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Gonzalez doing the upstanding citizen thing

Speaking of people who may not be ready to go when spring training starts, Fredi is admirably performing his civic duty - the one I hate the most - Jury Duty.

Instead of preparing for spring training, Gonzalez has spent the past three weeks of his off-season in a Cobb County, Ga., courtroom as a juror in a civil trial over a $126 million Medicare fraud case involving the financial company PricewaterhouseCoopers.

When the trial started Jan. 8, Judge Tom Pope told potential jurors that it could last up to six weeks. Gonzalez, a former Atlanta Braves third-base coach hired by the Marlins in October, told the judge he needed to be in Florida for spring training by mid-February.

But baseball, even in the major leagues, apparently is no excuse for getting out of jury duty.

"The plaintiffs are almost done with their witnesses,'' Gonzalez said Wednesday. "Now the defendants get to call their witnesses,''

The trial is in its third week and the Price Waterhouse Coopers legal team is just now stepping up to the plate.  OMG, this thing could last forever.  We may not see Fredi in the dugout before the All-Star break.

There was an interesting tidbit in the article.

When he reported to the Cobb County Courthouse on Jan. 8, Gonzalez was amused to find a familiar face sitting among the pool of potential jurors - Braves General Manager John Schuerholz.

"I guess they liked me better than John,'' Gonzalez joked.

Fredi, let me help you out with this one: the judge and prosecutor are Braves fans.  There was no way on this planet that Schuerholz was ever going to serve on the jury during the off-season with spring training so close at hand.  The Marlins bet!  Jury duty was in your future the minute you set foot in the courtroom.

Move out of Georgia, Fredi.  South Florida is an awfully nice place to live.  But you already know that.