We have three newsy items about former Braves players to share with you this afternoon:
Florida State University will be adding to its sports Hall of Fame on September 13th, and former Brave and fan favorite Matt Diaz (a.k.a. “Caveman”) will be among the honorees – this according to the Orlando Sentinel, and confirmed by Matt himself on twitter this morning:
Great news for Matt! But apparently spellingwasn’t a core element of his studies in Tallahassee… more on that in a minute. But… of course Matt Diaz has brothers, and brother Jonny – an accomplished Christian music artist – wanted to make sure that the honor didn’t go to his head:
@jonnydiaz Proud of my bro for being inducted into the FSU hall of fame! But, I’m calling shenanigans cause he never graduated!
That, of course, required a response…
One final answer from Jonny:
@jonnydiaz @diazfoundation if you graduated, you might know how to spell “grateful”
Congratulations to Matt… and we wish him a successful recovery during his knee rehab. If you didn’t know, Matt popped a knee in mid-May, shortly after being called up to the majors as a member of the Miami Marlins. At this point, he’s aware that he might not play baseball again, but if so, he’s good with that.
Matt left us with a lot of fond memories of his play in Atlanta, but my favorite is still this time when he actually was cheered by the Philadelphia fans in their own stadium. If you don’t remember what I’m referring to, then please – click this link and you’ll see the fun yourself. Definitely worth it.
Derek Lowe is hanging it up after a 17-year major league career. He wasn’t the fan’s favorite in Atlanta – indeed, though you could say he had hard acts to follow, coming after 3 Hall-of-Famers. He was brought in as a free agent in 2009 when the Braves were desperate for an innings eater, and A.J. Burnett spurned Atlanta’s offer to play for the Yankees. It would be very interesting to see how each man’s fortunes might have been different (arguably better) had those choices been reversed.
Jair Jurrjens is now a free agent. The Orioles gave up on him after some lackluster starts in the minors, partly because they needed the 40-man roster slot. He is now free to sign with any team, though he clearly has not re-found the magic that he had in 2011 with Atlanta. Nagging injuries have cut into the prime of his career, though I do expect that somebody will pick him up in the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle.