Friday, March 10, 2006

Smoltz v. A. Jones

Teammates since 1996 John Smoltz has never thrown a pitch to Andruw Jones outside of batting practice, and those don't count.
That all changed March 5 when Smoltz started for the Braves against WBC team, the Netherlands, for whom Andruw is the starting center fielder.
Bobby Cox knew what he was doing when he announced his starting pitcher and he also knew the guys would not give up a chance to earn bragging rights.
Before the game Cox said "With Smoltzie going you know damn well he will go after him."
And that's exactly what he did.
Smoltz told Andruw what was coming. Two fastballs.
What he didn't tell him was that he was going to ask for a new ball and toss the old one back, but not to the umpire. Instead it went right back at Andruw... who was one step ahead and preceded to tip the ball into the Braves dugout.
Unfortunately, there was no clear victor as Jones grounded out to third base. No strikeout. No homerun. No bragging rights.
But at least they had fun, and isn't that what both the WBC and spring training are about?

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