played their Grapefruit League opener against the Detroit Tigers. A buddy of mine was down there, witnessing the action first-hand. Unfortunately, the Braves lost. As a Braves fan, I think I’m going to have to get used to those words. But it sounds like they played a solid game and kept it close: keeping pace until the eighth and dropping it 5 – 4.
The one bad thing that sticks out to me in the box score, though, is the big donut Jeff Francoeur put up for the day: 0 for 4. What’s up with that guy? First game jitters, I suppose. But he better not keep throwing donuts up there. We’ve got a long season and the middle of our order is unfortunately anchored by some pretty old bats in Chipper Jones and Garrett Anderson. Great players, both of them. But we need our young talent, especially Frenchy, to man up and take the lead this year. We cannot rely on Chipper Jones forever.
At any rate, I hope the rest of the Spring goes well. I’m looking for good news this year- I’m looking for the Braves starting rotation to shape up well and I’m looking for the younger players to get lots of playing time. I’m resigned to this being a rebuilding year in Atlanta (though I think I’m in a minority here). I just don’t see this team going places. That is fine with me though. I want this to be the year Freddie Freeman, Tommie Hanson and others get the chance to take a crack at the majors and hopefully shine. I think we have a bright future ahead!