We're all well aware that Jay Busbee, my nuts-about-NASCAR colleague, knows a thing or two about blogging his way around a garage.
But did you know he also writes about all things Atlanta athletics at Right Down Peachtree? Yup, the 'Bee breaks and blows by all the stereotypes about the greasers looking down at those of us who prefer ball-'n-stick sports. Otherwise it's likely I wouldn't even open his e-mails.
Jay was at Turner Field on Friday for the anticipated return of a certain ex-Brave. Here is his Atlanta-based account ...
Former Brave and new Dodger Andruw Jones returned to Turner Field this past weekend, and, well hmm, how to put this politely? Let's just say that everybody on the Braves' side of the equation has to feel pretty good about how the whole Andruw Affair turned out.
For his homecoming, Jones went 2-for-8 with five strikeouts and three walks. His two hits were a meaningless late-inning double on Friday and a solo homer on Saturday, which was a bit sad to watch. In fact, it was almost like letting your kid win in a game of checkers.
Today, at .169, Jones isn't close to hitting his weight. Hell, by the looks of him, he's probably not even hitting his left leg's weight. He's fast finding out that the residual Atlanta goodwill left over from memories of his World Series debut (two homers in his first two appearances in 1996) and his astonishing diving catches does not exist in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers has taken to calling him "tubbo" and manager Joe Torre is dropping him lower and lower in the batting order. If there were a ten-hole, Torre would stick him there. He also can't cover center field the way he used to, which was a good thing Friday night — Jones and Rafael Furcal collided in short center going for a popup, and if Jones had dived for it, Fookie would've been nothing but a Dodger-blue stain on the Turner Field grass.
The reception Andruw received from Atlanta was typical Atlanta fan idiocy ... a half-hearted standing O followed by boos on almost every other at-bat. If you gave him a lot of applause, why boo the guy later? He is a certain Braves' Hall of Famer, he took well below market value to sign his last Atlanta contract, and his separation from the team was as amicable as these things get. Knowledgeable Braves fans and players hope Andruw rights the ship and does well ... just not when he's in Atlanta.