Originally created 07/20/02

Atlanta travels back to 1974

PHILADELPHIA - It was a different look that greeted the Atlanta Braves when they arrived in the visitors clubhouse at Veterans Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The 1974 blue-and-white uniforms they'll wear for the next nine days were hanging in their lockers, and the reaction was mixed among players.

"This is how I remember the Braves growing up," right fielder Gary Sheffield said. "When you think of the Braves, you think of the old days in these uniforms."

"I like it," second baseman Mark DeRosa said. "I think it's cool. It's a chance to do something different."

Nearly three decades have passed since the Braves wore these uniforms, and for younger fans who need the reminder, 1974 was the year Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record. That season the Braves finished with a 88-74 record, but 14 games behind the division champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I look at it this way," manager Bobby Cox said. "Henry (Aaron) hit his big home run in this uniform. It can only make us play better."

But, in case the Braves lose a few in these uniforms, center fielder Andruw Jones has a solution.

"If we do good in these, we should stay in them," he said. "If not, well, burn them."

BACK IN THE LINEUP: DeRosa made his first start since May 17 on Friday, and his first start at second base since May 3. Cox indicated Keith Lockhart will be in the lineup this afternoon, then DeRosa will return for Sunday's series finale.

"I don't recommend getting hurt to anybody," said DeRosa, who missed two months after surgery to repair torn tissue in his right ankle. "It's very frustrating."

JAVY RETURNS: Javy Lopez also returned to the lineup Friday after missing three games with what Cox described as a sore groin. The catcher said his groin is fine, and he doesn't understand why he was benched.

"I feel weird because I didn't play and nobody came to me and told me why not," Lopez said. "Usually (Cox) comes to me and says I'm not playing. I like to know what's going on. I have no explanation."

There was one benefit to Lopez's benching. He headed into Philadelphia's suffocating humidity with fresh legs.

"I feel rested," he said. "Any off day helps."

ALMOST READY: Darren Holmes is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Monday, and he's confident his thumb will be healed.

The reliever, who suffered a laceration when he slipped on a Montreal curb last week, has been wearing a Band-Aid while throwing.

"I think (Monday) is realistic," he said. "But I've got to keep (the new skin) from cracking. I've got three or four days and a lot can happen. It can get a lot better."

The wound is healing, but it's likely Holmes will remain on the DL until it's fully healed.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Tom Glavine, whose blister limited him to less than six innings Thursday against the Florida Marlins, plans to make next Tuesday's start in Miami. The cause of his optimism?

"Positive thinking," he said.

Glavine acknowledged he might be hampered by the blister for the remainder of the season if he insists on going to the mound every five days. He'll need an extended period to allow it to heal, but he doesn't plan on taking any time off.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com


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