LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Memories of spring days when he could hardly walk, because of the pain associated with strenuous workouts, are filed away in Bobby Cox's mind. And that's something the Atlanta manager's current players are thankful for.
Cox formed his player-friendly, light-load spring training regiment in the late 1970s, and it's still around today.
Sure, the Braves aren't running around camp until they collapse, but, as Cox and general manager John Schuerholz point out, this isn't merely a leisurely stroll around the Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
"It's not just about making players comfortable ... it's about getting the job done right," Schuerholz said. "Everything we do gets right to the heart of things."
It's difficult to argue with the results, given the unprecedented string of division titles the Braves have won. That number stands at 14 and counting.
"I try to find the best way to make it hard work and quick work," Cox said. "I don't want guys out there standing around for four or five hours."
The to-the-point approach is something players such as Andruw Jones appreciate. Playing an aggressive version of center field, Jones said he's grateful late in grueling season.
"I wouldn't know what to do anywhere else," Jones said. "Bobby doesn't put us through military camp out of the gate. He knows what we need to be ready for the season."
BOYER FEELING OK: Reliever Blaine Boyer said his right shoulder felt fine a day after throwing off the mound for the first time this spring.
Boyer threw 30 pitches at 50 percent Saturday, the first time he'd been on a mound, actually, since the final week of last year's regular season.
"I felt good mechanically," said Boyer, whose shoulder soreness last fall eventually forced him to sit out of the playoffs.
"But you've got to expect that everything's not going to be perfect."
On his specially devised throwing program, Boyer is expected to throw 45 pitches today and 60 Wednesday. He's slated to return to the normal pitching program by March 13.
"You have no idea how ready I am to just let it go," said Boyer, who went 4-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 37w innings in his rookie year.
EXTRA BASES: Cox said Edgar Renteria's sore left side didn't seem to bother him as he went through a full workout Sunday. ... Brian Jordan, trying hard to make the 25-man roster again at age 38, took grounders at first base and surprised Cox with how comfortable he looked there
Reach R. Travis Haney at email@example.com.
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