New Year, Old Nate

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

By Jon Cooper
February 1, 2011

There's no proof of the existence of any voodoo dolls bearing Nate McLouth's likeness.

Even if there was, it's doubtful McLouth would do anything more than simply laugh off any tie-in to it and a 2010 season, which saw him play only 85 games and battle an early-season slump, then the after-effects of a concussion suffered when he hit his head after being undercut and flipped in a vicious, high-speed collision with right fielder Jason Heyward (Heyward is 6-5, 240, McLouth is 5-11, 180) in pursuit of a fly ball in right-center field in Arizona on June 9.

Ironically, this season came after he GAVE UP no. 13.

But all that is old news.

McLouth, who actually was involved in one of the funniest moments of the year, when his April 20th, game-winning, walk-off homer was met with an empty dugout, has already moved on from 2010.

"That's what you have to do," said the 29-year-old centerfielder who will begin his seventh Major League season and second full season in Atlanta. "I'm not going to try to pretend it didn't happen but I'm going to look back and learn from it and be stronger and tougher because of it."

Teammates are confident in his ability to bounce back and regain the form that made him an N.L All-Star in 2008.

"Last year was just one of those years that snowballed," said catcher Brian McCann. "I have all the confidence in the world that he's going to get back to the Nate McLouth that we first got."

"He's got to be like a closer or a cornerback in football. You've got to take that stuff and just flush it," added third baseman Chipper Jones. "We've all had sub-par years before. It's important that he goes back, gets his mechanics in tune with the rest of his body, come to Spring Training, be aggressive, and just let the chips fall where they may. We know he's a good player or else we wouldn't have gotten him. Now it's time for him to go out there and produce on an every day basis."

Being more aggressive is something McLouth has pointed to.

"I'm going to be aggressive and I

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