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Braves Tidbits from the WBC

Holy Oscar Villarreal, Batman! Don't tell me that Chipper's home run wasn't a gimme from his new teammate. None the less, it was a strong showing from the Chip-ster. This was a good exchange between Team USA manager Buck Martinez and Chipper: Martinez joked about Jones's contribution, saying, ''He's a good bench player." Jones came back with, ''I'm just trying to play my way into the lineup."

And as I predicted, there were a lot of groans in Boston as Team USA took the field with A-Rod, Jeter, and Damon in the lineup, and no Varitek. The team looks strong, though, especially the pitching.

I wouldn't have thought Team Ozzy was that bad, but they got walloped and one-hit by the Italians. Former Brave farmhand Glenn Williams struck out twice for Australia.

Chris Reitsma got F'ed in the A by South Africa, and what many people thought would be the weakest team turned in a very strong showing and almost beat Canada. Pete Orr batted leadoff for the wacky Canadians, and managed to steal a base. But it was not a good showing by any means for Reits, who gave up two hits, a walk, and hit a batter while blowing the save. Keep in mind that it is still early in spring training, and he may not be ready yet. Let's hope that's the case.

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