Saturday, May 06, 2006

Braves Bobby Cox Denies Punishing Andruw Jones

When Andruw Jones failed to leave the batter's box after hitting into a double play in the seventh inning of Saturday's game, speculation immediately surfaced in the press box that manager Bobby Cox was punishing him for failing to leg out the grounder. To the contrary, Cox explained after the game that Jones wrenched his back swinging at the ball, and was taken out as a precaution. Cox was watching Jones closely as Jones had been uncomfortable in his first three plate appearances as a result of sliding into the plate in the Braves 14-inning loss to the Mets the night before. Because the game concluded after midnight, it was thought perhaps that Jones did not have enough time to recover for Saturday's game. Though Jones is a key team component hitting .283 with nine homers and 30 RBI at cleanup, chances are 50-50 Cox will hold him out of action for the rest of the weekend.