|What's more satisfying than the McRib returning? A McLouth, of course!|
Everyone loves a good comeback story. Want proof? I give you the McRib. I don't know why but there's a fervor every year when the McRib comes back to McDonalds. When the commercials announcing 'McRib is back!' show up I always find myself asking "Why is it back and who makes these sort of brain busting decisions?". I'm not sure if it's people's low expectations for their lunch sandwiches or the McDonalds hype machine being turned to 11, but yet every year the McRib comes back and apparently it's a big deal to someone somewhere.
Like the McRibers, Braves fans have had a good low expectation comeback to look forward to in Nate McLouth this spring. Once the holder of reasonably high expectations in CF after a Gold Glove 2008 season, McLouth was expected to remedy the gaping hole in CF after Jordan Schafer broke his wrist early in 2009. I'm not really into saying who has the leg up this early in spring, but I will say that it is nice to see that McLouth has really stepped up and is conceding nothing to the once heralded Schafer. A looming free agent year and a 10.65m team option will do that to a person. For all intent and purpose, this is McLouth's last year, as the Braves have no intention of picking up his roughly 10+m team option at the end of the season. The ideal outcome is for McLouth to play up to his 7m salary and lock down CF, and for Schafer to play well enough to either be a fourth OF'er or spend a full year in Gwinnett prepping for the CF job in 2012.
A lot can happen between now and the end of March, but it's good to see that the old Nate McLouth that led the league in doubles (46) in 2008 may be on his way back to form. And even under the lowest of expectations, it will be more satisfying than any McRib comeback.