The Braves announced their 25-man roster on Sunday, and it includes a lot of familiar names. While new manager Fredi Gonzalez could make a change before Thursday, as of Monday the roster included pitcher Brandon Beachy, infielder Brooks Conrad, first baseman Freddie Freeman, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, pitcher Tommy Hanson, outfielder Jason Heyward, infielder Brandon Hicks, outfielder Eric Hinske, pitcher Tim Hudson, third baseman Chipper Jones, pitcher Jair Jurrjens, relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, relief pitcher Scott Linebrink, pitcher Derek Lowe, pitcher Cristhian Martinez, catcher Brian McCann, outfielder Nate McLouth, relief pitcher Peter Moylan, relief pitcher Eric O’Flaherty, outfielder Martin Prado, catcher David Ross, relief pitcher George Sherrill, relief pitcher Jonny Venters, second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Matt Young.
Looking at the Braves roster, makes me feel my age. When I was a kid, I used to put major league players up on a pedestal, and I remember how old they seemed. Now, at 35, I’m older than most of the guys on the Braves team, with a few exceptions.
The average age of this year’s team is 29-1/2 years old. The youngest players are 21-year-olds Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman. They were both born about a month apart in 1989, that is, when I was in junior high school.
The oldest player on the team is 39-year-old, left-handed pitcher Billy Wagner, who is a geezer compared to most players in the league today.
Those of you who enjoy listening to the Braves on the radio will have ample opportunity to do so again this year. The Braves have the largest radio affiliate network of any major league team, and more than a few of the stations that carry Braves games are in southwest Alabama.
Those stations include WKNU-FM 106.3 in Brewton, WHEP-FM 92.5 in Foley and WJDB-FM 95.5 in Thomasville. Two AM stations out of Montgomery also carry the Braves – WMSP-AM 740 and WNZZ-AM 950.
March Madness is drawing to a close this week with just three more games left in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The two semi-final round games will be played Saturday with Butler taking on Virginia Commonwealth at 5 p.m. and Connecticut playing Kentucky at7:45 p.m. The winners of those two games will play in the championship game Monday at 8 p.m. All three games will be televised on CBS.
Now that Ohio State has lost, Kentucky is the favorite to win it all. Of course, all bets are off, especially if VCU, a No. 11 seed, gets past Butler.
I saw the following sports-related item in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! this week: Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia ran barefoot in the marathon at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and won the gold medal.
Some of you may have seen an interesting, weird news story that ran in Friday’s edition of The Mobile Press-Register. Written by reporter David Helms, the story details the filming of a low-budget action film called “Night Claws.” The movie, about a Bigfoot-like creature, is being filmed near Theodore and is a production of screenwriter and director David Prior.
“Night Claws” is one of 19 movies that Prior has filmed in the Mobile area. Filming began Monday of last week with mostly local actors and is scheduled to end on April 9. The biggest name in the film is actor Frank Stallone, who is Sylvester Stallone’s younger brother.
That story was followed by a Bigfoot-related story on Monday in The Vanguard, the University of South Alabama’s student newspaper.
Written by Patrick Senn, the story detailed a recent trip by a student club called USA PSI to the Honey Island Swamp near Slidell, La.
According to the story, club members spent three days in the area investigating numerous reports of a group of large creatures that resemble Bigfoot. They attempted to attract these creatures with raw meat and tobacco and also employed an expert tracker to look for other types of evidence.
In the end, they didn’t find anything, but they did manage to collect a few stories from local residents about the Bigfoot-type creatures.
Of course, when I think about Bigfoot, I can’t help but think about a reported sighting that occurred in Conecuh County in the early 1990s.
According to the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization, a Bigfoot sighting was reported in Conecuh County in 1992. The report said that a hunter spent the night in a tree stand because he was afraid to come down due to a “large and hairy” creature that appeared at the base of the tree.
“It was very large and hairy and made very strange noises,” the report said.
The witness was said to be an experienced outdoorsman and was not the sort of person to make up a story of this type.