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My Take: The kid, the staff, and the search for redemption
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It's been a while since a 20-year-old, seven-hole hitting right fielder got as much attention as Braves rookie Jason Heyward has gotten since spring training started up and on through his first-career at-bat which was good for three RBIs and an abrupt homer.
Braves fans got a dose of reality after that, as he went two for his next 12, but he bounced back in Saturday's 7-2 win over the Giants with his second-career homer and a 3-for-3 night.
In that game, he looked like a seasoned veteran, showing his power with a solo home run, his patience with a pair of walks and his ability to adjust by squirting an RBI single to left after lining a pair of hot shots foul down the third-base side in the seventh inning.
In other words, he opposed his will in San Francisco that night.
The hype of "the kid" has been huge since he got the call to the show and, although he's been slightly inconsistent, it's easy to see why.
One can only hope that he doesn't get "Yankee'd" by Braves fans, who have been quick to jump on the bandwagon when all is well and quick to abandon as the "glory years" have recently fallen by the wayside.
It's clear that Heyward has re-energized the fan base, but it can be a dangerous bit of medicine, too. Look at A-Rod's plight in pinstripeville.
When the poor guys is hitting homers and driving in clutch runs, it's because that's what he is supposed to be doing, and when he grounds out down one with two on in the bottom of the ninth, he's an overpaid hack who deserves to be run out of town.
No wonder he felt the pressure and, well, you know.
Heyward has set the bar for himself pretty high already, so - right now anyway - the bottom half of the order is where he needs to be. Besides, if he stays there, that means Chipper, McCann and Glaus are doing what they're supposed to be doing, and that can only mean good things for the Bravos.
Besides, if that pitching rotation throws as good as it looks on paper, no one player will have to carry the team with his bat - and to me, that's Atlanta Braves baseball as it should be.

Speaking of pitching
When you think about college baseball, the first thing that comes to mind is the "ping" of the metal bat on the ball.
Good pitching is about as important to most teams in Southern Conference baseball as good pass coverage is on the football field - not very.
In other words, in Georgia Southern's league, defense doesn't win championships, it's just something to do while the offense catches a breather.
That's why The Citadel is currently tied for first in the SoCon baseball standings, and also why it's turning into quite the interesting season for GSU.
Balls leaving the park had nothing to do with the Eagles taking two out of three on the road at Elon over the weekend, and they won't have any bearing on how successful this season of Eagle baseball becomes.
It's a good thing the weekend starters are going deep, throwing strikes and, during the games where GSU has been successful anyway, seen their defense making plays behind them.
At the start of the season, the question was, "Who do you throw?" at any given occasion. Now, the only question left is, "Can they keep it up for two more months?"

Tiger
I thought it was funny how every golf story for the last few months mentioned Tiger Woods in one respect or another even though he was nowhere to be found.
Well, now that he's emerged from the Tiger cave and actually played in a tournament, I guess I'll pipe in with my two cents.
I wasn't surprised at the reaction Tiger got from the crowd throughout last weekend's Augusta National. Nor do I think it was an accurate portrayal of public opinion. Inside the boundaries of the Masters, fans were respectful, applauding his efforts (it was actually pretty amazing how well he played considering the length of time he was away) and groaning along with his miscues. In general, however, people still seem weary.
I still think he's got a lot of work to do.
It's interesting how the mistakes of professional athletes have been taken by the public during the last decade. The theme has been consistent - own up to what you did, no matter how grievous, and people will forgive you, or try to hide it and brace yourself for the jeers.
I respect Woods for (eventually) manning up to his mistakes. After all, nobody's perfect and we all do make mistakes.
But I just hope Tiger will spend as much time making up for his shortcomings with those he wronged as he does trying to repair his public image.
Oh, and congrats, Lefty - you deserved it.

Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.