He can hit a home run with a toothpick…He catches Billy Wagner fastballs with his teeth…He wears sunglasses to protect the sun from his eyes…He can put a square peg in a round hole…The “Little Engine that Could” ran into him and found out it couldn’t…He once got a speeding ticket while he was running…The X-Men watch a show about him every Saturday… He can bat righty, lefty and NO HANDED…His cereal never gets soggy; it just gets crispier…He wasn’t drafted by the Braves, HE drafted the Braves…He is the #1 baseball prospect in the world! He is Jason Heyward…
Spring games have finally started and the talk about 20-year-old Jason Heyward is getting intense. After a week of notes and jokes about Heyward damaging a Coke truck and a sunroof, focus has turned to game situations in which he is proving why there is so much hype.
Heyward has played in every spring game so far and has impressed the writers, players, fans and most importantly Bobby Cox and Frank Wren. It seems almost a forgone conclusion (not even a week in to spring games) that unless something radical happens, Heyward will begin the year in Atlanta’s RF Spot.
It started with a few walks and a line drive single, then a diving catch and a frozen-rope double. No matter what Jason Heyward does, it is a big deal and the world is watching. All of this attention is beginning to scare me. Bobby Cox compared the sound of the ball meeting his bat to that of Hank Aaron’s. HANK AARON! The pressure on Heyward weighs more than Barolo Colon, but you know what? This kid IS that good. I know I am not alone when I watch in awe when he plays. Pressure or no pressure, he can handle it and he can perform. He is not going to be another hometown kid that can’t live up to the hype (sorry Jeff); he is going to be a star.
MLB 10: The Show: This really has nothing to do with the Braves, but if you are in the market for a baseball video game, look no further. MLB ‘10: The Show is the best game out there—it’s absolutely amazing! It is easier to hit this year and visually looks like you are watching a real game. The only downside is that I had to make Jason Heyward (and the rest of the Braves farm system because far too much time is on my hands). Not only do the people at The Show have the best commercials; they have the best game.
Oh, Mets: Before the first spring game of the year against the Braves in Port St. Lucy, LF, the weather forecast called for heavy rain and thunderstorms throughout the late-morning/early-afternoon. The previous day the Mets had posted the lineup for this game, but after hearing of the wet weather manager Jerry Manuel pulled Jose Reyes, David Wright, Jeff Francoeur, etc from the lineup and replaced them with some…well, not so familiar names. This shows that they went into a state of panic from Florida rain. God forbid a baseball player plays on a wet field. Maybe the next time it’s cold, they will serve chicken soup in the dugout so they don’t get catch colds. Oh wait, what if David Murphy burns his tongue? Better scratch that…Only the Mets!
Party Time: Just a quick note—I can breathe easy now that Garret Anderson has signed a contract with another team (L.A. Dodgers). This was one of my short-term dreams—no more lazy strolls to first base… no more dropped fly balls hit right to him. No more losing a game at Citi Field because he couldn’t lay out for a ball! It is official: G.A. is NOT a Brave!
Follow me on Twitter @ BRAVEinNY.
Until Next time…Go Braves!