‘Camp Roger’ kicked off this past Friday in Atlanta, as a number of pitchers and catchers showed up for pitching coach Roger McDowell’s voluntary workout sessions.
(McDowell has — at least unofficially — borrowed the name from the famous ‘Camp Leo’ sessions run by previous coach Mazzone back in the good old days. Personally, I think McDowell could have been a little more creative. He could run ‘February Fun Time’, or ‘Training McCamp’, or even ‘Roger on the Rubber’.
Okay, maybe not the last one. Still. ‘Camp Roger’? Yawn.)
In addition to the usual hurlers in attendance, a fair number of sluggers showed up to hit balls and hang out. Jeff Francoeur was there, for instance, as was Brian McCann and outfielder Andruw Jones.
Wait. Andruw Jones? The Los Angeles Dodger? Buh-whah?
Buh-yeah. And there’s proof, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
(That’s Jones on the left, in case you weren’t sure. The aw-shucks cheese on the right belongs to McCann.)
Now, I’ve got no problem with Jones chumming it up with current Braves off the field. They spent a lot of years together in the trenches; it’s only natural they should catch up over a beer now and then. I’m not suggesting the team consider Andruw outfielda non grata or anything.
But the man’s in a different trench now. And he and his chums are fighting for the same National League pennant as the Braves. Do we really want to let him work out on our equipment? Get tips on his swing from Atlanta hitters still under contract? Hear from a now-former teammate just the right bit of advice to — heaven forbid — finally convince him to dump sliders low-and-away into right field for singles? This survey says, ‘No’.
So it was nice to see you in Atlanta gear one last time, Mr. Jones (note the swanky Braves director chair propping Andruw’s ass in the pic), but I think it’s time you ran along and played with your new pals now. You transferred out of our school; stop hanging around our cafeteria tables at lunchtime already. You’re creeping out the freshmen.
And if you need help finding your way to Dodgers camp… well, you’ve still got Rafael Furcal’s cell number, right? Give him a call; I’m sure he’ll be happy to draw you a map and show you around the premises. That’s the sort of thing teammates — that is, current teammates, ahem — do for each other.
Hell, he might even tell you how to hit that slider low and away. Just don’t be doing that shit in Turner Field when you come back to visit. No one would ever recognize you.