You have probably seen lots of news by now about players reporting early to Spring Training. All around Major League Baseball, position players have been arriving along with or even before pitchers and catchers. It seems to be the thing to do if you are willing to make the trip a few days early. The Atlanta Braves have a possible outfielder that apparently doesn’t agree with the idea of showing up early.
Jordan Schafer was placed on waivers by the Houston Astros and claimed by the Braves. Braves fans will remember Schafer from a short few years ago when he was supposed to be the next great outfielder to come through the farm system. That never really materialized as he got into some trouble for taking human growth hormones and eventually he wound up playing for the Astros. Drug problems found him there as well. This past off-season, after he was released by the Astros, Schafer was graciously asked back to Spring Training with the Braves.
In response, Schafer just decided not to show up yet. Some might not think that’s a big deal since he wasn’t required to show up until Thursday, but manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t like it one bit. He sarcastically joked about Schafer apparently already having a guaranteed spot on the roster, saying that must be the reason he hadn’t bothered showing up. There is some good news for Schafer as he decided to show up early today. At least that’s something.
For those who think it shouldn’t matter that he didn’t show up early, I have an analogy for you. Imagine you and another two people are up for a promotion at work. You show up a few minutes before time to start working but your competitors slept at their desk and had hours of work in when you got there. I’m not saying something is terribly wrong with showing up right on time but don’t expect a promotion or a job over the guy that was there way early and working.
Oh, by the way. Evan Gattis and his family reportedly drove thirty hours to arrive days early for the Braves camp. Schafer lives thirty minutes from the field. Yeah, he is a talented fellow, problems or not. But this spring, Schafer better have a forty-four ounce bat and a rocket up his backside if he plans to win a spot.