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Mark Townsend

Brooks Conrad welcomed back to Turner Field with cheers

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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One day after his three errors helped cost the Atlanta Braves an opportunity to take a 2-1 Division Series lead over the San Francisco Giants, Brooks Conrad(notes) was back on the field taking batting practice in front of his supportive teammates and a forgiving crowd.

Conrad won't start tonight's game, but it was clear that he impressed his teammates and fans by not shying away from the media scrutiny and negative attention his performance garnered. He faced all criticism head on and answered every question thrown his way.

Troy Glaus(notes), the man who replaces Conrad in the lineup — Omar Infante(notes) will meawhile replace him at second — said as much during an interview with MLB Network's Darren Sutton:

"He handled himself fantastic. It was a very tough spot. We've all at certain points in our career wanted to crawl into that same hole, but he kept his head up, answered all the questions and was a true professional like he's been all year. I'm sure nobody feels worse than him, but we're all behind him."

Glaus and other Braves teamates weren't the only ones showing support. Conrad was given a standing ovation from fans that had arrived early to Turner Field. The ovation did not end until Conrad turned to acknowledge the fans.

Later he was seen shaking hands and taking pictures with several of those fans. As he exited the field a number of security guards offered their hands and a few words of encouragement.

It was a heartwarming scene and a classy gesture by all those Braves fans who will never forget what happened last night, but understand there is nothing healthy about holding a grudge over a bad night on a baseball field.

By all accounts Conrad is a good person, a good teammate, and a standup guy. His handling of this situation proves that to be true.

He deserves a break. After all, every Braves fan would have to agree that this team wouldn't be where they are now without him. He made that much of a positive difference over the course of 162 games. One game can't undo all of that.

Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see how all of the changes affect the Braves. Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Glaus airmailed a couple of practice throws during infield warmups and one toss even hit a cameraman on the leg.

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