Has this always happened, or is it a new thing?
Braves’ President John Schuerholz and Giants managing partner Larry Baer have each written letters to the fans talking about how much of a bummer it was for the teams to miss the playoffs but, dadgummit, we’re gonna double our efforts and happiness is but a season away.
Actually, they’re not both technically apologies. Schuerholz’s sounds more like that and, as is clear from the personalized greeting, was sent via email to whoever had signed up to get Braves’ spam. Baer’s letter is more like a hybrid commiseration/introduction with a few bones thrown to the idea that 2011 was not fun. It’s in open letter form, posted at the Giants’ website.
I guess it’s a nice gesture. It’d be better if the Braves’ one contained pics of Fredi Gonzalez getting worked over by a couple of hired goons, but it’s nice enough. I just kind of wonder what the letter from the Astros or the Twins would look like.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.