Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 4/9/12
Several months after getting traded, Michael Bourn is just fine with being an ex-Astro. No hard feelings, no regrets. Beyond the fact that Bourn understands that trades are part of the game, he is now the lead-off hitter and starting centerfielder for a team expected to compete for a playoff spot. "I had no problem with (the trade)," said Bourn Monday during his first trip to Houston as a member of the Atlanta Braves. "I didn't take any offense by them trading me. I heard about it that morning and I was off to Atlanta after they told me. The Astros gave me an opportunity to play and they were good to me. I have nothing bad to say about them." Bourn was sent to the Braves July 31 for OF Jordan Schafer, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Paul Clemens and RHP Juan Abreu as the Astros were undergoing the process of cutting the payroll prior to the sale of the club to Jim Crane. Bourn was immediately inserted at the top of the Braves' batting order and he experienced the pressures of a pennant chase, although the Braves missed the playoffs by one game. "There's a little more pressure on you when you're expected to win," said Bourn. "That comes with the territory. But you like being on a team that's expected to win, a team with a lot of talent. You learn from different players such as Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Chipper (Jones). You have players on your team that have been down the road a few times so you get to ask them questions. "I'm just glad I get to start from the beginning with them instead of starting in the middle (of the season." With the Braves, Bourn gets to play with future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who announced during spring training that he will retire after the 2012 season. "He's laid back," said Bourn. "He stays to himself. If you want to ask him something, he'll answer. But he pays attention to a lot. He'll say something that you don't think he's paying attention to, but he's paying attention. "He should be a first ballot Hall of Famer, no doubt. He's one of the top five third basemen to play the game and he's been playing with one team for 19 years. You don't see that happening." As the centerfielder at Atlanta's Turner Field, Bourn no longer must contend with a hill in the outfield. It's a change Bourn obviously enjoys, judging by his response when questioned about playing on a flat centerfield. "It's way shorter in Atlanta than it is here," said Bourn with a huge grin. "(Minute Maid) has a big center field and that's a lot of room to cover. Those days are over for me. "When I went to Atlanta and came up on the wall it seemed so short to me because I was used to 435 (feet) back there and Atlanta is 400. You're looking back and you say, 'Golly, this looks short.' After three games Bourn, like the entire Braves team, is off to slow start. Entering Monday night's game Bourn had just two hits in eleven at bats thus far in 2012.
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