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chop-chat-2 | March | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Chop Chatter for 3/27/07

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I've decided to start a new segment I'm going to call "Chop Chatter" where I run down a few quick stories about the Braves that I don't think are detailed enough to get a post of their own... Up today is Chipper Jones responding to Jimmy Rollins declaration that the Phillies would win the NL East, an update on Cormier's condition, why Matt Diaz is looking more like a hockey player these days, and which Braves player from the 14-division title streak was the first to be elected to the Braves Hall of Fame. Several weeks ago, Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins declared that his team would win the division this year.Murray Chass, a noted†baseball writer†for the New York Times, did a piece a few days ago on the Braves and how they plan to come back after their first losing season in 14 years.Iím happy to report that the first thing he does is note that even after winning 14 division titles in a row, no Braves player has ever touted that theyíll be the kings before the season even begins.Yet, Jimmy Rollins, whose club hasnít won a division title since 1993 (when the Braves were still National League West), is touting his team as the best in the division.Iíve seen several interviews lately where the face of the Braves, Chipper Jones, has been asked to respond to Rollinsí prediction.Chass finally got a response, and I think itís golden:

ìThatís the difference in the mentality in Atlanta and the mentality in Philadelphia.We would have never disrespected the rest of the division by proclaiming ourselves division champs before the beginning of the season. The fact that he did, that has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. As far as I can remember, I donít think he has ever won a division. Weíll leave it at that.î

--- Of his leaving yesterdayís game with shoulder stiffness, Lance Cormier said, "Nothing popped.I didn't feel anything like that. It's kind of stiff and sore. Hopefully it will go away."He noted that he had a similar feeling in 2005 and it took only 2-3 days to subside.Both he and Bobby Cox are optimistic and hopeful that heíll recover in time for his first start of the regular season.In fact, neither Cox nor Cormier counted him out of his scheduled appearance in Saturdayís exhibition game at The Ted.If Cormier is not healed in time for the regular season, Kyle Davies will be posed to take his place (although, technically, neither has been officially named as the fifth starter).†† --- The Braves site stated yesterday that Matt Diaz was looking a little like a hockey player after batting practice.Apparently he was leaning down to pick up a weight for his bat when his tooth caught the force of Chris Woodwardís backswing.My favorite part of this story is that after finding the piece of his tooth he lost, he finished batting practice before heading to the dentist.Now thatís commitment to improving your batting!† --- What do you remember most about David Justice?Is the first thing that comes to mind his decisive homerun that led to the Braves being crowned 1995 World Series Champions?The first thing I remember is him being booed during the World Series for his public chastising of Braves fans for being apathetic.That homerun, which came in the game immediately following those comments, probably made some forget everything else about him.While Iím grateful that I got to see my Atlanta Braves win their first World Series, Iím not a big fan of him being the first player from our historic 14-division title run inducted into our own Hall of Fame.I remember that he refused to sign autographs, that he was booed more than once by fans and that he transformed into whatever the male version of a diva is.I read somewhere today that Terry Pendleton sat him down and said to him, " ... you're going to need to get with the program, or you're going to have to pack up your stuff.... The only reason I'm sitting you down and talking to you is because I think Dave Justice can be one of the greatest players to ever play this game, but he's not going to be that with this attitude."I agree with others Iíve read today who have said that it should have been TP, not David Justice, who was the first from that era to enter the Braves Hall of Fame.He was a great player though, and who knows if we would have won without that decisive homerun in Game 6.Iíll defer to Bobby on this one, who said, ìI love it.I think itís wonderful.Heís absolutely deserving.Great player, great guy.I think itís a super choice.I couldnít be happier.îInterested to see what the rest of you thinkÖ

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