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Busy Day All Around...for Once!

Things are starting to heat up...finally!

First, earlier in the day, we learned that John Smoltz has decided to pull out of the World Baseball Classic. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smoltz said he realized it made more sense to pull out before the U.S. team finalized its roster. He said it's time to make decisions without letting fierce competitiveness cloud his judgment.

As a fan, I have to agree with the decision Smoltz made today. Despite how important John Schuerholz made the WBC seem, I'd much rather have a healthy John Smoltz on the Atlanta Braves than on Team USA.

After the news of Smoltz we of course heard the news of the Bruce Sutter Hall of Fame election.

Then the Braves released their spring training roster and non-roster invite list.

The Braves currently have 38 players on the 40-man roster, while an additional 14 players will be in camp as non-roster invitees. The list of non-roster invitees includes five right-handed pitchers (Kevin Barry, Wes Obermueller, Chad Paronto, Travis Smith and Sean White), four catchers (Eddie Perez, Steve Pyzik, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Clint Sammons), two infielders (Cesar Crespo and Jonathan Schuerholz) and three outfielders (Brian Jordan, David Kelton and Michael Ryan).

Braves' pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to camp on Thursday, February 16, with the first workout set for the following day. The rest of the Braves players are scheduled to report on Tuesday, February 21.

And finally, according to the L.A. Daily News, Rafael Furcal, who agreed to terms last month on a three-year, $39 million contract, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic to repair the medial meniscus in his right knee.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Monday the procedure is minor and that Furcal should be ready to resume full baseball activities by the start of spring training, but Colletti also said that because of the surgery, club officials will discourage Furcal from playing for his native Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The Dodgers claim they knew that Furcal's knee would need to be cleaned out when they gave him a physical prior to signing his contract. I don't know, but this sounds a bit suspicious to me. We'll keep a close eye on this situation. That's for sure.