The death of golfer Payne Stewart was a personal loss for several of the Atlanta Braves. Stewart, who lived near the team's spring training headquarters in Orlando, was a frequent spring training visitor and also attended a few regular season games in Atlanta.
"I was very close to Payne," third baseman Chipper Jones said. "It was really a friendship that was starting to develop into a good relationship. He was a baseball fan and I'm a golf fan. We went to a couple of Daytona 500s together, and I enjoyed his company. It's a sad day. Right before I found out, I was complaining about a headache. It kind of puts it in perspective."
Jones called Stewart "a great human being," adding: "My first recollection when I heard [of his death] was of him sinking that putt to win the U.S. Open this year. You see him so happy and full of life. He had a passion for life. For this to happen is really a tragedy."
Jones also had a professional relationship with sports agents Robert Fraley and Van Ardan who, along with Stewart, were killed in the airplane crash. The agents had once discussed the possibility of having Stewart and Jones do some sort of ad together since they have one thing in common--short pants. Stewart wore knickers on the golf course and Jones wears his about knee high.
"It's a sad thing," Braves pitcher Tom Glavine said. "We are all sitting here talking about a World Series and that seems like the most important thing in the world right now, but it's something like that that makes you realize there are a whole lot more important things in the world than a baseball game or a sporting event, for that matter."
Sojo Expected for Game 3
The Yankees hope to have utility infielder Luis Sojo back in uniform for Tuesday night's game. He missed the first two games to take the body of his father back to Venezuela for burial. "Sojo assured me he'd be here tomorrow," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said. "Flight's supposed to land before noon."
Chipper Big on Baylor
Braves hitting coach Don Baylor will be named manager of the Chicago Cubs once the World Series ends, according to several sources. Jones, for one, credits Baylor with a 45-home run, 110-RBI season that likely will win him the National League MVP award.
"Everyone knows Don is just on loan," Jones said. "He's made it clear he wants to manage again. In fact, I wouldn't mind playing for him again if there was a change [with the Braves]. He's a great guy, easy to talk to. He gets you to mentally prepare for every at-bat. He's given me a great deal of confidence."
Jones recalled his first spring conversation with Baylor as "the single most important conversation I've had with anyone in my career." In the talk, Baylor told him that he had to begin thinking like a No. 3 hitter, which meant hitting more home runs, especially against left-handed pitching.
Two Losses, Two Attitudes
Jones said the Braves reacted much differently to the two defeats in Atlanta. The Braves believe some bad umpiring contributed to a 4-1 defeat in Game 1. He said the Game 2 loss, in which the Braves fell behind 5-0 after three innings, was totally different.
"I didn't sense the anger and frustration after the second game that I'd sensed after Game 1," he said. "You're going to have nights when you don't play well. It was a bad night to have a bad night, but it happens. The night before, we felt cheated. After the first game, I complained all the way home. After the second one, I just laughed."