I don't mean the rain delay that's going on now in Washington D.C. but my own personal rain delay! I can't believe that I haven't posted anything in two weeks. Nary a word! Shame on me! And it's not even as if there hasn't been anything to write about...au contraire! There has been so much to write about and now I'm playing catch up! Lesson learned. So I hope that all y'all (the ever-popular plural of y'all) will give me a pass on my lack of timeliness but there are a few things that I still want/need to address.
Let's go back to May 22. On that Tuesday afternoon, before the second game versus the Reds, Juan Francisco received his first lesson about the Atlanta Braves way of doing things. The lesson had to do with one of Bobby Cox's famed three rules. The rule that Juan broke? Play the game right.
If you watched Monday night's Braves / Reds game, you saw Juan hit a home run, his first as a Brave. As the ball began it's flight toward the outfield wall, Juan stood at home plate and admired it. He then flipped his bat away and began his home run trot, in which he dragged his feet as he passed the Cincinnati dugout. Yes, Juan maybe had something to prove to the team that traded him, but the Atlanta Braves don't play that way. If a player hits one long, they drop the bat and trot around the bases. No posing, no theatrics. Just drop the bat and round the bags.
Fredi Gonzalez's quote was simple. "We try not to do that here, and I don't like that here." He continued on to say, "For me, for our team, there’s no place for that in our game." Fredi's reasons are valid. The last thing a manager wants a player to do is to anger their opponent and invite some sort of retribution. That said, there was one thing going Juan's way. The Reds know him well. Fortunately, they took the high road, although the Reds pitcher Ryan Leake said it "ticked him off."
What I found the most humorous was Juan's explanation to Fredi. He told his manager, "That's just the way I do things." Seriously? Fredi then pointed out to Juan that he's hit only 10 home runs in his major league career.
One thing is for certain, Juan doesn't do it that way any longer.