02/19/11 6:17 PM EST
Chipper feels discomfort in left knee
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
"It was a bad day today," Jones said. "I didn't feel good doing anything. ... Some days I wake up and I can tell it's going to be a good day, and other days I'm going to have to fight my way through it."
Jones battled through the discomfort throughout most of Saturday's three-hour workout. In hindsight, he wishes that he would have skipped some of the drills that proved more demanding on his knee.
But because this was the first day the club was working on new manager Fredi Gonzalez's bunt defense and defensive fundamentals, the 38-year-old felt that he needed to remain on the field.
"I didn't do everything today," Jones said, "but I still went out there and got my reps in for three hours. The good thing is, I haven't had two bad days in a row. Hopefully, I don't start now.
"It's going to happen. I just don't want to pile days on top of each other where I can't get in shape or get my reps in. It might keep me from doing my conditioning. But it's not going to keep me from doing my reps -- hitting, fielding, throwing."
Jones might have brought on the discomfort by running the bases for the first time during Friday's workout. He also felt some pain on Tuesday while taking grounders and doing some other defensive drills for the first time since his left ACL was surgically repaired in August, for the second time (the first time was in 1994).
As he prepares for his 18th Major League season, Jones knows he is facing a challenge.
"I don't perceive there being any long-term problems," he said. "You work your way through the rough days and [I'll] get off it tonight, and tomorrow will be a little better."
Gonzalez delivers motivational speech
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Fredi Gonzalez's motivational address before Saturday's first full-squad workout didn't lead any of his players to run through the center-field wall. But it did provide them the reminder that the goal is to build upon what was accomplished last year.
"We're not expecting the earth-shattering, inspirational, Martin Luther King-type speech," third baseman Chipper Jones said. "It's baseball. Obviously, he made it known what's expected of us. He let everybody know where he stands right now. Making it to the playoffs is certainly the top goal. How we go about doing it is certainly important, too."
Because he felt the clubhouse would be too crowded, Gonzalez gathered his players and members of the front office in center field to deliver his speech, which focused on the team's goals and informed some players of some rules they would need to know for Spring Training and the regular season.
Before beginning his address, Gonzalez complimented the members of last year's club who had reached the postseason.
"Everybody is striving for the same thing," catcher Brian McCann said. "Everybody is shooting for a championship season, and that is the message that is going to be sent. That was the message that was sent today."
Uggla feeling right at home with Braves
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dan Uggla knew that he would experience familiarity when reunited with manager Fredi Gonzalez, but the veteran second baseman wasn't expecting the level of comfort he already feels around his Braves teammates, who have already made him feel welcome.
"Everybody is unbelievable here," Uggla said. "When people go out of their way and treat you like you've been here for years, that's a special thing. That doesn't happen everywhere."
When the Braves acquired Uggla through a November trade with the Marlins, they seemed confident that he would have a smooth transition. He already had a friendship with Brian McCann, and having playing against Atlanta 18 times over each of the past five seasons, he had plenty of interaction with the players.
The Braves' assumption seems to have proven true, as Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson and McCann are among the many who have attempted to make Uggla feel like "one of the guys."
"They're all just busting on me and treating me just like I've been here for the last couple of years," Uggla said. "They're not just trying to be nice and stuff. They're being nice, but they're giving me [garbage]."
When asked about this, McCann said that he has been careful about the clubhouse jabs he has delivered to the muscular, 205-pound Uggla.
"He's a big old man," McCann said. "We're feeling it out. I don't want to get choke-slammed for making a joke in the cheap seats."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.