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The Braves certainly aren’t giving Gattis any special treatment. If anything, he’s got to be even more impressive than those he’s battling for a job, most of whom have played in the big leagues and have more gravitas with Gonzalez and the coaching staff.

“His story is nice. But that story isn’t going to get him to the big leagues,” the manager says. “Fifteen years from now, when he’s an established major leaguer, that will be a nice book. But what’s impressive about him now are his numbers.”

If Gattis had chosen a more traditional course, he might already be an established big leaguer.

But he has absolutely no regrets about his journey and, really, that’s what we all should be striving for.

“Did I miss out?” Gattis asks.

He knows the answer now.

“No, not at all.”

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Paul Newberry is a national writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963