Braves lose Grapefruit League opener

The Braves Show's Bill Shanks talks about the Braves loss in Vero Beach Thursday afternoon.

* Tim Hudson was not extremely sharp Thursday in his game against the Dodgers, but he didn't seem too worried. Hudson did believe his changeup was effective, which is a good sign for this early in the spring.

* Chris Resop looked great and is off to a good start in his quest for a spot in the Braves' bullpen. Resop looks healthy and was very impressive in his two innings with two strikeouts.

* Matt DeSalvo looked awful with five walks in 1.1 innings of work. He had impressed Bobby Cox earlier in the month, but there was no doubt that the control trouble DeSalvo has had in the past will continue to be an issue.

* It was almost comical in the third inning when Tanyon Sturtze logged a scoreless inning for the Dodgers. He was with the Braves most of last season but the team saw more of him on the mound Thursday in one inning than they did last year.

* Tom Martin pitched for the Dodgers Thursday. Good to see some things never change. He couldn't pitch three years ago and he still can't pitch.

* Yes, Andruw Jones looked weird in the Dodgers' blue. But so did Joe Torre, the new skipper for Los Angeles. Torre battled the Dodgers for two years when he managed the Braves in 1982 and 1983. The Braves won in his first year as manager, while the Dodgers got revenge in 1983.

* It was fun to watch Andruw on second base today when a ball was hit to right field. You could tell that Jeff Francoeur would have loved for the portly Jones to challenge that arm. Jason Repko did and regrets that decision!

* A pretty good start for Jordan Schafer, as he went 2-3 with a run scored. Schafer also showed off his strong arm. With a runner on second base there was a ball hit to center. The runner barely started toward third, but when Schafer's lob to shortstop was rifled in the runner quickly turned around.

* Tyler Flowers had a good batting practice, and he had a nice day at the plate with a two-run home run in the ninth inning. Flowers is likely heading to Myrtle Beach, but the tall catcher/first baseman might hit Double-A before the end of the season. Flowers has outstanding power and displayed that Thursday with a home run to left field.

* It was a typical late February day in Vero Beach: windy and sunny. While most people were bundled up to stay warm from the wind, if you didn't have sunscreen on you might have a little sun on your face tonight!

* There is no doubt that Dodgertown is special. It is old spring training, and there are not many complexes left today that can remind you of the history of this game like the one in Vero Beach. But with the Dodgers moving to Arizona next spring, Vero is looking for a new tenant. The Baltimore Orioles are mentioned as the best option, but even if they take over the facility it will never be the same with the Dodgers gone. You walk around and see the lanes named after Dodgers' greats and see tremendous history. But it will be gone after March when the Dodgers join the Cactus League in 2009.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at

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