Originally created 10/06/01

Braves notebook



ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux might pitch Sunday. Then again, he may pitch Tuesday.

The four-time Cy Young winner threw his normal side session in the bullpen Friday to prepare for Sunday's season finale. But if the Braves clinch a division title before then, he will not make his 35th start of the season. Instead, he will get ready to start Tuesday's Game 1 of the division series.

"You prepare for Sunday and if you get teased on Sunday, you've got two days to prepare for Tuesday," he said. "It's not hard."

Though the Braves were on the verge of clinching a 10th straight division title Friday, they were uncertain who their first-round opponents will be, or where they will open the playoffs. They could be playing in St. Louis, Houston or Phoenix Tuesday, or in a worst-case scenario, playing in Philadelphia Monday.

"We've got four scenarios," Maddux said. "You know what I'm going to do? Go throw on the side, play some cards, and not think about anything until it's time to think about something." ...

Ken Caminiti has discovered his old swing at just the right time. The third baseman, who started the first game of the Phillies series, but hasn't been in the lineup since, says he's feeling comfortable at the plate for the first time in a couple of months.

"I was lost in Texas, then I got right here, then I got hurt and got lost again," he said. "But this is my swing. It feels real comfortable. I haven't felt comfortable in bp in quite a while. Hopefully I can do some damage and help the team."

Caminiti is 1 for 8 on the homestand, and has just 13 hits in his last 82 at-bats (.159). ... For all the hand-wringing about the sad state of the Braves, particularly an offense that will score about 100 fewer runs than last year's team, the core philosophy of this club remains firmly rooted in pitching and defense.

So, while the hitters will finish near the back of the pack in runs, walks, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, the pitchers lead the league in ERA and shutouts, and the defense has 101 errors, 28 fewer miscues than last season, and its fewest since committing just 91 errors in 1998. ...

The on-line auction organized by the wives of major league players to benefit victims of last month's terrorist attacks is currently on-going at bigleaguers.com. Among the 150 items available are autographed balls and bats donated by Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki and Kazuhiro Sasaki, autographed jerseys from Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones and Tom Glavine, and signed bobbleheads from the Yankees.

Also, reliever Mike Remlinger said Friday that over $50,000 has been raised from the sale of t-shirts at stadiums in both leagues.

"We want to thank everybody who has contributed," said Remlinger, who indicated the funds will be sent to the September 11 Fund.