Well Braves fans, you can now breathe a sigh of relief, Kenshin Kawakami is back in Braves camp! It took a couple weeks to get his visa issues worked out (meaning no Japanese team would pay enough to keep him over there) and now the guy who is owed $6.667 Million this season can get ready for the season.
Obviously, I could not be any more sarcastic about this situation—I cannot wait until he is somewhere else. I can’t imagine he will ever pitch for the Braves again, but it would be nice not to have to think about it anymore. If only one of the pitching hungry teams, i.e. the Cardinals without Wainwright or the Yankees with Big-Fat Bartolo Colon and Co. would take him.
In some actual good news (I should really get over it already) Garret Anderson has announced his retirement from baseball—which is funny because I was sure he was retired a few years ago. Sure he was still playing, but he was acting as retired as you can get. This has to go down as one of the slowest, most lackadaisical retirements in history.
And now (somewhat) back to reality…
I recently became one of the millions to get an iPhone—I have been waiting years for Verizon to get this, so needless to say, I woke up at 6:00am to get one the day it went on sale. Since I am new to the Smartphone, I feel like an idiot discovering new apps and features that all my friends have known about for years. I can now listen to 680 the Fan on the way to work and read the AJC anywhere, anytime! The best feature though, has to be the MLB At Bat app. I can listen to every Braves game wherever I am (not just sitting with a laptop) and now that MLB.TV has more spring games, I am able to watch about half of the Braves spring games. Technology is AMAZING! I even watched Cliff Lee pitch yesterday, just because I could.
One good thing about being in this snowy death hole called New York right now is that the Braves first spring game was television on WPIX (Channel 11 in NYC). Just hearing the crack of the bat brought a smile to my face and of course, seeing Keith Hernandez again.
A couple things drew my attention seeing a lot of the Braves players on the field again… Nate McLouth looks like he put on a good amount of mass. He looks much wider and more importantly he has that long blonde, frosted hair back. This is really the key to the Braves season. If you remember when McLouth was on the Pirates, he has that long, greasy-looking Chase Utley-type hairdo, and he was a really good player. With the Braves he was much more clean-cut. This hair is just what the Dr. ordered. Also not to be overlooked, he is back to wearing #13. He has been hitting like a fool so far (Hey more than one hit for him this early is news) and has been much more aggressive.
Another thing I noticed is that Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman are GIGANTIC! They dwarfed everyone of the field, including OF Matt Young who I swore was Eddie Gaedel for a minute. (If you don’t know who Gaedel is, look it up— seriously). We can’t expect Freeman to do what Heyward showed everyone in his rookie year, but after watching him lace three doubles (the second one was a bloop that was barely fair, but it looked like a rocket in the box score) it definitely created some excitement.
Lastly, even though it was spring, I really wanted to beat the friggin’ Mets! The two teams play 7 times this spring and 19 in the regular season. I don’t expect them to contend this year, but as long as the Braves pound them, I’ll be OK. Maybe they can get some players on loan from JP Morgan too.
Follow me on Twitter @BRAVEinNY (I can tweet from my phone now!)
Until Next time…Watch MLB.TV and Go Braves!