Bourn ready to help Braves turn the page

Bourn ready to help Braves turn the page

Bourn ready to help Braves turn the page
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves center fielder Michael Bourn and Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford have been friends since they began playing baseball together as kids in Houston. When they were reunited during the early days of this past offseason, they did not spend much time talking about the historic collapses their respective teams had just experienced.

"It's crazy it happened to both our teams like that, but it did," Bourn said. "Nobody likes losing. We didn't like it at the time. We don't like it now. But you know, that's what the offseason is for, to get over that part of it and get ready to go for the next season. There is nothing you can do about the past. As much as you're mad at it or wish you could change it, you can't."

Bourn arrived Wednesday morning to experience his first Spring Training with the Braves. As the speedy outfielder prepares for the possibility of becoming a free agent at the end of the year, he does not know if this will be his last spring with Atlanta. He said there have not been any contract discussions.

"That's just part of the game," Bourn said. "You need to deal with it how it comes. I'm just worried about getting in shape for the season."

The Braves acquired Bourn from the Astros last July 31 with the hope that he would help push them toward the playoffs. While hitting .284 with a .328 on-base percentage in August, he helped Atlanta carry an 8 1/2-game Wild Card lead into September.

But while hitting .222 with a .288 on-base percentage in his final 13 games, Bourn simply added to the widespread offensive woes that kept the Braves out of the playoffs.

"You can't even explain it," Bourn said. "You're in here when it's going on and you're just like, 'Man, we can't explain it."

Bourn believes the opportunity to get to know his teammates better during Spring Training will help him feel even more comfortable when the season begins and the Braves attempt to make amends for what happened last year.

"We've got pretty much the same players," Bourn said. "Chemistry plays a big part. I think we'll be all right."