NL NOTEBOOK

Braves Keep Franco in the Senior Circuit

Forty-eight-year-old Julio Franco, here with the Mets earlier this month, is signed by Atlanta for the rest of the year.
Forty-eight-year-old Julio Franco, here with the Mets earlier this month, is signed by Atlanta for the rest of the year. (By David Zalubowski -- Associated Press)
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Julio Franco will get another chance to swing the bat in the big leagues.

The 48-year-old utilityman signed with Atlanta yesterday, rejoining the Braves a week after he was cut by the Mets.

Franco cleared waivers during the Braves' game against the Reds. Atlanta signed him for the rest of the season and said he would be activated for tonight's game against the Cardinals.

Franco, who will turn 49 next month, played for the Braves in a backup role from 2001 to '05. He is a 24-year veteran with 2,576 career hits and is a lifetime .298 hitter.

He hit just .200 (10 for 50) with one homer as a reserve with the Mets. Franco will serve in the same capacity for Atlanta.

This season, Franco became the oldest player to hit a home run in major league history. He has said he would like to play until he turns 50.

· BONDS SITS AGAIN: Barry Bonds was held out of the Giants' starting lineup for the third straight game as the slugger rested his sore legs.

"The plan is to play tomorrow," Manager Bruce Bochy said at Wrigley Field.

Bonds has 751 home runs, four shy of tying Hank Aaron's record. But he hasn't hit one since a two-run shot at Cincinnati on July 3.

· LEE DROPS APPEAL: Cubs 1B Derrek Lee dropped his appeal and began serving a five-game suspension yesterday for his role in a June 16 brawl with the Padres. Lee, the 2005 NL batting champion, is hitting .337 with eight homers and 48 RBI.

-- From News Services


© 2007 The Washington Post Company