Michael Bourn has been a catalyst for the Braves offense this season.
If you were watching (and listening to) last night's telecast, you heard Tom Glavine talking about how Michael Bourn is now Glavine's son's favorite Atlanta Braves player. Much of that is due to Bourn's stellar performance on the field:
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But there's another, equally admirable side to the Braves center fielder. In true Braves fashion, he fits the bill as a team player. A great example of that is how he responded to a question about playing without a contract for next season:
"I knew coming into the season there would be questions, people coming up to me and asking what was going to happen with this and that," said Bourn, who doesn’t comment on free agency and trusts Boras to fill him in when there’s something he needs to be aware of.
"I knew one thing – I knew we had a good team. I noticed that when I came [from Houston in a July 31 trade-deadline deal], how everybody interacted together. It kind of caught my eye.
"I could just tell they were trying to interact with each other and make sure we felt like we were playing together as one. So I made that my first priority. I told myself this year in spring training I wasn’t going to worry about that part of it, the negotiation part. If something came up, cool. But it didn’t, so I told myself just focus on working and playing baseball."
Bourn is one of those players where I, and many Braves fans, didn't realize how good he was until I saw him play everyday. There was some hesitancy on my part to accept him as a star player after the trade, since the last time Atlanta traded with a second-division club for a center fielder, they got a McDud. Bourn is different. He's a true leadoff man in the same class as Otis Nixon and Rafael Furcal, and it's no mistake that as he has gotten hot at the plate, the team has been winning.
A first place club needs a lot of things to go right, and a lot of players to have great years. Having a guy like Bourn who is one of the top leadoff men in the game is a luxury this club has not enjoyed in quite some time. I'm enjoying watching Bourn play this season in a Braves uniform ... and hopefully I can continue to enjoy watching him in a Braves uniform for years to come. Though I fear that all I'll be enjoying is draft pick compensation.