Originally created 05/27/98

Braves notebook



ATLANTA -- If Curtis Pride is fined and suspended by National League president Leonard Coleman after being ejected from Monday night's game following a skirmish at home plate with Cubs' catcher Sandy Martinez, Bobby Cox will take issue with the ruling.

"I don't possibly see how there could be any fine on Curtis," Cox said. "All he did was get up off the ground. I don't see where he would be fined anything."

The usual fine for an ejection is $500. Pride said he'll appeal a large fine or a suspension. Meanwhile, he missed Tuesday's game with a severe bruise on his right forearm he suffered when he collided with Martinez's mask.

"Steel usually wins out," head trainer Dave Pursley said.

Pride couldn't swing a bat Tuesday afternoon and was disappointed he couldn't play for Ryan Klesko, who missed a second straight start with a sore neck.

"If I had to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing because that's my style," Pride said. "I play hard.

`BIG CAT' HURTING:

Andres Galarraga suffered a slightly strained right groin running out a grounder in his first at-bat Monday night, and it still was sore Tuesday. He remained in the lineup, but admitted he may miss a game or two to rest it.

"It's better to lose a couple of games then lose 15," he said.

ANDRUW COMING AROUND:

With four hits Monday night, Andruw Jones boosted his average to a season-high .249 and he's batted .409 with four RBI during the homestand.

While the Braves head out of town on a nine-game trip to Chicago, Milwaukee and Baltimore starting Friday, the grounds crew will be readying Turner Field for a George Strait concert Sunday. Approximately 40,000 tickets have been sold, including 7,000 seats on the outfield, which will be placed on a material that allows the grass to breathe.

The club will evaluate the 12-hour festival and determine whether the grass was damaged before making plans for more concerts.

BRAVES SIGN DENT:

Before Monday's midnight deadline, the Braves signed right-handed pitcher Doug Dent, 21, who was their 13th round selection in June's draft. A Citrus Heights, Calif., native, Dent has been on a two-year Mormon mission to the Philippines. He's 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds and attended the University of Utah before doing his missionary work.

Dent will work into shape at extended spring training in Orlando, Fla., then report to Danville, Va., of the Appalachian League.

With the addition of Dent, the Braves signed 14 of their first 20 picks from last year's draft.

AT AN ADVANTAGE:

Here's an indication of how far the Expos have gone with their youth movement. Heading into Tuesday night's opener, the three Braves starters in the series -- Denny Neagle, Greg Maddux and Dennis Martinez -- had a 503-2 edge in career wins over the trio of Montreal pitchers.