Posts Tagged ‘Braves’

Bradley’s Buzz: Aggrieved Glavine might file grievance

You had to figure this one was coming. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports, Tom Glavine is considering filing a grievance against the Braves. Rosenthal writes that Gregg Clifton, Glavine’s agent, “has spoken with a labor attorney and the players’ union.”

Which would make some sense, Glavine having been a big union man. (And I say it again: I’ve never begrudged him that, and I’m not sure why so many did. He was standing up for his fellow players, and they were most appreciative.)

Does Tom Glavine have grounds for a grievance?

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But, in this case, exactly what would be his grounds? That the Braves deceived him in some way? That they breached his contract? That they were obliged to put him on the 25-man roster? That Frank Wren is just a big ol’ meanie?

Rosenthal: “If history is any indicator, Glavine would not have much of a chance should he file the grievance. Historically, teams have the upper hand in such cases and don’t …

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When dealing with legends, there’s rarely an exit strategy

“It’s not how you go about it,” John Smoltz told reporters this week, but how do you go about it? If you’re suggesting, as Smoltz and others have, the Braves mishandled the release of Tom Glavine … well, how do you handle it? How does a team say goodbye to someone who isn’t ready to leave?

Joe DiMaggio retired at age 37, saying he could no longer “be Joe DiMaggio every day.” Today’s athletes are different. Smoltz got mad and left for Boston because the Braves had the gall to offer too little money to a 41-year-old pitcher — he has since turned 42 — coming off shoulder surgery. And now they’ve angered Glavine, who’s 43 and coming off shoulder and elbow surgery.

Two days after he was lopped, Glavine launched a counteroffensive. He accused the Braves of lying to him and being cheap. He said he merited special treatment for his years of meritorious service. Brett Favre felt the same. Brett Favre went from being the Green Bay Packers to despising the Green Bay Backers because they …

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Tom Glavine speaks and does himself a disservice

“The last thing I want to do was come in here and sound like a bitter athlete,” Tom Glavine said on 790 The Zone this morning.

Call that a swing and a miss.

My favorite Brave ever went on the radio (link requires registration) and did himself a massive disservice. He sounded like a bitter athlete. He called the Braves liars. He called them cheap. He said he’d been “misled and mistreated to a certain extent.”

And also this: “It could have been handled a whole lot better … This organization sometimes boxes itself in. They don’t ever take into account [that some] guys deserve to be treated a little bit differently.”

Tom Glavine was treated differently. He was handed a million dollars coming off shoulder surgery at the ancient age of 43. No other team would have given him a job — or a dime — without first seeing if he could pitch. The Braves gave him a million dollars. Then they took a long look and decided he couldn’t.

And now he’s mad. He’s mad because he had to drive (his …

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John Smoltz gets his wittle feelings hurt. Imagine that.

We all but had a stopwatch on it in the press box Wednesday night. How long would it take for John Smoltz to rip the Braves for releasing Tom Glavine? If you had four hours, you won the pool.

After reading Smoltz’s latest rant, I thought, “Par for the course.” (Par. Course. Golf. Smoltz. Funny, huh?) Because that’s what John Smoltz does: He takes every slight, real or imagined, and personalizes it and stews over it and nurtures his resentment. I know.

It was 1997, the year after Smoltz won his Cy Young award, and he was pitching badly by his lofty standards. I wrote as much. The next day he stomped through the clubhouse and glowered but didn’t say a word to me. Because part of being John Smoltz is to smolder from afar.

I told one of the Braves’ announcers — I won’t say who — that Mr. Smoltz appeared to be displeased with my printed appraisal. And the announcer said, “The truth hurts.”

Not long afterward, Smoltz worked a good game — even I would never suggest he’s anything less …

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Terry Pendleton on hitting: “That individual has to step up”

Terry Pendleton was hurt when he heard Jeff Francoeur had gone to Texas to work with Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. He told Francoeur as much.

Said Pendleton: “Honestly? My pride gets in the way. I asked Jeff, ‘Why didn’t you come to me?’ Obviously he felt the need to go elsewhere. It’s his winter. [But] it bugged me at first. Not hearing it from him, that got me more than anything. I told him, ‘I thought our relationship was better than that.’ ”

Pendleton has been the Braves’ hitting coach since 2002, and he’s held in high esteem within the organization. But it did seem odd that the conspicuously flailing Francoeur would consult an instructor on another team’s payroll, and some have taken his Texas sojourn as a vote of no confidence in Pendleton.

And with the 2009 Braves starving for offense and the prized prospect Jordan Schafer being demoted after striking out 63 times in 50 games, the cry has gone up on blogs: Pendleton must go! (Never mind that the Braves …

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About McLouth: Yeah, the Braves gave up a lot, but …

Three prospects for a guy hitting .265 on a lousy team: Is this Teixeira redux?

Answer: No.

The Braves sent Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke to Pittsburgh for Nate McLouth, who’s a good player but no Carlos Beltran. Do I have reservations about the move? Yes. But do I think the deal would have been better left undone? No, and here’s why:

To make anything of this season, the Braves had to have a bat and had to have a center fielder. There was no other way. Jordan Schafer couldn’t do it, and Gregor Blanco wouldn’t have done it. McLouth is, to quote Frank Wren, “a solid part of a team,” and for the Braves a solid center fielder is a massive upgrade.

When a team deals from desperation — and the Braves were close to that — it always overpays. But give Wren credit: He didn’t overpay on another two-month man. (Or an 11-month guy, as was the case with John Schuerholz’s deal for Mark Teixeira.) “This isn’t to rent a guy for a year,” Wren said. “He’s under contract for …

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It hurts to say it, but it was time for Tom Glavine to go

When Tom Glavine was allowed to leave for the Mets in December 2002, I was outraged. (At the Braves, not at him.) The same Braves released the same Glavine on Wednesday, and here’s what I say now:

Good move.

Tom Glavine is my favorite Brave ever, but it was time — past time — for him to go. I didn’t cheer when they brought him back two winters ago, and I was against giving him another chance in 2009. A 43-year-old coming off shoulder and elbow surgery? With Tommy Hanson waiting in the minors? Was this a big-league baseball season or a sentimental journey?

“This was not a business decision,” Frank Wren told the media Wednesday. “This was a performance decision.” And there should be no arguing with that.

Tom Glavine gave the Braves a lot. He gave them the greatest night of professional sports this city has known. (Game 6, 1995 World Series, eight innings, one hit.) But he has, sad to say, nothing left to give. Wren again: “Our evaluation [of Glavine's rehab starts in the minors] …

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The Braves do the right thing for Schafer (and themselves)

The Braves had no choice. Jordan Schafer was at sea. It made no difference if the team around him was steaming or sinking. A prized young property was in danger of washing out at age 22.

There’s a reason baseball teams try not to rush kids. They don’t want them to fail. Schafer was hitting .204 with 63 strikeouts against two home runs. That’s not someone who’s in a slump. That’s the sign of a young man who has lost his vocational way.

After two months it was clear the Braves could do nothing to help Schafer at the big-league level. Chipper Jones had been designated as his mentor, and even the counsel of one of the game’s finest hitters was having no effect. I asked Frank Wren last week how much longer the Braves could go with Schafer — Wren politely declined to answer — and when finally they demoted him they acted not a day too soon.

Baseball isn’t as much about speed and strength as technique and self-assurance. Schafer’s technique had deserted him, and how confident can …

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All-baseball Bradley’s Buzz: Will DeRo be the Braves’ hero?

A triumphant return for the pride of Vinings Estates?

He played quarterback at Penn. He played everywhere for the Braves. He drove in the winning run in Game 2 of the 2003 NLDS against the Cubs. He lived in my subdivision (and, after leaving for Texas, rented his house first to Chris Reitsma and then to Mike Remlinger). And now Mark DeRosa might be coming back to the ol’ neighborhood.

So speculates Jayson Stark of DeRo, as he’s known, now plays for Cleveland, and the Indians stink. (Apologies to all my pals in that fine American city.) The Tribe, Stark reports, wants pitching, and that’s the one thing the Braves have. But Frank Wren, Stark also writes, won’t part with any of his top-tier arms, meaning a trade partner would have to settle for Kris Medlen, Jo-Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton.

As for Frenchy: Stark believes the Braves are “mostly listening” to proposals for Jeff Francoeur, “in part because they need to add bats, not subtract them, and in part because no one …

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Wren on his Braves: “It’s obvious we need more offense”

Frank Wren knew he couldn’t fix all that ailed his 90-loss team in one offseason, so he prioritized. He started with the rotation and added three new arms. He stabilized the most egregious source of instability. He made the Braves competitive again.

But say this for Wren: He’s no Pollyanna. He sees the potential in his reconfigured team, and he also sees a ceiling. Just past the quarter pole, the Braves are very much in the NL East mix. To stay there, the general manager believes something has to change.

“I do think we’re going to have to perform better offensively,” Wren said Wednesday. “Our pitching is giving us a chance to win, but to be legitimate contenders we have to improve offensively.”

The hope when the Braves came north from Disney World was that many competent bats would override the lack of a true big bat. “We don’t have a big bopper who’s going to hit 40 home runs,” Wren said in April. “We might have seven guys who’ll hit 20.”

He meant 20 apiece. But if you take …

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