While watching the Atlanta Braves defeat the rival New York Mets … with their ace pitcher, Johan Santana, on the mound …in their new ballpark named for a bailed-out bank … on television last night, I flipped through the Official Souvenir Program a Braves employee had given me at a recent home game.
Personal tidbits about the players were interesting. Longtime buddies Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann enjoying listening to country signers Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean, respectively. Somebody needs to take those boys to a Merle Haggard concert.
Future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones likes Rascal Flatts — although the last note of every song, to me, sounds like someone sat on a screech owl. The other Braves veteran, Tom Glavine, listens to James Taylor. That’s more like it.
Pitchers Jair Jurrgens of Curacao likes Lil Wayne and Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami tunes in Beyonce.
Most interesting, however, was the large number of players (including Francoeur, Chipper, Yunel Escobar, Tim Hudson, Casey Kotchman, Derek Lowe and Javier Vazquez) who mentioned golfing sensation Tiger Woods in one or more responses. More than any other, Tiger was the one person with whom players would most like to trade places for a day.
Since so many of us dreamed of playing big-time baseball when we were growing up (and, OK, after growing up too), it was intriguing to see what players listed as their “dream jobs.”
For Glavine, it was as a hockey general manager. And professional golfer was Vazquez’s response. Closer Mike Gonzalez affirmed, however: “I’m doing it right now.”
There were other signs of contentment such as pitcher Jurrjens’ response to his dream vacation: “I don’t have a dream vacation because I’m from an island.”
While most of this stuff is quite trivial, there was some wisdom passed along as well. Former Braves catcher and current bullpen coach Eddie Perez was asked about the best advice he ever received as a player.
“There is a camera watching you all the time,” he responded. Pass it on, Eddie, pass it on.