Bobby Jenks has lost some weight

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Thumbnail image for bobby jenks white sox.jpgWhite Sox’ closer Bobby Jenks has taken all kinds of heat from the front office over his weight since the end of the season.  A season, mind you, which was interrupted but bouts with kidney stones, a
strained calf muscle and some other ailments which, if you believe Kenny Williams, were basically fat guy injuries.  The Sox — while bringing in J.J. Putz to put some pressure on him — decided to give him one last chance, however, and signed him to a $7.5 million deal for 2010.  It looks like he’s making the most of his chance:

Bobby Jenks spent the last three months losing weight. The White Sox closer then spent 10 minutes in a closed-door meeting
with general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen on Friday
clearing his conscience.

”He looks the best I’ve ever seen him, and I’m really proud of this
guy,” Williams said. ”As a husband and father, he’s great around his
kids — but just sitting here and looking me and Ozzie right in the
eye, addressing the issues head-on like men, I’m proud of him. Good for
him. Sometimes you’ve got to push some buttons to ultimately get to
that point.”

Those buttons caused him to lose, in Sun-Times’ writer Joe Cowley’s opinion anyway, something on the order of 30 pounds.

I still don’t think it was right for Williams to have turned Jenks’ weight into a public thing — it’s rude and unprofessional to call your own players out, and focusing on Jenks’ problems probably hurt his trade value at a time the team was listening to offers — but I suppose you can’t argue with the results.

The Braves will be serving some insane food this season

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Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.

Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.

The big item, though, is this one:

It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.

Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.