Originally created 07/10/98

Braves notes: Cox set to punish tardiness



MIAMI -- Bobby Cox was angry at Andruw Jones and Randall Simon for failing to report back to the club in time to take batting practice Thursday night.

The pair, who returned to their native Curacao for the All-Star break, were scheduled to meet the team here, but their flight was canceled Thursday morning and they finally got a flight that landed at Miami International Airport at 5:30.

Game time was 7:05.

Cox was critical of Jones' decision to return Thursday, rather than Wednesday evening.

"You can't rely on planes and the weather," Cox said. "You live and learn, I guess."

Asked if the two players will face disciplinary action, Cox responded, Oh, yeah."

Cox had Jones in the lineup, but scratched him when it became evident he wouldn't arrive on time.

FUN FOR WEISS: The All-Star experience was everything Walt Weiss expected it would be, and then some.

The shortstop was so wiped out by all the attention he and his family drew in Denver that Cox gave him Thursday off to recuperate. Ozzie Guillen started the first game against the Marlins and Weiss will return to the lineup tonight.

"It was just crazy," Weiss said. "I was exhausted before the game even started. I couldn't believe we still had to play. Literally, there wasn't a free minute."

Besides being a first-time All-Star, Weiss also was returning to a city where he played for four years and he brought along his 3-year-old son Brody, who drew almost as much attention for his recent battle with an E. coli infection.

All in all, Weiss, said, it was a great experience, but he got little rest.

"As crazy as it was, it was still a highlight for me in my career," he said.

Cox, who knows a thing or two about All-Star games, used the opportunity to give Guillen some needed playing time.

"That's a tough business what (Weiss) went through and Ozzie needs to get in a game," Cox said.

KLESKO NEARS RETURN: After undergoing an appendectomy June 29, Ryan Klesko is hopeful of returning to the lineup Saturday. However, considering the pain still is bothering him, that probably is an optimistic forecast. He might not return until Tuesday when the Braves open a brief two-game series against the Mets.

"I tried swinging a couple of times and just about fell over," he said. "If I can get batting practice in for two straight days then I'll try and play Saturday."

Klesko said he would swing lightly Thursday and push it a little bit harder today.

MILLWOOD TO GET SKIPPED: With an off day Monday, Cox plans to skip Kevin Millwood's turn in the rotation and the fifth starter won't make another start until July 18 against the Brewers in Atlanta.

"Right now unless somebody wants an extra day, we'll skip Millwood," Cox said. "If he pitched (in this series), that puts Maddux and Glavine on seven days rest and that really disrupts (the rotation). Everybody is rooting for Kevin, but you just can't do that."

By the time Millwood, who pitched eight shutout innings against the Mets on July 4 for his 10th win, faces the Brewers, he will have made only two starts in 28 days.

BIG CAT'S RETURN EMOTIONAL: Andres Galarraga's return to Denver was as emotional as Weiss' and his visit was just as busy. He skipped the home run derby to protect his sore back, but received a thunderous ovation when he was introduced Tuesday.

"I was really excited for the ovation," he said. "It was a great moment for me."

Like Weiss, all of Galarraga's time was taken with interviews and game-related duties. If he wasn't autographing dozens of balls, he was doing an interview in Spanish or another in English or signing his name to hundreds of cards and bats offered by fans.

"Every single fan said, `We miss you, when are you coming back?"' Galarraga said. "That made me feel good. Atlanta is first for me, but I want the Rockies to play better. I want them to miss me and need me."

Galarraga was in Thursday's lineup and said the time off has helped his back.

"I really wanted to be there (in the home run derby)," he said. "But with my back, I didn't want to take a chance. You want to hit the ball out of the stadium and I know that would be bad for my back."