67: Smoltz Chose What???

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by Voice of Reason Raisins

JEFFERSON, GA – So, I wake up this morning to news that John Smoltz, the one affectionately referred to in some circles as the Braves’ “Bearded Icon”, is taking his iconic status, packing his bags and heading north. To be specific, he’s going to Boston. He’s going to storied Fenway Park. He’s leaving corporate Turner Field. That’s a tough one to swallow.

Well, after taking a few minutes to digest the bombshell, and giving myself a little time to consider it carefully, I have to conclude that I think that…

… we still don’t have all of the information. Actually, all we have is multiple media reports. I would like to hear the official response from the Braves. I would like to hear from Frank Wren. I would like to hear both sides of this story. I’m hurt, but I am trying to be, well, reasonable about it.

So from where I sit, the information I have at this point is this:

According to Mark Bowman on the MLB.com site, The Red Sox have been aggressively pursuing Smoltz over the past month and it appears they were able to land him with guaranteed $5.5 million contract that includes incentives that could increase his 2009 earnings to $10 million.

According to the Major League source, the incentives offered by the Red Sox were “more attainable” than the ones provided by the Braves.

Multiple sources have said the Braves were offering slightly more than $2 million guaranteed and performance-based incentives that could have increased Smoltz’s earnings to approximately $7 million.

So, if the reports are correct, and we really don’t yet know if they are, then the overall worth of the deal was only $3M or so different, assuming Smoltz could perform. And let’s be truly honest, that is only an assumption.

First, let’s talk about the money aspect, because I’m sure most of you feel the way I did when I first read it. Geez, Frank, give Johnny the dough!. But after thinking about it a little more, The difference in overall money is only $3M. The difference in guaranteed money is about $3.5M. Is it the $3.5M the difference? Is the attainability of the incentives the difference? Does John not believe he can achieve the Braves incentives? If not, that is a concern.

Is this a competitive issue? Does John believe that he has a better chance of going back to the World Series with Boston and therefore felt the need to go? If so, he can go with my best wishes because the Red Sox have a lot better chance of dancing in October than do the Braves. If that is his motivation, then God bless him. Go Sox.

Is this a personality issue? Are there irreparable rifts with the organization going back to the “homeboy upstairs”? Maybe… I doubt it. It didn’t seem to have been an issue in 2008.

All of the above factors focus mostly on Smoltz, but let’s look at Frank Wren for a moment. We know his plan. We know his parameters. We know there is money to spend and we want to see it spent, by golly! We have $40M, right? We haven’t seen it spent and we feel lied to. We feel ripped off. But let’s stop and think. There is already money committed to Javier Vasquez. There is already money spent on maintaining the bench and on acquiring a much-needed back-up catcher. There is already money set aside for raises for existing players. There is already money earmarked for offers extended to Wil Ohman and to Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami. And all of that taken into account, there is still about $25M left to acquire a top of the rotation pitcher and a left fielder with a better resume than Matt Diaz. Do you really want to commit 40% of your remaining budget on a 41 year old pitcher attempting a comeback from major shoulder surgery that might not even be able to contribute until May or later? Or counting just the guaranteed portion, it’s still 20% of the remaining money. It’s enough to forego an offer to Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez or anyone else upwards from Paul Byrd. It’s enough to resign the team to play Blanco/Anderson/Diaz in left field for another season. Frank Wren is going to be crucified in Atlanta in the wake of this staggering event, but the truth is that it is probably the in the best overall team interests to spend the remaining money in a more assured manner. It’s smart to stick to the plan.

John Smoltz has been my favorite Atlanta Brave. This is a personal loss for me, and I know it is a personal loss for many of you as well. But if I am Frank Wren, and I am trying to spend the limited amount of remaining money to field a contending team, I’m keeping my focus on the plan. I’m keeping my focus on the top of the rotation pitcher and the left fielder.

Admit it. We could not – Boston cannot – truly count on Smoltz to perform up to his legend, or even to perform at all. Reports say he’s progressing, but he’s been mostly reclusive, staying away from the media. Where have we seen that before? Oh, yeah… last spring when he covertly worked “his program” on back fields away from the media. That didn’t work out so well. Bobby Cox was quoted as saying John looked “terrific”. What do you expect Bobby to say, “John looked like crap”? I have a lot of concerns as to whether Johnny can perform at a major league level, and I would hope Frank Wren does as well. Boston can afford that risk. Atlanta cannot. Stick to the plan, Frank. Execute the plan, Frank.

Oh, I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The blogs and radio shows are already rife with the talk of how the Braves are “cheap” – how the Braves “owe it to Smoltz” to basically give him whatever he wants to keep him here. Who owes who more? I think John Smoltz has the Braves to thank for a lot as well. Folks say, “It’s only two million dollars. He’s earned it!” I say, what if that $2M is the difference between Lowe signing with Atlanta or with New York? I’d rather have it to spend on Lowe. I say Smoltz has already been paid for what he has earned, and the Braves don’t really owe him any more than the opportunity to finish his career in Atlanta, if he desires to do so. The opportunity is there, folks. He desires to leave. Set the emotion aside for a moment and you will recognize this too.

In the end, it is John Smoltz’ decision, and Smoltz’ alone. If he really wanted to finish his career in Atlanta, it would happen. We don’t know, and we may not ever really know the factors that played into his decision to leave. But it was his decision to leave. “Leave” is an action verb, requiring a conscious effort. As for me, I wish him Godspeed and a full recovery and a successful season in Boston, except for June 26-28 when Boston comes to Turner Field.

Guess what… The Green Bay Packers didn’t collapse when Brett Favre, who had a bit of a dramatic off-season, decided to continue his iconic career in New York. In fact, Green Bay had a pretty decent season. Favre started well, but faded late and actually hurt his team over the last part of the season when he looked tired and was less than 100% physically. His play cost the Jets their division title and a spot in the playoffs. Anybody see the parallel?

When it’s time, it’s time. John says it’s time. I root for the team, not the individuals. I’ll root for the Braves and the players who choose to be here. It really is about choice, isn’t it?


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82 Responses to “67: Smoltz Chose What???”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Many thanks, Raisins! I just wouldn’t have thought it possible. The entire world has gone mad.


  2. 2 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

    A reasoned response, that’s for sure…. Bleep you VOR!!!!



  3. 3 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:02 am

    With the news that John Smoltz may be headed to the Red Sox, it should come as a no surprise that the Braves appear to be intensifying their pursuit of another free-agent pitcher: Derek Lowe.

    According to a baseball source, Lowe is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Braves this afternoon in Atlanta. The Braves have spent much of the offseason looking for another starting pitcher since since acquiring Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox and now appear focused on Lowe as that alternative.

    Thus far, it has been a tough offseason for the Braves, who have come up empty in pursuits of Smoltz, pitchers Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett, and shortstop Rafael Furcal, among others. Atlanta always has appeared to have some interest in Lowe, but until now, indications were that Lowe preferred to focus his sights on teams in the Northeast.

    At the moment, Lowe is believed to have only a three-year offer from the New York Mets worth $36 million, an average of $12 million per year. The Braves may be in a position where they have to guarantee a fourth year at a higher average annual salary in order to get a deal done with the pitcher.

    The Red Sox are not involved in negotiations for Lowe. — Tony Massarotti, Boston Globe


  4. 4 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 11:03 am

    V, I just can’t get around the thought though that it was in the best long term benefit of the club, cuz we are not that likely to sign O. Perez or Lowe.
    Fans that hear that he was offered 3 million more by Boston, and they know Boston is going to compete…well, why would the “fans” support this product???? That’s why you sign him, the bad PR is going to cause many a season ticket holder to say thanks but no thanks to 2009(They may come back in a month or so)

    True fans will get pizzed but will still come back….but…this is not a move to put fannies in the seats. His comeback story would have been quite compelling especially if we don’t sign Perez or Lowe. We as fans would have a chip on our shoulder(Perhaps not at 3rd much longer though) and would be saying ____ you mutts and Phils, a healthy Smoltz and Glavine will make us competitive.

    I’ll be even more a fan of braves management when Ohman, who flat out states he wants to play with the braves, goes to another team because the other team is willing to pay him more than the braves….but everything after losing Smoltz will pale…except if Chipper decides to get the hell out of dodge….


  5. 5 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:15 am

    B: What good does signing him to any amount do if he can’t pitch? There is currently no assurance that he can contribute on any level. Committing $5M to a memory isn’t a smart move. I hope he does make a great comeback, but as of today, there is zero assurance he’ll even make start #1. I can’t get on board committing $5M to a risk when that same money could be the difference maker in a difference maker.


  6. 6 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:17 am

    J.C. Bradbury, sabernomics.com:

    “The Braves have paid Smoltz $130 million over his career. Smoltz wanted more, and I don’t blame Wren for passing. Signing and not signing Smoltz both have risks, and I think he gambled on the right side.”


  7. 7 The Invisible Man January 8, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Smoltz wanting to play for a winning team is the ONLY excuse I can accept.

    Me too Hillbilly… me too. I agreed with most of the rest of your post also.

    Raisins, I don’t even have time read your lead as I’m late and gotta scoot to Atlanta. I’ll try and catch up tonight. Hate to be away on this day. It’s the crossroad of the Braves franchise in my book. Hope some reporter is able to get more than the usual spin on this… we need to know how this came down.

    Later y’all.


  8. 8 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

    In addition, the Braves were worried about the severity of damage that Dr. James Andrews found when performing the shoulder surgery. Sources have said that Smoltz’s shoulder is currently bound together by five anchors. –Mark Bowman



  9. 9 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 11:29 am

    V, I fully expect Peavy’s elbow to blow out in 2009, 2010 at the latest as well…when you get right down to it, Vasquez is overdue for some arm trouble, hows that for a positive thought?
    Smoltz is not a mere mortal! 😉 Yeah, he might not pitch, but when people risk losing a guy that still might be the #1(Yeah, no way he pitches 200 innings again, but he got people out with a painful, useless shoulder last year, what can he do pain free????)
    It’s a bad move, in so very many ways, IMHO. The Red Sox are great at telling players to cool their jets, no Booby telling him to go on 3 days rest, 3rd start out, I fully expect him to return to some glory. They may be paying him 5 Mil to pitch the 7th, and close on the days Papalbon can’t.

    One more thing, I think of you all as friends, so I hope nothing sounds to snippy today….just my 2 cents worth, and who knows what the season will bring?? Well, ‘cept for 4th place. 😕


  10. 10 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Ask yourself this question:

    Should Frank Wren pursue Pedro Martinez and guarantee him $5M? He’s an iconic pitcher with a storied HOF career coming back from injury for one more season. Some who have seen him say he’s throwing great and can contribute to a team in 2009. Should Frank pursue him? Of course not.

    What’s the difference? Only that Smoltz has such a history here? Well, he’s been paid handsomely for that history. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $130M. Nice neighborhood. If the only difference between the two is the warm fuzzy feeling that Smoltz evokes, then $5-10M is alot of coin for warm and fuzzy.


  11. 11 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Hey… at least today’s development has made for some great diatribe and discourse.

    B: No snippiness… just opinion. That’s why we’re here. It’s all good.


  12. 12 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I think what berigan meant to say was….yeah, he might not pitch, but when people risk losing a guy that still might be the #1, those people are not very smart. 3 million dollars??? You cannot tell the fan base you couldn’t risk 3 million dollars if/when he’s mowing hitters down on the AL, and we have Jo-Jo pitching 3 2/3rds inning starts, start after start.


  13. 13 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:59 am

    There’s where our opinions differ widely. I would project him as no higher than a 4, maybe 5 if and when he can pitch. And for how long will the anchors hold? There has been alot of suppression of information as to the severity of the shoulder injury, and understandably so. But now that Johnny is leaving, the info is coming out. Basically, his shoulder is tied up like a Christmas turkey. How long before the stuffing comes rolling out on the mound? Giblets on the pitching rubber… not a pretty sight.


  14. 14 Hillbilly January 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    VOR, How many times does the man have to prove that no arm injury short of Dave Dravecky magnitude is going to stop him from coming back strong? Pedro came back mediocre. His comeback and Smoltz’s comeback ain’t the same ballpark. It ain’t the same league. It ain’t even the same ####### sport. (Yes that was a Pulp Fiction reference) Smoltz dominated when healthy. He dominated when NOT healthy. Anybody that doubts he will overcome this surgery and pitch effectively in 2009 will be eating crow by Columbus Day. You can write that down and I will sign it for you.


  15. 15 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    V, the comparison is valid, to a point, but Pedro hasn’t been Pedro in a long time. He had a 5.61 ERA last year. He hasn’t pitched more than 132 innings since 2005. Smoltz threw more than 200 innings in 2007…with a bum arm. Still, he is 42, and a risk. But, like I said before,(more or less) every pitcher is a risk.

    If I was a betting man, Smoltz will have a better year than Pedro.

    But, perhaps we should offer a spring invite to Pedro, we are going to need arms….


  16. 16 Hillbilly January 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    And if injury was such a big concern, then why in the bloody hell did we offer D.L. Burnett and Rafael Furcal umpteen million dollar for LONG-TERM deals?


  17. 17 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I also think the Braves, after seeing the hellstorm that has been caused for a few million dollars, will say a lot of bad things about Smoltz, his arm and otherwise.

    those 5 anchors may make his arm a lot more structurally sound. My Dad had Hernia surgery years and years ago, with the wire mesh installed. He was so worried he was going to have something tear til the doc told him he was much less likely than before to have the problem again, it was stronger than it ever was before.

    I know I am comparing stomach muscles to shoulders, but still, who would think you could take a ligament from one elbow, put it in place of a destroyed ligament in the the other elbow, and you would be as good if not better than new???


  18. 18 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Hilllbilly, that’s a darn good point! People forget that AJ wasn’t even very tradeable last August, and it was putting on a late run of good starts that turned him into a hot number this offseason.

    I’ve read more than one writer say whoever gets Lowe is going to be the luckier team.

    Would do A LOT to healing the wounds of losing Smoltz if we got that Borass client.


  19. 19 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    And now for something completely different!(I sure hope SG, I mean, IM sees this one! 😀 )

    Onion: Apple’s Revolutionary New Laptop



  20. 20 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    HB, I hope you are right. I hope Smoltz overcomes yet again and wins 15 games for the Sox. I hope I am looking at Food Network on Columbus Day to figure out which sides go best with Roast Crow. The fact remains, though, there is no guarantee he’ll even start 1 game. And yes, he has made comeback after comeback. It is phenomenal. It is unreal. It is also extremely risky, and the Braves can’t afford the risk.

    Listen (can you do that on a blog?), I love John Smoltz. He is a man among boys, both in talent and in character. But HE made the choice to leave because HE felt it was the best for HIM. HE is looking out for HIM. I do not blame HIM in the least.

    Remember, too, that loyalty is a two way street. One way loyalty is just infatuation. Business decisions should never be made based on emotion.

    The Braves were ripped from here to Manchuria for considering resigning Hampton after “paying him to sit on the bench”. Then, when Hampton chooses to sign elsewhere, Hampton is hung in effigy because he showed “no loyalty to the Braves. He owed the Braves”. Well, Smoltz was paid $14M last season to make less starts than Hampton. He’s older than Hampton, his injury is historically more difficult to return from than Hampton’s. He’s much further behind in his rehab than Hampton. Yet Wren is being ripped for making a major decision by using his head and not his heart. I think he made the right call.


  21. 21 Hillbilly January 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Smoltz vs. Hampton……see above Pulp Fiction Reference. Frank will have to baffle us with a couple of huge moves now, if he really wants to convince me that he let Smoltz go for the good of the team. Derek Lowe alone won’t get it done. That’s a move to save face if he doesn’t follow it up with another big acquisition. If he sits on this money like he has done all winter, the “good-of-the-team” argument is shot to hell.


  22. 22 Hillbilly January 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Now there’s a mouse in my office and he picked the wrong day to screw with Ol’ Hillbilly.

    “And I will strike down upon thee with GREAT vengeance and furious anger!!!!!…….”


  23. 23 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    If he sits on this money like he has done all winter, the “good-of-the-team” argument is shot to hell.

    There we are in complete agreement.


  24. 24 Hillbilly January 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    He better spend it and spend it wisely. Not a dime of it goes to Glavine.


  25. 25 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    One arbitrary hypothetical question:

    If Frank can sign Lowe, re-sign Ohman, and acquire a bona fide LF with power, and completely max his payroll in the process, will we be glad he didn’t have $5.5M tied up in Smoltz?


  26. 26 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm



  27. 27 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm



  28. 28 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Here’s my hypothetical question….what’s more likely, Frank signs Lowe, re-signs Ohman, and acquires a bona fide LF with power…

    Or Smoltz pitches in October????

    The way the off season has gone, I’d be surprised if we got one of those 3.


  29. 29 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Rob Neyer, ESPN:

    I don’t know if Smoltz or Baldelli will actually help the Red Sox. After all, Smoltz won three games last year and turns 42 in a few months. Baldelli’s reputation precedes him. But the Red Sox have had their hand forced this winter. Remember, last year they finished in second place, and this winter the first-place team signed Burrell and the third-place team signed Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia.

    The Red Sox have to spend some money this winter … but on what, exactly? If you think Jed Lowrie is good enough to play every day, the Sox entered the offseason set at every position. Sure, they could have wedged Tex in somehow. But they didn’t need him. They just needed to spend some money.



  30. 30 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    How do they view this in Boston?

    Some fans will see the names of Smoltz and Baldelli and conjure up images of a Cy Young Award winner and Rookie of the Year, and the simple truth is that these players are the same only in name. Smoltz and Baldelli are both complementary pieces now, not cornerstones, and it is important to recognize that each comes with major questions. –Tony Massarotti, Boston Globe


  31. 31 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Meanwhile, the DOB blog has blown up in 12 hours(A new record?)

    This says it all about Wren, IMO…
    McGuirk says team’s offer comparable to Boston’s package, surprised Smoltz walked away


    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Say it ain’t so, Smoltzy.

    John Smoltz’s career with the Braves is ending. The iconic Atlanta pitcher, who’s recovering from June shoulder surgery, has agreed to a contract to pitch for the Boston Red Sox and will likely inform the Braves of his decision today, a person familiar with the situation confirmed.

    Smoltz, a free agent, will get a one-year $5.5 million guaranteed contract from the Red Sox, with additional incentives worth up to $5 million.

    Braves general manager Frank Wren declined to comment Thursday morning.


    Wren is gutless…..


  32. 32 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Perhaps, B, Wren has nothing to comment on yet. No formal agreement has been made with Boston yet, just “terms”. We know how that goes.

    With Lowe in town to meet with the Braves, maybe Wren is simply dealing with business at hand. I’m glad he’s focused on 2009, not 1991.

    I honestly do not understand the vitriol from everyone directed toward Wren regarding Smoltz. He’s an easy target to air our frustration, but he didn’t run John out of town. He is conducting business in a professional fashion. Smoltz made the decision to leave, simple as that.

    And what’s he gonna say, anyway? “Yeah, he’s leaving”? Not much more to say than has already been said.


  33. 33 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Also, I think the fact that Terry McGuirk addressed it lends itself to indicate that Wren is tied up on other fronts. It’s relatively unusual for McGuirk to be a part of player/personel issues.


  34. 34 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Man, my work day has been shot to… well, beyond the mouse in HB’s office. I’m getting NOTHING done…


  35. 35 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Before I duck out to try and get something done workwise, I think I need to clarify my position, since it looks like y’all may think I’m dumping on Smoltz.

    I think Smoltz was right to take Boston’s offer. It only makes sense for him to take a generous contract to go to a team that can afford to let him take his time coming back, and a team that can seriously contend for another October in the World Series. It’s great for him, and I hope he wins games 1, 3 and 5 in the WS (unless it’s against Atlanta).

    I think Boston was right to toss the contract at Smoltz that they did. He’s perfect for them in what he can possibly bring to the table in October. They are already set in their rotation, and Smoltz is basically a high priced luxury – one they can afford. There’s no pressure for Smoltz to be the man, or for Boston to revere him as such.

    I think Atlanta was right to not go beyond the money they offered. They, unlike Boston, cannot afford to give John the time he’ll need in March and April. They need solid pitching from day 1, and cannot afford the luxury of tying up money on a partial season of questions. Secondly, it signals to prospective pitchers, i.e. Lowe, that the days of the past are gone, and that the future starts now. I wonder how coincidental the Smoltz timing and the Lowe visit really is.

    Emotionally, it’s tough. But I want this team to win, and I believe this gives them the best chance. I also believe it gives John the best chance to return to the post-season.

    Everybody’s happy, right? 😀

    Maybe not… 😕


  36. 36 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Oops! 😳 I got my HTML commands a little screwy in that last one… the only word that should have been bold was right.


  37. 37 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Well folks, y’all now have an idea of how I felt when the Braves moved my whole team out of town for more money…. Sucks don’t it?

    Josie says she is now done with the Braves….


  38. 38 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Gordon Edes of Yahoo Sports has details of the Braves offer to Smoltz:

    Later Thursday a Braves source close to the negotiations confirmed that Atlanta’s offer guaranteed considerably less money than that of the Red Sox. The Braves would have paid Smoltz incrementally based on his health up to a maximum of $5 million if he remained on the major league roster for 60 days, and the guarantee was for no more than $3 million. The offer also included another $5 million in performance bonuses and $2 million in additional incentives. So Smoltz could have earned up to $12 million by staying healthy and pitching extremely well.


  39. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    You know what they say Raisins, $5 million in the bank is worth more than $10 million in the insurance policy….


  40. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I doubt there will be any single pitcher on the staff for 2009 who will pitch more than 200 innings. Did anyone do it last year?


  41. 41 The Invisible Man January 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Well… from high atop Atlanta it feels pretty low, on the Braves front anyway.

    Now, as I log in I notice that the centerpiece of the blog masthead is gone… blacked out… erased. Maybe expelled, not sure, but Smoltz no longer adorns the very center of the montage of players. That was a fast removal but I suppose a quick burial is best so that folks can move on.

    It’s ironic, because John was also the masthead of the Braves for decades. I know the news and the retouching process must’ve been difficult for CL. Smoltzy was her favorite Brave. Maybe he still is, dunno. Time will heal. Me, I’ll always hold John Smoltz up as one of my favorites and one of the best of all time. We’ll be associated with him again when he retires, puts his Braves cap back on and is ushered into the Braves Hall of Fame and Cooperstown.

    Raisins, that was a very nice lead and very reasoned… hence Raisins. We differ on this: I could care less about saving 2 or 3 million. If it all went down the toilet because Smoltz never tossed the first pitch, then I still would have signed him. He, of all Braves, deserved a shot. He gave discounts to help the team sign other players. He was potentially a season long benchwarmer on the DL, but his contributions over the years made him, in my way of thinking, indispensable. Not just because he was the face of the Braves but because of his influence on other pitchers and the team.

    Funny, but I agree with almost everything I’ve seen on this blog today, even though there were contradictory opinions about Wren, Smoltz, the Braves and the situation. That’s the thing… this whole situation is an unfortunate contradiction. I blame everyone in this situation in different ways… and yet I don’t blame anyone. Again… an unfortunate contradiction.

    I blame Smoltz for not rising above ego and feeling “dissed” or not appreciated enough by Braves management. But I don’t blame him for doing what he did under the circumstances, everything considered. That’s contradictory, but that’s the way it is. Unfortunate.

    I blame Liberty for being a bottom line, non-involved, no heart corporation that owns a team and doesn’t care about anything except the balance sheet. I understand their position. It’s a free world, it’s a business and we live in a free market, capitalist country… thank God. Still, they shouldn’t own a team. Owners should care about players that are the face of the franchise and they should care about funding a competitive team. But then they are trying to position this organization to sell, right? I wish they would sell very soon so that the Braves can be owned by an individual or group of individuals that are financially and emotionally invested. More contradiction. Unfortunate, cold, calculating and contradictory.

    I blame Frank Wren most of all for this. If he is truly inept he needs to go. From what I’ve read this evening (the Chipper interview mostly) and heard on radio while driving today, there is absolutely no reason this needed to happen. Wren has publicly stated, over and over that Liberty has the money and he can spend it any way he wants. He’s not so stupid to not realize the hometown discounts Smoltz has given the Braves.

    Chipper pretty much sums it up in this report.

    Wren is not so stupid to not realize that Smoltz was a risk worth taking. He’s not so stupid that he doesn’t realize that major league ballplayers, particularly those that are at the top, have egos. Was he too stupid to know how to stroke Smoltz a little, as all great talent needs stroking? He’s not so stupid to be unaware of what John Smoltz meant to the team, the franchise, the other pitchers, the team, the city of Atlanta and to Braves Nation. So what is it, if not stupid? Does Wren just not get it?

    I believe Gil is right… this has John Schuerholz fingerprints all over it. Whether you respect Glavine or not, JS did the same thing to him… and Blauser and others. He’s an iceman. He has an ego that is at least as large as any ball player. Wren is his student. Perhaps Wren is his puppet.

    The gray haired, corporate-like Wren has learned but he evidently hasn’t learned well. Maybe he just inherited the unfortunate side of JS. Does he have all the bad habits of JS without a grasp of the big picture or the backbone to be his own man? Wrens days with the Braves are numbered. He’s now a marked man. When we finally do get an individual owner Wren is gone. I will not regret it.

    I’ve given Wren a pass on his stumbles and have agreed with some of his moves, but the more I think about even attempting to bring Furcal and Andruw back, I have to admit… his logic escapes me. At this point, Wren is guilty until proven innocent. Too many people on the inside have said too many things that make him guilty of this franchise being mired in ineptitude. He’s the GM, therefore he’s guilty. So is the President, Schuerholz and Terry McGuirk and Liberty Media.

    As usual, I’m siding with the guys that play the game, which is the only reason I watch baseball… the guys with the talent… the players. They are baseball, not GM’s with that are inept or GM’s that think they are bigger than the game. Most of them are egos in suits.

    John, good luck with Boston… Dammit.


  42. 42 The Invisible Man January 8, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I feel ten pounds lighter now. 😆

    Bear, that Revolutionary Mac link was funny.


  43. 43 Carolina Lady January 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I will bet that 2009:

    -will be Bobby’s last year; his heart was broken yesterday.

    -will be Chipper’s last year; he doesn’t love the Braves anymore.

    -will be Smoltz’s last year and he will eternally regret going to BOS – he will hate it whether he admits it or not. He should also remember that ‘Pride goeth before a fall.’)

    -The Braves will again be in 4th place, 3rd if they’re lucky.

    Frank Wrenn just finished his own career.

    (Anything else I have to say on the subject is at the top of the page.) 🙂

    In other news, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, we now live in a dictatorship. The MSM has been notoriously silent on a move she quietly made yesterday which stripped the few remaining Republicans in the House of the tiny fragment of influence they had. Now, the only voice that will be heard is that which SHE dictates – liberal socialism. She changed a House Rule that has stood for more than 100 years. Having a majority is not enough for her; she has silenced any opposition. If your representative in the House is a Republican, you now have no voice there and no effective representation. The House Republicans may as well save money and stay home because they can do nothing in Washington. Welcome to the New World Order! Enjoy. (The 48% of Americans who did not vote for Obama silenced in our own government BY our own government.)


  44. 44 Voice of Raisins January 8, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I am tired. It has been a long day, a very long day.

    When I first heard the news this morning, I followed a typical pattern. At first I simply didn’t believe it. I convinced myself it was premature. It was faulty. Someone tried to get a scoop, and jumped the gun.

    I did what I always do. I researched it. You see, that’s what I do. That’s how I make my living. I research. I dug up every bit of information I could find, and I assessed it.

    Funny, it was kind of liberating. As I put on my analyst hat, I could remove the emotion and it didn’t hurt anymore. I could sit and analyze the situation form all angles, removing the human element, and form an objective opinion. A reasonable assessment if you will.

    Part of what I was reading was fan reaction. Wow. There’s alot of animosity. And there is alot of malicious and mean-spirited things being said. I didn’t, and don’t, like that part of it at all. In fact, I found myself defending the individual to whom these things were being directed simply because the things being said were so over the top. (When you ask a man on a public forum to please commit suicide, you have issues.)

    Then other pieces of the puzzle began to make their way onto the information stream. Terry McGuirk’s statement, for instance. Terms of John’s new deal. Terms of the Braves’ offer. Chipper’s reaction. Glavine’s reaction. John’s reaction. It became a very large snowball that wouldn’t, or couldn’t stop.

    I had to stop.

    I was getting sensory overload from reading 3 websites, reloading this blog constantly, listening to sports talk on the radio…

    I had to stop.

    Funny thing is, once I backed off from the fray, the emotions began to return. The reality and finality sat in the room like the proverbial elephant. John was going, and that was that. My favorite Brave of all time is going to finish his career without a tomahawk on his chest. And hard as I try to look at it from a more reasonable point of view, a business point of view, it doesn’t change the reality.

    I must have said 50 times today, “Remove the emotion from the equation, and you have to see…” The problem with that is, the emotion is real. It can’t truly be removed. It’s part of what makes a fan a fan. Without the emotion, you’re just a bystander, an observer.

    My head believes what I wrote, but my heart does not. I am in conflict with myself because I’m not sure I really believe everything I’ve defended today.

    IM said it best when he described it as contradictory. If pushed, I’ll still defend my position. But deep inside, I still can’t believe that John Smoltz is leaving Atlanta and that it was allowed to happen the way that it did. Something is awry.

    I’ve looked back at the blog today, at my lead, at the things I’ve written and stated. There’s not one iota of humor in today’s posts. That’s not like me, even in a time of disappointment. Humor gets me through. But humor requires emotion, and I chose to remove that for the most part today, and I regret it.

    I’m tired, and I need some sleep. I hope when I awake tomorrow, I can find my humor. I hope I can find myself.

    This sucks.


  45. 45 flbravesgirl January 9, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Well, I expect VOR to be … reasonable. I am not ready to be reasonable. I am still shocked, hurt & mad enough to chew iron & spit nails. And that’s mad at the whole lot of ’em, Smoltz & the Braves.


  46. 46 flbravesgirl January 9, 2009 at 12:45 am

    At least my dad is happy tonight. I imagine we’ll be buying him a new Gator shirt this weekend.


  47. 47 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Does anyone want a laugh???? Several of us were a bit blonde today! Well, yesterday, and mainly me…. 10:48 AM CL said NEW BLOG IS UP!!! V posts a comment at 10:50 AM, CL’s post probably hadn’t shown up yet. 12:27 PM Lew posts a comment. 2:32 PM, Gil posts a comment. 5:48 PM, Berigan posts one of several comments! Berigan had already posted on the new thead…Berigan should have noticed that none of V’s and Hillbilly’s comments were around! 🙄 Berigan still blames the others though! 😛
    I was wondering where everyone was, and if folks were just too hurt to talk about it anymore.

    Oh, the other reason I ended up on the other thread. Berigan is lazy(Not BAS lazy, but still) with Mozilla, I go around the front door, and come in the side window, shorter, easier route. Once I have clicked on a link a few times, I see the number of the lead(better than seeing the number of the beast!) so, I just type 66 and theres the thread! 67 is not yet showing up in the browser, so I am still typing in 66….Berigan is just plain weird….


  48. 48 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 3:58 am

    I know IM has a link to what Chipper said, but just in case anyone missed it, yowza! 😯

    ‘Frustrated’ Chipper questions Braves’ dealings with Smoltz
    Third baseman says Smoltz was upset when they spoke on phone Wednesday

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Chipper Jones took the news of John Smoltz’s departure extremely hard, both in a conversation with Smoltz on the telephone Wednesday evening and in conversations with AJC reporters on Thursday.

    When speaking with AJC reporter Carroll Rogers Thursday afternoon, and in a subsequent conversation with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz, Jones had some harsh words for the way his former teammate was treated by the Braves. He also raised some doubts about how his own career with the Braves might end.
    Jones is in the final year of his contract and now the greatest link back to the run of 14 straight division titles. Here are excerpts from those conversations:

    Q. How did you take all this?

    A. I am disappointed. Very disappointed. Deflated. Frustrated. It’s been a very long offseason, not a lot of stuff to really get excited about and then to have this it just is the icing on the cake for me.

    Q. You understand why Smoltz decided to sign with Boston?

    A. I get it. Ultimately, it’s Smoltzy’s decision to go. But I don’t think anybody is blaming him. The money is significantly different. He doesn’t feel like the Braves are giving him the same respect that the Red Sox are … I’m under the impression they basically told him be ready for June. My whole thing is John Smoltz has earned the right and earned the respect of everybody here to if he wants to come back and pitch and says he is healthy enough, he deserves that opportunity. And you do whatever it takes to get it done. We’ve made so many gambles on players that haven’t panned out over the past few years and if there was one guy in that clubhouse that I’m going to gamble a couple of million dollars on, it’s going to be that guy. If he says he can do it, I believe him.”

    Q. Fans are questioning why the Braves didn’t offer Smoltz more money when this is an offseason when the Braves have said they had money to spend. Do you agree?

    A. For Smoltzy! That’s what I don’t understand. That’s what’s frustrating. I’m trying to be as diplomatic and as upbeat as I can possibly be and it is being made very hard on me to be that way. John Smoltz has been one of the faces of this franchise for 20 years. There’s no reason for him at 41 years old to be playing anywhere but here.

    Q. How was he when you talked to him last night?

    A. He was upset, as well he should be. You can liken it to a breakup. This organization is all we have ever known. We all have these dreams of playing our last game in this uniform and it goes back to what I’ve said all along. Every dog has his day. And everybody’s got that day that’s coming when a shot of reality sets in. The business of baseball goes on, and no matter how loyal you are as a player, no matter how much you sacrificed as a player for a particular organization, there comes a time when that organization wants to go a different direction. And that time is now for Smoltzy, and I would imagine that my time is not too far off in the distant future.

    Q. How was the conversation?

    A.He went through the whole scenario with me. The underlying tone was extreme disappointment — and from my end it was shock. I could see anyone one else going somewhere before John Smoltz. … After everything that’s happened to this organization this winter, the players and the fans need something good to happen. I’ve been keeping up with the news. I’ve been reading the blogs. The one silver lining we had was John Smoltz being back in the lineup this year. We could have had that dominant guy back in the lineup. But we won’t — and for what, a couple of million dollars?

    Q. You worried now about how things might end with you?

    A. I don’t know how it’s going to end with me. This is my last year under contract with Atlanta. And this last 24 hours certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. I haven’t been offered an extension. If we’re 15 games out in July or August, I doubt they’re just going to let me become a free agent and get nothing in return.”

    Q. So you’re preparing yourself to be traded?

    A. It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities.

    Q. Were you expecting the Braves to make you an offer for an extension this winter?

    A. I was told that it was going to happen by the Braves.

    Q. Do you think it still might?

    A. We’ve got over a month until spring training. Yeah, it could certainly happen. I’ve just been chalking it up to the Braves have bigger fish to fry. But it seems like somebody keeps coming along and eating all our fish.

    Q. For those who say Smoltz’s taken less money to stay with the Braves before, how do you explain why this time is different?

    A. It’s easy. If the Braves would have handled this right from the beginning and gone ahead and bitten the bullet and offered him a contract, knowing that when John Smoltz sets his mind to it and says he’s coming back and is going to be back at full strength, that the second another team came into this, the Braves should have taken him aside and said ‘What do we have to do to make this work.’ John Smoltz has earned that respect. We’ve all taken less money to stay here, but the fact of the matter is that John Smoltz has nothing else to prove individually. He wants to win. Who has the best chance to win right now? Boston.

    Q. Hard to take in, isn’t it?

    A. Never, even in a million years did I think this day would come for John Smoltz. I never did. He was the one guy, I honestly thought that everybody would go somewhere else before John would, just for the simple fact that his family here in Atlanta, the school, all the extracurricular stuff that he does off the field, never thought this would happen. So that ought to tell you how disrespected he feels.

    Q. Did you have a chance to tell him you’ll miss him, what he’s meant to this organization?

    A. We were so upset and so shocked that this is happening. We didn’t even really think about what could happen, that we’d be facing each other, that he could be pitching at the Ted for Boston, that we could be facing him in Fenway Park. We didn’t even allow ourselves to think about that kind of stuff. We’re so shocked that this is actually taking place and that he’s moving on and playing for a different team. I wished him good luck. It’s like losing a brother. We’ve been to war with each other for the last 17 years. Now that’s not going to happen anymore. It’s very upsetting.

    Q. Does this send the wrong message to players and fans?

    A. This can only hurt.



  49. 49 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 3:59 am

    some more slightly stale posts I made yesterday….
    January 8, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Oh, it just gets better and better…Chipper was apparently trying to talk Lowe into coming here just yesterday…real bad timing, and I know he’s being a hothead right now, but he’s hurt….
    In case anyone missed it….
    DOB at 3 PM
    Here’s what Chipper said about it:

    “Yes I talked to Derek Lowe last night. He’s definitely interested, but this carnage that just happened is not going to be very appealing because he and I were talking last night [about how] you throw a 200-inning guy like Vazquez, a guy who can be as dominant as Smoltzy, him, Jair, that’s a very, very good starting rotation. Guys who can eat innings and not overexpose, overuse the bullpen. There are possibilities there. Well, you just lost the major cog of that [Smoltz] and you don’t [yet] have one of the other major cogs of that [Lowe].

    “The prospects of that possibility are severely diminished when you take Smoltzy out of the equation. Because at the end of the day all you really have at this point is Javy and Jair.”


  50. 50 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 4:00 am
  51. 51 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 4:01 am

    That was the last post I made at 7:26 PM. 8:25 PM, Berigan went to bed since Berigan had hurt his back walking into edge of a door(Don’t ask!)
    4:01 AM. Berigan patiently waits for Gil’s back to wake him up! 😛


  52. 52 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 5:43 am

    From DOB around 7 PM….

    Boyer on Smoltz’s mound sessions (Boyer has seen them all): “I tell you right now, if he wanted to, he could be ready start of the season. He’s throwing all five pitches, and throwing [his fastball] over 90 [miles per hour]. It’s just freakish. No other way to put it. He’s a freak of nature.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it. If he was 22, it’d be ludicrous what he’s doing — and he’s 20 years older than that. It’s unbelievable.”

    Man, I can’t wait to see him mowing down the Mutts and Phils…oh…wait….


  53. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Good morning Berigan, I fought off the urge to get out of bed until my body said no mas…

    Yes, emotion does enter into the equation, take out emotion and we will sit around rooting for IBM or RCA or some other corporate types.

    Josie was serious when she said she was through with the Braves, she stopped watching NASCAR the day Dale Sr. died, she only watches now to humor me…

    I stopped liking Boston when they dumped on Grady Little, I guess I will have to start rooting for them again, at least on days Smoltz pitches.

    I keep thinking, could anyone imagine Whitey Ford pitching for anyone other than the Yankees? How about Don Drysdale and the Dodgers?

    I remember when Dale Murphy was traded to the Phillies, there was a totally different feeling because one felt good for Dale because he was going to a club that had a chance of winning. He was saddled with some really bad ball clubs while in Atlanta.

    I remember some advice once given to me, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something…. I really put this one on the Braves’ management team. Yes, $3 million dollars is a lot of money but when you put it into the prospective of the overall cost of the operation it’s pretty small.


  54. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I once was asked by a management representative what I looked for more when it came to being shown appreciation for a job well done, accolades or money. My reply was, “What’s more important to the company”?

    You see, once you discover what is coveted most by your employer, you get an idea of how sincere they are when they issue rewards.

    I am not even sure you was a good business decision to low ball Smoltz if you think about the number of jerseys that will not be sold, the number of seats that won’t be filled and the overall loss of goodwill to the Brave nation.


  55. 55 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 7:54 am


    Today’s Thursday, right? Yesterday was a dream, an aberration? It didn’t really happen, did it?


  56. 56 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Oh, crap! 😡

    There’s still a black hole in the banner…


  57. 58 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

    V, it looks like a big black tornado took Smoltz right out of town! I kinda wish he was back in the photo….it just looks sad to see that…


  58. 59 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

    V, like the new avatar. Give a hoot, don’t pollute! Or have I confused my PSA’s????


  59. 60 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

    B: I’m in stage 2 of mourning. Yesterday was denial. Today is disbelief.



  60. 61 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I can’t see the avatar. It’s still a Braves cap on my screen…


  61. 62 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 10:02 am

    V, looking back to yesterday, I was surprised how calm you seemed about it….shoot, I seemed pretty calm about it myself. Except for being mad and Wren and JS…

    Go Red Sox! 🙄


  62. 63 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 10:03 am

    It’s Smokey the Bear now V! 😛

    It’s important I crack myself up, if no one else….


  63. 64 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Did everyone click on this, IM in particular???? Should even make a Mac’er laugh….


  64. 65 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

    You know, B, I guess I did seem pretty calm about it, but that plays into the denial. As long as I looked at the “business transaction”, I didn’t really think about the loss of the heart of my team. That’s what really happened, though. The heart is gone. I said a little something about it this morning after a radio report, and my wife said she couldn’t believe I didn’t say anything yesterday. She said she didn’t want to bring it up with me. You see, she knows how passionate I am about the Braves, even in January. It’s simple denial. Today it just hurts. I can’t imagine him on another team. Retirement is one thing; there are things to reminisce about that helps fill the void. This just sucks. Period. There is nothing good here. Don’t get me wrong, I still want my Braves to progress and make roster moves to be competitive, but it seems eerily secondary somehow.

    I wonder how I’ll feel if something positive were to happen today? Can I celebrate? I don’t know…


  65. 66 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

    This much is undeniably true. Frank has painted himself into a corner now. He MUST make a meaningful signing, a meaningful acquisition either through FA or via trade. He almost has to consummate a deal with Lowe now. He has reduced his own bargaining position with the vaunted Scott Boras. And he is left with little choice but to now overpay to get his man. IF he can sign Lowe, IF he can sign Kawakami, IF he can re-sign Ohman, IF he can acquire a LF… That’s alot of IF’s, but he now has to get it done or he’s done… And it’s by his own hand…


  66. 67 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Ken Rosenthal:

    Brave new world — without Smoltz

    “For all the finger-pointing in the wake of Smoltz’s signing with the Red Sox, the Braves will look much smarter if Smoltz proves incapable of pitching regularly.

    Few Braves fans want to hear it; they think of Smoltz as the Smoltz of old, not a 41-year-old physical risk. And betting against Smoltz, as always, is a dangerous proposition.

    But this divorce, like so many others of this kind, was unnecessary.

    The difference in the Red Sox’s and Braves’ offers was $3 million. The difference in the Padres’ and Brewers’ offers for Hoffman was $2 million. The Braves, Padres and other teams blow similar amounts regularly.

    Smoltz’s career earnings, meanwhile, exceed $130 million, according to baseball-reference.com. Hoffman has earned nearly $67 million. But you guessed it — respect was a greater issue than money for both future Hall of Famers.

    To many, even if Braves general manager Frank Wren is right about Smoltz, he’s wrong for alienating a franchise player. Ditto for the Padres, who refused to even meet with Hoffman.

    These things are never easy, and in the end, neither side looks good.

    Trevor Hoffman should be a Padre. John Smoltz should be a Brave.”

    Nice summation…


  67. 68 Carolina Lady January 9, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Wrenn has ripped the soul out of the Braves and a huge portion of the fan base. Devoted employees and fans have been slammed in the face with a brick.
    Chipper now knows he’ll be playing somewhere else shortly.
    Bobby is, by accounts I’ve read, “distraught”. He’ll retire after ’09.
    I wouldn’t expect much ‘heart’ from the upset, unhappy, angry players and staff at what ‘management’ has done.
    And I certainly see the shadowy influence of John Shuerholtz behind the whole deal on Smoltz. That was just wrong.

    What’s done is done and can’t be undone.

    I don’t seem to have much interest in what the Braves do anymore. Wonder how many others feel that way? Without TV coverage, the fan base shrinks. Incredibly stupid moves shrink it even more. Congratulations, Frank!

    Moving on…..


  68. 69 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I have a headache…


  69. 70 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

    V, I hear you. If he just couldn’t come back, well…it would be sad, end of an era and all, but within a short period of time, we’d be fine. We know nothing lasts forever.

    Reading about Glavine, sounds like he is also pain free for the first time in ages. Just like Smoltz, it was hurting to do average everyday things.
    Had he ever had arm surgery in the off season before??? Will he be insulted by 2 Mil, or one mil??? Do we want to even offer him a contract if he feels fine pitching off a mound(Will in the next week or so.)

    And if there is so little interest in Oliver Perez, why not make a big one year offer for him??? Prove to the world he’s half what Boras says he is, and get a number one in 2009…..trying to move on from Smoltz….


  70. 71 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 11:07 am

    B, there’s a part of me that would rather have Perez than Lowe, given his age and southpawedness (Yea! A little humor returning!). Obviously, the big difference is that Lowe has proven consistency, Perez has flashed potential. Many people I have read attribute his inconsistency to maturity, but are pointing to new signs of maturity, including a recent marriage. It’s just a big ❓ as far as he is concerned.

    Glavine? As big ❓ as Smoltz, with the only exception being that the procedures he had done were more common and not as serious, and that the elbow ligament injury was not as serous as first thought. Those are positives. But a ❓ nonetheless. To reiterate a question I asked before the Smoltz carnage derailed everything, is a healthy Glavine in 2009 as good as Jamie Moyer was in 2008? Moyer was an integral piece of he Phils’ run last year…


  71. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

    # Denial (this isn’t happening!)
    # Anger (why is this happening ?)
    # Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
    # Depression (I don’t care anymore)
    # Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes

    Not everyone follows the same pattern and some folks never progress to Acceptance. However, anger is the one trait which always seems to surface.

    Yes, it is truly the end of an era for the Braves. The Braves have jumped the shark and are fast becoming Cincinnati. The Cubs are becoming the Braves of the 90s. We now see why so many folks love to be Yankee fans, people love rooting for a winner. They love being able to be identified with a winner.

    Nothing that I do or say will return John to the Braves but perhaps it is the realization the Braves organization is a soulless corporate entity that has me depressed. I may as well root for a Nintendo game. Has about the same affect.

    It took me all winter to slowly get over my grief of losing a team for which I had rooted for 42 years, this is another nail in the coffin. I really enjoy the interaction I have with others on this blog but folks, my heart really is no longer in it….


  72. 73 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Man, I hate hearing all my buds talk like this! 😦

    If I win the megamillions (Next time it’s around 300 MIl) I promise to buy the braves and spend in a way that would make the Steinbrenners’ blush!!! Not just on players, but on development,(think about all the potential players in India, Iraq, China, Russia,etc, etc, etc) a TBS like channel broadcasting games….
    Of course, this is all predicated on the economy sucking so much, I can buy them for about 20 Mil….

    We can have a rotatiing GM position, Gil, V, CL, FLB, IM, Salty…couldn’t be half as bad as Wren/JS…I couldn’t be GM as the owner of course. But, you all would have to go along with paying Beckett 30 Million per year when he becomes a free agent! 😛

    Say, where is Salty???
    Hillbilly and BAS can swap managing every other day. The day they aren’t managing, they can be the hitting coach. Can’t be any worse than TP. 😕


  73. 74 Carolina Lady January 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I’m with you, Gil.
    [Remainder on next lead.]


  74. 75 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Well put CL!!!


  75. 76 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Well, now this is interesting…from the Sabernomics guy V quoted yesterday(Gotta be the same guy, right V?) who was on for the Braves not re-signing Smoltz….



  76. 77 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Lead-worthy, CLady, lead-worthy…


  77. 78 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    CL, you should consider posting that as a new lead, and inserting Chief Iron Eyes (the crying Indian) into the banner void…

    Just a thought…


  78. 79 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    To be perfectly honest, I’m almost ashamed of the cold, calculated lead I sent yesterday. I guess inside I still believe it, but I sure don’t feel it… 😐


  79. 80 Berigan ll, the worm turns January 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    nothing wrong with your lead V….
    everything just seems like one big joke with the team right now. I FULLY expect to hear we are in the lead for Lowe, then very last moment, the mutts sweep in and grab him.

    They need to replace O. Perez if they are not going to re-sign him. They have to have him, or Lowe. They are just playing it cool, hard to get.

    Then we can turn towards Perez, who will do the same thing to the braves.

    Then we start following the Nats with Gil! 😕


  80. 81 Voice of Raisins January 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    B: I think the Mutts are more on Perez than Lowe because of the reasons I mentioned above.

    Yes… this downward spiral seems neverending. Maybe one good piece of news would make all the difference on the world. Maybe an announcement on Kawakami in the next day or so…

    I think Wren would be best advised to not spend one dime on AJones next week when he becomes a FA. I can’t imagine the firestorm in the media/blogs if he spends anything on AJones while letting Smoltz walk. Scary. 😯 And he needs to engage Chipper in extension talks ASAP. Pay him what he wants. That’s the only true chance he has to repair any PR this winter.

    The longer this pall remains heavy on the Braves Nation with nothing to move it aside, the more desolate places like the B&S will become. We may be the last standing…


  81. 82 Carolina Lady January 9, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Raisins, I took your suggestion. And thank y’all for your kind words.


    BERIGAN, that means: go to the next page! 😆


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