Rough way for Glavine to go

 

Glavine

  I don’t necessarily believe the axiom that everything ends badly, or else it would never end. But in the case of John Smoltz and, now, Tom Glavine, things certainly ended badly with the Braves.
  Considering these are two absolute franchise icons who will presumably go into the Hall of Fame as Braves, the bitter breakups between them and the club does seem more than little unusual.
  Let me make it clear about the Braves releasing Glavine: They were perfectly within their rights to do so, and I don’t disagree with the move – just with the timing of it yesterday, the day after he threw six scoreless innings for Class A Rome in what was supposed to be his final rehab start.
  This after he’d gone through nine months of rehab from surgeries on his pitching shoulder and elbow, including a second round of rehab starts after his setback in April.
  I don’t dispute GM Frank Wren when he says gun readings (83-84 mph, topping out at 86 mph a couple of times) on the scoreboard radar display were inaccurate at his recent minor league starts. Because I saw Glavine throw in the spring, when it looked like he was warming up, but was actually pitching to hitters in sim games.
  It was that slow.
  And that’s when Mark Bowman and I, the only reporters there, turned to each other, after Glavine’s first couple of pitches in his first simulated game, and I said something along the lines of, “Seriously?”
  I’m no scout, but my eyes told me this was unlike anything I’d seen in a major league game except from a knuckleballer. And while those were his first times on the mound against hitters, it seemed pretty obvious that Glavine wasn’t going to add more than 10 mph to “fastball” he was throwing that day.
  So why’d the Braves let it go this long? I know, Frank said yesterday that they really wanted to wait because they hoped, right up until the end, that Glavine was going to show something more than he had previously.   But really, did they expect him to go to the mound at Rome on Tuesday and throw mid-80 mph fastballs?
Why?
  Look, he pitched six scoreless against players young enough to be his children. And if Braves scouts didn’t believe he could get major league hitters out, they were probably right.
  But would it have been too much to give him one start, on Saturday? After he made every rehab start they asked him to make, and got results that manager Bobby Cox had said last week were better every time out, couldn’t the Braves have run him out there one time on Saturday?
  Then, if Glavine’s stuff was, indeed, not good enough to get major league hitters out, if he got pounded in the first two innings or whatever, then pull him. If he gave up six runs in two innings, or even if it was a less-than-terrible-but-still-not-good-enough five or six runs allowedin five or six innings and the Braves lost, at least everyone got to see it, confirm it.
  Then, when the Braves announced on Sunday that Glavine was being released because they simply didn’t believe he had enough left to help them win, nobody would have a real right to complain or question the treatment of the old lefty.
  You write the $1 million check that was to be his bonus for making the roster, treat it as an expensive gold-watch gesture, and send him on his way. (Easy for me to say, I know — not my money.)
  Wren said this wasn’t a business decision, but it just doesn’t look good. He said that the bonus wasn’t a factor, that it was only about performance and the evaluation of Braves scouts and team officials who watched him pitch his last couple of times out.
  But one start. Would it have been too much? The Braves ran Jo-Jo Reyes out there time and time again, when his performance had degenerated to such a level that there was almost zero reason to believe he was going to crank out a quality start.
  I just felt like running Glavine out there for one start, then sending him on his way if he stunk, would’ve been a better way to go.
  But let me be clear: I do believe the Braves are probably a better team right away with Tommy Hanson in the rotation. Kid’s gonna be dynamic (though God forbid he struggles early, for the reactions on this blog….) And for the rest of the season, I’m about 100-percent certain he’d contribute more on the mound than Glavine.
  But there are only a few players of such enormous stature to their franchises as Glavine (and Smoltz) to the Braves, and less than a few in many franchises.
 So sometimes, I just think you probably need to be aware of how it’s perceived when you’re dealing with them in the end, whether perceptions are entirely accurate or not. Glavine did not have the near-unanimous approval of Braves fans that Smoltz did, because some people just will never forget comments Glavine made when he was doing his job as union representative, or the fact that he went to the Mets for five seasons before returning to the Braves.
  Understood. I get it.
  But there are plenty of diehard Braves fans who remember all that Glavine, the only non-retired (for today, at least) 300-game winner in baseball, did for the organization. Particularly on that October night in 1995, Game 6 of the World Series.
  Smart, classy, tough as nails. And a helluva pitcher.
  As the venerable Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren said this morning on 680 The Fan, it’s the first time since 1987 that the Braves don’t have a Maddux, Smoltz or Glavine, or combination. “It’s a tough day,” Pete said. “You hate to see a guy like Tommy go like that.”
  Glavine will be missed hugely, as several Braves players and Cox said last night, some of them biting their tongues and struggling with the emotions as they discussed Glavine and his departure.
Maybe not all good things have to end badly, but this sure did.

  ♣ McLouth is major upgrade: It’d be a huge understatement to say the Braves made an upgrade when they traded for center fielder Nate McLouth on Wednesday. (And not because Braves now have an O’Flaherty and a McLouth.)
  Given the offensive production the team has gotten out of the center-field position this season (and much of last season), this is an upgrade of a magnitude of, oh, I don’t know, the Pirates moving from Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park.
  Speaking of those Pirates, how’d you like to be a fan of a team that feels compelled to trade a 27-year-old All-Star center fielder who just signed a very club-friendly three-year, $15.75 million contract with a 2012 option?
  Not only that, but to trade him this early and not get more back from the Braves than the Pirates received – a good/very good pitching prospect, Charlie Morton, who’s a little older (25) than most prospects; a very good center-field prospect, Gorkys Hernandez, who can become better defensively than McLouth, but will almost certainly never be the offensivive force that McLouth is; and lefty Jeff Locke, a 21-year-old former second-rounder whose career has stalled a bit.
Frank Wren made a terrific trade for the Braves on this one, a deal that could be a real difference-maker for them this season and beyond.
First I should point out, McLouth’s not one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, despite the Gold Glove he won in 2008. But he’s certainly at least average or a little above-average defensively, to go with all he brings to the table offensively.
  Braves center fielders currently rank last in the majors with a .188 average and last with a .265 slugging percentage. They have two stolen bases, two homers, and a .292 OBP.
  Most of that work was done by Jordan Schafer, a talented rookie who looked completely overmatched most nights. (Speaking of Schafer, what a rough couple of days, getting sent down on Tuesday, and then seeing the Braves trade for a center fielder signed to a long-term contract on Wednesday.)
  Here’s what McLouth’s done: Led the NL with 46 doubles last season, while also hitting 26 homers (one fewer than all Braves outfielders combined in 2008) and driving in 94 runs.
  He also stole 23 bases in 26 attempts last season, and his 92.8-percent stolen bases success rate since 2005 is the highest in the majors.
  His nine homers, 34 RBIs and seven stolen bases this season easily surpass the Braves’current team leaders in all of those categories.
  McLouth has on-base percentages of .351, .356 and 349 the past three seasons, and in 2008 he hit .273 with a whopping 17 homers and a .362 OBP in 326 at-bats from the leadoff position.
  Like we said, huge upgrade.
  Since the beginning of the 2008 season, McLouth has hit .269 with 52 doubles, four triples, 34 homers, 123 RBI and a .352 OBP and .834 OPS in 196 games, with 85 walks and 122 strikeouts in 761 at-bats, and 30 stolen bases in 33 attempts.
  But he really started to heat up a littler earlier, back in August 2007.
  Since Aug. 4, 2007, here’s what McLouth’s done compared to a few other notables.
 ♦ Nate McLouth: 244 games, .274 avg, 62 doubles, 5 triples, 44 homers, 148 RBI, 46 steals (50 attempts), .362 OBP, .497 slugging percentage.
 ♦ Chipper Jones: 219 games, .351 avg., 51 doubles, 4 triples, 39 homers, 144 RBI, 5 steals (7 attempts), .451 OBP, .580 slugging.
  ♦Jeff Francoeur: 258 games, .248 avg., 50 doubles, 5 triples, 22 homers, 129 RBI, 4 steals (6 attempts), .295 OBP, .374 slugging.
 ♦ Brian McCann: 227 games, .296 avg., 59 doubles, 1 triple, 34 homers, 134 RBI, 7 steals (9 attempts), .369 OBP, .501 slugging.
  And, just for comparison sake:
  ♦ Ryan Ludwick: 240 games, .291 avg/, 53 doubles, 3 triples, 52 homers, 165 RBI, 7 steals (14 attempts), .368 OBP, .559 slugging.

 ♣  We’ll close with a great tune that was written about Sandy Koufax, who retired at 30, but also seems to apply in many ways to the Braves’ old lefty.

“LONG BEFORE MY TIME” by Steve Wynn (The Baseball Project)

The summer game has let me down, standing lonely on the mound.
A crossroads only I can see between oblivion and destiny.
My mind and body say I’m done but something says I must go on.
Conventional wisdom does implore you give it all and then give some more.
Summer slowly turns to fall.
It’s so hard to walk away from it all long before my time.

My agent says I need to move.
What do I have left to prove?
I falter when I hold my ground.
For a couple of bucks you can keep me around.
You’re only young just once,
[ The Baseball Project Lyrics are found on www.songlyrics.com ]
I know but history will always show you pad your best days with the chaff–A faded tarnished photograph.
Summer slowly turns to fall.
It’s so hard to walk away from it all long before my time.

I stop and change my mind most everyday,
It’s better to burn out or fade away.
Dandy Don and Warren Spahn tell me that I must go on.
I must go on, I can’t go on, I must go on, I can’t go on.
Summer slowly turns to fall.
It’s so hard to walk away from it all long before my time.

 

1,754 comments Add your comment

buzzmeat (BMAC AT CLEANUP!)

June 4th, 2009
2:58 pm

15 outs - TWICE !

June 4th, 2009
2:59 pm

I am still looking for the statistic of mph on the all time mlb wins columns and other stats

nope – I cannot find it anywhere, nothing in Baseball America which pits WHIP, ERA, opp avg, Wins, Losses and Saves with velocity.

Bravesgal

June 4th, 2009
3:00 pm

Glavine needs to retire. He’s one of my favorite Braves. I was one of the few who did not boo him on his return to Turner Field in a Mets uniform. I would hate to see him go out struggling mightily – not the way he should be remembered, nor should he want to go out that way. Glavine, go home, hug your children and ask your wife if that “honey-do” list is ready. And in 5 years, you and Greg Maddux enter Cooperstown together. It’s only right.

Tomahawkin

June 4th, 2009
3:00 pm

Could It Be That I’m in the top 5 Posters? If So, Then Westside!!! LOL

Just Out Of Curiousity…? Does anyone Think that D.O.B. should have his own show on FSN…?

I’m Not Kissing A..s, But D.O.B. has taken Over as the season-long diary of the braves (Especially since TBS Stopped carry them and gone to the Toilet!) D.O.B. has taken over the role of Skip and Pete…

D.O.B.’s Blog has to be the Top Blog on the ajc…It’s been a pleasure to know that he goes all out to provide all braves fans with the latest 411

I’m Gonna Go back to watching old “Salute Your Shorts” On YouTube

15 outs - TWICE !

June 4th, 2009
3:00 pm

If we do use radar guns as win predictors we must soon talk about Mark Wohlers going to the HOF and Glav and Mad-dog being also rans

Glavine is a winner and deserved a shot, simple as that. We could have given him $1M and let him make a few starts……. the old horse can still jump a few fences I think

hk

June 4th, 2009
3:01 pm

… here are ‘MVP’ hitting graphs for the Braves through last night, including McClouth’s numbers to date (not too shabby:))

http://www.mindspring.com/~hk3/mvp09.htm

hk

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 4th, 2009
3:03 pm

I applaud Frank Wren on making an incredibly difficult decision. Tom Glavine or Tommy Hanson? It’s a no brainer. The Braves want to win and this is a step in that direction.

It’s the handling and timing of the situation that I do not agree with. Frank Wren is a hatchet man. He has the delicate touch of a Bull in a china shop. The man breaks things, with sledge hammer in hand. There was the fiasco concerning Cal Ripken jr. in Baltimore. Then just this past off season with John Smoltz. Now we have Glavine toeing the line, doing everything asked of him and getting dumped out like yesterday’s trash.

I realize baseball is a business and the Braves saved themselves a couple of million by letting Glavine walk. But it still smells like the sh!t in the dogs corner of the yard

RHR

June 4th, 2009
3:03 pm

Tearjerker song choice, DOB. :(

dogsbrekky - 1995 was but, 14 years ago, GULP !

June 4th, 2009
3:04 pm

Well written Dave, thanks again

Noe let us go and eat some “bear” for dinner

Loving this McKutcheon (spelling) kid at the Bucs, on pace for 300 runs this year. Bucs killing the Metamucils

cabravesfan

June 4th, 2009
3:04 pm

DOB-

Thanks- you summed up the feelings I was trying to get across on the previous blog.

dogsbrekky - 1995 was but, 14 years ago, GULP !

June 4th, 2009
3:05 pm

PUTZ – lit up like a pinball machine again. I do love it so

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:05 pm

Great Blog, DOB. Balanced and warm, even in disagreement with the move. I sold ya short.

dogsbrekky - 1995 was but, 14 years ago, GULP !

June 4th, 2009
3:07 pm

Coach you could say the whole thing is a dogs brekky. oops

Bravesgal

June 4th, 2009
3:07 pm

Sorry, don’t get the “Wren could have handled it a better way”. That’s just plain baloney. There is no good time or “right” way to let an employee go – I know I’ve had to do it.

Thrillhouse44

June 4th, 2009
3:08 pm

Hate to see Tommy G go, but seeing Tommy H and McLouth come certainly softens the blow.

Tomahawkin

June 4th, 2009
3:08 pm

Send Blanco Down NOW!!!!

D.O.B. R u Suggesting that Ryan Ludwick Is still one of the braves main targets…? I would think so If you posted his stats…

And I think Mclouth’s D will be straight…PNC park has a deep CF especially with their bermuda triangle

Aight D.O.B. Are You a fan of old TLC…?

One Good song is “Something Wicked This Way Comes…”
It’s a combined duet with some old Outkast…Good Shyt! It was played on old New York Undercover…

sidslidkid

June 4th, 2009
3:09 pm

DOB, I’m going to miss Glavine a lot. He is one of the greatest players any of us have ever seen. But it was time for the Braves to move on. You said it yourself “the Braves are probably a better team right away with Tommy Hanson in the rotation”. Then you said “But one start. Would it have been too much?” Possibly. One win has decided who goes to the playoffs and who doesn’t quite often. Why put someone out there who isn’t your best option? It hurts, but we are a better team without Glavine.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:09 pm

I have to say, though, that running Glavine out there could have prolonged misery more than the scenarios you say, DOB. Glavine could have easily gone three or four starts straddling the border between miserable and maybe-he-can-do-it. It’s not always easy to hit a slow pitch. But in the end, it’s usually easy enough, given enough time and preparation. When it counts.

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 4th, 2009
3:11 pm

chc4

June 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

The Braves only mistake was in signing Glavine in the first place. Made no sense then and certainly doesn’t now. I can’t fault them for not wanting to pay him that money. It’s no coincidence that the amount McLouth will make the rest of ‘09 is roughly the same as Glav’s compensation had they activated him for 30+ days.

Wren in Doubt

June 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

Andrew McCutchen Pirate debut in CF. 2 for 4, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and a swipe.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

Mets getting their brains beat out, 11-5 in the 8th.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:13 pm

“Wren in Doubt” – I love it. Wish I’d thought of it.

rammerjammer

June 4th, 2009
3:14 pm

DOB,

The scenario you describe of Glavine pitching just one more game and then hanging ‘em up is, well, something for Hollywood.

If he got hammered in that start, well, he’d probably want ANOTHER start to make sure that the first one wasn’t just a fluke. And maybe he gets a little better in the second start..say five innings, three runs. Well, are you compelled to give him a third start? And so it goes, without end, until HE decides he’s finished. Meanwhile, there’s Hanson in Gwinnett absolutely owning the opposition.

You point out they sent JoJo out there time and again, but that’s different. It’s far easier to send an unaccomplished JoJo back to Gwinnett at any time. That he got multiple chances speaks to the hope that a young, promising lefty can get it together.

Even Glavine acknowledged this year was it. Putting him on the mound at Turner Field would have made the eventual parting much more painful and acrimonious.

Put another way, who – other than Bobby Cox – was saying Glavine was ready to pitch effectively again?

No one. The way it SHOULD have ended was Glavine announcing his retirement. Unfortunately, it’s a rare star who knows when to exit the stage.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:15 pm

Putz got tagged again. 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R.

Novice Ned

June 4th, 2009
3:18 pm

I knew the “well they sent Jo-Jo out there” would be used. Braves gave Glavine the resources to rehab, that was his going away gift. Reyes pitched better in the Spring and earned another shot. The risk was taken in April/May, not June. Medlan pitched his best game and was rewarded with a bullpen job. He was essentially demoted in favor of a guy he out-pitched in Gwinnett for the period they pitched together. Stuff happens. Hopefully, the McLouth trade puts a little more pressure on Frenchy to perform.

c jonze

June 4th, 2009
3:20 pm

Did Glavine really play here enough since leaving the Mets to warrant such thought and emotion? It seems like just a re-hashing of the old emotions we all had when he left the first time. This is now the ghost of Tom Glavine, and it has been a number of years since he contributed to this team at all.

Last year when he could not play, I heard some talk about him being a “mentor” to the younger players. Looking back at the Pitchers and their results, where is the value there, either?

I loved Tom Glavine, but the nostalgia is all that he has left to give.

AndyC

June 4th, 2009
3:20 pm

Coach

I disagree with the SI writers analysis of the trade. I don’t think Morton was just a throw in. I know he struggled last year with the big club but he appears to have gotten it together. Time will tell.

Justin

June 4th, 2009
3:21 pm

HEY DOB is McLouth going to leadoff or what are you hearing?

RHR

June 4th, 2009
3:22 pm

Yeah Ned if I’m Jeff Francoeur and I hear Frank Wren say, “we just don’t think he can perform at the major league level”, about Tom Glavine no less, then my ass is on high alert that I’ve got to step it up or I’m next.

Kerfeld

June 4th, 2009
3:22 pm

I was annoyed with Smoltz when he left for Boston, but this Glavine thing has changed my mind. At least he’ll get a chance in Beantown. Tommy just got the bum’s rush here.

As to whether he’s a good GM, the jury’s still out on Frank Wren. But we certainly know he’s not a PR guy!

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

Yeah Ned if I’m Jeff Francoeur and I hear Frank Wren say, “we just don’t think he can perform at the major league level”, about Tom Glavine no less, then my ass is on high alert that I’ve got to step it up or I’m next. -RHR

Yes, but it’s just that sort of clue-gathering the big galump has so far done none of, unfortunately.

Turtsnap

June 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

Very well stated DOB, and I heard the Pete Van Wieren interview this morning on the radio. Yesterday was a very bittersweet day, unlike any other day during the season I can remember, since the Dale Murphy trade. Just as you stated, one start, ONE START, is that too much to ask? Smoltzie deserved better when it came down to the business end of the Braves, Glavine did too. For icons such as these, they have earned the cash considerations that come along with contracts, rehabs, etc.

Tommy P.

June 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

If I’m Schafer, I would not be too concerned about the future. From what I understand, Schafer is a better defender than McLouth. More than likely, he stays in the minors for the rest of the year, McLouth moves to a corner OF position in the offseason and Schafer gets CF again.

However, this does give Atlanta more incentive to unload Franceour (either now or in the offseason) and go with a Diaz-Schafer-McLouth configuration next year.

Efrim

June 4th, 2009
3:25 pm

Coach, that SI article is a pretty solid analysis of the trade.

Bravesgal

June 4th, 2009
3:25 pm

Kerfeld, Wren is not paid to be a PR guy. He is paid to try and put the best team on the field. Glavine, at this point in his career, does not fit that bill.

Kevin in Chatty

June 4th, 2009
3:25 pm

DOB,

So what move do you think the Braves make next? Will Infante be the right fielder when he comes back? Do the Braves try to add another outfield bat?

DAP

June 4th, 2009
3:25 pm

coach cliff is right. the offense definitely is still a weakness, but i do think that its good enough, of players perform, to win us this division. also, wren still has plenty of time to make another deal. the mclouth trade wasnt a win-now move. the guy is signed four more years…

if mccann and chipper are our offensive superstars, then we have mclouth and escobar who are plus hitters for their positions it seems like average offense from the other positions with maybe a kelly johnson hot streak or two in the mix might be enough with our great pitching. with anderson heating up a bit, jeff francouer is now the weakest link.

RHR

June 4th, 2009
3:26 pm

LOL good point, guessing game.

Dr Hoo

June 4th, 2009
3:26 pm

They already gave him a free $1,000,000 parting gift by signing him this season. Giving him another million to stand on the mound for 1 and a third innings Saturday and then cutting him would have been one of the most ridiculous things ever. This is a business, just as it was for Glavine when he went to the Mets for that extra million. DOB, you’re letting your personal feelings for Glavine get in the way of common sense. Your argument is insupportable.

Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)

June 4th, 2009
3:26 pm

AndyC, right.

Charlie Morton’s stuff is electric. He’s projectable as a two or three starter. It’s the million dollar arm and ten cent head label that Morton must shake before we will know what his true ceiling is.

Drew

June 4th, 2009
3:27 pm

Those of you mad about the timing, should take into consideration that the Braves paid TG $1M to rehab and is now free to pitch with anyone if he wishes. He was by no means, the Braves best option at this time. If a 43 year old is the only way to improve this team, then you can kiss the post season good bye. And to boot,TG’s entire career has been dictated by union business and the almighty dollar! Well this time the Braves made the wise decision! I like every move made yesterday, and think that a lot of pressure will be taken off of Franceour! I bet he has alot more fun the rest of the year?

Salamander

June 4th, 2009
3:27 pm

Coach

Thanks for the link – I agree with a lot of what Cliff wrote. This move goes along way to improving the Braves, but they are still not the team to beat in the NL East.

McLouth perhaps gives credence to my (and many other people’s) pre-season prediction: Braves have a chance to sneak into playoffs via wild card; however, its become clear that the NL Central teams might have something to say about that.

Rodney Derrick

June 4th, 2009
3:27 pm

Glav was great and won the World Series, but there are not enough people going to Braves games to justify spending the extra money now when it is needed to do the other upgrades. Look at history, and the Braves have always done this, even Aaron and Spahn. Pete on radio said it and on this, he was right. Under no circumstances, could this have looked good. Frank Wren should be applauded. He did what he had to do. He is not afraid to act. Glav should try Dodgers or Cardinals if he wants to show his stuff. I wish him well. He was always one of my favorites. I did not like him pitching for Mets but the problem was between him and John. Not to mention the reality that we need hard throwers if we ever want to compete when and if we make playoffs.

McCutchen replacing McLouth for Bucs so far 2 for 4, 3 runs, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Reason all the ESPN guys attacking Braves handling of Glav is that they are afraid Hanson added to the pitching plus McLouth trade means Braves might be able to beat their beloved NE teams.

As for Smoltz, aging allows one to be a blowhard. Hey I am 62, so I can be one too. And so can all of us who are fans. That is the nature of baseball. But Smoltz is like Schilling with a big mouth. He now talks about things he can not say about Braves. Gee, with his religious extremism, maybe that means Braves are not longer quite as stuck on that subject as he is. Who knows, are there vampires in the Braves house. Some of that artificial vampire blood from “True Blood”.

Shane (The original)

June 4th, 2009
3:27 pm

Matt Harrison now 4-4 with 5.43 ERA. Has a WHIP of 1.537 which is terrible. He is getting lit up.

2011 lineup

June 4th, 2009
3:28 pm

LF McLouth
SS Escobar
RF Heyward
3B Jones
C McCann
2B Johnson
1B Freeman
CF Schafer

SP Hanson
SP Lowe
SP Jurrjens
SP Kawakami
SP Rohrbaugh

CL Kimbrel
RP Moylan
RP Medlen

chc4

June 4th, 2009
3:28 pm

Morton projects as a 2/3 starter? I’d see more of a 4/5 at best. His stuff was not overly impressive last year and he’s 25 years old. Saying he’s a potential #2 starter is a major reach.

smitty

June 4th, 2009
3:28 pm

Failcouer – retire or be released

Sir Stealth

June 4th, 2009
3:28 pm

The fact is that there is just no good way to handle the situation that the Braves faced. It was a mistake to bring Glavine back into the fold this year in the first place, and they probably should have tried to let him know they might go in this direction when he got hurt again and through the process, but nobody can go back in time, and it’s hard to say that you shouldn’t make a move that is clearly correct from both a baseball and financial standpoint.

It’s gutwrenching for things to end badly with legends, and I’m feeling the emotion too. But I’m not sure that enough people criticizing the move know what exactly they would have done differently as on yesterday, they just know that it doesn’t feel good. I just about had an emotional meltdown when we let Smoltz leave town, but over time, it has felt like the right decision based on what Smoltz expected and how much money we have paid these guys not to pitch over the last couple of years.

It’s not a new, modern development for legends not to have a perfect retirement with the team that they were great for. I just really, really hope that time heals the wounds and we see these guys back with close, positive connections to the Atlanta Braves sooner rather than later.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

Pirates beat-down of the Metros is over. 11-6 final.

Sir Stealth

June 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

I love the McLouth trade. It seems like we have given up a lot of prospects lately beginning with the Tex trade, but everyone traded, with the possible exception of Neftali Feliz (promising, but not yet in the majors at a time when the Braves have a stacked rotation), was blocked within this organization. Elvis Andrus was blocked by Escobar. Salty and Flowers were both blocked by McCann. Harrison is not superior to Hanson and probably not to Medlen either. We have Schafer ahead of Gorkys, and McLouth coming in at that position anyway. Giving up someone with Locke’s upside is tough, but he hasn’t looked that great so far way down in the minors. So it’s correct to bring up some of your own prospects but be willing to use some to add established players.

McLouth is an enormous upgrade over what we have had in center field. He adds both power and speed, the Braves two glaring weaknesses. He is not just a rental. You can say what you want about his range statistics, but a gold glove means something. I feel like he is most likely to slide over when Schafer is ready, but there is certainly no need to make that decision now. I’m actually kind of amazed we were able to add a player of this caliber, under a fair contract for several more years, this early in the season. This is not the kind of player an organization usually just parts with at this juncture and I think that Pittsburgh fans really aren’t happy about it.

rjbman in atlanta

June 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

DOB- The only fault in your Glavine scenario is that he would see the light in just the one game–and no real damage done. Bobby Cox is nothing if not loyal, and he would have run Tommy out every fifth start for as long as he wore the uniform.

With very good starting pitching and anemic offensive production, we are only 5 1/2 back. Because of injuries, the Phillies and Mets can potentially be caught. But if Tommy went 0 for June as many believe (especially given the lack of run support), where will be when the Mets get healthy again?

Rodney Derrick

June 4th, 2009
3:31 pm

Is Jason Jaramillo the young Pirates catcher related to Rudy the great hitting coach? Pirates sweep the Mutts!

Cameron

June 4th, 2009
3:31 pm

DOB:

Is McLouth going to be here for the game tonight? That is if it doesn’t get rained out.

DCBrave

June 4th, 2009
3:33 pm

Boy! I was away for couple of days, and when I came back, boom, three big moves.

I must say that as much as I wish the Braves could’ve handled this a bit better, I’m in no way of thinking this move (releasing Glavine) is a bad one, and emotionally I don’t feel a thing for Glavine (maybe unfarely)maybe because he left us once before anyway.

These series of triple moves may turn out to be signitory, which defines Wren regardless of the result – gutsy, bold and unemotional.

I think I started to like the guy.

Sir Stealth

June 4th, 2009
3:34 pm

The thing about saying “give him one start” is, is it really any easier to just rip out the plug after one bad start than it is now? Some have said he deserved one start, some have said he deserved a few starts. It’s no less awkward to cut him out if the performance isn’t there, and the Braves decided the performance wouldn’t be there. And the million+ is no small thing, especially considering how much we gave Smoltz and Glavine last year when things didn’t work out from a health standpoint.

That being said, the whole thing still sucks. I just don’t know what could have been done going forward, once this evaluation had been made. The only way it could’ve been better would have been to say no to Glavine much earlier, and that’s not something that could have been done as of yesterday.

Jersey Gil

June 4th, 2009
3:34 pm

Are we are done yet??/ How about this: Vazquez,Frenchy,JOJo to Toronto for Alex Rios.

Mixxo

June 4th, 2009
3:35 pm

Hear! ear! Rodney – Reason all the ESPN guys attacking Braves handling of Glav is that they are afraid Hanson added to the pitching plus McLouth trade means Braves might be able to beat their beloved NE teams. :lol:

Yup, they were looking forward to facing that 73 m.p.h. gas on the black. :lol:

Glav would have been shelled people…..face it.

MattyRoss

June 4th, 2009
3:35 pm

DOB given those numbers for McLouth, do you think the Braves would be better served to put him lower in the lineup? He’s a great leadoff hitter, but seems like we need his bat somewhere else. Maybe a lineup of:

Yunel
Kotch
Chipper
Mac
GA
McLouth
Frenchy
Kelly

I just feel like Kotch should be hitting 2, and this is the only way to do it. Anybody?

Braves Fan in CA

June 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

Regarding Glavine: I have always loved Glavine in a Braves uniform but I am happy he was given his release. According to the Media, Glavine was given the chance to retire a Brave and he made his choice not too. He also made his choice to sign with the Mets too. That is fine with me. I have been a Braves fan since 1990 and I have been frustrated with the Braves the last few years. I am happy to see us bringing up the kids from the Minors, trading for guaranteed Talent and also spending the money it takes to bring in the experienced talent. Regardless if Wren allowed Glavine one start or not, everyone who is complaining right now about this would still be complaining after Glavine’s one start. Wren knows what he is doing and he also knows he cant please every fan. On a side note regarding attendance: I live in CA and watch nearly every game via mlb.com. I makes me upset when I see more Opponent Fans at the Ted then Braves Fans. Everyone wants Wren to go spend MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars on high priced free agents but yet the Braves fans that live in and around Atlanta refuse to support their team through the hard times. Lets do simple math: ATTENDANCE = REVENUE = BETTER QUALITY FREE AGENTS OR BETTER QUALITY TRADES. Braves Fans in the Atlanta area, Please SUPPORT YOUR TEAM and quit bashing the front office if you refuse to be part of the solution, like being at the games. I have flown out to see the braves in person and have loved each games in person.

GO BRAVES! GO HANSON! GO McLOUTH!

Thanks Frank Wren for making this team better now and not LATER and thank you MR. DAVE O’BRIEN for doing a great job at what you do!

Burdell

June 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

From Adam Rosenberg at MLB.com…

“McLouth is expected in Atlanta before batting practice on Thursday. It is not known whether he will start in the rubber game of the Braves’ series with the Cubs, but it seems likely that he will.”

woogidy

June 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

It’s funny how players will always say that baseball is just a business and they have to “look out for themselves and their families” when it comes to them leaving a team that has been loyal to them for many many years but all of a sudden it becomes “not right and unfair” when management does the same.

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

How about this: Vazquez,Frenchy,JOJo to Toronto for Alex Rios. -Jersey Gil

I’d ship Frenchy & Jo Jo to Toronto for Alex Trebek. Keep JV.

rammerjammer

June 4th, 2009
3:37 pm

As Mr. T might say, “I pity the fool who gets between a microphone and John Smoltz.”

kdbanks

June 4th, 2009
3:37 pm

I can’t imagine that any of the Braves players are upset that Hanson’s going to be pitching Saturday instead of Glavine. I understand they are sad that their friend was cut, but they surely must know Hanson gives them a better chance to win.

I think cutting him was the right thing to do. If Glavine had pitched Saturday and done okay, how could they cut him then?

I want to watch a winning team, not a guy who once pitched on a winning team.

And I love the trade. Here’s hoping for 4 months of good offense!

Interested Observer

June 4th, 2009
3:37 pm

I love Glavine for all he’s given the Braves, but I also don’t put him in the same category as Smoltz because he was gone for 5 years. It’s not that I’m mad about it, it’s just that I’d already gotten over him not being with the Braves anymore. He came back but hardly pitched for the Braves last year because he was hurt.

I agree it could have been handled a little better but I’m really not that upset by it. Glavine shouldn’t have been resigned this year. Then he should have been let go earlier in the rehab process when it became clear the starting rotation was performing well and Hanson was more than ready. Yes, you could have given him one start but what happens if he doesn’t get lit up, but is only mediocre. That’s probably not enough for him to retire on his own and not enough to give Wren full reign to release him then. And you still have a better pitcher wasting away in the minors. Plus, despite what Wren has said, I still suspect that the McLouth deal wouldn’t have been done without clearing the incentive money they would have owned Glavine.

Bob

June 4th, 2009
3:37 pm

Welcome to Atlanta, Nate McClouth. We specialize in fat chicks with cheap tans and misuse of the left lane on the freeway.

Enjoy!

Burdell

June 4th, 2009
3:38 pm

The Braves aren’t going to hit McLouth 6th. Their best bet is to put him in a power spot (3, 4, or 5) or use his speed to bat leadoff. I’d prefer him to hit 4th, but based on Wren’s comments to ESPN, I think he’ll hit leadoff.

Chop Chop

June 4th, 2009
3:38 pm

Some of you need to be kicked in the head by a mule again to see if that would fix the problem.

Knowitall

June 4th, 2009
3:39 pm

Shane

Surely you must be mistaken about Harrison’s stats. I thought we traded Cy Young, Johnny Bench, and A-Rod for Texiara the way that trade gets ripped on here.

J-X

June 4th, 2009
3:39 pm

DOB

Not to cause a fuss, but what I get from your story is that you believe the proper way to handle this would be to let Glavine start on Saturday. Sacrifice a game for nostalgic purposes. Pay him a million dollars to fail in front of all of us as fans. The issue I have with that is, we are not out of the race, but we are getting to the point where these games count. Wrens job is to give us the best chance to win every game. Glavine does not do that anymore. Not to mention we paid him 8 MILLION dollars last year to do absolutley nothing. That was for nostalgic purposes, at some point you have to stop. As far as I am concerned this was the right thing for the team and us as fans. How many people on this blog do you think would really rather see Tom Glavine fall on his face and lose than see Hanson start what looks to be a bright career. Me personally I would rather see Hanson start and lose than Glavine start and win, because at least then we are moving forward as a franchise and making the kind of hard decisions that it takes to field the best team when you have aging veterans who are no longer the best players in your system.

Rob (from SC)

June 4th, 2009
3:39 pm

Did anyone see the Gwinnett game yesterday. If so did Schafer look better at the plate. He was 0-5 with 2 k’s but I was hoping he was making better swings.

Hoosier Aaron

June 4th, 2009
3:40 pm

My biggest complaint about the entire thing is that we waited until now on Hanson in order to prolong the “arbitration clock” as DOB once called it.

The fact is – we had a horrible road trip against two sub-.500 teams and we now find ourselves 5.5 games behind the Phills…another bad road trip like the last and it’s going to be a deep hole to climb to catch the World Champs.

It’s Wren’s job to put the best players on the field. Hanson is LONG overdue and I think Tommy Glavine was PLAN E in the event we lost a couple starters to injury early in the season.

It was a very bad night in August of 1990 when Murph was sent to Philly…I hated to see Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz go….but when a player sneaks out in the middle of the night to sign a free agent contract elsewhere it’s chalked up as “business”.

Give Hanson the ball and let’s chase down the Phils.

Long time fan

June 4th, 2009
3:40 pm

While I hate the fact that Glavine didn’t make it back, the bottom line is that this is still a business. We all love the game and what it represents to each of us as individuals. But not too many of us on this board actually get paid to play it or cover it. So it’s hard for alot of us to not view the game through the whimsical prism that we typically project to it. That being said, I do wish that Glavine would retire as a Brave just as I wished Smoltz would have. Realistically, that won’t happen although the jury is still out on whether Glav will pitch for another team.

However, I really do feel troubled by the bitterness spewing out of Smoltz’s mouth in defense of both himself and Glavine. I think I’m tired of hearing from Smoltz how much he turned down by staying with the Braves all these years when he could have bolted. I don’t want to hear him talk about knowing too much about the Braves’ situation although I guess we would all be fortunate to have friends come to our defense like he’s doing for Glavine. I’m also tired of his continued shots at Wren for making the moves that he’s made.

First of all, no one held a gun to his head to make him stay each time he was a free agent. He made that choice and so to hold it against the Braves is illogical. Secondly, he still benefited greatly (professionally and personally) from his tenure here so he would be better of holding his tongue until the emotions can subside. But, I guess that’s what always separated guys like that from schmo’s like me – that competetive nature to always succeed and always be the last guy standing.

I certainly wish that both could have retired with the Tomohawk on their chest with a neat tip of the cap as they walked off the mound in front of a sold out crowd at The Ted. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. It’s a trade-off for the amazing money those cats make while doing something that we all love.

sidslidkid

June 4th, 2009
3:40 pm

DCBrave, You don’t feel a thing for Glavine? I am sickened by the fact he’s gone. I get why he’s gone and we are better without him, but you don’t feel a thing for him? He almost single handily won the only World series the team has ever won. Did you see him pitch in Game 6? I get the fact he lost a lot of fans with the strike and going to the division rivals, but he’s going into Coopertown wearing an A on his cap for a reason. He did as much if not more for the Atlanta Braves over the last 20 years than anyone else. And for that you should feel something.

Slugger www.theweeklyscene.com

June 4th, 2009
3:41 pm

Thanks, Tom O’Hawke.

Noted, and appreciated.

fifthbusiness

June 4th, 2009
3:41 pm

Why is it that everyone says that the club is cheap in not letting Tommie pitch for $1,000,000, but no one says a word about him taking $6,000,000 and pitching one month last year. Its tough to tell someone that they are too old to do what they have always done, but some one has to be the token jerk.

StingerSplash

June 4th, 2009
3:41 pm

But … would going out on the mound and getting drilled be any less embarrassing for the Braves or Glavine, whose despite his stoic demeanor and level of professionalism remains a fiery competitor? Is that the way he’s supposed to go out — getting rocked in one, maybe two, starts?
Nora Desmond didn’t suffer as cruel a fate.

J-X

June 4th, 2009
3:42 pm

Matty:

I know I am the minority on this, but I still think this lineup gives us the best chance to win:

Escobar
Kotchman
Mclouth
Chipper
B-Mac
KJ
Frenchy
GA

Guessing Game

June 4th, 2009
3:42 pm

Schilling and Smoltz are about to open up a blog together called “Schmilling’s Feelings.” The Cosmic Megalomaniacal Energy produced will set off seven countries’ nuclear detection satellites. End of man. Thanks, Wren.

N Nine

June 4th, 2009
3:42 pm

It DOES look bad for the Braves organization, but one day we’ll have Maddux, Smoltz, and Maddux in that Braves uni when they eventually land in HOF. All will be happy, just not great terms at the moment.

There was no easy “out” for the Glavine situation. If we didn’t sign Glavine this spring, I think THAT would look bad also.. Glavine needs to realize its time, and don’t pull a Brett Favre fiasco. You got that 300. It was time Glavine, you were no match for Hanson, no matter how much we love you and appreciate the unexplainable contribution for the team……

BamaBrave

June 4th, 2009
3:43 pm

My sentiments completely, Rammerjammer…

“Just one start” would’ve turned into three starts, maybe four. And IMO, we just don’t have that luxury. We’re headed for a Wild Card horse race (hopefully), and we all know how that pans out. It seems to always come down to the last day of the season, and it’s won by one game. These aren’t spring training games anymore. They count. I’m glad Wren is acting with a sense of urgency.

Heath (Cleveland)

June 4th, 2009
3:43 pm

Jersey Girl…doubt Toronto will take on Javy’s Salary… I would do it in a hearbeat though if I were Atlanta since Rios signed a long-term deal last year…aproximately $70M for 7 years wasn’t it? Also, doubt Toronto would want to trade him since they just signed Wells and Hill to club-friendly long-term deals too. To compete in the AL East long-term, Toronto has to be pretty smart with their personnel moves. What do they get long-term from this deal? They would have to have JF and JoJo rated pretty highly….does anyone?

Daslied

June 4th, 2009
3:43 pm

“It’s funny how players will always say that baseball is just a business and they have to “look out for themselves and their families” when it comes to them leaving a team that has been loyal to them for many many years but all of a sudden it becomes “not right and unfair” when management does the same.”

Thank you, Woogidy. Best post on the whole situation.

Tom, thanks for the memories and enjoy the HOF. Now go enjoy your family.

Jonathon

June 4th, 2009
3:44 pm

Is McClouth gonna wear #13? Doesn’t appear to be taken on the Braves 40-man.

Steve from OH

June 4th, 2009
3:44 pm

IMO, the best place to hit McLouth is 5th. Hits for a lot of power, and should set up a lot of RBI opportunities with 3-4 great OBP guys (Chipper, Mac, Yunel and Kelly) ahead of him. I think one of our biggest problems has been cashing in the value of Chipper and Mac with guys like Francoeur and Anderson hitting behind them, and I think McLouth can do that.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 4th, 2009
3:45 pm

So DOB I’m sure your head was spinning with all the moves yesterday certainly a busy day which I can appreciate…but certainly exciting! I’m a Broadcaster/News reporter in Canada…and it’s funny when its busy its extremely busy in this business…So will we see McLouth in the line-up tonight…and hopefully Chipper?…This toe thing is getting a little frustrating

Tom Stanley

June 4th, 2009
3:45 pm

I was on Yahoo and found your blog. Read a few of your other posts. Good work. I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

Tom Stanley

Dumbfound

June 4th, 2009
3:45 pm

#1Met Troll, Where are you ?!! Sweep the Mutts ! Sweep the Mutts ! We love it when teams Sweep the Mutts !!!!!!!

Tennbravefan

June 4th, 2009
3:46 pm

I was talking to my father about the way Glavine was treated. I think the entire process showed a complete lack and of class on the Braves part. My dad had a different opinion however, he said “It has become acceptable for players to walk away from their teams for more money(see Glavine to Mets), so what is the difference in a team walking away from a player to save money?” I think he makes a good point. And for the record with Hanson and McLouth, the Braves are a much better team then they were 24 hours ago.

siskel_god

June 4th, 2009
3:46 pm

I love the deal, FW is being very proactive since he took over. I just don’t really know what to think of Wren, I mean he whiffed on Peavy, Burnett, and Furcal, but managed to snag Lowe (who I wanted all along), Jurrjens last offseason(complete fleecing), and now McLouth. I would have to think that we would probably be a worse team if he would have made the moves he originally wanted to make, ie; trading Escobar in the Peavy deal and signing Furcal who has been horrible and hurt this year, and Burnett is clearly inferior to Lowe so I ask, would a rotation with Peavy, Burnett and Jurrjens at the top be as good as Lowe, Vasquez, and Jurrjens? What would have been had we signed Griffey instead of GA? I think my head is going to explode thinking about this, I will just say that if we make the playoffs then good job sir.

Jeff R

June 4th, 2009
3:47 pm

DOB, agree. Wren could have figured out a better “out” strategy for Glavine. At least could have approached Glavine about a roving instructor contract… if Glavine had been agreeable, let Glavine go before the media and annouce his retirement, etc.

So, what happens to Schafer now?

J-X

June 4th, 2009
3:48 pm

siskel,

we never would have got peavy and burnett, but no in my opinion even if we did it would not as good of a rotation than what we have now.

1 thru 5 at least

N Nine

June 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

siskel_god-

You can add the Ohman/Infante trade also…That was a complete fleecing to me.

c jonze

June 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

N Nine-

I was just thinking about Favre- Holding the team hostage from a P.R. standpoint, while not being ready to move on. Smoltz sounds more and more like Favre each time he gets a chance to speak.

JD

June 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

I’m sure it’s been discussed, but what happens when Schafer finally proves he’s ready to come back? Move him or McLouth to left maybe?

bravos2249

June 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

Jonathon

As long as a major leaguer doesn’t have his number it doesn’t matter if the minor league guys have the same number or not. Most of the time guys from the minors have to change their numbers anyway.

Hurricane Corky

June 4th, 2009
3:49 pm

Will McLouth be in the lineup tonight?

Brian22

June 4th, 2009
3:50 pm

DOB, did you happen to read Bill Simmons’ ESPN the Magazine article on Big Papi this morning by any chance? I can see the inspiration.

bravos2249

June 4th, 2009
3:50 pm

Jonathon

Also he was given that number by the Pirates (I think), so I’m guessing unless he wants to change it he’ll keep # 13.

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