Buzz builds around baseball team’s batting

Shortstop Brian Bocock has nerves of steal. He took 26 bases behind the backs of dozing pitchers while playing with the Augusta GreenJackets last year.

His fleet feet, along with the batting bluster of Emmanuel Burris and Mike McBryde, created a buzz that caught the attention of sports nuts across the CSRA.

This year, get ready for more all-American excitement.

From Thirsty Thursdays to more fireworks displays than Wacky Wayne could shake a Roman Candle at, the games aren’t the only thing that keep baseball fans singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

There’s the possibility of a new stadium downtown, and the always economical package prices. Not to mention the hometown pride that packs GreenJackets Stadium as strongly as it does at Lambeau Field. But we’re mixing our sports similes.

The GreenJackets coaching staff will have a new skipper at the helm in 2008, but a familiar face when the season starts in April. Andy Skeels has been tabbed by the San Francisco Giants to run their Single-A team in Augusta. Also returning to Augusta is Pitching Coach Ross Grimsley. New to the coaching staff for Augusta in 2008 will be Hitting Coach Lipso Nava and trainer Eric Ortega.

The GreenJackets will open the 2008 season at home on Thursday, April 3 with a four-game series against Greensboro.

The home stand will finish on Sunday, April 6; one day before The Masters first practice round will begin. It is the first time since the 2003 season that the GreenJackets will open at home before The Masters.

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