Pregame spat in Atlanta: Cubs’ bullpen has to quiet squawking Wren
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com April 5, 2013 7:03PM
Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren smiles during a news conference announcing his two-year contract extension through the 2013 season, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Updated: April 5, 2013 7:04PM
ATLANTA -- It’s starting to become clear that Frank Wren and Cubs’ pitchers are not a good mix.
Wren, the Atlanta Braves general manager who was spurned by Ryan Dempster in attempts to trade for him last summer, created a stir before Friday’s series opener against the Cubs when he personally tried to kick Cubs pitchers off the field as they played catch in left field during Braves batting practice.
Wren stood near the batting cage waving at the players to get off the field, then had a Turner Field security official go down the line and tell them to vacate. The Cubs ignored him, and Wren headed into the clubhouse to find manager Dale Sveum, muttering something about people not following rules.
“What the f--- was that about,” one pitcher said when they finally made room for two Braves outfielders to shag flies in left.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Carlos Marmol said.
And when they were told it was because the Braves wanted to work on fly balls, Shawn Camp yelled across the field in Wren’s general direction: “That’s what spring training’s for!”
It was a lot of noise that in the end didn’t matter much. The problem was apparently caused by the Braves’ BP being off its normal schedule and the pitchers unwittingly mis-timing their usual pregame routine.
“Two teams can’t be on the field at the same time,” Sveum said, “but we all know at the end of BP that everybody always goes and throws and pretty much everybody’s work’s done by then. The BP time got all goofed up.”
One press box wag pointed out that Wren – who eventually traded for Cubs pitcher Paul Maholm last summer -- was probably ticking off guys who are going to wind up on his club in July.
Good thing for Wren the Cubs don’t have any starting pitchers left with no-trade rights.