Braves not impervious to Atlanta’s big storm
[Editorial Note: I can certainly relate here! Birmingham was hit HARD too. I had to stay overnight at work on Tuesday, and made it home early Wednesday only because I have a 4WD truck. I spent Wednesday helping pull people out of ditches! Hope everyone is safe!]
ATLANTA — Shortly after interacting with some of the Braves on Tuesday morning, the faculty and students at Clarkdale Elementary School were told they would be dismissed early because of the winter storm that was about to hit Atlanta. Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, David Carpenter, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and bench coach Carlos Tosca were among the thousands of Atlanta-area residents who wish they learned they could go home earlier than planned. After meeting with the students, Freeman, Heyward, Upton, Gonzalez and Tosca went to Turner Field for a luncheon that was part of the Braves Country Caravan. Carpenter just happened to be working out at the stadium. It took Heyward nearly five hours to get to his Buckhead residence. Tosca managed to arrive home in a reasonable amount of time, considering the circumstances. With his plan to fly back to Phoenix nixed by the weather, Upton returned to his Midtown residence, which is located within eyesight of the gridlock that Freeman, Gonzalez and countless others encountered while attempting to get home on Atlanta’s interstates. Tuesday’s other two Caravan participants and Carpenter were not quite as fortunate.
Braves cancel Thursday caravan stops
The Braves have cancelled their caravan events for Thursday due to snow and icy conditions in metro Atlanta. The tour had included stops at Clay National Guard, the Rome Braves, and the Hixon, Tenn. Academy Sports and Outdoors. Wednesday’s events in Birmingham, Ala. had already been cancelled. The decision was made “due to inclement weather and the safety of fans, players, coaches and staff,” the club announced. Freddie Freeman was among the Braves players and staff who took part in a visit to Clarksdale Elementary School Tuesday morning before snow hit metro Atlanta.
Henry Aaron reflects on his life at 80
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of an interview Braves Hall of Famer Henry Aaron gave to the AtlantaJournal-Constitution on the eve of his 80th birthday. The complete stroy is available – free, this weekend – onmyajc.com.
Henry Aaron turns 80 on Wednesday, a long life now divided neatly in half by the 40 years building to home run No. 715 and the 40 years spent in service to that epic swing. Time to celebrate the fully experienced life, one that has enjoyed equal meaning on both sides of the foul pole.
Continuing a theme from last thread, David Hale is another piece of what figures to be a mix-and-match back end of the Braves’ rotation this year.
The Braves drafted Hale out of Princeton in the third round in 2009, and he began a slow but steady grind through the minor leagues. He never had a standout minor league season, but he improved his ERA each year from 2010 onward. At the end of last season, with the big club down to Kameron Loe and various other odds and ends as the #5 starter, Hale got the call-up to Atlanta in September. He responded by pitching an inspired two-game stretch in which he gave up just one run in 11 innings.
Small sample size theater led to some speculation that the Braves could trade him in a package to acquire an ace, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. David Hale, who finished his economics degree from Princeton over the course of a couple winters, would analyze the data and would likely be the first to tell you that David Hale is not a prospect. His strikeout rate has never been great and he gives up too many walks and too much contact for prospect status. Plus, he’s 26 and he’s debuted old at every level he’s been at.