It was on this day in 1954 that the legendary Hank Aaron recorded his first home run and first two RBIs in a big league uniform. Aaron’s first-inning single drove in Danny O’Connell for the first of Aaron’s MLB record 2297 career RBIs. In the sixth, Aaron collected his second RBI in the form of a solo shot off Cardinals’ starter Vic Raschi, putting Aaron on the path to 755 home runs. Here’s the latest from the modern-day Braves…
- Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei tells Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his corporation has no plans to sell the Braves in the near future, though there will eventually be a “separation” between the team and the company. “Liberty has been a company that has tended to move through assets,” Maffei said. “It wouldn’t be forever. Here we are nine years later (since buying the team). I don’t know when that’s going to be. It could be another nine years. But someday I suspect the Braves will be out on their own.” For now, Liberty Media “are happy owners” and Maffei is looking forward to the new opportunities provided by the Braves’ new stadium.
- Maffei also responded to local criticism that the Braves would be better served by local ownership who spent more on payroll. “What happens is, we have a budgeting process where the Braves’ management brings us a budget, a payroll budget included. And I don’t think we have once changed the number,” Maffei said. “It’s not like we come and say, ’Nah, you got to cut that.’ I don’t think that has happened in the nine years that we have been involved.”
- Manager Fredi Gonzalez wants outfielder Mallex Smith to remain in the majors, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Smith has hit just .162/.262/.243 over his first 42 career plate appearances but Gonzalez feels that more big league experience “will be better for him than going down [to Triple-A].”
- Smith was called up when Ender Inciarte went on the DL with a hamstring injury, and Inciarte is still around 10-14 days away from a return, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Inciarte is hitting in extended spring training games but has yet to run the bases.
- In other Braves injury news, Manny Banuelos recently threw a 20-pitch bullpen session but there isn’t a timetable for his return, Grant McAuley of CBS Radio 92.9 tweets. Banuelos has yet to pitch this season due to a sore elbow, which is a particularly worrisome injury in his case given that Banuelos has already undergone a Tommy John procedure earlier in this career.