It’s that time of year again!

What a difference 10 years makes! Can you believe it’s been a decade since New Zealander and ex softballer Travis Wilson ripped up Bravos spring training? Did any of those King-and-his-court guys ever try to play hardball? Can I possibly employ another cliche in this post?

Stay tuned.

Anyway, we’re scouring the 40-man and the non-roster invitee list — are those evites nowadays? — for Mr. March candidates. The guy who hits .350 for a couple weeks in practice games, gets raves from Bobby, er Fredi, if Fredi does such things, and then settles into minor league obscurity.

Wilson was hitting over .400 in late March. He even hit for the cycle. Bobby effused about the “special sound” when Wilson hit the ball. Alas, that sound was heard only in the Southern and International leagues from then on.

Back to our point: Who might be this year’s version of the (briefly) Klobberin’ Kiwi?

Maybe the outfielders Matt Young or Jose Constanza. Let’s call them Mose Yostanza, if we must. But we must not. One from this pair of diminutive minor league journeymen — neither is taller than 5-9 nor younger than 27 — could actually crack the big league roster. After all, our presumed starter in center field, lest anyone forget, hit .190 last year. However, he was 1-for-2 in the LDS! Back up CF candidates include  a former roided-up prospect and one-week wonder now best known for hurting his wrist over and over, and a guy who almost shares a last name with Eminem and in two sips of joe in the majors has struck out about as often as he’s reached base. Joe Mather is 6-4, so he’s got that on Yostanza.

Other burning questions as spring training opens:

1. Will Fredi’s camp be as leisurely as Bobby’s? Bobby’s way unquestionably worked. I will not accept that playing golf in March leads a team to lose in October.

2. Will Jim Powell become more like Pete or more like Broadcastron 3000? It could go either way. If he says “Victory is ours” much more, I’m going to like him less. Well, it’ll be good if he has the chance to say it, but bad on him if he says it.

3. Will Petah have any new tatoos?

4. Will Home Depot still have that infernal tool race at Turner Field?

5. Will someone open another putt-putt course near the ball yard?

6. What music will the local organ scribe listen to in Florida?

7. Why is Scott Proctor on the team?

8. We have Matt Young in camp. The Marlins have Mike Stanton. Are there other outfielders with the same name as former pitchers? Is there a Sid Monge patrolling center field somewhere?

9. Will Julio Teheran become hunting buddies with Chipper?

10. Suggest your own No. 10.

PS. Travis Wilson now plays for the New Zealand Men’s Softball Team — all caps, per Wikipedia — which is called the Black Sox. Before returning to softball, he was the NZ cricket team’s “specialist field coach and video analyst.” I wonder if he and Petah know each other. I mean, their native countries are side by side, separated only by a couple thousand miles of ocean.


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11 Comments on It’s that time of year again!

  1. Beau Knows // February 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm //

    Will Fredi get a speeding ticket on his Harley with an organ columnist riding shotgun? Heeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy………………

  2. who’s the bigger waste of $7 million — mcOut of paul loseIt?

  3. I love Jim Powell. He doesn’t have the most animated voice out there but he’s light years ahead of Broadcastron 3000.

  4. Arcade Fire is as hot as can be right now. Local organ scribe will be blazing that on his ipod while writing about Nate struggling to hit .200

  5. Of course, Petah is from Perth, which would put the whole of Australia between him and the home country of Travis Wilson, which is also the name of a former Oklahoma wide receiver.

  6. Sharon Egan // February 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm //

    Will we listen in disbelief as Fredi insists, “Nate’s been hitting it pretty good, it just always seems to be right at a guy”? Or “that throw would have made the cut-off man in Pony League”?

    Will the Braves throw caution to the wind and overhaul the coaching staff by bringing in Todd Pratt and Greg Norton (currently the head coaches at West Georgia and New Orleans AAA team, respectively) and taking the “if Bobby loved you, that’s good enough for me” road?

  7. Count me as one who also likes Jim Powell. I thought he only used the “Victory is Ours!” catchphrase when the Braves come from behind to win in the ninth inning?

  8. Viva Rufino Linares! // February 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm //

    Reading DOB’s blog today Fredi is working on defense. That’s a good start. I like what I here from him. We may get some “Bobby-isms”, but I get the feeling he’s his own manager and not totally overwhelmed by replacing Bobby.

  9. Viva Rufino Linares! // February 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm //

    How about “hear”.

  10. rankin' rob // February 16, 2011 at 9:08 am //

    I think DOB does as good a job as anyone previously holding the gig. But I could not care less what kind of music he likes, let alone want to see the lyrics of yet another Wilco or Wilco pre or post band lyrics. I’d rather he write up his lunch or breakfast menu. It would be just as relevant.

    I think it’s hit or get off the pot time for Jordan Schafer. He’ll either be an Atlanta Brave or in a different system come April. I hope he plays well, even if he does seem to be an immature tool. How could he not be primed to take the job from McOut? Oh, and I predict Chipper’s first muscle strain of the season in the first week of at bats.

  11. Good call on Schafer. I think he’s got as much riding on this spring as anyone in camp. I can’t help but root for Constanza to make the club, however, just for the comedic possibilities:

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