May 2009

J.C. Boscan picks up Southern League award

Boscan, JC 8021 500px.jpg

Veteran Atlanta Braves farm hand J.C. Boscan has been named Southern League hitter of the week.
I’ve photographed J.C. so often that he always recognizes me now and asks how I’m doing. Last time I saw him we almost bumped into each other in the tunnel under the Braves’ Spring Training facility. I was heading for the field and he was grabbing bats from an equipment closet.
The award from the league said, “The Maracaibo, Venezuela, native had five multi-hit games and also drove in at least one run in each contest [last week]. His .550 average over the last week led the league by nearly 100 points and he ranked second in doubles (4) and slugging percentage (.750).”
I hope this is the start of many honors for this great guy. I’d like to bump into him again . . . in Atlanta.
10 April 2008: Catcher J.C. Boscan (2) of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, before a game against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Diory Hernandez makes Major League debut

Hernandez, Diory 8261 500px.jpg

Infielder Diory Hernandez saw action in his first Major League game tonight after being called up from Gwinnett to replace Omar Infante.
I’ve photographed him quite often as he has made his way up the Atlanta farm system, most recently at Spring Training. But this is a shot from last year at Mississippi.
10 April 2008: Infielder Diory Hernandez (7) of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

No. 27 prospect Thompson pitches in Greenville

Thompson, Jacob 3451 500px.jpg

No. 27 Atlanta prospect Jacob Thompson pitched against Greenville on Monday. He pitched five strong innings and picked up the win. He now stands at 2-3 for the year.
May 18, 2009: RHP Jacob Thompson (49) of the Rome Braves, the No. 27 prospect of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Bobby Cox celebrates 68th birthday today

Cox, Bobby 5911 500px .jpg

Today is Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox’s 68th birthday.
19 March 2007:  Manager Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves prior to a game at the Braves’ Spring Training camp at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Clemson’s Schaus is named first-team all-ACC

Schaus, Jeff 8606(Priddy) 500px.jpg

Clemson sophomore Jeff Schaus was named first-team all-ACC yesterday. In this annual poll of Atlantic Coast Conference coaches Schaus was the only Tiger to make first or second team.
Top: May 11, 2009: Outfielder Jeff Schaus (3) of the Clemson Tigers in a game against the Furman Paladins at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Bottom: Feb. 22, 2009: Clemson outfielder Jeff Schaus (3) prior to a game between the Charlotte 49ers and Clemson Tigers Feb. 22, 2009, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.  

Smoltz to rehab with Greenville Drive

Smoltz, John 618 500px.jpg

The Red Sox have announced that pitcher John Smoltz will pitch a rehab assignment Thursday with the Greenville Drive — but not in Greenville. He’ll pitch when the team is on the road in Augusta, Ga.
Smoltz, formerly with Atlanta, has been working to get back in shape to join Boston sometime this summer.

4 March 2005: RHP John Smoltz at Cracker Jack Stadium at the Atlanta Braves Spring Training site at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Fla. for a Spring Training game. The Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2.

Photo by Tom Priddy

Medlen to make his debut Thursday for Atlanta

Medlen, Kris 8633(Priddy) 500px.jpg

Kris Medlen, another young player in the Atlanta system, has gotten the callup and will be the starting pitcher Thursday as the Braves take on the Rockies.
Although the Braves organization has high hopes for Medlen, he’s probably going to be a short-timer in the rotation. He takes the place of Jo-Jo Reyes, who is being sent to the bullpen, and likely will hold that position until Tommy Glavine is ready to take his place.
The 23-year-old Medlen was with Mississippi last year and helped the team with a Southern League championship. He holds the distinction of being (as far as I can recall) the only player I asked to pose foe a photo this year. I asked for a shot of him wearing his championship ring during the team’s ring ceremony at Spring Training. (That photo is on this blog somewhere . . .)
10 April 2008: RHP Kris Medlen (23) of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Update: Originally scheduled to start Tuesday, a shift in the Braves’ rotation now puts off his debut until Thursday. http://tinyurl.com/ppeel5

What to do during a long rain delay?

Drive_Scenes 3053 500px.jpg

There’s nothing I like about rain delays and cancellations, and we’ve had a bunch of both this spring.
A good raincoat and my trusty AquaTech camera rain cover make the rain nothing more than a slight annoyance, but it’s the waiting around during a delay that’ll getcha. So I always try to find something to do.
Today while waiting for the Greenville Drive-Rome Braves Sunday afternoon game to be called, I had plenty to shoot. I got a decent photo of a Drive player signing autographs (below) and several shots of Drive head groundskeeper Greg Burgess playing fetch with his dog on the tarp. (I posted one to Twitter.)
But my favorite shot was one of Drive mascot Reedy Rip’It nailing a fan with a water gun. Heck, the fans were wet already.
The game finally was cancelled after a long delay . . .
Top: May 17, 2009: Greenville Drive mascot Reedy Rip’It squirts water on an already wet crowd during a rain delay prior to a scheduled game between the Drive and Rome Braves at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. The game eventually was postponed. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Bottom: May 17, 2009: Caleb Clay of the Greenville Drive signs autographs during a rain delay prior to a scheduled game between the Greenville Drive and Rome Braves at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. The game eventually was postponed. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Drive_Scenes 3063 500px.jpg

What’s a monkey doing in the dugout?

Augusta Monkey 9077 500px.jpg

Hardly a thing ever makes it into a Minor League dugout that doesn’t have a team logo or affiliate logo. Jackets, hats, towels . . . everything is official.
So what’s a stuffed monkey doing hanging on the netting of the Augusta GreenJackets dugout? I did a double take when I saw it the other night.
So I asked the GreenJackets’ media rep, Eric Little, what’s the story?
The stuffed mascot monkey is named Norm. “He was picked up by outfielder Dom Duggan as a good luck charm after the team lost 11 of 13 to begin the season,” Little said. 
“The team went on to win the next six of eight, and though they fell on another rough patch, the monkey stays, largely at Duggan’s request. He’s become a pseudo-celebrity, having been featured in the Augusta Chronicle and on local television station WJBF, our ABC affiliate.”
Norm is shown here with manager Dave Machemer (21). Norm is the one on the left. Photo by Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

Daniel Bard gets the call from the Red Sox

Bard, Daniel 6052 500px.jpg

I wish I could have been in the bullpen last night when former Greenville Drive pitcher Daniel Bard was warming up for his first Major League appearance.
He never got into the game — and has yet to make a pitch — but he’s an official Boston Red Sox pitcher now, and it’s just a matter of time before this high prospect makes his debut.
We’ll be watching.
16 June 2007: Daniel Bard of the Greenville Drive, Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Columbus Catfish at West End Field in Greenville, S.C. Photo by Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Update: Bard pitched two scoreless innings in relief Wednesday night in his debut against the Angels.